Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team
Community and Economic Development
- The 2018 Community Visioning Program is in the design stage during which steering committees are reviewing preliminary community design concepts. During July, design review meetings will be conducted in Peterson, Moville, Graettinger and Forest City.
- Cindy Kendall, Cindy Stuve and Elizabeth Gartin will host the 43rd Iowa Municipal Professionals Institute and Academy July 16–27 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. 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.
- Military couples have needs similar to other couples, but also deal with challenges such as frequent relocations, deployments and separations. Military leaders can benefit by being able to reinforce healthy couple and family functioning with those they supervise and command. That is why Human Sciences Extension and Outreach offered Healthy Relationship Education Training for Iowa State’s Army ROTC cadets in April. Anthony Santiago, college projects specialist, and David Brown, human sciences specialist in family life, facilitated the program for 21 Army ROTC senior cadets in collaboration with the Department of Military Science. Evaluation results showed greater understanding of many aspects of relationships: 94 percent of the cadets have a greater knowledge of stress reduction, communication and healthy conflict management; and 100 percent of the cadets are confident they can help individuals and couples support healthy living choices. As one participant stated, “I now have the tools to help future soldiers.”
- Elizabeth Stegemöller, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach summer faculty fellowship recipient, and David Brown, a human sciences specialist in family life, will offer A Journey through Parkinson’s Disease facilitator training for human sciences specialists on Aug. 16. This train-the trainer workshop will enable human sciences specialists from any discipline to provide this educational offering in their communities. The training will review the causes and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and how treatments work. The training also will cover therapeutic activities that can be completed in the home by those who have the disease.
- Sanjuana Graves, a “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.” educator in Scott County, received the Helping Us Grow (HUG) award from the Davenport Community School District for outstanding service. Her work is primarily with pregnant and parenting students at Mid-City High School. The school provides an electric skillet or slow cooker to every student who graduates from “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.”
- Grisel Chavez and Norma Dorado-Robles presented at the Cambio de Colores conference June 7 in Kansas City. Grisel is a “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.” educator in Marshall County and Norma is a current 4-H staff member and former BELH educator. They discussed the work they completed with Mid-Iowa Community Action to provide nutrition education to a group of parents while their children engaged in 4-H activities. The parents’ group consisted of 16 Burmese participants.
4-H Youth Development
- Fifty Iowa 4-H members received 2018 state 4-H project awards. They were recognized for exhibiting exceptional leadership, communication and civic engagement within their project area. The awards are given to 4-H’ers who have displayed mastery, leadership, communication and service in a specific project area. Each youth recipient also was granted a $100 award from Glen and Mary Jo Mente of Ames and the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
- About 700 youth packaged 50,000 meals as their Meals from the Heartland service project at the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. Their service learning continued with a culture fair on central campus. The youth learned dances, made crafts and learned about the history of different cultures in Iowa, including Swedish, African American, Asian, Czech, Latino and more. They also heard from Iowa 4-H alumni who shared their 4-H stories and described how community service and volunteerism has played a role in their lives within their communities and careers. Panelists included Kyle Munson, Senator Dan Zumbach, Rachel Wall, Charlene Watkin, Don McDowell and Cheri Doane.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- A new approach to using social media is helping researchers map the spread of southern corn rust. Research published by the American Phytopathological Society examines the usefulness and feasibility of using social media as a method of disease and pest data sharing among crop scouts, industry agronomists and university extension specialists across the country. Two Twitter accounts, @corndisease and @soydisease, were created to track the appearance of disease in corn and soybeans fields across the country. The project was successfully able to track the movement of southern rust northward, providing advance notice for targeted crop scouting efforts. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists Daren Mueller, Adam Sisson and Rachel Kempker contributed to the publication. Read more about the project.
- Dave Baker has been named director of the ISU Extension and Outreach Beginning Farmer Center. Baker has been with the center since 2006 and had been serving as interim director since January 2018. Created by the Iowa Legislature in 1994, the Beginning Farmer Center assists in facilitating the transition of farming operations from established farmers to beginning farmers.
- The Pocahontas and Webster County Master Gardeners received the 2018 Search for Excellence award for their work in their communities. The winning project in Pocahontas County involved Master Gardeners’ work with the annual Garden Extravaganza, where they led classes on gardening topics while also overseeing an expo that saw 30 venders showcase plants, artwork, tools and supplies related to gardening. Webster County’s award came in the youth garden category, in which they partnered with local 4-H clubs to tend to the historic Frontier Garden at the Fort Museum in Fort Dodge.