IMPACT Leaflet No. 6

Extension Council Committees

Cassy Dierking Venters, Continuing Education Specialist

This publication is a guide for councils to use in planning and orienting committees. Each committee should define its plan of work each year.

Program committees

Types of program committees vary by county but may include agriculture profitability, business and community development, building human resources, health and nutrition, etc. During the course of a year, the committee usually will meet once or twice to identify the programming needs in its specific area. A willingness to learn about and interest in the areas being discussed is as important a criterion for committee members as past experience or knowledge in the field.

Extension staff support

  • Attend committee meetings.
  • Report on past programs in the county.
  • Report on county demographics.
  • Report on programs available.
  • Update committee on new technologies and methods.
  • Use the committee's recommendations in program plans.
  • Report to the committee on programs conducted during the year.
  • Communicate with extension administration.

Extension council involvement

  • Attend committee meetings.
  • Identify program needs in the county.
  • Make recommendations on programs and methods.

Time Period: Meetings may be held in August and September.

Election and nomination

The election committee is responsible for conducting annual elections for the extension council and nominating officers. Approximately one-half of council positions are elected each year.

Extension staff support

  • Attend election committee meetings.
  • Prepare documents showing districts, council members and their terms, and potential nominees.
  • Prepare legal materials for changing districts or council membership, if needed.
  • Publish news stories, legal notices, prepare ballots and information sheets and mail ballots.
  • Notify candidates of election results.
  • Contact county officials to swear in officers.
  • File reports with state administration.

Extension council involvement

  • Attend election committee meetings.
  • Submit names of nominees.
  • Contact nominees.
  • Count ballots.
  • Nominate officers.
  • Contact officer candidates.

Time period

January: Hold elections, count ballots, nominate officers, contact nominees

February: Elect officers at the annual meeting

Budget committee

The budget committee has responsibility for developing and presenting the budget to the county commission.

Extension staff support

  • Attend budget committee meetings.
  • Meet with county staff on budget needs.
  • Prepare documents showing expenditures.
  • Explain financial records.
  • Communicate with Extension administration about budget needs.
  • Visit informally with county officials.
  • Participate in the formal budget hearing.
  • File reports with state administration.

Extension council involvement

Attend budget committee meetings.

  • Learn about the council's financial situation.
  • Develop the budget request.
  • Make the budget presentation to the county commissions.
  • Participate in the formal budget hearing.

Time period

  • January: Communicate with county commission.
  • February: Approve budget at annual meeting.
  • September or October: Review current year expenses; identify next year's needs; develop budget request.
  • November: Council approves the budget request.
  • December: Participate in county commission budget hearings.
  • Periodically: Keep county commission advised of the results of their investment.

Personnel committees

The activity of the personnel committee will depend on personnel changes in the county. County-employed staff (secretaries, most often, but occasionally education assistants) are hired by the council, and the council has the authority to remove them from the position. University-employed staff (specialists and education assistants) are hired by the University and are placed in a county upon approval of the council. Some counties will handle personnel matters with the full council and not use a personnel committee.

Extension staff support

  • Advertise position openings according to affirmative action/equal opportunity guidelines.
  • Interview applicants.
  • Make recommendation to personnel committee or the full council.
  • Write job descriptions.
  • Communicate with extension administration.

Extension council involvement

For county-employed staff:

  • review applications.
  • Interview applicants.
  • Recommend candidates to the full council.

For university-employed staff:

  • Meet the candidates.
  • Make recommendation to full council.

Time period: As staff vacancies occur.

Special events committees

All counties have annual meetings, but events such as town and country dinner, fall festival, summer ice cream social, etc., vary. Special events committees have responsibility for planning and carrying out the events: arranging for publicity, contacting speakers, selecting facilities, planning menus and recruiting volunteers, if necessary.

Public relations and marketing committee

Some counties have public relations committees to increase the visibility of and support for Extension programming in the county.

Extension staff support

  • Provide a summary on current marketing efforts and materials available.
  • Utilize county reports with county commissions for a mid-year update on Extension programming.

Joint responsibilities:

  • Evaluate the current public image, set goals for public relations projects, make contacts with community organizations and help with special promotions.

Time period: designated by the council

Facilities committee

Facilities committees analyze offices to improve efficient operations and the public image. They also examine how the facility can be used best to meet the educational programming needs in the county. The committee then develops a long-range plan for the budget committee regarding equipment purchase. In some cases, this might include a change in office location and structure.

Extension staff support

Inventory equipment and assess office use to make recommendations to the committee.

Time period: Summer, for fall budget preparation.

Endowment and gifts committee

The committee develops an endowment and gifts program for the county with the assistance of Extension staff. This includes setting policy, making donation requests, record keeping, donor recognition, arranging publicity and conducting special projects to raise money.

Refer to the Donor education: Gifts and endowments page for more on this topic.

Recognition committee

This committee makes a recommendation to the full council on the state fair farm family. The committee determines what other types of recognition for volunteers or staff they would like to implement in the Extension program.

committee regarding equipment purchase. In some cases, this might include a change in office location and structure.

Extension staff support

  • Provide description of the award, list of past recipients and criteria for the award.
  • Communicate with recipient and extension administration.

Extension council involvement

  • Nominate candidates.
  • Select recipient and alternate.

Time period: May.