Jefferson County

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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Jefferson County

When you need to make decisions that affect your family, farm, business or community, come to us. Iowa State University Extension has research-based information and education to help you. Jefferson County Extension brings Iowa State University resources to you.

2015 4-H Enrollment begins September 1st!

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County News

September 29, 2014

Managing for Today and Tomorrow

MTT forcuses on the management processes and decisions needed to make successful transitions.

September 29, 2014

Newsletter to Cover All Things Related to Small Farm Living

Article | | By Christa Hartsook, Willy Klein

AMES, Iowa—Many Iowans are choosing to live on small farms or acreages and they have a variety of reasons. According to the Census of Agriculture, one-third of Iowa farms are small farms with 50 acres or less. Iowans say small farms offer a quiet place to retire and open spaces to raise young families. Some are drawn to the rural lifestyle by memories of growing up on a farm or visiting a grandparent’s farm. Others want to raise their own food, make a positive contribution to the environment or contribute to the local food system.

Christa Hartsook knows about the opportunities and the challenges of small farm living. She and her husband Greg are raising three children on a small farm in Story County. She also has been involved with small farm sustainability the past 12 years as a value added agriculture program specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She is a natural fit as the small farm sustainability program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the position she began in June.

She has her sights set on making sure other Iowans know of the opportunities and available resources for managing challenges of small farm living. “Living on an acreage or small farm definitely has its opportunities,” she said. “There are many things Iowans can do to earn additional income, sustainably take care of the land and the resources, and provide a rural lifestyle for their family.”

Acreage Living subscribers have a chance for Iowa State football tickets

Hartsook and the small farm sustainability program are re-introducing the ISU Extension and Outreach Acreage Living newsletter in an online format. Iowans living on small farms recently received introductory postcards encouraging them to subscribe. Hartsook even added an incentive for those that subscribe before Oct. 5 – their names will be entered into a drawing for tickets to the Iowa State vs. Texas Tech game Nov. 22.

“We want people to be excited about the newsletter and the information that will come to them every three months, so we are building on the excitement around the Cyclone football team,” she said. “Readers will find valuable information in the Acreage Living e-newsletter, regardless of why they are choosing a rural lifestyle.”

The first issue includes information about backyard poultry, fall turf grass management, well maintenance and inspection, promoting pollinators and vermin management. The newsletter will be emailed directly to subscribers and county extension offices across the state, and be available on the ISU Extension and Outreach small farm website.

“For those that didn’t receive a postcard or have misplaced it, they can read the newsletter and easily subscribe by going to the small farm sustainability website,” Hartsook said. The website address is

The small farm sustainability website organizes resources under the headings of planning and management, marketing and food systems, alternative and specialty crops, and niche livestock. It also encourages visitors to send a note if they have a question about small farming. A team of trained ISU Extension and Outreach specialists are ready to respond to small farmers and those living on acreages, and connect Iowans with the Iowa State resources.

Hartsook said the small farm sustainability program brings resources from across the university and the extension system to Iowans. Publications, people and agencies that serve as resources will be highlighted on the website, in the e-newsletter and through online learning opportunities that will be available early in 2015.

“We want to make learning and knowledge exchange readily available so Iowans can learn when they have time in their schedules and a need to know,” she said.


September 23, 2014

 Stroll the Fairgrounds with the family from car to car to 'Trunk' or Treat for Halloween! Dress in your favorite Halloween costume! Play games! Collect goodies and treats!

July 28, 2014

Alliant Energy, DNR and ISUEO Partnership

July 11, 2014

Water Rocks!

Featured "At Work for Iowa" article

Farmers talking to farmers and learning from each other will help Iowa ramp up water quality efforts and implement new management practices to carry out the state’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The goal is to reduce the nitrogen and phosphorus loads in water leaving farm lands.

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach News

September 29, 2014 02:03 PM

Lime Springs is facing a dilemma: too many jobs and not enough workers. That’s why local leaders are working with Himar Hern...

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