Master Business Bootcamp

John Lawrence’s message from July 15, 2019

Since 2015 the Master Business Bootcamp has helped more than 250 small businesses in the Des Moines area to survive and thrive. Now our Community and Economic Development unit is partnering to expand this coaching and mentorship program across the state. Did you know?

  • Kameron Middlebrooks has cofacilitated the program and coached business owners for two years, first as part of the Financial Empowerment Center at the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, where the program originated. He has continued working with the bootcamp since joining ISU Extension and Outreach in 2018 as our minority business coordinator.
  • To qualify for the program, participants must show that they have been operating their business for at least six consecutive months and have established clients who currently use their products or services. The free program targets minority populations with low-to-moderate income; however, it is open to any small business owners.
  • Master Business Bootcamp reinforces essential skills necessary to own, manage, grow and operate small businesses. Kameron coaches bootcamp participants as they develop their own business profile, including their vision, mission, objectives, slogan, values and a thorough description of their products and services.

When we build Iowans’ capacity to develop successful businesses, our communities are more likely to prosper and thrive, leading to a strong Iowa. To learn more about Master Business Bootcamp or other services for small-business development, contact Kameron at 515-231-5055 or kameronm@iastate.edu.

Internal Communications: County visit notification

The Internal Communications Task Force Report acknowledges that too often campus folks, as well as field staff, don’t tell county staff when they will be visiting or working in the county. Two of the recommendations request we develop a method or system to provide advance notice. It seems to me that the recommendations boil down to this: Show respect and professional courtesy to one another.

  • Campus faculty and staff – When you are planning to be out in the state somewhere representing ISU Extension and Outreach in any way, please inform that county extension office and the regional director.
  • Regional and county staff – When you are planning to present at an event, ISU sponsored or not, or are initiating a partnership, please inform the extension office of the county you will be visiting, as well as the regional director.
  • County staff – If you receive a message from campus or regional staff alerting you that they will be in your county, please acknowledge it. Offer to assist them or invite them to stop by the office for a cup of coffee.
  • In any case, visitors, send an email ahead of time explaining where you’ll be and why; and locals, acknowledge you received it. This simple action will go a long way in improving communication within our organization.

Over time, we may discover that we need a more complex or automated system. However, sending an email to let our colleagues know when we’ll be visiting their county is a best practice that we all can implement right now. Thank you.

More notes

  • Our 12 Rising Star interns had their mid-point check-in at the end of June and they reported on a wide range of activities. Here’s a sample of their efforts: helping develop the Ag Bite by the Barn for Adults at the Clay County Fair (Region 1); analyzing and developing four strategic plan options for a day care facility in Sheffield (Region 3); running the Power of Produce clubs for approximately 120 youth (Region 5); and conducting a “new foods” program for kids and food demonstrations at area farmers markets (Region 20). To keep up with everything our Rising Stars are doing, subscribe to their blog and engage with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • Global Rocket Launch Day celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with activities to help youth learn about rockets and NASA. Our 4-H program will be using these activities throughout the year to engage youth in the 4-H aerospace project area. For more information, contact Sara Nelson, state STEM lead, sdnelson@iastate.edu.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Introducing MyData

John Lawrence’s message from June 17, 2019

Back in March I told you that we were getting closer to having one shared reporting system for our entire organization. Now I am pleased to introduce MyData, the centralized system that will expand our ability to collect and report numbers and narratives about program outcomes, partnerships and client relationships. Did you know?

  • Five counties (Carroll, Franklin, Monroe, Muscatine and Polk) and some campus staff currently are piloting MyData. For the next six to 12 months, they’ll be using the system; providing feedback on best practices for managing, sharing and accessing data; and suggesting improvements. They’ll also help to identify the reports, dashboards and other features that extension professionals are likely to request. In addition, they’ll become a cohort of users who can help develop and deliver training for the rest of us.
  • After the pilot has been completed and any necessary adjustments have been made, MyData will be rolled out in phases. The schedule and the training will be tailored to the specific needs, uses and work cycles of each extension unit.
  • If all goes as planned, MyData will be tested, tried and rolled out to the entire ISU Extension and Outreach system sometime in 2021.

The goal for MyData is to meet as many county and program reporting needs as possible. ISU Extension and Outreach units have unique needs for collecting and reporting data, which requires feedback from many to make MyData work for all of us. In the coming months you’ll be hearing more about MyData from the steering committee and your unit leaders. Because MyData is really our data, please engage in these discussions and provide feedback. Let’s work together to create the best system possible. You also can check MyExtension to follow MyData’s progress.

Internal Communications: Update

During our leadership team retreat on May 31, we started prioritizing and in some cases bundling the recommendations from the Internal Communications Task Force. As a result, on June 21 I will be meeting with staff from Extension Information Technology and Advancement for a preliminary discussion about a centralized, internal communications platform for extension staff and faculty. While I think of MyExtension as a file cabinet that stores tools, content and assets, I see this platform as a newspaper. This platform could include information from leadership, and other internal communications from the program areas, support units and counties. Other items like a virtual suggestion box, calendar of events, or my Vice President for Extension and Outreach schedule also could be included. This is an initial meeting to discuss what this platform might include and understand what sort of resources – technical or otherwise – might be needed.

These technological tools will help us better communicate virtually and stay informed. The in-person, area-wide meetings that will begin in August will help us put faces and names with the digital messages and build better relationships within our organization.

Interims from and in Advancement

Effective July 3, Jacy Johnson, director of ISU Extension and Outreach Advancement, will serve as interim executive director of ISU Strategic Relations and Communications, a new unit that will replace University Relations. The new unit is part of President Wintersteen’s efforts to re-envision the university’s approach to communicating and marketing to deal with budgetary challenges, and seek greater efficiency and continuous improvement. (You might say she is applying ISU Extension and Outreach’s model of Advancement to the rest of the university.) While Jacy is serving President Wintersteen, Billie Koester, strategic relations manager in Advancement, will serve as Advancement’s interim director.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Communication recommendations

John Lawrence’s message from April 22, 2019

About a year ago, I appointed and charged a task force with figuring out how to improve communication within ISU Extension and Outreach so we could do a better job of delivering on our mission. More than 1,000 hours of staff time later, at our 2019 Annual Conference, these hardworking colleagues delivered their report – all 215 pages of it – to me and to the leadership team. Did you know?

  • Deb Sellers and Ross Wilburn co-chaired the task force, which included staff members Alex Merk, Andrea Nelson, Ben Pullen, Ann Torbert and Terry Torneten; and Marshall County Extension Council member Mary Giese. (And they are very grateful for Patti Lewis, secretary in Human Sciences Extension and Outreach, who provided administrative support.) We appreciate all their work and thank all of them for their dedication to this effort.
  • As the task force members gathered information in various ways, they were encouraged by the positive response in both numbers of participants and thoughtfulness of the comments. The amount of data generated was wide-ranging and represented many perspectives.
  • With everything they discussed, contemplated and decided, their collective desire was to increase the effectiveness of ISU Extension and Outreach.

Over the past few weeks, the leadership team and I have been reviewing the full report, and we’re pleased to share this Internal Communications Task Force Report Executive Summary, which includes a summary of the findings and all of the task force’s recommendations. Overall, the data indicate that significant challenges exist within ISU Extension and Outreach. However, the data also show that our people believe our organization can address these challenges and improve our situation.

The leadership team accepted the full report, and during our retreat on May 31, we will focus on prioritizing the task force’s recommendations and decide how to move forward. However, we all have a role in improving communication within our organization. As the leadership team develops an implementation plan, we promise to gather your input and communicate with you regularly.

I will include updates in my weekly email messages at least once per month to keep you informed on progress. These “Internal Communications: Updates” also will be compiled so you can refer to them at any time, all in one place. In addition, we’ll add a link to this updates page within MyExtension and on the Structured for Success webpage so that everyone has more than one way to find the latest updates.

Together we’ll move ISU Extension and Outreach forward – to provide transparency, boost morale, increase the effectiveness of our organization and improve our service to all Iowans.

One more note: Sometimes ISU Extension and Outreach also faces external communication challenges, but that is a fact of life for a large, varied and complex organization. When a news story or a social media post or an offhand comment gives you pause, remember our vision, our mission and our goals. Iowa State University and ISU Extension and Outreach are committed to diversity and inclusion on campus in Ames and in every corner of the state. (And it’s the third goal in our 2017-2022 Extension and Outreach Strategic Plan.) We want our faculty, staff, students, and all of the people we serve through Extension and the 4-H Youth Development program to know they are welcomed, supported, and valued. We are dedicated to serving all Iowans.

We focus on feeding people, keeping them healthy, helping their communities prosper and thrive, and turning the world over to the next generation better than we found it. We will keep striving to make ISU Extension and Outreach more diverse and our programs more inclusive, and overall to make our organization, and the part of the world we influence, a place of justice for all.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Many ways to share our story

John Lawrence’s message from Feb. 25, 2019

One of the reoccurring themes I hear from staff and councils is that they want help to share our ISU Extension and Outreach story. Well, help is available in more ways than one. Did you know?

  • Next week I will be in Washington, D.C., with our Iowa delegates to the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET). Donald Latham (Alexander), Robert Petrzelka (Mt. Pleasant), Kevin Ross (Minden) and Sally Stutsman (Riverside) represent ISU Extension and Outreach as well as the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in this national grassroots organization. CARET advocates for greater national support and understanding of the land-grant university system’s food and agricultural research, extension, and teaching programs that enhance the quality of life for all people. While in our nation’s capital, our delegates will be sharing Iowa State’s story with Congress.
  • ISU Day at the Capitol is March 6. This year’s event will showcase the university’s impact in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship. ISU Extension and Outreach participates in this annual opportunity to meet face-to-face with our state legislators and showcase the impact Iowa State has on students, communities, businesses and Iowans across the state.
  • Our ISU Extension and Outreach 2018 Annual Report is available online. The report is filled with examples of how we are listening, learning and working for a strong Iowa. Share the url with your partners or download and print the pdf when you need paper copies to put in their hands. Connect the statewide content points to the educational programs in your county.
  • Human Sciences Extension and Outreach has begun sharing program success via the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Human Sciences at Work national website. The first story featured is our Growing Together Iowa program.
  • Remember that the county stakeholder reports are a great resource. We often have the opportunity to work across county lines, so it makes sense to keep informed about what our extension neighbors are doing. The stakeholder reports are filled with stories we all can share.
  • Each month the four program leaders provide me with two or three points of pride that I carry with me to share with groups throughout the state. These points are available on my “Did You Know” blog in the Program Updates category. It’s another great way to know and share what is happening across our programs.

Excellence in Extension Grants

The Excellence in Extension committee has announced the recipients of the 2019 Excellence in Extension Grants. Descriptions of the grants are available from the Excellence in Extension website.

  • Betty Elliot Professional Improvement Grant, two group recipients: 1 – Paul Gibbins, Marci Vinsand, Madisen Gaskin, Megan Freel, Michelle Schott and Cassie Odland; 2 – Holly Merritt, Shelly Smith, Ron Lenth, Roxanne Fuller, Shari Sell-Bakker and Cheryl Bruene.
  • Herb Howell Creative and Innovative Program Grant, one group recipient: Diane Van Wyngarden, Himar Hernandez, Jane Goeken, Abigail Gaffey, Steve Adams and Victor Oyervides.
  • Innovative Program Grant, two group recipients: 1 – David Brown, Anthony Santiago, Malisa Rader, Eugenia Hartsook, Jathan Chicoine, Jeff Vaske and Brett McLain; 2 – Jeong Eun Lee, Suzanne Bartholomae and Sarah Francis.
  • Marvin A. Anderson Graduate Scholarship, three individual recipients: Sarah Zwiefel, Laura Liechty and Joshua Michel.
  • Individual Staff Development Grant: Angela Shipley.

More notes

  • Be sure to visit the Learning Fair during our ISU Extension and Outreach Annual Conference. The featured programs and resources relate to needs and issues that surfaced during the 2018 listening sessions.
  • When you see someone wearing a “Year One” sticker at Annual Conference, say hello and introduce yourself. Do your part to welcome these new staff members to our extension family.
  • Our Structured for Success committee is in data collection mode. The latest video and meeting notes are available on the committee website, along with the questionnaires the committee will be using in Iowa and in other states. You also can learn more about the committee’s work during Annual Conference.
  • I won’t be sending a message next week, since I’ll be with our CARET delegates in Washington, D.C. I will be back in your inbox on March 11.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Design thinking for place-based issues

John Lawrence’s message from Oct. 22, 2018

What do Audubon, Bedford, Coggon, Durant, Mount Pleasant, Royal, Sumner, Treynor, Van Meter and Walcott have in common? They all will participate in the Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program over the next year. This is one of the ways our Community and Economic Development unit harnesses the power of design thinking to address place-based issues facing Iowa communities. Did you know?

  • The Iowa Department of Transportation sponsors the program in partnership with ISU Landscape Architecture Extension and Trees Forever.
  • To be considered for the program, communities must have a population of fewer than 10,000 residents, existing transportation-related issues, and a committee of volunteers willing to dedicate time and talent to the visioning process.
  • More than 230 communities have participated in Community Visioning since Iowa’s Living Roadways was created in 1996.

Each community will form a local steering committee representing a cross-section of local demographics, including youth. Beginning in November, these committees will work with extension specialists and other technical experts and participate in facilitated meetings, on-site assessments, technical design assistance, and public workshops – about 100 hours-worth over the next year. Each committee’s work will result in a transportation enhancement plan reflecting the community’s identity and values.

More notes

  • Our 2019 ISU Extension and Outreach Annual Conference is set for Feb. 28. Please save the date. Details will be available in the coming months.
  • You can still register for the next “Creating Accessible Digital Documents workshop, Oct. 30 in the Extension 4-H Building on campus in Ames.
  • More than 80 office professionals from throughout the state will be on campus Oct. 23-24 for the Office Professionals Conference. Office professionals are valued members of our extension family, and we’re pleased to provide this opportunity for professional development.
  • You can still share your ideas with our Internal Communications Task Force. Two new Community Conversations are being added: Nov. 5 in Ames and Nov. 9 in Garner. (To participate, register online at http://bit.ly/ictf11409.) You can send comments to ictfcomments@iastate.edu until Oct. 29. Some task force members still have dates available for individual discussions. Anyone in our system may anonymously complete an electronic survey, which is open through Oct. 29. For an update on the task force’s Oct. 18 meeting, read the executive summary on Cybox.
  • The Structured for Success committee held meeting #2 on Thursday, Oct. 18. The agenda, summary notes and video are on the County Services website. Structured for Success now has a menu button on the navigation bar to make it easier to find.
  • Congratulations to Jennifer Bentley, Himar Hernandez and Courtney Long. They will represent ISU Extension and Outreach in the 2019 National Extension Leadership Development program. NELD participants are selected because of their proven track record of programmatic or administrative success.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Impressed and proud

John Lawrence’s message from Oct. 15, 2018

I wrapped up my VP visits last week. After 20 regions, 60 meetings, 1,200 people and 4,000 miles, I don’t know if I made a larger impression on the stakeholders, staff and councils, or on the seat of my pickup. However, the visits have certainly made an impression on me. I am extremely proud of our organization and our people. The stakeholders at the table reflect the respect that ISU Extension and Outreach holds locally. The staff and councils care deeply about their communities and the people they serve, as well as their connection to Iowa State.

Now the real work begins. Did you know?

  • The leadership team will begin digesting and summarizing all the information that was gathered during the visits.
  • We anticipate having a statewide report and regional reports completed around the end of the year.
  • The next steps will be identifying and prioritizing the issues that we can address, so we can develop and implement a plan to create a strong Iowa.

Goodbye … and welcome

A comment I heard many times during my visits around the state was that we often don’t know when colleagues retire or resign or when new folks join our team. So we’re going to fix that. From now on, around mid-month, I will include a list of people who have recently left or joined ISU Extension and Outreach – in the counties, in the field and on campus. In September, we said good bye to the following individuals:

  • Connie Brommel, Warren County office assistant
  • Joann Bartusek, Cerro Gordo County office manager/bookkeeper
  • Camilla Marshek, Johnson County youth coordinator
  • Janet Neppl, Dickinson County office assistant
  • Becky Oelkers, Cerro Gordo County office assistant/4-H support
  • Joe Sellers, field specialist III, ANR
  • Greg Brenneman, field specialist IV, ANR
  • Nathan Crane, regional director, County Services

We welcome the following new staff:

  • Ashtin Harris, Mahaska County office assistant
  • JeanDarrell Waybill, Hamilton County youth coordinator
  • Pamela Kollasch, Kossuth County office assistant
  • Don-Marie Myers, Webster County PROSPER family coach
  • Laura Webb, Cedar County office assistant
  • Katrina Sauter, Scott County youth program assistant
  • Kaysee Phelps, Henry County program coordinator
  • Grant Theesfeld, Sac County Clover Kids program coordinator
  • Ronald Nelson, communications specialist I, Professional Development

More notes

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

45 down, 6 to go

John Lawrence’s message from Oct. 8, 2018

From a February morning in Cherokee County to a September afternoon at the Audubon Rec Center, ISU Extension and Outreach has celebrated 45 county centennials so far in 2018. Six more counties will reach their 100-year milestone yet this year. I have been privileged to attend 28 of these events and I’ve traveled over 6,300 miles. If my schedule permits, I hope to get to a few more. These celebrations have offered some one-of-a-kind experiences. Did you know?

  • I shared the spotlight with a juggler in Calhoun County, the Iowa History 101 RV in Decatur County, and my guy Cy on several occasions.
  • I rode in a mule-drawn covered wagon during Monroe County’s parade, whereas in Shelby County, I flashed back to my youth by riding on a hay rack with temperatures in the 90s and high humidity (thankfully, no bales this time). I saw, but did not ride, the Budweiser Clydesdales in Delaware County.
  • When I wasn’t able to attend a county’s celebration, someone else from our leadership team was happy to step in and represent ISU Extension and Outreach.

For example, Bob Dodds took part in the 100-year plaque presentation during the opening flag ceremony of the Crawford County Fair. He even was included in the group photo taken with Denison’s Big Bull.

Whether held at county fairs, nature centers, a dance pavilion or other unique location, these 100-year events have brought Iowans together to celebrate our 99 county campus and land-grant mission. We’ll wrap up in 2019 with our final three anniversaries — in Page, Dallas and Jefferson counties. We all can be proud of our heritage as we look toward our shared future. We will continue engaging citizens with university resources in partnership with federal, state and county governments as we work together for a strong Iowa.

More notes

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

For better communication

John Lawrence’s message from Sept. 17, 2018

Sometimes we have trouble communicating with each other in our complex organization, and the challenge cuts across all our programs. That’s why in spring 2018 I appointed an internal communications task force, led by Deb Sellers and Ross Wilburn, to determine how we could improve communication within all of ISU Extension and Outreach.

The task force members – Deb and Ross along with Ann Torbert, Terry Torneten, Alex Merk, Andrea Nelson, Ben Pullen and Mary Giese – began their work without preconceived notions of the outcome. Instead, this group of our colleagues has been focused on listening. They want to develop strategies we can implement within our system to help us all do a better job of carrying out our mission. Did you know?

  • They are gathering information from across our system on barriers that impede, as well as ways to improve, our internal communication.
  • They want to ensure all voices are heard.
  • They will assess, evaluate and determine the most important issues for our system to address in the short- and long-term.
  • They will provide a final report with recommendations to the leadership team.

We all have a role in this effort. The task force is offering four ways for us to provide our feedback.

  1. Anyone in our system may send comments to ictfcomments@iastate.edu from now until Oct. 29.
  2. Task force members will facilitate four community conversations across the state on Sept. 25, Sept. 28, Oct. 3 and Oct. 8. If you would like to participate in a conversation, please register at http://bit.ly/11131ictf. Six to 12 individuals may participate per session and these conversations will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If more than 12 people would like to participate at any one location, the task force will create a waiting list and determine whether another session can be offered.
  3. Each task force member has set aside one day to be available to meet by phone, Zoom or in-person with anyone in our system who would like to engage in an individual discussion. Please see the list of opportunities and contact the task force member to schedule a time to chat.
  4. Anyone in our system may anonymously complete an electronic survey, which will open in early October and close Oct. 29.

Please take a few minutes and participate, in whichever way works best for you. The more people who participate, the more valuable the task force’s report and recommendations will be for our organization.

Congratulations to our extension colleagues who received university awards on Sept. 14, including:

  • R.K. Bliss Extension Award, Jerry Chizek, Region 7 director.
  • Award for Distinguished Service in Extension, Beth Doran, beef field specialist.
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice, Alison Robertson, professor and extension field pathologist.
  • Award for Early Achievement in Extension or Professional Practice, Lee Schulz, assistant professor and extension economist.
  • Professional and Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award, Sara Sprouse, human sciences specialist.
  • Award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa, CED Latino Business and Entrepreneurship Team – Lisa Bates, Himar Hernandez, Victor Oyervides, Jill Sokness, Scott Timm and Jon Wolseth.

We also congratulate Ron Cox, director of CIRAS, who received an award for Achievement in Economic Development in Iowa. Many of you may know Ron, since CIRAS had been part of ISU Extension and Outreach before becoming part of the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations.

More notes

  • Wendy Wintersteen will be formally installed as president of Iowa State University Sept. 21 at Stephens Auditorium. Doors will open at 9:15 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 10:15 a.m. For those unable to attend in person, the installation will be livestreamed at www.iastate.edu.
  • Congratulations to Madison County, this year’s Cy Day Friday winner. They did a good job with community engagement and social media – check their Facebook page to see for yourself.
  • I’m visiting two regions this week: Sept. 17, Region 10; and Sept. 18, Region 11.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

Provide your feedback

Update, October 22, 2018

The Internal Communications Task Force is offering four ways to provide feedback.

Survey: Anyone in our system may anonymously complete an electronic survey. The survey closes Oct. 29.

Email comments: Anyone in our system may send comments to ictfcomments@iastate.edu from now until Oct. 29.

Community Conversations

Two additional conversations have been scheduled. Registration Services will soon be reopening online registration at http://bit.ly/ictf11409.

Nov. 5, 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Room 3505, Memorial Union, Iowa State University, Ames

Nov. 9, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Hancock County Extension Office, 327 West 8th Street, Garner

Individual discussions: Contact the task force member directly to schedule a time to chat.

Oct 24: Andrea Nelson, nelsonar@iastate.edu, 515-294-8423
Oct 25: Ann Torbert, atorbert@iastate.edu, 319-377-9839
Oct 26: Debra Sellers, co-chair, dsellers@iastate.edu, 515-294-2312
Oct 29: Alex Merk, alexmerk@iastate.edu, 515-432-3882

 

Original message, September 14, 2018

The Internal Communications Task Force is offering four ways to provide feedback.

Email comments: Anyone in our system may send comments to ictfcomments@iastate.edu from now until Oct. 29.

Community Conversations

Sept. 25, 9:30 -11:30 a.m.
Cherokee County
209 Centennial Drive, Suite A, Cherokee, IA 51012-2243
Facilitators: Ben Pullen and Andrea Nelson

Sept 28, 9:30 -11:30 a.m.
Keokuk County
400 220th Ave. Suite A, Sigourney, IA 52591
Facilitators: Ann Torbert and Ross Wilburn

Oct. 3, 9:30 -11:30 a.m.
Delaware County
1417 N Franklin Street, Manchester, IA 52057
Facilitators: Debra Sellers and Alex Merk

Oct 8, 9:30 -11:30 a.m.
Cass County
805 West 10th Street, Atlantic, IA 50022
Facilitators: Ann Torbert and Terry Torneten

Individual discussions: Contact the task force member directly to schedule a time to chat.

Sept 26: Ross Wilburn, co-chair, wilburn@iastate.edu, 515-294-1354
Oct 15: Ben Pullen, bpullen@iastate.edu, 712-262-2264
Oct 17: Terry Torneten, ttorn@iastate.edu, 712-792-2364
Oct 24: Andrea Nelson, nelsonar@iastate.edu, 515-294-8423
Oct 25: Ann Torbert, atorbert@iastate.edu, 319-377-9839
Oct 26: Debra Sellers, co-chair, dsellers@iastate.edu, 515-294-2312
Oct 29: Alex Merk, alexmerk@iastate.edu, 515-432-3882

Task force member Mary Giese is not available for calls.

Survey: Anyone in our system may anonymously complete an electronic survey, which will open in early October and close Oct. 29.

Planning a program of work

John Lawrence’s message from June 25, 2018

Last week as I began my visits to every region in the state, I had the opportunity to meet with stakeholders, staff and extension council members in Regions 1, 4 and 17. (I’m in Region 20 today.) We talked about issues that impact their region’s ability to thrive and, given our core programs, where they see ISU Extension and Outreach helping them address the issues. With staff and councils we also discussed how we strengthen our organization and our partnership. These regional discussions have been great, and I am looking forward to visiting the rest of the regions later this summer and fall.

A key responsibility of each of our county extension councils is to plan for extension programming to meet the needs of the people in their county. To be successful, councils have to be able to plan and carry out a strong county extension program with county office staff. A group effort from County Services and the regional directors is making this task easier. Did you know?

  • The new County Extension Council Educational Program of Work template is designed to help councils take a systematic approach to providing research-based educational programs and services to the people in their communities. (County staff can download the template from MyExtension for council use.)
  • The template offers a sequence of questions and considerations for addressing an identified need with an action plan and the budget to support it. The template lays out outputs, outcomes, and evaluation steps, as well as risk management precautions.
  • A council’s programming committee would take the lead in working with county staff to complete the template and draft a program plan for each specified need. Then the entire extension council would review the program plans and make informed decisions to distribute and approve resources.

The program of work template doesn’t need to be completed for every county activity. For example, club calf weigh-ins and pressure gauge testing, though important, don’t require the same level of preparation as a sequenced series of educational workshops. As councils and county staff work together to meet the needs of Iowans with new programming, the County Extension Council Educational Program of Work template helps everyone keep track of the details, meet research-based program expectations and promote accountability by all parties.

More notes

  • The Internal Communications Task Force met again June 18 and the executive summary from the meeting is posted on Cybox. The task force’s role is to gather input and make recommendations by the end of the year. The leadership team will make the decisions regarding implementation.
  • Lea Baumhover, a former 4-H’er and current summer assistant in Buena Vista County, narrates a new College of Human Sciences student recruitment video for family and consumer sciences education and studies. Emily Bormann, a 2017 Rising Star intern from Region 5, also is featured in the video. (To learn what our current Rising Star interns are doing, read their Rising Star blog.)
  • This week we will welcome almost 900 teens to campus for the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference. It’s a unique opportunity for young Iowans to experience campus life and meet new people from across the state.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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