June 2022 program update
Community and Economic Development
- CED’s Guide Training and Certification program is designed for staff and volunteers who lead guided programs at Iowa’s tourism attractions, including but not limited to museums, nature centers and conservation areas, historic sites, science centers, and agritourism. Participants learn methods and techniques for creating and delivering dynamic guided programs focused on adult visitors, including the unique needs of motorcoach and other travel groups. Those who complete the workshop have the option to receive Professional Guide Certification from Iowa State University. Certification is completed during a one-hour session at each individual’s place of work or an Iowa location of his or her choice. During June, tourism specialist Diane Van Wyngarden will conduct Interpretive Guide Certification at the Mamie Eisenhower Birthplace, Boone; the Carnegie Library Museum, Perry; the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum, Johnston; the Villages of Van Buren County; National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Museum, Knoxville; the Fossil and Prairie Center, Rockford; Visit Pella; and Council Bluffs.
- Each summer, the Iowa League of Cities hosts Small City Workshops across the state. The topics and information presented at these workshops are geared toward the specific needs of Iowa’s small cities, although anyone is welcome to attend. This year’s workshops will be led by Iowa State University faculty who have been working with a group of small towns in Iowa to understand more about what makes people happy living in their rural communities and what efforts seem most successful at keeping people positive about quality of life and optimistic about the future. Erin Mullenix, Biswa Das, and Jennifer Drinkwater will be leading virtual sessions June 16, 22, and 27.
- A partnership with Sioux City’s Rosecrance Women and Children’s Center provided 32 individuals the opportunity to participate in Money Smart – Prioritizing Bills, Protecting Credit, and Managing Debt. Rosecrance is a leading provider of behavioral health services with a nationally recognized addiction treatment program. This effort included providing free national literacy tools. Materials sustain participants’ financial knowledge to prioritize expenses, develop short-term spending plans, and take consumer actions for bills they cannot pay in full or on time. Eighty-eight percent of the participants reported improved financial knowledge and skills.
- On April 25, the first series of ¡Salir Adelante! Pathways to Our Future in Black Hawk County ended. The six-week series, for middle school youth and their families who speak Spanish, is focused on helping youth purse their educational goals. Each week, parents and youth meet separately for an hour and then together for an hour. Childcare and a meal are provided each week. Eight adults and eight youth (and many younger siblings using childcare) participated.
- The ISU SNAP-Ed team participated in a USDA management evaluation May 2–11 with USDA’s Midwest Regional Office. The evaluation included a financial audit, program observations, partner gatherings, and review of program policies and procedures. Such evaluations happen every few years. The review team found no deficiencies and had no concerns. They complimented the partnerships that are behind our work, the efforts to increase service in rural areas, and the quality of our direct education. County employees from Story, Marshall, and Cerro Gordo were observed teaching as part of the review. They also complimented how well prepared our team was for the review.
4-H Youth Development
- Iowa State’s College of Design, in collaboration with 4-H Youth Development, offers an immersive summer experience that provides youth with a sense of what it is like to be a student in the college. Design Dimensions, June 19-24 on-campus, focuses on 2D, 3D, and 4D thinking across disciplines. The camp is appropriate for students interested in all programs offered by the college: architecture, studio/fine arts, community and regional planning, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and landscape architecture. The camp is for students entering grades 9-12, as well as 2022 high school graduates.
- The Iowa AmeriCorps 4-H Outreach program is accepting host site applications for the 2022-2023 program year until June 10. Government, faith-based, nonprofit, or community-based organizations that focus on youth programming are encouraged to apply. Iowa AmeriCorps 4-H service members build capacity, helping their host organization bring new youth curriculum to their community or deliver current programming to new youth audiences. They spearhead community and organizational efforts to provide youth with positive development experiences through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences.
- Nineteen youth from five teams participated in the State Wildlife Habitat Education Program Competition on Saturday, May 21, at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge east of Des Moines. 4-H members tested their wildlife knowledge in a friendly competition, working in teams of three to four. This year’s competition focused on the tallgrass prairie and urban ecoregions and species.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Nine new summary reports from Iowa State’s Research and Demonstration Farms are now available. The reports can be downloaded from the Extension Store and are also available at research farm field days and association meetings. They contain summary articles about crop and livestock research, including row crops, small grains, forages, specialty crops, and other research being conducted across the state. The information is used by farmers, seed companies, veterinarians, and nutritionists – essentially anyone who is involved with agriculture.
- This fall Master Gardener training will be offered in 66 counties. Iowans wishing to complete Master Gardener training register with their county extension office, participate in online learning modules, and attend at least four in-person training sessions organized by their county office. After completing the course, Master Gardener interns complete a 40-hour internship in their training county, sharing their knowledge and skills with the community. Applicants have from June 3 until July 8 to apply for the fall session. Training begins August 22.
- The most recent annual survey of cash rental rates for Iowa farmland showed that rates increased an average of 10.3% in 2022, to $256 per acre. This is the third consecutive and largest uptick in cash rents since 2013. The survey was based on 1,401 responses from farmers, landowners, professional farm managers and realtors, agricultural lenders, and others with knowledge of cash rents for farmland. They supplied information based on their best judgments about typical cash rental rates for high, medium, and low-quality cropland in their counties, as well as for land devoted to production of hay, oat, and pasture. Information about rents for individual farms was not collected.