Extension Information

Clayton County ISU Extension & Outreach Media Packet for 4/18/19   

Sunday, April 28, 2019

7:00 PM - 8:30 PM   4-H County Council Meeting  Clayton County Extension Office

 Saturday, May 4, 2019

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM   Market Sheep & Meat Goat Weigh-In   Clayton County Fairgrounds, National

Fourteen Women in Ag Complete Managing for Today and Tomorrow in Elkader

Fourteen women from Clayton and surrounding counties recently wrapped up Managing for Today and Tomorrow, a five-week class that teaches women about the importance of planning successful farm transitions. The women learned about estate planning, transition planning and succession planning, and are empowered to set goals and engage in effective family discussions about their farm operations.
“One of the audiences we’ve been focusing on in the last several years is women in agriculture,” Holly Loan said. Loan is the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Clayton County Executive Coordinator. “Clayton County Extension hosted Annie’s Project and Boots in the Barn in 2018, and we were asked to continue to bring other multi-session courses to women in this area,” Loan said.
“Women that attended Managing for Today and Tomorrow are particularly interested in thinking about the future of their farm business,” said Melissa O’Rourke. O’Rourke is a farm and business management specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. "There’s a very high level of interest in estate planning, and transition and succession planning on the farm. If I were to name a number one area, that would be it,” O’Rourke added.
With this particular group of Managing for Today and Tomorrow participants, women are in all ages and all stages of life. “And in terms of stages, they are either transitioning into a farm business, or are transitioning to another generation and out of the farm business,” O’Rourke said.
The women in this class, like so many other women in agriculture, are faced with significant challenges when it comes to their farm businesses and Managing for Today and Tomorrow is a class that can provide resources and tools to help guide them as they make tough farm management decisions.
O’Rourke is pleased to see so many women in Iowa taking advantage of the opportunities to participate in ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag classes and encourages women in ag to continue learning. “The one most important message that I give to women who are involved in any level of the family farm, is if you are thinking about the future, don’t wait,” O’Rourke said. “Whatever age, whatever stage you are involved in the farm business, or whatever kind of ag business, get involved, start learning now, start making those plans now. Years from now, you’ll be glad you did.”
Managing for Today and Tomorrow in Clayton County featured local experts including Danielle Shea, Northwestern Mutual, Julie Doeppke, American Family Insurance, Emily Smith, Grau Funeral Home, and Kristi Ruprecht, Farm Credit Services of America. ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag programs empower women by offering a valuable set of multi-session classes.  The programs help participants learn ways to make better financial and risk management decisions. We want to thank our Clayton County Women in Ag Steering Committee for their input, as well as American Family Insurance, Central State Bank, Freedom Bank, and Luana Savings Bank for sponsoring the program.
ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag program offers other courses that cater to women such as Annie’s Project, Women Managing Cattle and Women Marketing Grain. For information about these and other ISU Extension and Outreach Women in Ag classes, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/womeninag.
For information about this course and other programs being offered through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Clayton County, contact Holly Loan at (563)-245-1451, or via email at hloan@iastate.edu.

Clayton County Youth Enjoy Annual Clover Kid Day

ISU Extension and Outreach Clayton County hosted their annual Clover Kid Day Retreat for Kindergarten thru 3rd graders on Saturday, April 13 at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader.  This year’s theme was “Buck-A-Roo Bash”.   62 youth enjoyed a fun & educational day. They make a rope from twine, explored a gold mine, visited an old west town, learned all about cowboys, decorated a bandana, learned sign language, and played many games. They also visited with the Clayton County Beef Queen Mia Gibson, Clayton County Dairy Princess Brianna Lucey and Pork Queen Kristen Willenborg along with Little Miss Pigtails Ashley Schilling and Abby Schilling.  Everyone had their picture taken in the old west town booth.  At story time everyone received a book to take home. The event was planned and organized by Extension staff, volunteers and the county 4-H Council.

Clover Kids is a FUN 4-H program for children in kindergarten through third grade. Children participate in hands-on activities designed to build lots of different life skills.  For more information on the Clover Kids youth program visit www.extension.iastate.edu/clayton

Market Sheep and Goat Weigh-In will be May 4

Clayton County 4-H and FFA members who intend to participate in the market sheep and meat goat classes at the 2019 county fair must qualify their projects at the weigh-in on Saturday, May 4. The weigh-in will be from 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Clayton County Fairgrounds in National.  Animals will be weighed and ear-tagged at the site.

This will also be a site to qualify for the Iowa State Fair. State fair animals will have retinal imaging done. State Fair meat goats (market and breeding does) MUST have a 4-H tag (or tattoo for does). Retinal images are required for all state fair meat goats-both market & breeding. ALL State Fair sheep must have a 4-H tag and retinal images (Market lambs, commercial & purebred breeding ewes)

For more information on county and state fair rules and guidelines contact the Clayton County Extension Office at 563-245-1451.


Yard and Garden: When Tulips and Daffodils No Longer Bloom

Richard Jauron, Laura Sternweis

AMES, Iowa – When their tulips and daffodils no longer bloom, many gardeners wonder why. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer guidance on what to do when these spring favorites fail to flower. To have additional questions answered, contact Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline@iastate.edu.

Why are my tulips no longer blooming?

Most modern tulip cultivars bloom well for three to five years. Tulip bulbs decline in vigor rather quickly. Weak bulbs produce large, floppy leaves, but no flowers.  Pink and violet tulips growing outdoors by Maresol/stock.adobe.com.

To maximize the number of years tulips are in bloom, choose planting sites that receive at least six hours of direct sun per day and have well-drained soils. Promptly remove spent flowers after the tulips are done blooming. Seedpod formation deprives the bulbs of much of the food manufactured by the plant’s foliage. Lastly, allow the tulip foliage to die back naturally before removing it. Tulips that don’t store adequate amounts of food in their bulbs are unable to flower.  

Dig up tulips that are no longer blooming and discard the bulbs. (Small, weak tulip bulbs will likely never bloom again.) Plant new tulip bulbs in the fall.  

While most modern tulip cultivars bloom well for three to five years, some tulip types (classes) bloom well over a longer period. Darwin hybrid tulips are generally the longest blooming hybrid tulip. Fosteriana tulips (also known as Emperor tulips) also bloom well for many years. 

My daffodils produce foliage in spring, but no longer bloom. Why? 

If the daffodils aren’t blooming, the plants weren’t able to store enough food in their bulbs in the previous year. Daffodil foliage typically persists for four to six weeks after blooming. During this time, the daffodil foliage is manufacturing food. Much of the food is transported down to the bulbs. In order to bloom, daffodils must store adequate levels of food in their bulbs.  

Cutting off the foliage before it has died back naturally may prevent the plants from storing adequate food in the bulbs. Allow the daffodil foliage to die completely before removing it.  

Plants in partial shade in May and June may not be able to store enough food in their bulbs because of insufficient sunlight. Dig up daffodils growing in partial shade when the foliage has died back and plant the bulbs in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sun per day.  

Large clumps of daffodils may cease flowering because of overcrowding. Large daffodil clumps can be dug after the foliage has died. Separate the bulbs and replant immediately. Bulbs also can be dried for several days, placed in mesh bags, stored in a cool, dry location, and then planted in fall. It is possible to get weak (non-blooming) daffodils to flower again when given good care and favorable growing conditions. 


Registration Open for Fall Master Gardener Training

Program is starting its 40th year impacting communities across Iowa

March 15, 2019, 9:42 am | Susan DeBlieck

AMES, Iowa – Celebrating its 40th year in Iowa, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Master Gardener program will hold its core training sessions this fall for individuals interested in becoming Master Gardener volunteers.

rows of kale in research home demo garden.The Master Gardener program is looking for people who are passionate about volunteering and gardening. No previous garden knowledge is required. The program equips participants to grow in knowledge about gardening best practices. After the training, Master Gardeners volunteer in their community, making significant contributions such as giving vegetables to food pantries and maintaining demonstration gardens at Iowa’s county fairgrounds.

“Master Gardeners provide volunteer service across Iowa,” said Susan DeBlieck, ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener coordinator. “They are excellent community resources who create partnerships in their community to enhance school gardens, provide educational opportunities and host plant sales.”

Training sessions will begin as early as mid-August in order to take advantage of daylight for hands-on activities and tours.

The expanded flipped classroom model that was implemented in 2018 will continue this year. Lectures that were previously given during classroom sessions are now available to be watched at home, freeing up class time for hands-on activities and tours of local gardens. In 2018, Master Gardener trainees visited nearby orchards, wetlands, vegetable gardens and many other locations to learn hands-on skills.

The Class on Campus training session will be held on Oct. 19, bringing all Master Gardener trainees together for hands-on workshops with ISU Extension and Outreach instructors.

Training sessions will be held throughout the state; contact your local ISU Extension and Outreach county office for training location and start date.

Those interested in the course can apply at https://mastergardenerhours.hort.iastate.edu/application-form.php. Training fees of $195 are due in the fall.

After completing the course, Master Gardener trainees volunteer within the community, volunteering 40 hours. To maintain Master Gardener volunteer status, they volunteer 20 hours per year and build their gardening know-how by participating in 10 hours of continuing education.

Individuals not interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer can still receive training. The ProHort program allows individuals to gain knowledge while earning a certificate of completion. Cost for the ProHort program is $550 and does not include any volunteer requirements.

Nearly 2,000 Master Gardeners were active across Iowa in 2018, compiling over 113,000 volunteer hours. Master Gardeners volunteered nearly 60 hours each, significantly more than the 20 hours required. Those volunteer hours are valued at $2.7 million.


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4/16/19 Preventive Controls for Animal Food Course Set for Aug. 13-15


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4/16/19 Take Action Against External Parasites and Pests in Poultry


Whether a producer keeps a few poultry birds or several thousand, common external parasites such as fleas, ticks, lice and mites can be devastating. A new Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication provides a list of common parasites that affect poultry, along with a chart that compares the different insecticides available.

4/12/19 Compare Toxicity in Lawn and Garden Chemicals


Pesticides and other lawn and garden chemicals should be applied in a way that is safe for both the applicator and the environment. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach compares the toxicity of common lawn, garden and ornamental chemicals used to control insects, weeds and pathogens in Iowa.

4/11/19 Thursday Yard and Garden: When Tulips and Daffodils No Longer Bloom


When their tulips and daffodils no longer bloom, many gardeners wonder why. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach horticulturists offer guidance on what to do when these spring favorites fail to flower.