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Iowa State University Extension

February 2011 -- From Jerry Miller

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Iowa State University Extension’s website,, has a new look. We launched Feb. 3; our goal – to create an informative and engaging site for you. We want ISU Extension clients and potential clients to find the information that is important to them right now. So we’ve organized the site to provide resources based on audience and featured topics. The site also highlights how you can connect with Extension via our social networking efforts. Take a test drive and let us know what you think.



Support the troops — and their families here at home

Friendly Four Corners 4-H Club

When the Friendly Four Corners 4-H Club donated $500 to ship care packages to the 656th Transportation Company in Afghanistan, they were doing what they always do — serving their community. The Van Buren County 4-H’ers made an impact, supporting the troops far away, as well as their families here at home.

The need for such action was reinforced in January, when the White House announced a wide initiative to address the challenges facing military families. It highlights commitments from various government agencies. In Iowa that commitment includes Operation: Military Kids, supported by ISU Extension.

CIRAS instrumental in launch of new biobased product label by USDA

Biobased product label

The launch of USDA’s BioPreferred labeling program is making it easier for consumers to identify biobased products. Extension’s Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), through a cooperative agreement with USDA, is identifying products that meet the biobased product definition and establishing their minimum biobased content for eligibility in the BioPreferred program. Manufacturers meeting the standards can increase visibility for their products — and help grow the biobased economy.

New ISU Extension course sharpens financial coaching skills

financial coaching

As families continue to face financial challenges, social service agencies, financial institutions and others are searching for effective tools to help clients manage finances and reach their personal goals. In response, ISU Extension launched the “Sharpen Your Financial Coaching Skills” course designed for volunteers, clergy and others working in nonprofit groups and organizations who assist their clients or members with financial management concerns.

Iowa State provides ‘state of the science’ on eggs


Given 2010’s national egg recall and Iowa’s standing as the nation’s leading egg producer, Iowa State University provided legislators with a “state of the science” address Jan. 31.

Iowa State faculty and extension specialists spoke on the economic impacts of the Iowa egg industry, nutritional value of eggs, animal welfare issues, environmental impact of different egg production systems and food safety, particularly on salmonella. The session included discussion on the topics with legislators and question-and-answer periods.

“We hope this is only the first in what could be a series of Iowa State-led sessions for state legislators on current topics in agriculture,” said Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.