February 2022 program update

Community and Economic Development

  • CED’s Geospatial Technology Program is offering a completely revamped Esri workshop for ArcGIS Pro for a variety of audiences. Over two days participants will be introduced to the essentials of ArcGIS Pro, including its interface, basic geoprocessing tools, and map-making essentials. This offering also includes a one-year student subscription to ArcGIS Pro. The first workshop will take place in Ames February 17–18.
  • CED specialists delivered “Parliamentary Procedures,” Introduction to Planning and Zoning training, and “Principles of Effective Management” at the Municipal Professionals Institute 2022 Winter Session virtually February 9–11. Each year, MPI provides Iowa clerks and finance officers with training that gives them the basic framework of how municipalities function and assists them with their day-to-day duties.
  • The food systems team is hosting the 8th Community Food Systems Annual Event February 24-25 at the West Des Moines Marriott. The conference highlights best practices around the nation in all community food systems areas. Presentations will focus on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and will discuss strategies for moving food systems forward.

Human Sciences

  • Carol Ehlers, family wellbeing specialist, has served on the state Women in Ag Committee since 2019. During this time, Carol worked to create an updated curriculum for Annie’s Project programs that could be presented by family wellbeing specialists. In January, Carol presented the final product – Benchmarking Family Living Expenses in Agriculture – to family wellbeing and farm management specialists. The family wellbeing specialists are now trained to teach a consistent class for the Annie’s Project programs across the state.
  • Dr. Suzanne Bartholomae, Carolyn Steckelberg, and Barb Wollan are extending Human Sciences expertise to ISU employees. They are offering new financial wellbeing resources to ISU employees in partnership with University Human Resources and the wellness program. FINRA, the financial industry regulatory authority, is providing partial funding. Barb Wollan, family wellbeing specialist, has been teaching the one-hour virtual workshops: Time for a Financial Checkup (January), Money Smart: Taking Control of Your $ (February), Mission Possible: Savings (March), and Borrowing Smart (March).

4-H Youth Development

  • Iowa 4-H has interviewed and selected three collegiate students across Iowa to participate in the IFYE program in summer 2022. (IFYE formerly was known as International 4-H Youth Exchange.) These students will spend two to six months abroad with host families as they dive into a new culture and way of life. They will broaden their global awareness as they learn by doing. They’ll join in all aspects of family life – sharing quiet moments, enjoying family outings, and joining community activities as well as helping with household and family chores.
  • Seventy-three Iowa 4-H teenagers had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with their state legislators on Feb. 10 during the Iowa Legislative Insider at the Iowa State Capitol. The Iowa Extension Council Association offered the event in partnership with the 4-H Youth Development program. Youth participants were able to connect with their county extension council members, who served as mentors during the event, as well as meet members of the Iowa House of Representatives and Senate to discuss issues affecting youth.

Agriculture and Natural Resource

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a $1.2 million award to fund a high-clearance robotic irrigation system that will eventually be used in Iowa. The project, which aligns nutrient application timing to a crop’s nutrient needs to improve efficiency and reduce nutrient loss, is a collaborative of Iowa State University, the 360 Yield Center, and The Ohio State University. Engineers with ISU Extension and Outreach are directly involved with the project.
  • Crop farmers have until March 15 to make their annual election for Price Loss Coverage or Agriculture Risk Coverage (at the individual or county levels) under the 2018 Farm Bill. This annual decision impacts the 2022 crop year, consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill. Similar annual decisions, for the 2023 crop year, will coincide with the final year of the bill. To help Iowans understand their options for 2022, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is holding a variety of upcoming meetings, with support from USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Human Sciences and Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • In 2022 a record number of communities across Iowa are slated to receive Growing Together Mini-Grants through ISU Extension and Outreach’s SNAP-Education program. A total of 36 projects are being funded, with the goal of increasing food security and promoting healthy food access. Master Gardener volunteers plant donation gardens with partners, support their community with plant-a-row programs to get more produce into food pantries, and glean fresh produce from farmers markets and home gardeners. All produce is donated to local food pantries, food banks and other food distribution sites.

January 2022 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Jamila Shing-Hon, Johnson County GAP coordinator
  • Shawn Tabke, Woodbuy County horticulture coordinator
  • Haley Mostaert, Cedar County 4-H program coordinator
  • Michelle Sillman, Linn County communications and PR director
  • Molly Gordon, Monroe County Nest child care provider
  • Kathleen Owens, Polk County office assistant
  • Cassidy Stoecker, AmeriCorps, 4-H Youth Development
  • Brian Tapp, manager programs, Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development
  • Jonni Lenzini, program assistant II, Conference Planning and Management Registration Services

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Sondra Helgerson, Dubuque County director
  • Kaitlyn Rausch, Delaware County K-12 youth education coordinator
  • Kathrine Roth, Henry County parenting
  • Thomas Viner, Johnson County office assistant
  • Jill McKeen, Floyd County nutritionist
  • Laura Anderson, AmeriCorps, 4-H Youth Development
  • Megan Carlson, education extension specialist II, 4-H Youth Development
  • Lori Mitchell, education extension specialist II, 4-H Youth Development
  • Mary Taggs, education extension specialist II, 4-H Youth Development
  • Courtney May, Region 25 director, County Services
  • Meg Sage, education extension specialist II, 4-H Youth Development
  • Amanda Karges, graphic designer I, Advancement multimedia and creative services
  • Mark Reinig, industry extension specialist III, Community and Economic Development
  • Lori Oh, budget and finance specialist II, Extension Finance

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