Wrapping Up Week 8 in Region 18

Hi guys! Kaylee and I had a wonderful week this week.

We started our week by labeling where our pollinator garden will go on our site. We used some resources from DMACC to make this possible. We used ropes, tape measures, and spray paint to label 6′ by 10′ rectangles to represent where our planters would go. We used DMACC’s woodshop and constructed 5 6’x10′ planters using treated lumber. We all thought building the planters was fun, and we were glad we could use our woodworking skills!

On Tuesday, with the help of DMACC staff, we moved the planters from the woodshop to the site by putting the planters onto the back of a flatbed pickup truck. We were glad we didn’t have to carry the planters because they were very heavy! After we moved the planters to the site, Jasper Construction Services Inc. dropped off our soil order for our pollinator garden. We then lined up our planters and attempted to pound them into the ground. We found that pounding the planters into place with a sledgehammer was getting us nowhere. Not sure what to do, we turned to DMACC to see if they had any ideas. DMACC sent someone out with a skid loader to push all the planters into place; we were very grateful for this because using a sledgehammer would have taken up the whole day!

On Wednesday and Thursday, we prepared for the Marion County Fair Poultry Skillathon. We organized and designed activities for different age groups to compete against each other. We also checked out the fairgrounds and cannot wait for the fair to start!
Thanks for reading our blog! Have a good week!

Region 4 Week Recap

We hope everyone had a great 4th of July. Last week was pretty uneventful. The majority of the time was spent on final projects and meetings to understand the expectations of each project. One of these meetings was with all the county directors in our region. This meeting helped clarify questions and structure the final presentation. A rough draft will be presented later this week in order to refine ideas and stay on track for August 4th.

Art Farm

This project has slowly taken shape over the course of the summer. It started with landscaping plans and has progressed to example barn plans. Weekly meetings with the owner and visionary Steve Hanson have proven effective with design planning. This means the plans are communication driven with a mutual understanding of where the project is headed. As this project comes to a close, expect refined images and renderings.

Central Gardens

Even though most of the week was full of project work and meetings the team still had time to explore the garden. Last time the team visited the garden, the flowers were just starting to grow. After our second to last meeting in Clear Lake, the garden was almost in full bloom. The team enjoyed walking around new displays and art installations.


Summer comes to an end and we finalize our projects, the team will miss these nice summer days. However this train is still steaming ahead, expect more great things to come from Region 4

This Week in Region 11

This past week was busy busy busy in East Central Iowa as the Rising Star Interns were out and about throughout the community. After enjoying the longer holiday weekend Shay and Tyson got ready for the rest of the week’s camps and activities as Jenny helped out at Summer Science Discovery. On Wednesday, Shay had the opportunity to tour a local lavender farm and participate in discussions about starting in horticulture farming outside of the family. Thursday was another farm day for Shay as she traveled to Washington County to visit Iowa State’s Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm for our annual summer field day. As Jenny wrapped up Summer Science Discovery on Friday Shay and Tyson helped out with Outdoor Adventures day camp in Central City. Finally, Jenny and Shay visited the Marion Farmer’s Market where they set up a Salsa Scavenger Hunt and two different types of salsa for kids to try!

Photo diary of the activities of the past week

Week 7 in Region 18 | Keeping Busy

Hello again everybody! Jake and I hope that you all had a great 4th of July, we know that we did! Even though it was a short week here in Region 18, we were on our toes the entire time. Tuesday we were in Jasper County, where we had a chance to work on our garden designs and promotional plans. Jake is getting pretty good at working the new design program, it impresses everybody that gets a walkthrough! We also were honored to be interviewed by Christopher Braunschweig, a reporter from the Newton Daily News. He is very interested in the Inspiration Garden, and has taken it upon himself to help promote it to the community. He is planning to report with regular updates until the completion of the garden, and we appreciate it more than he knows! If you are interested in keeping up with his reporting, linked is the first article written: https://www.newtondailynews.com/news/local/2022/07/06/isu-extension-and-outreach-want-community-inspiration-garden-to-be-an-open-classroom/

On Wednesday, we switched gears a bit and were able to host the K-3rd camp, Kids in the Kitchen, in Marion County. We had a great turnout in Knoxville, and everybody involved had a blast! We were able to learn about how to eat everything in moderation, what a balanced diet looks like, why keeping clean and being cautious of germs is critical, and some essential kitchen skills such as measuring, mixing, and safety around knives and stoves. Best of all, we got to try out some awesome new recipes and taste-test the final products! Many of the campers (plus Jake and Myself) were able to step outside of our comfort zones and try some “scary” new foods. For some, it was asparagus. For others, it was a pumpkin-flavored pudding! Mine was broccoli, and Jake was brave enough to try some veggie salsa. While not every new food was a favorite for everybody, we learned not to “Yuck” someone’s “Yum” and to try it before we say we don’t like it. On top of all of that, we learned that the fire alarms in the building do in fact work when Kaylee let some of the oat and banana pancakes get a little warm on top of the stove. Mistakes happen, but you have to laugh and learn from it!

Once Thursday rolled around we were back at it with a camp for 4th-8th graders in Knoxville. We had a lot of future NASA engineers and astronauts pumped up and ready to go for Astro Camp! In this fun-filled six hours, campers were able to build bottle rockets and paper Mars helicopters, learn how to read binary code, practice their engineering and observation skills, and work in teams to solve problems. We covered just how huge our universe truly is, and many shared the sediment: we’re really really small. We created art (and a lot of messes) that were inspired by the Milkyway Galaxy. There were a lot of great videos provided by NASA that went a lot more in-depth than either Jake or I could have, and we hope everybody learned something and had a blast!

I took the last day of the week off to support my brothers at the Buchanan County Fair, but Jake was able to spend the day in Newton working on some of the finishing touches of the garden design and figuring out our calendar for the next couple of weeks. We’ll be finalizing our plans for the Marion and Jasper County fairs, and we’re both super excited for those projects! That’s all for this week, thanks for reading! -Kaylee

Week Seven in Region 1

The Great Garden Adventure

After a good 4th of July weekend, we started our week by heading to the Lyon County Fairgrounds in Rock Rapids for garden camp. This week we went on a field trip to Lester, Iowa to see a 4-H leader’s garden. She had a large garden with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The kids were able to ask her lots of questions about her garden and even had the opportunity to try either a cherry or snap pea. We all loved being able to learn about all of her different gardening methods and what she does to have a successful garden each year.

Healthy Hydration with Dayhab

This week for dayhab our main focus was on water. We discussed ways to trade a sugary drink for water and how important water is for us. We made infused water with different combinations including, just lemon, lemon rosemary, strawberry basil, and cucumber lemon verbena. This was such a fun activity and all of the clients loved being able to try the different flavors. We started talking about proteins and bit on dairy. To keep being active we did chair stretches that we found on the Eat Smart, Spend Smart website. This was a fun and easy way to get everyone moving. Dayhab each week is such a fun time and we all look forward to it.

The Harvest has Begun at George Daycare

This week at the daycare, the school-aged kids had another program to attend. That meant we were able to hang out with the preschoolers for the whole hour! We were able to play garden games, learn garden-themed songs and dances, and even taste some of the produce in the garden. The produce that the children were able to harvest and eat was kale. Most of them were not a fan but we had some finish a whole leaf! Next week, we are hoping to try more produce from our garden. 

Picture Perfect PoP Club

Rock Valley was our first PoP Club of the week. Our activity this week was decorating foam picture frames and taking a picture with our proud PoP Club member sign. This was a huge hit among the kids with some coming back to see if they could decorate another frame. This week in Orange City was the kids’ market. This meant that we had a larger turnout than normal, which was awesome and super fun to interact with the participants.

County Fair Kick Off

On Friday we went to the Sioux County Fairgrounds in Sioux Center to write comments for the judges who reviewed the first-year 4-Hers static exhibits. It was fun to see the cool projects they brought and hear about their goals for future years in 4-H. 

Joke of the Week

When does it rain money?

When there is change in the weather.

Week Seven in Region Six!

Here is our highlights from this week!

Morningside Greenhouse Tour

Gabrielle, Nathan, Maddie, and Molly headed over to Morningside University on Tuesday to tour their greenhouse facility. They got a closer look to the multiple hydroponic systems set up, and the produce growing in them. The hydroponic system’s water supply is connected to their aquaculture tanks as well for additional fertilizer to the plants. All the produce grown will be donated to food shelters and university dining!


Nathan and Alex headed over to Plymouth Wednesday morning to run the STEM camp activity. STEM camp consists of kids that do a day camp at the YMCA, but come over to the Extension building to learn something new! The activity this week was the blender bike. Kids blended themselves a berry and spinach smoothie and loved it! This recipe can be found on Extension’s “Spend Smart, Eat Smart” website.

PoP Club

This week’s activity for PoP Club was the blender bike! Participants made their own salsa in the blender with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. As the kids pedal, the front wheel spins the motor in the blender; the faster you pedal, the faster it blends. Participants earned their wooden token after completing the activity, and they were even able to take home some of the salsa for themselves!

Container Workshop

Maddie and Gabrielle spent Thursday night hosting a container workshop. Roughly 20 people came to the Woodbury Office and planted a range of plants in Iowa State 5 gallon buckets! It was pouring rain, so the workshop was moved inside, but everyone still learned a lot and had fun!

Monona Fair Prep

All the Rising Stars headed to the Monona Fairgrounds on Friday to help prepare for fair next week. It was all hands on deck with all of the 4-H kids coming to help out put fences up, sweep barns, and hang up stall cards. We interviewed some kids about their favorite things about the fair and 4-H and some of them will be highlighted in our end of year video!

Week 6 in Region 18

Hello! Kaylee and I had a very busy week this week! We started the week by going to Ames for the Career Exploration Day! We got a tour of the Iowa State Research Farm and then went to the Memorial Union to discuss other careers that Extension offers. Kaylee and I had no idea that Extension had so many varieties of job opportunities! After Career Exploration Day, Sherry Ford took us to the Extension shop, and we got a tour of the building.

On Tuesday, Kaylee and I prepared for our Seeds, Sun, and Soil camp on Thursday. We went over lesson plans and made sure we had everything ready.

On Wednesday, we finalized our design for the Pollinator Garden and roped off and killed the grass on the site. I also put the new design into RealTime Landscape Architect and showed off how inspiring the garden will be!

We hosted our Seeds, Sun, and Soil Camp on Thursday in Pella. It was fun teaching kids about the process of plants! We had the kids dissect different types of seeds and taught them the difference between dicots and monocots and how the sun affects the growth pattern of plants.

On Friday, we reflected on the week and finalized designs. We also did estimates on how much soil we will need for the construction of the Inspiration Garden!

Thanks for reading about our week. Happy 4th of July!
-Jake Guthrie

Life is Sweet in Region 4

Greetings from Region 4! As June comes to a close, the Rising Star Interns in North Central Iowa are gearing up for the final month of their internship. The team is starting to see a few fruits of their hard work and planning, which has been very rewarding! 

On Monday, the team traveled to Ames to participate in the Rising Star Career Exploration Day on campus. There they received a tour of the Horticulture Research Farm (very impressive) and they learned about apple production and even got to step onto the turf grass grown for ISU Athletics. Throughout the rest of the day the interns heard from Extension professionals working in different fields, including Ag and Natural Resources, Community and Economic Development, and Human Sciences. It was a great experience and the team learned a lot about the many career options available through ISU Extension and Outreach. 

On Tuesday the interns got their hands dirty as they worked in the Cerro Gordo Growing Together Iowa garden. Along with county director Sarah DeBour, the interns worked alongside a master gardener and enjoyed spending a few hours weeding and mulching.

Wednesday kept the Rising Stars very busy as they went to 3 different meetings to further discuss their project progress. The morning started off with a meeting at Lincoln Intermediate school, where the team updated administration on the project objectives. There they met with the new vice principal and he was very excited about the greenhouse and the plans to incorporate it into the curriculum. In the afternoon, the interns met with Mitchell county director Darla Olson to further discuss the community gardens in Osage. The team also met with 2 Osage Park and Rec employees who will be continuing on the community gardens project next spring, and got their input and feedback. The interns were sure to beat the heat by stopping at a local drive-in for ice cream on their way out of town. 

Finally, for their last meeting of the day, they traveled to Charles City in Floyd county to meet with the Charles City Farmers Market vendors. The team is hoping to help them rebrand their social media pages by creating a logo and posting templates. It was great to get their feedback as to how they would like their market to be promoted. 

The rest of the week flew by with independent project work and a trip to Central Gardens in Clear Lake for Aleyda to capture images of plants and flowers for the Central Gardens handbook she is working on. 

The interns are glad for the upcoming long holiday weekend, but are excited to continue their work on their projects. Bring on week 8! 

Week Six in Region Six!

Read all about our fun-filled week’s highlights below!

Ames Career Day

All of the Rising Stars met in Ames on Monday for a career day presented by the staff working on Iowa State’s campus. The day began by touring the research farm; there were acres of apple trees, grape vines, and a vegetable garden researching the benefit of having chickens within the plot. We also learned about the turf grass being grown that will be put into the Jack Trice Stadium and practice fields! The day ended with listening to speakers about their careers and life in Extension. We sure missed the view of Campanile!


Nathan spent Tuesday Astrocamp! Kids got to learn all about what it’s like to be an astronaut with crafts, activities, and trying some of the food they eat in space. They got to build a mars rovers out of cardboard, make rock salt ice cream, create their own stomp rockets and mission patch. They ended the day by making s’mores out of solar ovens! Check the Sioux City newspaper next week to see all the kids interviews!

Nebowa Overnight Camp

Alex and Nathan headed over to the Nebowa Camp with 4-H campers! The entire day and night was filled with games, crafts, swimming, fishing, and kayaking. Everyone learned about solar power doing crafts with lanterns and water fountains! Campers and counselors are sun-kissed and tired!

PoP Club

This week was the week for all POP clubs to kick into high gear, as Moville and Sioux City got to have kids plant seeds in egg cartons! They enjoyed picking from the wide selection of seeds offered to them to bring home. Meanwhile in Akron, kids got to go on a scavenger hunt and look for certain items at the market. It was windy all day, but the kids loved it nonetheless!

Horse Workshop

Thursday night, Alex headed over to the Woodbury County Fairgrounds to observe a halter and showmanship workshop. Kids learned about how to move around their horse as the judge moves, how to read and walk a pattern, and proper confirmation! Fair is coming right around the corner, so these kids are working hard to prepare.

Week Six in Region 1

Career Exploration Day in Ames

This Monday was not a typical Monday for us. We traveled down to campus in Ames for a career exploration day for Iowa State Extension and Outreach. We started our day at the ISU horticulture research farm, where we heard from different research extension staff about their duties at the research farm. We were able to look at apple trees, turf grass, specialized gardening practices, and grape vines. Inside, we heard from a beef specialist, a water quality program manager, and an agronomist. Then we went back to the MU on campus and had lunch with the Vice President of Extension and Outreach, John Lawerence. After lunch, we heard from the Policy, Systems, and Environment Change Coordinator in the Human Sciences department about food insecurity in Iowa. Our final presentation was from the Community and Economic Development/Design group about projects they have completed. We ended the night with a fun 3 ½ hour drive from Ames to Sheldon. 

Buckets of Fun with Garden Camp

With 4-H State Conference being held this week, the County Youth Coordinator of Lyon County asked us to lead her garden camp on Tuesday. We have attended a couple of their camps in previous weeks and were excited to lead this week. The kids started by weeding and watering their plots and then harvesting a few vegetables and herbs. Our main activity was decorating water buckets for them to use in their garden. They had lots of fun being creative with their buckets and making them their own. We then had a snack and played a fun game of carrot, carrot, corn (similar to duck, duck, goose). 

Tossing it Up in Dayhab

This week for DayHab was our second cooking week of the summer. Since we discussed vegetables last week, we decided to make a salad this week. We split the large group into about 4-5 smaller groups. Each group was able to be in charge of preparing one ingredient. The ingredients we used included lettuce, cucumber, tomato, ham and hard-boiled eggs. The groups would work together following  step-by-step, photo instructions to cut the ingredients. We then combined the ingredients together and the large groups were able to eat a tasty and nutritious salad that they made together!

“Winds”day at George Daycare

Wednesday morning we started off by heading to the George Daycare. This week for our outside activities, they watered their garden, sang a banana song, and played produce themed “Would you Rather” and “Who Am I.” Inside they continued to learn about MyPlate by doing a couple of fun activities and also played the same “Name that Produce” game that we did at PoP Club. The children really loved being able to touch the produce and then guess what it was. Inside we also talked about the different parts of a plant by doing a fun narrative lesson. The children started by being seeds on the ground and grew to be beautiful plants. This was a fun way to introduce that plants have different parts such as the roots, stem, or leaves. 

Blown Away with PoP Club

Rock Valley was our only PoP Club this week 🙁  Although it was hot and windy we still had a decent crowd for our activity. Like the daycare, we focused this week on the wind. We decided since it was so windy to create take-home baggies with all of the supplies needed to create the pinwheels. Everyone seemed really excited to have their own pinwheel and see it blow in the wind. Our featured produce this week was cherry tomatoes. Almost all of the kids liked eating them!

Joke of the Week

We had a good salad joke to put here but we decided to toss it.

Things we Hear/ Say as Rising Star Interns