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Seven Candidates Seeking Five Seats On County’s Extension Council

Elections for representatives to serve on the University of Missouri Extension Council for Ste. Genevieve County will take place from Wednesday, January 16, to Wednesday, January 23.

Any county resident over the age of 18 is eligible to vote in the election. There are seven nominees running for five seats on the council.

County extension councils, in accordance with state law, work with University of Missouri Extension faculty and staff in planning and carrying out local extension programs.

The council has three primary responsibilities: assist in planning and carrying out extension programs in the county; oversee the finances; and recruit and train council members.

The University of Missouri Extension provides research-based educational programs, assistance and resources that address subjects of interest to Missourians in the fields of agriculture, horticulture, business development, community development, and youth development (4-H).

The Ste. Genevieve County Extension Council is comprised of 11 elected county representatives and six appointed positions. Terms are for two years, a person may be re-elected once, after which they must be off the council for at least one year before being elected again.

 The candidates are:

Cody Aufdenberg

Aufdenberg grew up on his family farm in Jackson, Missouri, where they raised cattle and row crops. He attended school at Southeast Missouri State University for agribusiness.

He is currently employed by MFA in Ste. Genevieve as an assistant manager. He offers a wide range of agricultural knowledge from both retail and a farmer’s point of view.

“I would really like to become more involved in the community doing whatever I can to help and improve it,” he said.

Cathy Beyatte

Beyatte was born and raised in Ste. Genevieve County. She attended St. Agnes Elementary School and Ste. Genevieve High School. Her post-secondary degrees include a bachelor’s from University of Missouri and master’s from Maryville University in education.

She currently works alongside her husband Bob Beyatte as the CFO for their business, Contemporary Engineering Designs, Inc. located in Bloomsdale.

“I would like to serve on the Extension Council because I believe it is a gateway that can help Ste. Genevieve County assimilate better as things in our environment and business structures change,” Beyatte said.

Dana Fallert

Dana is a lifelong resident of Ste. Genevieve County. She graduated from Valle Catholic High School.

She works for Public Water Supply District No. 1 and the Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center. She enjoys volunteering at the Ste. Genevieve County Fair and Rural Heritage Day. She was member of the 4-H program as a child.

“I have always felt that we should give back to our great community,” Fallert said. “Serving on the council would provide me the opportunity to support the extension staff and to see the extension resources and opportunities remain available within our community.”

Donna Flieg

Flieg is a life-long resident of Ste. Genevieve County. She graduated from St. Elizabeth Academy in St. Louis and Mineral Area College.

Current positions she holds include president of Ladies of St. Joseph in Zell Parish and president of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 150. She is an active lifelong member of the Girls Scouts. She has previously served as an extension council member for four years. She was also one of the founding members of the Recycling center.

“I have always been an advocate of the extension and I would like to see our county prosper,” Flieg said.

Emily Giesler

Giesler was raised on her family’s farm in Ste. Genevieve. She graduated from Ste. Genevieve High School, Mineral Area College and Southeast Missouri State University. Her degree from SEMO is in agribusiness. She credits her upbringing on her family farm for building her interest agriculture.

Currently she is employed by MFA Agri Services. She is a member of the VFW Auxiliary.

“I am interested in serving on the extension council as a way to become more involved in the community,” Giesler said.

Eric Kertz

Kertz was born and raised in Ste. Genevieve County. He grew up on his family farm and graduated from Valle Catholic High School. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus as well as an ongoing volunteer for his children’s sports teams. He has assisted with mission work with the local youth group.

“My willingness to volunteer and my background in 4-H and agriculture make me a good candidate for this council,” Kertz said. “I grew up working the family farm and have developed a passion and desire to pass my love of agriculture on to my kids and the community.”


Michael J. Naeger

Naeger is a lifelong resident of Ste. Genevieve County. He graduated from Ste. Genevieve High School.

He is the owner and operator of Naeger Forest Products, Inc. He also owns a small farm on which he raises goats and cattle. Naeger is a member and on the board of directors for both the Missouri Forest Product Association and the Fred. A. Lednick Foundation. Additionally, he is a member of the Missouri Trappers Association, NRA, and Ste. Genevieve County Republican Club.

“I am interested in educating young people in agriculture, forestry, and other outdoor activities,” Naeger said.


Beginning January 16 and ending January 23, ballot boxes for the extension council election will be at the University of Missouri Extension Office at 1300 Progress Parkway, Bloomsdale Bank in Bloomsdale, First State Community Bank in St. Mary and Ste. Genevieve Herald office.

County residents may also choose to vote online and see bios of the candidates by visiting:

The election results will be certified by the extension council on Thursday, January 31, and released on Friday, February 1.

(Information in a release from the University of Missouri Extension.)

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