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October 2006 -- From Jack Payne

October has been an exciting month for me. I was named chair-elect of the 2007 policy board of directors of the Board on Agriculture Assembly (BAA). I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance of being elected. It’s an opportunity for Iowa State to help guide the policies that will ensure that the land grant mission remains relevant in the 21st century.

October also seems like a good time for Iowa State University Extension food safety experts to weigh in on  safe treats for young tricksters – but a bit of knowledge does take the fun out of bobbing for apples!

Let me know what you’d like to see covered in future newsletters. Send a message to Also, drop me a line on my blog. Talk to me about Extension’s role in economic development, the bioeconomy or any other issue you think Extension should address.

Extension programs bring outstanding student to campus

Kelly Norris

Kelly Norris credits ISU Extension programs with bringing him to Iowa State. “When I found out (in the fifth grade) that students could study about plants in college and that Iowa State ranked as one of the best horticulture schools in the country, I wanted to go there,” the sophomore said. His experience in ISU Extension Master Gardeners has been “profound.” Just an eighth grader then, Norris was on his way to becoming the youngest certified Master Gardener in Iowa. He said his nine years in 4-H helped him “grow as a person through opportunities in communication, in taking charge and feeling pride in accomplishments, and in learning to serve in a civic way.”

Learn how Norris persuaded his parents to purchase Rainbow Iris Farms in Texas and move it lock, stock and barrel to Iowa.

Value Added Agriculture program takes on Croatia, Romania projects

Mary Holz-Clause

In September staff from ISU Extension’s Value Added Agriculture program traveled to Croatia and Romania on two rural development projects. They met with agricultural officials, university faculty, funding institutions and project coordinators.

ISU Extension is working with the University of Zagreb to develop a Croatian value-added Web site similar to the Ag Marketing Resource Center Web site, said Mary Holz-Clause, interim associate vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach. The site will provide online resources and other support for producers and service providers. A similar project is beginning in Romania.

“These projects assist in economic recovery to these regions and promote the economic success of agricultural-related businesses, farmers and consumers,” Holz-Clause said. “Projects such as these provide leadership, vision, information and contacts for value-added agriculture and business development.”


ISU Extension to run eXtension virtual newsroom


eXtension is an educational partnership of more than 70 universities providing online access to objective, research-based information and educational opportunities. ISU Extension has been selected to lead the eXtension National Virtual Newsroom and develop its interactive Web presence and learning environment.

“eXtension is setting up several ‘communities of practice’ or special interest groups of extension faculty and staff from throughout the country,” said Elaine Edwards, manager of ISU Extension Communications and Marketing, which is heading up the National Virtual Newsroom effort. “Our communications specialists will work with these groups to gather information and write news articles. We’ll also glean related news and information from other land grant universities. We are pleased to be part of eXtension, helping to provide relevant knowledge developed as a collaborative effort for extension staff and clients throughout the United States.”


China delegation discusses cooperation with Iowa State

Chinese students

Administrators from Lanzhou Jiaotong University (LZJTU) and Gansu Province, People’s Republic of China visited Iowa State University and toured the state Oct. 15-17. The visit was part of an agreement between the two universities to work on educational programs as well as explore further collaboration between businesses and industries.

Eldon Uhlenhopp, interim associate vice president and director for ISU Extension’s Continuing and Distance Education program, said. “The Chinese delegation met with Iowa State administrators and faculty to strengthen the existing partnership. They met with Iowa leaders to explore opportunities to stimulate Iowa's and Gansu Province’s economic growth.”


Of field corn and ISU fleece

heat pack

County youth coordinator Jackie Lupkes challenged Cerro Gordo County 4-H’ers to find a creative way to promote National 4-H Week (Oct. 1-7). Seventh grader Colin Sido answered the call and made heat packs for local nursing home residents. He used field corn as filler and made the covers out of ISU fleece. 

“When I visited the nursing home about his project, everyone expressed how appreciative they were and how impressed they were with this young man,” Lupkes said. “I am very proud of this 4-H’er and excited to be working with members of this caliber.”

Learn more about the fun stuff kids can do in 4-H.

From Extension's Online Store

PM 212

Look for these popular products and new/revised items:

Landscape Plants for the Midwest, PM 212
2005 Iowa Farm Costs and Returns, FM 1789
El Club Misterio (Spanish translation of The Mystery Club farm safety series), PM 1877 series
Great Beginnings for Families, EDC 224
Iowa’s Living Roadways Community Visioning Program Process Manual, PM 2029
Lawn Weeds and Their Control, NCR 26
Sensing Nitrogen Stress in Corn, PM 2026
Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14, EDC 145

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