Nathan Crane recently signed on as Regional Extension Education Director for ISU Extension and Outreach's Region 14, which includes Mahaska County.
Crane is originally from Philadelphia, Mo., town of just 200 people near Hannibal, Mo. His father farms corn, wheat and soybeans on a few thousand acres of family farmland there. Crane's family farm, which also includes cattle and hogs, is a fourth-generation plot of land.
Crane did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri, where he earned degrees in agricultural economics and agricultural systems management. He also earned a master's degree in education from the University of Missouri.
Before coming to ISU Extension, Crane worked for the University of Minnesota's extension for five and a half years as a regional director, which covered 10 counties. He also worked for Purdue University Extension for three years in Indiana as a 4-H and agricultural educator, as well as a county extension director.
He also has 10 years of experience in 4-H as a youth, and three years spent in FFA in high school and an additional two years in college.
As the Region 14 REED, Crane's serves as the liaison between ISU and the counties he serves in identifying community needs and the resources that will serve those needs. He'll also work along with the Extension Councils in these counties. Crane will also work with the staffs of the Region 14 counties, which included Mahaska, Marion, Jasper and Poweshiek counties.
Right now, Crane is still getting a feel for Region 14 — listening and observing as to the needs of the area.
Although he covers four counties, Crane's office is housed at Mahaska County ISU Extension.
Back in Missouri, Crane has 60 cow/calf pairs. He said he likes to go back often, helping his father with the cattle.
Crane noted that growing up on a family farm that's fourth generation and being able to understand small communities is important. He also recognizes the importance of education and using technology to keep up with production.