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With food, entertainment and more than 150 auction packages, the Iowa 4-H Foundation's Third Annual Gala netted $73,500 to support the Iowa 4-H program statewide and at the club level. Even some 4-H youth played a role in reaching this amount, which more than doubled the 2011 gala total.

Twenty-four Iowa 4-H clubs have been awarded 2012 Pioneer Rural Community Improvement Grants totaling $4,605 to support service projects within their own communities. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, in cooperation with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development, granted $55 to $250 to each awarded club.

March is National Nutrition Month, and this year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages Americans to “Get your plate in shape.” Sarah Francis, an ISU Extension and Outreach nutrition specialist, suggests reducing the amount of sodium in your diet.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has begun a trend in southeast Iowa aimed at enhancing economic development and quality of life by partnering with Iowa communities. The effort has yielded three shared positions specializing in community and economic development, most recently Charles "Chuck" Betts in Keokuk.

The Iowa 4-H Center has three camps that encourage family time, in fact, require it. For a weekend during the summer, parents and children are invited to spend the night and make some memories.

An Iowa State University Extension and Outreach drainage workshop will be offered in three north Iowa locations – Mason City, Algona and Le Mars in March. The workshop will examine various aspects of farmland drainage, including information about control systems for pumped outlets being used in the Red River Valley of North Dakota.

“Managing for Today and Tomorrow," a new Annie’s Project course covering business, estate, retirement and succession planning, will be offered in Carroll as well as Ames and Shenandoah. The Carroll course will be held on four consecutive Thursdays, beginning March 8. Registration deadline is March 6.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University presented annual awards to faculty and staff at its spring convocation on Feb. 16. The Team Award was presented to the Iowa State University Dairy Extension Team.

ISU Extension and Outreach specialists will update farmers with current research during the workshop "Mega Trends in Agriculture," on March 28 in Rockwell City. Information provided will help farmers position themselves for the next decade.

The Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa Youth 2012 will be held July 31 at the Iowa State University Extension Farm near Boone. High school students are invited to compete and showcase their scouting abilities in corn and soybean during this one-day event.

Learn what families can do to make their community’s schools more sustainable during the Virtual Eco Family Conference on March 1. The March session is the third in the online conference series from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The rich culture and interesting lifestyles of Iowa’s most unique communities await participants in the Road Scholar program from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The 2012 travel schedule includes tours of Iowa’s uncommon utopian communities, historic towns along the Upper Mississippi River and a four-state tour along the Missouri River.
 

Petunias are easy to grow, bloom reliably all summer and are available in a wide range of colors, flower forms and growth habits. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists answer questions about selecting and growing petunias.

The Iowa 4-H Center hosts many events from summer camps to winter retreats each year. This spring, the center is hosting free Friday Night Flicks, says Abbie Parker, program specialist at the Iowa 4-H Center near Madrid.

Hundreds of Iowa 9- to 14-year-olds showed off their engineering skills and competed for top honors during the Iowa FIRST LEGO League (FLL) State Championship Jan. 14 at Iowa State University. Among the 72 teams of youth, 11 4-H teams competed.

A new CD, the Iowa Core Companion, now is available to assist those preparing for the commercial pesticide applicator core exam. It provides review and practice quizzes for a better understanding of the material covered in the Iowa Core Manual.

Providers of a popular series of workshops on assisting cattle producers with heifer development have added a southwest Iowa location.

An Algona native and Iowa 4-H alumni, Kris Fish Kulhmann, is the Iowa 4-H Foundation’s new executive director. Fish Kuhlmann replaces Interim 4-H Foundation Executive Director Glen Mente on March 12, 2012.

To obtain maximum yields through increased berry size, raspberries must be pruned properly. Pruning procedures are based on the growth and fruiting characteristics of the plants, say ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturists.