Employers recognize the importance and benefits of a healthy workforce. Company success depends heavily on the productivity and work performance of its human resources. Learn how ISU Extension and Outreach nutrition and health specialist, Cindy Baumgartner, is facilitating programs in northeast Iowa that teach Healthy Meals in a Hurry, promote worksite wellness and ultimately create healthier communities.
Other highlights from Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson counties:
- Communities Create a Community Vision
The Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program, designed specifically for communities of less than 10,000 residents, is a collaboration of the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Living Roadway Trust Fund, Iowa State University and Trees Forever. The program helps participants create environments that not only meet residents’ basic needs, but also are aesthetically appealing. In the last 10 years, the communities of Asbury, Balltown, Cascade, Edgewood and Maquoketa participated, creating projects including safety improvements, enhancement plantings, trail and park development, and a more welcoming atmosphere at community entrances.
- ISU Extension and Outreach Supports Healthy Living
ISU Extension and Outreach programs improve individual health and reduce the incidence of obesity, benefitting the entire community through lower healthcare costs and less stress on healthcare systems. “Reinventing the Family Meal” has reached more than 400 Dubuque County families since January 2009. Participants in the three-part workshop series learn how to make healthy food choices and cook healthy meals at home, and come to know the benefits of eating meals as a family. ISU Extension and Outreach also facilitates ServSafe classes, helping those working in schools, colleges, restaurants, care centers and other foodservice establishments to adopt safe food handling practices and reduce the incidence of foodborne illness. Since January 2011, 12 ServSafe classes have been offered, reaching 182 participants.
- ISU Extension and Outreach Helps Dairy Producers Manage Tough Times
The ISU Extension Dairy Team initiated numerous meetings around the state in response to the dairy financial crisis and also presented on the topic during Dairy Days. Follow-up farm visits helped producers to further deal with the broad array of issues. A survey was sent to 55 producers in May 2010 with 36 producers responding. All respondents indicated that ISU Extension and Outreach impacted the profitability or their understanding of the profitability of their dairy operation. Producers provided an estimated gross dollar or production improvement through ISU Extension and Outreach consultation exceeding $1.1 million. As one producer noted, “I now focus more on financial management of my business…. Quality of my life and family life has improved tremendously; I can now start to foresee my future in dairy … to the point where I cannot only survive, but thrive in my career.”
- CIRAS Enhances Business Performance
Twenty-five percent of all businesses that close their doors due to a disaster never reopen. The ISU Extension and Outreach’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) business continuity planning approach is designed for the specific needs of manufacturers, helping them put a plan in place to minimize the impact of a disaster — in just one day. Business continuity planning provides in advance the hard decisions and action plans needed to quickly overcome the impact of a disaster or disruption. CIRAS guided A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co. personnel in developing a business continuity plan customized for the operation. Implementation has met the needs of key customers, representing about $750,000 in current annual sales. Investments in resources to capture and maintain critical data were about $182,000. The exercise provided not only an excellent disaster recovery plan, but also identified other areas of potential improvement for the company.
- For more information, visit: Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson county webpages.