Weekly Bits – March 10

(Above) 134 New Hampton Elementary TK-2nd graders took part in a skating afternoon to fundraise money for school activities. Thanks to Dixie and Pete and the Crystal Ball Skating Rink for hosting the event!


FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

In Iowa, more than 20 regional entities employ individuals as local food coordinators who promote the sale and purchase of locally grown food, provide regional capacity-building in local food systems and help build local food value chains. NE Iowa has two local food coordinators – Teresa and Kayla. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has begun a project to better understand the needs and challenges of local food coordinators, and to develop a program to better support both the coordinators and their supervisors. This report summarizes the project findings and outlines future plans for supporting local food coordinators across Iowa.


The food service workers at Decorah schools are sporting new t-shirts that show their support for Farm to School and local Farmers. The shirts read, “Vikings Support Local Farmers.”


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

PROMISING PARTNERSHIPS  Cooperative Extension supports farm to early care and education (ECE) efforts in a variety of ways with diverse models of success emerging in communities across the country. The NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative Farm to ECE program and the partnership with Extension and Iowa Food Hub were recently highlighted in the National Farm to School Network blog.


EGG-CITEMENT is not an EGGaggeration for preschool students studying eggs during March. Thanks to all our Farm to Early Education settings in NE Iowa that featured eggs and connected the children where eggs come from and how many different way we can eat them.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

There’s still time! Applications for the Iowa Walking College are due by the end of the day TODAY (March 10). Are you looking for a way to make your community healthier, more vibrant or improve economic development?  Consider attending the Iowa Walking College! This is an interactive in-person and online educational program for walkable community advocates. Click here to learn more and complete an application.



It’s time to “Spice up the Garden” with the next Iowa Farm to School initiative. Teachers can apply for funds to start a classroom herb garden. Funds are available for only 25 schools. The deadline to apply for this initiative is March 24. More.


SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members
It’s AmeriCorps Week! Thank you to all our AmeriCorps members – past and present – for your dedication and service to communities in need.



GARDEN LESSONS  Looking for ideas for classroom or after-school lessons to use in the garden? Here is a list of garden curricula that are consistent with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, are from the USDA, or evidenced-based programs.

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About Teresa

Teresa Wiemerslage is a regional program coordinator for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in northeast Iowa. She also coordinates the work of the NE Iowa Food & Farm Coalition. She tries to be a good team player and keep up with the service members by posting regularly about the food system.

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