Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team
Community and Economic Development
- During Iowa’s Living Roadways 21st annual celebration (Nov. 9), the 2017 visioning communities will showcase their proposed design projects. Representatives from the 2018 visioning communities also will attend to kick off the 2018 program. Community and Economic Development is the administering unit for the Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program.
- Jon Wolseth will be in Perry in November, assisting with biometric and survey data collection for the Human Sciences Extension and Outreach Abriendo Caminos pilot program. On Nov. 9, Himar Hernandez will co-facilitate the program in Ottumwa.
- In November the Office of State and Local Government Programs is partnering with the Iowa League of Cities to deliver budget training to local government officials in Mason City, Cherokee and Atlantic, and the Municipal Leadership Academy to municipal professionals in Fairfield, Carroll and Corning. Mary Beth Sprouse is teaching the classes.
- CED specialist Eric Christianson has been working this semester with an undergraduate planning studio on developing a comprehensive plan for Mitchellville. Christianson will be in Ames Nov.15 when the students will present their draft plan to CED staff, CRP faculty and Mitchellville residents. On Nov. 29, Christianson will be in Mitchellville when the students present their draft plan to the community.
- Nature Explore workshops for early childhood professionals help them transform their preschool or child care play spaces into fun, joyful areas to explore nature. In January 2017, human sciences specialists Cindy Thompson and Kristi Cooper began working with Northeast Iowa Community College and Child Care Resource and Referral to develop a vision for training, support and access to a sustainable, model Nature Explore classroom. Since the initial meeting, other agencies have joined the effort: providing grant writing, serving as fiscal agent, sharing expertise, conducting a needs assessment, and pledging money to the project. Conversations about supporting the project are happening in all six counties in ISU Extension and Outreach Region 4.
- In the news: On Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa (Oct. 13, 2017) Kristi Cooper, human sciences specialist, and author Carol Bodensteiner discussed growing up in Iowa. See the October 2017 issue of Journal of Extension for an article by Dr. Connie Beecher and Lori Hayungs, human sciences specialist, “Getting Your Message Across: Mobile Phone Text Messaging” (JOE ID 16258TOT).
- During the Iowa Hunger Summit, Christine Hradek, EFNEP and SNAP-Ed coordinator, and Susan DeBlieck, Master Gardener program assistant, were part of a panel discussing donation gardening initiatives to improve healthy food access for Iowans experiencing poverty.
- Several human sciences specialists presented at the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences meeting in Omaha, Neb. Cindy Baumgartner, Jody Gatewood and Jill Weber presented on “Spend Smart. Eat Smart.” Kim Brantner, Cindy Thompson and Joy Rouse, along with Kristen Bieret, a naturalist and Human Sciences Extension and Outreach partner, presented “Growing Up WILD: Reaching Child Care Providers through Collaboration with Naturalists.”
4-H Youth Development
- Iowa 4-H clubs may apply for spring 2018 DuPont Pioneer seed grants for community improvement projects. Intended to stimulate local 4-H clubs to plan and carry out community improvement activities, the grants are “seed money” to help the projects be successful. Applications are due in ISU Extension and Outreach county offices by Jan. 16, 2018.
- On Nov. 1, Iowa 4-H clubs could begin a Race Across Iowa. Clubs take part in the challenge by introducing a variety of healthy living practices during club meetings each month and earn “miles” as they race across ISU Extension and Outreach’s 20 regions. The five clubs that log the most miles and complete the route by the end of June will be recognized for their accomplishments at the Iowa State Fair.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- During the 2017 growing season, the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic hosted nine bi-weekly video conference calls with, on average, 19 campus and county personnel who handle consumer horticulture inquiries. Participants shared advice, lessons learned, and ways to meet clientele needs. They also provided updates on topics ranging from high tunnel production and home demonstration gardens to dicamba drift and emerald ash borer.
- Thirty-three watershed coordinators attended the Iowa Watershed Academy, Oct. 24-25 at the ISU Field Extension Education Lab. ISU Extension and Outreach sponsored the event along with Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil and Water Conservation Society, Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance, Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa DNR, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and the Iowa Watershed Approach.
- Chris Rademacher and Jason Ross, Iowa Pork Industry Center, helped interview this year’s nominees for Master Pork Producer and the Master Pork Partner Award. Since 1942, IPPA and Iowa State have co-sponsored the Master Pork Producer program, recognizing producers for their expertise in the production cycle and understanding of current industry issues, quality assurance, animal identification and well-being and production efficiency. The Master Pork Partner Award was created in 2014 to recognize pork production company employees who have demonstrated positive impacts in their production systems and a commitment to the pork industry’s We Care ethical principles.
- Winter programming for crop-related topics will kick off in the upcoming weeks: Ag Chemical Dealer Updates, Nov. 21 and Dec. 13; the Integrated Crop Management Conference, Nov. 29-30; and the Crop Advantage Series at 14 locations during January.