Northwestern Illinois Welcomes New Illinois Extension County Director


Supported by a background in community health, new County Director Karla Belzer will guide University of Illinois Extension staff in Carroll, Lee and Whiteside counties as they continue to build relationships and stronger, healthier communities.

Illinois Extension staff live and work in the communities they serve throughout the state to meet families, businesses, and communities where they are and provide local research-based solutions for local issues. Belzer served as interim director for several months before transitioning to the role permanently in November.

“Karla has demonstrated strong supervision, collaboration, and partnership-building skills, all of which are critical to the success of Extension’s mission,” says Regional Assistant Director Janice McCoy. “I look forward to watching the growth in programs and partnerships under her leadership.”

Outside work, Belzer is an active community member volunteering her time as a Cub Scout Den leader and with the United Way. In her spare time, Belzer enjoys walking her dogs, hiking with her family, gardening, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

Belzer is based in the Whiteside County Extension office in Sterling and can be reached at [email protected] or (815) 632-3611. For more information about Illinois Extension visit

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