March 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2018 Community Visioning Program will be conducting a series of transportation assets and barriers focus-group workshops in 10 communities. The series is part of the assessment process that the program conducts in client communities to provide local decision makers a framework within which to make informed choices. In March, transportation assets and barriers workshops will be conducted in Coon Rapids, Peterson, Glidden, Decorah and Corning. CED specialists Abbie Gaffey, Eric Christianson and Scott Timm will assist in facilitating the focus groups.
  • CED specialists Jill Sokness and Jon Wolseth will be presenting an overview of the new CED leadership program, Leading Communities, in Storm Lake on March 8, in advance of starting the program in April. This Leading Communities program is made possible in part by a Vice President for Extension and Outreach initiative and will feature the creation of an additional module addressing immigrant social capital. On March 14, Himar Hernández, Shelley Oltmans and Jon Wolseth will deliver the Leading Communities program in Mount Pleasant.
  • CED specialists Scott Timm and Jill Sokness will coordinate energy-efficiency evaluations for local, Latino-owned businesses in Sioux City through MidAmerican Energy March 14–16. Sokness is connecting local businesses to this service and Timm is the liaison to the energy company and will serve as Spanish-language interpreter on the days of the evaluations.
  • Extension CED staff will be conducting a Navigating Difference© training workshop in West Des Moines on March 13.

Human Sciences

  • Human Sciences Extension and Outreach specialists Malisa Rader, Brenda Schmitt, Barbara Dunn Swanson and Vera Stokes attended the National Land-Grant Diversity Conference in Kentucky. They shared Human Sciences Extension and Outreach efforts with diversity and inclusion. They also learned much from their counterparts across the country, including the concept of equitable civic engagement and the role privilege plays in diversity. The conference provided a good reminder to make sure our target audiences are at the table, identifying what they need, and also to have the community help us design, deliver and evaluate programs.
  • Growing Together Iowa funding awards were announced in February. The 26 funded projects are in the following counties: Black Hawk, Bremer, Boone, Buchanan, Buena Vista, Cass, Cherokee, Clayton, Dallas, Des Moines, Dubuque, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, Marshall, Monona, Muscatine, O’Brien, Osceola, Polk, Poweshiek, Story, West Pottawattamie and Woodbury.
  • Suzanne Bartholomae, family finance state specialist, and co-authors Maria Pippidis from University of Delaware and Elizabeth Kiss from Kansas State University have released “Cooperative Extension’s Capacity to Demonstrate Impact in Financial Capability and Well-Being: A Briefing Paper.” They build the case for creating one system for reporting Cooperative Extension’s family resource management impact nationally and sharing Extension’s story with a broader audience, whether stakeholders, funders or the research community.

4-H Youth Development

  • State 4-H Recognition Day is March 24 on campus. 4-H’ers will be interviewed for opportunities including the National 4-H Conference, National 4-H Congress, State 4-H Council, State Project Awards and the State 4-H Shooting Sports Ambassador Program.
  • The 2018 4-H Maize Retreat is April 13-15. Through this culturally based youth leadership accelerator, youth in grades 8-12 explore 4-H and Iowa State University. Youth participants from across Iowa will gather to experience 4-H healthy living, STEM, civic engagement, leadership, and communication and the arts programs through a Latino and Native American perspective.
  • The 2018 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference is June 26-28. This year’s theme is “Your Passport to Adventure.” Registration is planned to open mid-March.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Iowa State University faculty and staff provided education for pork producers at the Iowa Pork Congress in January. Extension specialists were present both days of the event and offered training opportunities for pork quality assurance and transport quality assurance. Also presented at the event was “How NOT to fail an Audit: Euthanasia and other considerations.” Euthanasia is a critical part of the Common Swine Industry Audit; this session was designed to improve participants’ confidence in their ability to recognize compromised pigs and talk through the euthanasia process. The Iowa Pork Industry Center is taking the lead on an industry-wide project on sow mortality. Meetings with farm owners and allied partners began in November 2017 and are scheduled to June 2018.
  • Boots in the Barn, a new program for women dairy producers, was developed and delivered in a three-part series during January and February. The program was held in Dyersville to serve the needs of women dairy farmers in Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque counties. These three counties have strong dairy operations and represent 25 percent of Iowa’s dairy herds. Topics for the first two sessions were milk quality and udder health, and feed quality. The third session was led by Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine staff. The session provided participants the simulated opportunity to deliver a fully jointed, life-size calf, using a model, and also to practice difficult deliveries.
  • Seventy individuals attended the third Iowa Small Farms Conference on Feb. 10 at the Scheman Building in Ames. Nine breakout sessions were held; three were hands-on sessions. When conference attendees were asked what changes they would make after attending the conference, 34 percent indicated they would be making some changes or modifications to their small farm based on the information they received. The most intended changes included adding bees, using enterprise budgets, installing drip irrigation, harvesting maple syrup and growing mushrooms.

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