Articles

Dan Loy, who led the Iowa Beef Center in an interim capacity for two years, has been named permanent director. Loy is just the third director for the center, which began in 1996 through a legislative mandate.

Iowa State University Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) specialists and faculty talked about physical, chemical and biological conditions of urban streams and the implications of daily actions by individuals with respect to stream health and sustainability during the Science Center of Iowa Cafe Scientifique. The program was recorded and is available online.

The Bratney Companies 4-H Robotics Challenge and Cook This! 4-H Culinary Challenge return to the 4-H Exhibits Building for five days of competition during the 2012 Iowa State Fair. Applications for both events will be accepted until June 1, and the youth teams selected and announced July 1.

Friday, April 13 is the evening to celebrate the “Year of the Bat.” Youngsters and adults can explore Iowa’s incredibly fascinating and delightfully likeable masters of the night skies – bats – from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Pioneer Columbus Community Center, 2100 S.E. 5th Street in Des Moines.

Today the Wellmark Foundation presented over $400,000 to three grant recipients in Central Iowa. The organizations were chosen out of 111 applicants to receive funding to implement initiatives encouraging healthy lifestyles through programs that will teach healthy behaviors to children and school and community gardens.

Perennials can be grown in nearly any garden location – sunny, shady, wet, dry, border or background. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists recommend perennials to meet specifications of many gardeners.

Almost 200 Iowa 4-H'ers competed in the 13th annual Iowa Youth Horse Jamboree March 24 and 25 at Iowa State University. A portion of the winners will represent Iowa 4-H at the Denver Horse Classic and Ohio Youth Congress this fall and winter.

The Risk Management Agency (USDA) has some specific rules about early planted crops with regard to crop insurance coverage. For each insurable crop RMA has set an “early planting date.” Acres planted before these dates are no longer eligible for replant coverage payments should it be necessary to replant them.

The Field Extension Education Laboratory  begins the 2012 growing and training session with a new activities coordinator. On March 1, Joshua (Josh) Dunn started as FEEL coordinator with the responsibility of coordinating demonstration plots and scheduling training events at the 43-acre Iowa State University Extension and Outreach facility.

Adults interested in leading youth in the Ricochet: An Extreme Leadership Adventure program can sign up for training in May. Leaders may be trained in three curricula.

Calling all volunteers. The Iowa 4-H Center is hosting a Spring Volunteer Day April 28 to spruce up the camping center and get it ready for another busy summer.

In May 2011, Iowa farm women began sharing their experiences in central Africa, where 80 percent of the farming is done by women. The collaboration was developed by a farmer-to-farmer project through Iowa State University’s Value Added Agriculture program with cooperation from a Ugandan nonprofit organization, Volunteer Efforts for Developing Concerns (VEDCO).

Iowans have a chance to brush up on money management skills during the 10th annual Money Smart Week April 21-28. Money Smart Week includes activities in Council Bluffs, Creston, Harlan, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and the Quad Cities. Iowa's Money Smart Investor Conference is Saturday, April 21, in Des Moines at Drake University Olmstead Center.

Rain barrels, rain gardens and other strategies to reduce flooding and improve water quality is the focus of the Virtual Eco Family Conference, “Water, Our Precious Resource,” on April 5.

The Iowa Community Tree Steward Program will be held on Tuesday evenings for seven consecutive weeks beginning May 1 for residents of Polk and surrounding counties. Participants completing the program training and community service will become certified Iowa Community Tree Stewards.

Key factors in conducting a safe burn include monitoring wind direction and wind speed, temperature, and relative humidity. Jesse Randall, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach forester, outlines controlling an open burn and when it’s not advisable to burn.

Consumers have an important role to play in keeping food safe. Being smart shoppers and following good practices during purchasing, preparing, serving and eating will keep everyone healthy and lead to better food experiences.

Proper management of furnace and ventilation controller settings in hog buildings can reduce propane and electricity costs. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach illustrates the impact controller settings can have on furnace run time and energy consumption in swine production facilities.

Giving an allowance, paying for chores, offering money as a reward for good grades: are these successful parenting strategies? How to help children develop a healthy relationship with money is up for discussion in this month’s Science of Parenting podcast from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.