April 2022 program update

4-H Youth Development

  • Iowa 4-H members practiced and tested their leadership, communications, and college and career readiness skills as they participated in the annual State 4-H Recognition Day interviews March 27 at Iowa State University. This statewide event, held each spring, is the culmination of the year’s recognition process.
  • 4-H Youth Development is seeking 13 Iowa families to host 12 Japanese youth delegates and one Japanese adult chaperone this summer as part of the States’ 4-H Exchange program. This program is designed to focus on daily life in Iowa households. Through 4-H International Programs, youth and adults have opportunities to build global citizenship as they connect with others from around the world.
  • During the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa, 398 junior and senior high-school students from across the state competed for prizes, awards and scholarships valued at over $75,000. Winners are now listed on the SSTFI website’s awards page. The competition for youth in grades 6-12 addresses the Next Generation Science Standards’ call for students to create scientific research using the practices of science and engineering, including critical thinking and communication skills.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • The 2022 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey includes 122 responses and nearly 3,400 custom rates for tasks related to tillage, planting and seeding, spraying, harvesting, farm labor, and more. Most custom rates saw an increase of 3-10%, and the cost for labor increased almost 14%, according to Alejandro Plastina, associate professor in economics and extension economist, and an author of the report. Plastina said the survey information is meant to be a starting point for farmers and agribusiness to engage in conversations and negotiations.
  • Rob Davis, the new water quality measurement coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach, will help with the ongoing effort to make the data and other resources of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy more interactive and available online. Progress made toward the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals has been reported by the strategy management team since 2014. To facilitate public access to data, a web-based dashboard went live in 2021. Three additional measurable indicators – inputs, human, and water – will be implemented in 2022 and 2023.

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 Community and Economic Development. Topics covered during the series include city finance and budgeting, meeting procedures, municipal law, economic development, ethics and fraud prevention, nuisance abatement, personnel issues, and land use and zoning. Part three of the training is designed for those looking for more in-depth information on the challenges facing cities. Like any MLA session, this training is appropriate for newly elected or veteran city officials as well as appointed city officials. In April MLA Part Three is being offered in Iowa City, Emmetsburg, Red Oak, and Des Moines, as well as one virtual session on April 21.
  • A statewide Guide Training Workshop, April 26 in Johnston, features practical tips and techniques for creating and delivering dynamic guided programs, with a focus on adult visitors. This program was designed especially for staff and volunteers who lead guided programs at Iowa’s diverse attractions, including parks and conservation areas, museums, downtown walking tours, historic sites, agritourism, retail and industry tours, and city leaders who provide community tours to prospective new residents.

Human Sciences

  • Farm and Ranch Wellness: Meeting Local Needs is a collaborative project between ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, funded by USDA. This project was developed to strengthen local outreach consultations to individuals engaged in farming and their advocates regarding available key stress assistance programs. Since October 2021, this project has provided 1,142 on-to-one direct consultations to agribusiness related organizations and 4,487 indirect group consultations and has distributed 10,575 farm stress related resource publications.
  • ISU SNAP-Ed helps 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 Southeast Iowa food pantries. During this past growing season, Table to Table partnered with 9 farms, 30+ gardeners, and 40 businesses to collect 555,102 pounds of fruits, vegetables, and dairy. ISU SNAP-Ed was a partner in the launch and scale-up of their gleaning initiative, which represents 37,000 pounds of this harvest. Table to Table is confident they can now sustain the increased produce rescue during the growing season without funding support from SNAP-Ed. In 2022, the partnership will transition to support training for emergency food service organizations on creating supportive, respectful environments for shoppers.

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