Twenty Participate in Osceola County Leading Communities

SIBLEY, Iowa – Twenty local community members completed Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Leading Communities offered in Osceola County throughout the spring and summer.

The Leading Communities program helps develop effective local leaders, encourages mutual respect and trust among citizens, and promotes a good quality of life in local communities. The six-session series was designed to maximize the strengths and skills of current and future community leaders.

“Being a leader isn’t limited to a specific role and task,” one participant noted. “Being a leader is being able to be part of a group of people with different views and working together to solve common issues.”

Program Leader Jane Nolan Goeken, a community and economic development specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, agreed that the program strives to develop community leaders of all kinds. She shared that Leading Communities was an opportunity for local community members interested in leadership to gain tools, skills, and confidence to help chart Osceola County’s future.

Those participating in the program include:

  • Ashley Ackerman, Sibley Chamber Director
  • Mitchell Ackerman, Local Farm Bureau Agent
  • Becky Block, Owner/Agent at HP Insurance
  • James Craig, Sibley-Ocheyedan School District Superintendent
  • Ben Davis, Osceola Regional Health Center CEO
  • Andy Gacke, City Maintenance with the City of Ashton
  • Hilary Halverson, Cooperative Energy Company Marketing/Communications
  • Taylor Hibbing, Owner/Operator of Hibbing Lawncare & Landscape and Midwest Fuel Polishing
  • Matt Julius, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Deputy/Lieutenant
  • Donna MacMillan, Retired Caregiver and Harris City Council Member
  • Nick Mans, Assistant Vice President and Loan Officer with Ashton State Bank
  • Justin Nasers, Sudenga Industries Draftsman and Feed Processing Equipment Operator
  • Stephanie Neppl, Osceola County Economic Development Executive Director
  • Ashley Peters, Enrollment Management Specialist with Northwest Iowa Community College
  • Rick Reeve, USDA Farm Services Agency Executive Director for Lyon and Osceola Counties
  • Nathan Rosenberg, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sheriff
  • Travis Ten Napel, Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual
  • Lexi Van Diepen, Farmhand and Swine Caretaker at VD Farms
  • Tracy Van Diepen, Substitute Educator at Sibley-Ocheyedan School District
  • Jayson Vande Hoef, Bosma Water Service Plumber and Water Conditioning and Osceola County Supervisor

Participants spent time identifying local issues and opportunities, prioritizing those things, visioning for the future, and finding ways to work together effectively to benefit all.

For more information about Leading Communities or other programs, visit or contact ISU Extension and Outreach Osceola County at 712-754-3648 or