Articles

Indoor plants help create a welcoming, calming, aesthetically pleasing environment in homes. In fact, more than 80 percent of homes in the United States have at least one houseplant, with a national average of 10 plants per household. Learn more about caring for the few hundred plants that lend themselves well to indoor culture.

Retired U.S. Army First Class Sergeant Dana Bowman's motto is “it’s not the disability, it’s the ability,” and he’ll be sharing his message of conquering adversity at the 4th Annual Veterans’ Procurement Conference Nov. 30 in Ames. The conference will provide vital information to assist Iowa businesses in winning government contracts, while educating veteran-owned businesses on issues critical to their success in this market.

Woodchip bioreactors, installed at the edge of agricultural fields, can remove 15 to 60 percent of the nitrate in tile-drained water annually. This innovative approach for protecting the water quality in Midwest streams and rivers is described in a new fact sheet available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Five eastern Iowa cattle producers are sharing their grazing annual cover crops experiences during a series of field days this month as part of a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) farmer grant program to demonstrate the use of annual cover crops for extending the grazing season and increasing the grazing opportunities following grain production.

The 2011 Iowa Forage and Grassland Conference is set for Nov. 21-22 at the Airport Holiday Inn in Des Moines. It will offer expert presentations and technological innovations on a variety of grassland and forage topics.

Anyone interested in beef nutrition research at Iowa State University (ISU), may register this week for the Nov. 18 “Beef Nutrition Research Pre-game Showcase.” The event will offer a look at the variety of research under way at Iowa State, including at the ISU Beef Nutrition Farm.

Angela Laury will work with Iowa producers and manufacturers to promote food safety as the new food safety specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. One of her first assignments is introducing food producers to the Food Safety Modernization Act, a new federal law designed to encourage food safety through preventive measures.

The popular Weed Identification Field Guide is now available electronically as an e-book and, for the first time, downloadable on iPad. The publication is distributed by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) and Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach. Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, has sponsored the capability for users to download the electronic versions for no charge.
 

Feedlot owners, dairy producers and their employees are invited to an Animal Care and Handling Seminar for beef and dairy on Nov. 22 at Tri-State Livestock Auction in Sioux Center. Featured presenter is Sandhills Cattle Consultants Inc. president Kip Lukasiewicz, who will discuss and demonstrate low-stress cattle handling techniques.

The final Greenhorn Grazing session of the 2011 season will cover stockpiled grazing. The session will be held Nov. 15 at the Werner farm near Diagonal with a 10 a.m. start time.

The 12th Annual Drainage Research Forum will be held Nov. 22 at the Arrowwood Conference Center in Okoboji, Iowa. Registration is at 8 a.m.; the program runs from 9 a.m.- 4:15 p.m., sponsored by Iowa State University, University of Minnesota and South Dakota State University.

Composting enables gardeners to dispose of large quantities of leaves and clippings in an efficient and cost-effective way, but can they also be used for mulch? ISU Extension horticulturists share ways to use fallen tree leaves.

The 11th Annual Iowa Organic Conference, to be held Monday, Nov. 21, 2011, at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State campus, will offer many educational opportunities for those interested in organic agriculture research and practical applications for farming systems.

Registration is open for Rural YES (Young Entrepreneur Summit) Nov. 9 in Ames. Summit sponsors include the Community Vitality Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the U.S. Small Business Administration and USDA Rural Development.

Cerro Gordo, Howard, Johnson and Webster counties have added their 4-H history to Iowa 4-H History by County, a new blog detailing the history of Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development. The history blog is a partnership of the Iowa 4-H program and the Iowa 4-H Foundation.
 

Parents, according to a new survey from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), your toddler could be watching too much television. A new policy report from the AAP says there are better ways to help children learn at this young age.

There’s a reason that kids act like zombies sometimes, and it’s all in their brains. Children’s brains keep changing from birth through the teen years and into early adulthood. Learn how parents can help those young brains develop — listen to this month’s Science of Parenting podcast.
 

The Iowa Soybean Association pledges $148,000 over the next four years to the Iowa 4-H Foundation. The contribution will be used to develop a cross-country adventure race at the Iowa 4-H Center near Madrid.
 

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowa Farm Bureau are bringing an online market simulation game to central Iowa. Iowa Commodity Challenge gives players an opportunity to learn firsthand how to improve strategies to sell cash corn and soybeans.