John Lawrence’s message from Aug. 13, 2018
We’re a few days into the 2018 Iowa State Fair and so far I have visited with 4-H alumni and friends, identified weeds (or at least, I tried), cheered as Cy stomped grapes, toured the Master Gardeners’ Discovery Garden, and encouraged extension staff and volunteers working at exhibits throughout the fairgrounds. Before the fair is over, I’ll be taking in a few 4-H livestock shows and the 4-H Hall of Fame. I may even work the grill for the Iowa Pork Producers.
You’ll always find extension professionals at the Iowa State Fair, serving research-based education and information to fairgoers, because something deep fried or on a stick won’t sustain folks long-term. This year you’ll also find strategically placed, red buckets at some ISU Extension and Outreach venues: the grape stomp by Grandfather’s Barn, the 4-H beef and swine barns, and the Master Gardeners’ Discovery Garden. So why did we print our wordmark on buckets? Because they’re useful and they’re easy to find in a crowd, just like extension people in our red shirts. Did you know?
- The Iowa State Fair provides an opportunity to connect with Iowans who may not be familiar with our research, education and extension experiences.
- State Fair also provides a way to connect with audiences who currently are underrepresented in our programs.
- Some fairgoers may be familiar with 4-H, but they may not understand how it relates to Iowa State and ISU Extension and Outreach. The fair provides an opportunity to build awareness of this important connection.
The Iowa State Fair is an entry point to ISU Extension and Outreach. We offer visitors the opportunity to continue engaging and connecting with us long after the fair is over.
More about the buckets
On 4-H Day at the fair, 251 fairgoers entered a drawing for one of our red buckets filled with ISU Extension and Outreach merchandise, including tote bags, pens, pencils, a water bottle, a rain gauge and measuring spoons.
FYI: A limited number of empty buckets are available from the Extension Store. For only $13, one of these buckets can be yours – and you can fill it yourself.
One more note: On Aug. 3, Andrea Nelson, Chad Higgins and I hosted a webinar to talk with 4-H staff about the transition in 4-H leadership. (The archive of the webinar is available.) Iowa 4-H simply has had a change in leadership. 4-H has not changed direction. We will continue to strengthen our core of clubs, curriculum and volunteers, and we will continue to actively recruit new participants. We are committed to being inclusive and welcoming, and to fulfilling the national 4-H goal of having members, volunteers and staff who reflect Iowa’s population.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach