January 2013 -- From Cathann Kress
Extension and Outreach connects Iowans to Iowa State University’s academic programs and scientists. We provide access and build capacity so Iowa State education and research can benefit Iowans quickly and effectively — and Iowans can inform the evolving research.
-- Each year nearly a million people directly benefit from Extension and Outreach educational programs.
-- More than 105,000 youth participate in 4-H programs. That’s one in every five Iowa youth.
-- We reach more than a million people through our websites and online educational materials and courses.
-- In addition, 17,000 Iowans volunteer with us, increasing our capacity throughout the state.
Follow the links in this newsletter to new videos and our 2012 Annual Report. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is working to make sure Iowa State becomes the university that best serves its state. We will take every opportunity to innovate and create partnerships to best serve the people of Iowa.
ISU Extension and Outreach programs for health and well-being are designed to help Iowa become the healthiest state in the nation. During summer 2012, some campers at the Iowa 4-H Center experienced Immersion in Wellness. Iowa State faculty in food science and human nutrition are conducting this new research study targeted toward lowering childhood obesity.
According to extension nutrition specialist Ruth Litchfield, kids come to understand that being healthy is enjoyable. She said, “They’ve had an opportunity to immerse themselves in wellness — from gardening to learning how to cook to eating what they’ve actually grown in the garden and being physically active. It’s fun.”
Watch the video about Immersion in Wellness.
ISU Extension and Outreach programs for K-12 youth build on 4-H youth development and include a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. Brenda Welch, an ISU Extension and Outreach youth program specialist, leads Mad Scientist Day Camps to get youth excited about STEM learning.
Youth conduct research-based experiments, such as extracting DNA from bananas, Welch explained. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our youth to learn so much. Their excitement, and the smiles and the laughter when they actually extract DNA and they can see it in the test tube — it’s incredible.”
Watch the video about Mad Scientist Day Camp.
ISU Extension and Outreach takes on food and environmental challenges, including the slowly unfolding crisis of the drought. In 2012 more than 6,000 Iowans participated in ISU Extension and Outreach meetings and webinars and called our hotlines and specialists for updates on crop, livestock and horticulture issues. Our drought response continues in 2013 as we anticipate Iowans’ needs for their farms, families, businesses and communities.
“As we’ve reached over thousands of producers, Extension and Outreach is here to help people,” said beef specialist Denise Schwab. “We’re not here for the cattle or for the crops, but we’re here for the farmers that we work with. That’s what makes this job fun and exciting and a challenge to go to work very morning.”
Watch the video about ISU Extension and Outreach’s response to the drought.