March 2007 -- From Jack Payne
March came in to Iowa like a lion, with ice and snow, and downed trees and power lines. But Extension’s Iowa Concern Hotline kept us safe through the storm. Iowans called 1-800-447-1985 to find shelter, locate electric generators and connect with local Homeland Security officials.
Spring also welcomed us with a confirmed case of Asian soybean rust. We’ve had a plan for dealing with this possibility since 2003. Extension and Iowa State are providing scientific support to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA as they investigate the case.
Another sign of spring: More than 200 Iowa 4-H delegates will share their community service projects at 4-H Day at the Legislature March 27. It’s a great opportunity for our young people to better understand the legislative process.
As March draws to a close, Extension’s community discussions on the bioeconomy are continuing. We’re hosting these town meetings to get the public involved in identifying research priorities, policy issues and Extension educational needs.
If the old saying holds true, March will go out like a lamb. In that case, call Dan Morrical, ISU Extension sheep specialist! And as always, please add your comments to my blog, the Extension Switchboard.
A big check for $100,000 and it was official — the Rural Development Resource Center (RDRC) is open for business, serving 22 southwest Iowa counties. Thirty-nine enterprising southwest Iowans have taken advantage of the center’s services since it opened in June 2006. The “big check” presentation on Feb. 27 was ISU Extension’s way of saying congratulations and providing support for the center’s work. Read more.
Southwest Iowa has competitive advantages in several areas, including agricultural production, health and social services, and hospitality industries, a new ISU Extension study shows. However, the area also faces some competitive disadvantages it must overcome. This regional economic assistance project is underway in 11 southwest Iowa counties. It is the third of four planned regional assistance projects. Read more.
Planting corn in the same field where it grew the year before is a hot topic in Iowa, since farmers are expected to significantly increase their corn acreage this year to take advantage of the boom in corn-based ethanol. So it’s not surprising that ISU Extension’s special corn-following-corn issue of the Integrated Crop Management (ICM) newsletter was mentioned in Corn E-Digest, an e-mail newsletter put out by the national magazine, Corn and Soybean Digest. Brownfield Radio Network also planned to cover many of the topics included in the special issue.
Four fun-filled days in Union County with ISU Extension — that’s what 25 kids of Latino and African American heritage from inner city New York experienced in February. The group from Fresh Youth Initiatives, an afterschool program, explored rural culture during its Trip USA. The youth were being rewarded for their positive leadership in community service projects with the homeless. Read more.
Tyler Brinegar doesn’t remember a time when he wasn’t interested in films and television. That interest eventually led him to Iowa State University, but “the real education for me began when I started working for Extension,” he said, and had the opportunity to work with video in a broadcast-standard environment. The 2004 graduate now is an assistant editor for Chicago-based Pie Town Productions. Read more.