Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team
- For every $1 invested in the “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy” program, $2.48 is saved in future health care costs, based on a recent evaluation by Helen Jensen in the ISU Center for Agriculture and Rural Development. “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy” is a free program that helps parents learn how to provide nutritious food for their families, leading to healthy children and strong families. Of participants who graduated from the program in 2017: 41 percent improved their whole grain consumption, 45 percent improved their fruit consumption, 46 percent improved their vegetable consumption, and 49 percent improved their dairy consumption. In addition, 58 percent reduced their intake of solid fats and added sugars, 47 percent increased their physical activity, and 68 percent improved their practice of food safety behaviors. Also, 86 percent improved their food resource management skills, including food budgeting and being less likely to run out of food by the end of the month.
- Ellen McKinney, an assistant professor in apparel, events and hospitality management, and her students shared examples of wearable technology during the 4-H National Youth Science Day event at Franklin Middle School in Cedar Rapids. She also discussed her research on the solar powered jacket, which involved the engineering field as well as textiles. This is an example of our land-grant mission at work and shows how ISU Extension and Outreach plays a part in not only bridging university research/scholarship activities with communities, but also providing Iowa State students with opportunities to engage beyond their classrooms.
4-H Youth Development
- Photography is one of Iowa 4-H’s fastest growing project areas, with 11,000 Iowa youth participating. Camera Corps alone saw a 49 percent year-over-year increase in 2017 with youth from 85 Iowa counties participating in the program. Iowans can vote for their favorite pictures by liking the Iowa 4-H Facebook page or searching #iowa4hcameracorps.
- 4-H works with schools to promote healthy living. Twenty-five schools from across Iowa are participating in the 2017-2018 SWITCH program, a school wellness program that challenges youth to switch what they do, view and chew. Participating schools attended the SWITCH kickoff conference on the ISU campus in November. The SWITCH program is a partnership between Iowa 4-H and the ISU Department of Kinesiology.
- All K-12 youth in extension programs are 4-H’ers. According to the federal definition, any youth taking part in programs that are provided as a result of action by extension personnel (professional, paraprofessional and volunteer) are involved in 4-H. This includes youth participating in culturally based youth accelerators, EFNEP, urban gardening and many other programs that might not use the 4-H name and emblem with participants.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- ISU Extension and Outreach has hosted the November Iowa Egg Industry Symposium for more than a decade. This year 165 participants attended the one-day conference, which attracts producers and industry professionals from Iowa and across the country. The event provides practical information and discussion on hot topics pertaining to egg production and layer management. Iowa’s egg farmers produce more than 15 billion eggs per year, placing Iowa as the nation’s leader in egg production.
- More than 200 producers, industry representatives and academics attended the 17th Annual Iowa Organic Conference on Nov. 20. The event was held in Iowa City near the state’s largest concentration of organic farmers and processors. Participants attended sessions on transitioning into organic farming, weed management, organic livestock production, organic no-till for grain and vegetable crops, and new small grain crops. The conference also included information on soil and water quality research, economic and financial assistance for organic producers and local food system initiatives. The joint effort between Iowa State University and the University of Iowa is the largest university-sponsored organic conference in the country.
Community and Economic Development
- In December Himar Hernandez will be delivering “Abriendo Caminos: Clearing the Path to Hispanic Health” training in Ottumwa. Jon Wolseth will be in Ames participating in the Abriendo Caminos training session for implementation of Round 2 of the pilot project, in conjunction with Human Sciences.
- Diane Van Wyngarden is conducting group travel itinerary training in Pella and group travel business practices training in Winneshiek County. This work is part of CED’s local economies knowledge team.
- Abbie Gaffey and Jon Wolseth will be conducting meetings on housing needs assessment in Ogden and Waukee. This work is part of CED’s local economies team.
- Mary Beth Sprouse will be in Altoona (Zigler CAT) for teaching a session on city finance. She also will conduct a customer service presentation for the staff of Windsor Heights. This work is part of CED’s local governments and nonprofits team.