Iowa State University Extension and Outreach celebrated Extension and Outreach Week throughout the state March 24-30, 2013.
"It's one way we can say 'thank you' to the many volunteers, community leaders, organizations, agencies and other partners who support ISU Extension and Outreach work in Iowa," said Cathann Kress, vice president for ISU Extension and Outreach.
County offices held open houses and other activities throughout the week.
"Abraham Lincoln signed the law that gave birth to the land-grant universities. Iowa State was one of the first of these special colleges founded on three big ideas: to open higher education to all, to teach practical classes and to share knowledge far beyond the campus borders," Kress said. "Our educational programs harness Iowa State University resources to meet the needs of Iowans."
ISU Extension and Outreach is part of an educational network supported by Iowa State University, local county governments and the United States Department of Agriculture. Every county in Iowa has an elected council that decides how local tax dollars are spent to support ISU Extension and Outreach educational programs at the county level. Each year nearly a million people from every county directly benefit from Extension and Outreach programs and more than a million people are reached online.
* Growing businesses and helping strengthen communities. Companies who worked with ISU's Center for Industrial Research and Services, or CIRAS, last year reported $414 million in total impact which included making $46 million in new investments and creating or retaining more than 5,600 jobs. ISU Extension also provide skills training for more than 40,000 community leaders, local government officials, business owners, entrepreneurs and volunteers each year.
* Supporting a safe, sustainable and affordable food supply.
More than 6,000 Iowans received information to help them with drought-related issues in 2012. The drought response continues as ISU Extension looks ahead to 2013 and anticipates Iowan's needs for their farms, families, businesses and communities.
* Helping Iowa become the healthiest state in the nation.
Nearly 2,000 child care providers improved nutrition skills leading to healthier eating and activities for the children in their care.
* Preparing Iowa's young people for the future. Extension and Outreach programs engage Iowa youth in science, technology, engineering, and math activities, and 4-H projects ranging from environmental stewardship to polymer experiments and DNA extraction. We build STEM skills in our young people to prepare Iowa's future workforce.
More than 105,000 (that's one-in-five) school-age youth participated in 4-H programs last year.
See more about how ISU Extension and Outreach makes a difference for Iowans on the Our Story Web page.
"County Extension council members help keep ISU Extension and Outreach relevant and engaged with Iowans," says Terry Maloy, executive director of the Iowa Association of County Extension Councils. "We assess the needs of counties and share them with ISU Extension and Outreach to address with research-based information and education to help people make better decisions in their personal, community and professional lives."