Winnebago County Happenings

May 2022

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Signe's Horticulture Tip:

Make a Drawing of Your Garden

Once you have completed a guide for when to plant, it’s time to make a drawing. Using your list/calendar, take the time to sketch your proposed planting space, whether that is a raised bed, an established garden or perhaps the planting spaces surrounding your home. This is helpful for a couple of reasons. It allows you to move more quickly when you get to actually putting plants in the ground because you already have your template. It will also help you track where you planted things this season so that you are able to rotate plantings should you choose to use this garden again next year.

Your drawing does not have to be anything fancy. Graph paper may be helpful if you want to create a scale drawing, but for all intents and purposes, you could just as easily doodle some lines and write in the types of plants. It is really about having a visual, a map, another guide.

After you’ve done a drawing, store it with your calendar (take a picture, keep it handy on your phone; alternatively, paste it directly to your fridge or something you look at daily so you are absorbing this information!). When it comes time to plant, you’ll have your map prepared and can easily make changes should you need to. Don’t forget to edit any changes on your drawing so that you have this as a reference in future gardening seasons.

If you’d like help with creating your drawing or have questions about anything related to plants, please contact me at You can also call your local extension office if you’d prefer to speak over the phone. Happy planting!

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Help Wanted: Summer Intern

Help Wanted:

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

Winnebago County

Summer Program Intern

Part time-temporary position with flexible work time. Assist with planning and implementation of the Winnebago County Extension 4-H program and office clerical work. Must enjoy working with youth, and have strong organizational and computer skills. Knowledge of ISU Extension and 4-H helpful.

Applications accepted until April 1st. Application and job description can be obtained from the Winnebago County Extension and Outreach, 183 1st Ave E., Thompson, IA 50438, phone
641-584-2261, online at or email (

We are an AA/EEO Employer


May 7: Sheep and Goat Weigh In

4-H Families/FFA Exhibitors,

This year’s Winnebago County Sheep Weigh In will look different! Due to staff shortage, we will not be holding a weigh in on site. You have two options to weigh in.

They are:

Worth County Sheep Weigh in: April 16th from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Kossuth County Sheep Weigh in May 7th from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Please let the Winnebago County Extension Office know prior to the above weigh ins which one you will be attending and if you will need retina scanned. You will also need to come to the office to get Winnebago County tags.

For specific questions about the weigh in sites or process, please call the Worth County Extension Office at 641-324-1531 or the Kossuth County Extension Office at 515-295-2469.

Enrolling Now! Walk With Ease

Walk with Ease is an evidence-based program designed to help older adults establish healthy patterns of physical activity. The Physical Activity and Health Promotion Lab at Iowa State University is seeking older adults to participate in a research evaluation of the self-directed Walk with Ease program and evaluate enhancements designed to promote long-term walking routines. Enrollment is open now and free for a limited time.

Visit their website to learn more and to enroll:

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May 3rd: Walk with Ease starts in Winnebago County

The ISU Extension and Outreach office in Winnebago County has partnered with the YMCA in Forest City to provide a safe walking environment. A representative from the ISU Extension and Outreach Winnebago County office will be at the YMCA on April 19th from 8-10 am to answer questions about WWE and to help with enrollment in the program.

Please call the Extension office at 641-584-2261 for more information.

Starting May 11: Agronomy Class for Women to be held at the NIACC Farm

Agronomy Class for Women to be held at the NIACC Farm

Agronomy in the Field is a multi-session and hands-on workshop being offered to women landowners, farmers, conservationists, and other women who are interested in learning more about agronomy. This series of workshops will be held during the 2022 growing season.

The goals of the Agronomy in the Field series are to strengthen agronomic skills for women that allow for better decision-making, provide a better understanding of inputs for crop production, see and understand different conservation practices and increase confidence in communication with spouse, farming partner, ag retailer or tenant.

Sessions are designed to be hands-on and conducted in the field to see real-time conditions. Agronomy in the Field sessions will be offered May 11 and 25, June 8 and 12, July 20, August 17 and September 7 from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Sessions will be held at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City using the fields and research plots they have near their campus. An email will be sent to those that register prior to each session with specific session and location information.

There is a $35 registration fee ($20 for high school or college students), which includes all materials and resources. To register for Agronomy in the Field, please complete this registration form:

For more information contact:

Angela Rieck-Hinz

Extension Field Agronomist

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach


Sarah DeBour

County Director/ANR Program Coordinator

Cerro Gordo County Extension


Thanks to Cerro Gordo, Franklin, Floyd and Mitchell County Extension and NIACC for supporting Agronomy in the Field.

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May 12: Emerald Ash Borer Public Meeting

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Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Impact of Streambank Erosion on Phosphorus Loads in Iowa Waterways

Presentation by Iowa geological survey state geologist will cover phosphorus contributions attributed to streambank erosion

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar taking place April 20 at noon CDT will feature Keith Schilling, state geologist and director, Iowa Geological Survey. Schilling conducts research on water-related issues in Iowa that include groundwater flow and quality, surface and groundwater interaction, nonpoint source pollution, and watershed and flood plain processes. One goal of this research is to better quantify the contribution of phosphorus (P) loads in Iowa’s waterways from streambank erosion.

Iowa Learning Farms is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach conservation and water quality education program.

In the webinar, “Contribution of Streambanks to Phosphorus Export in Iowa,” Schilling will discuss a collaborative study in which a variety of methods and a multistep process were employed to help determine the amounts of P originating from streambank erosion in relation to total P levels in waterways. He will also elaborate on the challenges associated with evaluating streambank erosion and the long-term average contribution of streambanks to total P export from Iowa.

“Streambank erosion is thought to be a potentially large contributor to sediment P loads in agricultural watersheds, yet reduction and mitigation of streambank losses is seldom accounted for in nutrient reduction strategies and practices,” said Schilling. “We anticipate that the results of this study will help increase awareness of streambank P contributions and will help inform decisions about implementing effective soil and water conservation practices that best reduce P loading in streams and rivers.”

Participants in Iowa Learning Farms Conservation Webinars are encouraged to ask questions of the presenters. People from all backgrounds and areas of interest are encouraged to join.

Webinar access instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before noon CDT April 20:

The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available online.

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for. Those who participate in the live webinar are eligible. Information about how to apply to receive the CEU will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

Upcoming webinars in the series:

  • 4/27: Aria McLauchlan, Land Core
  • 5/4: Andrew Diallesandro, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • 5/11: William Crumpton, Iowa State University
  • 5/18: Emily Zimmerman, Iowa State University
  • 5/25: Santanu Bakshi and Chumki Banik, Iowa State University

Starts May 19: Powerful Tools for Caregivers of Military Members and Veterans

Designed for the caregiver, this series of 6 classes, held once a week, offers tools and support to help reduce stress, solve problems, and communicate confidently when faced with tough decisions.
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2022 Winnebago County Fairbook is here!

Winnebago County Fair News and Dates

+ May 15 - IDs due

+ June 1 - Fair Entry opens

+ June 15 - Poultry/Rabbit IDs due

+ July 1 - Fair Entry closes

+ July 14-17 - Winnebago County Fair

Winnebago County fair website

Save the Date, June 1: Floral Arranging Workshop. 6:00-7:30 pm

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Winnebago County Extension and Outreach

Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-3:30pm

Friday: CLOSED