Angela Wagner has taken on the position of program coordinator for the Extension Office in Iroquois County.

“Basically, that means I get to help all the clubs and members in our county with whatever they need to make 4-H the best experience possible for them,“ she said.

She is part of a team of coordinators and educators for Unit 13 which includes Iroquois, Ford, Champaign and Vermilion counties.

Wagner is no newcomer to 4-H and the Extension Office. She was in 4-H as a kid.

“I took a variety of projects growing up, but maybe had the longest run showing beef. Raised on a farm with a cow/calf herd near Cissna Park, that was the thing to do. Growing up, I was a member of the Claytonville 4-H and then was especially active in FFA in high school in Cissna. 4-H gets at least part of the credit for launching my passion for agriculture and rural life. I even met my future husband in the Beef Barn during fair week,” she said.

Her husband is Brad Wagner of Wagner Quality Construction, and both she and he have deep roots in this community between the Wagners and the Hofbauers — her maiden name.

She graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelors in English education. She taught high school English until her second child was born, and since then she’s worked part time in a variety of areas including substitute teaching and helping at her dad’s farm.

During that time period, she was able to be more available to her three kids, but she also had the opportunity to grow her blog and speak at women’s ministry events. “That has been a wonderful experience that was hard to move on from. But I’m really excited to be the new coordinator for our county and I hope my presence here can be useful to our 4-H community.”

And now their kids are also part of the 4-H family, Wagner said.

“About two years ago my husband and I became leaders for a new club in Iroquois County called the Country Kickers. Our members were so excited and their enthusiasm was contagious. As I got more and more into the details of being a leader I realized how much I love the organization and all it stands for. When the opportunity arose this summer to apply, it felt like the perfect time to jump in.”

There’s excitement about her new job.

“My goals include making sure that anyone who wants to be involved with 4-H can take advantage of the opportunities it offers – locally and beyond that. I especially want to help new families, or families who feel a little overwhelmed with how 4-H works. And I am thrilled I get to be a part of the Iroquois County Fair. I’ve lived in Iroquois County most of my life and so I’m familiar with our strengths and weaknesses. The fair is an incredible reflection of all our talents and what these communities offer our economy and culture. It’s an honor to be a part of something of such excellence.

“The tradition of the fair is a source of pride for those of us in this agricultural community and it should be! But in addition to the traditions, we need to make sure 4-H and our fair embrace the best parts of the future. Change is hard for everyone, but we can build on a strong past.”