October 2011 -- From Cathann Kress
The Healthiest State Initiative is aiming for Iowa to be the #1 healthiest state by 2016. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is supporting this privately led, public initiative intended to inspire Iowans throughout the state to improve their health and happiness. Our ISU Extension specialists have been involved in various aspects of this effort.
Extension also supports the Iowa Hunger Summit, part of the World Food Prize events. The summit celebrates the many ways Iowans are working toward ensuring that everyone has adequate food, and encourages all of us to continue and expand these efforts. The summit also increases statewide awareness of hunger, poverty and related issues.
The Community Vitality Center (CVC) and ISU Extension and Outreach are partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration, USDA Rural Development and other sponsors to host a Rural YES (Young Entrepreneur Summit) on Nov. 9. The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for young and emerging entrepreneurs to hear success stories from other rural entrepreneurs, listen to and share ideas for improving entrepreneurial development opportunities in rural America, and make contact with other rural entrepreneurs and support networks.
ISU Extension and Outreach continues to support healthy people, environments and economies, and is glad to be a part of these worthwhile activities. Let’s keep working -- so that some day we won’t need special initiatives and summits to keep Iowans healthy, well fed and economically vital.
Timothy Griesdorn is the newest addition to the family finance team at ISU Extension and Outreach. His role is to help Iowans do a better job of managing their money. He’ll spend 75 percent of his time on extension work and 25 percent on publishing and researching in the field.
“The need for basic financial education has never been greater,” Griesdorn said. “My focus isn’t just the student population, but all residents of Iowa. My goal is to help people spend and invest their money in such a way that they will get the greatest satisfaction from their financial decisions.”
In their ongoing effort to help Iowa’s city clerks and finance officers prepare for the fiscal year budget, the ISU Extension and Outreach Office of State and Local Government Programs and the Iowa League of Cities are holding budget workshops throughout the state in November and December.
A total of 620 clerks and finance officers attended the 2010 workshops and more than half completed an evaluation. Of those, 99 percent found the workshops useful or very useful in preparing them for budget responsibilities. Online registration is available.
ISU Extension and Outreach has been providing continuing education and professional development to Iowa’s municipal clerks, secretaries, treasurers, recorders and other local officials since 1975.
Women farmers and ranchers wanting to learn more about transition planning will benefit from a program that recently received USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funding. The ISU Extension and Outreach Annie’s Project proposal, Farm Transition and Business Management Training for Women Farmers and Ranchers, was awarded $675,750 for curriculum development and course delivery.
The announcement is good news for beginning farmers like Lorilee Schultz. Schultz and two aunts took the first level Annie’s Project course and found it helpful, but she recognizes the need for a second level course. “To ensure the success of our dairy farm into the future, it is critical for us to increase our family’s knowledge and awareness of farm succession planning,” Schultz said.
Clay, Keokuk and Page counties are the first to have their 4-H history published on a new blog, Iowa 4-H History by County. Over the next two years, 4-H staff and volunteers will be reviewing additional county 4-H histories, with two to four being published on the blog each month, said Shelly Greving, marketing director for the Iowa 4-H Foundation. She hopes the blog will become a “living history” of 4-H.
“We hope 4-H members, alumni, volunteers, leaders and staff will add their comments and continue the history of 4-H, sharing the many facets of each county’s 4-H program,” Greving said.