Success Stories

Human Sciences Extension and Outreach is committed to empowering people and improving lives.

See how we are making a difference to the people and communities of Iowa...

Local Foods: From Farm to School
Farm to School is an example of efforts that are committed to improving Iowans’ health and wellbeing. By offering healthy food choices, as well as bringing nutrition education into the classroom, schools can directly impact the health and well-being of Iowa’s children. The Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative adopted Farm to School to help ensure that school district policies and practices support healthy living of children, families, and community members.

Growing Strong Families Since 1999
Parents are their children’s first and most influential teachers. The early years of a child’s life are critical for optimal development and provide the foundation for success in school and life. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has been educating parents and supporting families through the Growing Strong Families program since 1999. The program, which teaches parents about child development, nutrition, money management, and health and safety, receives funding from Early Childhood Iowa.

Small Steps Lead to Health and Wealth
Many Iowa families are facing serious health issues, have few financial resources, and are looking for a way to live healthier lives and achieve financial security.

Reclaim the Holidays by Reducing Stress and Environmental Impact
Focusing on money, possessions, or other people’s opinions often leads to increased stress and negative environmental impacts, particularly during holidays. But when people instead set goals of fulfilling personal growth, accepting themselves as they are, having close relationships with family and friends, and contributing to their communities, they are happier and more satisfied, and they feel more alive and vital.

‘Smart Investing’ Courses Reach Rural Iowa Communities
Iowa families need knowledge and skills to increase their long-term financial security. Twenty-five rural Iowa libraries participated in “Smart investing@your library®.” The program promotes investor education resources and is a collaboration of the State Library of Iowa, the Ames Public Library, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Horizons Communities Address Economic Stability and Long-term Sustainability
When local schools and businesses close, and jobs and families leave, those who remain in a community often struggle to keep a sense of community. Local citizens wonder what they can do to create a positive future for themselves and the communities they love.

Budget Basics Online Creates Money Management Skills

Consumers today are faced with a wider and increasingly complicated array of options for arranging their personal finances and selecting investments and credit products. Often people are more willing to participate in financial education programs when in crisis, when acquiring a major asset, or simply when participation is convenient. ISU Extension now offers a flexible, monthly online course Budget Basics to meet basic financial education needs.

Training Helps Childcare Professionals Improve Quality of Care

Many home and center-based childcare providers want to improve the quality of the care they offer, but need guidance in evaluating programs and developing plans for improvement. ISU Extension training options meet the needs of Iowa childcare providerschildcare professionals with high-quality, research-based, accessible training that will help them increase their skills in educating young children.

Latino Entrepreneurs on Track for Success

Many reports on economic development predict that by the year 2015, more than 20 percent of America's rural population will be self-employed. In southeast Iowa this growing entrepreneurial economy includes many of Iowa's newest residents, enterprising Latino immigrants in small communities who are very diverse in age, skills, and education. ISU Extension supports economic growth and works to improve quality of life by encouraging business development, helping to create jobs, and expanding entrepreneurial activity.

Food Safety Is Not Proprietary Information

West Liberty Foods management contacted ISU Extension to express the need for food safety training for potential plant employees at the new Mount Pleasant facility. Because ISU Extension specialists can access the resources of Iowa State faculty, this phone call led to a partnership between West Liberty Foods and Iowa State University and resulted in a $600,000 USDA grant to provide training and a food safety curriculum in English and Spanish.

Cooking for a Crowd…or Just a Few: Serve Food Safely

ISU Extension is seen as the source for accurate, timely, food safety education. Consumers are interested in improving their knowledge and skills so they can reduce the incidence — and liability —of a food borne illness outbreak. Recent requests to ISU Extension included food safety education for those who serve quantity foods only occasionally, employees in health care facilities, and other food service workers.

Course Sharpens Financial Coaching Skills
As families continue to face financial challenges, social service agencies, financial institutions, and others are searching for effective tools to help clients manage finances and reach their personal goals. In response, ISU Extension launched the "Sharpen Your Financial Coaching Skills" course designed for volunteers, clergy, and others working in nonprofit groups and organizations who assist their clients or members with financial management concerns.

Horizons Communities Fight Food Insecurity

In a depressed economy, where many are unemployed, under-employed, on a limited fixed income, or just having a hard time making ends meet, Horizons communities are helping their residents with basic food and household needs.

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