O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

Four Candidates on the Ballot for ISU Extension and Outreach O'Brien County Council

Eric Brown, Paullina - Christine Feltman, Paullina - Ryan Freese, Sheldon - Emily McDowell, Paullina


October 8, 2020

PRIMGHAR, Iowa – Voters will have the opportunity to elect four members of the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach O’Brien County Council at the Nov. 3, 2020, general election.

“The council members elected this year will be involved in bringing educational opportunities to O’Brien County for the next four years,” said Cheryl Heronemus, Regional Extension Director. “ISU Extension and Outreach O’Brien County educational 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. Extension council members whose terms expire this year are Christine Feltman, Paullina; Ryan Freese, Sheldon; Kiana Johnson, Primghar; and Michael Wagner, Primghar.

Candidates on this year’s ballot include:

Eric Brown, Paullina

Eric Brown is the owner/operator of Paullina Hardware Store. He has not served on the O’Brien County Extension Council, but he has worked with Extension in the past. He partnered with O’Brien County 4-H to provide area 4-H members with baby chicks for the Youth Mystery Chick Project and Brown’s son is a member of Clover Kids.

“I have seen many ISU Extension and Outreach programs in action and being carried out,” Brown said. “I have also seen the effects these programs can have on a business and community. By serving on the Extension Council, I am interested in being a voice for O’Brien County, to assess what is needed for future programming.”

Christine Feltman, Paullina

Christine Feltman is a local physical therapist. She has served one four-year term on the O’Brien County Extension Council and is seeking re-election.

“My first term [on the Extension Council] was an enjoyable learning experience,” Feltman said. “I also participated in one of their human sciences events and was impressed with the content and delivery of the program. I enjoy promoting ISU Extension and Outreach’s services in my day-to-day life, and have been amazed at the variety of services offered and the sincerity of everyone involved to reach, teach and support Iowans.”

Ryan Freese, Sheldon

Ryan Freese is an agronomist with First Coop Association. He has served one four-year term on the O’Brien County Extension Council and is seeking re-election. Freese is a former 4-H member, and also currently serves as a 4-H club leader for the Western Workers 4-H Club.

“I am interested in being re-elected to the O’Brien County Extension Council because it is a fun council to serve on,” Freese said. “I always learn something new as far as what Extension does and what programs they offer. I enjoy being a part of ISU Extension and Outreach, as they deliver programs based upon what issues are important to our area and our state.”

Emily McDowell, Paullina

Emily McDowell is a swine veterinarian with Pipestone Vet Services of Orange City. She is a former O’Brien County 4-H member who is seeking her first term on the O’Brien County Extension Council.

“I believe in the value of education and I like the mission of ISU Extension and Outreach to partner with families across the state to help them thrive and prosper,” McDowell said. “ISU Extension and Outreach connects research with application, bringing new solutions to the concerns and issues our county faces. I have been very blessed by the work of people ahead of me to develop and grow programs like 4-H in O’Brien County. I would like this opportunity to give back to the people of my home county and to be a participant in helping to foster better individuals and leaders in the next generation. I see the value that ISU Extension and Outreach brings back to the citizens of O’Brien County and across the state.”

Successful candidates will take office in January 2021 and join the carryover council members whose terms continue beyond the end of 2020, including Ron McCarty, Sheldon; Chas Biery, hartley; Lisa Koehlmoos, Granville; Lindsay Kracht, hartley and Val Moermond, hartley.

Extension council members make programming and budget decisions for ISU Extension and Outreach in O’Brien County. They work with decision makers, build relationships, and address local issues. Extension council members are advocates, stewards, and everyday citizens who link people with life-changing programs. Through partnerships, they provide resources, research and education to assist Iowans.


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