Articles

Now that Iowa’s 21 youth delegates to the National 4-H Congress have had time to reflect on their experience, they agree the national 4-H leadership event lived up to its title. They did, indeed, learn to “Become a Catalyst of Change.” Through the five-day youth conference, the 4-H’ers created a love for community, a respect for giving to others and friendships they hope to sustain for a lifetime.

An advanced high tunnel tomato production track is one of the educational components of the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association’s annual conference Jan. 24-25 in Ankeny. Instructors for the Thursday, Jan. 24 day-long high tunnel track are horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Iowa State University is offering a spring 2013 online course covering the production and management of vegetable crops. Web-based Vegetable Crop Production and Management (HORT 493) will be taught by Ajay Nair, vegetable specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Across the state of Iowa, 18 rural libraries are getting ready to welcome the Smart investing@your library® project beginning in January 2013. The Iowa project is a collaboration among Iowa Library Services, the Ames Public Library and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach have advice on disposing of real Christmas trees and options for poinsettias after the holidays.

The Feedlot Forum 2013 will be held at a new location, Terrace View Event Center just south of Sioux Center, on Jan. 22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The forum will address a variety of new beef issues– animal welfare audits, new feed processing methods, global trade and formula pricing – facing feedlot producers in 2013.

With funding from Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Learning Farms developed “Watershed-based Community Assessments,” a toolkit to guide local communities with their watershed improvement projects.

It might be easy to assume that young ones are not impacted by tragic events in other parts of the country, but children have a keen sense of radar and pick up on adults’ body language, conversations, and news media stories. Malisa Rader, a family life program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, suggests parents be reassuring, monitor their TV viewing when children are present and watch for signs of stress in their children.

With nearly 2.5 million cattle in the four-state Driftless Region, cooperative extension in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin have teamed up to offer a Driftless Region Beef Conference. The event will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31, and Friday, Feb. 1, 2013, at the Grand River Convention Center in Dubuque, Iowa.

Horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach have advice on how to maintain plants during the winter, including how to protect trees and shrubs from salt damage. Even though it may not seem necessary to care for plants during winter, it is key to ensuring beautiful yards and gardens in the spring.

Nine women involved in value-added agriculture graduated on Dec. 3 from a special Annie’s Project workshop sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and held in Boone. At graduation, each woman had a business plan created by applying information they received during the course.

How can cover crops, strip-tillage, tile drainage systems, small grains and woodchip bioreactors benefit the soil and enhance production in corn and soybean systems? Find out at Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2013 annual conference, “Soil and Soul,” Jan. 10-12 at the Iowa State University campus in Ames.

The premier educational event in Iowa for cow-calf producers is offering a comprehensive package of information to attendees next month.

Average Iowa farmland value is estimated to be $8,296 per acre, an increase of 23.7 percent from 2011, according to results of the Iowa Land Value Survey conducted in November. This is the third year in a row where values have increased more than 15 percent. The 2012 values are historical peaks.

Three informational meetings regarding the recently released Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy will be held in Denison, Ames and Waterloo the week of Dec. 17.

Iowa Soybean Association watershed management specialist Keegan Kult will be featured in the Iowa Learning Farms’ webinar Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 11:30 a.m. The webinar is part of a free series, hosted by ILF, through Adobe Connect.

As flu season swings into full gear, producers and those who work with pigs are reminded that it’s not too late to get a seasonal flu vaccination. Iowa State University Extension swine veterinarian James McKean said the vaccination helps protect both people and animals.

All facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food (human and animal) within the United States are required to register with the Food and Drug Administration in accordance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. ISU Extension and Outreach has a registration tutorial and a checklist for assessing food safety preparedness available online.

Amaryllis and narcissus are two popular flowering bulbs grown indoors during the winter months. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach share information to bring blooms to Iowans' homes during January and February.