Winnebago County Happenings

August 2022

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Words on Wellness: August Issue

This month learn about screen time and your health, fix a yummy recipe: Fiesta Skillet Dinner and go take a walk on one of the 1600 miles of Iowa Trails!

T is for Tomato

I wait every year for the heat of August, for the breezy, warm, sunny days and the sparkle of green tomato vines heavy with fruit finally ready to pick. If you don’t like tomatoes, I sincerely challenge you to put a plant or two in your garden. Might I recommend a Cherokee Purple or Italian Heirloom… or Sun Gold Cherry variety. Then try eating them in the height of the growing season.

Ripe and warm off the vine, add a slab of tomato to any sandwich (a BLT is obviously a great idea, but I’d eat ripe/homegrown tomatoes plain on bread with mayonnaise any day). Basil is a beautiful friend for your tomatoes, made all the more tasty with a bit of fresh cheese, olive oil and sea salt. If you’re not into any of this, drop the rest of your tomatoes off at my house and I’ll pop them into jars for goodness all year round. Soup, sauce, salsas, jam, juice, etc.

Interested in learning more about food preservation and the many ways you can put up tomatoes for the long (not to mention, cold) winter ahead? I’d be happy to chat about it and help you make a plan/share recipes!

If you’d like help with food preservation ideas, canning recipes, 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 eating!

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Thanks to you for the successful Iowa Corn Promotion Board election held on July 12.

The Iowa Corn Promotion Board has posted the election results on their website at:

August 3: Iowa Learning Farms Webinar: Carbon Sequestration in Ecosystems

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar Aug. 3 at noon CDT will feature Michael Burchell, professor and extension leader, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, North Carolina State University. Burchell is the 2021-2022 president of the American Ecological Engineering Society and is recognized for his work improving design and implementation techniques of ecological engineered projects, such as constructed wetlands and stormwater treatment, to maximize ecosystem services, particularly for water quality improvement.

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

In the webinar, “An Overview of Carbon Sequestration in Ecosystems,” Burchell will discuss the increased interest in different ecosystems’ potential to sequester carbon as an offset to atmospheric carbon dioxide. He will provide an overview of how carbon sequestration is accomplished in different ecosystems, the potential and limitations of each, and best practices in management to maximize effectiveness.

“Carbon sequestration potential is an important topic to many landowners, producers and conservationists looking to reduce or mitigate environmental impacts of carbon and CO2 or participate in carbon trading,” said Burchell. “While significant carbon sequestration is possible through ecosystems, careful management and understanding of the mechanisms within each are important to ensuring success. And there is more research to be done and questions to be answered to maximize the potential environmental benefits of these practices.”

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 Aug. 3:

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 at

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

  • Aug. 10: Daniel Andersen, Iowa State University.
  • Aug. 17: Jorgen Rose, Practical Farmers of Iowa.
  • Aug. 24: Peter O'Brien, USDA Agriculture Research Service.
  • Aug. 31: Billy Beck, Iowa State University.

Save the Date, August 4th: Women, Land, and Legacy Meeting

Worth County and Winnebago County Extension and Outreach offices are partnering to bring you a Women, Land, and Legacy meeting.

When: Thursday, August 4

Time: 5:15 - 7:30 pm

Where: Ole's Office in Lake Mills

Topic: Cash Rent Value, Loss and Returns, and Farmland Value

Participants will receive a free catered meal starting at 5:15.

The speaker will begin at 6:00 pm, Q and A will be from 7:00 - 7:30 pm.

Please call the Winnebago County Extension office to make your reservation.


Winnebago County Fair Results

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Iowa State Fair Information

August 29: News from Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University

The Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State University is offering a Pork Quality Assurance Plus 5 certification session for program advisors on August 29 in Ames. This in-person session is the final IPIC one before all existing advisor certifications under the previous level expire. ISU extension swine veterinarian and interim IPIC director Chris Rademacher is coordinating the session and said those interested need to submit their application soon.

August 30-September 1: Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA

Experience the Nation’s Largest Outdoor Farm Event

For over 50 years, the Farm Progress Show has connected farmers from across the globe with agriculture’s leading companies. With hundreds of exhibitors, there’s no better place to engage with the latest farm products and the specialists who developed, tested and designed them. Whether you are looking to innovate with the latest ag-technology, learn from industry experts, or share your farming legacy with your family, the Farm Progress Show has it all.

Agritourism Bus Tour Set for Aug. 31 in Central Iowa

Four diverse farming operations are part of this year's event

Ames – Small farmers and acreage owners who want to learn more about agritourism and specialty crops can register to attend a bus tour on Aug. 31

The inaugural event will feature four operations in central Iowa, with presentations by farm and agribusiness owners and specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The first stop is Brewer Family Farms, in Dallas Center, where Emily Wynn and family will explain how they produce and market value-added meats. From there, the tour goes to Wills Family Orchard, of Adel, where the Maury Wills family will explain their orchard and fall festival activities.

The final two stops include Upstream Gardens and Orchard, of Altoona, where Chris and Laura Gorman will discuss their u-pick farm and the fruits and vegetables available. Lastly, the tour will visit the Iowa Flower Farm, of Maxwell, where Ross and Cheri Sorensen will discuss their u-pick flower farm and special face creams that are made from their flowers.

“The tour is designed to provide people the chance to see different ways of diversifying within the agricultural landscape,” said Kendra Meyer, program specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach's Farm, Food and Enterprise Development program. “The tour will provide on-farm demonstrations from farmers who represent a wide array of agriculture and agritourism.”

Resources discussed will be financial sustainability through on-farm business and marketing, on-farm conservation practices, community engagement and risk management best practices.

The tour bus will leave Ames at 8:30 a.m. and will return to Ames at 4 p.m. Seating is limited to one bus, so participants should register as soon as possible by visiting

The bus tour is based on work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through a grant received through the North Central Region SARE program.

For more information, Meyer can be reached at 515-294-9483 or

Winnebago County Extension and Outreach

Office Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-4:30pm

Friday: CLOSED