August 2022 program update

4-H Youth Development

  • Planning and promotion continue for the upcoming youth-adult mindfulness and mental well-being retreat September 23-25. Dr. Dzung Vo will lead a short virtual workshop at the retreat. Dr. Vo is the author of “The Mindful Teen: Powerful Skills to Help You Handle Stress One Moment at a Time” (the book our 4-H Mindful Teen program is based on) and is an adolescent medicine specialist at British Columbia Children’s Hospital and clinical associate professor with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine.
  • The State 4-H Council wrapped up their 5th annual Pop Tabs for Jacy collection at the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. Jacy McAlexander was a former State Council member who passed away from cancer in 2018 at the age of 17 while serving on the 2017-18 Council. This year’s council had a goal to collect 1,000 pounds or 10 pounds from each of the 100 extension county districts in Iowa. With the help of the counties, the State 4-H Council collected nearly 2,700 pounds of tabs, which equals just over $1,000. All of these tabs will go to the Ronald McDonald Houses in Iowa where Jacy and his family spent over 300 nights and support Jacy’s passion for serving others and giving back.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Attorneys and professional tax preparers can get an update on the latest agricultural law and tax changes at this year’s Agricultural Law Seminar and Farm Tax Workshop, to be held in person and online Sept. 21-22. The Agricultural Law Seminar includes a look at what lies ahead for agriculture, rural property and zoning updates, foreign ownership of farmland, legal issues impacting livestock production, a pipeline update, and more. The Farm Tax Workshop will cover the taxation of conservation payments, retiring a farm partner, charitable contribution options for farmers, a legislative and regulatory update, and more.
  • The recent spread of African Swine Fever in the Dominican Republic emphasizes the importance of foreign animal disease preparedness, including proper biosecurity measures to aid in reducing the risk of introducing a foreign animal disease. The Iowa Pork Industry Center, ISU Extension and Outreach, and Iowa Pork Producers Association have teamed up to provide five workshops throughout the state. The Foreign Animal Disease Preparation for Pork Producers workshops focus on the “next steps” in FAD preparedness at the farm level. Five workshops are set in August and September.

Community and Economic Development

  • The Introduction to Planning and Zoning for Local Officials workshop is a three-hour session designed to introduce the basic principles of land use planning and development management to elected officials, planning and zoning officials, and board of adjustment members without formal training in the subjects. During August CED specialists will be conducting workshops at Fairfax, Bettendorf, and Wahpeton.
  • The Rural Housing Readiness Assessment helps communities self-assess their housing needs and guides them in the decision-making process when addressing those needs. CED continues its collaboration with the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Community Development Block Grant technical assistance fund, conducting RHRA workshops for Albia, Columbus Junction, and Wapello. CED specialists will also introduce representatives from Emmetsburg to the RHRA process in August.
  • Essentials of ArcGIS Pro explores the new, easy-to-use features in Esri’s ArcGIS Pro software suite. ArcGIS Pro is an all-in-one solution for the editing, visualization, query, analysis, and management of maps and spatial data. This two-day course is intended for both new and experienced users of geographic information systems. Experience using Windows-based applications is highly recommended. During August CED specialists will teach this workshop in Ames.

Human Sciences

SNAP-Ed healthy food access specialists support food pantries in making healthy choices easier for their shoppers, including helping to secure funding. In April, Judy Dittmar shared an Iowa DNR grant opportunity with her partner pantries that struggle to keep perishable foods on hand due to storage limitations. These food storage capacity grants (up to $8,000) typically are used to buy refrigerators, freezers, and shelving. Two of her partner pantries received funding.

  • Ridgewood Apartments in Akron (Plymouth County), an income-based complex for older adults and individuals with disabilities, offers an on-site pantry for residents. They partner with Food Bank for Siouxland for food but had no cold storage except a small refrigerator/freezer in the community kitchen. This was limiting ability to store frozen meat and protein items that provide vital nutrients for older adults. They received funding and now have an energy-efficient freezer to hold pantry foods.
  • Together, Inc., a Council Bluffs Pantry (Pottawattamie County) was awarded $8,000 for the purchase of additional shelving and freezers. The shelving provides space to display fresh produce in a way that is attractive and within reach of all clients. Energy-efficient new freezers will increase storage capacity, decrease waste, and ensure reliability.

July 2022 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Kimberly Booth, Franklin County after school coordinator
  • Mackenzie Keller, Clarke County office assistant
  • Abby Sorensen, Mills County director
  • Kalsa Parker Browning, Polk County natural resources program coordinator
  • Kelsey Wiese, Carroll County youth coordinator
  • Kelli Anders, Wapello County local foods program coordinator
  • Janea Blomquist, Pocahontas County program coordinator
  • Alexis Shelley, Adair County office assistant
  • Colleena Johnson, Union County youth coordinator
  • Ellen Brennan, event planner I, Conference Planning and Management
  • Fallon Reicks, program specialist I, 4-H Youth Development
  • Kraig Tweed, regional director, County Services
  • Gary Taylor, director, Community and Economic Development (transferred out of ISU Extension and Outreach)

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Teena Paxton, Polk County office assistant
  • Dustin Winkelman, Mahaska County youth coordinator
  • Lasey Handeland, Hardin County office assistant
  • Coley Reed, Appanoose County Pick a Better Snack coordinator
  • Kris Baldwin, instructional technology specialist II, Professional Development
  • Solomon Funchess, program assistant II, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Krista Smith, agriculture and natural resources extension specialist I, Farm, Food, and Enterprise Development

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