Recovery Initiatives

recovery initiatives county map January 2022.From 2021-2022, ISU Extension and Outreach engaged Iowans through six initiatives focused on Iowa's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. See the 2021 statewide summary and examples of recovery efforts by county for these initiatives:

  • Reviving the Iowa economy, including the farm economy
  • Supporting Iowans in improving financial security
  • Engaging Iowans in improving food supply, safety, and access
  • Expanding educational opportunities for youth
  • Supporting efforts to increase access to quality child care
  • Engaging Iowans in addressing mental health

Updates on Recovery Initiatives (2021-2022)

Other Reports and Resources

Fall-Winter 2020 Area Meeting Resources

The Vice President's COVID-19 Exceptional Efforts Award Program 

Initiative Teams Charter

Each initiative was led by a team of subject matter experts including program specialists, county services, and operations. This charter describes expectations for the I-Teams regarding leadership, program areas, outputs, outcomes, communication, evaluation and reporting.

Initiative Teams

  • One interdisciplinary I-Team for each of the six initiatives
  • Core members include subject matter experts from program areas, county services and operations from across appropriate units of Extension and Outreach.
  • Designated team chair and co-chair lead team meetings and represents initiative on the CRIC.
  • Identify and request support and resources needed.
  • Roles and responsibilities of I-Team
    • Program, curriculum, product, engagement, and activities identification and evaluation
    • Review recovery initiative and refine description and scope.
    • Model interdisciplinary thinking and programming.
    • Designate current ISU programs, curricula, products, engagement and activities that address the initiative that meet the Curriculum Review Process standards.
    • Review and designate products from other LGUs or partners that address the initiative and follow the Curriculum Review Process.
    • Focus on a relatively small number of programs that counties/regions can choose to create a visible, feasible and impactful action plan. Designate these offerings from across the program units as meeting the initiative goals. 
    • Identify gaps in program offerings relative to appropriate requests and determine if and/or how to address the gaps.
    • Assure appropriate evaluation and reporting are part of program offerings. 
      • Identify what if any common measures that can be aggregated across the initiative.
      • Determine goals and procedures for determining impact including change in knowledge, change in behavior and change in condition.
    • Leadership, communication and coordination within initiative
    • Lead iterative process with counties/regions to choose, implement and evaluate programming.
    • Communicate regularly and effectively with counties that choose initiative as priority (listserv, webinars, etc)
    • Provide a forum for sharing ideas and addressing challenges
    • Utilize MyData to monitor information on programming activity

Program Units

  • Provide representatives to the appropriate I-Teams
  • Nominate programs, curricula, engagement and activities to the appropriate I-Team
  • Communicate about program planning for I-Team designated programs
  • Coordinate professional development when appropriate.  This will include program specialists and county staff engaging in program delivery.

COVID-19 Recovery Task Force

Original charge, April 24, 2020

We don’t know how, and we don’t know when, but Iowa will reopen for business after the COVID-19 pandemic, and ISU Extension and Outreach will be there to help all Iowans. It’s in our vision and mission statements:

  • VISION. ISU Extension and Outreach will advance land-grant values by engaging all Iowans in solving today’s problems and preparing for a thriving future.
  • MISSION. ISU Extension and Outreach builds a strong Iowa by engaging all Iowans in research, education and extension experiences to address current and emerging real-life challenges.

We are not health care professionals and our research base may not find the vaccine for this virus, but we can help Iowans and their communities recover from the business, income and life disruption caused by the pandemic. Ever since COVID-19 was discovered in Iowa it has not been business as usual, and we cannot simply go back to business as usual during the recovery. We adapted to working remotely and changed how we engaged and educated Iowans, and we must continue to adjust to their needs for recovering. Keep in mind that, "getting back to work" does not equate to "getting back to normal."

Iowans need and value our everyday programming that provides information and builds capacity. However, in the near term their priorities may change as they deal with the aftermath of home confinement and social distancing, closed businesses, loss of income and sharply lower commodity prices, and the learning slump of kids missing six weeks or more of school. How do we engage with them to solve today’s problems and prepare for a thriving future? A year from now, what will we tell state and federal legislators that we did to help Iowans recover? Five years from now, what will Iowans tell state and federal legislators that we did and what was the impact? How will ISU Extension and Outreach be remembered?

The COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is a cross section of ISU Extension and Outreach that I charge with helping to plan our role in Iowa’s recovery. Specifically:

  • Define challenges facing Iowans and their communities that are within our capacity to address.
  • Identify four to six programs that ISU Extension and Outreach will be known for addressing.
  • Determine who should be involved to organize, prioritize and plan program offerings.
  • Determine what training, marketing and reporting resources are needed.
  • Deliver recommendations to the Leadership team.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach