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Visitors can enjoy a horticulture tour through the Lyon County Fair Grounds gardens and taste locally-sourced food at the Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Garden Tour and Local Food Tasting Tuesday, July 21, in Rock Rapids.

The summer months are the perfect time to enjoy homegrown fruits. With varying weather and temperature, maintaining a healthy fruit plant can sometimes be a struggle. Here are some tips from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists on how to properly maintain fruit plants in the summer months to ensure high fruit production.

The Commodity Carnival provides learning and fun at the Iowa State Fair and 15 county fairs for a second year. This interactive, hands-on game shows youth the behind-the-scenes components and challenges of animal production.

Gary Taylor has been named interim director for the Community and Economic Development program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. He will begin the position Sept. 3.
 

Recent weather conditions may have pond owners battling an abundance of aquatic plants. While the plants are a necessary and beneficial component of a natural ecosystem, too many can cause issues for pond owners, says an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach fisheries specialist.

By dropping some common high-cost habits and trying a few cost-cutting strategies, families can make their food dollars go further. ISU Extension and Outreach helps Iowans get resources and find answers to challenges brought on by avian influenza.
 

According to the latest Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll, the majority of farmers are aware of and support Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, a science and technology-based approach used to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico.
 

Knowing how to properly care for trees and how to identify harmful tree abnormalities is a great skill for all tree owners to have. However, not all tree abnormalities are harmful. Horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach identify some tree abnormalities and explain what exactly they are.

The Youth Environmental Agriculture Field Days program recently earned the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Seal of Approval. Eight other programs from around Iowa also received this STEM Seal of Approval. It is given to programs that enculturate, sustain and spread STEM thinking.

Three-hour workshops designed to assist landowners, farm tenants and other agri-business professionals with current issues related to farmland ownership, management and leasing arrangements will be held in July and August.

The Heddleson Internship Program allows Iowa State University students in the College of Human Sciences to experience ISU Extension and Outreach with a hands-on internship. This year three students were selected to be Heddleson interns, including junior in nutritional sciences, Morgan Bahl.

Extension staff from Iowa State University, University of Minnesota and South Dakota State University will provide families with information on everything from food safety education and stretching food dollars as the cost of eggs and poultry increases to implementing strategies to manage a family’s finances and stress during tough times.

Weeds, herbicides and the effectiveness of herbicides to control weeds are topics of agronomic and economic importance to farmers and agribusinesses. It is so important that Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists are hosting Weeds Week Aug. 3-7.

A new detection of emerald ash borer has been positively identified after a larva sample was collected from a city-owned tree in Grinnell on June 16, 2015. This brings the total of confirmed infested counties to 25 since EAB was first discovered in Iowa in 2010. This beetle kills ash tree species.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Iowa Central Community College are offering a workshop for creating a healthy home environment while maintaining energy efficiency Aug. 1 in Fort Dodge.

Several common disease problems can damage a rose’s natural beauty. Disease organisms can cause unsightly leaves, reduced flower production and result in the death of leaves or even the entire plant. Follow these tips to keep roses healthy and protected from these diseases.

Adults often avoid talking about race with children, but young people notice similarities and differences among people. Parents shouldn’t be afraid to discuss the subject of race with their children -- even young ones, an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialist says.

The International Master Gardener Conference Sept. 22–25 has the theme “Horticultural Horizons in the Heartland” and will explore ways to introduce plants and animals native to the Midwest into home gardens.

Iowa teachers and other educators are invited to “Take a Jump into Financial Literacy” July 16 at the 15th Annual Conference for Personal Financial Literacy sponsored by Iowa Jump$tart. The free conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the FFA Enrichment Center at DMACC in Ankeny.