July 2010 -- From Jerry Miller
When it’s your home, farm or business that’s under water, it doesn’t matter if the weather forecasters call it a 100-year flood or just this year’s flood. Whether the damage rivals that of the floods of 2008 or 1993 is immaterial; it’s devastating any way you look at it. Our hearts go out to those Iowans who are dealing with flooding of any type this year. Please know that you can call our Iowa Concern hotline (800-447-1985), check our Disaster Recovery website or contact your county ISU Extension office for access to resources and assistance.
In this newsletter you’ll learn about
- ISU Extension specialists training an Iowa National Guard team for an agricultural mission in Afghanistan,
- CIRAS counseling veteran-owned companies in doing business with the federal government,
- 4-H connecting to Iowa State’s College of Human Sciences and more.
Keep in touch.
As members of Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agri-Business Development Team (ADT) prepared for a yearlong mission to Kunar Province in Afghanistan, ISU faculty and ISU Extension specialists explained techniques and methods that will help them assist Afghan farmers in improving their agriculture system. Agronomists, soil scientists and a veterinarian were among the camouflage-clad troops learning about small-scale poultry production, vegetable production and handling, and how to extend the growing season using high tunnels, as well as basic soil and water management practices. Col. Craig Bargfrede, commanding the 734th ADT, said, “We worked closely with Iowa State to design a training program based on the various projects that we will be working on in Afghanistan.”
Veteran-owned companies that want to do business with the federal government have a new resource to help them reach this goal. Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) provides the required counseling to help these companies prepare for the Federal Contractor Certification (FCC) training program. Interested veterans who are business owners first must register with a CIRAS counselor. David Bogaczyk, who manages CIRAS’ statewide Procurement Assistance program, says it’s his job to make sure up front that companies have the potential for success in government contracting.
4-H Youth Development always has had a physical home on the Iowa State University campus. Now ISU Extension’s youth program has an academic home as well. With the arrival in May of Nancy Franz as the new associate dean for ISU Extension and Outreach for Families and 4-H Youth, ISU Extension 4-H Youth Development has formally joined the College of Human Sciences Franz will serve 4-H as an academic matchmaker, originating partnerships with people and programs within the college as well as across the Iowa State campus. Chuck Morris will continue to direct day-to-day operations for the 4-H program, which reaches one in five Iowa youth with leadership, citizenship, communication and life skills development.
Programs that support the development of girls’ healthy attitudes about themselves and their lifestyles, like those offered through ISU Extension, are vital for today’s youth. Through participation in ISU Extension family life and 4-H programs, girls are offered multiple experiences to help develop healthy lifestyles while effectively facing the pressures that adolescence, culture and media often present to young people.
Southeast Iowans are doing their part, one yard at a time, to save water, soil and energy. Through a program called Backyard Conservation, Fairfield residents are learning to collect rainwater, compost food waste and plant edible landscapes. They’re practicing sustainability in every way they can, according to Scott Timm, an ISU Extension community and economic development specialist and Fairfield’s sustainability coordinator. During a spring compost day, the city offered for sale 150 composters. Timm wasn’t surprised that 93 sold immediately to residents determined to send less waste to the landfill.
Summer is filled with ISU Extension horticulture and gardening-related webinars, workshops, tours and other events throughout the state: from a garden walk in Linn County to a succulent garden workshop in Clayton County or home demonstration garden field days at ISU research farms.
ISU Extension county offices are hosting Iowa Master Gardener Gardening Green 2010 webinars. Organic Gardening for Homeowners on July 27 will outline the basics on how to manage the landscape organically, including pest control for vegetable gardening and ornamentals. Rain Gardens in Iowa on Aug. 24 will illustrate the design and maintenance of rain gardens as a best management practice for storm water management in the landscape. Visit the ISU Extension Master Gardener website for more information.