Community Development

The Extension Institute of Community Development provides educational programming to assist leaders, communities, and organizations realize their fullest potential. We work with communities to build the vitality that enhances their quality of life and enriches the lives of their residents. We educate in leadership development, organizational development, food systems, community economic development, local government education and much more. In short, the Community Development Institute plants and cultivates the seeds for thriving communities and organizations.

Backed by University of Wisconsin research, Community Development educators work in partnership with people in county, state, federal, and tribal governments; community organizations; volunteers; business; and industry. With faculty in every county and on UW-campuses, Extension gives Wisconsin citizens access to University research and knowledge.

Lissa Radke serves Ashland County as the Community Development Educator (80%).

As your Community Development educator, Lissa designs and delivers educational programs and technical assistance to help Ashland County communities deal with their own unique challenges. Backed by University of Wisconsin research, she works with local government, civic organizations, businesses and community leaders to enhance local decision-making and help communities respond to new challenges and opportunities. Together they work to:

  • Establish ongoing programs that educate the public and elected officials about current issues
  • Strengthen local government
  • Develop local leadership capacity
  • Protect natural resources for future generations


Lissa Radke serves Ashland County as the Community Development Educator. To learn more about Community Development Programming and the role of Extension in Ashland County, send an email to or call the Ashland County office at 715-682-7017.