(Madison) – Melanie Hampton, a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, was one of 12 Wisconsin delegates attending the 2012 Public Issues Leadership Development Conference in Washington D.C. She represented the Wisconsin Associated County Extension Committees, Inc. (WACEC) at the conference.
WACEC serves as the liaison between county government and the University of Wisconsin-Extension. It is made up of members of Extension Education Committees from each of Wisconsin’s 72 county boards. WACEC provides a forum for consideration of county extension education issues.
The Public Issues Leadership Development Conference was held April 16-18 at the Westin in Alexandria, Virginia. More than 200 representatives from across the nation attended the conference, which featured presentations on topics such as alternative energies, community and food security, and youth and civic engagement.
Wisconsin delegates met with their congressperson and senators. Hampton met with Representative Baldwin and Senator Kohl. “We told our elected officials how important federal, state and local partnerships are when resources are so tight at all levels of government. We need funding from all three partners to continue offering important local programs through Cooperative Extension,” Hampton said.
Supervisor Hampton went on to say, “UW-Extension's food and nutrition education program is successful in changing behavior right here in Dane County. In 2011, 89% of the low-income family participants improved their nutrition practices. I will work to provide the support for this and other Extension programs that support Dane county families and communities.
Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Rick Klemme also attended the conference. “I am always impressed with the commitment our county partners demonstrate when they take time to inform our congressional delegation about the value of their local extension program. I find that members of congress and their staff are very attentive to their constituents as they talk about their experiences with Cooperative Extension.”