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Cy will ring bell at Thursday's Farmers Market

GTNS photo by John Butters

Thursday’s Farmers Market will host the Washinton County Extension Service as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. ISU mascot Cy will be visiting to mark the occasion.
GTNS photo by John Butters Thursday’s Farmers Market will host the Washinton County Extension Service as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. ISU mascot Cy will be visiting to mark the occasion.

Iowa State University mascot, Cy, will ring the bell to start Thursday’s Farmers Market when the Washington County Extension Service visits downtown Washington for a celebration of it 100 years of organized county extension work.

The event kicks off at 5 p.m. in Central Park with the opening of the market and the official ribbon cutting celebrating the 100th anniversary. The celebration is being held in conjunction with both the Farmers Market and the Washington Chamber of Commerce Alive After Five Oct. 11.

“A hundred years ago the people of Washington County joined the extension movement and hired their first local extension agent. Today ISU Extension and Outreach serves as a 99-county campus, connecting the needs of Iowans with Iowa State University research and resources,” Nancy Adrian, Washington County Extension director said.

Adrian said the Extension’s anniversary coincides with National 4-H week. “That gives us two reasons to celebrate with Washington County residents,” she said

The county extension service will bring a number of interactive displays to Central Park Thursday. “We will have information on health and wellness, on monarch butterflies, women in agriculture, soil testing and so much more. It will be a great evening,” Adrian said. “We will have information on the Extension service.”

And Cy will be on hand to help sing Happy Birthday. “We hope people will come out and have fun with us. It’s a landmark celebration,” Adrian said. “There will be door prizes and people can have their picture taken with Cy.”

Washington’s Farmers Market will remain open through Oct. 18. Market Master Bob Shepherd said there is still a good supply of vegetables, pumpkins, honey, crafts and baked goods available. Next week, the Army recruiter Staff Sgt. Cody Rorhbach will visit the market.

The extension’s partnership with Iowa State University provides local citizens with access to education and university research, Adrian said.

The Washington County Extension Council represents county residents and acts on behalf of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach locally.

The Washington County Extension Council includes Dennis Lampe, Riverside; Margaret Brinning, Keota; Donna Palmer, Wellman; Sue Janecek, Duane Hammen and Kathy Ebert, Washington; Ann Williams, Wayland; David Erwin, Crawfordsville and Cathy Rich, Brighton.

“With their understanding of local issues, these officials make sure that significant educational programs are available in Washington County that help people solve issues affecting their lives,” Adrian said.

ISU Extension and Outreach is part of the federal Cooperative Extension Service — a network of more than 100 land-grant institutions, including Iowa State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Every county in Iowa has an elected extension council that decides how to support ISU Extension and Outreach educational programs at the county level.

For more information, contact the Washington County office at 319-653-4811, or visit www.extension.iastate.edu/washington.