Monday Update: Reviving the economy

February 22, 2021

Each month I will be sharing an update from one of our COVID-19 Recovery Initiative Teams. Today I have an update from the Reviving the Economy I-Team. Chair Lisa Bates notes that 46 counties chose this initiative as their top priority. A good way to learn about the initiative is to review the resources in the Engaging with the Economy I-Team CyBox folder:

  • The Reviving the Iowa Economy Program Guide provides a list of current extension programs, processes, and resources and indicates whether they address communities, farms and agribusiness, small business, or youth.
  • You can use the Economy I-Team County Plan Summary PowerPoint to identify potential partner counties or learn from peer counties as they execute their action plans. Use the Key Contacts PDF to gather key stakeholders for your region, county, or city.
  • Zoom recordings are available from focused breakout sessions and guest speakers. The folder will be updated as more Zoom meetings occur.

Lisa says the team will be hosting breakout Zoom meetings to focus on county questions, needs, highlights, and best practices for implementing action plans. They also will continue to hold follow-up breakout Zoom meetings to provide program highlights, share successes, raise questions, and strengthen connections across the state. Sign up for the Economy I-Team listserv to share information and stay connected.

ISU Extension and Outreach Carroll County is one of the counties focused on reviving the economy. This month they’ve been sponsoring Make Tracks in Downtown Carroll along with the Carroll Chamber of Commerce and the central downtown business district. Anjanette Treadway, human sciences program coordinator, said that 13 participating businesses are displaying pages of the book “Tracks in the Snow,” by Wong Herbert Yee, in their windows. Families can walk from business to business to read the story – and shop local along the way – eventually ending up at the new public library. Thanks, Anjanette, for sharing this example.

Conversations with Councils

Please watch the February 2021 Conversations with Councils video. Andrea Nelson and I talk about planning for a more "normal" summer and fall with in-person programs, including county fairs and field days. We also discuss COVID-19 exceptional efforts and recovery initiatives, the Two-Way Scorecard second quarter reports, annual conference, and the upcoming town hall.

Open for Iowa

Andrea Nelson shares the following update regarding county general liability insurance. In general, all food and nutrition educational demonstrations are allowed, including when 4-H members lead the demonstration. This update does not lift any restrictions on food for hospitality purposes. Preparing food for sale is not allowed under the general county liability policy. However, a county can purchase a separate special event policy that protects the county from foodborne illness claims; contact your regional director for assistance on applying for coverage. For more information, please review County Services Insurance Update #7 (February 16) on the Open for Iowa website.

More notes

  • Please review the February program update for current examples of what is happening across our programs.
  • ISU Extension and Outreach started our eAccessibility initiative to bring our own resources into compliance with digital accessibility rules, regulations, and best practices. Now we’re able to share what we’ve learned with a broader audience. Five eCourse packages on producing accessible digital documents are available for the public to purchase. We encourage you to share this opportunity with your partners. For those with an ISU-net ID the courses continue to be available at no cost and can be accessed by logging in on the main menu of the eAccessibility website.
  • Are you planning to take credit courses this summer? Then consider applying for the Vice President for Extension and Outreach Tuition Assistance Program. County-paid and ISU-paid extension employees may apply, whether taking credit courses from Iowa State, a community college, a private institution, or other accredited public institution. Applications for Summer 2021 can be submitted beginning March 8. More information is available on the Professional Development website.
  • During Annual Conference on March 9 we will look inward and reach out. We will acknowledge the challenges of the past year and celebrate our resilience as we work for recovery and a #StrongIowa. Please register by March 1.

John D. Lawrence
Vice President for Extension and Outreach