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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Nov 19, 2008

The ISU Extension folks are quite a bit like the fire department or police. When you really need them, they’re there.

Iowa State University Extension is celebrating its many partnerships during Extension Week Nov. 14-20.

Following are some of the programs that ISU Extension programs around the state and conducting.

n Extension specialists teach the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ServSafe food sanitation certification training course for food service personnel. Programs in Iowa are offered in partnership with local health departments and the Iowa Hospitality Association Educational Foundation.

n Extension has teamed up with the BIOWA Development Association and groups across Iowa to develop the emerging bioeconomy–in which the basic building blocks for industry are derived from plant and crop-based sources. Extension brings together university resources to provide research and education needed for this developing industry.

n The Nonprofit Management Academy has served more than 1,500 participants in communities throughout Iowa in the past year. Extension and the United Way developed this program that enhances the management skills of those serving human services organizations, hospitals, government agencies, and others in the nonprofit sector.

n Child Care Lasts a Lifetime-that’s why ISU Extension is working with the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, the Iowa Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, and American Association of University Women-Iowa. The goal is to build awareness of and educate about the need for quality child care.

n Community Voices brings together community leaders and new immigrants, especially those for whom English is a second language. Extension has partnered with Ottumwa, Storm Lake, Columbus Junction, Mount Pleasant, and Sioux City to acquaint new residents with local laws and service providers.

n Through Operation: Military Kids, the U.S. Army and ISU Extension are developing support systems for family members of deployed soldiers. Youth workers are learning how to help children whose lives have suddenly been turned upside down because of the high rates of military mobilization and deployment.

n The Iowa soybean rust team-ISU Extension, the College of Agriculture, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Iowa Soybean Association, and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-has set up “fast track” identification of this disease. Some 400 crop consultants and professional agronomists have been trained as first detectors, ready to spot Asian soybean rust if it arrives in Iowa.

n More than 30,000 kindergarten through sixth-grade youth annually participate in Growing in the Garden and Where We Live, ISU Extension curricula covering science, social studies, reading, math, health, music and art. Extension partners with schools and other educational programs throughout the state to connect youth to agriculture, natural resources, food and people where they live.

n Life in Iowa lets ISU students experience Iowa’s possibilities through internships and service-learning with businesses and organizations in communities throughout the state. Students are discovering the vibrancy, entrepreneurship, and quality of life Iowa has to offer as a place to work and live well.

n Extension Master Gardeners volunteered more than 80,000 hours in 2003. These volunteers throughout the state provide ISU Extension’s research-based, home horticulture information and education to Iowans.

n The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium showcases the wildlife, ecology and culture of the Mississippi River. The Dubuque County Historical Society oversees the museum and ISU Extension provides research, curricula, and evaluation materials. More than 300,000 people have participated in this hands-on learning experience since it opened in June 2003.

This next week, ISU Extension staff in Estherville, along with Extension offices throughout Iowa, will meet to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the state’s biofuels industry. Hopefully, their discussions, and recommendations, will make their way to President Obama’s desk when he takes office in January.

To learn more about the opportunities that ISU Extension can offer local communities in Emmet County, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/emmet or call 362-3434.