Lafayette County Extension Council holds annual meeting
The Lafayette County University of Missouri Extension Council conducted its annual meeting at the Fairground Park Community Building, in Higginsville, on Feb. 28, with Council Chairman Eric Lockard presiding. The Rev. Wilbur Conway led the dinner meeting with the invocation. Special guests for the evening included Northern County Commissioner Craig Williams, Southern County Commissioner Tracy Dyer and his wife, Sharon, County Clerk Linda Niendick, State Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer, and Beverly, Chris and Mary Bargfrede. Also in attendance were Leader Honor Roll recipients and Matt Rose, the keynote speaker for the evening. University of Missouri Extension staff in attendance included Katie Neuner, Ag business specialist and county engagement specialist; Linda Florence, nutrition program associate, and her husband, Bob; and Judy Elling, office manager and administrative assistant.
Council members were recognized and officers elected. The following newly elected and appointed Extension Council members were introduced: Jill Boland, Alma/Waverly; Pam Carson, Concordia; and William Soendker, Mayview/Odessa. Those reelected to a second term included Eric Lockard and Paula Oelrichs, Higginsville; and Benjamin Niendick, Wellington/Napoleon. Other current members include: Chad Copenhaver and Anita Edmonds, Lexington; Jason Hilbrenner, Waverly; Sarah Malott and Brett Varner, Odessa; Gary Martens, Concordia; and Dalton Wieligman, Wellington. Appointed council members include Arron Haynes, Higginsville, representing the city of Higginsville; Darren Hull, representing Lafayette County Farm Bureau; and Craig Williams, representing the Lafayette County Commission.
Katie Neuner, Lafayette County Extension county engagement specialist, thanked council members for leadership and service on the Extension Council and support of University of Missouri Extension programs. Neuner recognized outgoing members Kimberly Begemann of Alma, Kathy Frerking of Concordia, and Scott Wright of Mayview.
Neuner also presented highlights of the programs that University of Missouri Extension in Lafayette County has given during the past year. The 2018 Lafayette County Extension Council Annual Report was available for review.
Chad Copenhaver, Election Committee, presented the 2019-2020 slate of council officer candidates: Eric Lockard, chairman; Chad Copenhaver, vice chairman; Anita Edmonds, secretary; and Paula Oelrichs, treasurer. The slate was approved by acclamation. County Clerk Linda Niendick officiated the Oath of Office for the new officers.
The primary function of the Extension Council is to assist and give guidance to the Extension specialists concerning programs and activities conducted in Lafayette County and the Northwest Region. The council is also responsible for securing funds to operate the local office, approving of extension staff assigned to the county, and overseeing payment of expenses.
Each year, University of Missouri Extension recognizes leaders across the state for their many contributions in helping carry out the Extension mission. Elling recognized Beverly, Chris and Mary Bargfrede, as well as Johann, posthumously, as the 2018 University of Missouri Extension Leader’s Honor Roll recipients. The Bargfredes have served the Extension and the Lafayette County 4-H program in a variety of ways. Beverly, Chris and Mary, residents of Alma, have been leaders who have helped to lead the Alma 4-H Club in Lafayette County. They have served as club leaders, project leaders and also members of the Lafayette County 4-H/FFA Fair Board.
More recently, they have been active in the Hitt 4-H Club in Lafayette County. Chris has also helped with the Lafayette County 4-H/FFA Fair Rocketry Contest which requires help in getting that contest accomplished.
Kathy Frerking introduced the keynote speaker, Matt Rose of Concordia, who spends the fire season helping to fight fires mainly in Idaho. Matt is originally from Illinois and enjoys helping people who are in trouble when fires threaten their property. He showed tools of his trade and he was given a “survival kit” as a gift.
Eric Lockard concluded the program by recognizing and thanking the annual meeting planning committee, which included Kathy Frerking, Anita Edmonds and Kimberly Begemann, and also those who made desserts.
The Lafayette County Extension Council meets at 7 p.m. the last Thursday of each month at the Extension Center, located at 14 E. 19th St. in Higginsville. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. The office can be reached by calling 660-584-3658.