September 2022 program update
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- USDA’s National Organic Program has provided support for an Iowa State University research farm to be featured in a video highlighting organic inspection. Neely-Kinyon Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm, located in Greenfield, is the featured farm, and ISU Extension and Outreach staff will showcase the farm’s Long-Term Agroecological Research experiment.
- Fifteen Iowans have been named New Voices in Water Quality for their commitment to advancing conversations, taking action, and advocating for water quality improvements that benefit all Iowans during the past 10 years. The winners will be recognized at an awards luncheon hosted by Iowa State’s Conservation Learning Group in October.
- The Iowa Drinking Water Survey shows a stark risk of exposure to potentially unhealthy drinking water. Risk profiles were compiled based on recent testing, use of reverse osmosis filters, and use of supplemental water sources. The survey was conducted by the Conservation Learning Group and the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development.
Community and Economic Development
- The Iowa League of Cities is hosting its Annual Conference and Exhibit September 28-30 in Waterloo. CED local government specialist Erin Mullenix will be staffing/facilitating and moderating this in-person and virtual event. CED will have an informational booth in the exhibit hall.
- CED now offers their Grant Writing 201 training for experienced grant writers who want to hone their skills. It’s a follow-up to CED’s Grant Writing 101, a workshop for beginners. CED staff piloted Grant Writing 201 workshops in Greene County in November 2021 and in Webster County in May 2022. A third workshop, sponsored by the ISU Extension and Outreach offices in Dallas, Polk, and Story counties, is scheduled for September 27 in Adel. In September Grant Writing 101 will be offered in person for Montgomery County and virtually for Dallas, Story, and Polk counties.
CED specialists do not recommend scheduling Grant Writing 201 as a stand-alone program. Rather, county offices and other organizations should schedule the more advanced workshop shortly after hosting Grant Writing 101. The sponsorship fee for a Grant Writing 201 workshop is $1,500. In addition to identifying when and where the workshop will be presented, the sponsor of the workshop can decide whether/how much to charge participants to recoup part or all the sponsorship fee. The sponsorship fee for a Grant Writing 101 workshop is $750.
- Iowa Concern Hotline partners with several Midwestern states to answer calls from their residents as part of a grant award. In Wisconsin, Iowa Concern is called the Farmer Wellness Helpline. The value of this service was recognized in an unsolicited testimonial shared on the “Women in Agriculture” Facebook group: “Between prices, drought and death loss we’ve been having a heck of a year. It’s been really tough on me. … We can’t afford counseling in town … I called this line looking for help. It’s the first time I’ve felt like I might be able to get some tools to deal with the stress and pull myself out.”
- Three Mental Health First Aid training programs were provided to 72 Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa staff across 20 counties in July and August.
- A pilot collaboration with Amerigroup provided Latinos Living Well (LLW) to Latinos residing in seven select counties. The team delivered five LLW offerings from Fall 2021 through June 2022. Thirty individuals completed the four-week program. Participants reported making lifestyle changes (90.3%), making LLW recipes at home (74.2%), and being more physical active (80.6%). The potential health care savings over a three-year period for those who completed LLW is $39,270.
4-H Youth Development
- Forty Iowa youth are beginning their new terms as State 4-H Council members. These young leaders will serve as ambassadors for the 4-H Youth Development program throughout the state and in their local counties this year.
- This year, 24 youth from across Iowa showcased their innovative ideas during InventSTEM at the Iowa State Fair. Developed in partnership with Alliant Energy, InventSTEM has provided an opportunity to meet the rising demand for future professionals in science, technology, engineering, and math, helping young people improve their skills as they explore the importance of STEM in everyday life.
- With funding from Google.org, National 4-H Council will increase the reach of the Computer Science Career Pathways program for students from rural and under-resourced communities who have had minimal computer science education. The new grant will help teach young people through in-person 4-H programs and online resources.
- This year at the Iowa State Fair 213 youth from 63 Iowa counties participated in ISU Extension and Outreach skillathons for dairy, meat goat, sheep and swine. Skillathons teach youth life skills like decision making, critical thinking, and communication, as well as animal husbandry and the science and math involved with raising an animal.