Council Resources

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The Iowa Extension Council Association (IECA) suggests the following assistance for Extension Council members in dealing with finances, office space, personnel management and program development issues.

If you have suggestions of topics that you would like to see to assist council members in doing their job, please contact IECA Executive Assistant, Julie Baumler.

Acronyms Used in Extension
Have you found yourself at a council meetings baffled by the acronyms being tossed around?  This resource of Extension Acronyms should help you out.

TimeClock Plus
Resources for the TimeClock Plus time-tracking system for county-paid employees.  

County Budget Procedures
The Budget Letter and Procedures document outlines the process for completing the budget forms and requirements.

4-H Club Financial Management
4-H Club Financial Management resources for 4-H clubs and county extension offices. 

County Insurance Coverage
Information about county insurance coverage can be found on the County Services website.  This information covers liability, risk management, treasurer's bond, and employee dishonesty.

County Extension Office Collaboration Considerations
The County Extension Office Collaboration Considerations document (select Appendix 18) helps guide councils through the decision-making process when asked to partner with other groups in sharing office space and/or sharing staff and resources.   Regional Directors serve as a good resource to help facilitate this discussion.

County Fair Partnership Agreement
The County Fair Partnership Agreement page includes templates and information for creating an agreement between county extension and outreach and the county fair board.

Extension Council Relevant Legislation

Office of the Vice President of Extension and Outreach
The Office of the Vice President link provides resources for current initiatives and communications from the Vice President.  It's a great resource to keep you current with what's going on in extension.

Memorandum of Understanding
The document outlining the Memorandum of Understanding between Extension Councils and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach as well as the supporting documents for the MOU

Extension Council Job Description, Responsibilities

  • Extension Council Job Description 
  • Referendum Authority
    • The Iowa Code empowers the county extension district to place a referendum on the general election ballot. The referendum question allows local voters to change county funding structure. See Iowa Code 176A.10, subsection 6.
  • Budgetary Responsibilities
    • The council develops and approves the budget. For more information see Budget Information on the County Services page.
    • The extension law requires a complete report of financial transactions to be published for the 12 month period beginning July 1 through June 30 of the following calendar year.
  • Extension Council role in Program Planning
    • With the lead of the Regional Director, the extension council will give input and evaluation into the program planning process. According to Iowa Code, extension councils are responsible for cooperative extension service's programs and policies and that they are consistent with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability.

Calendar Items for Extension Council Meeting Agendas
Outlines agenda items that councils may wish to discuss during specific times of the year.  These may be found in the County Extension Council Refernce Manual Appendices (select Appendix 6.3).

Extension Council Property
Outlines guidelines for disposing of Extension Council property, computers, and hard drives.


  • Extension program availability and office access
    • In the Memorandum of Understanding between Iowa State University and each county extension council, it was agreed that the council would fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the Iowa and Federal Civil Rights law. Programs are to be made available to the people of Iowa regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. County offices are subject to periodic audits to ensure compliance. These audits are called Civil Rights audits.
    • Every three years the regional director completes a county civil rights audit. Every seven years a federal audit is done. Contact your Regional Director for more information or see Section 7.A, Accessibility Policies.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Accessibility Checklist for County Extension Offices
  • Affirmative Action
    • Affirmative action includes goals set for program and personnel that are representative of the population
    • "Goals and timetables" shouldn't be confused with "quotas." Goals and timetables are targets set by government contractors for the employment of minorities and women, along with time frames for achieving the targets. Employers are encouraged to make good faith efforts, but there are no legal penalties if they make good faith efforts but are unable to meet the goals.
    • Goals set for program should continue to identify unserved audiences and document efforts to reach these audiences.

County Credit Card Policy
Credit/Debit Card Considerations and Policy
     Several county extension offices have begun accepting credit and debit cards using Shazam’s payment processing.  SHAZAM has a rich tradition of helping merchants and non-profits offer convenient and cost-effective electronic payment options.  SHAZAM’s payment processing solutions are specifically designed so that all merchants and other organizations regardless of size, can have access to the same features and cost-reducing services.  SHAZAM has strong relationships and interacts with many networks including Visa, MasterCard, Discover and others.
     Detailed information on the SHAZAM electronic payment service can be found in the SHAZAM Credit Card Processing Information document.  Some key features of the program are:

  • Connectivity can be dial-up, web based, wireless Wi-Fi and Wireless Cellular
  • One-time installation fee of $5.72 and a minimum monthly fee of $20
  • Training provided by SHAZAM representatives
  • 99.996% network uptime
  • 24/7 live customer service at no charge
  • Transactions fees average 3% (counties may choose to charge a convenience fee with each transaction, up to 4%) 

If you have an interest in installing a SHAZAM card reader or finding out more, you may contact Brent Rone, Regional Sales Manager at 800-537-5427, ext. 2603 or Julie Baumler.