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November 2006 -- From Jack Payne

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve probably heard about the bioeconomy. Extension and Iowa State are key players, and this newsletter includes an update on recent activities.

I am encouraged that citizens in 10 more counties have passed the referendum to increase the maximum tax levy rate that may be used to fund local county extension programs. The elected extension councils in these counties now will be better able to provide ISU Extension programs that improve quality of life for Iowa families, communities and business.

This month’s newsletter also includes a feature on Rachael Cox, who received an award during the 2006 World Food Prize International Symposium. Her recognition is extra special to Extension because Rachel is the daughter of our own Ron Cox, director of Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS).

Send your newsletter ideas to Also, add your comments to my blog, the Extension Switchboard.


Maintaining Iowa's leadership in the bioeconomy

Iowa's bioeconomy

Several Iowa State economists discussed the current state of Iowa’s corn ethanol complex along with long-term prospects during a webcast Nov. 13. Iowa State is inviting state, industry, government and university leaders to a special summit Nov. 28 to develop policy and investment recommendations that would maintain Iowa’s leadership in the bioeconomy.

ISU Extension connects Iowans and businesses willing to take leadership in the bioeconomy with industry and funding resources that can respond to their needs for research and expertise. The demand for corn-based ethanol, biodiesel and cellulosic-based biofuels, and the opportunities for biobased products most likely will change the economic, cultural and social landscape of Iowa for years to come. Learn more about ISU Extension’s work with the bioeconomy, and check what’s going on with biorenewables at Iowa State.

25 Iowa communities selected for Horizons program


Twenty-five Iowa communities have been selected for the Horizons Community Leadership Program to Reduce Poverty. Iowa State University Extension delivers the program with funding from the Northwest Area Foundation.

The communities are Allerton, Alta, Bedford, Chariton, Corydon, Ellsworth, Elma, Grand Junction, Greenfield, Humeston, Keosauqua, Lake City, Mapleton, Morning Sun, Pomeroy, Olin, Oxford Junction, Rockford, Sac City, Scranton, Seymour, Wapello, Waukon, Woodbine and Wyoming.

“The Horizons program will help rural communities who are ready to commit to positive change,” said ISU Extension specialist Ruth Freeman, program director. “They’ll receive training and resources about leadership, poverty reduction, community development, visioning and strategic planning. The program continues through summer 2008.”

Ten county extension districts approve referendum


Citizens in 10 Iowa county extension districts voted to increase the maximum tax levy rate that may be used to fund local county extension programs: Black Hawk, Clarke, Clinton, Decatur, East Pottawattamie, Iowa, Keokuk, Marshall, Poweshiek and Woodbury. The extension referendum was on the ballot Nov. 7 in 15 of 100 county districts. (Pottawattamie County is divided into two districts.) Eighty-four county extension districts already had passed the measure in previous general elections.

In counties that pass the referendum, locally elected extension councils have additional tax monies available to maintain and expand county extension programs. Individual county extension councils may choose to expand programs for youth, families, agriculture, business and industry, communities or continuing education opportunities.

For more information, contact Mark Settle, director of Extension External Relations,

Service projects say ‘Happy 150th birthday, Iowa State!’

cy and friends

To commemorate the 150th birthday of Iowa State University, each ISU Extension county office will host a service project in 2007.

These projects will involve county, field and state staff; 4-H members; current ISU students; ISU alumni living in the county; Extension retirees and other friends of ISU. All county service projects will be identified by Feb. 1, 2007. Service projects will be action-oriented and provide something of value to the community. Each project will be commemorated with a bronze plaque.

Iowa State will officially kick off the sesquicentennial during VEISHEA, on April 21, 2007. ISU Extension will be part of the celebration with a tent on central campus filled with activities and displays.

Iowa State student puts a face on world hunger

Rachael Cox

Iowa State sophomore Rachael Cox recently received the John Chrystal Intern Award during the 2006 World Food Prize International Symposium for her work in Kenya as well as reports about the work. She credits 4-H, part of ISU Extension, for helping to increase her communication skills in making reports, posters and presentations.

Cox first met poverty and hunger in the faces of those she served when her Cerro Gordo County 4-H club volunteered in a community soup kitchen. That experience stuck with her, she said, and evolved into a greater interest in poverty and hunger in the world. After a summer 2005 internship in Kenya, she chose Iowa State and a major in agronomy.

“Iowa State’s College of Agriculture has a wealth of opportunities in my interest areas. I know that if I can’t find exactly what I want, people in the college will help me find opportunities to fit my interest and goals,” Cox said.

From Extension’s online store


Look for these popular products and new/revised items.

Pledge Bear Set (Clever and Cardio) 4H 4608
CD-DIAL: Community Development Data Information and Analysis Laboratory, CRD 331
The Choice is Yours: Direct Marketing - Protecting Consumer Privacy, PM 1726
Fruit Cultivars for Iowa, PM 453
Iowa Manure Matters: Odor and Nutrient Management newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 3, Fall 2006, EDC 129 33
Street Design in Community Contexts: A Literature Review, PM 2030

Look for additional items at the ISU Extension Distribution Center Online Store.