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Iowa State University Extension

July 2012 -- From Cathann Kress

Iowa State officials at Smithsonian exhibit

A year ago I was a newly returned Iowan, getting reacquainted with Iowa State, eager to serve as vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach. Time flies, as they say, and what a year it has been — from 2011’s flooding and straight-line winds to this year’s drought conditions, from our leadership summit to our exhibit at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

Current Provost Elizabeth Hoffman, incoming Provost Jonathan Wickert, President Steven Leath, and College of Design Dean Luis Rico-Gutierrez and I were pleased to be part of the festival activities. Iowa State’s exhibit demonstrated how the Design College and Extension and Outreach partner together to find innovative solutions to communities’ complex challenges.

Today we are clear in our purpose and focused on our land-grant mission. We are strengthening our connection to Iowa State, and renewing our partnerships and shared commitment with Iowa’s counties. We are people advancing people and putting research into action. We’ve shared a great first year together and I look forward to many more.

-- Cathann

Field days continue at research and demonstration farms

location map for research and demonstration farms

Iowa State has research and demonstration farms throughout the state because soil, geography, climate and agricultural enterprises vary considerably across Iowa. Field days give farmers and the public a chance to see research projects in progress and talk with the researchers involved in the experiments. But they also provide the opportunity to view the latest in modern agriculture. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Topics typically cover corn and soybean production, including insect and weed management, soil fertility, tillage systems, water quality, planting dates, crop population, manure management and value-added crops. See the schedule of research farm field days as well as home garden field days.

CIRAS helps companies manage energy, save money

student conducting energy audit

An effective energy management system includes developing an energy policy, designating who is responsible for energy and monitoring energy usage. That’s why the Center for Industrial Research and Service is partnering with Iowa State’s Industrial Assessment Center to conduct 20 energy audits of small- and medium-sized manufacturers per year.

With a new five-year contract from the Department of Energy, CIRAS and IAC are hiring Iowa State engineering students to conduct the audits. The project educates these future engineers on energy efficiency, while providing Iowa manufacturers with specific recommendations for potential savings. See the full story in CIRAS News.

CED seeks communities for two-year partnerships

Tim Borich

Through Communities to Community (C2C), ISU Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development will enter into partnerships with up to five Iowa communities in different areas of the state. The C2C program will offer a two-year schedule of bundled design, educational, business and leadership development services available through CED and the ISU College of Design, said CED Director Tim Borich. 

The services will be customized to promote the positive changes and outcomes that client communities desire. Examples of outcomes include stabilizing downtown environments; improving citizen participation and local leadership; encouraging diversity; capitalizing on small business, retail trade and tourism opportunities; meeting housing needs; or achieving quality-of-life goals.

Food preservation course approved for dietitian continuing education


Registered dietitians have a new source for continuing education on safe food preservation. Preserve the Taste of Summer, a research-based program from ISU Extension and Outreach, has been approved for up to 20 continuing education units from the Commission of Dietetic Registration, the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

As Iowans continue to be interested in local foods, gardening and preserving food themselves, registered dietitians need to be aware of safe food preservation practices so they can properly advise their clients.

Iowa 4-H’ers earn 2012 state 4-H project awards

Iowa 4-H youth conference

Recipients of the 2012 state 4-H project awards were recognized at the Iowa 4-H Youth Conference in June. A state 4-H project award is the highest achievement 4-H’ers can receive in 4-H Youth Development project work through ISU Extension and Outreach. Information about the recipients is available by county.

4-H youth development specialist Brenda Allen said these awards indicate that the youths not only have mastered skills in that particular area, but also have shared their knowledge through presentations, workshops or helping others. In addition, 4-H project award winners must convey what they’ve gained in their project through a rigorous state application and interview process.