In 2000, Dick McClure announced his retirement as Fremont County Extension Director after 43 years of Extension work and he even got a street named after him!  
(Free ice cream to anyone who contacts me to tell me where this street is located!)  
“Among the many highlights of his long career with ISU Extension, McClure helped Fremont County become the first in Iowa to join a statewide Extension computer network.  
He helped initiate the Southwest Iowa Conservation Expo, Iowa’s longest running conservation tillage event, and assisted in organizing the Two County Dusters 4-H Equestrian Drill Team comprised of Page and Fremont County youth.”  
He also led Fremont County to be the first county to establish an endowment fund with the Iowa 4-H Foundation.  
He coordinated 12 trips to Washington, D.C. for over 450 Fremont County 4-H members.  
His work even took him to the former Soviet province of Turkmenistan with the People-to-People program where he worked with local farmers to develop a wheat production guide.  
Doug Doty was named as his replacement.  Doug had formerly worked as an ISU agronomy research associate and a senior research associate with Pioneer Hi-Bred International.  
Doug’s wife, Wendy Whitehead-Doty, was a native of Sidney.
The 2000’s were a heyday for new programming from Fremont County Extension and Outreach.  
Under the leadership of Doug Doty, Extension Director, and Rhesa Leiding, Youth Coordinator, several grants were received to administer programs such as “Strengthening Families,” “Growing in the Garden,” “Fish Iowa,” “Boomerang! Character Development,” “Healthy Choices for Healthy Bodies,” the “Master Conservationist” program, “Horizons Community Leadership Program,” “Township Trustee and Clerk Training,” “Power of Trees,” and a biotechnology school enrichment program.
In 2000, Clover Kids, a 4-H program for youth in grades Kindergarten-3rd, was introduced for the first time in an effort to address declining 4-H enrollment.  
Three Clover Kids clubs were started impacting 50 children in its first year.  
Like every other documented decade, Mother Nature had wild mood swings and provided extreme weather like droughts and flooding.  
Fremont County Extension was there, to assist farmers, ranchers, and others with research-based information.
Extension was also there in 2003 when two private preschools closed in Hamburg.  
We were able to provide information on general preschool infrastructure and staffing requirements, policy, and budget.  Beginning in January 2004, a new preschool began educating nineteen 3-4 year olds.  
Growing Strong Families continued do good works by serving families in Fremont and Page Counties.  
In 2003, it was recognized by the Iowa Association of Extension Councils with an Outstanding Extension Program award.
Between 1998 and 2003, the program had served close to 400 families, providing education to help parents feel competent and confident in raising health children.  
Accepting the award were Wendy Buley, Fremont County Parent Educator, and Laurie Fisher and Brenda Lisle, Page County Parent Educators.  
A few years later, in 2007, Heidi Lowthorp was hired for her current position as the Fremont County Parent Educator.  
In 2004, Jesse McIntyre wanted to show his respect and appreciation for the 4-H values that served him well through his life, so he established the Jesse A. and Irene W. McIntyre scholarship for Fremont County 4-H’ers.  Jesse said many times that 4-H had been good to him.  He believed in its values of development of strong future leaders, symbolized by the four H’s of head, heart, hands and health, and tried to make them a part of his life.  Jesse’s hope was that this scholarship would lead the way for future generations to learn the 4-H values.  
The end of the decade was the end of an era, as Jack Payne, VP for ISU Extension, announced a plan that would restructure ISU Extension and eliminate the 99 County Extension Education Directors employed by ISU Extension.  “The current economic downturn forces us to change the way we do business,” said Payne.  It was a simple explanation for a complex decision that still affects the way we do Extension work today.
What are your memories from the year 2000? Contact me at (712) 374-2351 or mmaher@iastate.edu.  I’d love to hear from you!