Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team
4-H Youth Development
- During the 2017 Iowa State Fair, 121 Iowa 4-H volunteers from 94 counties were inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame, including two volunteers over 100 years of age: Alice Walters of Greene County and Ruth Angus of Ringgold County. All honorees were selected for their service and dedication to 4-H’ers and the 4-H program.
- More from the Iowa State Fair:
— Nearly 800 head were exhibited in the 4-H beef show, and 990 head were exhibited the 4-H swine show – both record numbers.
— More than 100 4-H’ers participated in the Iowa 4-H Awardrobe Clothing Event, showcasing their apparel design and production knowledge, as well as their creativity skills. Some 500 people attended the fashion showcase and closing event.
— Iowa 4-H held its second annual Global Citizenship Day at the Iowa State Fair. Projects and performances from all over the world were part of the celebration.
- On Aug. 21 Iowa 4-H, county extension offices, and partner organizations offered more than 75 4-H solar eclipse day camps across Iowa. Nearly 2,000 young Iowans participated.
- New and potential 4-H volunteers can get information about the Iowa 4-H program from a growing library of volunteer orientation videos online.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Farm management specialists led 89 farmland leasing meetings during July and August across the state, with attendance estimated at 1,800 participants. The program focused on farmland values and leasing outlook for 2018 and improving landlord-tenant communication. Participants also learned about current issues and conservation methods, and being an advocate for the land. Other topics included current survey trends, cost of production, types of lease arrangements and legal aspects of farmland leases. Participants received updated reference materials for leasing negotiations and were directed to other ISU Extension and Outreach resources.
- Participants in the Iowa Drainage School Aug. 22-24 learned how to design sub-surface drainage, keeping in mind functionality, performance and flexibility. Training topics included unmanned aerial vehicle surveying, laser and GPS leveling, drainage tile size and spacing, soil properties, laws and pipeline safety. Twenty-seven contractors, engineers, farmers and consultants working in teams designed drainage for 24 acres at the Borlaug Learning Center located at the Iowa State University Northeast Research Farm. Survey respondents indicated they would employ the drainage design techniques learned in the school in their installation practices.
- The Pesticide Safety Education Program recently revised several, category-specific training manuals with input and assistance from university subject matter experts, industry specialists and certified applicators. The revised manuals include the information needed to pass the pesticide applicator certification exam as well as new research. In addition, the Worker Protection Safety train-the-trainer course was developed to be delivered online, increasing access to the material across the globe.
- The annual Iowa Crop Scouting Competition educates Iowa youth on crop scouting and integrated pest management. Youth teams from around the state are scored on their knowledge of crop-related disciplines — insects, diseases, growth and development, herbicide and spray issues, and weed identification — with a written test and field stations located throughout the Field Extension Education Laboratory, Boone, Iowa. In partnership with sponsor representatives, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists judge the event, taking time to talk with students, answer questions and teach about good pest management practices. Twenty-two junior and senior high students participated in the July 31 event. Watch the highlight video.
Community and Economic Development
- lSU Extension and Outreach is a sponsor of the third annual Southeast Iowa Nonprofit Summit Sept. 21 in Ottumwa. The summit is designed for board members, staff and volunteers. Topics to be covered include improving organizational culture and attracting and retaining top talent, as well as human resources regulations and board structure and responsibilities.
- The Office of State and Local Government Programs is participating in the Iowa League of Cities 2017 Annual Conference in Davenport Sept. 27–29. It is the largest training in the state designed specifically for Iowa’s elected and appointed city officials. Local government specialist Mary Beth Sprouse is helping organize the conference, and CED specialists Eric Christianson and Becky Leurs will be presenting workshops.
- The Refugee Alliance of Central Iowa is a collaboration of service providers, government agencies, religious groups, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions that serves central Iowa’s refugee population. Recently, the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines gave the Alliance its 2017 Better Together Award, which recognizes nonprofit organizations, civic groups and individuals who are building social capital in the community. The award included $2,500 to be used toward advancing efforts to make Des Moines a more engaged and networked community. Anindita Das works as a refugee specialist and program coordinator for RACI in partnership with ISU Extension and Outreach.
- The 2018 Healthy and Homemade Calendar is available via the online store and advance order copies have been delivered. Human Sciences Extension and Outreach sold 279,531 copies of the calendar. The Spanish calendar is sold out online, but the version in English is still available.
- The Human Sciences Extension and Outreach early childhood team has developed a Mandatory Child Abuse Reporter curriculum. The self-paced, online class will be available to participants 24/7 beginning in October 2017 through the ISU Extension and Outreach Moodle site. Participants completing this training join a dedicated team of more than 20,000 early childhood professionals who serve as “frontline” reporters to protect children from abuse and neglect.
- Human Sciences Extension and Outreach partnerships in Charles City make a difference for Iowa families. For example, When RAGBRAI passed through Charles City this year, Variety wanted to donate bikes to underserved children as part of the celebration. Variety contacted Big Brothers Big Sisters for help in identifying children; Big Brothers Big Sisters called the human sciences educator in Floyd County to inquire if “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy” families might enjoy receiving the bikes. Seventeen children from these families received a bicycle and helmet that day. As another example, a local farmer, the Charles City Chamber of Commerce, and Community Revitalization established a community garden in Charles City three years ago. All three years, five or six “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy” participants and graduates have worked in the garden. Through the community partnership and grant funds, the $15 plot fee was waived and seed costs were covered for these individuals. In addition, new gardeners worked with experienced gardeners. One of the “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy” graduates who participated the first year is now the volunteer garden manager.