June 2022 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Michelle Brown, Wayne County parent educator
  • Emily Velisek, Jones County youth coordinator
  • Mari Melvin, Davis County program coordinator
  • Cicely Lawrence, Monroe County NEST coordinator
  • Nicole McCreedy, Monroe County NEST child care provider
  • Marisa Bloom, Scott County families program assistant
  • Johanna Rahbusch, Linn County bookkeeper/office assistant
  • Katey Thompson, Davis County child care provider
  • Michaela Van De Berg, Story County media and ANR program coordinator
  • Nancy Kincaid, Monroe County NEST coordinator
  • Trece Lonneman, Hancock County office administrator
  • Donna Donald, senior manager education extension, Human Sciences
  • Kimberly Anderson, industry extension specialist III, Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Sindy Perez, extension program assistant II, Human Sciences
  • Lauren Carter, graphic designer I, Advancement
  • Tyler Weig, manager programs, 4-H Youth Development
  • Paola Trujillo Lopez, extension program assistant II, Human Sciences
  • Sarah Larkin, customer relations coordinator II, Extension Distribution Center

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Abi Henderson, Jackson County youth coordinator
  • Jennifer Schipper, Sioux County office assistant
  • Megan Stille, Floyd County youth educator
  • John Buntsma, Sioux County Master Gardener assistant
  • Amy Decker, Dubuque County K-12 education coordinator
  • Kaitlyn Deahl, Wayne County youth coordinator
  • Caylin Brommel, Carroll County youth coordinator
  • Brittany McNeeley, Monroe County office assistant
  • Katelyn Herzberg, Emmet County youth coordinator
  • Tony Mensing, industry extension specialist II, Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Mauree Haage, program specialist III, North Central Regional STEM Manager, Vice President for Extension and Outreach
  • Alex Brent, business systems analyst II, Extension Information Technology
  • Antoinette Veldhuizen, program specialist I, Community and Economic Development

July 2022 program update

Human Sciences and Agriculture and Natural Resources

Growing Together Iowa has received $20,000 from Amerigroup, a leading managed care company. This gift marks the second year of support for Growing Together Iowa provided by Amerigroup. The gift is supporting this statewide initiative that will provide approximately 90,000 pounds of fresh produce to area food pantries. Growing Together Iowa combines extension expertise in nutrition education, horticulture, and food safety with a network of ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener volunteers to develop community donation gardens throughout the state. Fresh fruits and vegetables are grown, harvested, and donated to local food pantries.

Human Sciences

  • An Iowan who works at a nonprofit shared their motivation for taking the Remote Work Certificate Course: “Throughout the pandemic, our staff learned how to be flexible working from home. However, when the office opened up and staff started returning to work, it became clear that we needed to set some guidelines for staff who choose to work remotely. Our [supervisor] suggested that staff who want to continue to have the flexibility to work from home would need to complete the [Remote Work Certificate] course. Because of this course, I will be able to work a hybrid schedule where I will have the ability to work in the office as well as at home.”
  • The “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.” program helps individuals with limited incomes build skills and knowledge to make healthy choices easier. A Linn County nutrition educator worked with teachers of English as a Second Language at Kirkwood Community College to integrate the nutrition lessons into their English classes. The students were able to learn and practice new words and phrases about food and health. They enjoyed the opportunity to talk about food and how many of their favorite foods could be part of a healthy diet. This partnership resulted in enrolling 46 participants, with 26 completing and graduating from the program.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • 4R Plus, a science-based framework designed to guide improved nutrient management among farmers, is promoted by a coalition of more than 50 public and private agricultural stakeholders and non-governmental conservation organizations. A recent report from the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll indicates that the initiative is having a positive impact. The approach is called 4R Plus because its core principles all start with the term “right”: the right source of fertilizers, applied at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place.
  • A Life Cycle Assessment is a holistic approach to analyzing the cumulative environmental impacts of different phases of swine production, in a manner that’s easily understood by producers and consumers. A new fact sheet from the Iowa Pork Industry Center and ISU Extension and Outreach looks at three LCAs for the U.S. swine industry, focused on carbon emissions, land occupation, and water usage.
  • Nearly 360 women landowners in Iowa shared their experiences on owning and operating farmland in a recent survey by ISU Extension and Outreach. A majority of women are interested in information about landowner responsibilities, the economics of farmland ownership, crop production costs, and determining the right rental rates.

4-H Youth Development

  • The SWITCH program just wrapped up its sixth year in 41 schools reaching over 2,500 youth in grades 4-8. Schools highlight how the resources and support from Iowa State University and 4-H Youth Development have helped them advance school wellness changes to enhance the well-being of their students and the learning environment of their schools. New program resources are being added this year that will focus on heart health, oral health, mental health, and school staff wellness.
  • The inaugural Career Pathways Academy launched during the Iowa 4-H Conference June 28-30 with approximately 65 youth in grades 8-11 from 26 counties registered. The youth participated in a combination of activities and workshops with other state conference delegates, as well as participating in Career Pathways Academy-specific experiences. Following a virtual workshop later this summer, in-person Find Your Spark Workshops will be held monthly in various regions throughout the state in partnership with a job site or a two-year or four-year college/university and supported by 4-H AmeriCorps members. Youth will have the opportunity to discover, explore, and engage in experiential learning experiences related to agriculture, education, entrepreneurship, healthcare, skilled trades, and STEAM.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2021 Community Visioning Program is entering the design phase of the process, having completed community assessments in spring. In July, Stanton and Farragut will work on goal setting. The two communities also will participate in design workshops, as will Riverside, Aplington, and Shell Rock.
  • 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 July, CED specialists will conduct strategic planning for the Wayland Community Childcare Board and the United Way Great River Region board members and staff in Keokuk.
  • The annual Iowa Municipal Professionals Institute and Academy will take place July 18-21 and July 27-29, respectively. This is a targeted training for more than 200 city clerks, finance officers, and other city staff to further professionalism, knowledge, and efficiency in Iowa cities. All training in this venue qualifies for certification in the International Institute of Municipal Clerks as well as the Iowa Municipal Finance Officers Association certification program. MPI and MPA are coordinated by CED and the Iowa League of Cities, and several CED specialists will be teaching courses.

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