Community Economic Development

Local Highlights

April 12, 2021

With Covid-19 vaccination opening to the general population, there are questions. Some Iowans wonder about vaccine safety and efficacy, vaccine variations, risks and benefits, availability, and life after vaccination. I’d like to personally invite you to attend one of three upcoming information sessions in April which will address these questions and open the floor for Iowans to ask top experts about anything that’s on their mind.

lady showing shot

The sessions are being hosted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the University of Iowa. Sessions will be closed captioned and one will be in Spanish.

April 17, 10 a.m.

April 19, 6 p.m.

 April 24, 10 a.m. (in Spanish)

To learn more about dates and expert panelists, please visit

I hope you’ll be able to hop onto one of these. Please invite others and spread the word! A key part of our mission at ISU Extension and Outreach is to provide Iowans with information, resources and experiences that make their lives better. Part of this is providing the information they need to make their own decisions about their health. So being the connector between Iowans and these experts is something we’re pretty excited about.

April 9, 2021

2 volunteers filling Extension boxes
Thank You to our Volunteers who help pack our Extension Week Boxes!
Waterloo, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Week is April 12-17. Iowa’s 100 county extension offices will host activities throughout the week to thank Iowans for their support of extension efforts throughout the state.
“The challenges of the past year changed how ISU Extension and Outreach serves Iowans, but not why: We want a strong Iowa. We are here for you now and always,” said Shelly Smith, Executive Director.
“This celebration is one way we say thank you to the many volunteers, community leaders, organizations, agencies, and other partners who support our work in Black Hawk County,” Smith said.
Local small businesses will receive an awareness box of tools and information to support revitalizing our local economy.
Gardening seeds are available to the public and community donation gardens to sustain local foods.
Workshops on wellbeing, tools for caregivers, money smarts, preserving foods, pesticide application, youth mental health, planning for retirement, car care 101 for teenagers, and gardening are scheduled to strengthen our community.
“ISU Extension and Outreach engages Iowans in solving today’s problems and planning for tomorrow. We will continue finding new ways to deliver research-based education and information to Iowans,” Smith said.
ISU Extension and Outreach is part of the federal Cooperative Extension Service — a network of more than 100 land-grant institutions, including Iowa State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture serving communities and counties across the United States. Every county in Iowa has an elected extension council that decides how to support ISU Extension and Outreach educational programs at the county level.
For more information about ISU Extension and Outreach, visit or contact the ISU Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County office. 

March 25, 2021

Cartoon carrot in the garden


Kick It with Carrots! Our statewide campaign and associated materials highlight CARROTS as the most chill vegetable of the summer! With this collective focus on this familiar, readily available local veggie, we hope to increase participation of children at summer meal sites AND support local producers.
March 16, 2021


Iowa State Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County will once again offer free garden seeds. These seeds were generously donated from various garden centers in fall of 2020 to offer them to community, school, donation, and church gardens that grow food to be donated to others.

You are getting first pick. A larger, public seed giveaway will happen in April.

Mark your calendars to pick up seeds for the qualifying garden you manage on March 29, Tuesday March 30, and Wednesday, March 31 from 9am to 3pm each day. The giveaway will be in the ISU Room across the hall from our office at 3420 University Avenue. Use Door 3.

For more information, contact Steven Eilers, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Black Hawk County Urban Agriculture Specialist at 319-234-6811 or at

January 29, 2021

FREE! Ready to Run® Iowa is a nonpartisan campaign training program to encourage women to run for elective office, position themselves for appointive office, work on a campaign or become involved in public life as leaders in their communities. See dates and times.

Program Builder Regional Capacity Analysis Program (ReCAP)

NonProfit Managment Academy (management skills for non-profit groups)

Statewide Resources

  • ISU Extension assists Iowa communities in planning and encouraging sustainable community and economic development that lead to positive quality of life for all citizens.

  • ICIP provides data and research on local economic, demographic, and social trends for business and communities.

  • Reports of recent and historical trends in the local retail trade sector by city.

  • Helping the College of Engineering and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach carry out their land-grant university mission to improve the quality of life in Iowa by enhancing the performance of Iowa industry.

  • The CVC facilitates networking among small and medium size rural communities, sponsors policy analyses, engages communities in dialogue, and fosters discussion among rural and urban interests.

  • Data on each county in Iowa including population demographics, education, retail sales, personal income, employment, occupation, housing, and family characteristics.

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