Nathan Crane leaving county post

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Switzerland County extension educator Nathan Crane has announced that he will be leaving Switzerland County early next month and moving to Minnesota.

He has accepted a position as Regional Director with the University of Minnesota Extension. He will be headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota.

Nathan Crane will be leaving Switzerland County on February 4th, with his first day on his new job set for February 11th.

“Unfortunately, yes, I’m leaving Switzerland County,” Nathan Crane said earlier this week. “A new opportunity has come up, and I’m excited about that, but it’s also sad to have to leave.”

Nathan Crane arrived here in Switzerland County in February of 2005 after traveling the world taking advantage of all sorts of opportunities.

He grew up on a family farm in Philadelphia, Missouri, which is in the Northeast part of the state near Hannibal. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and agricultural systems management from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1999, and in 2001 he earned a masters of education degree in career and technical education.

But that’s where the journey truly began.

After finishing his master’s degree, Nathan Crane entered the Peace Corps in June of 2001, serving as an economic and organizational development volunteer in the country of Moldova in Eastern Europe.

In that position he trained leaders in project design and management; and assisted in the development of a list of priorities for a project. He also organized seminars to educate people about needs in agriculture production; and also worked with the community on health education issues and learning English.

He had previously participated in educational exchange programs at the University of Ulster-Londonberry, in Northern Ireland; and also at the University of Prague in the Czech Republic.

Leaving the Peace Corps after a two year commitment in 2003, Nathan Crane returned to the U.S. and began working with the AmeriCorps organization. In that position he worked on Cape Cod in Massachusetts; performing more than 1,700 hours of service in the area of land and water conservation; environmental education; and disaster preparedness.

He also worked with school, governmental agencies, and community members in the area on various topics; coordinating programs and training.

As a part of the Switzerland County community for the past three years, he has been active in all aspects of the extension program, and has also volunteered his time in many other community projects.

He is currently the president of Vevay Main Street, Inc., and is also a member of the Switzerland County Lions Club. He serves on the 4-H Fairboard, and also on the Area Planning Commission.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here and the people and the programs,” he said. “It’s been nice to get to know people here. I’ve really enjoyed my time in the extension office, getting to know the staff and the different 4-H leaders and kids. It’s been a lot of fun and we’ve started a lot of programs.”

In his new duties, Nathan Crane will be responsible for reporting on programs and activities in a six-county area, and he will also be working with county commissioners, county councils, and extension boards to make sure that the extension programs have the resources and the funding to continue to operate.

“In Minnesota, they had 13 regional offices and staff in each one work in specific areas over the six-county area,” Nathan Crane said. “So that people know what we’re doing there, and also so we can secure the funding to be able to keep doing those programs, I will be working with various governmental entities to make sure they see the value of what’s going on.”

Currently his job here in Switzerland County has been posted on the Internet by Purdue University, and once the university receives applications, interviews for the position will be held, with the county extension board here helping in the interview process.

“The extension board will ultimately recommend someone for Purdue to hire,” Nathan Crane said.

A reception will be held at the Purdue Extension office in Vevay in honor of Nathan Crane on Thursday, January 31st, from 3-6 p.m. so that people from the community can wish him well. Everyone is invited to attend.