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Local 4-H camping programs are strong and growing across Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is committed to high quality 4-H camping programs.

Iowans will have a chance to form partnerships and network with other local food enthusiasts at an upcoming conference, “Road Map for Resilience: Empowering Iowa’s Local Food Economy,” at the ISU Scheman Building on March 19-20.

A field day focusing on cover crops for row crop systems will be held Tuesday, March 19, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Dustin Kaestner farm near Luzerne. The field day site is located at Kaestner Seeds, 7381 16th Ave., Luzerne. The event is free, open to the public and includes a complimentary lunch.

School teachers, youth organization leaders, informal education professionals, county and regional extension programs, and other organizations delivering STEM educational programs can apply to bring one or more of the nine specially selected programs into a club or classroom during 2013-14.

Parents often greet a new baby with stuffed animals, dolls and other toys, all given in anticipation of the play that is to come. During March, learn about the power of play for children of all ages in the Science of Parenting blog from Iowa State UniversityExtension and Outreach.

Starting vegetables at home can be fun and offers several advantages. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach answer questions about starting cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower seedlings and selecting varieties.

Researchers will share information on the cover crop topic at a workshop Friday, April 5 in Mason City. Iowa State University and USDA-National Laboratory for Agriculture and Environment will hold the workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Iowa Events Center, 3700 4th Street SW, Mason City.

USDA Rural Development and other lending agencies require first-time homebuyers to complete education from a certified provider to qualify for the agency’s rural housing loans. To meet this need, ISU Extension and Outreach offers A Place of Your Own, an online homebuyer education course,

A Biomass Crop Production Workshop will look at reasons for increased interest in biomass crops for energy in Iowa. The workshop will be held Tuesday, March 19, at the Johnson County Extension Office, Iowa City, Iowa.

Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach answer questions about grape pruning that will give the pruner a spirit of learning and adventure, not panic.

Ongoing effects from the drought may hit closer to home with possible water shortages this year across the state. Iowans can prepare by finding simple ways to conserve water in their own homes.

Iowans can beat the winter blues with the Eco Family Virtual Conference. Families can save money on household expenses, spend quality time together and live green in 2013 by participating in the conference, said Kristi Cooper, conference organizer and family life specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Iowa farmers rely primarily on agribusinesses, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and state agencies for their information needs, according to the 2012 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is committed to maintaining a sustainable 4-H youth development program that provides quality educational programs for Iowa youth — including camping experiences. However, there will be some changes in the camping experiences that the Iowa 4-H Program will offer at the Iowa 4-H Center this summer.

Farmers will showcase their experiences with cover crops this spring at eight field days across Iowa. Practical Farmers of Iowa joins with Iowa Learning Farms, County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners and Eastern Iowa Hay Producers Association to sponsor the spring field days that focus on the use and management of cover crops.

The 2013 Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey is now available to download from the Extension Online Store or the Ag Decision Maker website as Information File A3-10, Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey. Print copies will be available at county extension offices. 

Current commercial fruit or vegetable growers and traditional farmers interested in diversifying can learn more about high tunnel production at a March 26 workshop at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Harrison County office in Logan.

Pruning raspberries in spring produces higher yields, by increasing berry size, and helps control disease. Pruning procedures are based on the growth and fruiting characteristics of the plants, according to horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The Vegetable Transplant Production workshop scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Scott County Extension Office has been rescheduled for Saturday March 2.