This November, I was elected to the Iowa State University Extension Council for West Pottawattamie County. As an Iowa State University graduate, I am very honored to hold this position and proud to support the Extension Office’s efforts. Since then, I’ve had a lot of people ask me what ISU Extension does, so I thought it might be a good topic for a blog post here.
First of all, Pottawattamie County is the largest county in the state of Iowa. Because of this, it is broken into two parts, east and west. For this blog, I am focusing on the western half of our county and what ISU Extension does for our area.
“ISU Extension and Outreach supports healthy people, environments, and economies by providing educational opportunities. We meet local needs, improve quality of life, and help make West Pottawattamie County a better place to live.” ISU Extension, West Pott. County
“When you need to make decisions that affect your family, your community, your business or your farm, look to ISU Extension and Outreach for knowledge that works. You can rely on ISU Extension for unbiased, research-based information and education to help you make better decisions today and tomorrow. Extension blends practical know-how with subject matter knowledge, empowering people to fulfill their needs and create new opportunities.”
Topics that the West Pott. ISU Extension office focuses on are: crops, environment, farm management, livestock, yard/garden/horticulture, business and industry, community economic development, finances, food/nutrition/health and home/family.
Basically, they take all of the research and information that is being developed at Iowa State University and share it with the entire state of Iowa. If you call them, I think you would be surprised at the resources available.
Contact them at 712.366.7070 or visit their office at 1705 McPherson Ave. Suite 200 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Follow the main ISU Extension Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Pinterest. Or follow the West Pott. Extension office on Facebook.
I also thought this video also summed up what they do nicely.
For the purposes of this blog, I am going to highlight two important programs that our local office manages for our county.
Vision: Preparing Iowa’s youth to be successful, contributing members of society. Mission: 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences.
“For over 100 years Iowa 4-H has been delivering research based educational programs for K-12 Youth in Iowa. Using its experiential model of “DO”, “REFLECT” and “APPLY” 4-H programs are designed to teach Healthy Living, STEM, Leadership/Civic Engagement and Communication and the Arts. Each year almost 100,000 youth in Iowa participate via one of our program delivery modes.”
4-H youth programs provide opportunities for youth to develop skills they can use throughout their life. Iowa 4-H builds upon a century of experience as it fosters positive youth development that is based on the needs and strengths of youth, their families, and communities.
The Iowa 4-H Program’s priorities:
- STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)
- Healthy Living
- Leadership and Civic Engagement
- Communication and the Arts
Learn more about the Iowa 4-H program here.
Master Gardener Program
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers the Iowa Master Gardener Program. To become a Master Gardener, complete 40 hours of horticulture education offered each fall and the pre- and post-survey. The class schedule includes plant pathology, botany, house plants, propagation, landscape design and more. Then, volunteer 40 hours in your community the following year to officially become a Master Gardener.
Read full details on how to become a Master Gardener here.
As you know, I became a Master Gardener intern in the Fall of 2016 and a full Master Gardener in late 2017. Read here to learn more about my personal experience.
We’ve had quite a few interesting meeting since joining and here are a few highlights of our field-trip-style meetings and some favorite events:
- Hitchcock Nature Center
- Nancy N’s Iris Collection
- The Swallow’s Nest
- Heron Haven
- Making Seedballs for Milkweed Matters
- 2017 Spring Master Gardener Conference
- 2018 West Pott. Master Gardener Plant Sale
Make sure to mark your calendars for the 2019 West Pott. Master Gardener’s Spring Garden Conference held on March 30, 2019.
As I learn about new exciting programs and events, I will be sure to feature them here on my blog. Are you involved with your local extension office? If yes, comment below!