Tama County Extension wins ‘Creativity in Service to All Iowans’ award

2024 North Central Area ISU Extension and Outreach award winners named

Tama County Extension and Outreach’s (l-r) Cheryl Bruene, Jenny Hulme, and Haley Princehouse pictured recently with their 2024 Creativity in Service to All Iowans Award. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MASON CITY – The trio behind Tama County Extension and Outreach’s fantastic educational programming has claimed another County Services Award – the Creativity in Service to All Iowans award.

Back on Jan. 16, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach North Central Area Awards Ceremony was held during which award recipients for outstanding achievements in 2023 were recognized.

Awards were submitted in November of 2023 and judged by the awards committee in the South-Central Area based on the established rubrics.

The North Central area received 30 award nominations, ten awards were presented in each of the areas.

During the ceremony, Cheryl Bruene, Jenny Hulme, and Haley Princehouse of Tama County were awarded the Creativity in Service to All Iowans Award as part of their work with Tama County Extension by delivering meaningful programs across the county involving numerous partners and staff.

The trio strives to reach all Tama County residents by holding programs in as many communities as possible.

Other awards

This year’s Excellence in Partnerships to Iowans Award winner is Belinda Hoffman, Story County Nutrition Educator. Belinda has maintained 30 partners while adding 10 new agencies to better reach diverse residents in Story County. Belinda models a truly collaborative approach in nutrition programming by forming relationships with agencies through the county.

The 4-H and Youth Program Area Recognition Award winner is Mary Wilkins, Story County Youth Outreach Coordinator. For more than two decades, Mary Wilkins has been actively contributing to Story County. She imparts her wealth of experience to newly onboarded colleagues, as well as the mentees she guides, which include new employees and student interns.

The Extension Council Distinguished Service Award winner is the Webster County Extension Council. The Webster County Extension Council is all-in when it comes to the ISU Extension and Outreach mission. They’re dedicated to spreading knowledge, resources, and support in their community. They make sure that people have access to education and expert help, and they’re all about reaching out to everyone. Their passion for this mission is clear in how they work with the staff to identify programming to make life better for people in Webster County, embodying the heart of ISU Extension and Outreach, and making a real difference.

The Spirit of CY Award winner is Story County Extension Office Staff. The Story County Extension staff exemplifies a commitment to cultivating a positive and collaborative work environment. The team’s dedication to open communication is demonstrated through their weekly staff meetings, providing a structured platform for exchanging ideas, updates, and aligning collective goals. This practice ensures that every team member is informed, engaged, and empowered to contribute their unique skills and insights.

The Exceptional Volunteer Service Award winner is Bill Noteboom. Bill is an invaluable volunteer at Grundy County Extension and Outreach. He serves as Chair of the Extension Council, President of Grundy County Farm Bureau, member of the County Youth Committee, and Grundy County Fair Beef Superintendent. Additionally, he contributes resources and time to programming and leads a large fundraising initiative.

The Friend of Extension Award winner is Gina & Brad Perkins of Cultivating Hope Farms are tremendous supporters and advocates for providing quality educational programming to participants with different abilities. The partnership resulted in one of only a few 4-H Clubs that primarily serves youth with autism spectrum disorder. Gina and Brad Perkins go out of their way to make community connections, always mentioning and promoting their partnership with Story County Extension. They can leverage and promote these partnerships to make more connections for safe learning spaces for anyone with special needs.

The Pride of Extension Award winner is Ashley Bruene, Grundy County. Ashley’s vision is to support a team environment in the county office, and she contributes her time and expertise as a resource to her teammates’ projects and programs. There is not a program in Grundy County that Ashley hasn’t had a direct contribution and she is flexible and generous with her time.

The Inclusive Excellence Award winner is Mary Wilkins, Camila Schlosser, & Beth Waage, Story County Staff. They go above and beyond to cultivate diverse partnerships and promote diversity, equity and inclusion. In 2022, Story County Extension began a partnership with Cultivating Hope Farms (CHF) to create a non-traditional 4-H Club. This helped both entities provide quality educational programming to participants with varied abilities.