Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Week Two in Region 27!

Greetings from Region 27! It’s been another busy, fun (and unfortunately rainy) week. On Monday I went to Henry County Extension where I worked on a marketing and recruitment plan for 4-H members in Region 27. On Tuesday I went to Lee County Extension where I met with Breana Houtz, the County Youth Coordinator to discuss the marketing and recruitment plan I am working on. We talked about what recruitment in Lee County looks like and what she would like to see in the future. On Wednesday, I went to Des Moines County where I met with Mary Steffener, the County Youth Coordinator, to discuss the marketing and recruitment plan as well. Mary was able to give me some great insight about recruitment in Des Moines County and her goals looking ahead. On Thursday, I went to the Louisa County Extension where I met with Samantha Jamison, Program Director for 4-H, Youth Enrichment & Ag Education, to discuss the marketing and recruitment plan. Samantha had some wonderful insight into recruitment in Louisa County and had some effective ideas for what she would want out of a marketing and recruitment campaign. 

Just one of the various produce vendors at the farmers’ market. They eagerly agreed to participate in PoP Club!
Class participants walking over the bridge to check out the cave!

Thursday evening, the rain held off long enough for me to meet with Morgan Hoenig, Local Foods Coordinator, at the Jefferson Street Farmer’s Market in Burlington. We walked around and spoke with produce vendors about the upcoming PoP Club. PoP Club stands for Power of Produce Club. This is a club that takes palace at local farmers’ markets to encourage kids age 4-12 to eat healthy and try fruits and vegetables that they may have never had before. At PoP Club, the kids participate in some fun activities and learn more about fruits and vegetables. They then receive a $2 token that they can use at participating vendors to get produce. PoP Club starts June 10th for ten weeks at Jefferson Street Farmers’ Market. Morgan and I have some fun activities already planned. I look forward to interacting with the youth in the county and encouraging them to make healthy eating choices! 

After the farmers’ market, I went to Starr’s Cave Nature Center where we had the Iowa Master Conservationist Program’s weekly class. This program offers hands-on interaction with the diversity of Iowa’s natural resources. It highlights the wildlife and plant communities in Henry and Des Moines counties and provides accurate education and information on various conservation issues. The goal is to provide these individuals with the resources they need to make informed, intelligent decisions for leading and educating others on the sustainability of Iowa’s natural resources and ultimately in becoming better stewards of those resources. This is a seven-week program that has in-person demonstrations and discussions led by local professionals with online, self-paced lessons from Iowa State University experts as well. 

Participants were taken on a tour of the park where they could look at the famous Starr’s Cave, see the winding creek (it is pretty full right now!) and learn about the history of the park. Fun fact: Starr’s Cave was actually a farm originally! The class was also able to crack open some Geodes and look at fossils. It was a fun night and a great way to finish off the week! I can’t wait for next week!