June 2020 goodbye … and welcome

In June, we said goodbye to the following individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach:

  • Autumn Denato, Monroe County youth coordinator.
  • Liz Meimann, extension program specialist II, Human Sciences Hotlines (retirement).
  • Sara Mohr, field specialist III, 4-H Youth Development.
  • Joyce Lash, field specialist III, Human Sciences (retirement).
  • Amber Matthiesen, field specialist I, 4-H Youth Development.

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Jordon Oellerich, Keokuk County director.
  • Katelyn Walker, Warren County office assistant.
  • Elizabeth Frankenstein, regional director, County Services.
  • Paul Gibbins, regional director, County Services.
  • Eugenia Hartsook, regional director, County Services.
  • Justin Akers, regional director, County Services.
  • Katharinna Bain, regional director, County Services.
  • Julie Hering Kent, regional director, County Services.
  • Craig Leager, regional director, County Services.

July 2020 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Human Sciences

  • The Food Preservation 101 work team is providing this educational opportunity online seven times, May through September. Renee Sweers, Holly Van Heel, Jill Weber, and Kelsey Salow are the educators providing the classes, which are offered statewide. An update from the June 18 online Food Preservation 101 indicates 150 participants registered, with 61 in attendance. The participants were from 27 counties and six other states. Ninety-two percent of participants indicated they were likely or very likely to preserve food at home after having taken the class.
  • Nine virtual block team meetings were held in June. Donna Donald facilitated the meetings: the first hour involved conversation with the field specialists; county staff and regional directors were invited to join the second hour. Topics discussed included changes, new service area and team of specialists, 70-20-10 programming guidelines, curriculum review process, use of Conference Planning and Management, late summer/fall programming, online and face-to-face offerings, and Community Chat.
  • Due to the high participation in the April and May “Question. Persuade. Refer.” online classes, five additional sessions were held in June. The 19 earlier sessions saw 421 people register and 341 participate. David Brown, Danielle Day, and Dawn Dunnegan are the delivery team.
  • The EFNEP and SNAP-Ed staff continue to have success teaching virtually: 115 people have participated in a total of 380 online sessions so far. In addition, Christine Hradek’s team hosted three ISU dietetics interns June 1-12 through completely virtual engagement. The interns helped lead a virtual training for staff.

4-H Youth Development

  • The Iowa State Fairgrounds will host a Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show this summer, following the postponement of the 2020 Iowa State Fair. The revised schedule for 4-H livestock shows will be spread out over three weeks and held Thursday through Saturday – Aug. 6-8, 13-15, and 20-22. Information for 4-H families and youth exhibitors can be found on the Iowa State Fair 4-H Livestock page.
  • A special exhibition, 4-H Show Iowa, will provide state level recognition to partially replace the loss of learning opportunities due to the postponement of this year’s Iowa State Fair. Included in these virtual celebrations are 4-H Exhibits, Communication Events, and the Awardrobe Clothing Selection. Counties will be encouraged to select exhibits for this special exhibition in a similar manner to how they normally select exhibits and participants for the Iowa State Fair. Volunteer judges will evaluate all exhibits and events. A public showcase of all entries will be made available using the photos of entries and summary information. The public exhibition will be released during the originally planned Iowa State Fair dates, Aug. 13-23.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Five Beef Quality Assurance training programs will be held in northwest Iowa in July and August for beef producers. Major packers still require Beef Quality Assurance certificates and the five trainings will help meet that need. Specific information about dates, times and locations, as well as information about registration and COVID-19-related precautions is available.
  • Iowa’s commercial horticulture industry contributes $48 million to the state’s economy each year and provides fresh fruits and vegetables to Iowa consumers. Recognizing the value of this segment of agriculture, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds designated June 22-26 as Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Week. The governor’s proclamation included the request that local Iowa fruit and vegetable producers receive support and recognition for their achievements by celebrating this week across Iowa. Producers can learn more about specialty crop production by watching the Iowa Vegetable Production and Management videos produced by ISU Extension and Outreach, or by visiting the Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development program.
  • The Iowa Dairy Goat Farm Survey (Fall 2019), compiled by ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialists Jenn Bentley and Leo Timms, is available on the ISU Extension Store and dives deep into opportunities and challenges faced by the dairy goat industry. The survey examines topics such as milk production and composition, housing and milking facilities, dairy farm management, and planning for the future.

Community and Economic Development

  • The Community Visioning Program resumed in a virtual format in May and has been gradually transitioning to on-site meetings, following the university’s social distancing and safety guidelines. The following communities will be conducting programming objectives meetings in July: Madrid, Mingo, Elkader, Fairfax, and Polk City. Additional meetings will be scheduled as the month progresses.
  • The 45th annual Iowa Municipal Professionals Institute and Academy will take place virtually July 20–31. This is a targeted training for more than 200 city clerks, finance officers and other city staff to further professionalism, knowledge, and efficiency in Iowa cities. All training in this venue qualifies for certification in the International Institute of Municipal Clerks as well as the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association certification program.
  • Goal Setting is the latest CED programming to be offered virtually. The first workshop, COVID-19 Transition and Recovery, was presented June 30 and July 7 for organizations in Palo Alto County. Sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach Palo Alto County, this collaborative and interactive virtual workshop focused on local economic development and the impacts of COVID-19 transition and recovery. This two-session workshop was offered county-wide for local and county government leaders, economic development organizations, and business and nonprofit partners. Participants received a framework to consider past accomplishments, current issues and trends, on-going commitments, and new or emerging priorities and initiatives.

May 2020 goodbye … and welcome

In May we said goodbye to the following individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach:

  • Kristen Bieret, Shelby County office assistant.
  • Nancy Henry, Story County office assistant.
  • Thomas Miller, field specialist II, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
  • Nancy Paris, administrative specialist II, Extension Administration (retirement).

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Sara Baumgartner, Delaware County K-12 youth education coordinator.
  • Trey Beckman, Linn County nutrition educator.
  • Alexis Bodzioch, Winnebago County youth coordinator.
  • Joclyn Bushman, Buchanan County youth coordinator.
  • Landon Calderwood, West Pottawattamie County youth outreach coordinator.
  • Grace Davidson, Jefferson County youth coordinator.
  • Lydia Dingeman, Marion County education coordinator.
  • Melissa Hall, Wright County program coordinator.
  • Maya Rowe, Cerro Gordo County youth program assistant.
  • Julie Schultz, Union County CACFP coordinator.
  • Kara Vance, Buchanan County program assistant.
  • Amey Kollar, field specialist II, 4-H Youth Development.

June 2020 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Community and Economic Development

  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Community Visioning Program canceled the focus-group workshops in five communities. In May, program meetings resumed in a virtual format, and program staff are currently working to develop meeting and design workshop protocols that follow ISU’s guidelines for reopening. In June, the following virtual meetings will take place: review of assessment meetings in Mingo, Fairfax, and Polk City; goal setting meetings in Elkader and Wellsburg; and a transportation meeting in Fairfax.
  • CED specialists have developed a way to deliver the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment program virtually, and Abbie Gaffey, Eric Christianson, Omar Padilla, and Jon Wolseth will conduct Workshop 1 for Ida Grove in June.
  • During June CED and FFED specialists will be interviewing food businesses in central and eastern Iowa for the AgMRC research project, Food Processing and Independent Grocers: Assessing Current Supply Chain.

Human Sciences

  • EFNEP and SNAP-Ed staff have partnered with three Iowa food banks to distribute educational information and resources with food boxes. The Food Bank for Siouxland (Northwest Iowa), Food Bank for the Heartland (Southwest Iowa), and Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (Eastern Iowa) have all distributed recipes, “Spend Smart. Eat Smart.” resources, and more. (The Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website has had 27,000 users – an increase of 9% – since March 15.) DMARC in Des Moines has distributed promotional materials for virtual lessons. Some have also distributed the new Finding Answers Now publication and promotional pieces for the Family Finance consultation opportunities. In addition to these food bank partnerships, some local pantry partnerships are happening as well.
  • Don’t Let Surprises Spoil Your Retirement” is currently available for viewing in Learn@ISU. During this Council Seminar Series Event in May, Barb Wollan, human sciences specialist in family finance, discussed costs employees will experience in retirement related to issues their employer takes care of while they are working, what current low inflation rates may mean, and more.
  • During May, the ISU Well-being team hosted a Well-being Wednesday Conversation. Each week information is shared on staying well and connecting with other ISU employees during these challenging times. Cindy Fletcher and Suzanne Bartholomae, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, presented “Finding Resources to Navigate Your Personal Finances” on May 13.
  • Parenting during COVID-19, a valuable new webinar series designed especially for parents, was available for the ISU community during May. During the May 8 webinar, the Science of Parenting team of Lori Hayungs, Mackenzie Johnson, Mackenzie DeJong, and Barb Dunn Swanson presented the “The Science of Parenting: Balancing Research and Reality.” The team shared how current research on parenting – plus a dose of reality – can help parents find their own parenting success. They also talked about resources available through the Science of Parenting website and using the “Stop. Breathe. Talk.” technique in challenging moments.

4-H Youth Development

  • Iowa 4-H Youth Development has launched Gardening to Give — a hands-on educational gardening program designed for all ages and abilities. Gardening to Give is a six-month, immersive learning experience in gardening with educational resources shared weekly with registered participants. Participants received the first weekly lesson on May 15 and will receive a new lesson each Friday for 25 weeks. Current registrations include 97 households with 237 individuals, 49 counties with registrants, and one family from Minnesota. Registrations can continue throughout the entire 25-week program. Fun challenges, volunteer opportunities, and tracking efforts also will be included.
  • The Iowa 4-H At Home Learning webpage has received approximately 13,000 views since it launched in March. The page provides online educational opportunities for youth created by Iowa 4-H professionals.
  • 4-H State Council member registration has moved to 4HOnline beginning with the incoming 2020-21 group. This will help to streamline and simplify the registration process for members and their parent/guardian by eliminating mailing, papers, scanning, storing file folders, etc. The advisory team will host a Zoom onboarding session with the new State Council in June.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Despite another difficult year in agriculture, cash rental rates still posted an increase of about 1.4%, according to the Cash Rental Rates for Iowa 2020 Survey. Rates across the state averaged $222 per acre, compared to $219 per acre in 2019. Survey author Alejandro Plastina cautioned that most cash rents for 2020 were determined by September 2019, and that the current challenges of 2020 such as economic losses from coronavirus, delays in the Phase 1 trade deal with China, and decreased demand for biofuels were not included in the survey.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on businesses from large to small, and there are many questions surrounding what business owners and entrepreneurs should do as the state begins to re-open. To help answer some of these questions, a new series of podcasts and webinars called Back to Business Iowa have been created by the Community and Economic Development program and the Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program with ISU Extension and Outreach, in partnership with the Iowa Small Business Development Centers.
  • Dairy producers across Iowa have a new way of receiving information, thanks to a podcast launched by dairy specialists with ISU Extension and Outreach. Dairy News and Views began recording in April and features timely topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic and dairy production in general. Podcasts are recorded every two weeks and are available through the Dairy Team website.

April 2020 goodbye … and welcome

In April, we said goodbye to the following individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach:

  • Janet Beranek, Floyd County office assistant.
  • Julie Christensen, Allamakee County office coordinator.
  • Shirley Grimm, Muscatine County office manager.
  • Tammy James, Union County CACFP program coordinator.
  • Krista Regennitter, Muscatine County director.
  • Kristin Olsen, extension program specialist III, Iowa Pork Industry Center.
  • Terry Maloy, program coordinator III, County Services Support (retirement).

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Katrina McCarty, Muscatine County youth coordinator.
  • Brittany Moore, Jackson County youth coordinator.
  • Lauren Nerad, Muscatine County office assistant.
  • Elizabeth Siepker, Winneshiek County K-12 program coordinator.
  • Lauren Carter, graphic designer I, Advancement.
  • Marsha Peterson, budget analyst IV, Human Sciences.
  • Rachel Sweeney, program coordinator I, 4-H Youth Development.
  • Peggy Lockhart, extension program specialist I, Human Sciences.

May 2020 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Two new video series are helping gardeners grow their skills, along with fresh produce. The Sow, Grow, Eat, and Keep series will be produced weekly and packages information about the garden, food preparation or food preservation. The series is a combined effort of ANR and Human Sciences, involving horticulture specialists and nutrition and wellness specialists. The Gardening While Isolated series is shown weekly on the ISU Extension and Outreach Facebook page and is produced by ISU Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists.
  • Safe mushroom foraging workshops are being offered online for anyone interested in learning more about identifying and foraging local mushrooms. The first workshop was May 5; the second will be held in the fall. Participants in this virtual workshop will discuss proper identification traits, foraging safety, distinguishing between edible and non-edible varieties, and best harvesting practices including how to avoid any potential post-harvest contamination.
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact agricultural markets and supply chains, ISU Extension and Outreach has resources that can help farmers manage their finances. A full listing of resources can be found through ISU Extension and Outreach, and includes farm financial associates, Ag Decision Maker, and members of the farm management team.

Community and Economic Development

  • The Rural Housing Readiness Assessment helps communities self-assess their housing needs and guides them in the decision-making process when addressing those needs. It guides communities in considering options that ensure existing and potential residents can find safe, secure, and quality housing that meets their needs and fits within their budgets. The assessment checklists aid in creating a local housing policy that is appropriate for the needs and desires of a community. CED specialists have developed a way to deliver the program virtually, and Abbie Gaffey will conduct Workshop 1 for Ida Grove on May 20. Workshop 1 will be conducted for Keokuk sometime in May as well.
  • Goal setting, strategic planning, and facilitation are more important than ever for nonprofits and local governments. CED has moved this type of programming to a virtual format. Kam Middlebrooks and Himar Hernández will facilitate an online goal-setting session with CoSI (Community in Support of Immigrants) in Grinnell sometime in May.
  • More CED virtual offerings: CED local government specialists created a virtual version of the Introduction to Planning and Zoning for local officials and offered the training in late April and early May. CED specialists will deliver Leading Communities virtually for Mount Pleasant (Henry County) and for Centerville (Appanoose County) in May. CED specialists will present a virtual version of Grant Writing 101 for Madison County on May 21. A session for Linn County and a statewide workshop also are planned.

Human Sciences

  • Iowa Department of Public Health reached out to AnswerLine’s Beth Marrs and asked for suggestions on reaching Latino communities in Iowa to share information regarding COVID-19. In response, Dr. Kim Greder, family life state specialist, asked several extension program specialists to share with IDPH what they know is happening in specific Latino populations. This sharing will help IDPH build a plan to reach these populations.
  • Virtual education has begun for SNAP-Ed and EFNEP educators. So far, 15 lessons have been delivered to date to individuals as well as co-residing groups. Staff are using phone calls and video chat to deliver lessons.
  • The Spend Smart. Eat Smart. team has mobilized a response to the concerns COVID-19 has raised for families, including:
    — Two Facebook Live events per week (one individual exercise opportunity on Wednesdays at noon and a family activity every Friday at 10 a.m.).
    — A cooking or food prep video every Monday.
    — Building a library of video content to release over social media in the coming weeks. Videos include simple recipes, kitchen organization/management ideas, cooking with youth, and tours of the website.
    — A revised blog schedule. Bloggers are highlighting skills that are useful during this time through personal blogs about their own meal planning and cooking.

4-H Youth Development

  • The Iowa 4-H At Home Learning webpage offers online educational opportunities for youth created by Iowa 4-H professionals. The webpage has received approximately 8,500 views over the past month.
  • Registration is open for the 2020 Iowa Youth Crop Scouting Competition on July 30 for youth in grades 7-12. An in-person competition is planned. If state guidelines do not allow in-person meetings by July 30, it will be an interactive distance competition. The planning team is creating a list of strategies for how youth teams can study and engage with materials over the summer while practicing appropriate social distancing.
  • A new online STEAM academy has been created through a partnership between Iowa 4-H and the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. Each week a new STEAM challenge for youth in grades 4-12 is released online. These challenges also showcase a tie to NASA work and STEM professions.

Creating a volunteering culture

John Lawrence’s email message from April 27, 2020

Today, Gov. Reynolds announced that the State Public Health Emergency Declaration would continue until May 27, 2020. The Governor’s proclamation loosens social distancing measures in 77 Iowa counties effective Friday, May 1 and continues other restrictions until 11:50 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020. We will be reviewing the proclamation and determining what it means for ISU Extension and Outreach.

One thing the COVID-19 pandemic did not stop is the need for volunteers in Iowa communities. 4-H members, families and friends are making masks. Master Gardeners are planting donation gardens. County offices are helping connect volunteers to local food pantries. As they volunteer their time to help others in whatever way they can, Iowans are stepping up to the challenge.

People volunteer when they feel attached to and supported by their community. This is one of the key findings reported in “Volunteering in Iowa Small Towns: Fostering participation in local projects.” David Peters, extension rural sociologist, reviewed data from the 91 communities in the 2014 Iowa Small Towns Project and from other sources. He says a community that has a comprehensive volunteering plan, which identifies and addresses barriers to participation, has a better chance of getting more people involved in local projects. Did you know?

  • The top cited reasons people had for not volunteering were that no one asked them to volunteer, they didn’t have time to participate, they thought volunteers weren’t needed, and they weren’t interested in getting involved.
  • People are more likely to volunteer when they feel confident about their community’s future and when there are strong community expectations that everyone needs to volunteer.
  • Volunteering is not driven by population size, wealth and local economic conditions. Instead, what matters more are positive community social interactions and quality of life.
  • Small towns have the power to create a volunteering culture by investing in the social infrastructure of their community.

More notes

  • Extension IT has released the new Extension Staff Directory. It replaces the previous directory and the URL remains the same, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/staffdir/. The new directory pulls in information from Workday and ADIN, and if your staff photo is in SmugMug, it is included in your profile. It’s possible to edit some of the information in your profile. Learn more about the new directory and what you can and can’t change on the Extension Staff Directory page in MyExtension.
  • The County Benefits Conversation with Councils archive recording from April 18 is available on the University Human Resources website.
  • Jane Walter, with University Human Resources, will host an ISU-Paid Employee Retirement session on Wednesday, May 6 at 3 p.m. To participate, go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/benefits. The session will be recorded.
  • Advancement will offer a webinar for all staff at 10 a.m., May 1 on Did You Know? Tips to Improve Your Virtual Meetings. The link for the webinar is https://iastate.zoom.us/j/94890021945.
  • Congratulations to Donna Donald and Barb Wollan, Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, who received 2019 Professional and Scientific Council CYtation Awards. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the annual CYtation Awards breakfast ceremony, originally scheduled for this spring, has been postponed until September.
  • Help shower Terry Maloy with retirement cards. Terry is retiring as Iowa Extension Council Association executive director effective April 30. Show your appreciation and celebrate Terry’s work by sending a card to Terry Maloy, Monroe County Extension Office, 219 B Ave. W, Albia, IA 52531.
  • The North Central Cooperative Extension Association is offering three online speed meetings about mental/behavioral health (April 30), entrepreneurship (May 1), and rural community development (May 6). All speed meetings begin at 12 noon Central time. For more information and to pre-register for each session visit the NCCEA speed meeting series webpage.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Taking care of ourselves

John Lawrence’s message from April 20, 2020

As we enter our sixth week of working remotely, we still do not know how long we’ll need to remain physically distant from each other or from our partners, volunteers or all Iowans we serve. But we do know that we must remain socially connected and take care of ourselves – so that we are able to help others.

Last week during Second Monday Live, David Brown shared some approaches for managing stress and improving our work/home balance related to COVID-19. David is our behavioral health state specialist and says it’s important to understand what we can and cannot control. For example, we can’t control the guidance we receive from President Wintersteen or Gov. Reynolds. We have to trust that our leaders are making decisions in our best interests. But we can develop programs online or find ways to communicate virtually. We can stay connected via social media, texts, video chat or phone calls. We can use these connections as an opportunity to reach out to others, to share experiences or just talk.

We have to take care of our bodies, too. Exercise, eat healthy, take deep breaths and try to get some sleep. Get outdoors when you can, at a safe “social distance.” And don’t watch too much news coverage.

You can learn more about this topic – as well as what to do if you are quarantined – by watching the archive of David’s Second Monday Live presentation.

10,000 masks and counting

WOW! Congratulations! Thank you! On Wednesday, April 8, Iowa 4-H challenged members, volunteers, alumni and staff to make and donate 10,000 face masks to the people and organizations in their local communities who need them. In only nine days, the Iowa 4-H family met their goal. Now 4-H is expanding this project to encourage sewing of surgical caps and making face mask connectors.

More notes

  • Goodbye … and welcome, March 2020: Please review this list of individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach in the past month, as well as those who have joined our organization.
  • Terry Maloy is retiring April 30, so we are seeking a new executive director for the Iowa Extension Council Association. This is an important role in coordinating the 100 extension councils and aiding communication between councils and ISU Extension and Outreach administration. Please share this job announcement with qualified candidates. It is a 60% FTE position.
  • May 15 is the deadline to apply for tuition assistance from the summer 2020 Vice President for Extension and Outreach Tuition Assistance Program. County-paid and ISU-paid extension employees may apply for the program, whether taking credit courses from Iowa State, a community college, a private institution or other accredited public institution.
  • Remember to check our Professional Development website for eLearning resources, including upcoming and archived webinars and other learning opportunities from our Professional Development team, Iowa State and Cooperative Extension.
  • Advancement has created several branded Zoom virtual backgrounds (listed under “electronic” templates) to use if you are speaking with clients and would like to keep your home office location private.
  • A new video PSA promoting Iowa Concern is available. Please share as appropriate. The video complements an audio PSA and newspaper ad that were created earlier this month.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

March 2020 goodbye … and welcome

In March we said goodbye to the following individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach:

  • Sarah Blunt, Buchanan County local foods coordinator.
  • Cortney Garrington, Warren County extension director.
  • Lindsay Stecher, Muscatine County youth coordinator.
  • Cindy (Stuve) Hopton, secretary III, Community and Economic Development (retirement).

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Amy Leaman, Floyd County office assistant.
  • Alexandria McIntyre, Winneshiek County office assistant.
  • Phyllis Van Gelder, Sioux County K-12 program coordinator.

Happy ISU Extension and Outreach Week

John Lawrence’s message from April 13, 2020

While many things have changed drastically for Iowans in recent weeks, one thing that has not changed is ISU Extension and Outreach’s commitment to serving all Iowans. I am so proud of all you as you’ve stepped up during this crisis. Office doors may be locked, and events may be canceled, but you have been finding ways to continue engaging Iowans with research-based information and education. Neither working remotely nor physical distance nor anything else will stop us from building a #STRONGIOWA together!

Did you know? “Change is the only constant in life.” That quote might be from an ancient Greek philosopher or a cereal box, depending on the results of your internet search. (Note: My searches have said it was Heraclitus.) We don’t know yet what additional changes the COVID-19 pandemic will bring here in Iowa, throughout the country or around the world. But we do know that time and again, ISU Extension and Outreach has been there to help Iowans and their communities during a crisis.

Dealing with COVID-19 isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. ISU Extension and Outreach will continue serving Iowans online, over the phone, through email and text messages, whatever way we can. And when we get the “all clear” from our government and health officials, we will be serving Iowans in person and face to face once again. That’s something Iowans can count on – during this immediate crisis, during recovery and long beyond. Because we are always serving Iowans. Have a happy, safe and healthy ISU Extension and Outreach Week!

MyData update

  • Pilot participants have through June 2020 to test the MyData reporting system. (For those in the pilot, this is an ideal time to focus on MyData features and provide feedback on user-friendliness.)
  • Three online training modules are being developed to help staff and faculty understand MyData’s value to ISU Extension and Outreach, how MyData is organized, and users’ roles and responsibilities. After staff and faculty have successfully completed online training, they’ll receive their MyData license along with training on the practical details for using the system.
  • Rollout of MyData will be staggered across program units and county services during 2020–2021. Given the unpredictability related to our current state of physical distancing, all timeframes are tentative: November 2020, county services (regional directors); December 2020, human sciences; January 2021, community and economic development; March/April 2021, agricultural and natural resources; and September/October 2021, 4-H youth development. Additional rollouts will be set for ISU Extension and Outreach administrators and regional county staff.

Benefits and retirement sessions

  • Jane Walter, with University Human Resources, will be hosting a County Benefit Conversation with Councils on Saturday, April 18 at 10 a.m.
  • Jane also will host an ISU-Paid Employee Retirement session on Wednesday, May 6 at 3 p.m.
  • To participate in either session, go to https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/benefits. Both sessions will be recorded.

NCCEA speed meeting series

The North Central Cooperative Extension Association is offering three online speed meetings about mental/behavioral health (April 30), entrepreneurship (May 1), and rural community development (May 6). The series will highlight programs, success stories and partnerships in these key areas that have been identified as regional issues. Gain ideas and find others who you may be able to partner with on future programming. All speed meetings begin at 12 noon Central time. For more information and to pre-register for each session visit the NCCEA speed meeting series webpage.

PPSI fellowship opportunity

The Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute is seeking a qualified individual to fill a fellowship position supporting the development of the National Behavioral Health Extension Network. The NBH E-Net’s primary goal is to improve community prosperity and quality of life by increasing access to proven programs and services designed to enhance youth and family behavioral health and to prevent substance misuse. The fellow will provide expertise of relevance to the development of infrastructure and resources as part of the NBH E-Net Hub Organization, in collaboration with eXtension. For more information, review the position timeline, description, roles and responsibilities.

One more note

Remember to check the new homepage in MyExtension to find what you need to know about issues affecting our organization.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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