November 2020 goodbye … and welcome

In November, we said goodbye to the following individuals who left ISU Extension and Outreach:

  • Tenysa Handrock, Clarke County office assistant
  • Jennifer Lamos, Wapello County horticulturist and local foods
  • Kyler Waddle, Louisa County office manager
  • Jerolyne Packer, secretary III, Agriculture Program Services
  • Mary Barber, education extension specialist III, Iowa Concern, Human Sciences
  • Jen Lamos, education extension specialist II, EFNEP, Human Sciences
  • Billie Koester, manager communications, Advancement
  • Gale Francione, extension program assistant II, EFNEP, Human Sciences

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Marissa Foels, Allamakee County youth coordinator
  • Megan Janssen, Emmet County program educator/coordinator
  • Nancy Kincaid, Monroe County NEST coordinator
  • Brenda Lechner, education extension specialist I, Iowa Concern, Human Sciences
  • Demi Johnson, program specialist II, Human Sciences
  • Shannon Hoffman, program specialist II, Human Sciences
  • Olivia Hanlon, education extension specialist I, Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development

December 2020 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

4-H Youth Development

  • State Council members have continued their CloverCast podcast channel that they started this past summer. The first episode introduced the hosts and aired November 4. Episodes will be released the first and third Wednesday of each month. This podcast is in partnership with the Iowa 4-H Foundation and will highlight a variety of 4-H topics throughout the next year.
  • Members of Collegiate 4-H at Iowa State University worked together to create short, accessible training videos for each club officer role. They also teamed up to create a parliamentary demonstration video. These videos are being piloted by eight counties throughout the fall and winter. The videos surround the training and descriptions from 4-H’s current “So You’re Club President …” series.
  • SWITCH is wrapping up the training phase in preparation for program implementation in January. Seventy-three people, including school and 4-H staff from across Iowa, tuned in for the virtual SWITCH Conference on October 22. Nine PE Warm-up videos have been filmed and will be available for SWITCH schools to use as brain breaks or warm-ups for PE class. Teachers can share these videos in their classroom face-to-face or virtually. The first video, Pedometer Challenge, is available to view on the SWITCH YouTube channel. Four SWITCH website help sessions were held through the end of October and beginning of December. School and 4-H staff attended these sessions to review the process of uploaded classes and students into the SWITCH website, as well as how to print Welcome Letters for parents.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • ISU Extension and Outreach, in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, will offer manure training and certification workshops in January and February 2021. Confinement site manure applicators and anyone interested in learning about manure issues are invited to attend Confinement Site Manure Applicator Workshops scheduled in January and February. Dry Manure Applicator Certification Workshops for dry/solid manure operators are scheduled at six different dates and locations in February.
  • A virtual Boots in the Barn for Dairy Women, a three-part series for women involved in a dairy operation or industry and will be held as a webinar series on January 22, 29 and February 5, 2021 via Zoom.
  • The Water Rocks! program is delivering virtual, interactive science-based lessons to individual classrooms in Iowa schools. Water Rocks! Live Streaming debuted in November and incorporates live presentations, music, guest experts, and online scavenger hunts facilitated through shared Google docs.

Community and Economic Development

  • CED specialists facilitated the Rural Housing Readiness Assessment with Central City in December. It guides communities in considering options that ensure existing and potential residents can find safe, secure, and quality housing that meets their needs and fits within their budgets. The assessment checklists aid in the creation of local housing policy that is appropriate for community needs and desires.
  • CED provides goal setting, strategic planning, and action planning services to help local governments and nonprofits address critical issues, identify priorities, and develop plans to accomplish those priorities. In December CED specialists conducted strategic planning for National 4-H Equity and Iowa 4-H.

Human Sciences

  • As the pandemic continued, human sciences specialists offered Environment Rating Scale Trainings virtually through Zoom and Canvas. This allowed Human Sciences to continue to meet the need for these trainings and open them to providers statewide, making the trainings more accessible. Throughout the spring and fall classes were offered virtually on the following scales: infant/toddler (14 classes), early childhood (8), school-age care (1), and family child care (2). There have been roughly 295 participants in these series through October.
  • Iowans struggled to find food at the grocery store during the pandemic and began starting or expanding vegetable gardens. Human Sciences responded by providing free, online food preservation classes. Seven basic food preservation sessions were held with 339 participants from 80 Iowa counties, 20 other states, and Canada. Due to participant feedback and in keeping with pandemic restrictions, additional sessions were offered on seasonal apple and tomato preservation, reaching 111 participants from 50 Iowa counties and 6 other states. Overall, 450 participants attended a preservation class and 75% of the participants indicated they were very likely to preserve food after taking a class.
  • The following data represent both SNAP-Ed and EFNEP-funded direct education work that includes both “Buy, Eat, Live Healthy” and “Plan, Shop, Save, and Cook.” There were 1,096 total participants. This is seven more participants than FY 2019 and the second year in a row of increased participation. In addition: 94% were female, with the majority being age 21-49; 52% self-identified as part of an underserved racial or ethnic group; 58% had income at or below 100% of the federal poverty level; more than 72% received public assistance; 91% improved their diet quality; 82% increased their physical activity; 74% improved food safety practices; 38% reported increased food security; and 84% reported improved food resource management. The behavior change measured is similar regardless of teaching mode (face-to-face or virtual).

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