Research on the Road

January-March 2002

Clarke McGrath, crop field specialist

Problem: ISU Extension does a great deal of crop research and demonstration work at the research stations and private farms in southwest Iowa . Since most of our field days/tours are held at the Armstrong Research Farm throughout the year, we tend to attract a "local" audience, sometimes missing the opportunity to interact, share and teach clients from several counties away. Many southwest Iowa clients and Extension staff asked that research and demonstration work be presented in other locations to more easily reach to outlying clients.

Response: Southwest Iowa clients and ISU Extension staff developed a series of seminars called "Research on the Road". Area specialists developed presentations and activities based on the research and demonstration work, in the area and on the farms, to share and interact with clients. Seminars were held at three locations in Shelby, Adams, and Fremont counties- all at least 50 miles away from the Armstrong Research Farm, where much of the work is done. These counties, and their adjoining counties, generally have the lowest attendance at ISU farm field days due to the travel distances.

Impact: The three meetings were held in July 2001. More than 70 clients representing 11 counties attended along with print and radio media. The KMA/KKBZ "Midwest Farmer" show broadcast live and interviewed ISU Extension staff and clients. Portions of the broadcast were replayed over the next week. Articles appeared in local newspapers, getting the information to even more clients. Attendee evaluations gave the meetings all "excellent" and "good" ratings, provided a number of research topic ideas and requests that ‘Research on the Road' be repeated.


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