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Each summer, campers from all over the state visit the Iowa 4-H Center for a week of camp fun. This year, youth enrolled in two camps, Everything Camp and Counselors in Training Camp, will have the opportunity to participate in a research study conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach targeted toward lowering childhood obesity in the state.

The National 4-H Council and the Walmart Foundation are supporting 4-H Healthy Living programs across the country through Walmart Foundation Healthy Living Youth Voice, Youth Choice grants. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has received one of the 15 state grants and is using a portion of the money to provide mini-grants to Master Gardeners and 4-H youth to develop partnerships at the county level.

Great numbers of fuzzy brown moths made an appearance in Iowa this week, with many specimens and photos submitted to the insect diagnostic clinic. Affectionately referred to as FBMs by entomologists, they are a nuisance, but they will not cause damage to plants.

Learn how to emulate nature with permaculture during the May 3 Virtual Eco Family Conference taught by Fred Meyer, chair and executive director of Backyard Abundance. Meyer will teach about the principles of permaculture and how to mimic nature to produce food in small spaces.

Gardeners selecting and planting warm-season crops may include hills of watermelon and muskmelon along with rows of produce. Iowa State University Extension horticulture specialists offer planting tips and describe muskmelon and watermelon variety choices for Iowa.

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is growing strong families in southern Iowa, and now has the credential to prove it. The Growing Strong Families Program has earned the Iowa Family Support Credential from the Iowa Department of Management and Public Health. The program is a comprehensive family experience for expectant parents as well as parents and caregivers of children from birth through age 5.

Buena Vista, Lee and Van Buren counties have added their 4-H history to Iowa 4-H History by County, a blog detailing the history of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development. Information also is available about Iowa 4-H legend C.J. Gauger and National 4-H Conference.

Warm spring weather brings out many critters, including some that homeowners may not like to see in their yards — snakes. While there is no 100-percent effective snake deterrent, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has tips on making a home landscape as “snake-free” as possible.

Chad Ingels, a watershed specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, helps farmers organize and secure funding for watershed groups. He also provides technical expertise and education on agronomic practices and environmental performance measures the farmers want to implement. What he doesn’t do is tell them what to do.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has developed a new plastic version as a replacement for metal swine identification tags. The tags are available from Iowa practicing veterinarians and are considered official ID for both intrastate and interstate transport of swine.

The 19th annual “Update for Veterinarians” will focus on topics of specific interest to beef practitioners. Register now for the  May 30 workshop at the ISU McNay Research Farm near Chariton.

During the long summer months, youth can experience summer learning loss. The Iowa 4-H Center will participate in the American Camp Association (ACA) Explore 30 camp reading program to diminish the effects of learning loss on campers.

There are many reasons to plant a tree besides to celebrate Arbor Day on April 27 — trees conserve energy, bring beauty to the yard, attract birds and help clean the air, to name just a few. This week Iowa State University Extension horticulture specialists share proper tree planting techniques.

The warm, early spring weather soon will encourage vegetative growth in the nutrient-rich waters of Iowa ponds. Pond owners need to know that wherever there is sunlight, water and nutrients, there will be some sort of plant growing. Effective management involves manipulating one or more of these elements to reduce or eliminate aquatic plants.

A child’s diet is largely influenced by his or her parent or guardian. Sarah Francis, an ISU Extension and Outreach nutrition specialist, offers tips on how to be a healthy nutrition role model.

Storm damage comes in many forms. Will insurance cover the damage? It depends on what caused the damage and it depends on the insurance. Timothy Griesdorn, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialist, suggests reviewing insurance coverage every year to make sure it meets your needs.

Educational materials developed by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach with industry and agency partners are assisting small beef and dairy feedlot producers in their effort to decrease potential manure impacts on water quality.

High tunnels are inexpensive, simple, passive-solar greenhouses that allow growers to extend the season and produce high yields of quality produce earlier and later than field-grown crops. However, soil around a high tunnel can erode or become saturated after rainfall. This potential problem has been turned into an asset, thanks to a one-year research project conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

For answers to just about any home and family question, families have been calling AnswerLine, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach telephone hotline for more than 30 years. With a recently updated website and a new Facebook page and Twitter account, AnswerLine now has even more ways to tackle whatever questions Iowans and other AnswerLine users may have.