The Midtown Family Community Center is a place for families and youth to explore and learn. The center was created and named by a group of people living in the Midtown neighborhood of Sioux City. In 2008, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Woodbury County began doing youth programming at Midtown. The programming continues to focus on youth leadership through 4-H and youth development. In addition, programming is now being offered for families in the neighborhood.
Other highlights from Plymouth, Woodbury and Monona counties:
- Flood Recovery
Four flood meetings were held in northwest Iowa to provide timely information to people in flooded areas. Flood expert Dr. Kenneth Hellevang from North Dakota State University came to Sioux City on Aug. 29 and 30. More than 90 people attended, including homeowners, businesses and contractors. In addition, Monona and Woodbury counties offered the cropland recovery meetings by webinar with field specialists available to answer questions. Bill McAnally, an ISU Extension and Outreach field specialist, also visited a number of homes in the region, providing damage assessment and suggestions for repair. A monthly flood recovery newsletter was prepared by extension offices in collaboration with other regional emergency response agencies and sent out to residents needing flood damage reporting, contact and recovery information.
- Tornado Disaster in Mapleton
A Mapleton Recovery Volunteer Appreciation event was held to show appreciation for volunteers who worked on Mapleton recovery efforts after a tornado hit the community. More than 150 people attended the appreciation meal held at the city park, which featured local entertainment and a listening session led by Sherry McGill, regional extension education director. 4-H youth, volunteers and staff from Harrison, Woodbury and Monona counties were also present. Staff and council members continue to serve on planning committees to work on the disaster recovery efforts.
- Farmland Leasing and Land Value Workshops
As much as 70 percent or more of the farmland in northwest Iowa is rented, due, in part, to an aging landowner population, high land productivity and land values, and fewer farm operators. The high leasing rate reflects a high incidence of landowner-tenant relationships. These farmland owners and operators must reach agreement on cash or flexible leasing rates and arrangements, including terms related to soil fertility and land stewardship. Approximately 450 people attended the two-and-a-half-hour Iowa State University Farmland Leasing and Land Value sessions held in 12 counties in northwest Iowa. Following these workshops, a number of attendees arranged for follow-up sessions with a farm and agribusiness management specialist to discuss needs and questions related to their farming operation.
- Regional Foods
An ISU Extension and Outreach regional foods program called Flavors of Northwest Iowa has been extremely visible and active in the region. The program helps promote local foods and provide continuing education in local foods topics. The program created and continues to maintain a local producer directory and guide including information about where to buy locally grown food and crafts. The regional food coordinator, Laura Kuenen, maintains a blog, website and monthly newsletters.
- For more information, visit: Plymouth, Woodbury and Monona county webpages