ISU Extension and Outreach is celebrating Extension Week statewide this week, and in Hamilton County, the extension office is thanking its partners and raising awareness of its programs and services in addition to hosting themed days.
Monday kicked off this week's celebration with "Celebrating Youth Day." Sue Schmitz, program coordinator for ISU Extension in Hamilton County, said staff from the office took ISU themed coloring pages to libraries for children to color in. Those who participate can receive a temporary ISU tattoo. Tuesday's theme was "Cans for Cookies," which encouraged community members to donate non-perishable food items in exchange for a cookie from the extension office. Those food items will be donated to local food pantries.
"We've challenged ourselves to do something every day this week because we do have so much information and do so many programs here in the county," Schmitz said.
Kids from the Webster City fifth and sixth graders for FEAST, Food Empowerment Action Sustainability Team. The kids learned about how to prepare healthy food, do physical activities, and STEM activities. The program was hosted with a partnership including All Cultures Equal and ISU Extension and Outreach, Hamilton County.
Today is "Thank our Partners Day" for the extension office. Staff will be sending out thank you notes to community partners that help the extension office host their programs and services. ISU Extension and Outreach partners with community groups, such as 4-H, and hosts many agriculture and economic-related programs.
ISU also hosts several information hotlines. A Teen Line is available at all hours for teens to call will personal and health related problems. The line can also refer callers to other information sources. Another hotline, called Iowa Concern, can help people with a variety of problems. The hotline has specific sections for farm and agriculture, family, and marital stress. The hotline also has a full-time attorney on staff that can give legal advice and referrals.
Thursday encourages community members to learn more about Hamilton County Extension programs with "Did You Know Day." The Extension's website, extension.iastate.edu/hamilton, will have interesting facts that people may not know about ISU Extension.
"We're very passionate here about serving Hamilton County residents," Schmitz said. "We're here to provide that research-based, non-biased information to help improve everyone's lives."
The Extension office will be closed on Friday, but the office is holding a Facebook fan drawing instead. Users who like their Facebook page, facebook.com/hamiltoncoextension, will be entered to receive an Extension prize pack. The winner will be announced on Friday.