eXtension Board of Directors

eXtension is an integral part of the United States Cooperative Extension System through the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). This is illustrated in the organization chart of ECOP. eXtension is organized as a 501(c)3 non-profit membership organization. Its Board of Directors represents the five regions of Cooperative Extension.

Barbara Petty, Chair
Barbara PettyAssociate Dean and Director of Extension
University of Idaho (Western Region)

A Nebraska native, she moved to Idaho Falls in 1998 when her husband, Terry, was chosen to pastor a congregation there.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in vocational home economics education in 1977, she taught home economics in Missouri before focusing on raising her children. She earned a master’s degree in human development and the family from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 1984 and returned to teaching there in 1995.

After beginning work in UI Extension’s Bonneville County office, Petty worked on other collaborative projects with fellow Extension family and consumer sciences faculty focused on nutrition and financial training.

As her interest in an Extension career grew, Petty sought additional education. In 2007, she earned a doctorate in education with an emphasis in adult education and organizational learning from the University of Idaho.

Petty became director of the southern Idaho Horizons Project in 2008 and guided UI Extension’s efforts to build leadership capacity in 15 communities through the program funded by the Northwest Area Foundation. In 2010, she became UI Extension’s Eastern District Director and was named Statewide Director in 2016.

Ken La ValleyKen La Valley, Vice Chair/Secretary
Dean and Director Cooperative Extension
University of New Hampshire (Northeast Region)

From 2004 through 2010, he worked as a Commercial Fisheries and Aquaculture State Specialist and Extension Faculty member. As an Extension Associate Professor, he developed and implemented marine fisheries and aquaculture extension programs as well as conducted applied research, taught undergraduate courses (BIOL 411, ZOOL 412, ZOOL 503 and ZOOL 998) and advised undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Biological Sciences.

He joined the Administrative Team in 2010 and has served as a Program Leader, Associate Director for Programs and is currently the Dean and Director.

Courtney Owens, Treasurer
Interim Assistant Extension Administrator/ State Specialist in Program and Staff Development
Kentucky State University (1890 Region)

Owens received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and a Master of Science and professional service in agricultural education from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He later received his Ph.D. in agricultural education and communication at the University of Florida in December 2016.

Owens is a Returned United States Peace Corps Volunteer where he served in the Small Enterprise development sector as an agribusiness advisor in West Africa, Burkina Faso. During this two-year period, his primary project was to lead with local cotton farmers to improve sustainable agricultural practices and generate income through agribusiness ventures.

Gary Jackson
Mississippi State University Extension Service (Southern Region)

Dr. Jackson became the Director of MSU Extension on January 1, 2011. Prior to that, he served as the Director of the School of Human Sciences at MSU from 2002 until 2010. The School encompasses teaching, research and Extension programs related to agricultural information science, agricultural and extension education, agricultural science, human development and family studies and family and consumer sciences.

Dr. Jackson obtained his Ph.D. degree from Penn State University where he was awarded the Pennsylvania Governor’s School Excellence in Teaching Award and the Kozak Memorial Fellowship for his research in agricultural distance education. He received his Bachelor and Master of  Science degrees from Mississippi State University.


Jason HendersonJason Henderson
Associate Dean, College of Agriculture and Director, Purdue Extension
Purdue University (North Central Region)

Dr. Jason Henderson is vice president and Omaha branch executive at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He joined the Omaha Branch as branch executive in 2006. Prior to being promoted into this position, he served as senior economist with the Center for the Study of Rural America, also at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Henderson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Central College in Pella, Iowa and his master’s and doctorate degrees from Purdue University, where he was also the recipient of a USDA National Needs Ph.D. Fellowship in Agribusiness.

Jane_ClaryJane Clary Loveless
National Program Leader
ex officio

Jane Clary Loveless provides leadership to nutrition/extension education programs, the Nutrition and Health Committee for Planning and Guidance, Community Food Projects (CFP) grants, AFRI Childhood Obesity grant, eXtension Families Food & Fitness virtual education site, and the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program.

Rick Klemme
Executive Director
Extension Committee on Organization and Policy
ex officio

Dr. Klemme is responsible for coordinating the collaborative work of 76 Cooperative Extension Directors and Administrators at Land-Grant Universities across the country. His primary responsibilities focus on federal budget advocacy support, Farm Bill engagement and building relationships with the United States Department of Agriculture as well as other federal agencies.