Extension and Outreach strategic initiatives receive funding

Seven proposals received one-time funding totaling approximately $1.4 million in the second year of the Vice President for Extension and Outreach's Strategic Initiatives program. The initiatives were selected through a competitive process that is open to faculty and staff, including ISU Extension and Outreach county staff, and county extension councils.

Vice president Cathann Kress considered proposals that would strengthen the overall portfolio of Extension and Outreach in one of four signature areas: economic development, food and the environment, K-12 youth outreach or health and well-being. Funded initiatives are innovative large-scale projects that Extension and Outreach units or staff otherwise would not be able to accomplish. They are intended to connect Iowa State's colleges to Iowans.

The proposals selected this spring are:

  • Destination STEM, which will provide infrastructure to connect ISU faculty, staff, research and programs with the K-12 community for program development and delivery
  • Rising Star internship program, which will provide multidisciplinary internships in rural Iowa for ISU students to educate them about local career opportunities after graduation
  • Communicating Economic Impact, which will strengthen the development of external stakeholder partnerships in the area of economic development
  • Data Infrastructure, which will enhance the capacity for staff and clients to use key Iowa data for better-informed decision making, particularly to help make communities fiscally sustainable
  • Consumer Centered Crops, which will develop unified websites about crop production for use by farmers, agronomists and others seeking unbiased, research-based information
  • Local Food Systems, which will strengthen campus-county connections to improve and integrate local programming in the areas of horticulture, food production and food entrepreneurship
  • Bridging the Gap, which will use business assistance specialists, county extension units and student learning teams from the Design and Human Sciences colleges to link entrepreneurial education, outreach and economic development in rural communities

More information about the 2013 initiatives, as well as progress reports on the initiatives selected a year ago, is available in Kress' "See You There" blog.

In the spring of 2012, the first year of the program, seven proposals received funding totaling nearly $1.3 million.