Two join Plymouth County Extension staff

Monday, January 23, 2023
Kerstin Thoms

LE MARS — The Plymouth County Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office has announced two new staff members in the Le Mars office. Both started in their positions Dec. 20.

Kerstin Thoms has been named as the County Youth Coordinator for ISU Extension and Outreach in Plymouth County. She will assist youth to reach their full potential through partnerships and research-based experiences that are provided through the Plymouth County 4-H program.

Thoms is a Le Mars native. She recently graduated from South Dakota State University (SDSU) with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture leadership with minors in agribusiness marketing and digital/social media.

While at SDSU, Thoms had the opportunity to serve as a 2021 South Dakota Dairy Ambassador and held office in the SDSU Dairy Club. This past summer Thoms worked at Midwest Dairy as the South Dakota Farmer Relations intern. Currently, she is actively involved in the Le Mars FFA Alumni Chapter.

Her past involvement in 4-H and FFA grew her passion for the agriculture industry and those experiences helped shape her into who she is today.

She can be contacted by email at or by phone at 546-7835.

Shelby Kaestner

Shelby Kaestner has been named the K-12 Program Coordinator for ISU Extension and Outreach in Plymouth County.

She will lead the well-established Clover Kids Program for the county, while offering additional programming to youth of all ages with research-based curriculum from Iowa State.

Kaestner is from Atkins, in Benton County. She grew up playing many sports and participated in FFA while in high school. After graduation, Kaestner attended Iowa State University and went on to get her degree in child, adult, and family services with a concentration in child development. She moved to Sioux County in the summer of 2022.

While looking for her first job out of college, a family friend suggested the Iowa State Extension and Outreach Office to Kaestner based off her personal interests and studies related to child enrichment. This went on to be one of the best recommendations she had ever received. 

In the upcoming months, find her organizing the Clover Kids program, leading the Youth County Council team, or coordinating static projects at the fair. She may be contacted at or by phone at 546-7835.

“I am excited to have our team now complete and I look forward to watching Kerstin and Shelby grow into their roles and serve our community with quality youth programming.’  Regional Director, Molly Hewitt said.

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