Articles

Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms and ISU Extension have hired two agricultural specialists to expand the ISU Farmer Assisted Research and Management, or ISU FARM, project.

Early spring weather sped up plant, tree and shrub growth, making them vulnerable to several nights of cold temperatures this week. Fruit plants and trees were especially hard hit by freezing temperatures. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists have received many questions from gardeners concerned about damage to plants and trees.

Current Issues in Nutrition, a two-part online conference from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, takes a closer look at why and how nutrition professionals can get involved with regional food systems.

The Iowa Learning Farms’ (ILF) April 18 webinar will feature Leigh Adcock, executive director of Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN).

The GIS Mapping Replication and Expansion Project, a unique partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and 4-H, was honored by the FWS and 4-H National Headquarters with the 2012 Connecting Youth with Nature through Natural Resources Conservation Education Award. Two Iowa youth, Jennifer and Benjamin Akers of Oskaloosa, were presented the award and spoke about the project within Iowa.

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.