Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team
- The Food Preservation 101 work team is providing this educational opportunity online seven times, May through September. Renee Sweers, Holly Van Heel, Jill Weber, and Kelsey Salow are the educators providing the classes, which are offered statewide. An update from the June 18 online Food Preservation 101 indicates 150 participants registered, with 61 in attendance. The participants were from 27 counties and six other states. Ninety-two percent of participants indicated they were likely or very likely to preserve food at home after having taken the class.
- Nine virtual block team meetings were held in June. Donna Donald facilitated the meetings: the first hour involved conversation with the field specialists; county staff and regional directors were invited to join the second hour. Topics discussed included changes, new service area and team of specialists, 70-20-10 programming guidelines, curriculum review process, use of Conference Planning and Management, late summer/fall programming, online and face-to-face offerings, and Community Chat.
- Due to the high participation in the April and May “Question. Persuade. Refer.” online classes, five additional sessions were held in June. The 19 earlier sessions saw 421 people register and 341 participate. David Brown, Danielle Day, and Dawn Dunnegan are the delivery team.
- The EFNEP and SNAP-Ed staff continue to have success teaching virtually: 115 people have participated in a total of 380 online sessions so far. In addition, Christine Hradek’s team hosted three ISU dietetics interns June 1-12 through completely virtual engagement. The interns helped lead a virtual training for staff.
4-H Youth Development
- The Iowa State Fairgrounds will host a Fair Special Edition: Iowa 4-H and FFA Livestock Show this summer, following the postponement of the 2020 Iowa State Fair. The revised schedule for 4-H livestock shows will be spread out over three weeks and held Thursday through Saturday – Aug. 6-8, 13-15, and 20-22. Information for 4-H families and youth exhibitors can be found on the Iowa State Fair 4-H Livestock page.
- A special exhibition, 4-H Show Iowa, will provide state level recognition to partially replace the loss of learning opportunities due to the postponement of this year’s Iowa State Fair. Included in these virtual celebrations are 4-H Exhibits, Communication Events, and the Awardrobe Clothing Selection. Counties will be encouraged to select exhibits for this special exhibition in a similar manner to how they normally select exhibits and participants for the Iowa State Fair. Volunteer judges will evaluate all exhibits and events. A public showcase of all entries will be made available using the photos of entries and summary information. The public exhibition will be released during the originally planned Iowa State Fair dates, Aug. 13-23.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Five Beef Quality Assurance training programs will be held in northwest Iowa in July and August for beef producers. Major packers still require Beef Quality Assurance certificates and the five trainings will help meet that need. Specific information about dates, times and locations, as well as information about registration and COVID-19-related precautions is available.
- Iowa’s commercial horticulture industry contributes $48 million to the state’s economy each year and provides fresh fruits and vegetables to Iowa consumers. Recognizing the value of this segment of agriculture, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds designated June 22-26 as Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Week. The governor’s proclamation included the request that local Iowa fruit and vegetable producers receive support and recognition for their achievements by celebrating this week across Iowa. Producers can learn more about specialty crop production by watching the Iowa Vegetable Production and Management videos produced by ISU Extension and Outreach, or by visiting the Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development program.
- The Iowa Dairy Goat Farm Survey (Fall 2019), compiled by ISU Extension and Outreach dairy specialists Jenn Bentley and Leo Timms, is available on the ISU Extension Store and dives deep into opportunities and challenges faced by the dairy goat industry. The survey examines topics such as milk production and composition, housing and milking facilities, dairy farm management, and planning for the future.
Community and Economic Development
- The Community Visioning Program resumed in a virtual format in May and has been gradually transitioning to on-site meetings, following the university’s social distancing and safety guidelines. The following communities will be conducting programming objectives meetings in July: Madrid, Mingo, Elkader, Fairfax, and Polk City. Additional meetings will be scheduled as the month progresses.
- The 45th annual Iowa Municipal Professionals Institute and Academy will take place virtually July 20–31. 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.
- Goal Setting is the latest CED programming to be offered virtually. The first workshop, COVID-19 Transition and Recovery, was presented June 30 and July 7 for organizations in Palo Alto County. Sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach Palo Alto County, this collaborative and interactive virtual workshop focused on local economic development and the impacts of COVID-19 transition and recovery. This two-session workshop was offered county-wide for local and county government leaders, economic development organizations, and business and nonprofit partners. Participants received a framework to consider past accomplishments, current issues and trends, on-going commitments, and new or emerging priorities and initiatives.