October 2013 -- From Cathann Kress
Iowa’s forests are one of our most important natural resources, giving us access to timber, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreation and natural beauty. Forests play a role in Iowa’s economy as well, contributing some 18,000 jobs and $4 billion in products for Iowa wood-based businesses. So I appreciated having the opportunity to attend the field day at Shimek State Forest in southeast Iowa on a beautiful early October day. (In this photo Richard Schultz, from Iowa State’s Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, talks about soil and its importance to tree development.) Shimek State Forest is an example of forest management for Iowa’s citizens, and ISU Extension and Outreach is pleased to be part of the educational field day, a truly cooperative effort with DNR Forestry, county conservation groups, private small businesses and private consultants.
If you can’t make it to a forestry field day, you still can experience “The Wonder of Trees.” Just pick up a copy of the 2014 Garden Calendar from the Extension and Outreach Online Store. The 12-month calendar celebrates the gift of trees and is filled with stunning photography, interesting facts and tips on planting and maintaining trees.
P.S. I’d also like to acknowledge another important resource: the 53 people who participated in ISU Extension and Outreach new staff orientation in September. They increase our capacity to provide access to education — and make a difference for Iowans.
Sara Shepherd is taking over her family’s farm. Julie Van Waardhuizen is fully engaged in farming with her husband. Mother and daughter Rexanne Struve and Brandi Wiig are beginning to look at transitioning the farm from one generation to the next. Although their farming situations vary, these Iowa women all credit Annie’s Project with improving their ability to make sound risk management decisions.
For 10 years ISU Extension and Outreach has been providing this educational program to empower Iowa farm women to be better business partners. Watch the videos to learn more.
The ISU Extension and Outreach crops team responded to producer questions related to the late spring, dry summer and slow crop development during meetings in north central Iowa in mid September.
The specialists discussed crop maturity, crop drying, potential effects of an early frost and pre-harvest preparations. They also examined 2013 crop quality, including moisture and test weight variability, potential diseases, and the best practices for handling and storing the crop. Video recordings of their presentations are available online.
Through “Juntos: Together for a Better Education,” ISU Extension and Outreach specialists have worked with high schools, community colleges and businesses to help 108 Latino youth and parents increase their understanding of how to successfully graduate from high school and pursue higher education.
“Program evaluation data reveals that after participating in Juntos, parents feel more confident in working with their child’s school and improved in monitoring their youth’s homework, talking with their youth about school, college or other future plans,” said Kim Greder, the associate professor and family life specialist who leads the project.
Extension specialists Himar Hernandez of Ottumwa and Rosa Gonzalez of Perry will be presenting information about Juntos at the Oct. 16 Latino education conference.
Every generation puts its own spin on the aging process, and people today are approaching their 50s, 60s, 70s and older years differently from their parents. Mid Life & Beyond: The Whole Picture, from ISU Extension and Outreach, is helping Iowans take a closer look at how they want to age.
Communities are taking action on a variety of issues such as transportation needs, affordable housing, recreational and fitness activities, and entertainment opportunities. Currently about a third of Iowa’s 99 counties are participating in Mid Life & Beyond, examining how their communities can improve and change to meet their needs.