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Jack Payne

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January 2007 -- From Jack Payne

I recently heard from George Cummins about the range of walk-in, phone and field contacts he receives as one of our crop field specialists. Many questions are ag related, but clients also come to him because he’s part of Iowa State University Extension – so they figure he will direct them to someone on campus or in the field who can answer their questions. That’s how we operate. We’re your connection to Iowa State University.

Amy Asmus, with the Iowa Association of County Extension Councils (IACEC), noticed my blog, the Extension Switchboard, and said it was “Way cool, Jack!” You can use the blog to interact with me and with other Iowans on issues related to ISU Extension. And you can start the conversation—you don’t have to wait for me to bring up an issue. Just go to the blog, click on the comments link and let me know what you think.

One more thing – ISU Extension collaborated with Engineering Distance Education to webcast the FIRST LEGO League championship Jan. 20. These 9- to 14-year-olds may be the engineers of tomorrow.

Discuss latest research at Crop Advantage Series, Winter Crop Schools

crop school

ISU Extension is offering two opportunities for crop producers, scouts and agribusiness professionals to get the latest research from Iowa State University and other institutions.

The 2007 Crop Advantage series continues through the end of January. The sessions focus on corn rootworm strategies and soybean yield, as well as local issues. The 2007 Winter Crop Schools begin Feb. 6 and continue through March 3. Eight sessions will be held on the Iowa State campus, and each focuses on a specific management topic.

“The Crop Advantage meetings provide topics selected for each growing area because growing conditions and management decisions are not the same across Iowa,” said Brent Pringnitz, with ISU Extension’s agribusiness education program. “The crop schools give students more time with a particular topic and allow more student-instructor interaction. Both programs allow participants to discuss the findings with the individuals who conducted the research instead of just reading about it.”


They’re not ‘just horsing around’


Horse owners, enthusiasts and industry professionals who participate in ISU Extension’s Master Equine Manager program aren’t “just horsing around.” They’re serious about an Iowa industry that annually produces goods and services valued at $862.5 million. And they’re choosing Iowa State University certification or continuing education units (CEUs) and master equine manager status to set them apart.

The next Master Equine Manager program begins in eastern Iowa in February, said Dale Miller, ISU Extension education director for Marion County. “The program educates people on quality horse care and responsible ownership. Program instructors are experts in their fields and include academic, research and business professionals.”

So far, 45 people have graduated as master equine managers. Evaluations have been positive: “This is a nice way to get further education to understand the equine industry and be better able to relate with others in business.”

ISU Extension begins 6th year with Lighten Up Iowa

Lighten Up Iowa

A simple program started to help Iowans fight the consequences of being rated 11th highest in overweight/obesity rate for adults in the nation has succeeded not only in fighting weight gain, but also in promoting partnerships that benefit local citizens. ISU Extension county education directors and nutrition and health field specialists help promote Lighten Up Iowa (LUI) throughout the state. For example:

* Since 2002 more than 74,000 LUI participants have lost more than 153 tons of weight; 2006 set a new record with 33,000 participants.

* A successful LUI partnership in Webster County prompted ISU Extension and hospital staff to apply for and receive a grant that led to additional wellness activity partnerships.

* ISU Extension’s partnership in Franklin County with a local hospital and wellness center led to twice as many participants and teams. They lost more than 1,000 pounds and logged more than 500,000 minutes of activity.

Iowa State a good choice because of 4-H

Rita Cook

Rita Cook says that Iowa State was the obvious choice for college because of her passion for agriculture and ISU’s many choices within her chosen field. It also was a good choice because of her 4-H ties.

4-H became a support system for her as she gained horsemanship and showmanship skills and developed self-confidence and personal skills. Her family and 4-H leaders “believed in me before I even believed in myself.”

Now an ISU freshman, Cook triple majors in ag business, public service and administration (PSA) and economics. She is determined to make a positive difference in the perception Americans have of agriculture. One of her goals is to promote the ag industry to people who have lost close ties to the land.

Work begins on ISU studio space in Perry

ISU design student

Establishing a home for the Center for Town/Craft -- a joint collaboration between Hometown Perry, Iowa; ISU Extension and the ISU College of Design -- is coming along nicely, according to Bill Clark, president of Hometown Perry, Iowa.

“We are progressing on schedule on the renovation of the old First National Bank building, restoring the exterior to its original façade from the early 1900s and inside making a bright and productive space for our new center,” Clark said. ISU architectural professor Bruce Bassler and 15 architecture students involved in a design-build project will begin work Feb. 1 on the upper floor of the two-story building to create the new studio space for future classes of ISU design students. “We’re very excited at the possibilities in this new collaboration,” Clark said. Plans are for the Center for Town/Craft to be open in June.

For more information contact Alan Vandehaar, ISU Extension community development specialist,


From Extension's online store

ICM newsletter

Integrated Crop Management Newsletter, 2007 Subscription, ICM 2007
Answer Line magnet, SP 15
Contracting with Foodservices -- Local Food Connections, PM 1853D
Eat to Compete: Sports Nutrition Resources, N 3489
Economic Impact of Use in Restaurants -- Local Food Connections, PM 1853E
2006 Iowa Crop Performance Tests: Alfalfa and Other Forages, AG 84
Iowa Manure Matters: Odor and Nutrient Management newsletter, Vol. 9 Issue 4, Winter 2006, EDC 129 34
Midwest Commercial Small Fruit and Grape Spray Guide 2007, PM 1375
2007 Midwest Commercial Tree Fruit Spray Guide, PM 1282
Say "Yes" to Family Meals -- Raising Healthy Kids,  PM 1842
Soybean Cyst Nematode-Resistant Soybean Varieties for Iowa, PM 1649
Steps to a Healthier Family -- Raising Healthy Kids, PM 2005

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