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Iowa State University Extension

March 2014 -- From Cathann Kress

Cathann Kress with Friends of Extension award recipients

Earlier this month the Iowa Alpha Mu Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi, the honor society of ISU Extension and Outreach, honored four individuals as “Friends of Extension.” I was pleased to present the awards to Rosalie and Steve Christensen, Riceville, Janice Crall, Albia, and Alan Smith, Mount Ayr, and recognize their long-term volunteerism and support.

At the other end of the spectrum, later this month I’m looking forward to a conversation with some young Iowans who don’t necessarily know much about Extension and Outreach. They will be sharing their perspectives about how we can help them, and all Iowans, reach their personal, professional and community goals. “Young Iowans Speak” is one of 13 forums across the country marking the centennial of the Smith-Lever Act, the federal legislation that established Cooperative Extension nationwide. The forum will be a fitting end to ISU Extension and Outreach Week, March 23-29, and a great beginning for our next 100 years.

-- Cathann

Planning and zoning workshops begin March 31

planning and zoning map

As land use issues and the techniques to address them become more complex, it is critical that local officials and community leaders understand the local planning and zoning process. That’s why Community and Economic Development Extension and Outreach offers introductory workshops annually at various locations across Iowa.

The three-hour workshop introduces the basic principles of land use planning and development management to elected officials, planning and zoning officials, and board of adjustment members without formal training in the subjects. Workshops begin March 31 and continue throughout April.

Iowa Local Food Conference examines expansion

local foods

The spotlight is on local food business expansion in this year’s Iowa Local Food Conference April 8 in Ames. ISU Extension and Outreach is one of the conference sponsors.

“The one-day conference will look at issues that can impact the bottom line of local food producers and those affiliated businesses, such as the sustainability of food hubs that aggregate supplies, the benefits of processing centers for value-added products and cutting edge options for marketing,” said conference coordinator Lynn Heuss.

Iowa State anticipates increased demand for food safety training

foodservice employees

Iowa State University is anticipating an increase in demand for its food safety training course as new state regulations take effect in Iowa this year. To meet the expected demand, specialists with Human Sciences Extension and Outreach will offer more than 100 ServSafe courses across the state. ServSafe trains employees in food sanitation and instructs them on how to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Community collaboration helps Hancock 4-H’ers pursue STEM

Block Heads FTC Team

The success of the Block Heads FTC Team from Garner stems from a community-based approach to support science, technology, engineering and math learning opportunities for youth.

The vision of one 4-H’er led to a new First Tech Challenge 4-H Club with an engineer mentor from a local business, support from the Hancock County Extension Council, a Rockwell Collins FIRST grant and meeting space in grandma’s basement.