Monday Update: Developing your action plan

October 5, 2020

I would like to thank everyone who participated in our virtual area-wide meetings. Please complete your meeting evaluation by October 10. Your feedback will help us determine how well this virtual format worked and how we can make it better.

You’ve heard from our subject matter experts, you’ve experienced developing an action plan, and you’ve learned from the questions your colleagues have asked. Now it’s time to apply this process to the challenges facing your county or region. Plan a time to go through the action plan exercise with your colleagues and council and focus on one or two priorities for your stakeholders. Develop your recovery action plan based on your priorities and resources. That plan should inform your council’s budget discussion, next year’s program planning, and your professional development.

We will connect counties with common priorities to each other and with subject matter experts. This will allow you to share ideas around a common theme and enable specialists to focus on a small number of effective programs with common objectives, training, evaluation, and reporting. In doing so, we will build your knowledge within a priority area and have a lasting impact on our collective capacity and on your community.

We are developing evaluation and reporting tools around the six initiatives that we expect everyone to use as we help Iowans recover. This focused evaluation will allow you to create meaningful stakeholder reports and provide me with data to tell compelling stories of statewide impact to administrators, legislators, and partners.

One more note as you think about your recovery action plan: Consider participating in the upcoming Home Base Iowa Veterans Virtual Conference on Oct. 13. This year’s theme is “Our Vision Forward: Engaging all of Iowa” and is structured around three general areas of focus: businesses, communities, and institutions of higher education. There may be common interests and partnership opportunities.

Horticulture resources available

It is the end of an era for our Hortline telephone service, which ended October 1 following Richard Jauron’s retirement. However, ISU Extension and Outreach continues to provide expert horticulture knowledge to Iowans. On the Horticulture and Home Pest News website an extensive amount of horticulture information is available, all searchable by resource, topic, or keyword, including an encyclopedia of horticulture terms, plants, and insects; thousands of frequently asked questions; almost three decade’s worth of the Horticulture and Home Pest Newsletters; links to hundreds of downloadable publications; and dozens of videos on a wide range of topics. Please share these resources with your clients.

Register for community catalyst webinar series

Learn how to transform your work with data-driven discovery strategies during a six-part webinar series exclusively designed for extension professionals. The series begins October 7 and registration is open. Leaders and researchers from Iowa, Oregon, and Virginia will provide tools to help you maximize time, develop responsive programs using data insights, and foster impact in collaboration with communities. Many ISU Extension and Outreach partners have participated in pilot projects that use these techniques as part of our Data Science for the Public Good Young Scholars Program.

No political activity at work

As a private citizen you may support whoever you choose in any races in the November 3 general election. However, you may not represent Iowa State or ISU Extension and Outreach in any political activities, including the following.

  • Do not use your email or office resources (computers, scanner, postage, etc.) to promote or support one candidate individually or over another.
  • Do not use your job title or ISU Extension and Outreach place of business in any correspondence, interviews, letters to the editor, or articles in both print or online sources to promote or support one candidate individually or over another.
  • Do not use extension listservs or databases (such as 4-H Online or MyData) to communicate with voters or to promote or support one candidate individually or over another.

More notes

  • The next Second Monday Live is 10 a.m., October 12, at It’s been three months since we officially launched our new structure to transform our organization. Assistant Vice President Andrea Nelson and I will provide an update on our organization’s progress.
  • An important step in assessing your county’s progress is to complete the Two-Way Scorecard Communication Tool online survey. Council members and all staff within our 27 regions received the survey link on October 1. Please complete the survey by 11:59 p.m. October 15.
  • Join Julie Hlas, advancement specialist, and Leah Feltz, social media specialist, for DYK? Building Your 2020 Stakeholder Report at 10 a.m., Friday, October 16, on Zoom, You’ll gain tips on using the 2020 stakeholder report toolkit to highlight the innovative ways you've impacted your community in an unpredictable year. There also will be time for Q & A.
  • There’s still time to register for the 2020 Office Professionals Conference, which will be held virtually on October 20. The theme is “Defining Our Success: We Adapt. We Strive. We Innovate.”
  • I encourage you to use our virtual suggestion box to share your questions, comments, and concerns at any time. Occasionally we will ask for input on specific proposals and upcoming decisions. Your feedback always will be anonymous and confidential. Thank you.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach