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Iowa State University Extension

April 2013 -- From Cathann Kress

Linn County held an open house. Webster County set up displays at the mall. Pocahontas County’s event featured dinner, CY and two swing choirs — the Laurens-Marathon Impulse and the Pocahontas Area Showstoppers. County offices throughout the state were thanking partners, holding events and activities, welcoming visitors and offering giveaways, all as part of the 2013 Extension and Outreach Week celebration in March. It was a fun way to express our appreciation for the many volunteers, community leaders, organizations, agencies and other partners who support ISU Extension and Outreach work in Iowa.

President Leath often has said that the work of Extension and Outreach is central to the university and essential for Iowa State to become the university that best serves its state. With your support we will reach this goal as we carry out our land-grant mission and make a difference for Iowans.

-- Cathann

P.S. One more “shout-out” is in order. I had the pleasure of providing the keynote address at our Extension and Outreach Office Professionals Conference earlier this month. We’re thankful for these hardworking team players who keep our offices running in top form.

Iowa youth to participate in Global Youth Service Day

youth service

Planting flowers at a local park, preparing a community meal, sharing stories with older adults or performing random acts of kindness: Global Youth Service Day, April 26-28, calls for service over one specific weekend. However, Iowa 4-H youth are improving their communities throughout the year and are learning from that service.

Service-learning takes community service or volunteer projects to the next level by empowering youth to identify needs in their community and plan service projects themselves. This creates a more meaningful experience for youth.

CIRAS partnership adds value to Radius Steel-SOO Tractor

Radius Steel-SOO Tractor

Radius Steel-SOO Tractor’s partnership with CIRAS has led to ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification. Since earning its ISO certificate in 2010, the Sioux City company has substantially increased sales and cost savings and added more than 20 new jobs.

Additional continuous process improvements “add value to our goals, lower costs and lead to an even greater manufacturing precision. Over the years, we have had a great partnership with CIRAS. They have helped us increase our efficiency and reduce waste, ” said CEO Ida Covi.

MarketMaker connects businesses with ag and food workers

Iowa MarketMaker

Finding new employees for a food or agricultural business is getting easier. At no cost, businesses that are members of the MarketMaker website can post job openings and see them advertised nationally.

ISU Extension and Outreach worked with Iowa Workforce Development and the National Labor Exchange through U.S. Jobs to create this new employment opportunities feature. MarketMaker is a comprehensive interactive database of food industry marketing and business data.

Free tax preparation helps families claim millions in refunds

volunteer income tax preparation

Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, volunteers working with ISU Extension and Outreach file tax returns at no cost for Iowa individuals and families earning $51,000 or less. The federal and state tax refunds these Iowans are then able to claim bolster family incomes and contribute to the local economy.

Last year, 60 volunteers at 34 rural sites completed tax returns for 1,621 low- and moderate-income Iowans. Iowa State has been providing this service in rural areas for about a decade.