December 2022 program update

4-H Youth Development

  • New 4-H Club Officer Resources are ready-to-use resources for promoting and onboarding club officers. For each officer role, this series includes a short video introducing the role, a revised guidebook, and worksheets available in multiple formats for accessibility and ease of use. For example, the club reporter position has a news release template, a worksheet for taking notes for an article, and a list of action verbs to use in writing. This series provides youth with exciting new resources to practice leadership.
  • In November, 50 educators and extension partners came to campus to learn about the upcoming SWITCH program, which begins January 23. They participated in creative heart lessons from Iowa Heart Foundation, mindfulness/mental health practices, SWITCH Cooking School, Soccer for Success lesson ideas, physical activity integration in the classroom, and brain break dances. The new focus for 2023 is integrating more mental well-being for school staff. 4-H is partnering with the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative with their Make It OK Campaign. As a part of SWITCH in 2023, schools will participate in a Make It OK workshop for their staff. Make it OK helps to reduce stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Women landowners, farmers and ag retailers will have the opportunity to meet again this winter to learn more about agronomy and related agricultural topics through distance-learning sessions. The goals of Agronomy in the Field are to strengthen agronomic skills for women that allow for better decision-making, provide a better understanding of inputs for crop production, see and understand different conservation practices, and increase confidence in communication with a spouse, farming partner, ag retailer, or tenant.
  • Military veterans who are interested in a career in agriculture and food production are encouraged to apply for registered apprenticeship with the Iowa-based Veterans in Agriculture. This nonprofit is also seeking farmer and agribusiness mentors who are interested in hiring apprentices and offering the corresponding training and instruction to employees. Mentors can be from the fruit and vegetable industry, conventional crop, livestock agriculture, or agribusiness, but the business must be based in Iowa. Veterans in Agriculture is partnering with ISU Extension and Outreach, as well as Iowa Microloan and Ag Ventures Alliance, with a grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Community and Economic Development

  • The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. It is a simplified, visual, open-source tool, which is user-friendly, hands-on, and a step-by-step guide for future direction. At its most basic level it is a canvas divided into nine individual rectangles representing the building blocks of all small business and nonprofits. In December Victor Oyervides is serving as a trainer for three Business Model Canvas virtual workshops, in partnership with the Small Business Solution Center of the Evelyn K. Davis Center for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
  • CED offers goal setting and strategic planning to help local governments and nonprofits address critical issues, identify priorities, and develop action plans to accomplish those priorities. An effective board or council is one that works together toward common goals. In December CED specialists are facilitating strategic planning sessions for the ISU College of Design Department of Community and Regional Planning, an action planning session for Marshall County, and a futuring workshop for the ISU Parks Library.

Human Sciences

Mental Health First Aid teaches people how to offer initial support until appropriate professional help is received or until the crisis resolves. Participants also learn about risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns, gain an understanding of their impact as first aiders, and receive an overview of common treatments. More than 2 million people across the U.S. have received Mental Health First Aid training, and in Iowa over 50,000 have been trained.

Recently 18 detention officers participated in Mental Health First Aid training at the Polk County Jail in Ankeny. These officers manage more than 1,000 inmates at the facility. Pre-training and post-training survey and test data showed an increase of knowledge across all areas covered; 100% of the participants reported the course was informative and helped them be better prepared for their work. After taking the course: 95% stated they have moderate or high knowledge about mental health; over 60% said they would very likely have a supportive conversation with an adult experiencing signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use challenge or crisis; and 72% reported they were very likely to use the action plan to connect an adult experiencing signs and symptoms of a mental health or substance use challenge or crisis to appropriate help.

November 2022 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Lynn Gahring, Iowa County youth program educator
  • Brittany Belles, Scott County youth program assistant
  • Julie Kieffer, manager event planning, Conference Planning and Management

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Nora Garda, Johnson County BBBS mentor specialist
  • Morgan Laden, Henry County parent education program coordinator
  • Chandler Arnold, Adams County director and youth coordinator
  • Mario Crisp, Johnson County BBBS mentor specialist
  • Laura Larson, Guthrie County youth development coordinator
  • Jamie Axlund, Woodbury County grant coordinator/nutrition
  • Denise Hutchison, Wayne County office assistant
  • Emma Freel, program assistant II, STEM Hub
  • Erin Olson-Douglas, associate dean and program director, Community and Economic Development
  • Staci Wicks, program specialist I, 4-H Youth Development
  • Ellen Lee, graphic designer I, Advancement
  • Madeleine Bretey-Smith, program specialist II, 4-H Youth Development
  • Kim Venteicher, extension specialist II, Human Sciences

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