From Ackley to Zwingle

John Lawrence’s message from Jan. 8, 2018

If you travel in Iowa for any length of time or distance, you’ll notice that many places offer one-stop-shopping for donuts, pizza and gasoline, and whatever else you may need when you’re on the road. ISU Extension and Outreach applies this convenience store concept to data, but does it one better: all the merchandise is free. I’m talking about the Indicators Portal from our Community and Economic Development program. The portal provides one-stop access to reliable, current data on all things Iowa. Did you know?

  • Originally funded as a Vice President for Extension and Outreach Strategic Initiative in 2013, the Indicators Portal is designed to be useful for local and regional decision-making. This tool makes it easy and convenient for all of us to find, use and visualize information.
  • The portal team recently released City Data for Decision Makers reports for all of Iowa’s 945 cities. From Ackley to Zwingle, the reports show population trends, demographics and socioeconomic indicators such as income, poverty, employment, housing characteristics and health insurance coverage.
  • The Indicators Portal also provides access to Data for Decision Makers reports by county, Iowa Senate district, Iowa House district, and ISU Extension and Outreach region, as well as reports of youth and 4-H program data.

Visit the portal and look around. You’ll likely find what you need and a lot more.

A few more notes

  • Excellence in Extension offers grant opportunities for all ISU Extension and Outreach staff (county, state, faculty, P&S, merit and hourly) to improve and enrich the quality of our programs. The application deadline is Feb. 1.
  • It’s time to acknowledge our Friends of Extension for their efforts on our behalf. Submit award nominations by close of business Feb. 2 to (select “Other recognition, Friends of Extension” from the drop-down menu). Then our Epsilon Sigma Phi/Alpha Mu Chapter awards committee will review the nominations and submit our state winner to national. For more information, contact Jerry Chizek,
  • Nominations for ISU Extension and Outreach Awards are due at noon, Feb. 9. Check the awards website for the list of awards, eligibility and criteria, and nomination forms.

One more thing: I want to take a moment to remember Greg Wallace, who died in an in-home accident in late December. Greg led our social media initiative for ISU Extension and Outreach as part of the Advancement team. Our Facebook, Twitter and other online presence has grown exponentially in recent years and is one of the largest digital footprints of any extension program in the nation. Greg alone wasn’t responsible for all of this growth, but he played a key role in helping guide others and in managing and monitoring the posts and tweets that carried our brand. We all have benefited from his work, and we are richer for having known him. Rest in peace, Greg.

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

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