Skip Navigation
Iowa State University Extension

December 2011 -- From Cathann Kress

In November I had the opportunity to present awards to the Iowans who were being honored as Friends of Extension by our organization and the Iowa Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, a national honorary extension fraternity. It was a pleasure to meet, and personally thank, these dedicated volunteers who give of themselves and donate their time.

We are thankful for these individuals and businesses, as well as all our “friends” who support ISU Extension and Outreach educational programs throughout the state, year in and year out.


Beginning Farmer Center’s new partnership focuses on veterans

Beginning Farmer Center

Returning veterans who want to pursue farming and agricultural careers have a new resource in the Beginning Farmer Center, part of ISU Extension and Outreach. The center is partnering with the California-based Farmer Veteran Coalition that works with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who want a career in agriculture. The coalition then matches them with farmers who are transitioning out of farming.

“We think we can assist them with a nationwide matching system,” says David Baker, farm transition specialist for the Beginning Farmer Center.

Eco-Family blog shares information on sustainable lifestyles

Kristi Cooper

The ISUEco-Family blog encourages readers to share experiences, ask questions and think about information related to sustainable lifestyles. Lead blogger Kristi Cooper, an ISU Extension family life specialist, says urban dwellers, acreage owners and rural folks alike can gain and share ideas about water quality and conservation, composting indoors, energy use, food choices, favorite outdoor spaces and other topics by reading and engaging with the posts made several times each week.

Visit this ISU Extension and Outreach blog and join the conversation at

New report examines manufacturing in Iowa

Manufacturing in Iowa report

Iowa is home to more than 6,100 manufacturing firms. Today, Iowa’s manufacturing sector contributes a sizeable share of the state’s Gross Domestic Product. Iowa consistently ranks among the 10 states most dependent on the manufacturing sector.

A new report from the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), part of ISU Extension and Outreach, highlights key indicators of the size and importance of Iowa's manufacturing sector. “Manufacturing in Iowa” describes the diversity of Iowa manufacturing, including earning, exports, employment trends and contribution to local economies. The report is available from the CIRAS website.

Academy builds capacity for community nonprofits

Nonprofit Management Academy in Linn County

People who manage nonprofit organizations may lack training in the business side of human resources. That’s why ISU Extension and Outreach offers the Nonprofit Management Academy with local partners — “to raise the capacity of our communities’ nonprofits to do their job better,” said ISU Extension and Outreach educator Jennifer Best.

An academy in Linn County is wrapping up this month. The academy provides “the whole gamut of what nonprofits need to be trained in, from finance to marketing to board development,” said Katie Giorgio, with Linn County Nonprofit Resource Center.

Iowa sends 21 4-H’ers to National 4-H Congress

Natalie Kasper

Twenty-one young Iowans joined 4-H’ers from throughout the country at the National 4-H Congress Nov. 25-29 in Atlanta, Ga. They were selected from 36 Iowa 4-H’ers who applied for this elite leadership and service opportunity.

 “4-H has allowed me to learn and develop skills and interest areas outside of school curriculum,” said Natalie Kasper, one of the Iowa delegates. “It has also given me the opportunities to aid my community, mentor children as they develop skills and experiment in areas which may become my future career fields.”

Learn more about the Iowa delegates.

Online store now offers e-books and digital downloads

Corn Growth and Development e-book

The ISU Extension and Outreach Online Store is now offering publications in electronic versions. “Corn Growth and Development” (PM 1009) is the first to be offered in an e-book format. The publication is available for download in ePub (for iPhone and iPad devices) and Kindle (for Amazon devices) formats, each for $5.

Other digital files are available as well. For example, all the images used in “Corn Growth and Development” are available to purchase. Extension’s online store also offers thousands of publications in print, PDF and electronic versions.