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Preview: Iowa State University Extension News Releases

ISU Extension News:

Updated: 2017-03-26T23:43:53Z


Additional Land to be Enrolled in CRP Program


Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR), designed to combat water quality challenges in places like the Mississippi River and Great Lakes Basin, and State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), which sets aside 300,000 acres for wetland restoration and 100,000 acres for pollinator habitat across the country -  are new additions to the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program.

Iowa Learning Farms to Host Filter Strips and Soil Health Workshop near Iowa City


Filter strips and soil health are topics of the April 13 workshop hosted by Iowa Learning Farms and the Rapid Creek Watershed Project. The evening workshop will be held in Morse.

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Rapid Creek Watershed Project, will host a filter strips and soil health workshop on Thursday, April 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Morse Community Club near Iowa City. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complementary meal.

Speaking at the field day is Tim Youngquist, Prairie STRIPS Farmer Liaison, discussing the Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) project where a small percentage of a field is planted into strips of perennial prairie plants to reduce soil erosion, water runoff, improve soil health and to create habitat for pollinators and wildlife.

Also speaking is Johnson County Farm Service Agency Director Matt Berg, who will lead a discussion on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Adam Janke, wildlife specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will talk about ways to incorporate wildlife habitat on the farm. Rapid Creek Watershed Coordinator Wren Almitra will provide a project update.  

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own soil samples for a free SOILSCAN 360 analysis by Johnson County NRCS staff during the event.

The field day will be held at the Morse Community Club located at 2542 Putnam St NE, Iowa City, IA. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email

Additional Contact:
Wren Almitra, watershed coordinator Rapid Creek Watershed Project, 319-337-2322 ext. 300


Lawrence Testifies Before U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee


John Lawrence, associate dean for Extension Programs and Outreach and director of Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension at Iowa State University, spent Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. talking about the future of family farms.


Research Looks at Shepherding as Way to Maximize Iowa Food Systems Work


The Local Foods Program team says shepherding can be used to engage a multi-county region to create change in food systems.

Yard and Garden: Caring for Hostas in Spring


Spring is here, and hostas are a popular part of outdoor landscaping plans. They are easy to grow, but certain steps in planting and dividing them must be followed in order to ensure optimal performance.

Five Iowa Youth Head to 2017 National 4-H Conference


Joy Westercamp, Van Buren County; Scott Magnuson, Worth County; Zachary Mass, Mills County; Jessica Bigelow, Polk County; and Landra Reece, Boone County, will represent the Iowa 4-H Youth Development program at National 4-H Conference.AMES, Iowa – Five 4-H youth have been selected to represent Iowa at the National 4-H Conference March 25-30 in Washington, D.C. Joy Westercamp, Van Buren County; Scott Magnuson, Worth County; Zachary Mass, Mills County; Jessica Bigelow, Polk County; and Landra Reece, Boone County, will represent the Iowa 4-H Youth Development program during this national working conference, said Bonnie Dalager, a program coordinator with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development.   Sponsoring the 4-H’ers’ trip to the nation’s capital are David and Valerie Pace, the IBM Corporation and the Iowa Department of Agriculture.   Cherry Sandeen, an ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H youth field specialist, will serve as the youths’ chaperone. ISU Extension and Outreach sends delegates to the National 4-H Conference each year; youth are eligible to attend once. Delegates must submit an application and interview at State 4-H Recognition Day for the opportunity to attend the conference. “The National 4-H Conference is an amazing educational opportunity for Iowa 4-H'ers. Delegates are selected on their experience and skills in leadership, citizenship and communication,” Dalager said.   “Youth delegates engage in supporting and advocating for the 4-H Youth Development program in their communities and while on the trip with representatives and senators on Capitol Hill. At this national event, they will work with teams of youth from around the country to identify and share solutions to current issues affecting young people today,” Dalager said. “Their solutions are presented to groups of government officials, members of national associations and with stakeholders. The long-term goal is that these young people will continue to share the knowledge and skills they’ve gained with their peers and with leaders in their own communities when they return home.” Van Buren County 4-H’er Joy Westercamp, 17, is the daughter of Steven and Christine Westercamp. An eight-year 4-H member, she has participated in beekeeping, rabbit, communications, food and nutrition, and swine projects. She has served as a state 4-H council member, has won state project area awards and local leadership awards, and has served as her club’s treasurer, secretary and president.   Worth County 4-H’er Scott Magnuson, 17, is a nine-year 4-H member. He has participated in communications, visual arts, photography and woodworking projects. He has served as his club’s reporter, secretary, vice president and president. He has also won a state project area award in communications and has served on his county 4-H council.   Mills County 4-H’er Zachary Mass, 18, is the son of Nathan and Sandra Mass. A nine-year 4-H member, he has participated in beef, STEM, food and nutrition, citizenship and leadership projects. He has served as the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, reporter and activities director of his 4-H club. He also has won leadership awards, citizenship awards and has served on the state 4-H council.   Polk County 4-H’er Jessica Bigelow, 18, is the daughter of Bill and Jo Ellen Bigelow. A nine-year 4-H member, she has participated in communication, sewing, consumer management and home improvement projects. She has served as president, treasurer, reporter, secretary and community service chairman of her 4-H club. She also has served as a youth trustee on the Iowa 4-H Foundation Board, and has won state project area awards in communications and sewing.   Boone County 4-H’er Landra Reece, 17, is the daughter of Robyn and Tim Reec[...]

Professional Development Program Offered for Iowa's Local Food Coordinators


Professional development opportunities for local foods coordinators will be developed and delivered with funds from a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant.


ISU Extension and Outreach Celebrates National Ag Day


Celebrating the efforts of American agriculture and reminding Iowans that agriculture touches each of us is the focus behind the 2017 National Ag Day.


Northwest Iowa Communities Work to Become More Age-Friendly


ISU Extension and Outreach's Community and Economic Development program and Iowa State students worked together to help two northwest Iowa communities become more age-friendly and serve an aging population group.


Iowa State University Extension Specialists Honored by Wallaces Farmer and Iowa Master Farmers


Wallaces Farmer and Iowa Master Farmers presented their Iowa Master Farmer Exceptional Service Award to two Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field specialists - Clarke McGrath and Steve Johnson.