Polk Extension Citizen Advisory Network (PECAN)

Oregon State University Extension Service, Polk County

Purpose – Advise Extension, the District Board of Directors (Polk County Commissioners) and District Financial Officer on how resources are allocated and people are served in the county, and Advocate  on behalf of the OSU Extension Service in Polk County

Membership – People who support OSU Extension Service’s mission and related programs and represent the diversity of Polk County citizens, communities, and organizations.

Advisory Roles

  • Provide advice on current needs, future trends, program priorities, and resource development and allocation for serving Polk County citizens, businesses, and organizations.
  • Serve as liaison between Extension Service, elected officials, local communities and organizations to increase partnerships, improve relationships, and leverage efforts for current and future education programs.

Advocacy Roles

  • Advocate and build support for Extension programs and related budget and fundraising with county commissioners and other elected officials, state and local organizations, businesses, and individuals. 
  • Coordinate efforts with OSU Extension Service’s statewide Citizens Advisory Network. 

PECAN Structure 




Program Liaisons

Some members will be identified as Program Liaisons.  They report recommendations to PECAN based on their discussions and involvement with program faculty and their related networks.

All members serve as advisors and advocates for Extension to volunteers, citizens, communities, organizations, elected officials and other stakeholders. They help identify issues, challenges and driving forces facing Polk County, review current OSU efforts within Polk County, identify needed education/research efforts and help obtain other available resources and partners.

Program Area                                         Lead Faculty                                 PECAN Liaison

Agriculture/Small Farms                  Gene Pirelli & Amy Garrett       Jim Clawson

4-H Youth Development                 Suzi Busler & Judi Peters         Samantha Bagby, Diane Ostrom

Family & Community Health            Vacant                                  John Jirichek

Urban Hort & Master Gardener         Neil Bell                                Dolores May, Darrell Ward

Forestry & Nat. Resource                 Brad Withrow-Robinson          Bob Feldman

Task Groups

Ad Hoc groups established to carry out specific tasks within a designated time frame.  Chair will usually be a PECAN member and membership can be non-PECAN members.  Task Groups maybe established as needed.

Steering Committee

Provide leadership, overall direction, communication and representation for PECAN to Extension Regional Administrator, staff, OSU administration, state advisory networks (ECAN/RECAN), District Board of Directors and District Administrator/Budget officer. This will include tracking progress and making recommendations for network actions, providing leadership for communications and outreach, attending periodic Service District update meetings with the Board of Directors, and participating in other administrative functions as necessary.

Current Members: Barbara Nichols, Eric Setniker, Dolores May, Jim Clawson, Suzi Busler

Budget Committee Work with the Extension Regional Administrator, and County Administrator to develop a proposed budget and supporting documents, explore opportunities for non-tax funding, report recommendations to the PECAN.

Communications Committee

Develop a communications strategy (internal and external), Identify volunteers to assist with communications processes, Explore non-traditional opportunities, networking among community groups, report recommendations to the PECAN.

Current Members: Jim Clawson, Suzi Busler, Alisha Atha

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