Donna McClish is a Candidate for Sedgwick County Extension Council for Community Development

Candidates for the Community Vitality Program Development Committee – Building community is essential to the mission of Extension. The CV PDC strives to create a vision across traditional geographical, sociological, and political boundaries by promoting Extension activities and creating program opportunities that assist civic leaders in Sedgwick County.

Candidates for the Community Vitality Program Development Committee
Building community is essential to the mission of Extension. The CV PDC strives to create a vision across traditional geographical, sociological, and political boundaries by promoting Extension activities and creating program opportunities that assist civic leaders in Sedgwick County.

Mikel Bowyer
In your view, what role does Extension play as part of a thriving community?

The Extension programs provides a way for the community to connect, learn and grow the agricultural components of our counties. It also facilitates the development and growth of our agricultural presences through its research from the beginning to the end process of our food systems within specific regions, counties and markets. A successful Extension program will provide programs available to the public that will educate, entertain and guide their community to strengthen our food culture.

Please list the top (3) three priorities, in your opinion, for the Community Development program development committee.

As part of the Community Development Program at the Extension office, I believe that the first priority would include OUTREACH programs (events, concerts, media presence, etc.) that allow us to connect with uninformed members of our community. Then we need to make the effort to EDUCATE the community by having a very streamlined platform to deliver the information. The final piece would be to find a way to keep the attention of our audience through consistent ENGAGEMENT.

Please list relevant work/community involvement/volunteer experience.

I created the ICT Food Circle, a tool used by Extension, to share information and events on a social media platform. It also serves as a directory for local growers and farmers. I am also a consultant for local restaurants, and provide financial and leadership solutions. I have served a 2 year term as a PDC member, and look forward to a long relationship with Sedgwick County Extension.

What else should we know about you?

I am passionate about food and community. I feel we have a unique opportunity in Sedgwick County to connect our rural agricultural efforts with a thriving urban culture that is ultimately curious about what our farmers do.

Joshua Molello
In your view, what role does Extension play as part of a thriving community?

The Extension Office plays roles of research, education, communication, and solidarity within the community. The office provides the resources to pinpoint and experiment with issues in the environment and in the society that would otherwise go unnoticed or unresolved. Once the issues are identified and analyzed, the office communicates the problems and possible solutions to the public. When education and solutions are shared among the community, and the community aligns to support each other.

Please list the top (3) three priorities, in your opinion, for the Community Development program development committee.

  1. Local Food Systems – Naturally grown, fresh local food provides more vitamins and nutrients in it which leads to people who are healthier, more active, and mentally stable.
  2. Local Businesses – In order for a society to sustain itself, there must be a barter and trade mentality. You must buy goods from your neighbor, and your neighbor must buy goods from you in order to survive.
  3. Environment – Our future depends upon the soil that we grow in and the air that we breathe.


Please list relevant work/community involvement/volunteer experience.

I am a father of three kids who lives in Valley Center, KS. My wife and I own a small urban farm called Strong Roots Healthy Farming LLC. We truly believe that better food (food grown without chemicals or preservatives) will heal both our bodies and our environment. I volunteer for the booster club, attend ICT Food Policy Committee meetings, provide food to local restaurants and farmers markets, and pull lots of weeds.

What else should we know about you?

I’m a strong minded person who is very passionate about local, naturally grown, healthy food. I believe that nutrition and health is the perfect recipe for community flavor. And most importantly, I believe in people.

Donna Pearson-McClish
In your view, what role does Extension play as part of a thriving community?

The Extension is using its resources to impact diverse communities by providing important information on various subjects; by extending its services to much needed areas of these communities and by making its services available to all communities. The K-State extension resources and staff play an integral part in the success of the Common Ground Mobile Market and its services to Sedgwick, Harvey and Butler county food deserts, food insecurity and rural areas. Their support is much needed by all!

Please list the top (3) three priorities, in your opinion, for the Community Development program development committee.

Expanding relevant programs for all communities and participants; and growing the future farmer/educator component.
Connecting community expansion with the vision of K-State Extension services.
Increased community involvement via community gardening, school gardens, food hub systems and food-related services.

Please list relevant work/community involvement/volunteer experience.

M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction; BS Human Resource Management; Founder/Director Common Ground Mobile Farmer’s Market; Farmer; Teacher; Seed and Feed Committee; Food Policy Committee member; NFU Legislative Fly-In Participant; Celebrating 50 years as Pearson’s Farm in our community (1968-2018).

What else should we know about you?

I am certainly honored to be considered as a nominee for the Program Development Committee. I will be committed to this process in hopes that my contribution to this committee will help make a beneficial impact on the services that are currently provided to the communities and those services that will be expanded in the future. I have a passion for everything I do!

Joanna Sabally
In your view, what role does Extension play as part of a thriving community?

Extension provides education and programming on evidence-based topics in a variety of areas crucial to a thriving community — economic development, agriculture and natural resources, youth development, food systems and access.

Please list the top (3) three priorities, in your opinion, for the Community Development program development committee.

I will learn more about the strategic priorities set for the team of Leadership Development, Entrepreneurship and Facilitative Leadership. From my perspective, ensuring diversity and inclusion in this area is a top priority as is including youth perspectives, and looking at the neighborhood level to cultivate leaders.

Please list relevant work/community involvement/volunteer experience.

I was a board member for K-State Research & Extension in Wyandotte County for 2 years prior to moving to Wichita a year ago. I have worked in public health since 2002. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the agriculture sector in West Africa. I currently work at Hunter Health Clinic.

What else should we know about you?

I grew up in Wichita and have loved living here since returning a year ago! I’m looking forward to getting more involved here and contributing to my community.

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