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Meet the extension council candidates

By Staff | Oct 23, 2008

Voters will have the opportunity to elect four members of the Emmet County Extension Council at the Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008, general election, says Holle Smith, Emmet County extension education director.

“The council members elected this year will have exciting opportunities to determine the work that extension will do in Emmet County for the next four years,” Smith said.

Extension programming is a cooperative effort involving local citizens, Iowa State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Extension council members are elected at-large, and all voters in the county are eligible to vote for four candidates.

Candidates on this year’s ballot include: David Enerson, Amy Lowe, Ron Menendez, Elaine Prust and Keith Richard, Estherville; Scott Park, Graettinger.

Following is a review of candidates.

David Enerson

David Enerson farms with his wife, Robin and parents Paul and Colleen Enerson. Their sons, Trevor and Tyson attend Iowa State University and Estherville Lincoln Central High School, respectively.

Amy Lowe

Amy Lowe was born and raised on a farm in Emmet County. After graduating from Armstrong-Ringsted High School she attended Mankato State University and graduated with degrees in marketing and teaching. She is married to Roger, a local farmer and they have twin daughters, Krista and Katie, who are seniors at ELC. She is employed by Golden Sun/Land O’Lakes Purina Feed for the last 18 years and is currently a Marketing Specialist for the Swine Marketing Group.

Ron Menendez

Ron Menendez has been an Estherville resident for 17 years and is an Ohio native. He and his wife, Mary Ann have two children, Anthony and Laura, both college students. Ron has a bachelor of arts and master of business administration degrees from Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, W.V. He is the assistant vice president, information technology manager and marketing officers at Bank Plus in Estherville and prior to that served a publisher and editor of the Estherville Daily News and Spirit for eight years.

Scott Park

Scott Park farms and has lived in Emmet County all his life. He and wife Lynn have been married for 14 years and they have two daughters Emily and Taylor.

Emily Prust

Elaine Prust is employed at the Emmet County State Bank as a bookkeeper for 27 years. She is married to Jim, employed by Central Fuel Injection Service Co. and they have two children: Kristi, a graduate of Iowa State University and Chad, a student at Iowa Lakes Community College.

Keith Richard

Keith Richard farms with his dad, Russ Richard north of Estherville and also raises show pigs. Keith graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in agriculture. He will be getting married Nov. 29 to Erica Tendal. Erica works at Dr Bruns and Dr. Williams office as a dental hygienist.

Question: Why would you like to serve on the Extension Council?”

David Enerson I feel it is a very important and useful community service. We have a great staff at extension and that makes it a pleasure to serve on this board.

Amy Lowe ISU Extension is an invaluable resource for our entire community. It has resources that help us make decisions for our families, businesses, farms and communities. I am a firm believer in continuing education and ISU Extension helps provide that through informational and educational opportunities. I have enjoyed serving on the council for the past four years and would like to continue to promote the extension office, its services and its staff.

Ron Menendez – I understand the importance of and enjoy participating in community service. My education, work experience and organizational affiliations will be an asset to the council assisting the extension in delivering its important services to local residents.

Scott Park I want to represent different groups, issues and concerns that make up our district.

Elaine Prust When I was approached if I was interested in being on the extension council I said yes because I have always had an interest in 4-H. I was a member of a 4-H family growing up in Minnesota and my daughter was a member for several years. 4-H develops many social and education qualities needed in life.

Keith Richard I am a strong supporter of the extension service and what it does for the community. I think serving on the extension council would be a good way to get involved in the community.

Question: “What strengths would you bring to the council as a member?”

David Enerson Having served one term now I feel I have a good understanding of how extension works. There will be some challenges ahead for our board and I look forward to dealing with them.

Amy Lowe Having a background in both education and agriculture are helpful. Also, I understand what it takes to raise a family and feel I can help represent those needs within our community. The past four years on the extension council have been a great experience and feel I have more to offer by continuing to serve on the council.

Ron Menendez I have been involved in marketing, finance and management of business operations nearly my entire professional career, all of which are important attributes necessary for fulfilling council responsibilities. I am experienced in directing and participating in the efforts of local community non-profit organizations and believe my organizational affiliations will present additional collaborative opportunities for the Extension Service.

Scott Park I have experience on the Emmet County Cattleman’s board. I also currently serve on the River Valley Telecommunications board representing Graettinger.

Elaine Prust – Previously I have been a co-leader of a 4-H group so I had a part in what it takes to keep a 4-H club active. In the community I have been the treasurer for local Boy Scout Troop 31. Keeping the Scout budget in balance and listening to community input in various subjects are strengths I have that would be beneficial in being a member of the Extension Council.

Keith Richard I look for solutions to get things done. I am involved in other committees specifically associate with the fair, so I can bring that view to the table as well.

Council members whose terms expire this year are David Enerson, Estherville; Todd Glasnapp, Ringsted; Amy Lowe, Estherville and Rick Rosburg, Estherville. Carryover council members whose terms continue through the end of 2010 are David Dominy, Estherville; Robin Hansen, Ringsted; Jeanne Handeland, Wallingford; Lori Meyer, Ringsted; and Sharla Ries, Armstrong.

Successful candidates in the Nov. 4, 2008, election will take office in January 2009. Extension council members make policy, programming and budget decisions for the Emmet County Extension Service.

The Cooperative Extension System nationwide provides informal education opportunities on a variety of topics. For more information contact Holle Smith, Emmet County extension director at 712-362-3434. ISU Extension has 105 field offices, providing local access to extension programs in all 99 counties.