Iowa State University Extension Master Gardeners
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January 2012     Volume 3     No. 1
Happy New Year! Over 85 thousand MG hours have been reported for 2011! Note that there are two Top 10 tabs on the MG Hours Reporting Online page. Watch those tabs during 2012 to see if your county shows up! As you prepare for the new gardening year, please encourage your Extension office to submit your local upcoming MG conferences and plant sales to the ISU Extension Calendar and we will highlight them in this newsletter. As always, keep an eye on educational events happening at places like Reiman Gardens, the Des Moines Botanical Center, the Iowa Arboretum, the  Bickelhaupt Arboretum and other educational groups. Happy Gardening! -Jen
4-H Youth Voice: Youth Choice Grant Opportunity

The Walmart Foundation, in partnership with National 4-H Council, has awarded ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H and Families a Healthy Living: Youth Voice: Youth Choice grant to support, facilitate, and improve healthy food choices in youth. Additional partners in this project are the Iowa Department of Education: Team Nutrition and the Midwest Dairy Council. This initiative creates community based youth/adult partnerships that support youth teaching other youth about the benefits of healthy food choices.


Iowa MGs are invited to join in this partnership by developing youth teams in their local communities that focus on 1) the growing and eating of fruits and vegetables and 2) communicating and demonstrating to other youth and adults the benefit of healthy food choices and how local gardens factor into that benefit. Fifteen mini-grants worth $1000 each will be available for development and implementation of the MG youth/adult teams and program delivery.


Examples of programming options:

  • develop or partner with on-going community and/or school garden program that provides fun, educational program to youth  
  • develop a vegetable garden at a day care or nursing home
  • develop educational presentations or working exhibits about how community gardens support healthy food choices. Presentations can be delivered to community organizations, school classrooms, grocery stores, farmers markets, county fairs (think wine tasting but instead vegetables or fruits tasting)
  • map community gardens and promote benefits of healthy food choices through a media campaign
  • other innovative projects that combine youth/adult partnerships, youth teaching youth, and healthy food choices
 -Chris Gleason, 4-H Program Specialist, ISU Extension
Upcoming Events
What: 16th Annual Great Plains Growers Conference
When: January 5th-7th
Where: Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO
Who: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota Vegetable Growers Associations
Price: 1st day $50-$60, 2nd & 3rd day $35

What: Beginner Beekeeping Workshop
When: Friday, January 13th
Where: Cerro Gordo County Extension office, Mason City, IA
Who: Cerro Gordo County Extension
Price: $5

What: Iowa Turfgrass Conference
When: January 17th-19th
Where: Downtown Des Moines Marriott Hotel
Who: Iowa Turfgrass Institute and others
Price: $185 for all days before January 10th

What: Horticulture Crop Production in High Tunnels
When: Wednesday, January 18th at 9am
Where: Cherokee County Extension Office
Who: Iowa State University Extension
Price: $55, register by calling Dallas Co. 515-993-4281

What: Lawn & Garden Expo
When: Friday, February 3rd and Saturday, February 4th
Where: Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA
Who: ISU Extension is a co-sponsor

What: Horticulture Crop Production in High Tunnels
When: Saturday, February 4th at 9am
Where: Ellsworth Community College
Who: Iowa State University Extension
Price: $55, register by calling Dallas Co. 515-993-4281

What: Spring Seed Starting
When: Wednesday, February 8th 
Where: Western Iowa Tech Community College
Who: Cherokee Co. Extension
Price: $6

What: Winter Gardening Fair
When: Saturday, February 18th
Where: Kirkwood Community College
Who: Linn County MGs
Price: $49

What:  Shade Tree Short Course
When: February 21st-23rd
Where: Scheman Building, ISU Campus, Ames, IA
Who: Iowa Nursery & Landscape Association
Price: $150

What: 6th Annual Buchanan Co. MG Public Daylong Symposium
When: Saturday, February 25th at 8:30am
Where: First Presbyterian Church in Independence, IA
Who: Buchanan County MGs

What: Think Spring! Garden Seminar
When: Saturday, February 25th 9am-3pm
Where: Simpson College Campus
Who: Warren County MGs
Price: $40, register by February 15th at 515-961-9420

Watch the February issue for opportunities coming up in March.

Do you know of another opportunity? Email Jen. Thanks. 

Image of the Month - January
Delaware County MG President Michele DeBlieck participates in the Manchester Senior Health Fair by featuring a booth on ergonomic gardening tools. Image credit: Lori Scovel.
Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University
Header Image Credit: Dr. Cynthia Haynes, Department of Horticulture, ISU