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Iowa State University Extension

July 2013 -- From Cathann Kress

Extension centennial in Wright County

Wright County recently celebrated 100 years of organized extension work and the hiring of their first county agent. As I told people at the celebration, I am inspired by Wright County every day. I merely have to glance at my wall and the beautiful P. Buckley Moss print that hangs there — a tribute to the 4-H emblem and its birthplace in Wright County. Our shared past is important, that is true. But it’s our continuing partnership and commitment that carries us forward.

July marks my second anniversary as vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach. We have been carrying out important work these past two years, not the least of which has been articulating our fundamental principles and core values that position us well for the future. Our elected county extension council members have said they feel that they are being listened to when they have questions to ask and ideas to share. All 100 councils have signed the new Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines our continuing partnership. In addition, our closer affiliation with the colleges is helping Iowa State become a more effective partner with communities, organizations and industries, involving people directly in identifying and implementing solutions that fit their aspirations, dreams and needs.

-- Cathann

New Iowa State initiative to support small rural businesses

Iowa Retail Initiative

Iowa State University is leading a new initiative to support Iowa’s independent retailers and revitalize rural downtowns.

This fall, approximately 75 students in the colleges of human sciences and design will help rural businesses with makeovers and consultations as part of the Iowa Retail Initiative. The initiative will unite existing campus services and provide a single point of contact for rural communities and retailers seeking help. It is financed by a $250,000 Strategic Initiatives grant from ISU Extension and Outreach.

Gardening webinars examine moisture extremes in the landscape

rain garden

“There are areas of the state that have gone from drought and abnormally dry conditions to flooding, places that have received twice the normal precipitation amount, and areas that have received only a fraction of the normal amount of rain,” said Denny Schrock, state Master Gardener coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach.

That’s why the 2013 Iowa Master Gardener garden webinar series will cover moisture extremes in the landscape. The sessions are open to all interested gardeners.

Youth film festival, robotics, culinary challenge at State Fair

4-H events at State Fair

Challenges for Iowa youth abound at the 4-H Exhibits Building during the Iowa State Fair. At the Iowa 4-H Film Festival, youth will be showing films they produced. They’ll be designing and programming robots during the Bratney Companies Robotics 4-H Challenge, and demonstrating their culinary skills and knowledge during Cook This!

“These challenges give Iowa youth the opportunity to gain hands-on learning experiences, practice problem solving, work as a team and develop new skills and interests,” said Cayla Taylor, 4-H youth program coordinator.

Science of Parenting is electronic outreach to parents

woman with smartphone

Through blog posts, podcasts, tweets and webinars, the Science of Parenting provides parents with reliable and credible information on raising children.

“Science of Parenting is a 24/7 learning venue that parents can access using any of their devices and computers,” said family life specialist Donna Donald. “ISU Extension and Outreach is giving parents research-based education in a way that fits their busy schedules and learning preferences.”