Dodds to Be Recognized for Extension Service

Written by Theresa Rose on July 10, 2019

Lee County Extension will be recognizing Bob Dodds for 35 years of service Thursday at 4:30 pm prior to the Lee County Fair Lamb show in the show barn.

Robert E. “Bob” Dodds retired on June 30, 2019 with over 35 years of service to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  Dodds has been a leader and visionary for ISU Extension.  His career began in 1983 in Lee County as County Director leading programming in agriculture and community development.    His work has been meaningful and important in the lives of Iowans.

Dodds served as the Assistant Vice President for the County Services unit of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach since 2016. As the Assistant Vice President, he led the writing of the County Services strategic plan and oversaw revisions to the county insurance program. Through the Human Sciences Engaged Scholarship program, he helped develop a conduit for faculty members without formal extension appointments to submit funding requests to conduct research projects in Iowa counties.  Bob served as interim assistant vice president through 2015 and early 2016.

Previously he served as the Region 20 director beginning in 2009-2015. He was instrumental in developing the Rising Stars Internship program as well as implementing statement risk management improvements system wide.  Before accepting the regional director position, he served as the Lee County Extension Director from 1983-2009. Bob started his professional career in the classroom as a Vocational Agriculture Instructor at Central Lee.  He earned his bachelor’s in 1977 and master’s degrees in 1985.  Both degrees in agriculture education from Iowa State University.

He helped guide Lee County through the Iowa farm crisis of the 1980s as well as the 1993 Mississippi River flooding, which hit the county hard with the Des Moines and Skunk Rivers flowing into the Mississippi.

He also worked closely with major corporations like Chevron, CH2M Hill and Alliant Energy to better Lee County and southeast Iowa as a whole, and brought the ISO program to agriculture, making Lee County farmers the first nationally to be certified professionals by international standards.

“All of those experiences have given me the opportunity to learn from the best,” he said. “I think I’ve really been fortunate to have some great people and great mentors and all those experiences helped prepare me for this position. I’m very grateful to the people of Iowa. They’ve invested a lot of resources in me through trainings and opportunities that come through ISU Extension and Outreach.”

Bob has been recognized during his career for his leadership and programming.  He has held a number of leadership positions in professional organizations.   Most recently, he was recognized by Iowa State University, receiving the R.K. Bliss award.   The Iowa Rural and Community Forestry Council of Iowa recognized Bob in 2013 with the Iowa Outstanding Professional Award for his dedication to environmental programming.  At the request of President Wintersteen Bob currently represents Iowa State University on the Iowa State Fair Board

Bob has lived and lead the ISU Extension and Outreach mission with this statement,  “We’re feeding people, keeping them healthy, helping their communities to prosper and thrive, and turning the world over to the next generation in better shape than we found it.” His thirty-six year career has been focused on these strategies and as a result making Iowa and Lee County stronger.