You are hereAbout Mark Spelbring

About Mark Spelbring



Mark is the youngest of 4 children raised by Harold and Virginia Spelbring on their farm near Poland.  He was in the last 8th grade class at the 2 room Poland Elementary School.  Mark's interest in politics and government was sparked by attending Hoosier Boys State at I.SU. in 1970.  He graduated from Brazil High School in 1971.

After a year at Rose-Hulman, Mark transferred to Purdue to focus on agriculture.  He finished an Animal Science degree in 2 years, and was an animal science teaching assistant the next 2 years, earning a Master’s degree in Genetics in 1976.

Mark joined the Cooperative Extension Service, the public education part of the land grant university system, as a University of Florida Extension Agent in Pasco County, Florida, in the fall of 1976.  He worked with many farm adults and 4-H youth groups for 8 years, living in Dade City, Florida.

After his Father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Mark returned to Indiana and became Vermillion County Extension Director with Purdue University in 1985.  He helped his Mother care for his Dad and the farm on weekends.  Harold passed away in March, 1988.  Virginia passed away in August, 2011.

Mark was responsible for agricultural and community development educational efforts, and worked with the 4-H youth program in Vermillion County, for 10 years. For the next 7 years he worked half time in Vermillion County and half in Parke County, except for one year on special assignment at Purdue as a statewide land use specialist.  Mark served full time in Parke County from 2002, taking on the role of County Extension Director after the retirement of Alan Ader in 2003, until his retirement in late 2012.  Mark received a Parke County 4-H Alumni Award in 2011.

His weekly “Mark My Words” newspaper column was published in The Daily Clintonian for nearly 25 years, and for several years in the Cayuga Herald News and/or Parke County Sentinel.  In 2009, columns he wrote about local government won him a national communication award from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.

Mark helped create the economic development commission and resulting programs in Vermillion County.  He helped create community leadership programs to help train new community leaders for several years in both counties.  He co-chaired development of the first comprehensive plan for Parke County in 50 years, and led an effort suggested in that plan to study options to improve the efficiency of the local school systems.

Mark served on and was president of plan commissions in both counties and was recognized as an expert on land use issues with Purdue Extension, teaching sessions and offering advice throughout the state. He also taught seminars on local government to various audiences around the state.
 
Mark now works as a part time reporter for the Parke County Sentinel newspaper.  He is president of the board of dircctors of Parke County Learning Center, Inc., a non-profit that helped create and works to suppport Ivy Tech's Parke County Learning Center in Rockville,  and is a member of Rockville Rotary Club.

Mark and his wife Linda, a native of Florida, live in Rockville with her grandchildren Brittany and Jacob Bryant, and Brittany’s son, Hagen Jeffrey.  Linda worked as a special education aide at Rockville Elementary School until budget cuts eliminated aides positions, and she is a 4-H Leader.   Mark and Linda are members of First United Methodist Church in Rockville, and other community organizations.