Articles

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.

Organizations and individuals who are developing local food systems in their community or region are invited to join others throughout Iowa who are doing the same thing at the winter meeting of the Regional Food Systems Working Group of Iowa on Friday, Dec. 14, in the South Ballroom of the ISU Memorial Union in Ames.

"Experience and explore Iowa in ways never before thought possible” is the invitation extended by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach educational travel courses. The courses include history, stories and insights about each community while opening doors to private homes and places typically not accessible to the public.

Research shows that children who get everything they want grow up to be greedy, self-centered adults. However, parents can raise their children to focus instead on goals such as learning and helping others. In December, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists offer tips for parents on how to avoid overindulging children in the Science of Parenting blog.
 

Iowa State University researchers have received new funding to evaluate an intergenerational exercise program for older adults in 21 rural Iowa counties. The Living (well through) Intergenerational Fitness and Exercise Program introduces older adults to exergaming, video games that integrate game play with physical activity.

Confinement site manure applicators and anyone interested in learning about manure issues should plan to attend a two-hour workshop offered by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in January or February 2013. A total of 61 confinement site manure applicator workshops will be held in 57 different counties.

Commercial manure applicators can attend three hours of training on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 to meet commercial manure applicator certification requirements. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will conduct Commercial Manure Applicator training from 9 a.m. to noon at 69 locations in Iowa and one location in Wisconsin.

A news conference to announce the results of the 2012 Iowa Land Value Survey conducted by Iowa State University is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11. The news conference will be held at the Extension 4-H Youth Building, at the corner of 13th Street and Stange Road on the north edge of the Iowa State campus.

The poinsettia is one of the most popular potted flowers in the United States. ISU Extension horticulturists tell how to select a healthy plant and the care involved keeping the plant attractive through the holiday season.

Last spring, Iowa families throughout the state gathered together –- virtually –- once a month for the Eco Family Conference from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The program is undergoing slight changes for its second year, and families can register now.