Weekly Bits – March 24

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

NEW CASE STUDY  The term shepherding calls to mind images of fluffy white sheep grazing on a hillside, watched over by a keen-eyed caretaker and his dog. In a new case study featuring the NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, shepherding refers to a method of developing strategic partnerships between a paid staff member of an organization such as extension, and local food systems stakeholders. Shepherding can be used to engage a multi-county region to create change in food systems. More.


EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

PLAY TO LEARN  Research has shown that children who play outdoors regularly are happier, healthier, and stronger. However, the outdoors has something more to offer than just physical benefits. Cognitive and social/emotional development is also impacted. We know the children are only playing to have fun, but they’re learning communication skills and vocabulary, number relationships and social customs at the same time. More.


ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen

Participate in National Bike to School Day on May 10 for a chance to win! Thanks to the National Center for SRTS and Schwinn, ten lucky schools that register their Bike/Walk/Roll to School Day events will be selected to win bikes and helmets for a bike share program. Drawings begin April 19. Register today.



Two students from 7th grade on the wellness team at St. Joseph Community School decided they wanted to teach a lesson about healthy heart foods in the spirit of Valentine’s Day with pre-schoolers and 1st/2nd graders. They came up with lesson and ideas all on their own and arranged scheduling a time to go into the classrooms


SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

Thank you to all the families at St. Joseph school that donated “green” food in honor of St. Patrick. May the Luck of the Irish be with all of you!



HOME TO ONE OF IOWA’S BEST BURGERS!  The Gunder Burger from the Irish Shanti in Gunder has been named to the “Top Ten Best Iowa Burger” list. All Top Ten restaurants will be visited by a panel of anonymous judges who will evaluate the burgers based on taste, appearance, and proper doneness (160 degrees). The judges’ scores and comments will be accumulated and the winner will be crowned on May 1.

JOBS FOR ASPIRING FARMERS  Practical Farmers of Iowa is once again partnering with experienced farmers across Iowa to offer aspiring farmers several on-farm job opportunities through Practical Farmers’ Labor4Learning program. Three northeast Iowa farms are participating in the program and are seeking employees.



Want your kids to eat healthy food? Stop calling it healthy. When you’re trying to instill good eating habits, too much “healthy” hype can backfire, according to new research.

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