John Lawrence’s message from March 23, 2020
Because we all could use some good news in these trying times, I’m sharing some examples from our 2019 county stakeholder reports. Did you know?
- Calhoun County’s Beginning Farmer Peer group set a goal to meet three times per year to discuss emerging issues, technology trends and farming practices. One participant stated, “Knowing that others have the same questions I have, gives me a sense of not being alone.”
- Buchanan County staff are members of ICE-T (Independence Community Enhancement Team) and Cedar Valley Regional Food and Farm Network, and are part of the City of Independence’s visioning project.
- In Warren County, 27 professionals maintained their licenses by achieving certification, including a childcare nutrition workshop and ServSafe courses. Twenty youth learned about food safety in BBQ School.
Take a look at the rest of the stakeholder reports and you’ll find more good news. Although I don’t know exactly what will be included in the 2020 reports, I do know this: ISU Extension and Outreach will report how we found new ways to serve Iowans through challenging times, because that’s what we do!
More good news: New Apparel Vendor and Website
ISU Extension and Outreach has contracted with a new vendor and has a new website for all our branded apparel. Effective immediately, Sigler Companies Inc. will handle and fulfill apparel orders for extension professionals and council members. Sigler will offer the same full line of extension apparel at a significant cost savings. To order extension apparel, go to the new apparel website, http://www.ISUExtApparel.com. You also can access the site through My Extension. The new site is not part of the Extension Store.
Apparel is now more affordable, but there are some trade-offs. Sigler will accept credit and debit cards, but not checks, and will offer refunds only for an order error or product defect. You can have your order shipped directly to your home or office (and pay the shipping cost). After the Extension Store’s Distribution Center resumes normal face-to-face operations, you also will have the option to avoid shipping costs and pick up your order from the store. For the time being, on-campus employees can choose to have their items delivered through campus mail via EDC for no charge.
Polo shirts will continue to be the “go to” item for most situations, such as working with partners or providing education. However, due to popular demand, we also will now offer T-shirts. T-shirts may be appropriate when working outdoors at fairs or field days, in potentially messy situations (such as 4-H craft projects), or for other uses determined by your supervisor or council. Keep in mind, T-shirts may need to be replaced more frequently due to wear.
Advancement will have a “sample closet” of extension styles and sizes in the future when normal services resume. For more information about the samples or for answers to other apparel questions, contact your advancement specialist.
Although we won’t be meeting with the public face-to-face for awhile, you still can wear your branded apparel for webinars and online events. This may be a good time for many of us to reassess our wardrobes and add some new branded apparel. I will be visiting the new apparel website soon, and I encourage you to check it out as well. No one is required to wear extension branded apparel. But no matter where you are or what you do, as an extension professional or council member, it’s easy for you to be properly branded when working with the public in an official capacity.
- The Annual Conference website has been updated with current information about our online conference. You can still register, at https://www.regcytes.extension.iastate.edu/eac/. Remember to cancel any conference-related hotel reservations you may have made.
- Our Professional Development team will be posting online learning opportunities and resources on the Professional Development website as available. Plan to check the site regularly for updates.
- County staff who are considering ISU benefits programs should review the new County Extension Benefits webpage for more information. There also will be an optional benefits webcast April 1 at 1 p.m. for interested county staff. If you have specific questions you would like answered during the webcast, email those questions to Mica Redenius, firstname.lastname@example.org, by March 30.
- Be sure to check MyExtension and review EIT’s technical notes for working remotely.
- Check my COVID-19 Information for ISU Extension and Outreach page for my daily updates, answers to questions we receive, and other information for council members, staff and faculty.
— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach