FFI Bits – February 9

Waukon FFA members Dani, Shara and Derrick visited kindergarten classes to tell them about how they raise beef cattle on their farms and share a beef stick for a taste-test.

FOOD SYSTEMS – Teresa Wiemerslage & Kayla Koether

The NE Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative embraces the concept of pilot projects to test new products or methods to address community needs for wellness. The latest pilot project is Preschool Teacher Boxes! These kits contain locally sourced products for taste-tests and ingredients to do a classroom cooking activity.

EARLY CHILDHOOD – Haleisa Johnson

“West Side students were introduced to beans with a mystery bag. I put dried beans in a paper bag, students could feel them, and shake them, but they could not look at them.  I gave them clues until they were able to guess the food of the month,” Shanna Putnam Dibble, Elementary Learner Advocate in the Decorah Community School District.

Preschoolers at Hippity Hop in West Union “enjoying “cooking” with the gift of dried beans that Denise Menne, (Fayette County Food and Fitness Associate) left us. [The beans] brought so much joy and creativity to the students in our dramatic play center! Thank you!” Kathleen Bonjour, teacher.

ACTIVE LIVING – Ashley Christensen & April Bril

Check out these Winter Fitness Tips to stay safe while getting the fresh air your mind and body crave during the colder months.  NE Iowa has loads of beautiful parks and outdoor recreation opportunities just waiting for you to enjoy.  The Winter is also a great time to check out one of the regions local community wellness/recreation centers!

SCHOOL WELLNESS – FoodCorps and AmeriCorps Service members

ELKADER  The Harvest of the Month for January was Milk!  At Central schools, they spent the month celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., launching a White Milk Wednesday Challenge, and enjoying good food together.

The Waterville Elementary Cooking Club made no-bake energy nuggets! As they mixed together the ingredients, they talked about the ways each one gives them energy.

Postville 4-H Cooking Club enjoyed yogurt parfaits, made with homemade granola, greek yogurt, and topped with berries. Students got creative with baked granola by adding dried fruit, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

The Central 4th and 5th graders went sledding for a quarterly reward.


The Iowa Pick a Better Snack website has a fresh new look! PABS is specifically offered in Postville and Oelwein, although nutrition and garden education occurs at schools throughout NE Iowa. The resources are available for anyone to use.


Now is also the time to reserve your CSA boxes for the upcoming year. A CSA will provide your family with a weekly (or every other week) selection of fresh veggies (or fruits or meat) over the course of the summer. It’s a great way to make sure you are taking advantage of the best produce of the season while supporting your local farmers!  Check it out and reserve your box today!

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