New youth leader big on collaboration

For Caleb Carver, the call to be the next youth coordinator at the Marshall County Extension Office came at the right time.

Carver graduated this spring from Simpson College with a degree in theater and a minor in business administration. The day after his graduation ceremony, the county office called to see if he was interested in the job.

The rest was history as Carver started June 1, taking over for the retiring Doni Sheldon as lead county person on 4-H activities.

One of Carver’s goals is to expand the programming for youth at the extension office and partner with area agencies and facilities such as a the YMCA-YWCA.

“I think that providing a wide range of experience for everybody is great for their learning,” Carver said. “Collaboration is a big one for me.”

He also wants to create some STEM educational programming from the extension office. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and is part of a major push by the state.

Carver is a native of Alburnett and has previous experience working as a summer day camp director of the Linn County Extension Office.

Those involved in 4-H in the county and visitors to the Central Iowa Fair July 10-14 will be able to see Carver in action during his first fair. It’s something he is looking forward to.

“It’s interesting to see what the kids can do,” he said. “All the types of projects they come up with are pretty amazing.”

So far, he credits Sheldon with helping him get started and is amazed with her connections in the county.

“That’s something that I want to have,” Carver said.

He also has the challenge of learning the agriculture end of the job as he does not have an ag background.

The new Marshalltown resident and small-town person at heart said he has been happy with his first few weeks on the job.

“I love it here,” he said.