Harvest Innovations in Indianola focuses on significant growth after working with ISU Extension and Outreach's Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) to develop a business continuity plan and a carbon footprint analysis of its plant.
Highlights from Dallas, Polk, Madison and Warren counties:
- Farmland Leasing Meetings
Record crowds attended the farmland leasing meetings held in Adel, Altoona, Indianola and Winterset during August. The programs were conducted by Steve Johnson and Tim Eggers, ISU Extension farm and ag business management specialists. They explained that land values continue to climb in Iowa, followed by cash rental rates. In addition, a first of its kind Farmland Owners Computer workshop was held at the Ankeny DMACC campus in August. The program drew another 40 participants that learned about tile and drainage issues as well as the use of flexible cash farm leases.
- Family Financial Management Programs
More than 1000 individuals participated in basic financial management programs through ISU Extension and Outreach this past year. Individuals learned basic money management concepts to increase their knowledge and confidence in money management through face-to-face sequential or one-time classes, hybrid computer classes or one-on-one counseling. As a result of basic money management and investing programs, participants increased their knowledge of basic investing, improved their financial management skills by reducing their debts on credit cards or other debts and indicated they felt more confident in making money management decisions.
- EFNEP/FNP Nutrition Programs
EFNEP/FNP continues to serve low-resource families who have young children or who are expecting a child. At a time when budgets are tight and prices are on the rise, EFNEP/FNP was able to graduate 272 participants in 2010-2011 in Dallas, Polk, Madison and Warren counties and help them make positive behavior changes in nutrition and physical activity.
- Literacy Programs
Family Storyteller is a family literacy program for parents and preschool age children. Children's books and home activity packets are used to teach reading techniques and provide enriching language activities. The programs were presented in Warren and Dallas counties, with Spanish sessions in Perry. Thirty-one parents and child care providers attended the six-session program with 24 attending three or more sessions. At all four series, parents/child care providers reported increased use of reading techniques, such as asking the child to guess what happens next, helping the child connect things in the story to life, and asking the child what happened at the end of the book. The children of these participants will be exposed to more early literacy activities and adult support required for school readiness and early elementary success.
- Homegrown Lifestyle
The Dallas County Extension and Outreach Office was part of a pilot program addressing the growing demand for sustainable living. Twenty residents participated in the Homegrown Lifestyle curriculum. The 12-week course was designed for people living on a large lot or a small acreage that are interested in producing food for their own use and practicing natural resource stewardship. Stewarding the landscape, growing food and raising livestock were all focused on during the course.
- For more information, visit: Dallas, Polk, Madison and Warren county webpages.