February 2019 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • The ISU Extension and Outreach farm management team held 12 Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars during November and December, reaching 450 people with information on market outlook, profit potential, international ag and changes with cooperatives. A majority of attendees were ag lenders and other ag professionals, who walked away with ISU Extension and Outreach research-based materials that they could share with their clients. According to surveys conducted after the meetings, those in attendance will provide this information to an additional 3,400 people across the state.
  • Three Master Gardener webcasts this winter will discuss managing vegetable pests, engaging with new audiences and gardening in containers. The one-hour webcasts will be shown at ISU Extension and Outreach county offices and are free-of-charge and open to anyone who may be interested.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2018 Community Visioning Program will be conducting a series of “transportation assets and barriers” focus-group workshops in 10 communities. The workshops are part of the assessment process that the program conducts in client communities to provide local decision makers a framework within which to make informed choices. In February CED specialists Abbie Gaffey, Eric Christianson and Scott Timm will assist in facilitating focus groups in Royal, Hinton, Coggon, Sumner and Walcott.
  • Hosted by the Evelyn K. Davis Center in Des Moines, Master Business Bootcamp helps small business owners to improve their business outcomes through business workshops and one-on-one membership. Participants will be working on how to increase small business profit margins and sharpen their business practices. On Mondays in February, CED specialist Kameron Middlebrooks will be facilitating the bootcamp.
  • During February, Hawarden, Paullina, Sheldon, Hartley, Sanborn, Sutherland and Boone will be participating in Marketing Hometown America. Community and Economic Development offers the program to help communities focus on what people are looking for when they choose a place to live and do business.
  • During February, CED specialists will be conducting Township Trustee Training in Mills, Lucas, Louisa and Howard counties. Township trustee and clerk workshops help locally elected township clerks and trustees understand their roles and responsibilities. Iowa residents living in rural areas outside of incorporated cities rely on their local township government to provide a broad range of services, from vital functions such as fire protection to maintenance of public cemeteries and the resolution of fence disputes.

 

Human Sciences

  • The Parent Education Collaborative in Linn County is celebrating 20 years of improving child outcomes. In 1996, Kristi Cooper, a human sciences specialist in family life, and the county director brought together people interested in parent education. Through all these years, the collaborative has engaged in a shared mission and with shared leadership. Extension and Outreach has remained a staunch partner. For more information, contact Kristi Cooper, kcoop@iastate.edu.
  • Iowa State, Purdue, University of Illinois, University of Nebraska and University of Wisconsin participate in Growing Together, a multi-state SNAP-Ed and Master Gardener project to increase access to fruits and vegetables in food pantries. During the 2018 growing season 142,523 pounds of fruits and vegetables were supplied to food pantries and distribution sites, and 131,993 people with low income were served. In addition, 964 Master Gardener volunteers contributed their time and 615 community partners and agencies cooperated on the project.
  • Kids in the Kitchen reach and results for federal FY 2018 are as follows: 778 youth were served in EFNEP-funded counties (Black Hawk and Polk); 45 percent identified with an under-represented racial group; 10 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino; 73 percent of kindergarteners through second graders improved knowledge in choosing foods consistent with Dietary Guidelines for Americans; and 79 percent of children in grades 3-5 improved knowledge in choosing foods consistent with the guidelines.
  • Human Sciences Extension and Outreach will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the national Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) throughout 2019, in alignment with coordinated initiatives across the country. Watch social media for updates.

4-H Youth Development

  • Norma Dorado-Robles will lead an Iowa 4-H Recruitment, Retention and Engagement pilot to better engage underserved and underrepresented youth, parents and volunteers in four focus communities: Ames, Marshalltown, Meskwaki Settlement and Cedar Rapids. She also is working on a multidisciplinary College and Career Readiness Work Group to help develop and test new family curriculum and wrap-around components to encourage post-secondary education and career opportunities for different cultural groups.
  • Recent 4-H STEM activities around the state include: Cass County collaborating with Nishna Valley YMCA to offer a squeaky-clean magnets day camp for third through fifth graders; Dubuque County partnering with James Kennedy Public Library to offer an electrical engineering camp for third through fifth graders; the new 4-H club at Marshalltown’s Lenihan Intermediate School participating in “Engineering is Elementary” to learn about invasive species and water quality; and Warren County collaborating with the Irving Elementary School in Indianola and Heartland AEA to host the first STEAM Day with grades K-5.
  • Eleven Healthy Living Ambassadors have been selected from regions across the state to be leaders for delivering wellness initiatives and providing educational opportunities for youth in their communities. These ambassadors will represent Iowa 4-H at the National 4-H Healthy Living Summit in February to explore all the areas of wellness through workshops, guest presenters, networking with other 4-H programs from across the country, and career panelists. They will gather new ideas and put together an action plan for how they can make our state a healthy and strong Iowa.

January 2019 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

4-H Youth Development

  • Fifty youth from 17 counties participated in Beef Blast in December: 100 percent of youth gained new knowledge in beef quality and yield grading; 78 percent gained new knowledge in beef selection and evaluation; 84 percent gained new knowledge in beef management; 66 percent gained new knowledge in advocacy; and 91 percent gained new knowledge about the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the department of animal science.
  • Iowa 4-H has received the National 4-H Council Ag Innovators State Implementation Grant. This means that Iowa will host a series of workshops across the state called “The Native Bee Challenge,” reaching at least 1,000 youth in grades 3 to 8 with curriculum facilitated by trained teen leaders.
  • The State 4-H Council participated in the annual Youth-Adult Partnership Training in Ames. Council members brought a caring adult with them, someone that they have worked closely with or who has played a positive role in their 4-H career. Both the youth and adults participated in a variety of activities throughout the training. They learned about youth in governance, 4-H yoga, leadership styles, creating action plans, and understanding the value of working together in decision making opportunities within their schools, communities, 4-H and beyond.
  • Iowa 4-H has received three STEM grants. Iowa 4-H was awarded $55,000 from Alliant Energy to develop and implement Invent STEM. This curriculum will focus for the first year on wind energy and the STEM behind wind turbines. Iowa 4-H also was awarded $20,000 from the Iowa Space Grant Consortium. The award is for FLEx Space: No Limits. It will focus on developing virtual reality experiences that celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo mission. In addition, Iowa 4-H was awarded $38,400 from National 4-H Council for the 4-H and Microsoft Digital Ambassadors program to fund local projects in Muscatine and Clinton counties. The Digital Ambassadors program will help close the broadband internet access gap in 80 counties across the United States. This partnership will elevate teens to be teachers by providing training and communication to help adults in their community increase their comfort level for using technology. This work will impact education, workforce development and community sustainability.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Iowa State University has received a grant to continue hosting the North Central Region Center for FSMA Training, Extension and Technical Assistance to help fruit and vegetable growers and processors comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The nearly $800,000 grant from the USDA continues to fund ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff efforts to support the infrastructure of the national food safety program by communicating and coordinating information within the North Central Region related to the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and Preventive Control Rule.
  • Results of the 2018 ISU Land Value Survey were released on Dec. 12 at a press conference held by Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist. The average statewide value of an acre of farmland decreased by 0.8 percent, marking a decline in farmland values for the fourth time in the last five years. An average acre of Iowa farmland is now valued at $7,264 an acre. Full results of the ISU Land Value Survey are available through the ISU Extension Store.
  • The ISU Extension and Outreach Beginning Farmer Center is hosting its Returning to the Farm Seminar on Jan. 10-11 and Feb. 8-9. The event provides a place for conversations about when a farm transition from one generation to the next should be made and the direction of the farm. The four-day seminar also allows families to begin developing a succession plan. Additional program and registration information can be found through the Beginning Farmer Center website.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2019 Community Visioning Program kicked off on Nov. 16 with the Iowa’s Living Roadways Annual Celebration. In January, the following communities will be conducting their first meeting: Sumner, Coggon, Treynor and Audubon. ISU program staff conducted training on the visioning process for Trees Forever field coordinators, landscape architects and design interns on Jan. 9 in Ames.
  • Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Community and Economic Development unit has been offering the Marketing Hometown America program that has been successfully used by Cooperative Extension programs in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota to help communities home in on what people are looking for when they choose a place to live and do business. In January, CED specialist Jane Goeken will meet with MHA coordinators in O’Brien County and in Hawarden (Sioux County).
  • On Jan. 2, Himar Hernández facilitated a community partners presentation to the Appanoose County Extension Council on the Leading Communities program. Brian Perry, Lisa Bates and Deb Tootle will be in Osage meeting with the Mitchell County Leading Communities planning committee on Jan. 17 to explain the program and demonstrate a module. On Jan. 22, Himar Hernández and Jon Wolseth will be facilitating the program in Mount Pleasant (Henry County). This Leading Communities program is made possible in part by a Vice President for Extension and Outreach initiative.
  • The Office of State and Local Government Programs began conducting township trustee and clerk workshops in the 1970s to help trustees and clerks understand their roles and responsibilities. In January, CED specialists will be conducting Township Trustee Training in Ida Grove (Ida County), Spencer (Clay County), Montrose (Lee County) and Greenfield (Madison County).
  • Susan Erickson will be in Lenox for an Iowa Retail Initiative Champions Workshop with Lisa Bates, Victor Oyervides, Steve Adams and Jon Wolseth. The team is conducting the first pilot of the workshop for multiple community leaders around the Lenox area.

Human Sciences

  • In November, 14 child care providers attended an Infant Feeding 101 training at the Johnson County Extension Office. The participating child care providers were from both center and home settings. Objectives of the training included teaching the benefits of breastfeeding, appropriate bottle and formula preparation, Child and Adult Care Food Program guidelines for 0-12 months of age, and paced bottle feeding. The training was sponsored by 4Cs Community Coordinated Child Care in Iowa City, which administers the CACFP program in Johnson County. The training was co-taught by Kelsey Salow and Rachel Wall, human sciences specialists in nutrition and wellness.
  • The following data represent “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy” achievements for federal FY 2018 (SNAP-Ed and EFNEP funded):
    — Staff partnered with 218 different agencies including 37 new partnerships in 2018.
    — 959 total participants, 93 percent female, 74 percent age 40 or younger.
    — 71 percent identify as White, 16 percent as Black or African American, and 27 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino.
    — 69 percent have income at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level, and 84 percent receive public assistance.
    — 95 percent improved diet quality, 86 percent increased their physical activity, 84 percent improved food safety practices, 47 percent reported increased food security and 87 percent reported improved food resource management.
  • Powerful Tools for Caregivers provides caregivers with “tools” to help them reduce stress, improve caregiving confidence, establish balance in their lives, communicate their needs, make decisions, and locate helpful resources. In fall 2018, O’Brien County hosted nine to 15 local caregivers for each week of the six-week series. Five caregivers participated in the series hosted by Dickinson County. One participant’s comments captured ideas that many had expressed: “I am taking better care of myself and I have less guilt. I feel less ‘alone’ knowing that others understand. I have better approaches.”

December 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Human Sciences

  • Human Sciences Extension and Outreach staff are organized into two-region “blocks” throughout the state, although regions that are more populous stand alone. County staff partners who focus on human sciences work are also part of the block teams. Staff within Block 1/5 (comprised of regions 1 and 5) prepare an annual educational offerings report and map. The document highlights efforts via face-to-face contacts, including the numbers reached in terms of educational offerings, sessions and participants for each county, and a listing of the various educational offerings delivered. The report also features highlights of other work accomplished throughout the year, including newsletters, blogs, community meetings and more. This fiscal year, the staff in Blocks 1 and 5 hosted 142 educational offerings with 205 sessions and reached 3,037 participants throughout the nine counties. On average, they impacted 21 Iowans with each offering.
  • Cindy Thompson, Kim Brantner, Joy Rouse and Mackenzie Johnson, all human sciences specialists in family life, have been accepted to present a national webinar for the National Extension Association of Family & Consumer Sciences titled, “Birds, Bugs and the Benefits of Collaboration in Supporting Children’s Sense of Wonder through Nature.” The specialists will explore with participants the benefits of children’s exposure to nature. They will discuss the role early education professionals play in creating these experiences and the importance of collaboration in enhancing early education trainings. They will share information about Growing Up WILD, a Project WILD resource, and how it can be used locally.

4-H Youth Development

  • State 4-H staff partnered with Region 4 staff to pilot “Youth Voice in Action” in Fayette at Upper Iowa University. Nine schools from six counties brought a team of four to six students, chaperoned by a teacher, to participate in this civic engagement experience for sixth through eighth grade students. Students participated in an educational workshop of their choice related to 4-H priority areas. Local professionals in those fields led these workshops. Students also learned about their leadership style and how it can help them communicate and work closely with others in a variety of settings. Finally, the nearly 55 youth and their adult mentors participated in a service project, heard from a police officer about why he chose a career in service, and then worked as school teams to create an action plan for implementing a service project in their communities or schools.
  • In November, 42 school core teams and extension staff who support those counties attended the annual SWITCH Conference trainings. Attendees learned how to implement the SWITCH program to help students monitor their health habits and establish goals to make better choices to impact health. The schools piloting the new middle school program participated. Three schools brought a team of youth to be trained as SWITCH ambassadors. These youth learned how to switch what they do, view and chew. The youth ambassador teams strategized how to make a healthy change in their school related to these behaviors. Then they shared it with their adult school team and discussed how to collaborate on these initiatives to improve school wellness.
  • In October, Sioux, O’Brien, Lyon, Osceola, Plymouth and Chereokee counties held their annual STEMfest at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. The event is a partnership between the community college, ISU Extension and Outreach, and other local entities. Area youth participate in a day-long STEM experience, including sessions on Robot Olympics, Drones, Fossil Discovery, Maker Space, Water Quality and heart monitors. Afterward, the event received positive feedback. For example, a parent posted a review on the Sioux County Facebook page, saying their child enjoyed STEMfest greatly and that it was worth the 320 mile round trip they made to attend.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Designing an effective weed management plan to combat troublesome weeds and delay the development of herbicide resistance requires careful planning. An online course, “Herbicide Resistance and Weed Management,” provides farmers and agribusinesses the necessary tools and resources to create an effective long-term weed management plan. The interactive and self-paced course contains presentations narrated by ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and specialists, along with lesson activities that can be completed according to the user’s timeline.
  • The third Soil Health Conference will be held in Ames on Feb. 4-5, 2019. The event will consist of two full days of presentations on a wide variety of topics related to “Science Meets Practice for Advancing Soil Health.” Topics covered include economics of soil health, agronomic and economic benefits of soil health, integration of perennials in row cropping systems, and landowner and manager roles in building soil health.
  • ISU Extension and Outreach economists are offering valuable insights on key factors impacting 2019 operating decisions at 12 Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars across the state in November and December. Each three-hour seminar includes information on grain price outlook and global factors to watch, livestock prices and margins, and farmland operating margins, outlook and trends. A full list of dates and locations can be found on the Ag Decision Maker website.

Community and Economic Development

  • ISU Extension and Outreach’s Community and Economic Development program will be facilitating goal setting and strategic planning for local governments and nonprofits, a role previously provided by the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Iowa. In April 2018, UI announced it was closing the institute, along with several other programs. The institute’s mission was to provide information and services that assist in maintaining and strengthening the effectiveness of Iowa’s state and local governments. CED staff have had a long history of working with the institute to provide services and educational programming. In December, CED specialists will be presenting goal-setting workshops in Carroll and Manchester, and conducting strategic planning with Ringgold County Support Services in Mt. Ayr. During these sessions, leadership teams address critical issues, identify priorities, and develop action plans to accomplish those priorities.
  • Other CED programming for local governments in December includes the following: Data analyst Erin Mullenix will present the advanced session of the Iowa League of Cities Budget Workshop in Fairfield and Johnston. CED specialist Eric Christianson will conduct an Introduction to Planning and Zoning workshop in Warren County.

November 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Community and Economic Development

  • Iowa’s Living Roadways 22nd annual celebration is Nov. 16. Extension Community and Economic Development is the administering unit for the ILR Community Visioning Program. During the event, the 2018 visioning communities will showcase the design projects proposed through the process. In addition, representatives from the 2018 visioning communities will be in attendance to kick off the 2019 program. CED specialist Scott Timm is attending the event as part of the Decorah visioning steering committee.
  • CED specialist Jane Goeken developed a Grant Writing 101 workshop because communities had indicated an interest in and a need for grant-writing skills to find financing for community projects. In November, she will present Grant Writing 101 in Ida Grove and Jefferson. She also will meet with foundation officials in Sioux City and Fort Dodge to discuss the workshop.
  • Tourism efforts from CED specialist Diane Van Wyngarden in November include conducting onsite agritourism consultations with business owners in Johnson County; facilitating an Iowa group travel session with motor coach operators from across the United States; conducting an Iowa tourism needs assessment session with group travel business owners; and meeting with central Iowa tourism leaders.
  • CED specialists Himar Hernández and Brian Perry will be presenting the CED leadership program, Leading Communities, in Henry County on Nov. 20. This program is made possible in part by an ISU Vice President for Extension and Outreach initiative.

Human Sciences

  • Family life extension state specialist Lesia Oesterreich has received the 2018 Excellence in Extension Award given by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Cooperative Extension, and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The award is given each year to one Cooperative Extension professional “who excels at programming, provides visionary leadership and makes a positive impact on constituents served.” The Essentials Child Care Preservice Online program is an example of Lesia’s work and impacts. Since the 12-hour educational offering was implemented in September 2016, the total number of participants is 28,505. The monthly average number of participants enrolling is 874. The monthly average number of modules completed during the last quarter is 7,473. The total number of modules completed and certificates earned since the inception of the program is 260,720.
  • In Northeast Iowa, Cindy Thompson, a human sciences specialist in family life, is leading Nature Explore, an educational program of the Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. This effort focuses on providing research-based workshops, design consultations and resources to connect children and families to nature. Two all-day workshops, Learning with Nature and Using Your Outdoor Classroom, reached 33 participants from Allamakee, Clayton, Chickasaw, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Howard, Wayne and Winneshiek counties.
  • The Growing Together Iowa donation garden total is 75,618 pounds harvested during the 2018 growing season. In addition, the Donation Gardening Toolkit, which supports the Growing Together Iowa mini-grant projects, is live. It provides background on poverty, healthy food access, and guidance on planting, harvesting, food safety, and volunteers.

4-H Youth Development

  • In October, nearly 80 Des Moines multicultural youth and school staff members participated in the first Polk County 4-H RISE College Access Conference held at Grand View University in Des Moines. The event introduced 4-H to youth who have been underrepresented in 4-H programs. ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County sponsored the event, which included several sessions focused on leadership development, team-building and college and career exploration.
  • Nearly 60 youth participated in the Ujima/AAPI Culturally Based Youth Leadership Accelerator held in September. This retreat provided youth in grades 8-12 the opportunity to explore the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program through an African, African-American, Pacific Islander, and Asian-American perspective. Youth experienced the Iowa State University campus through college tours and workshops before spending the rest of the retreat at Clover Woods. Youth immersed themselves in learning, culture, new friends and fun throughout the weekend.
  • Iowa Schools and Extension staff participating in SWITCH for 2018-19 will be gathering on ISU campus Nov. 8-9 for the Annual SWITCH Conference. A new feature with the middle school pilot is to invite schools to bring a team of youth who will be trained to be SWITCH ambassadors at their school. 4-H will be leading the coordination of the youth portion of the training at the SWITCH Conference.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • European Corn Borer – Ecology and Management and Association with other Corn Pests (NCR 0327) is available in the ISU Extension Store. It’s an extensive update of the popular 1996 version published by the North Central Region. The European corn borer originated in Eurasia and was accidentally introduced into North America, readily adopting corn as a host and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in crop loss.
  • Twelve Pro-Ag Outlook and Management Seminars will be held across Iowa in November and December. ISU Extension and Outreach economists will offer insights on key factors impacting 2019 operating decisions. Each three-hour seminar includes information on grain price outlook and global factors to watch, livestock prices and margins, and farmland operating margins, outlook and trends. A full list of dates and locations can be found on the Ag Decision Maker website.
  • The 2019 Garden Calendar is still available through the ISU Extension Store. Developed by Richard Jauron, horticulture specialist, the calendar showcases the beauty that can be found in backyards and public spaces throughout the year. The calendar provides space to record the progress of a garden, along with monthly tips that provide timely information for fruits and vegetables, lawn care, trees, shrubs and much more.

October 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • The 2019 Garden Calendar is available through the ISU Extension Store. Developed by Richard Jauron, horticulture specialist, the calendar showcases the beauty that can be found in backyards and public spaces throughout the year. The calendar provides space to record the progress of a garden, along with monthly tips that provide timely information for fruits and vegetables, lawn care, trees, shrubs and much more.
  • Farm management specialists led farmland leasing meetings across the state during July and August. More than 1,200 people attended 74 meetings. The program focused on farmland ownership and tenure in Iowa, the latest on the economics of cover crop research, discussion on implementing conservation practices, land values and cash rent trends, cost of production, methods for determining a fair rental rate, communication between tenants and landlords, and the latest legal updates that impact farm leases. Attendees received a 100-page workbook with resources regarding land leasing agreements, sample written lease agreements and termination forms and many other ISU Extension and Outreach resources.
  • Matt Helmers has been named director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center. Helmers, a professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering and extension agricultural engineer at Iowa State, has long been a part of the center and was a member of the scientific team that worked on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy’s Nonpoint Source Science Assessment. He was also a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board Agricultural Science Committee.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2018 Community Visioning Program is in the implementation planning stage, during which design teams are presenting feasibility reports and steering committees are meeting to plan project implementation. During October, implementation planning meetings will be conducted in Decorah, Peterson and Forest City. Feasibility report reviews will be conducted in Moville, Graettinger and Plymouth.
  • The Office of State and Local Government Programs is taking the Municipal Professionals Institute “On The Road” with courses on budgeting, exams and accounting for municipalities throughout October. Extension program specialist Cindy Kendall will be teaching the class in Osceola, Manchester, Emmetsburg, Mount Pleasant, Atlantic and Charles City.
  • City and county finance officials and elected members of local governments are entrusted with the task of managing finances and making decisions that impact how much revenue is generated and how efficiently it is spent. With changing demographics, state mandated laws and citizen attitudes toward taxes, it is becoming increasingly complex and challenging to manage local government finances. The role of financial planning in the budgeting process is important and has significant short- and long-term implications for community and economic development. To help local governments meet these challenges, ISU Extension and Outreach’s Iowa Government Finance Initiative is offering three-hour workshops for local elected officials, appointed officials (finance, planning and economic development), and other stakeholders on issues relating to public finance and community and economic development. The 2018 workshops will be held in Storm Lake, Des Moines, Mason City, Atlantic and Cedar Rapids.
  • Extension CED staff will be facilitating Navigating Difference cultural competency training in Orange City and Delaware County during October.

Human Sciences

  • Human Sciences Extension and Outreach faculty and staff often present at state, regional and national conferences. For example, Deb Sellers, Naomi Meinertz, Sarah Kirby, Andrew Crocker, Sandra McKinnon, Phyllis Zalenski, Barb Wollan and Joyce Lash recently presented at the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences conference. David Brown and Anthony Santiago presented at the National Association for Rural Mental Health Conference. Barbara Dunn Swanson, Sandra McKinnon and Barbara Fuller presented at the Epsilon Sigma Phi national conference. Lori Hayungs presented at ISU’s PROSPER Rx Project: Planning to Take Action Against Opioid Misuse in Your Community state conference. Barbara Fuller will present at the Midwest Rural Agricultural Safety and Health Conference. Renee Sweers and Rachel Wall will present at the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics state conference.
  • Several human sciences specialists recently received awards from the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences: Continued Excellence Award for Iowa, Jill Weber; Distinguished Service Award for Iowa, Joyce Lash; Dean Don Felker Financial Management Award (2nd place National and 1st place Central Region) for Finances of Caregiving, Brenda Schmitt, Mary Weinand, Joyce Lash, Barb Wollan and Suzanne Bartholomae; Human Development/Family Relationships Award (3rd place Central Region) for Growing Strong Families, Kim Brantner and Joy Rouse; Community Partnership Award (3rd place Central Region) for Women United of Story County, Barb Wollan.
  • Cathy Hockaday has been selected to serve a three-year tenure in the Fulbright Specialist Program. A human sciences specialist, she is being hosted in Malaysia during September and October by the Malaysian National Anti-Drug Agency, Ministry of Home Affairs, for a special project, the “Developmental Approach in Preventive Drug Education Program.” She is reviewing Malaysia’s family and school-based prevention programs and developing a plan for monitoring and evaluating their evidence-based preventative drug education.
  • The “Spend Smart. Eat Smart.” team will be adding physical activity content to the app and website in 2019. Recently, two videos were created that feature at-home activities for cardio and strength training that require little to no equipment.

4-H Youth Development

  • YouthFest, the 2018 Iowa 4-H Youth Staff Conference, is Oct. 29-31, at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State campus.
  • More than 130 students from New Hampton, Turkey Valley, Howard-Winneshiek, Riceville, Central-Elkader, Wapsie Valley, Charles City and Waverly-Shell Rock school districts participated in the Precision Ag and Animal Science Field Days at Northeast Iowa Research Farm – Borlaug Center. Field days help students in hands-on learning and create awareness of endless possibilities of careers in their community. There are more than 500 different job classifications for animal science careers. Due to increased use of precision agriculture, more technicians are needed to install, operate, troubleshoot and repair systems.
  • Forty-six 4-H youth development staff are supporting the dissemination of the SWITCH school wellness program. Extension partners will help conduct meetings, trainings and events with these schools to grow programming capacity and youth engagement opportunities. Thirty-two school districts (37 schools) are participating in the SWITCH elementary program (grades 4-5). Five school districts (11 schools) are piloting the middle school (grades 6-8) version of the program.

September 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

4-H Youth Development

  • Overall, 5,079 unique 4-H exhibitors entered 13,560 entries at the 2018 Iowa State Fair. That means nearly 25 percent of grade-eligible community club members exhibited at State Fair, showcasing 4-H youth outputs of our long-term educational experiences. Other participation numbers include: 8,580 livestock and horticulture entries from 2,096 non-duplicated exhibitors; 121 Awardrobe participants representing 71 counties; 1,200 communication entries from 1,008 exhibitors; and 3,659 state entries from 2,767 exhibitors.
  • Polk 4-H partnered with Grubb YMCA to provide Power Scholars summer programming at Findley Elementary. 4-H youth program specialists trained staff from Grubb YMCA on the “STEM Lit to Go!” curriculum to deliver to first and second graders over six weeks. The program provided 18 hours of STEM and literacy programming to youth. The 65 youth participants included 52 Hispanic, 8 African American, and 5 white youth, all who live in a low-income area. Grubb YMCA plans to provide additional “STEM Lit to GO!” sessions for youth during the school year.
  • Despite the storm in July, Marshall County summer youth gardens donated 500+ pounds of food to those in need. Seven of the eight participating gardens were summer garden education sites. Youth learned about parts of the plants, how to harvest fruits and vegetables, how to make their fruits and vegetables into a healthy recipe, and more. Volunteers contributed 113.5 hours of work in the gardens. There were also 1,445 contact hours with youth.
  • In just over a month, Iowa 4-H collected 1,128 lbs. of pop tabs for Jacy McAlexander. Jacy, a state 4-H council member who lost his battle with cancer in May, was the son of Kerri and Earl McAlexander, 4-H youth program specialist. Jacy had been passionate about helping others through the Ronald McDonald House. Iowa 4-H brought the tabs to the State Youth Conference in June. In late July, 4-H staff, state council members, and the McAlexander family delivered the pop tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines. The 2018-19 State 4-H Council will continue collecting pop tabs for Jacy this 4-H year. For more information, contact Haley Jones, 4-H civic engagement and leadership program specialist.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Four Focus on Nitrogen workshops were held across the state, with 125 people attending. The workshops provided ISU Extension and Outreach specialists an opportunity to share research-based information on maximizing profitability with nitrogen management, while also increasing the understanding of the practices that minimize and reduce nitrate-nitrogen loss.
  • ISU Extension and Outreach specialists held a series of meetings during July and August to discuss drought conditions causing concern for crop and livestock producers. Farmers could discuss crop growth and development under drought conditions, feeding drought-damaged crops, silage and crop insurance considerations with experts from ISU Extension and Outreach, the USDA and NRCS. A total of 211 people attended. Farmers also could bring corn stalk samples for a nitrate assessment.
  • Social media continues to be an influential platform for the agricultural industry as a whole and the trend holds true here in Iowa. Many producers are looking for a fast, easy way to collect and share information with the agriculture community and ANR specialists and teams have joined the conversation, creating an opportunity to influence Iowans with the goal to create a #StrongIowa. The ANR Social Media Directory captures 123 social media accounts across seven social media platforms posting on behalf of ANR. To date, those accounts reach 76,487 followers and subscribers; up 5,952 in the last six months. Notably, Twitter is the most influential platform with 57,354 followers seeking ANR information, followed by Facebook with 13,929 page likes.

Community and Economic Development

  • Design teams in the 2018 Community Visioning Program are presenting final concepts to the public and are moving into the implementation planning stage. In September, public presentations of concept designs will be conducted in Graettinger, Plymouth and Decorah. The Peterson steering committee will review the design team’s feasibility study, and the Forest City steering committee will begin implementation planning.
  • Diane Van Wyngarden is leading the Best of the Upper Mississippi River Road Scholar tour Sept. 9–15. Through this travel course, participants from eight U.S. states will learn about community histories, local economies, innovative local projects and community challenges. Communities along the tour include the Quad Cities, Guttenberg, McGregor, Marquette, Balltown, Bellevue, Hurtsville, Clinton and LeClaire.
  • Several CED faculty and staff will be attending the Iowa League of Cities Conference Sept. 12-14 in Council Bluffs. Eric Christianson will conduct outreach in the vendor area and present on nuisance abatement. Erin Mullenix will present a workshop on local government economic conditions. Biswa Das and Kimberly Zarecor will present on the Iowa Government Finance Indicators project and small towns thriving in Iowa.
  • CED specialist Jane Goeken developed a Grant Writing 101 workshop because communities had indicated an interest in and a need for grant-writing skills to find financing for community projects. She will be delivering the workshop in Decorah and Ottumwa in September.
  • Throughout September, Jennifer Drinkwater will be working in Perry on a mural next to City Hall that depicts migration stories of local Latina residents.

Human Sciences

  • Through the creation of universal child savings accounts, a $100 deposit will be made for each kindergarten student in Hamilton County schools this school year, with administration provided by the Financial Literacy Council of Greater Hamilton County. The potential impacts of these accounts include less student debt, better academic and career outcomes, and improved financial literacy over the long term. ISU Extension and Outreach played a significant role in this innovative, countywide effort. Cindy Fletcher, professor and resource management extension state specialist, led initial efforts. Barb Wollan, human sciences specialist in family finance, is a core member of the coalition, which formed in February 2015. Project members will spend the coming school year creating account structures, engaging in outreach to parents and building community awareness. The first contributions will be deposited at the end of the school year, in June 2019.
  • Families in northwest Iowa are visiting their libraries to check out STEM backpacks. Connie Beecher, assistant professor and family literacy extension state specialist, Sara Nelson, a post-doctoral research associate with the School of Education and 4-H, and Mackenzie DeJong, human sciences program coordinator in Region 1, collaborated on an Excellence in Extension grant to create the backpacks, which include STEM materials, books and easy-to-follow instructions. (School of Education students in Ames created the lessons and tested them with parents in the Ames Public library.) Each participating library in northwest Iowa received eight backpacks – two copies of each of four lesson kits. The libraries report that the kits are popular and are checked out continuously. After seeing the positive response, each of the county extension offices provided additional funding to purchase more backpacks for the libraries. The team received inquiries from other Iowa regions and states interested in replicating the backpacks. Next steps include formal evaluation, dissemination of the purchase lists and activities to facilitate the creation of additional backpacks in other counties, and working with ISU education students and Ames Public Library to create more backpacks and lessons. This project is an outgrowth of an Engaged Scholarship Funding Program project conducted by Beecher and assistant professor Mollie Appelgate. In summer 2017, they created an internship program for pre-service teachers in libraries in regions 1 and 2 focused on STEM literacy.
  • In August, Christine Hradek, coordinator for EFNEP and SNAP-Ed, and representatives from other states currently involved with Growing Together gardening and food donation projects, met with representatives from additional states that have indicated an interest in joining this expanding effort. The meeting took place in Madison, Wis., and included Master Gardeners and SNAP-Ed staff. The members in attendance identified multiple opportunities for sharing resources and strengthened their plan for shared evaluation beginning in 2019.
  • Faculty and staff who lead the community-based CYFAR Juntos project in Des Moines and Muscatine presented at the 2018 Children, Youth and Families At-Risk Conference in June in Alexandria, Va. They told colleagues across the country about effective strategies to promote communication and relationships necessary for program sustainability. Presenters included Kimberly Greder, associate professor and family life extension state specialist; Paul Gibbins, Polk County executive director; Michelle Schott, Polk County family life extension educator; Krista Regennitter, Muscatine County extension director; and Aracely Martinez, Muscatine County youth program coordinator.

August 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Human Sciences

  • The Human Sciences Extension and Outreach team serving regions 4 and 9 has developed a partnership with Gunderson Palmer Lutheran Hospital. First, the team delivered the “What About Me? My Wellbeing” series at the hospital earlier this year. As a result, additional programming was scheduled and delivered. The team presented “Caregiving Relationships: Conversations on Aging” to hospital staff. The two, one-hour sessions introduce the topic of caregiving, the changes families face and the skills individuals can use when facing later life situations. The sessions also build interest in the “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” series.
  • Carl Weems, professor and chair, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, provided insights on childhood trauma in the Science of Parenting blog, July 2, 2018.
  • A new “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.” cohort began July 9: Abigail Spiegel, Dubuque County (new unit); Athena Speller, Black Hawk County; and Jamie Nyugen, Linn County.
  • The human sciences team in regions 1 and 5, along with the program’s creative projects specialist, created “Do. Plan. Promote!” to assist county partners. The document provides a list of educational offerings that can be planned for, offered and promoted within Human Sciences Extension and Outreach.
  • The ISU SNAP-Ed team underwent a management evaluation from the USDA regional office in July. The reviewers complimented our programming and partnerships. A full report of findings will be available by early September.

4-H Youth Development

  • Individual enrollments of underserved youth into the Iowa 4-H program have nearly doubled since the 2013-2014 program year. Now 1,485 youth of color are participating in learning communities and clubs.
  • From February through August, 60 Monarchs on the Move events will have been held at 40 locations in 30 counties, reaching more than 1,000 youth across the state.
  • Thirty-nine young leaders have begun their terms on the 2018-2019 State 4-H Council. They will serve as ambassadors for the 4-H Youth Development program throughout the state and in their local counties.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Master Gardener registration is now available for 2018 training sessions. The trainings will take place in 43 locations across Iowa and are open to anyone who is passionate about volunteering and gardening. Training sessions will begin in August or September, depending on location, and the training locations are listed online. Iowa Master Gardeners donated more than 115,000 volunteer hours during 2017, providing the equivalent of $2.7 million in labor to help beautify Iowa and address ongoing food security issues.
  • Farmland leasing meetings are being held across Iowa. The annual meetings address questions that landowners, tenants or other interested individuals have about leasing farmland. The 2018 meetings will focus on farmland ownership and tenure in Iowa, the latest on the economics of cover crop research, implementing conservation practices in leases, land values and cash rent trends, cost of production, methods for determining a fair rental rate, and legal updates that impact farm leases and land ownership. ISU Extension and Outreach farm management specialists will lead the meetings. More information is available through the Ag Decision Maker website.
  • Managing Farmland Drainage workshops will be held on Aug. 7 in Mason City and Aug. 15 in Fort Dodge. The workshops are geared toward women landowners and will provide opportunities to discuss drainage issues that exist on Iowa farmland. The workshops also will cover different styles of drainage systems and how to address drainage water quality within the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2018 Community Visioning Program is in the design stage. Steering committees are reviewing preliminary community design concepts and design teams are presenting final concepts to the public. During August, design reviews will be conducted in Plymouth and Wapello. Public presentations will be held in Corning, Glidden, Peterson, Coon Rapids and Forest City.
  • During August CED specialist Brian Perry will be meeting with several communities to discuss the Leading Communities program. He will meet with regional director Kraig Tweed and community development specialist Scott Timm in Decorah, regional director Paul Mariman in Dubuque and regional director Jeff Macomber in Tipton. The program is made possible in part by a Vice President for Extension and Outreach initiative and features the creation of an additional module addressing immigrant social capital.
  • Susan Erickson, Lisa Bates and Diane Van Wyngarden will be attending the Iowa Downtown Conference Aug. 28-30 and providing an ISU Extension and Outreach CED presence as an exhibitor in Waterloo. The Iowa Downtown Conference is the premier statewide annual conference for professionals and volunteers involved in preservation-based downtown revitalization in Iowa and neighboring states.

July 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2018 Community Visioning Program is in the design stage during which steering committees are reviewing preliminary community design concepts. During July, design review meetings will be conducted in Peterson, Moville, Graettinger and Forest City.
  • Cindy Kendall, Cindy Stuve and Elizabeth Gartin will host the 43rd Iowa Municipal Professionals Institute and Academy July 16–27 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. 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.

Human Sciences

  • Military couples have needs similar to other couples, but also deal with challenges such as frequent relocations, deployments and separations. Military leaders can benefit by being able to reinforce healthy couple and family functioning with those they supervise and command. That is why Human Sciences Extension and Outreach offered Healthy Relationship Education Training for Iowa State’s Army ROTC cadets in April. Anthony Santiago, college projects specialist, and David Brown, human sciences specialist in family life, facilitated the program for 21 Army ROTC senior cadets in collaboration with the Department of Military Science. Evaluation results showed greater understanding of many aspects of relationships: 94 percent of the cadets have a greater knowledge of stress reduction, communication and healthy conflict management; and 100 percent of the cadets are confident they can help individuals and couples support healthy living choices. As one participant stated, “I now have the tools to help future soldiers.”
  • Elizabeth Stegemöller, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology and a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach summer faculty fellowship recipient, and David Brown, a human sciences specialist in family life, will offer A Journey through Parkinson’s Disease facilitator training for human sciences specialists on Aug. 16. This train-the trainer workshop will enable human sciences specialists from any discipline to provide this educational offering in their communities. The training will review the causes and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and how treatments work. The training also will cover therapeutic activities that can be completed in the home by those who have the disease.
  • Sanjuana Graves, a “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.” educator in Scott County, received the Helping Us Grow (HUG) award from the Davenport Community School District for outstanding service. Her work is primarily with pregnant and parenting students at Mid-City High School. The school provides an electric skillet or slow cooker to every student who graduates from “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.”
  • Grisel Chavez and Norma Dorado-Robles presented at the Cambio de Colores conference June 7 in Kansas City. Grisel is a “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy.” educator in Marshall County and Norma is a current 4-H staff member and former BELH educator. They discussed the work they completed with Mid-Iowa Community Action to provide nutrition education to a group of parents while their children engaged in 4-H activities. The parents’ group consisted of 16 Burmese participants.

4-H Youth Development

  • Fifty Iowa 4-H members received 2018 state 4-H project awards. They were recognized for exhibiting exceptional leadership, communication and civic engagement within their project area. The awards are given to 4-H’ers who have displayed mastery, leadership, communication and service in a specific project area. Each youth recipient also was granted a $100 award from Glen and Mary Jo Mente of Ames and the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
  • About 700 youth packaged 50,000 meals as their Meals from the Heartland service project at the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. Their service learning continued with a culture fair on central campus. The youth learned dances, made crafts and learned about the history of different cultures in Iowa, including Swedish, African American, Asian, Czech, Latino and more. They also heard from Iowa 4-H alumni who shared their 4-H stories and described how community service and volunteerism has played a role in their lives within their communities and careers. Panelists included Kyle Munson, Senator Dan Zumbach, Rachel Wall, Charlene Watkin, Don McDowell and Cheri Doane.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • A new approach to using social media is helping researchers map the spread of southern corn rust. Research published by the American Phytopathological Society examines the usefulness and feasibility of using social media as a method of disease and pest data sharing among crop scouts, industry agronomists and university extension specialists across the country. Two Twitter accounts, @corndisease and @soydisease, were created to track the appearance of disease in corn and soybeans fields across the country. The project was successfully able to track the movement of southern rust northward, providing advance notice for targeted crop scouting efforts. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists Daren Mueller, Adam Sisson and Rachel Kempker contributed to the publication. Read more about the project.
  • Dave Baker has been named director of the ISU Extension and Outreach Beginning Farmer Center. Baker has been with the center since 2006 and had been serving as interim director since January 2018. Created by the Iowa Legislature in 1994, the Beginning Farmer Center assists in facilitating the transition of farming operations from established farmers to beginning farmers.
  • The Pocahontas and Webster County Master Gardeners received the 2018 Search for Excellence award for their work in their communities. The winning project in Pocahontas County involved Master Gardeners’ work with the annual Garden Extravaganza, where they led classes on gardening topics while also overseeing an expo that saw 30 venders showcase plants, artwork, tools and supplies related to gardening. Webster County’s award came in the youth garden category, in which they partnered with local 4-H clubs to tend to the historic Frontier Garden at the Fort Museum in Fort Dodge.

June 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • The “Pasture Management Guide for Livestock Producers” has been updated for the publication’s 20th anniversary. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists from multiple disciplines have updated this comprehensive resource with information on managing pasture plants and livestock, planning for improvements in grazing systems, monitoring and evaluating the grazing system, managing risk in grazing systems and more. Since its first release in 1998, the guide has become one of the most popular and widely read resources available through ISU Extension and Outreach for anyone managing the production of livestock.
  • Many field days and workshops have been scheduled for this summer at Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms. Topics include crops and soils, cover crops, nitrogen and water, “Forecast and Assessment of Cropping sysTemS (FACTS)” and demonstration gardens. Most events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule of events is online.
  • A new series of publications, “The Iowa Watershed Approach,” is available through the ISU Extension Store. The 10 publications highlight a variety of practices that can be implemented to reduce flooding and improve water quality. Topics include wetlands, farm ponds, water and sediment control basins, grade stabilization structures, oxbow restoration, channel stabilization, terraces, buffers, floodplain restoration and perennial cover. Each publication walks readers through the impact these practices have on flood reduction, water quality, watershed management, wildlife benefits, financial incentives and more.

Community and Economic Development

  • Communities participating in the 2018 Community Visioning Program are transitioning from the assessment process to goal setting and design workshops. In June, Graettinger, Moville, Peterson and Wapello will have goal-setting meetings. Communities holding design workshops include Corning, Forest City, Graettinger, Moville, Peterson, Plymouth and Wapello. The public may attend these workshops and provide input on preliminary transportation enhancement plans. Also in June, steering committees in Decorah and Glidden will do preliminary reviews of concept designs.
  • CED specialist Jane Goeken developed a Grant Writing 101 workshop because communities had indicated an interest in and a need for grant-writing skills to find financing for community projects. On June 11, Goeken will present Grant Writing 101 for Rising Star interns in Spencer. On June 21, she will present the workshop at the Polk County Extension and Outreach office. On June 22, Goeken and CED specialist Eric Christianson will co-present the workshop in Polk County.
  • On June 28, Dave Peters, extension sociologist and assistant professor, will be in Fort Dodge for the Mid-Iowa Growth Partnership. He will present key issues facing rural Iowa related to declines in farm income, rural labor shortage and availability of community services. Following the presentation, Peters will facilitate a discussion of possible solutions in mid and north Iowa to address some of these challenges.
  • Program coordinator Courtney Long will be in the Virgin Islands (St. Croix/St. Thomas/St. John) June 2–10 for disaster recovery and food systems development. The Community Food Systems program is working with several different partners including Farm to School, farmers, ISU Extension and Outreach, FEMA and others to understand the conditions of food systems prior to and after the hurricane.

Human Sciences

  • Specialist Cathy Hockaday and Human Sciences Extension and Outreach Director Debra Sellers attended a two-day meeting in Lima, Peru, to discuss and explore a partnership with the Pan American Health Organization and DEVIDA (Peru’s national drug commission) to combat substance use through the implementation of Familias Fuertes (the Spanish adaptation of Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14). DEVIDA currently delivers the program to more than 20,000 families in Peru every year. Hockaday and Sellers were invited to consult with DEVIDA about the possibility of implementing a randomized control trial of Familias Fuertes in Peru.
  • Suzanne Bartholomae, assistant professor in human development and family studies, is representing ISU Extension and Outreach in the newly formed Iowa Identity Theft Victim Assistance Coalition. The coalition is comprised of private and public agencies, including the Iowa Insurance Division, Office of the Attorney General, the Iowa State Sheriffs’ and Deputies’ Association, and the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs. The coalition was established from a U.S. Department of Justice grant to the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistance, a nonprofit organization that assists crime victims. The purpose of the coalition is to enable members to assist clients who have been the target of identity theft and to help others avoid identity theft. The members also receive training relative to their mission.
  • Jel Lee, assistant professor in human development and family studies, Jan Monahan, human sciences specialist in family finance, and Sue Boettcher, Dickinson County human sciences program coordinator, piloted two lessons of a curriculum related to future care planning for older adults at the Spirit Lake Senior Center. The lessons assist older adults in proactively seeking support and include information related to planning for appointments with physicians, communication strategies, and end of life documents, including advance directives. This educational offering provides opportunities for older Iowans to learn how to be better advocates for their own health care and how to marshal support when needed. The majority of pilot respondents reported satisfaction with the program, and 15 out of 20 reported preparing a tool kit after attending the first lesson. Additional pilot sessions are planned.

4-H Youth Development

  • With four months left in the program year, 4-H has already reached last year’s participation numbers. As of May 15, Iowa 4-H had more than 23,000 club/individual enrollments. 4-H has also seen a 7.3 percent growth of Clover Kids (K-3) enrollment from last year. Final numbers will be available in early October 2018.
  • SWITCH wrapped up the 2017-2018 program year on April 27. Twenty-five schools from 18 counties completed the 12-week program, building capacity to establish a more wellness focused school environment and offering more than 1,900 fourth and fifth grade students new opportunities to set goals to grow healthy habits. Recruitment and enrollment is underway for the 2018-2019 school year. The goal is to have all 40 elementary spots and all 12 spots in the new middle school pilot filled before June 30. More than 40 youth and adults from four school districts attended the SWITCH Youth Summit Pilot. They were immersed in a variety of healthy living workshops and discussed how their teams could take action to create healthier school environments where all youth have the opportunity to “switch what they do, view and chew.” They learned fun ways to be active (without screen time and their electronic devices) and discovered the science behind why physical activity is important for our bodies. They were challenged to practice mindfulness and be more aware of the present moment, and they put their creativity into practice by creating their own recipe and learning how to conduct a taste test back in their school. This event will be replicated in other regions across the state next year.
  • Nicole Hanson and Sara Nelson presented a workshop on the STEM-Lit to Go program at the Iowa Impact After School Conference in April. About 30 out-of-school-time professionals attended this hands-on session to learn how to use the STEM-Lit to Go framework to develop their own high-quality STEM and literacy experiences for young children. In addition, many participants expressed interest in partnering with local ISU Extension and Outreach staff to bring the curriculum to their programs.
  • The 2018 Youth Equine Extravaganza, held March 23-25 in Iowa Falls, drew nearly 200 youth and parents. Fifteen volunteers assisted as youth competed in individual and team events including hippology, quiz bowl, horse judging and public speaking, as well as horseless horse categories such as creative writing, photography, drawing, crafts, woodworking, painting and digital storytelling. Youth also experienced a hands-on clinic with a clinician from Texas. The winning senior team, Story County Team #1, qualified to participate in the Western National Roundup, January 2019 in Denver.

May 2018 program update

Updates from the ISU Extension and Outreach leadership team

4-H Youth Development

  • Contestants from Boone, Adair and Kossuth counties earned championships during the inaugural 4-H Livestock Quiz Bowl held at Iowa State in March. A quiz bowl round consists of 28 questions relating to the beef, goat, sheep and swine industries, as well as current event questions. Teams competed in a double-elimination style contest, with a senior division for youth ages 14-19 and a mixed division for teams with youth of all ages. This is the first year that Iowa 4-H has hosted the event. The winning senior team will represent Iowa at the National 4-H contest held during AKSARBEN this fall in Grand Island, Neb.
  • Nearly 140 youth attended the Maize Retreat, April 13-15 at Clover Woods. This culturally based youth leadership accelerator offers youth the opportunity to experience 4-H programs through a Latino and Native American perspective. Iowa 4-H received positive feedback from both youth and chaperones about the quality of the workshops they attended.
  • Twenty school staff from five schools in Sioux City and Ida County participated in the School Garden 101 training in Sioux City during February and March. During the training, Brenda Welch, 4-H program specialist, introduced the teachers to the Connecting Learning and Living curriculum available through Iowa 4-H Youth Development. She also offered tips for tweaking the lessons to reach more of the Iowa Core Standards.
  • Nearly 200 high school aged youth attended the Northwest Iowa GRiT conferences at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake and Northwestern College in Orange City. GRiT stands for Getting Real Together through leadership and is a partnership of 4-H Youth Development, Human Sciences, and the local colleges. The conference goals are to make connections with underrepresented populations and help them develop leadership skills, as well as show them opportunities for future personal development through 4-H and post-secondary learning. The youth participated in leadership challenges, toured the campus and experienced college-classroom learning from college faculty in STEM, healthy living, leadership and civic engagement, communication and the arts. They also heard a keynote about overcoming challenges and made a showcase video about their day.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Trade issues have emerged between the United States and China, with tariffs already impacting pork exports from Iowa. There is concern that an escalation of tariffs between the two countries could affect soybean exports, as well. These concerns, as well as a detailed look at previous Chinese responses to U.S. tariffs, are contained in a policy brief from the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural and Rural Development. China typically responds to U.S. tariffs by posting tariffs of their own against goods they can easily purchase from another country or substitute with another product.
  • Mammals of Iowa” is available from the Extension Store. This first-of-its-kind, comprehensive field guide is a collaborative project between ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The 132-page booklet contains full species accounts for 57 mammal species found in Iowa, as well as supplemental material about extirpated or rare species, living alongside mammals, and scaled comparisons highlighting the wide variety of shapes and sizes of the state’s mammals. Each species account features photos, range maps that highlight county distributions in the state, and information on the identification, habitats, breeding behavior and diets of each species.
  • Improving water quality – through practices such as wetlands, woodchip bioreactors, controlled drainage, saturated buffers, reduced drainage intensity and winter forage or cover crops – was discussed during a water quality improvement workshop held in Fort Dodge. Twenty-four participants attended the workshop, learning about the design of water quality improvement practices and gaining information essential for the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2018 Community Visioning Program assessment process is completed and local steering committees are reviewing the assessment data provided by the Iowa State research team. In addition, steering committees will meet with local transportation officials. In May, assessment reviews will be conducted in Glidden, Decorah, Peterson, Plymouth, Graettinger and Forest City. Glidden, Forest City and Plymouth also will meet with transportation officials. In addition, Glidden, Decorah and Coon Rapids will be conducting design workshops. The public may attend these workshops and provide input on preliminary transportation enhancement goals.
  • CED specialists Jill Sokness, Brian Perry and Jon Wolseth will be presenting Leading Communities in Storm Lake on Thursdays in May. This CED leadership program is made possible in part by a VPEO initiative and will feature the creation of an additional module addressing immigrant social capital.
  • CED is now offering Marketing Hometown America to help communities focus on what people are looking for when they choose a place to live and do business. On May 14, Jane Goeken will be in Primghar to discuss the program with O’Brien County Extension.
  • On May 29, Jane Goeken and Diane Van Wyngarden will be in Riceville teaching a Customer Service Workshop. These workshops are two-hour, interactive classes. The first half of the class focuses on community-level tourism as a form of economic development. The second half focuses on skills in customer service, such as complaint resolution, dealing with negative online reviews and providing exceptional customer service.

Human Sciences

  • Cindy Fletcher, professor and resource management extension state specialist, in partnership with the State Library of Iowa and with support from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, launched the first phase of financial capability workshops. The blended course, “Small Change: Building Financial Security,” offers an initial face-to-face workshop followed by game-based online modules. Library staff will complete the course with a webinar in May. The course will be offered to two other targeted groups of public employees over the next year: K-12 employees, and municipal and county employees.
  • The ServSafe® Training Grant from Department of Human Services was renewed. This is the sixth year of the partnership. Beginning in July, Human Sciences Extension and Outreach will have scholarships for 50 child care providers from facilities working on or toward Quality Rating Scales to attend the class and become Certified Food Protection Managers. The anticipated impact is lowering the risk of children acquiring a foodborne illness. Cathy Strohbehn, extension specialist and adjunct professor, and Barb Fuller, human sciences specialist in nutrition and wellness, are co-PIs on the grant.
  • In summer 2016, Nevada Extension contacted Human Sciences Extension and Outreach to assess interest in working on a multi-state, early-childhood literacy research project. Human sciences specialists piloted a four-session series with 15 early childhood professionals from Jasper, Montgomery, Taylor and Union counties in 2017. Based on pre-post knowledge outcomes, participants with less education, those with fewer years of experience, and family child care providers learned more about oral language than did other participants. Those with less education and family child care providers learned more about phonological awareness. Participants who taught preschoolers or mixed age groups learned more about dialogic reading. The project work continues with interviews and additional assessment of the multi-state results. The overall goal is to train and coach teachers to implement strong literacy practices in the early childhood classroom to enhance young children’s language and literacy skills.
  • Katy Moscoso and Christine Hradek, with “Buy. Eat. Live Healthy,” attended the National Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Conference. Moscoso delivered two sessions on using “Spend Smart. Eat Smart.” as a technology companion during direct education sessions with clients.

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