January 2021 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Registration is still open for CropsTV and subscribers can interact live with ISU Extension and Outreach specialists through February 4 to gain crop production information and Certified Crop Adviser continuing education. Content also is available for viewing on demand. More than 800 subscribers from Iowa and 14 other states have already stacked up over 5,500 episode views.
  • Extension dairy experts will present a Virtual Dairy Day February 9. Producers and industry partners will have a chance to hear about current and relevant information to help them make sound management decisions.
  • The Pesticide Safety Education Program will host statewide online 2020-2021 Private pesticide applicator Continuing Instruction Courses, beginning January 20. PSEP will offer additional virtual P-CIC programs in February, March, and April.
  • An interactive online-only course will be offered on January 20 and 21 leading to Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance designation as a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule. The course is being offered jointly by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative program and the American Feed Industry Association.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2021 Community Visioning Program kicks off virtually in January with Program Overview and Communications Strategies virtual workshops for Calamus, Wheatland, Emmetsburg, Shenandoah, Malvern, Tama, Toledo, and Princeton.
  • In cooperation with the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Community Development Block Grant technical assistance fund, CED specialists will be conducting Rural Housing Readiness Assessment educational workshops for Keokuk, with Ohio State University for Noble County, Ohio, and for Nevada. CED specialists will teach RHRA workshops #1 and #2 for Estherville.
  • 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 January CED specialists will conduct strategic planning for the American Poultry Association, National 4-H Equity Design Team, and Salud! in Storm Lake. CED specialists will facilitate goal setting for the National Extension Tourism Board.
  • CED staff will be conducting virtual Navigating Difference modules 2 and 3 for Cedar Valley Catholic Schools in Waterloo and Centro Latino in Council Bluffs.

Human Sciences

  • ISU SNAP-Ed helped Table to Table, a nonprofit food rescue in Iowa City, fund increased service during the growing season to increase access to fruits and vegetables in food pantries in Southeast Iowa. During this past growing season, Table to Table collaborated with six farms, 11 gardeners, and 40 businesses to collect 512,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
  • Human sciences specialists facilitated an online offering of Preschoolers and Pennies: Read, Talk, Learn, and Play. Thirty-one childcare providers from 16 Iowa counties attended the two-hour workshop. Each completed an action plan that included writing a goal using what they learned.
  • COVID-19 amplifies the challenges of caregiving. Our Powerful Tools for Caregivers master trainers developed a plan for online, virtual class leader trainings. From May through September 2020, 58 individuals were trained to become certified class leaders.
  • Nutrition and wellness state specialists and a graduate student in food science and human nutrition have a new Journal of Extension article on assessing and responding to COVID-19 pandemic nutrition and wellness impacts on Iowans.

4-H Youth Development

  • ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Space Grant Consortium will be sponsoring 10 StoryWalk pilots. One will occur this winter, while the rest will take place in the spring. The StoryWalk team is working with extension offices in Pocahontas, Marshall, O’Brien, Guthrie, Cass, Jasper, Allamakee, Monroe, and Mahaska counties.
  • The State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa is virtual this year. SSTFI is open to any student (grades 6-12) residing in or attending school (public, private, parochial, and home school) in Iowa. At this time there is no qualifier fair (local, conference, district, or regional) required for participation in the March event. To learn more, please visit the Iowa 4-H SSTFI webpage.
  • The 4th annual Healthy Living Club Challenge has begun. Clubs and staff teams are invited to focus on their different dimensions of well-being to learn, grow, and explore ways to practice a variety of healthy habits. Wellness officers from participating clubs meet monthly to learn about the upcoming month’s club activities so they can coordinate it locally.
  • The National 4-H Healthy Living Summit will be held virtually February 12-15. While the 4-H Healthy Living Ambassadors will miss the Washington, D.C., experience, they are excited to invite their peers from across the state to join in the virtual experience. Teens from across the state are encouraged to participate.

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