Extending your reach 

Small town Main Street. (Journal photo by Jennifer Theurer.)

I recently finished my term serving on the Extension Council Board in my area. Like serving on a school board, being a member of the county Extension board, at least in Kansas, is an elected position. Mainly, the board takes care of hiring new agents, approves spending, and reviews programs being presented in the community. 

As this was my second term, I had spent a total of four years working with our agents and office professional. It was exciting for me to see how the agents put the needs of the community first and the creative ways they set about meeting those needs. Even with just 1,670 people in the county as of the most recent census, Comanche County, Kansas, holds a wide variety of ages and interests. 

Jennifer Theurer
Jennifer Theurer

Before I served on the board, I didn’t realize how much time and energy the agents devote to learning. This isn’t just learning about subjects to teach their community members but learning how to do their jobs and how to access needed resources. There are extensive training meetings put on by Kansas State University and those must be completed before the agents can even begin to think about their day-to-day tasks. 

Seeing the dedication of our agents made me appreciate the time and effort put in by them and those that came before. I learned to never underestimate the number of hours an Agriculture or Family and Community Wellness agent has put in that day when I see them at evening events. Chances are their day started a couple of hours before regular business hours. They are some of the hardest working professionals in the community.  

I really appreciate my time spent on the board getting to know my fellow board members and the agents we went through the process to hire. Serving your community is a rewarding experience when you can see the good being done for your friends and neighbors.  

My cover story for this week can also serve to help you or your friends and neighbors. The start of a new year is a good time to think about making future plans. I have once again partnered with Jim Angell of Kennedy Berkley to discuss transitioning a farm or ranch to the next generation. Many of you have experienced or witnessed the aftermath of a lack of planning when it comes to passing along the assets accrued over a lifetime. Take the opportunity to avoid that potential disaster by having the difficult conversations now. 

Jennifer Theurer can be reached at 620-227-1805 or [email protected]