2011 Points of Pride

These highlights from across the state show how Iowa State University Extension and Outreach impacts communities and Iowans locally. Each video focuses on a program offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, and additional bullet points describe program highlights in area counties. For more information, contact your local county office.

View the 2011 Annual Report


Region 1
Lyon, Sioux, Osceola, O’Brien, Dickinson and Clay counties

Richochet program
Clay and Dickinson counties offered the Ricochet Program to sixth and seventh graders in the towns of Spencer and Spirit Lake. Ricochet provides a way for community partners, agencies and businesses to work together towards helping local youth develop leadership skills. Three hundred youth improved their leadership skills and enhanced their senses of belonging. A Kiwanis Builders Club was established in Spirit Lake to continue building on the leadership skills gained through Ricochet.     

Family Storyteller Program (photos attached) - Spencer, Sibley, Sanborn and Lake Park in northwest Iowa benefited from the Family Storyteller Program this year. Families learned to ask more questions, to get more involved in reading and techniques to make stories more interesting and interactive. Parents noted that youth learned to pay attention to details, how to relate better with others and developed a greater love for books through the program.

Farmland Leasing and Land Values - Each Region 1 county hosted a Farmland Leasing and Land Values meeting in July. Nearly 70 percent of northwest Iowa farmland is rented.  The leasing workshops helped tenants and renters reach agreement on cash and flexible leasing rates and arrangements.  Of the 450 attendees, 75 percent indicated they had one or more new ideas they would be able to use in their operations, while 34.5 percent left with ideas that would help them negotiat fair leasing arrangements. Following these workshops, a number of attendees received one-on-one assistance from Farm and Agribusiness Management Program Specialist Melissa O’Rourke.

Ag Citing- (photos attached) - More than 600 youth, representing fourteen northwest Iowa schools participated in a youth ag education program at the Clay County Fair. Ag Citing helps connect young people with the source of the food they eat and helps them understand the role agriculture plays in Iowa  Participating youth rotated through stations that addressed topics of biotechnology, groundwater, pots of gold (grains grown in Iowa), etc. Teachers reported that the event increased their students’ understanding of agriculture and enriched their classroom curriculum.