ISU Extension and Outreach plays an important role in bringing farmers and technology together, particularly through the use of Iowa State University Research and Demonstration Farms. The Iowa State University Southeast Research Farm at Crawfordsville hosted agriculture producers to experience the newest developments in precision agriculture. The Precision Agriculture Expo had equipment of all colors demonstrating auto-steer, variable rate and auto-shutoff, and satellite guidance options.
Highlights from Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk and Washington counties:
- Urban-Based Youth Programming
Two ISU Extension and Outreach programs in Johnson County deliver double the impact to local youth. Ninety Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) youth participate in a 4-H community club. Club activities have included service projects, science experiments, cooking, geocaching, fitness training and more. Through 4-H, BBBS mentors can incorporate fun, pre-planned activities into their regular meetings, while children get to be part of the 4-H community and benefit from new learning opportunities. The partnership is funded by a National 4-H Council grant.
- Smart Investing
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach partnered with the Marengo Public Library to offer the “Smart Investing @ Your Library” educational series. The six-week blended classes, offered in fall 2010 and spring 2011, involved two face-to-face sessions taught by the family finance program specialist and an online course. The library marketed the classes and hosted the kick-off and wrap-up face-to-face sessions. Participants could select from three different tracks: Generation X, Baby Boomers or Retirees. Participants gained a better understanding of reliable, trustworthy sources of investment information and indicated that they intend to continue to use the library finance/investment book as a source of investment information, as well as links to online resources through the library website.
- Re-Leaf Program
ISU Extension and Outreach in Iowa County, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Alliant Energy and the Iowa County Conservation Board, worked together to sponsor the Operation Re-Leaf Residential Tree Program. Operation Re-Leaf is a residential tree planting program promoting long-term energy and natural resource conservation. Through the program, approximately 2,380 high-quality landscaping trees were offered to Alliant Energy residential customers.
- Pick-A-Better Snack Program
The Pick-A-Better Snack nutrition education program is designed for youth in elementary schools to learn about healthy eating habits and physical activity. A $3400 grant received from the Iowa County Community Foundation makes it possible to bring this program to the English Valleys, HLV and Iowa Valley Elementary School in grades K-5, reaching 475 students and 19 faculty members. The program started in October and ran through May during the 2010-2011 school year with lessons being taught once a month for 30 minutes. Students learned the importance of healthy eating habits and how to prepare their own healthy snacks consisting of fruits and vegetables that they tried each month. The program also reached more than 110 students in Keokuk County more than 3000 students in Johnson County.
- Stay Safe, Take a Break Bags
Farmers working in the field in Washington County this fall were treated to Stay Safe, Take a Break bags. The bags were a reminder to them to follow safety precautions when working long hours during harvest. They were filled with a safety flyer from ICASH, ear plugs, bottled water, dust masks, reflective tape, ibuprofen, hand warmers, snacks and more. ISU Extension and Outreach in Washington County and 4-H partnered with local businesses to provide these bags. 4-H leaders, extension staff, extension council, youth committee and 4-H members delivered 200 bags and received many thanks and smiles in return.
- For more information, visit: Iowa, Johnson, Keokuk and Washington county webpages.