TAWAS CITY – Julia (Julie) Darnton has been named District 4 Director for Michigan State University Extension.
Darnton has served in the interim position since May 2020. District 4 includes Alcona, Arenac, Crawford, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Roscommon counties. His permanent appointment takes effect on February 1.
MSU Extension, the university’s community outreach arm, helps Michigan communities, families, individuals, and businesses transform and grow through local education. Darnton has worked with local governments, nonprofit organizations, school systems, and neighborhood groups to help ensure that MSU Extension continues to fulfill this mission in the communities it serves. She mentors extension staff in the areas of program planning, delivery and evaluation, as well as professional development.
“Julie has brought her experience building relationships and coaching colleagues to District 4 to good use,” said Matt Shane, Acting Director of the MSU Extension Association. “We are pleased that she continues to hold this important position and is dedicated to continuing her work here.”
Darnton began his career with MSU Extension in 2005 as a community and economic development intern. Over the past 17 years, she has held many positions and much of her work has focused on building communities through healthy food initiatives and community and economic development, including assisting with planning strategy and coordination of very successful farmers’ markets in towns like Saginaw.
Darnton said her dedication to Michigan and her desire to help communities through education was ingrained in her by her parents, who were both teachers at Flint.
“I am honored to serve in this role and excited to continue working with Extension staff, partners and communities,” she said. It’s a beautiful part of the state with abundant natural resources and communities that welcome people to live, work and play.
Darnton holds a degree in sociology from Albion College and a graduate degree in urban and regional planning from MSU.
To find out about the programs and activities offered by MSU Extension in your area, visit extension.msu.edu.