Jennifer Williams, CES in community economic development for Carter County.

  • Jennifer Williams
    Jennifer Williams

Jennifer Williams, county engagement specialist (CES) in community economic development, has been going above and beyond for MU Extension in Carter County. One of the most exciting things? Despite the challenges of mounting an event during a pandemic, Jennifer planned and put on the first annual Current River Food Truck Festival in Van Buren.

Last June, seven food trucks from around the state, and even southern Illinois, parked in front of the county courthouse to serve more than 2,000 patrons from all over the county. Foods ranged from crab and gourmet sandwiches to loaded ice cream cones and enormous servings of cotton candy. Six local bands and 24 local vendors showed up to amplify the fun with music and merchandise.

The festival raised thousands of dollars for things like a new 4-H youth program associate and the restoration of the courthouse. The 2022 Current River Food Truck Festival is already scheduled for Saturday, June 25, in Van Buren.

That’s not all she’s done to nourish the county. Williams, who is a licensed attorney, hosted an estate planning seminar in late September. Attendees learned and asked questions about using wills and trusts to protect their families’ assets. Through the Jobs for America’s Graduates program, Williams spent three days with students at Neelyville High School to teach them how to understand their aptitudes and skill sets through personality exams and career exploration seminars.

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