December 2021 program update
4-H Youth Development
- Ricochet: An Extreme 4-H Leadership Adventure has been nationally peer-reviewed and accepted by National 4-H Council. The Ricochet team presented at NAE4-HYPD in November and will work through the next steps of having Ricochet available on Shop4H. To purchase the Ricochet curriculum, visit the Extension Store.
- Join this year’s State 4-H Council and guests as they dive into Iowa 4-H topics and program areas during CloverCast Season 3. The youth-led podcast initiative is available on Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcast, and other sources.
- Iowa 4-H is partnering with States’ 4-H International Exchange program to offer international exchange opportunities for 4-H members age 12-18. The States’ 4-H Exchange program offers American youth an opportunity to travel to other countries for a cultural immersion experience. Outbound delegates live with volunteer host families in those countries and engage in experiential learning about a new way of life. Delegates experience aspects of daily life that allow them to better understand both their host culture and their own culture. Iowa 4-H and States’ 4-H Exchange are accepting applications from current 4-H youth, ages 12-18, who would like to travel abroad and also from those interested in being a host family for Japanese youth for summer 2022. Deadline to apply online is January 15. All States’ 4-H Exchange inbound and outbound programs are subject to change based on COVID-19 regulations in participating countries at time of travel.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Iowa Learning Farms is offering a new series of in-person social outreach events aimed at engaging farmers in informal conversations about conservation topics that may be on their minds. “Coffee and Conservation” and “Conservation on Tap” debut in December, providing an informal venue for farmers to listen, share, and learn with peers and ISU Extension and Outreach professionals. There will be no formal presentations or agenda, just a chance to talk, ask questions, listen, and learn. The events are produced in collaboration with the Conservation Learning Group and ISU Extension and Outreach county offices.
- Recognizing the many ways that stress impacts dairy farmers and the farming industry at large, extension dairy specialists have recently published a series of publications related to farm stress. Seven Farm and Family Stress Resources publications are available for free download, in addition to four Managing Farm Stress and Distress publications. The publications cover the varying levels of stress, how to prevent and cope with stress, and how to respond after stressful things happen.
- Sixty-four counties will participate in the confinement site manure applicator workshops in January or February 2022. In addition, a series of six dry/solid manure applicator certification workshops will be held in February for either commercial or confinement site manure applicators. ISU Extension and Outreach offers the workshops in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The workshops serve as initial certification for those applicators who are not currently certified, recertification for those renewing licenses and continuing education for those applicators in their second or third year of their license.
Community and Economic Development
- The Municipal Leadership Academy provides elected municipal officials with a curriculum to assist them in effectively meeting the requirements of their office. The program offers a comprehensive overview of Iowa municipal government and is presented by the Iowa League of Cities and the Office of State and Local Government Programs at ISU Extension and Outreach. During December MLA Part One will be offered at Atlantic, Clear Lake, Cherokee, Hiawatha, Des Moines, and virtually.
- Leading Communities: A Place-based Leadership Program is designed to promote community engagement and increase capacity among community members for addressing common issues and problems. During December CED specialists will facilitate the program for Lyon County and Henry County and meet with a planning committee in O’Brien County.
- CED offers goal setting and strategic planning to help local governments and nonprofits address critical issues, identify priorities, and develop action plans to accomplish those priorities. An effective board or council is one that works together toward common goals. Taking time annually as a group to prioritize and plan to move forward is vital for any government or nonprofit group. In December Aimee Viniard-Weideman will conduct the Cedar Falls City Council annual goal setting sessions. Viniard-Weideman and Julie Robison will cofacilitate strategic planning for the Oneota Food Co-op in Decorah.
- Buena Vista County is first in the state to complete PhotoVoice for fall 2021. This educational offering is designed for those who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. The group took pictures centered on the theme of ability – what are they experiencing and ways they are “able.” The group noted their efforts reflect a deep understanding of the disease and, when shared, would raise awareness of the disease within their family and their networks. Stacie Hewett, Buena Vista County office/program coordinator, Renee Sweers, food and health specialist, and Carol Ehlers, family wellbeing specialist, led the group discussion that captured what the Parkinson’s group members saw and how they felt. Sessions 1 and 2 were completed with up to 12 group members, many of whom were a part of the “A Journey through Parkinson’s Disease” pilot. PhotoVoice is a blended workshop from ISU Extension and Outreach and the University of Iowa and is led by Iowa State’s Jel Lee and Elizabeth Stegemöller.
- Thirty-eight human service providers in the Council Bluffs/Omaha metro area became trained suicide prevention gatekeepers during their annual fall training events. Sandra Nassen McKinnon, family wellbeing specialist, facilitated “Question. Persuade. Refer.” in partnership with the Human Services Advisory Council. Sail On and Fly High, a nonprofit, sponsored the training. Pre- and post- survey results indicated an increase in understanding facts and warning signs of suicide. A Human Services Advisory Council member was thankful she participated in the training, as she received a call the next day. The caller’s family member talked about suicide and the caller did not know what to do. The council member had the national suicide prevention lifeline number programmed into her phone, as was suggested in the training, and was able to direct the caller.