Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team
Community and Economic Development
- Iowa’s Living Roadways 22nd annual celebration is Nov. 16. Extension Community and Economic Development is the administering unit for the ILR Community Visioning Program. During the event, the 2018 visioning communities will showcase the design projects proposed through the process. In addition, representatives from the 2018 visioning communities will be in attendance to kick off the 2019 program. CED specialist Scott Timm is attending the event as part of the Decorah visioning steering committee.
- CED specialist Jane Goeken developed a Grant Writing 101 workshop because communities had indicated an interest in and a need for grant-writing skills to find financing for community projects. In November, she will present Grant Writing 101 in Ida Grove and Jefferson. She also will meet with foundation officials in Sioux City and Fort Dodge to discuss the workshop.
- Tourism efforts from CED specialist Diane Van Wyngarden in November include conducting onsite agritourism consultations with business owners in Johnson County; facilitating an Iowa group travel session with motor coach operators from across the United States; conducting an Iowa tourism needs assessment session with group travel business owners; and meeting with central Iowa tourism leaders.
- CED specialists Himar Hernández and Brian Perry will be presenting the CED leadership program, Leading Communities, in Henry County on Nov. 20. This program is made possible in part by an ISU Vice President for Extension and Outreach initiative.
- Family life extension state specialist Lesia Oesterreich has received the 2018 Excellence in Extension Award given by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The award is given each year to one Cooperative Extension professional “who excels at programming, provides visionary leadership and makes a positive impact on constituents served.” The Essentials Child Care Preservice Online program is an example of Lesia’s work and impacts. Since the 12-hour educational offering was implemented in September 2016, the total number of participants is 28,505. The monthly average number of participants enrolling is 874. The monthly average number of modules completed during the last quarter is 7,473. The total number of modules completed and certificates earned since the inception of the program is 260,720.
- In Northeast Iowa, Cindy Thompson, a human sciences specialist in family life, is leading Nature Explore, an educational program of the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. This effort focuses on providing research-based workshops, design consultations and resources to connect children and families to nature. Two all-day workshops, Learning with Nature and Using Your Outdoor Classroom, reached 33 participants from Allamakee, Clayton, Chickasaw, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard, Wayne and Winneshiek counties.
- The Growing Together Iowa donation garden total is 75,618 pounds harvested during the 2018 growing season. In addition, the Donation Gardening Toolkit, which supports the Growing Together Iowa mini-grant projects, is live. It provides background on poverty, healthy food access, and guidance on planting, harvesting, food safety, and volunteers.
4-H Youth Development
- In October, nearly 80 Des Moines multicultural youth and school staff members participated in the first Polk County 4-H RISE College Access Conference held at Grand View University in Des Moines. The event introduced 4-H to youth who have been underrepresented in 4-H programs. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County sponsored the event, which included several sessions focused on leadership development, team-building and college and career exploration.
- Nearly 60 youth participated in the Ujima/AAPI Culturally Based Youth Leadership Accelerator held in September. This retreat provided youth in grades 8-12 the opportunity to explore the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program through an African, African-American, Pacific Islander, and Asian-American perspective. Youth experienced the Iowa State University campus through college tours and workshops before spending the rest of the retreat at Clover Woods. Youth immersed themselves in learning, culture, new friends and fun throughout the weekend.
- Iowa Schools and Extension staff participating in SWITCH for 2018-19 will be gathering on ISU campus Nov. 8-9 for the Annual SWITCH Conference. A new feature with the middle school pilot is to invite schools to bring a team of youth who will be trained to be SWITCH ambassadors at their school. 4-H will be leading the coordination of the youth portion of the training at the SWITCH Conference.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- European Corn Borer – Ecology and Management and Association with other Corn Pests (NCR 0327) is available in the ISU Extension Store. It’s an extensive update of the popular 1996 version published by the North Central Region. The European corn borer originated in Eurasia and was accidentally introduced into North America, readily adopting corn as a host and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in crop loss.
- Twelve Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars will be held across Iowa in November and December. ISU Extension and Outreach economists will offer insights on key factors impacting 2019 operating decisions. Each three-hour seminar includes information on grain price outlook and global factors to watch, livestock prices and margins, and farmland operating margins, outlook and trends. A full list of dates and locations can be found on the Ag Decision Maker website.
- The 2019 Garden Calendar is still 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.