October 2020 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Community and Economic Development

  • The Rural Housing Readiness Assessment helps communities self-assess their housing needs and guides them in the decision-making process when addressing those needs. In October CED specialists will be conducting RHRA workshop #3 with Creston and workshop #1 with Keokuk. The program is virtual and funded by the Empower Rural Iowa grant through IEDA and the Office of the Governor. By invitation of Ohio State University Extension, CED specialists will be delivering RHRA workshop #1 virtually in Noble County, Ohio, also in October.
  • CED specialists will perform and facilitate a process evaluation for Leading Communities: A Place-Based Leadership Program taking place in New Hampton (ISU Extension and Outreach Chickasaw County) in October.
  • CED specialists will be working with Salud! Multicultural Health Coalition of Storm Lake to craft a new vision and mission statement. The October workshops are virtual and supported by ISU Extension and Outreach Buena Vista County.

Human Sciences

  • Human Sciences collaborated with Mt. Pleasant Corrections and FDIC to offer the Money Smart curriculum online at the corrections facility. Prior to the pandemic, Human Sciences had offered face-to-face classes at the facility.
  • The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 has completed four face-to -face trainings in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Missouri. Safety measures were put into place to keep people safe and healthy. No illnesses had been reported at the two-week check-in with the training sites.
  • In collaboration with COVID Recovery Iowa, ISU Extension and Outreach is offering “I Worry All the Time: Resources for Life in a Pandemic”. The virtual program was held on four dates during August and September.
  • From mid-June through mid-September, the nutrition and wellness team of educators have safely provided 71 ServSafe® in-person classes with 544 people in attendance. This effort supported Iowa’s restaurants and food establishments as they attempted to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the summer.

4-H Youth Development

  • 4-H Youth Development has launched a new Iowa 4-H STEM webpage to share information about programs happening around the state. 4-H STEM programs work to engage youth through hands-on experiences that connect to their lives and respond to their interests. 4-H programs use hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, and math to teach problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, and inspire kids to explore STEM professions.
  • The 4-H virtual learning team surveyed counties to determine the usefulness of the On the Go publications series created this summer. There have been over 2,800 downloads from the Extension Store. Forty-four county staff members responded that they used these publications to create an estimated total of over 28,000 to-go lessons distributed to Iowa youth.
  • The Collegiate 4-H Club at Iowa State University hosted a successful, in-person welcome event for new members to kick off the new school year, with 26 college students in attendance. The event was held outside the state 4-H office with social distancing guidelines followed. The club will host their main meetings virtually this semester and continue inviting guest speakers to present virtually.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • A new series of videos on performing visual soil health assessments is now available on the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Agriculture and Natural Resources YouTube channel. The videos explain the basics of how to perform visual assessments and demonstrate some simple, on-farm methods that can be used for assessing compaction, water infiltration, aggregation, temperature, biology, and decomposition in soils.
  • It is the end of an era for the popular Hortline telephone service at ISU Extension and Outreach. Richard Jauron, the most recognizable voice behind the Iowa State University consumer horticulture effort, has retired after more than 36 years of dedicated service. Resources can be found on the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Horticulture and Home Pest News website. An extensive amount of horticulture information is available, all searchable by resource, topic or keyword.

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