Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- The 2019 Garden Calendar is available through the ISU Extension Store. Developed by Richard Jauron, horticulture specialist, the calendar showcases the beauty that can be found in backyards and public spaces throughout the year. The calendar provides space to record the progress of a garden, along with monthly tips that provide timely information for fruits and vegetables, lawn care, trees, shrubs and much more.
- Farm management specialists led farmland leasing meetings across the state during July and August. More than 1,200 people attended 74 meetings. The program focused on farmland ownership and tenure in Iowa, the latest on the economics of cover crop research, discussion on implementing conservation practices, land values and cash rent trends, cost of production, methods for determining a fair rental rate, communication between tenants and landlords, and the latest legal updates that impact farm leases. Attendees received a 100-page workbook with resources regarding land leasing agreements, sample written lease agreements and termination forms and many other ISU Extension and Outreach resources.
- Matt Helmers has been named director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center. Helmers, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and extension agricultural engineer at Iowa State, has long been a part of the center and was a member of the scientific team that worked on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy’s Nonpoint Source Science Assessment. He was also a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board Agricultural Science Committee.
Community and Economic Development
- The 2018 Community Visioning Program is in the implementation planning stage, during which design teams are presenting feasibility reports and steering committees are meeting to plan project implementation. During October, implementation planning meetings will be conducted in Decorah, Peterson and Forest City. Feasibility report reviews will be conducted in Moville, Graettinger and Plymouth.
- The Office of State and Local Government Programs is taking the Municipal Professionals Institute “On The Road” with courses on budgeting, exams and accounting for municipalities throughout October. Extension program specialist Cindy Kendall will be teaching the class in Osceola, Manchester, Emmetsburg, Mount Pleasant, Atlantic and Charles City.
- City and county finance officials and elected members of local governments are entrusted with the task of managing finances and making decisions that impact how much revenue is generated and how efficiently it is spent. With changing demographics, state mandated laws and citizen attitudes toward taxes, it is becoming increasingly complex and challenging to manage local government finances. The role of financial planning in the budgeting process is important and has significant short- and long-term implications for community and economic development. To help local governments meet these challenges, ISU Extension and Outreach’s Iowa Government Finance Initiative is offering three-hour workshops for local elected officials, appointed officials (finance, planning and economic development), and other stakeholders on issues relating to public finance and community and economic development. The 2018 workshops will be held in Storm Lake, Des Moines, Mason City, Atlantic and Cedar Rapids.
- Extension CED staff will be facilitating Navigating Difference cultural competency training in Orange City and Delaware County during October.
- Human Sciences Extension and Outreach faculty and staff often present at state, regional and national conferences. For example, Deb Sellers, Naomi Meinertz, Sarah Kirby, Andrew Crocker, Sandra McKinnon, Phyllis Zalenski, Barb Wollan and Joyce Lash recently presented at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences conference. David Brown and Anthony Santiago presented at the National Association for Rural Mental Health Conference. Barbara Dunn Swanson, Sandra McKinnon and Barbara Fuller presented at the Epsilon Sigma Phi national conference. Lori Hayungs presented at ISU’s PROSPER Rx Project: Planning to Take Action Against Opioid Misuse in Your Community state conference. Barbara Fuller will present at the Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Conference. Renee Sweers and Rachel Wall will present at the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics state conference.
- Several human sciences specialists recently received awards from the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences: Continued Excellence Award for Iowa, Jill Weber; Distinguished Service Award for Iowa, Joyce Lash; Dean Don Felker Financial Management Award (2nd place National and 1st place Central Region) for Finances of Caregiving, Brenda Schmitt, Mary Weinand, Joyce Lash, Barb Wollan and Suzanne Bartholomae; Human Development/Family Relationships Award (3rd place Central Region) for Growing Strong Families, Kim Brantner and Joy Rouse; Community Partnership Award (3rd place Central Region) for Women United of Story County, Barb Wollan.
- Cathy Hockaday has been selected to serve a three-year tenure in the Fulbright Specialist Program. A human sciences specialist, she is being hosted in Malaysia during September and October by the Malaysian National Anti-Drug Agency, Ministry of Home Affairs, for a special project, the “Developmental Approach in Preventive Drug Education Program.” She is reviewing Malaysia’s family and school-based prevention programs and developing a plan for monitoring and evaluating their evidence-based preventative drug education.
- The “Spend Smart. Eat Smart.” team will be adding physical activity content to the app and website in 2019. Recently, two videos were created that feature at-home activities for cardio and strength training that require little to no equipment.
4-H Youth Development
- YouthFest, the 2018 Iowa 4-H Youth Staff Conference, is Oct. 29-31, at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State campus.
- More than 130 students from New Hampton, Turkey Valley, Howard-Winneshiek, Riceville, Central-Elkader, Wapsie Valley, Charles City and Waverly-Shell Rock school districts participated in the Precision Ag and Animal Science Field Days at Northeast Iowa Research Farm – Borlaug Center. Field days help students in hands-on learning and create awareness of endless possibilities of careers in their community. There are more than 500 different job classifications for animal science careers. Due to increased use of precision agriculture, more technicians are needed to install, operate, troubleshoot and repair systems.
- Forty-six 4-H youth development staff are supporting the dissemination of the SWITCH school wellness program. Extension partners will help conduct meetings, trainings and events with these schools to grow programming capacity and youth engagement opportunities. Thirty-two school districts (37 schools) are participating in the SWITCH elementary program (grades 4-5). Five school districts (11 schools) are piloting the middle school (grades 6-8) version of the program.