May 2022 program update

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • ISU Extension and Outreach has recently partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Dairy Extension and Alltech to develop a free, online dairy training program that is available in both English and Spanish. “The Bilingual Training and Education Program to Improve Practices That Affect Milk Quality” has been designed to help dairy farm employees better understand the how’s and why’s of handling and milking cows.
  • Farm operators need to drive defensively and remain alert every second they are on the road. Steven Freeman, professor in agricultural systems and bioengineering, offers important safety information for moving farm equipment on public roads. Additional information is available in the ISU Extension and Outreach publication “Safely Sharing the Road with Farm Vehicles.”
  • The Conservation Learning Group recently published “What to Expect: Establishing Prairie Vegetation on Your Farm,” an infographic for farmers and landowners about the process and benefits of creating perennial vegetation areas that aid in soil health and water quality improvement and offer habitat for a diversity of wildlife. A key message of this infographic is to encourage consultation with one of the many experts in Iowa who understand the process and timeline for prairie establishment.

Community and Economic Development

  • To better support diversity, equity, and inclusion needs from clients, CED has expanded its menu of options to include programs that will provide cultural competency education and coaching. For this effort CED has chosen the Intercultural Development Inventory, the world’s premier cross-cultural assessment program. The objectives of IDI are to help participants and organizations understand the importance of cultural competency; to assess participants’ levels of cultural competency and help them learn the skills needed to be able to be part of their own organization’s DEI goals in a confidential way; and assess the organization’s levels of cultural competency and determine how to set measurable goals for growth that will translate in higher efficiency and better communication. CED will facilitate an IDI group session for the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation on May 19.
  • The 2022 Community Visioning Program completed community assessment work in April and local steering committees are reviewing the assessment data provided by the ISU research team. In May, assessment reviews were conducted in Dunlap and Logan.

Human Sciences

  • During federal FY 2021, the Spend Smart. Eat Smart. mobile app had 2,510 active users and the website had 116,560 total users; 64% of website users are age 18-44 and 66% of website users identify as female. Most users access the website in English. However, 1,260 used the live translation feature, with most translations to Chinese and Spanish. Forty-two percent of users access the website via a mobile device.
  • Dr. Catheryn Hockaday led a four-day Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10-14 facilitator training with South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence board members and staff. Drs. Hockaday and Doug Coatsworth also presented to the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use about universal prevention programs that work with SFP 10-14 in South Africa.
  • The Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal selected Dr. Suzanne Bartholomae as the 2021 recipient of the Best Paper in Personal Finance and Consumer Economics for her article, “Rural healthcare providers’ perceptions of patient financial well-being and integrating financial capability services.” She will be honored at the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Annual Conference June 25-27 in Orlando, Florida.

4-H Youth Development

  • For the past five years, people across Iowa have been collecting the tabs off their pop cans to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House and honor former 4-H member Jacy McAlexander, who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer in 2018. The 2021-22 State 4-H Council is continuing this statewide service effort, called Pop Tabs for Jacy. The goal is to collect 1,000 pounds of pop tabs or 10 pounds from each Iowa county extension district by the 2022 Iowa 4-H Youth Conference, June 28-30. Anyone wishing to donate pop tabs on Jacy’s behalf can drop them off at their ISU Extension and Outreach county office or deliver them to any of the three Ronald McDonald House locations in Iowa.
  • 4-H state STEM specialist Sara Nelson is serving as interim director of the NASA Iowa Space Grant Consortium, part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The consortium supports aerospace research, education, and outreach activities for all Iowans with NASA internships, fellowships, and scholarships, competitions for grants within higher education members, as well as informal education grants with outreach affiliates.

April 2022 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Kevin Pottebaum, Woodbury County public relations and communication coordinator
  • Sidney Riemenschneider, Emmet County youth coordinator
  • Maddie Mardesen, Dallas County extension educator
  • Lena Gripp, Buena Vista County youth coordinator
  • Tiffany Blair, Calhoun County youth coordinator
  • Jamie Smith, education extension specialist II, Human Sciences

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Roger Barloon, Buchanan County farmers market manager
  • Kristy Brunsvold, Hancock County director
  • Amy Harrison, Iowa County ag outreach educator
  • Holly White, Chickasaw County office manager
  • Tara Saxton, Calhoun County youth coordinator
  • Jasmine Tappin, event planner II, Conference Planning and Management
  • Ellen Brennan, event planner I, Conference Planning and Management
  • Matie George, education extension specialist II, Iowa Pork Industry Center
  • Share Kelley, education extension specialist II, Human Sciences

April 2022 program update

4-H Youth Development

  • Iowa 4-H members practiced and tested their leadership, communications, and college and career readiness skills as they participated in the annual State 4-H Recognition Day interviews March 27 at Iowa State University. This statewide event, held each spring, is the culmination of the year’s recognition process.
  • 4-H Youth Development is seeking 13 Iowa families to host 12 Japanese youth delegates and one Japanese adult chaperone this summer as part of the States’ 4-H Exchange program. This program is designed to focus on daily life in Iowa households. Through 4-H International Programs, youth and adults have opportunities to build global citizenship as they connect with others from around the world.
  • During the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa, 398 junior and senior high-school students from across the state competed for prizes, awards and scholarships valued at over $75,000. Winners are now listed on the SSTFI website’s awards page. The competition for youth in grades 6-12 addresses the Next Generation Science Standards’ call for students to create scientific research using the practices of science and engineering, including critical thinking and communication skills.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • The 2022 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey includes 122 responses and nearly 3,400 custom rates for tasks related to tillage, planting and seeding, spraying, harvesting, farm labor, and more. Most custom rates saw an increase of 3-10%, and the cost for labor increased almost 14%, according to Alejandro Plastina, associate professor in economics and extension economist, and an author of the report. Plastina said the survey information is meant to be a starting point for farmers and agribusiness to engage in conversations and negotiations.
  • Rob Davis, the new water quality measurement coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach, will help with the ongoing effort to make the data and other resources of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy more interactive and available online. Progress made toward the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals has been reported by the strategy management team since 2014. To facilitate public access to data, a web-based dashboard went live in 2021. Three additional measurable indicators – inputs, human, and water – will be implemented in 2022 and 2023.

Community and Economic Development

  • The Municipal Leadership Academy provides elected municipal officials with a curriculum to assist them in effectively meeting the requirements of their office. The program offers a comprehensive overview of Iowa municipal government and is presented by the Iowa League of Cities and Community and Economic Development. Topics covered during the series include city finance and budgeting, meeting procedures, municipal law, economic development, ethics and fraud prevention, nuisance abatement, personnel issues, and land use and zoning. Part three of the training is designed for those looking for more in-depth information on the challenges facing cities. Like any MLA session, this training is appropriate for newly elected or veteran city officials as well as appointed city officials. In April MLA Part Three is being offered in Iowa City, Emmetsburg, Red Oak, and Des Moines, as well as one virtual session on April 21.
  • A statewide Guide Training Workshop, April 26 in Johnston, features practical tips and techniques for creating and delivering dynamic guided programs, with a focus on adult visitors. This program was designed especially for staff and volunteers who lead guided programs at Iowa’s diverse attractions, including parks and conservation areas, museums, downtown walking tours, historic sites, agritourism, retail and industry tours, and city leaders who provide community tours to prospective new residents.

Human Sciences

  • Farm and Ranch Wellness: Meeting Local Needs is a collaborative project between ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, funded by USDA. This project was developed to strengthen local outreach consultations to individuals engaged in farming and their advocates regarding available key stress assistance programs. Since October 2021, this project has provided 1,142 on-to-one direct consultations to agribusiness related organizations and 4,487 indirect group consultations and has distributed 10,575 farm stress related resource publications.
  • ISU SNAP-Ed helps Table to Table, a nonprofit food rescue in Iowa City, fund increased service during the growing season to increase access to fruits and vegetables in Southeast Iowa food pantries. During this past growing season, Table to Table partnered with 9 farms, 30+ gardeners, and 40 businesses to collect 555,102 pounds of fruits, vegetables, and dairy. ISU SNAP-Ed was a partner in the launch and scale-up of their gleaning initiative, which represents 37,000 pounds of this harvest. Table to Table is confident they can now sustain the increased produce rescue during the growing season without funding support from SNAP-Ed. In 2022, the partnership will transition to support training for emergency food service organizations on creating supportive, respectful environments for shoppers.

March 2022 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Kathy Tobin, Clinton County office assistant
  • Janice Savel, Linn County office assistant
  • Ellen O’Loughlin, Calhoun County office manager/community and families
  • Cynthia Bartels, Clinton County office assistant
  • Shelby Van Horn, Cass County youth coordinator
  • Jane Ryan, Black Hawk County office assistant
  • Eugenia Hartsook, regional director, County Services
  • Anindita Das, diversity and inclusion professional development specialist, 4-H Youth Development

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Bethany Cecot, Warren County office assistant
  • Addilynn Vonbehren, Jones County office assistant
  • Cassie Engstler, Winnebago County youth director
  • Samantha Hardaway, Greene County youth coordinator
  • Kyle Moeller, Lee County office assistant
  • Deena Jury, Polk County office assistant
  • Sarah Wilson, Linn County office manager
  • Signe Meinders, Hancock County horticulture specialist
  • Dorothy Goodell, Humboldt County program coordinator
  • Hannah Johnson, Davis County youth coordinator
  • Kate Tewes, Clay County 4-H livestock and fair coordinator
  • Sadie Graham, Montgomery County program coordinator
  • Jane Koppen, Kossuth County youth coordinator
  • Nancy Detrick, Henry County janitor
  • Colleena Johnson, Union County youth coordinator
  • Jason Hayes, Linn County bookkeeper/accounting specialist
  • Shelley Woodall, program assistant II, Human Sciences
  • Karla Doty, extension program assistant II, Human Sciences
  • Allison Brundy, program specialist I, 4-H Youth Development
  • Rob Davis, data analyst II, Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Zachary Hanna, program assistant II, Registration Services
  • Nora Kurtovic, extension program assistant II, Human Sciences

March 2022 program update

Human Sciences

  • The Mental Health First Aid team, led by David Brown and Demi Johnson, receive frequent requests to offer private Adult or Youth Mental Health First Aid classes to local organizations and groups. So far this fiscal year, classes have been offered to the Polk County Jail, Iowa Childcare Resource and Referral, ISU College of Veterinary Medicine, Hawkeye Community College, ISU Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department, Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, University of Northern Iowa Center for Urban Education, and Polk County/Regional fire and police dispatchers. As a result, 168 participants are newly certified in Mental Health First Aid and are better prepared to respond to individuals struggling with mental health or substance use issues.
  • Dawn Dunnegan, family wellbeing specialist in southeast Iowa, provides Question, Persuade, Refer training for multiple audiences and reports two recent successes. Fourteen individuals with the Washington County Police Department were trained. While several indicated their knowledge of facts concerning suicide and local resources as “low” before the training, all reported their knowledge as “medium” or “high” after the training. ISU Extension and Outreach Jefferson County staff found a supporter to help fund their training, with 27 individuals from Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, and Davis counties in attendance. The participants included teachers, faith-based leaders, health care workers, courthouse employees, 4-H volunteers, Boy Scout volunteers, law enforcement, licensed therapists, and parents.

4-H Youth Development

  • Junior and senior high-school students from across the state will compete for prizes, awards, and scholarships during the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa on March 24-25. The event is the largest STEM competition for youth in grades 6-12 and will be hosted in person at Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. Participants learn about science and engineering processes, problem solving, and the importance of being able to communicate and defend those findings to others. They prepare a research poster detailing their findings and the data collected. Students, teachers, families, and members of the public are invited to view the exhibits and ask the youth questions about their projects. This year’s competition will see the return of youth-led educational seminars.
  • Staff from across the state have been participating in “Real Money. Real World.” trainings, gaining tools to use this financial literacy curriculum with youth in grades 7-12 in their communities. The program includes four classroom lessons to prepare students to assume the role of a 27-year-old adult who is the primary income provider for a family. They receive an occupation, monthly salary, and number of children they are raising. Youth participants learn to subtract savings, taxes, and other deductions from their monthly income. Their balance will then prepare them for spending decisions during the simulation phase of the program.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • In a recent episode of the Small Farm Sustainability Podcast, Yuko Sato, ISU Extension and Outreach poultry veterinarian and associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, discusses how good biosecurity practices can help prevent outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry. If farmers suspect an outbreak within their poultry, the first step is to contact the state veterinarian or USDA. Early detection is key to controlling outbreaks, so farmers should not hesitate to reach out. The second step is to isolate to prevent further infection. ISU Extension and Outreach has a variety of resources available to poultry farmers regarding avian influenza and biosecurity.
  • Upcoming in-person classes through ISU Extension and Outreach will teach those hoping to sell wild-harvested mushrooms in the state to distinguish safe mushrooms from potentially poisonous lookalikes. To legally sell wild harvested mushrooms in the state, mushroom harvesters must complete a certification workshop every three years.
  • Research trials have documented that viruses relevant to the swine industry can survive in feed ingredients and complete feed for transcontinental (23 day) and transoceanic (30 and 37 day) shipping. As biosecurity awareness and protocols have increased for animals, people, and equipment, feed and feed ingredients may also be routes of virus transmission to be managed. A new fact sheet from Iowa Pork Industry Center, “Feed Additives to Mitigate the Risk of Virus-contaminated Feed,” focuses on three research papers that evaluated compounds to mitigate virus-contaminated feed.

Community and Economic Development

  • The 2022 Community Visioning Program includes a transportation assets and barriers workshop in client communities to provide local decision makers a framework within which to make informed choices. In March, transportation assets and barriers workshops are set for Dunlap, Logan, and West Branch.
  • The Rural Housing Readiness Assessment guides communities in considering options that ensure existing and potential residents can find safe, secure, and quality housing that meets their needs and fits within their budgets. The assessment checklists aid in the creation of local housing policy that is appropriate for the needs and desires of a community. During March, CED specialists will be conducting RHRA workshops in Centerville, Knoxville, Sibley, Ocheyedan, Keota, Columbus Junction, and Ashton.
  • 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 March CED specialists will conduct strategic planning for the Black Hawk County Fair Board, St. Luke Lutheran Home Skilled Nursing Home in Spencer, the Oneota Community Co-op Board in Decorah, and the Greenfield Chamber and Economic Development Corporation.

February 2022 program update

Community and Economic Development

  • CED’s Geospatial Technology Program is offering a completely revamped Esri workshop for ArcGIS Pro for a variety of audiences. Over two days participants will be introduced to the essentials of ArcGIS Pro, including its interface, basic geoprocessing tools, and map-making essentials. This offering also includes a one-year student subscription to ArcGIS Pro. The first workshop will take place in Ames February 17–18.
  • CED specialists delivered “Parliamentary Procedures,” Introduction to Planning and Zoning training, and “Principles of Effective Management” at the Municipal Professionals Institute 2022 Winter Session virtually February 9–11. Each year, MPI provides Iowa clerks and finance officers with training that gives them the basic framework of how municipalities function and assists them with their day-to-day duties.
  • The food systems team is hosting the 8th Community Food Systems Annual Event February 24-25 at the West Des Moines Marriott. The conference highlights best practices around the nation in all community food systems areas. Presentations will focus on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and will discuss strategies for moving food systems forward.

Human Sciences

  • Carol Ehlers, family wellbeing specialist, has served on the state Women in Ag Committee since 2019. During this time, Carol worked to create an updated curriculum for Annie’s Project programs that could be presented by family wellbeing specialists. In January, Carol presented the final product – Benchmarking Family Living Expenses in Agriculture – to family wellbeing and farm management specialists. The family wellbeing specialists are now trained to teach a consistent class for the Annie’s Project programs across the state.
  • Dr. Suzanne Bartholomae, Carolyn Steckelberg, and Barb Wollan are extending Human Sciences expertise to ISU employees. They are offering new financial wellbeing resources to ISU employees in partnership with University Human Resources and the wellness program. FINRA, the financial industry regulatory authority, is providing partial funding. Barb Wollan, family wellbeing specialist, has been teaching the one-hour virtual workshops: Time for a Financial Checkup (January), Money Smart: Taking Control of Your $ (February), Mission Possible: Savings (March), and Borrowing Smart (March).

4-H Youth Development

  • Iowa 4-H has interviewed and selected three collegiate students across Iowa to participate in the IFYE program in summer 2022. (IFYE formerly was known as International 4-H Youth Exchange.) These students will spend two to six months abroad with host families as they dive into a new culture and way of life. They will broaden their global awareness as they learn by doing. They’ll join in all aspects of family life – sharing quiet moments, enjoying family outings, and joining community activities as well as helping with household and family chores.
  • Seventy-three Iowa 4-H teenagers had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with their state legislators on Feb. 10 during the Iowa Legislative Insider at the Iowa State Capitol. The Iowa Extension Council Association offered the event in partnership with the 4-H Youth Development program. Youth participants were able to connect with their county extension council members, who served as mentors during the event, as well as meet members of the Iowa House of Representatives and Senate to discuss issues affecting youth.

Agriculture and Natural Resource

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a $1.2 million award to fund a high-clearance robotic irrigation system that will eventually be used in Iowa. The project, which aligns nutrient application timing to a crop’s nutrient needs to improve efficiency and reduce nutrient loss, is a collaborative of Iowa State University, the 360 Yield Center, and The Ohio State University. Engineers with ISU Extension and Outreach are directly involved with the project.
  • Crop farmers have until March 15 to make their annual election for Price Loss Coverage or Agriculture Risk Coverage (at the individual or county levels) under the 2018 Farm Bill. This annual decision impacts the 2022 crop year, consistent with the 2018 Farm Bill. Similar annual decisions, for the 2023 crop year, will coincide with the final year of the bill. To help Iowans understand their options for 2022, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is holding a variety of upcoming meetings, with support from USDA’s Farm Service Agency.

Human Sciences and Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • In 2022 a record number of communities across Iowa are slated to receive Growing Together Mini-Grants through ISU Extension and Outreach’s SNAP-Education program. A total of 36 projects are being funded, with the goal of increasing food security and promoting healthy food access. Master Gardener volunteers plant donation gardens with partners, support their community with plant-a-row programs to get more produce into food pantries, and glean fresh produce from farmers markets and home gardeners. All produce is donated to local food pantries, food banks and other food distribution sites.

January 2022 program update

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • CropsTV is returning for a second season. This educational program delivers crop production information directly to farmers and agribusinesses and provides the convenience of crop production education at home, in the office, or anywhere there is an internet connection. The Season 2 program features 30 episodes covering a variety of crop management, pest management, nutrient management, and soil and water management topics. Topics were selected from the Integrated Crop Management Conference, Crop Advantage series, and some are exclusive to CropsTV. All episodes will be available for subscribers to view on-demand.
  • The Women in Ag Program is offering six educational courses throughout the state: Women Planning Ag Businesses; Managing for Today and Tomorrow – Farm Transition Planning; Women Managing Horses; Women Managing Crops; Annie’s Project farm business management; and Advanced Grain Marketing for Women. The farm management team is leading courses in nine locations in Iowa this winter. Courses are offered through a network of extension educators, including statewide equine and other specialists as well as county-based professionals.

Community and Economic Development

  • Marketing Hometown America has been successfully used by Cooperative Extension programs in Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, and now ISU Extension and Outreach to help rural communities retain their quality of life and market the value of rural places by teaching them to home in on what people are looking for when they choose a place to live and do business. In January community and economic development specialists will be conducting MHA train-the-trainer sessions for extension educators in Buena Vista and Cass counties.
  • Navigating Difference was developed by Washington State University Extension and enables participants to create a safe and welcoming environment for all learners with activities that respect and support individual learning styles. In January community and economic development staff will be conducting virtual Navigating Difference for the IMPACT Social Action Agency in Des Moines and United Way of Central Iowa.

Human Sciences

  • Dawn Dunnegan, family wellbeing specialist, collaborated with Child Care Resource & Referral, Early Childhood Iowa, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines County Conservation, and ISU Extension and Outreach Des Moines County to deliver a Growing Up Wild for early learners training. Sixteen individuals (preschool and early elementary teachers, daycare center providers, and in-home childcare providers) gathered at Starr’s Cave Nature and Education Center for the four-hour workshop. They were introduced to the curriculum, shared outdoor experiences, and learned about resources. Participants indicated they would use the activities and plans to support active outdoor play.
  • Jill Weber and Amy Jones, food and health specialists, delivered Latinos Living Well in Waterloo. They connected with the ACES clinic (affiliated with Allen College), Black Hawk County Public Health, YMCA, Iowa Workforce Development, and Rosario Garcia (translator) to market and reach potential participants. The ACES clinic provided weekly gas cards and gift cards for fresh produce for the participants. Eight women participated in the series of four classes, learning about diabetes self-management, lifestyle changes, and health-promoting behaviors that support reduced type 2 diabetes risk and complications.

4-H Youth Development

  • Iowa PBS has invited 4-H Reporters to engage in Crafts from the Past that focus on teaching a lost art form. Filming begins in January and highlights the following crafts: felting, paper quilling, arranging/foraging dried flowers, making homemade ramen noodles, woodworking, and tatting. Iowa 4-H Reporters will get behind-the-scenes access during Iowa PBS studio filming and partner with them to create additional content. 4-H Reporters have the option to find local craftspeople in their communities and create articles, audio interviews, Instagram reels, or short videos.
  • The State 4-H Council has wrapped up their statewide service project. With the help of our 100 county offices, they met and exceeded their original 2,000 item goal by collecting 2,252 winter clothing items. These items were all donated within local communities to organizations in need, such as Youth Shelter Services in Story County, Afghan immigrant families in Polk County, Christian Needs Center in Plymouth County, Helping Services in Winneshiek County, and a women’s rehab center in Marion County.

November 2021 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Kathryn Yoder, Johnson County youth coordinator
  • Eva Coughlin, Montgomery County youth coordinator
  • Jada Goddard, Chickasaw County director
  • Jill Leners, Plymouth County office/program assistant
  • Adelyda Ebersole, Union County youth coordinator
  • Danielle Morgan, Adair County youth development coordinator
  • Allison Wisgerhof, Dallas County youth coordinator
  • Mary Olson, program assistant II, STEM Hub
  • Jon Wolseth, manager education extension, Community and Economic Development

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Emily Velisek, Jones County youth coordinator
  • Kathrine Reinecker, Mills County ACES coordinator
  • Becky Dohlman, Cerro Gordo County outreach educator (FRW grant)
  • Darby Young, Plymouth County director
  • Krystal Murphy, Davis County office assistant
  • Hope Hartman, Cerro Gordo County youth intern
  • Paola Trujillo Lopez, extension program assistant II, Human Sciences
  • Sindy Perez, extension program assistant II, Human Sciences
  • Leslie Miller, P&S temporary, Agriculture and Natural Resources

December 2021 program update

4-H Youth Development

  • Ricochet: An Extreme 4-H Leadership Adventure has been nationally peer-reviewed and accepted by National 4-H Council. The Ricochet team presented at NAE4-HYPD in November and will work through the next steps of having Ricochet available on Shop4H. To purchase the Ricochet curriculum, visit the Extension Store.
  • Join this year’s State 4-H Council and guests as they dive into Iowa 4-H topics and program areas during CloverCast Season 3. The youth-led podcast initiative is available on Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Podcast, and other sources.
  • Iowa 4-H is partnering with States’ 4-H International Exchange program to offer international exchange opportunities for 4-H members age 12-18. The States’ 4-H Exchange program offers American youth an opportunity to travel to other countries for a cultural immersion experience. Outbound delegates live with volunteer host families in those countries and engage in experiential learning about a new way of life. Delegates experience aspects of daily life that allow them to better understand both their host culture and their own culture. Iowa 4-H and States’ 4-H Exchange are accepting applications from current 4-H youth, ages 12-18, who would like to travel abroad and also from those interested in being a host family for Japanese youth for summer 2022. Deadline to apply online is January 15. All States’ 4-H Exchange inbound and outbound programs are subject to change based on COVID-19 regulations in participating countries at time of travel.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Iowa Learning Farms is offering a new series of in-person social outreach events aimed at engaging farmers in informal conversations about conservation topics that may be on their minds. “Coffee and Conservation” and “Conservation on Tap” debut in December, providing an informal venue for farmers to listen, share, and learn with peers and ISU Extension and Outreach professionals. There will be no formal presentations or agenda, just a chance to talk, ask questions, listen, and learn. The events are produced in collaboration with the Conservation Learning Group and ISU Extension and Outreach county offices.
  • Recognizing the many ways that stress impacts dairy farmers and the farming industry at large, extension dairy specialists have recently published a series of publications related to farm stress. Seven Farm and Family Stress Resources publications are available for free download, in addition to four Managing Farm Stress and Distress publications. The publications cover the varying levels of stress, how to prevent and cope with stress, and how to respond after stressful things happen.
  • Sixty-four counties will participate in the confinement site manure applicator workshops in January or February 2022. In addition, a series of six dry/solid manure applicator certification workshops will be held in February for either commercial or confinement site manure applicators. ISU Extension and Outreach offers the workshops in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The workshops serve as initial certification for those applicators who are not currently certified, recertification for those renewing licenses and continuing education for those applicators in their second or third year of their license.

Community and Economic Development

  • The Municipal Leadership Academy provides elected municipal officials with a curriculum to assist them in effectively meeting the requirements of their office. The program offers a comprehensive overview of Iowa municipal government and is presented by the Iowa League of Cities and the Office of State and Local Government Programs at ISU Extension and Outreach. During December MLA Part One will be offered at Atlantic, Clear Lake, Cherokee, Hiawatha, Des Moines, and virtually.
  • Leading Communities: A Place-based Leadership Program is designed to promote community engagement and increase capacity among community members for addressing common issues and problems. During December CED specialists will facilitate the program for Lyon County and Henry County and meet with a planning committee in O’Brien County.
  • 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. Taking time annually as a group to prioritize and plan to move forward is vital for any government or nonprofit group. In December Aimee Viniard-Weideman will conduct the Cedar Falls City Council annual goal setting sessions. Viniard-Weideman and Julie Robison will cofacilitate strategic planning for the Oneota Food Co-op in Decorah.

Human Sciences

  • Buena Vista County is first in the state to complete PhotoVoice for fall 2021. This educational offering is designed for those who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. The group took pictures centered on the theme of ability – what are they experiencing and ways they are “able.” The group noted their efforts reflect a deep understanding of the disease and, when shared, would raise awareness of the disease within their family and their networks. Stacie Hewett, Buena Vista County office/program coordinator, Renee Sweers, food and health specialist, and Carol Ehlers, family wellbeing specialist, led the group discussion that captured what the Parkinson’s group members saw and how they felt. Sessions 1 and 2 were completed with up to 12 group members, many of whom were a part of the “A Journey through Parkinson’s Disease” pilot. PhotoVoice is a blended workshop from ISU Extension and Outreach and the University of Iowa and is led by Iowa State’s Jel Lee and Elizabeth Stegemöller.
  • Thirty-eight human service providers in the Council Bluffs/Omaha metro area became trained suicide prevention gatekeepers during their annual fall training events. Sandra Nassen McKinnon, family wellbeing specialist, facilitated “Question. Persuade. Refer.” in partnership with the Human Services Advisory Council. Sail On and Fly High, a nonprofit, sponsored the training. Pre- and post- survey results indicated an increase in understanding facts and warning signs of suicide. A Human Services Advisory Council member was thankful she participated in the training, as she received a call the next day. The caller’s family member talked about suicide and the caller did not know what to do. The council member had the national suicide prevention lifeline number programmed into her phone, as was suggested in the training, and was able to direct the caller.

October 2021 goodbye … and welcome

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

  • Olivia Logue, Mitchell County youth coordinator
  • Elizabeth Siepker, Winneshiek County K-12 program coordinator
  • Emily Zahurones, Wright County youth coordinator
  • Julie Orris, Jones County child care resources coordinator
  • Roxanne Fuller, Buchanan County director
  • Lea Decook, Mahaska County office assistant
  • Sheila Oswalt, Davis County office assistant
  • Dana Allen, Muscatine County K-12 outreach educator
  • Leigh Rigby-Adcock, communications specialist II, Farm, Food and Enterprise Development
  • Rick Woten, Region 25 director, County Services

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Signey Hilby, Poweshiek County Clover Kids coordinator
  • Sherry Carlson, Humboldt County office manager
  • Lori Dietzenbach, Buchanan County program assistant/data specialist
  • Nicole Reinert, Buena Vista County office/program assistant
  • Nicole Reynolds-Thimmesch, Bremer County youth coordinator
  • Jamila Shing-Hon, Johnson County GAP coordinator
  • Wyatt Barwick, Wapello County Clover Kids assistant
  • Missy Crawford, Franklin County director/program coordinator
  • Haley Princehouse, Poweshiek County youth coordinator
  • Andre Salazar, education extension specialist II, Agriculture and Natural Resources

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