Week 5 in Region 4

Hello from Region 4! 

Our team was reunited this week as our teammate Rebecca came back from Europe, we’re so happy she’s back! 

We started off our week by going to Osage and  meeting with Darla from Mitchell County where we caught her up on our projects and from there we met with Cindy about our overall reports. That was a big help!

On Tuesday we worked hard throughout the day on our projects and then traveled to Hampton to meet with the vendors of the Hampton Farmers market in the evening. We were able to sit in their monthly vendors meeting where we were able to learn more about what they are envisioning for their social media platform. 

The interns filming for the video

Wednesday was a full day for us in one of the research farms. One of our projects for this summer consists of creating a video for the Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm in Nashua, Iowa, so we spent the day there while they had their field day. We were able to tour the farm and  learn a lot about some really cool stuff not only from the specialists that presented but from others that we interviewed! We also got some nice footage and pictures for the video, we’re excited to be able to start putting it together within the next weeks!

The interns at Thursdays at Main

Thursday was another busy day for us. We started off the day by meeting with La Luz about their handbook for their community garden where we were able to discuss what the handbook would entail and receive any feedback of what else we could include. In the afternoon we went to Clear Lake to meet with the  Central Garden’s board of directors about their handbook. We showed them the progress we have made on their handbook and they were quite impressed with the work! We stayed in Clear Lake for the afternoon where we worked from a coffee shop, explored the lake and went to an intern event hosted there. Afterwards us interns went to explore Thursdays on Main in Clear lake where we found some cute things to purchase!

Friday was our least busy day, we had our weekly intern meeting where we caught each other up on what we have done throughout the week and made our agenda for this week. 

We look forward to catching you up with our adventures from this upcoming week! 

Week 5 in Region 1

The Great Produce Hunt

This week’s PoP club activity was a farmers market scavenger hunt. We decided to do this activity because we wanted the participants to interact with the different vendors. Our scavenger hunt included strawberries, lettuce, bread, honey, cut flowers, radish, and jam. Once the participant found all of the items they could come back to try our featured produce item. This week our featured items included strawberries and snow peas. The children had such a fun time walking around the farmers market and trying to find everything. 

The Veggie Hokey Pokey

In Dayhab, we focused on the vegetable food group. We introduced the veggie flash cards which included bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, onion, and tomatoes. Another activity we did was our MyPlate review and continuing to build meals with all the food groups. A fun activity we did this week was the vegetable hokey pokey. This was a great way for the clients to be active and have a twist on a dance they already knew. The plants we planted at the beginning of the summer are already growing so much but we decided they needed some more water with all of the hot days we’ve had so watering was another fun activity we did. This week the clients had the opporuniy to taste-test cherry tomatoes or broccoli. The Sibley Dayhab really loved the cherry tomatoes and the Orange City clients were a bit weary of the broccoli but most of them really enjoyed it.

New Growth in George

On Wednesday, we started our day at the George Daycare. This week, our outside activity was watering their garden and observing all of the growth that has occurred in the past few weeks. We also talked to them about the difference between a garden and a field. For the garden we split the group into different vegetables and they showed us how that vegetable grew and that gardens are smaller and have more variety. Whereas the field was all the same and much larger. Inside, we read the Tiny Seed by Eric Carle and played a would you rather game focused on fruits and vegetables. It is always fun to spend time at the daycare, educating the children about gardening and nutrition.

Joke of the Week

Why were the strawberries so upset?

Because they were in a JAM

Week Five in Region Six

Mad Science Camp

Tuesday and Wednesday was the Clover Kids Mad Science Camp in Plymouth County. Nathan and Alex got to spend the day doing tons of fun experiments including strawberry DNA extraction, homemade lava lamps, fizzy painting, and lots more! The morning focused all about chemistry and biology, and the afternoon was spent learning about physics and energy while building egg drop contraptions and bridges out of paper. The day ended with enjoying homemade ice cream the kids had made that morning, as well as learning to make bubbles while playing at the park.

Salsa Party

On Tuesday, Alex and Madi spent the day with four lovely kids who wanted to learn more about canning! Using fresh tomatoes, peppers, and onions, they learned chopping skills, safe food handling processes, and the process of hot pack canning. Human Science Specialist, Renee Sweers, taught research-based information and used live examples to support her discussion. Everyone will be able to pick up their homeade, canned salsa by the end of the week!

PoP Club

Wednesday night was the kick off to our PoP Club events this summer! The Rising Stars went to the Akron Farmer’s Market and the activity of the night was egg carton seeds. PoP Club is an event we put on to educate young children about agriculture, and encourage them to eat local, healthy produce. After the kids do the activity, they earn a token worth $2. They have the choice to save it for future events or spend it on any piece of fresh produce at the market that day.

Cooking Camp

Gabrielle spent Wednesday and Thursday helping lead a cooking camp at the Woodbury Office! Children signed up to learn to how to make a variety of healthy, easy recipes. Some of these recipes include banana pancakes, cottage pie, and a charcuterie board! The kids designed their own boards, picking from options like kale chips, crostini crackers, feta dip, edible chickpea cookie dough, and chocolate avocado mousse. All recipes were a massive success, and the kids loved trying new things!

Week 5 in Region 18 | Fun with Bots and in the Garden!

Hello again! This week was jam-packed for Jake and I, but we loved every minute of it. We started things off in the Jasper county office, where we had some time to work on the designs and research for the Inspiration Garden. Jake was able to get to know a new program, RealTime Landscaping Architect. Right now, he’s still getting used to it but the things that he’s done so far look really promising! We’re hoping that with the new program he’ll be able to design sketches that can be used in the advertisement and promotion of this garden for years to come.

While he was busy inside, I was able to help Carol and some community members outside. They have been working on expanding their already-existing Donation Garden for awhile now, but realized the ground they want to work with wasn’t exactly flat. They were able to smooth it out and install some raised beds that were built by DMACC students. There was a donation of soil by a member of the community, and with plenty of help, that project is just awaiting some plants! I was also able to spend some time weeding the existing area with a few Master Gardeners. That night, we were able to go to a Newton City Council meeting with Carol, where we presented the ideas we had for the Inspiration Garden and what work we had done so far. Spreading the word and gaining support is essential to the success of the garden, and we really hope that the Council enjoyed the presentation.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent in Marion County. Fun with Bots had a great turnout, with 10 participants in Knoxville (pictured above) and 13 in Pella (pictured below). Because there were quite a few signed up for the Pella camp we had Max, the summer intern for Marion County Extension and Outreach, help us out. We appreciate it more than he knows! Kids were able to learn about robots, why they are designed, how they work, and where engineers get their ideas for the robots. We were able to program and explore BeeBots and some special robots named Dash and Dot. Snack time was extra special, as we got to eat “Robot Snacks”. Bolts, nuts, washers, and miscellaneous metal pieces were on the menu. The photo shown doesn’t do much justice, but it was a mix of cereals, pretzels, and chocolate chips covered with edible silver glitter. By the time snack time was over with, we were all turning into robots with our fingers and lips colored silver.

While we didn’t have time nor the budget to create our own functioning robots(to the disappointment of a few kids), we were able to make our own play dough robots to bring home with us. We had so many creative ideas! All sorts of different shapes and abilities. There were robots that would pick up trash, make food, wash dishes, fly, babysit, act as body guards, and all sorts of other cool things.

Once the kids all went home and the camps were over with, Jake and I spent the rest of the week in Newton. We had a few meetings, but after that we were able to get back to planning and designing. Jake did a lot more work with his new program, and I was able to create a promotional brochure for the garden. While this more than likely isn’t the final design, I’m happy with how it turned out! We also did some planning for a kid’s day in the garden for next week, where they will be able to learn about plants and the importance of pollinators. All in all, week 5 was pretty great.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading! -Kaylee

This Week in Region 11

Where did we travel this week?

Hiawatha Summer Camp

Shay and Jenny participate in Hiawatha summer camp every Friday for an hour. The topics we try to cover include urban agriculture and how food comes to tables. This week our lesson was about farmers’ markets and the struggles farmers have. They played a mock farmers’ market where there were producers and consumers. The food we brought was mostly foods you would see at a market. The producers sold the fruits and vegetables at their market, but as a consumer would buy the product, the producer took away a set amount of land and water. Explaining that to have produced, you lose resources as well. On the flip side, the consumers were given $12 to spend on the product; they could spend it all in the first round or save the money for the next round. Most choose to spend the money right away rather than save the money. 

Old School Produce Partners

This week has been another crazy week in the garden. The struggle of this week was all of the green onions that needed to be harvested and sprayed. Jenny spends lots of time weeding and thinning out the onions to be sent out to local food pantries in Benton country. Not only were onions going crazy, so were the tomatoes. The tomatoes are growing exponentially in the past week, they are now due to be hung over and trimmed. 

Women in Agriculture

This past week Shay got the chance to sit in on the Washington County Women in Ag meeting. It was incredibly helpful and interesting to see how Washington County’s program operates and the level of community involvement and care was incredibly inspiring. Beyond meeting the Washington County Women in Ag Advisory Board, we continued to reach out and meet with other organizations committed to empowering women in agriculture.

A County Fair WORTH Attending


Greetings from North Central Iowa! The Rising Star Interns from Region 4 had a productive week with lots of time to work on our projects together. This week our team member Rebecca was in Europe on vacation, we sure missed her!

On Monday morning we had our weekly meeting with Sarah DeBour and we updated her with the status of our projects. We always appreciate getting her feedback and hearing her ideas. 

On Tuesday, the interns spent time individually working on their different projects. Aleyda made great progress in her work with Central Gardens in Clear Lake and the handbook she is helping create for them. Cooper worked diligently to draft plans for buildings and landscapes at the Art Farm, located near Northwood. Sarah continued to work on drafting lesson plans that align with the Lincoln Intermediate School science curriculum, as well as continue to work towards the objectives set for the project. 

On Wednesday, Sarah and Aleyda made the trip to CAL public school in Latimer, Iowa to meet with Jill Craighton, the greenhouse manager there. They got a tour of their facilities and also learned more about the greenhouse manager role. This helped the team better identify what a greenhouse management position could look like at Lincoln Intermediate. 

Cooper also met with Jed Findlay, an Extension marketing specialist to discuss our project at the Northeast Research Farm. Check back next week to hear about the Field Day at the Research Farm! 

Thursday, Sarah and Aleyda traveled to Charles City to have a work day in the Floyd County Extension office. there the team prepared agendas and confirmed their meeting schedule for next week. 

Sarah and Aleyda working on their projects in Floyd County

On Friday, team members Aleyda, Cooper, and Sarah headed to Northwood to take part in the Worth County Fair. The team set up a booth to highlight the Art Farm to fair-goers, and many seemed very interested in the Art Farm. It was a fun day at the Worth County Fair! 

Aleyda, Sarah and Cooper at the Worth County Fair with their Art Farm display

Week 4 in Region 1

Can YOU Name that Produce?

This week’s PoP Club activity was “Name That Produce”. Participants had to close their eyes while they stuck their hand in the box. They then used their sense of touch to name the produce. Some of the mystery items we featured were an apple, kiwi, peach, broccoli, jalapeno, potato, and a cucumber. The children did a very good job guessing correctly! Some adults participated in the game and a few were stumped and couldn’t guess the right produce.        
Our featured vegetable for this week was radishes. For most children it was their first time trying them. They either loved it or spit it out.

Ready, Set, Grow!

On Tuesday, we started our morning in Lyon County helping with the garden club. The garden club is comprised of 4th-6th graders and their main goal this summer is to tend to their own plots. They have planted a variety of plants including carrots, tomatoes, beans, peppers, and flowers. This week their activity was to create a label for all their plants and continue caring for their plots. Each week they do a garden-themed activity to grow their knowledge in the area. This group is very independent and excited to learn. 

Fruit Kebabs with Dayhab

For the DayHab programs in Sibley and Orange City, we just wrapped up on our fruit lesson by making fruit kebabs. For this lesson, we began by discussing the importance of washing your hands and produce as well as knife safety. The fruit that we put on the skewers were strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and grapes. They were also given the option to dip them in yogurt. Everyone really enjoyed doing this activity and it was a great way to introduce a healthy snack to them. They all received another $2 token to use at Sibley Super Foods or at the area Farmers’ Market. 

The Garden is Growing 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. 

Joke of the Week

What vegetable loves rollercoasters?


Week Four in Region 6

Here is our week four highlights on this humid, hot week!

Monona Demonstration Garden

On Monday, with a high of 103 degrees, Nathan and Alex headed over to Monona to help weed their demonstration garden, and lay down newspaper and mulch for ground cover. After three to four hours spent outside, a break in the air conditioning was well deserved!

Livestock Day

On Tuesday, Alex headed back to Monona to help lead an activity for Livestock Day. The students spent the day doing activities that include labeling parts of livestock animals, washing and moving pigs, handling chickens, and a quiz bowl! Swine expert, Dave Stender, emphasized the importance of biosecurity in agriculture and used the glow-germ activity to show how quickly diseases can spread.

Clover Kids Camp

Tuesday and Wednesday in Plymouth County was loads of fun for 4-H Clover Kids and Rising Stars! The day was packed full of crafts including decorating wind chimes and flower pots, planting marigolds, making bird feeders, and pom pom caterpillars. Kids also listened to special guest, Victoria De Vos, who taught an interactive activity about plant growth. The day ended with ice cream and swimming!

Project Camp

Nathan, Gabrielle, and Alex headed over to Onowa for Project Camp! The kids made cinnamon rolls, sewed pillowcases, constructed squirrel feeders, and made a few art pieces. A lot of these projects will be presented at the county fair this summer!

This week was action packed with lots of activities and fun! Check back every week to see what Gabrielle, Nathan, and Alex are up to!

Week 4 in Region 18 | Agriculture (and meetings) Everyday

Hello! We started this week by working diligently on our project presentation in Newton. I worked on the design and made a few section drawings to help the viewer understand more about the site while Kaylee researched some materials such as lighting, bricks, concrete, rocks, soil, and many other materials! We then met the Jasper County Extension and Outreach Council and showed them our progress with the project so far; meeting such a great group of people was nice!

On Tuesday, Kaylee and I prepared for our Agriculture Everyday Camp. I also refined some more details in the design and put them into the presentation. We then drove to Newton to show our progress to the Master Gardeners. We also watched a presentation on how to graft roses before we presented. We received positive feedback with lots of helpful critiques! After working a 12-hour workday, we decided that getting Mcdonald’s would be the best way to end the day.

On Wednesday, Kaylee and I made the necessary changes to our design and ensured it met the Master Gardeners requirements.

On Thursday, we had our Agriculture Everyday Camp in Pella, Iowa. Since we had a larger group than usual, Max, an intern for the Marion County Extension and Outreach office, came to help teach the camp! This was Max’s first camp, and we think he did a really good job helping us out! We enjoyed teaching the kids about animal safety, insects, and crops! Being from a suburb of Chicago, I am not very fond of agricultural knowledge, so I also learned a lot from the camp.

On Friday, we are wrapping up the week and reflecting on what went well and what we can improve for future weeks. We also ended our day early because we worked overtime on Monday and Tuesday. With all this extra time, Kaylee is going home to Fairbank, and I am going home to Naperville, IL, to celebrate Father’s Day with our families.

We can’t wait to refine our design and present it at the City of Newton Council meeting on Monday, June 20th, at 6 pm!

See you all next week, Happy Father’s Day!


This Week In Region 11

Power of Produce

On Saturday Jenny and Shay had the opportunity to lead the PoP club at the Marion Farmers market. The main activity we did this week was a vegetable taste testing. There were radishes, snap peas, carrots, and asparagus. Not to much surprise the carrots and snap peas were the kids favorite, however many kids were surprised on how good the asparagus tasted. The least popular and got the most negative reviews were the radishes; however the kids were eager to try them and thought they were “little apples”. If the kids tasted at least one veggie they were rewarded with a three dollar coupon to use at any vendor that sold produce. We look forward for more PoP at different farmers markets in the future.

Linn County

Linn County has been busy busy busy this week with all sorts of fun activities. On Monday I hopped over to Benton to meet with representatives from the Natural Resource Conservation Service to discuss their Women Land and Legacy Program and Women in Ag programming efforts. Then Tuesday I was switching gears and helping with our Art Investigators day camp in Marion where we learned about primary and secondary colors through a series of art activities. Wednesday we were off to Mt Vernon for another day camp, this time on the Science of Flight. We didn’t let the weather get us down as we launched paper airplanes and made paper helicopters. By Thursday we got a quick break to prepare for our visit to the Hiawatha Summer Camp and the Power of Produce stand the following few days. When we visited Hiawatha we made ice cream! We read books about ice cream and how it’s made before making some of our own before the rain came. While the rain stopped our fun in Hiawatha it did not stop our late lunch in Stone City with staff from Linn, Benton, and Jones. We visited a local restaurant and got to chat about how the last few weeks have gone and get to know staff members we don’t work with on a regular basis better.

Jones County

This was an exciting week in Jones County as we had our first week of Summer Science Discovery. Our classes for the week took place in Wyoming at the community’s Calkins Barn and in Cascade split between the City Hall and the Community Park. We had a couple days of rain which had us doing more a couple more inside activities than were planned but there were lots of fun lessons that the kids enjoyed. They were very excited to finally get outside and enjoy the weather and play some outdoor games. The curriculum planned was a success and we are looking forward to the rest of the classes in Jones County this month!

Thank you!!

Jenny, Shay, and Tyson