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Iowa State University Extension

March 2011 -- From Jerry Miller

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Iowa State University Extension will celebrate Extension Week throughout the state March 21-25, 2011. We hope you’ll take part in the celebration as we recognize that ISU Extension programs benefit all Iowans and continue to make a significant difference in EVERY county in Iowa.

Iowa State University President Geoffroy and Provost Hoffman have officially proclaimed Extension Week on campus, and we’ve planned activities that will help students learn more about ISU Extension resources that can assist them as they prepare for their careers and life beyond Iowa State.

County extension offices will be holding open houses and other activities throughout the week, and Cy will be making special appearances. Contact your county office for details about local events and learn how “it starts with Extension.”


Never underestimate people power and pork niche marketing

two pigs

With a collapsing hog market more than a dozen years ago, Iowa pork producers were searching for ways to expand their markets and return profitability to their enterprises. So ISU Extension and more than 20 organizations and 40-plus cooperatives and businesses formed a partnership called the Pork Niche Market Working Group. This learning community continues today.

“Pork Niche Market Working group is a catalyst for our success,” said Kelly Biensen, founder and general manager of Eden Farms. “Never underestimate people power and what can be accomplished by working together.”

New radio program podcast examines ‘science’ of parenting

Mike Murray and Douglas Gentile

Parents have a new source for sound advice on raising kids and teens — the Science of Parenting, a new monthly radio program podcast from ISU Extension. According to program host Douglas Gentile, an associate professor of psychology and extension specialist, each program will feature an expert discussing a hot topic in parenting, the latest research and advice. The experts, along with Gentile and “parent on the street” co-host Mike Murray, will explain the research in easy-to-understand terms. The podcasts are available for free download.

Design West offers summer workshops for very young designers

Design West workshop for youth

Aspiring young designers in grades 6-12 may apply to participate in June 14-17 workshops at Iowa State’s Design West Studio in Sioux City. According to program coordinator Susan Fey, “These workshops are a fantastic way for students with a strong interest in art and design to explore that interest and discover educational and career paths.”

Design West is a partnership of the College of Design, ISU Extension, Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and Sioux City, supported in part by an Iowa Great Places grant. Extension at Design West focuses on urban design, historic preservation, regional planning and applied research.

Robotics and 4-H help kids become future industry leaders

robotics team

Robotics clubs and competitions are one way ISU Extension helps kids get excited about science, engineering and technology – and teaches them valuable employment and life skills. Community organizations and businesses see the value of 4-H robotics and are joining ISU Extension to encourage involvement. According to Bratney Companies Chief Operating Officer Paul Brown, “This program is developing the future leaders for our industry.”