This week we hosted our last skillathon and started wrapping up on our DayHab sessions as well, we had two DayHab sessions this week; one with the Orange county group and one with the Rock Rapids group. We presented our last session on budget boss with them and we also had a little graduation with each of the groups. We had certificates given out to each of the participants along with some socks and treats for everyone to take home!
Additionally, we got our report finalized and done! and our presentation to the deans is close to being done as well!
On Monday, we attended a Cyclone Meet and Greet in Denison, where we met and talked with the president of Iowa State University, Wendy Wintersteen. It was a great opportunity to network with local alumni.
Armstrong Research Farm
Later Monday, we got a tour of the Armstrong Research Farm facilities, including the Wallace Learning Center. We saw the bedded hoop barn, which is used for cattle feeding.
This week, we spent time tying loose ends on our remaining projects. We’ve been adding the finishing touches for everything we need for our presentation on campus on August 3rd. This week we said our goodbyes to the Crawford and Shelby counties office staff and thanked them for all the support they’ve given us throughout the summer!
As we near the end of our internship, we have started wrapping up our projects. This week we finished our fair project by recording a presentation to deliver to the Story County Fair Board so they can easily understand the materials we provided them. Next, we have begun passing on our lengthy gardening document to individuals within the Master Gardener Program, so they can get it published. And finally, we have made our final presentation for August 3rd to be presented as a summary of our projects this summer. Be sure to tune in!
Thursday morning, we were able to represent Iowa State Extension and Outreach at Cultivating Hope Farms for an educational event. We taught visitors how to dissect a bean, discovered nature through a scavenger hunt, and planted seedling necklaces. We even got to hold baby piglets!!
Sponsorship and Family Night Event
Thursday, July 27th was our Sponsorship and Family Night Event! The raffles raised some money and lots of visitors were able to see Cultivating Hope Farms while supporting Cultivating Hope 4-H. Axis Therapy Centers made and appear to help support the club they sponsored. The Cultivating Hope 4-H sustainability efforts definitely paid off!!
This week marked a busy schedule for the Story County Extension Office and the Rising Star interns as the Story County Youth Fair was kicked into full gear. Alongside the hustle and bustle of the fair’s activities, the rising star interns have been working tirelessly to get final documents prepared for submission and to finalize extra elements for their projects for completion before the end of their time in the office.
Carrots and Cameras
Tuesday afternoon started earlier than usual at the Beloit Donation Garden as we arrived with video cameras, microphones, and tripods. The goal for this day was to gather interviews and footage of the garden in action. This footage will be used to create a thank you video to display gratitude towards all the organizations that have helped support the garden over its long history, alongside helping display all the benefits the garden provides to its community. With speaking pieces from Kent and Susan discussing the garden’s history and influence, accompanied by shots of the garden being tended to and harvested, we have high hopes for the outcome.
Place – A – Potty
Wednesday and Thursday mornings were spent in the sun with a small booth at the Story County Fairgrounds. This booth aimed to gather a consensus from the fair’s audience and participants about where the fair board should consider pacing new bathrooms. A large bulletin board provided an ariel view of the fairgrounds with specific buildings marked to help display locations. Fairgoers could then place a pin on the map where they believed the best location for a new bathroom would be. The most popular location displayed on the map was the option for redoing the existing bathrooms at the center of the fairgrounds, as many stated that a renovated location had been an ideal proposal for many years.
Thursday afternoon, the interns assisted many other Story County Extension staff with providing activities for a large school group that took short tours earlier that afternoon. When provided with a rotation of broken-up groups, the interns used an interactive version of our cardio card idea from the farmers market. Each group of kids gave examples of exercises to represent each suit in a deck of cards, then took turns drawing cards and doing the exercises however many times that were displayed on the card. After a few rotations, the kids relaxed from the exercises by doing group stretches followed by passing around an activity ball where they talked about food groups.
The Rising Star Interns helped with the Crawford County Fair in Denison this week. We started our week off by helping with static judging. We wrote comments about a 4-H member’s project and wrote what ribbon they received. Then we judged the club’s booths. We judged the booths by ensuring they had the members’ names listed and followed the fair theme, Spy Your Potential. The booths were ranked 1st through 3rd, and we had to give each booth an “award,” like most creative and most informational.
Open Community Garden Night
On a beautiful Tuesday night, the interns held their Open Community Garden Night at the community garden in Harlan. A few Master Gardeners and community members brainstormed ideas on two big sticky pads, what they liked about the garden, and what they would like to change. Some things they liked about the garden are people sharing ideas and it’s inspirational. Throughout the night, we focused on how we could change the garden. The community members suggested having a security system, a donation garden, composting, and much more. We also had water and cookies, handed out ISU Extension and Outreach bags, and even had a door prize. We had a great time talking about the garden and meeting new people!
Harvest Dy at Community Garden
On Thursday, the interns helped pick produce from the community garden in Denison. We picked cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash. Once we got back to the office, we cleaned the produce so they were ready to be sent off to the food pantry!
It was a busy week, with the fair season in full swing this week. We started our week with a full day of preparing lessons for the rest of the week. We presented our Smelly Socks Day Hab lesson for the last time on Tuesday and taught about what to do before you wash your laundry. The participants enjoyed putting matching socks together and treating stains with household items.
We finally received our Birth of an Idea display for the Hull Museum. After a long process, it came in. We will have it in the Sioux County office for our final Council Meeting. We are so happy with how the display turned out. It looks great, and we’re excited for the community to have it in their museum to show the history of extension.
We had our second and third Skill-a-thons this week. To prepare, we usually go around the county fairs to hang posters and get some attention around the event. This week we tried to put one up on a rock wall, but after two failed attempts, we decided to just put it on the display table. Our Skill-a-thon for Lyon County was a great success, and we gave out money for the top 3 placed kids. It has been an amazing experience to see the level of learning these kids have been able to improve upon.
With the summer starting to wind down, region 4 has been working mainly on finalizing the presentation. There are several events yet to happen that need to be added, but otherwise the presentation is in its final stages!
On Tuesday we attended a screening of “Like We Don’t Exist” at the Northwood theater. It was hosted by Art Farm Iowa, and featured the struggle that the Kareeni people have faced at the hands of the Burmese people. It was an extremely educational experience, and many community members attended. Many of them had questions, and asked how they could help the refugees in the camps in Thailand. A former refugee by the name of Maw was even in attendance, as he is currently doing a mural at Art Farm Iowa.
We also learned that our boulder for Art Farm Iowa is being delivered next week, so that’s an extremely exciting project that is finally coming into fruition. Its always a great feeling to see your hard work finally come to life, and have others appreciate the ideas. Next week will be focused on the Art Farm, and getting things finalized out there!
Another successful week in the books for the Rising Star Interns of Region 4! This week, Taylor and I have been busy continuing our work with the Lincoln Intermediate greenhouse, Central Gardens of Clear Lake, and Art Farm Iowa. Starting with the greenhouse, we finalized the all-encompassing greenhouse handbook, including lesson plans and educator resources. This handbook includes the contact information for community support personnel, such as the head facility maintenance, ISU Extension and Outreach STEM specialists, and volunteer resources. We hope to facilitate the teacher’s use of the greenhouse by backing them with these support systems. In our upcoming meeting with the school board, we will provide the teachers with a copy of the handbook for additional feedback. We also plan to include a copy of the recipe book that Taylor created for the Central Gardens in the greenhouse. The owners of the Central Gardens requested that we come up with a booklet of Latinx-inspired recipes using vegetables grown on the site- which we thought the greenhouse could also benefit from! Taylor did a fantastic job outlining easy, healthy recipes using fresh produce that could easily be grown from both gardens and greenhouses alike. We were able to present this recipe book to the owners of the Central Gardens this week at the Fresh on Friday event, where we also coordinated a craft activity for these kids. We had a lot of fun creating suncatchers using fresh flowers from the gardens!
Amidst our busy week, we also found time to help Art Farm Iowa with the various projects they are working on right now. I headed out to the farm this week to paint culture stands for an upcoming event that the organization is hosting and help with general maintenance around the property. During my visits to the farm, I was able to help weed the wildflower bed, raised garden beds, and corn and squash garden. Additionally, I planted tomatoes in the vegetable garden, which will be utilized for the Farm to Fork Event later this month! Later in the week, Taylor and I returned to Northwood to distribute a QR code for the Art Farm Interest Survey that Taylor constructed. The owners of Art Farm hope that this survey will provide them with valuable information on their consumer demographic and interests, which will be used to guide their decisions in the future. We posted these flyers in local businesses around town in order to get as much feedback as possible!
Our team has been working diligently to make sustainable 4-H clubs. For us, this looks like gaining consistent sponsors and promoting the club. We created a sponsorship pamphlet for our “guinea pig” club, Cultivating Hope 4-H, that was sent out to local businesses. This pamphlet shows the reach of the club and how to support them. We got news back from Axis Therapy Centers that they would like to be a platinum sponsor at a donation of $1,000. This news allows the club to purchase more items for programing and even club t-shirts!
The second component of sustainable clubs is promotion. The team planned an event to showcase the work of the club at Cultivating Hope Farms in Ames. The event will be a tour of the farm facilities, petting, and other great activities! Please consider joining us July 27th from 6-8 p.m. at Cultivating Hope Farms.
Beloit Donation Garden in Ames receives help from many businesses and individuals throughout the community, but the team of volunteers doesn’t think these people know how much their support means. Our team worked this week to lay out a video to thank the supporters of the garden. We reached out to volunteers and leaders to speak about the impact. The video will be the last component of the garden project.
On Monday, we met with Dena from West Central Community Action to discuss produce donations for future possible donation gardens. After our meeting, Dena gave us a tour of the facilities, including an emergency food pantry and clothing room.
Shelby County Fair
The Shelby County Fair kept us busy this week! We started our week by packing and moving supplies to the 4-H fairground office. We also helped set up for static judging for the next day. During the county fair, we helped with check-in at static, cake decorating, table setting, and club booth judging. We also helped out with entering in results. During the fair week, we also set up a table in the 4-H Exhibit building, showcasing everything we’ve done this summer! Throughout the week, we went wherever our help was necessary.
We started wrapping up some of our final projects and working on our final report. It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start working on our final report!