Extension News

Extension Today: Making a Difference for Iowans

group of young people


This article is from the Annual Report edition of the Extension Connection newsletter, December 2006.


Extension serves Iowans through Agriculture and Natural Resources, Business and Industry, Community and Economic Development, Families, 4-H Youth Development and Continuing and Distance Education programs.


More than 795,000 clients had contact with Extension programs.


Extension provided noncredit educational programming to more than 475,000 lifelong learners.


More than 16,000 volunteers worked with Extension programs.


More than 279,000 individuals participated in Extension’s noncredit workshops, conferences, meetings and home study programs to improve the lives of their families and themselves, or increase their understanding and skills related to agricultural enterprise management, natural resource protection and economic development.


127,967 youth were involved in Extension 4-H Youth Development programs — nearly one in four Iowa school-age youth.


An estimated 21,000 parents can be more effective employees, knowing their children are safe in nurturing child care. That’s because more than 1,800 child care programs across Iowa received ISU Extension education and technical assistance; evaluations showed 94 percent of child care providers had adopted recommended practices to improve early childhood program quality.


865 Iowa residents gained cost-effective and time-efficient training so they can better manage the state’s nonprofit organizations. Partners in ISU Extension’s Nonprofit Management Academy include University of Iowa, University of Nebraska, University of Illinois and several community colleges and United Way organizations.


4,869 agribusiness professionals participated in agribusiness education programs. More than 80 percent of the state’s crop advisers rely on this information as they provide crop production recommendations to more than 90 percent of the state’s corn and soybean producers.


The Schebler Company in Bettendorf, which specializes in stainless steel fabrications, recently introduced a new high-heat cooling tunnel to rapidly cool baked products, such as cookies, snack bars and candies. Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) staff and ISU Mechanical Engineering faculty worked with Schebler to develop a computer model of the tunnel. Schebler estimates that the company has retained sales of $2.5 million and has the potential to gain $3 million per year in additional sales.


2,280 food service employees and managers participated in food safety education and certification programs. Successful participation in these courses helps individuals become and remain employed while ensuring a safe food supply.


More than 1,400 precinct election officials have been trained in election law, new electronic voting equipment operation, ballot security and related issues; 99 percent of participants said they would recommend the training to others. Extension conducts this training with the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, the Iowa State Association of County Auditors and the Iowa Association of Counties.


More than 2,170 educators, school administrators and parents participated or were trained in science-related youth curricula.


CIRAS is working with USDA to implement the Federal Biobased Products Preferred Procurement Program (FB4P) authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill. The first of a series of rules designating biobased items for preferred procurement was published in the Federal Register in March 2006. Items included diesel fuel additives; mobile equipment hydraulic fluids; roof coatings; penetrating lubricants; water tank coatings; and bedding, bed linens and towels.


In 2005, the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity fed 8,800 cattle from more than 500 consignors representing 10 states. Extension beef specialists provide leadership to this southwest Iowa program. Cattle fed through the futurity generate $5.4 million of economic activity each year in the local communities. 



Contacts :

Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and Marketing, (515) 294-0775, lsternwe@iastate.edu