STERLING, Ill. — Janice McCoy has provided University of Illinois Extension educational programs and leadership for residents of Carroll, Lee, and Whiteside counties for more than 20 years. Now, McCoy will oversee 39 counties in western and central Illinois as the region’s newest Extension assistant director.
Extension has a local presence in every Illinois county, allowing it to seamlessly link communities, businesses, and the public to the innovative research of the university and its partners. A regional network provides support for the organization’s 650 staff members.
McCoy’s Extension career began in 2001 as a family life educator before transitioning to county director for Carroll, Lee, and Whiteside counties.
“My most important role as assistant director will be to ensure that each of the ten units has a solid program plan that serves the needs of their communities,” McCoy says. “Designing research-based programs that improve the lives of individuals and communities is the core mission of Extension, and our local counties are the point of access.”
McCoy transitioned to her new role on Aug. 1.
“Extension is a tremendous resource for local communities,” McCoy says. “We harness the groundbreaking research done in a myriad of areas and make that useable for all people.”
McCoy believes Extension transforms people’s lives.
“We are developing young leaders in our 4-H programs—the next generation of the workforce, public servants, and volunteers. We are helping farmers increase their productivity to feed the world. Families benefit from learning how to raise their children, nourish their households, and care for those they love.”
A network of volunteers assist in the development and delivery of Extension programs, including those volunteers who work with 4-H, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, and Money Mentor programs.
“Extension really is the glue that brings groups together to make a difference,” McCoy says, “and our local staff are incredible resources. They work every day to help their communities thrive and prosper. They are focused on the mission of Extension and helping people improve the quality of their lives.”
McCoy is the current president of the Illinois Epsilon Sigma Phi professional association chapter and has been an active member of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, receiving the Distinguished Service Award in 2014.
–College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign