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September 2006 -- From Jack Payne

Welcome to the first Newsletter from the Vice President

I hope you’ll enjoy my newsletter for staff members and friends of Iowa State University Extension. Each month I’ll be sharing some of the exciting work of our ISU Extension staff and highlighting key programs. I’m very proud of our network of county offices that provide a local presence for Extension and access to Iowa State University in every county. I’ll also be introducing new staff and featuring new ISU Extension educational materials.

Extension staff -- help me get the word out about the great work you’re doing. Let me know about your programs, when you’ve won an award or when you’re representing ISU Extension in your state and national organizations. Extension friends -- let me know what you’d like to see covered in this newsletter too. Send a message to


ISU Extension receives 4-H Afterschool awards

4-H Afterschool

Ten county offices of Iowa State University (ISU) Extension have been awarded $4,000 each to implement and support quality after-school and out-of-school educational programming in their counties. Congratulations to Black Hawk, Cass, Greene, Henry, Monroe, West Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Scott, Sioux and Story counties.

Funding for the awards, part of Iowa 4-H Afterschool, is made available from the Iowa 4-H Foundation through its President’s Campaign and from the Iowa Pioneer Corporation. The award period is from Sept. 1, 2006, through Aug. 31, 2007. See the news release for a description of the 10 projects.

According to the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, juvenile crime triples in the after-school hours between 3 and 6 p.m. That’s why it is so important to provide safe places and activities for kids, with the supervision of caring adults. 4-H Afterschool gives kids the opportunity to have fun, learn something and develop lifelong skills.

Finishing Cattle for Economic Development

Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity

Custom cattle feeders say that one of the biggest problems they have is finding new customers. Cow-calf producers indicate that one of the reasons they do not retain ownership in a custom lot is a lack of trust they have for feedlot operators. Both custom feeders and producers need sound research to help them make good decisions about cattle handling, ration management, marketing and other issues. Bringing custom feeders and producers together is essential because finishing cattle has great potential to stimulate the economy in rural Iowa.

The Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity Program helps Iowa producers evaluate feedlot and carcass performance and acquire feeder cattle to be finished in Iowa. ISU Extension beef specialists provide leadership to this southwest Iowa program. In 2005, the futurity fed 8,800 cattle from more than 500 consignors representing 10 states. Cattle fed through the futurity generate $5.4 million of economic activity each year in the local communities through services provided and goods purchased.


Strengthening Families and PROSPER receive national awards

Strengthening Families Program 10-14

The Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14 (SFP 10-14) and PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) now are part of the National 4-H Programs of Distinction database. Programs of Distinction is a searchable Web-based database containing descriptions of high quality youth development programs in communities across the United States. (Search for “Strengthening Families” and for PROSPER.)

ISU Extension families field specialists Beth Fleming and Janet Brown will attend the NAE4-HA Conference in Wisconsin in October and present a seminar on ISU Extension’s Strengthening Families Program 10-14. While they are there, they will accept the NAE4-HA’s Program of Distinction award for SFP 10-14 on behalf of ISU Extension. Penn State, ISU Extension’s partner in the PROSPER program, nominated PROSPER as a program of distinction and will accept that award.

The Annie Casey Foundation is awarding ISU Extension $15,000 to fund the replication and wider distribution of SFP 10-14. Families field specialist Paulelda Gilbert, who has been implementing SFP 10-14 in Ft. Dodge, will represent ISU Extension at the 4-H Family Strengthening Distinguished Lecture funded by the Annie Casey Foundation in Washington, D.C., Sept. 26. At that time ISU Extension will be recognized for its SFP  10-14 program.


87 and still going

Florence Enhorning

Office assistant Florence Enhorning has worked for ISU Extension in Des Moines County for more than 10 years. She started as a volunteer, and about eight years ago was hired as a county employee. That doesn’t sound very unusual – unless you consider that on Sept. 15, Florence turned 87 years old. So why is she still working for Extension?

“I keep coming back because I enjoy it,” Florence said. She works one day a week, usually on Friday, but often fills in when the office is short staffed. She also keeps the office open during county fair.

According to county director Don Buzzingham, “I like to joke that Florence actually runs the office. However, she’s so efficient that she only has to come in one day a week!”

Florence adds, “I’m just on call – any time they need me, they call me.” But, did she work on her birthday? “Why, absolutely!” she said.

From Extension's Online Store

PM 815

Look for these popular products and new/revised items:

  • Container Gardening: 2007 Extension Calendar for Gardeners, PM 815
  • Horticulture Publications - For Your Gardening Library - Reiman Gardens, RG 0104
  • Therapeutic Gardening: Creating Raised Bed Planters - Reiman Gardens, RG 0111
  • Tomato Diseases and Disorders, PM 1266
  • Money Mechanics series (PM 1452-1463)

Look for additional items at the ISU Extension Distribution Center Online Store.