November 2011 -- From Cathann Kress
Last week more than 500 ISU Extension and Outreach faculty, staff and extension council members from 89 counties and campus came together for our Advance Leadership Summit. During two days of intense conversation we agreed upon fundamental principles to guide our work, and plans and priorities to help us move forward. Watch for our action plan from the summit, which should be available in about a month.
And on Saturday we celebrated with a social involving donors, friends and partners prior to the Iowa State football game.
These two events may seem quite different — one featuring heavy-duty discussions, the other, light banter about football rivalries. But both exemplify what we do in ISU Extension and Outreach. Extension and Outreach professionals are able to anticipate trends, catalyze opportunities and build relationships because we are part of the ongoing life of communities throughout Iowa. Whether we’re sponsoring an on-farm field day, consulting one-on-one, educating youth about healthy lifestyles — or celebrating CY Day Friday in a county office — we’re here for the long haul, improving quality of life in Iowa.
ISU Extension and Outreach was among seven state extension services honored for work over the past eight years with the Horizons program. The 2011 Partnership Award from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recognized this multi-state effort, funded by Northwest Area Foundation, for developing and implementing innovative research and education that empowers and inspires people to create positive change in their local communities.
Horizons community accomplishments in Iowa include establishing and expanding food pantries, mentoring youth, developing community leaders and supporting entrepreneurship.
Veteran-owned Iowa businesses will receive critical information about finding and winning government contracts during the 4th Annual Veterans’ Procurement Conference Nov. 30 in Ames. ISU Extension and Outreach’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) is the conference sponsor.
“We want to make sure veterans understand the opportunities they have to grow and diversify their businesses with government contracting,” said Julie Fagle, CIRAS government contracting specialist. “They’ll be able to connect with government agencies and prime contractors interested in locating well qualified suppliers and subcontractors to add to their team.”
Andrew (Andy) Lenssen joined Iowa State University Oct. 1 as a soybean systems agronomist. He comes to Iowa State from Montana, where he was a research ecologist and lead scientist for USDA dryland research. Lenssen will be taking a systems approach as he addresses the primary issues of Iowa soybean producers in his research and programming.
“Collaborative studies gain more useful knowledge on complex interactions,” Lenssen said. “It takes a team to understand the interconnectedness of our actions, and field research to look at many of the bigger issues.”
Leadership West Liberty is developing new leaders in this eastern Iowa community. Since 2007, 29 people have graduated from the program. The classes vary each year and have included corporate-sponsored employees, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms and nonprofit volunteers.
The collaborative effort involves West Liberty Economic Area Development (WE-LEAD), ISU Extension and Outreach, Leadership Muscatine and Muscatine Community College. The program covers topics such as running for elected office, serving on a board and implementing projects.
The Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) has pledged $148,000 over the next four years to the Iowa 4-H Foundation. ISU Extension and Outreach will use the funds to enhance youth awareness of food and agriculture, including a cross-country adventure race at the Iowa 4-H Center near Madrid. The project will positively involve both youth and adults and endorse healthy, family-friendly lifestyles.
ISA President Dean Coleman said, “We are proud, at ISA, to give financial support to further our youth’s education in agriculture.”