Breakout Sessions

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Wondering which sessions to select?  Take a look at the descriptions below.  Additionally, we have put together a suggested list of workshop selections for new council members, staff members, or members of extension council finance, program, or personnel committees in our Breakout Session Tracks document.  As a reminder, council members should select the workshops they wish to attend regardless of the track suggestions.

Breakout Session 1 | 9:20-10:00 a.m.        select one

A. County Finances 101 (Beginner’s Finances) | Gene Mohling and Bryan Whaley, Directors of Field Operations
It all just looks like numbers on a page to me! This hands-on workshop is for newer council members and provides some basics to help you read and interpret county financial reports. Get a better handle on what council members need to know for due diligence with county finances. A sample budget and financial report will be distributed in advance.
B. Mental Health in the Workplace | David Brown, Family Life Program Specialist
How can you support your employees' and constituents' mental health? Review mental health programs and resources available for counties, discuss how extension councils can best use their funds to support the mental health initiative, and learn tips to support county staff during this stressful time.
C. Initiative Insights - Improving Food Supply, Safety, & Access | Reviving the Iowa Economy
Christine Hradek, MPH, Human Sciences Specialist and Angela Shaw, Associate Professor and Food Science and Human Nutrition Specialist | Lisa Shimkat, State Director, America’s SBDC Iowa and Lisa Bates, Design Extension Specialist

How can our county access resources for the new extension and outreach initiatives? Last fall each county selected one key initiative to work on in response to the pandemic, economy and extreme weather from 2020. Hear what programming is available for these two initiatives, how you can access it, and how councils and staff can support the initiatives.


Breakout Session 2 | 10:05-10:45 a.m.        select one

 A. County Finances 102 (Advanced Finances) | Gene Mohling and Bryan Whaley, Directors of Field Operations
How can we better manage the county's finances? This hands-on workshop provides the next level of complexity for council members to understand county finances. You will be empowered to spot potential cash flow issues, understand the different county funds, and shape budgets to reflect your county's priorities. A sample budget and financial report will be distributed in advance.
B. Conducting Public Council Meetings | Gary Taylor, Director, Community and Economic Development
Why can't we all go for coffee after the council meeting? Through the use of scenarios, you'll get an overview of the Open Public Meeting laws. Get guidance to respond to citizen requests for council records, going into a closed session, and accommodating comments from the public. Also, learn the guidelines for socializing with fellow council members outside of meetings.
C. Initiative Insights - Expanding Educational Opportunities for Youth |Increasing Access to Quality Child Care
Ben Pullen, Youth Program Specialist and Cheryl Heronemus, Regional Director

How can our county access resources for the new extension and outreach initiatives? Last fall each county selected one key initiative to work on in response to the pandemic, economy and extreme weather from 2020. Hear what programming is available for these two initiatives, how you can access it, and how councils and staff can support the initiatives.


Breakout Session 3 | 10:50-11:30 a.m.        select one

A. Employment Law and Practices | Kay Osvig, Whitfield & Eddy Law
How do you handle tough employment issues - in a pandemic? Real life scenarios will be used to help council members understand their obligations as employers. You'll learn practical tips for handling unemployment filings and appeals; Council member obligations during an employment investigation; how to have a closed session (while complying with Iowa's open meeting laws); key considerations for personnel transitions and more.
B. Extension Office Real Estate Options | Andrea Nelson, Assistant Vice President for County Services and Gene Mohling and Bryan Whaley, Directors of Field Operations
Rent vs. own vs. build? Co-locate & collaborate vs. standing alone? There are many decisions facing councils when it comes to office space. This session will discuss facility use planning, risk management, legal considerations, fundraising, and other issues related to the place where extension business is conducted. Real county scenarios will be shared from counties who have solved their space issues in a variety of ways.
C. Initiative Insights - Improving Financial Security | Addressing Mental Health
Suzanne Bartholomae, Assistant Professor and Family Finance Specialist and David Brown, Family Life
Program Specialist

How can our county access resources for the new extension and outreach initiatives? Last fall each county selected
one key initiative to work on in response to the pandemic, economy and extreme weather from 2020. Hear what
programming is available for these two initiatives, how you can access it, and how councils and staff can support the
initiatives.


Breakout Session 4 | 11:35 - 12:15 p.m.        select one

A. Stumbling Blocks to a Clean Financial Review | Ernest Ruben, CPA, Director, Financial Audit Division, Office of the Auditor of State
Is “audit” a scary word for your council? Hear how an extension district can learn from the financial review and what we can do to prepare. Examine past recommendations to help council members develop strategies to resolve findings.
B. The New ISU Extension and Outreach Q/A | John Lawrence, Vice President for Extension and Outreach
How is the new extension and outreach structure helping to create a #strongIowa? We have transitioned through Structured for Success to our new ISU Extension and Outreach. Hear from Vice President John Lawrence about how things are going and what's on the horizon.
C. 4-H Annual Check-up | Lisa Berkland and Gail Castillo, Youth Program Specialists
Have you ever wondered if your county 4-H program is healthy? Is there a fairly simple way to visualize where your county is strong and where you might need to focus some attention? Utilizing data, learn one way to assess your county’s program balance, audience balance, market share, and growth.