June 2010 -- From Jerry Miller
I’m Jerry Miller, Interim Vice President for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. I began this position June 1, with Jack Payne’s move to the University of Florida, where he is serving as Senior Vice President of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. We thank him for his leadership and service to ISU Extension over the past four years and wish him well at the University of Florida.
In this monthly newsletter I’ll be sharing examples of ISU Extension’s educational programs and relationships throughout the state that improve quality of life in Iowa. Extension serves all of Iowa’s communities — whether defined by issues, ideas or geography.
I want to hear from you. Please feel free to share your suggestions, hopes and dreams for ISU Extension’s future. I am confident that ISU Extension will continue serving Iowans with Iowa State research expertise and programs for many years to come, because, as our new campaign rightfully says, “It starts with Extension.”
ISU Extension continues to make positive differences when it comes to issues important to Iowans. The “It starts with Extension” campaign is spreading the word to help people understand the value ISU Extension brings to their lives. Look for the message in fact sheets, print ads and radio and television public service announcements. You also may see ISU Extension staff wearing the message on T-shirts and lapel pins. Learn more about the campaign.
We are in the final stages of asking nearly 6,000 Iowans to provide input for ISU Extension’s educational programs. The ISU Department of Sociology is conducting the survey to help ISU Extension better understand Iowans’ current needs and how to meet those needs. Additional Iowans are participating in an online version of the survey. Focus groups also were held throughout the state. The data will be available in September and will help ISU Extension target programs to effectively address Iowans’ needs.
Young filmmakers with dreams of making the next Avatar, Ironman or Twilight-type blockbuster have to start somewhere. The Iowa 4-H Film Festival, Aug. 13 at the Iowa State Fair, is one way to begin turning those dreams into reality. Youth production teams that include at least one 4-H’er may create films that educate, inspire or entertain. The films also must incorporate the “It starts with Extension” theme and the 4-H clover. Learn more.
Iowa entrepreneurs just starting out and those with years of experience will find something they can use at the Renew Rural Iowa Business Success Seminar June 16 in Fort Dodge. ISU Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) partners with Iowa Farm Bureau Federation in this effort to benefit small businesses. CIRAS connects Iowa business and industry with research, education and technical assistance. Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa program adds a mentoring model and a rural vitality investment fund to the mix. Together they target Iowa’s rural manufacturers as a growth opportunity for the state’s economy. Learn more.
Iowa gardeners have new ways to connect with each other, educational resources and training, said Jennifer Bousselot, the new coordinator of ISU Extension’s Master Gardener program. They can receive a new electronic newsletter, Master Gardener News and Views, participate in summer webinars and check out the Iowa Master Gardener Facebook page and website. According to Bousselot, “We are off to a great start with improved communications between Iowa volunteers and coordinators, and offering ways for them to share ideas and event information.” Learn more.
In May, Nancy Franz joined ISU Extension as director of ISU Extension to Families. She also is the new associate dean for extension and outreach to Families and 4-H Youth Development in the College of Human Sciences. In addition, she holds a faculty appointment in educational leadership and policy studies. Learn more about her background and experience.
Extension’s 20 regional extension education directors and their county extension councils are working together to assess local needs and coordinate ISU Extension educational programs in their regions. Learn more about regional activities and view video clips with the regional directors.