AmeriCorps VISTA Members Making a Difference on Food Day

Check out the blog post written by the AmeriCorps Vista member Caroline about the school gardens, Kate Mitchell and Sawyer. Visit the link here to go to the blog.   My name is Caroline Parks, and I recently graduated from Iowa State University with an M.S. in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology. I am currently serving one year as an AmeriCorps VISTA, and have the opportunity to be a school garden coordinator in two elementary schools in Ames, IA. Along with my AmeriCorps partner Rebekka Brown, we organized two events to celebrate Food Day at the schools we serve. At Kate Mitchell Elementary, we had a food tasting event during recess, where students from all grades participated by sampling a variety of vegetables. Through an Iowa Farm to School grant, we were able to provide fresh and local vegetables from Table Top Farm, a local CSA. Vegetables included celeriac (celery root), beets (golden, red, and chiogga), carrots (bolero), kohlrabi, and rainbow radishes. Student receiving...
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Interesting Thoughts On The Bee Problem

Crashing bee populations have been a concern around the world. A group of economists were interested in how the lack of bees was affecting various industries. So the economists did a study of some apple orchards in China, where, to compensate for the drop in bee pollination, the farmers hired humans to hand pollinate their trees. "What they learned (and published) was a shocker. First, the apple farmers reported that apple production was not hurt by the absence of bees. In fact, the apple harvest was "30 to 40 percent greater" when humans did the pollinating. "Human pollinators," wrote J.B. MacKinnon, "were better at getting to every blossom, performed cross-pollination more efficiently, and could work in windy, rainy weather."" But the article continues interestingly: "The problem is, it's not easy to do. It may be impossible. Yes, we can measure a bee's contribution to the apple business. But bees also make honey and can see things we can't (with eyes that may one...
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Thank you again for coming to our, Prairie Rivers of Iowa open house

On December 5th 2013 Prairie Rivers of Iowa held an open house. The public and businesses were invited to come tour our office space and to come find out more information on the types of projects Prairie Rivers of Iowa has been up to this past year, all while getting to meet the staff and board members. Prairie Rivers of Iowa organization is committed to strengthening Iowa's communities through the responsible stewardship of our natural resources. Prairie Rivers of Iowa’s programs help Iowans conserve our state’s natural and historical resources to enrich the lives of current and future generations. To learn more, please visit our various website pages. Local business leaders, representatives from various communities and organizations, past and current partners all came together to make the event a successful one. With a wintery holiday theme decor, presentation boards, handouts, merchandise to purchase, video displays, local foods from the Iowa Food Co-op and catering from Olde Main...
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Take a listen to the WHO Radio “The Big Show” interview

Listen to the interview done by Doug Cooper on WHO Radio's "The Big Show." Here Hamilton County Conservation Board's Executive Director Brian Lammers and Prairie Rivers of Iowa's Log Products Coordinator, Mike Brandrup talk about their partnership through cabins and our log products. To learn more about our log products check out our Log Products page. To learn more about Hamilton County Conservation and all the amenities they have to offer go to: MyCountyParks.com To learn more about WHO Radio go to: www.whoradio.com   ...
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Iowa Agri Women Policy Conference

A Unique Opportunity for You! Iowa Agri Women Policy Conference Targeting the issues...nutrient management, water quality, effective communication "myth busting", and statistics on women's evolving role in agriculture. This is your chance to visit with state officials and industry leaders on your concerns about current issues. Iowa Agri Women members: $25 to cover meals. We inviting all women to be new members at $55 which includes meal costs. When: FRIDAY November 15 8:45 a.m. - Registration Sessions from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Plenary meetings beginning sharply at 9:00 am. Limited to 35 participants Where: IOWA SOYBEAN ASSOCIATION 1255 SW Prairie Trail Pkwy Ankeny, IA 50023 Registration is open for this unique and informative event today, but registration space is limited to 35, so send your registration and fees today to guarantee your spot. A printable registration form is attached to this post as a jpeg. Send your registration and fees to: Elaine Gaesser 2507 Quince Corning, Iowa 50841 Questions? Comments? Contact Annette Sweeney at 641-373-4899...
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GSA Auctions

Check out this ongoing auction site where you will find a wide variety of personal property for sale, including item descriptions and images. GSA Auctions® provides the services, expertise and systems that will ensure the timely, effective, and efficient disposition of the Federal government's surplus personal property assets yielding the greatest return on investment to the taxpayer. There is a variety of items to buy: • Agriculture and Construction Equipment Vehicles and Machinery • Aircraft, Boats and Related Equipment • Cars, Vans and Trucks • Computer Equipment and Accessories, Copiers and Printers • Jewelry and Collectibles • Office and Household Furniture • and MORE! Check out the Iowa and nationwide Auctions here: http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucindx/...
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Observe Lincoln Highway Centennial Day on October 31

Prairie Rivers of Iowa's Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway receives Proclamation from the state of Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. Press Release: The State of Iowa Along with Prairie Rivers of Iowa is observing October 31, 2013 as the Lincoln Highway Centennial Day (Ames, Iowa) – Prairie Rivers of Iowa, which manages the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway for the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Iowa Byways program, is celebrating the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway’s centennial anniversary along with the state of Iowa. A proclamation by the state of Iowa was issued by the Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, on the 21st of October, 2013. The Lincoln Highway holds a statewide significance with the byway crossing Iowa, river to river, connecting thirteen counties, and forty-four communities. Iowans were instrumental in the establishment of the Lincoln Highway and the formation of the modern Lincoln Highway Association. As the Lincoln Highway was the first coast-to-coast improved highway in the United States, stretching from New York City through Iowa to San...
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Prairie Rivers of Iowa Receives Iowa Tourism Grant for Hamilton County Conservation Board Marketing

Prairie Rivers of Iowa Receives Iowa Tourism Grant for Hamilton County Conservation Board Marketing: Dear Iowa Tourism Grants Program applicants: Thanks to each of you for your application(s) to the Iowa Tourism Grants Program. As you may know, this was the inaugural year for the program, which means we learned lessons and found many areas for improvement along the way. Please know that in FY15, the process will be much smoother and much less hurried. Thanks for your patience. The first year of the program also offered a great opportunity to take your input and craft opportunities for funding in new areas and in areas where you said financial assistance was most needed. The second page of this document shows the members of the Iowa Grant Guidelines Committee. Please thank them for their work to develop the program’s parameters. Additionally, 25 of your tourism industry peers took a great deal of time to review the grant applications and determine the successful applicants. They,...
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23 Mobile Apps Changing the Food System

From Food Tank: The Food Think Tank There are currently more than one billion smartphones in use across the world – and that figure is projected to double by 2015. As the use of mobile devices continues to grow, apps have become an incredibly effective way of providing information and resources to a wide audience. An increase in smartphone use coincides with the growth of a consumer demand for more sustainable food! In the United States alone, annual sales of organic foods and beverages grew from US$6 billion in 2000 to US$26.7 billion in 2010. And there are nearly three times as many farmers markets in the United States today as there were in 2000. It’s no surprise, then, that there are lots of apps for those interested in eating more healthful food, wasting less food, finding sustainable sources of sea food, or buying seasonally. These 23 apps for mobile devices and tablets are helping eaters, producers, advocates, and activists lead less wasteful,...
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4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture

November 6, 2013 – November 8, 2013 Held at the Holiday Inn Airport in Des Moines, IA Gather with women farmers, advocates and landowners from across the US engaged in healthy food and farming for a unique mix of sharing, learning, field tours, and the best food Midwest women farmers have to offer! • Keynotes by Danielle Nierenberg of FoodTank and Kari Hamerschlag of Environmental Working Group. • Workshops and panels on dozens of topics ranging from CSA management to prairie restoration to farm bill advocacy. • Opportunities to present, sponsor, and exhibit! Visit http://wfan.org/cultivating-our-food-farms-and-future-2/ for more information....
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