Mueller is honored at annual Extension Awards Ceremony

Cici Mueller has been a volunteer for Allamakee County Extension and the NE Iowa region for over fifteen years through her work with the Master Gardener’s program, inspiring young minds to explore this craft by creating a 4-H garden club, mentoring middle school and high school youth through Postville’s Food and Fitness club focusing work on wellness initiatives and coordinating the regional FEEST teams, and being a judge at local county fairs for horticulture and 4-H food competition. Continue reading

Youth Leaders Address the Issues of Poverty, Hunger and Food Insecurity

4-H Food and Fitness members gathered from 9 school districts around NE Iowa for the Regional Youth Leadership Team winter gathering on the Luther College campus this month. These youth and adults from area schools meet quarterly to learn about wellness issues in their communities, identify projects to help their school or community, and network by sharing experiences of their club projects and build ideas for future ones. Continue reading

Farm to School Census: Postville on Top

The USDA has released data for the Farm to School Census. This is the second year of the census, which looked at farm to school activities in school districts across the nation for the 2013-14 school year. Nationally, the dollars spent on local foods increased by over 100% from the previous census (2011-12). State specific data reports that 75% of the school districts in Iowa completed the survey. From those that participated in the survey, 29% participated in farm to school activities. Continue reading

Mid-Winter Musings

Unlike most of the K-12 educators we work with in schools across the country, FoodCorps service members don’t have tests to prepare our students for, we don’t have the pressure of teacher accountability if our students don’t meet certain learning benchmarks, and we always have really fun material to work with. The freedom and flexibility of our positions, if we wield them correctly, can lead to immense opportunities to pay close attention to and address our students’ well being — and not just as it relates to food. As service members, we are also in a unique position to be able to impact the social/emotional lives (and thus, a more holistic well-being) of the students we serve. Continue reading

Summer in Winter

The school garden beds in Oelwein are blanketed in snow and ice, and the sub-zero temperatures today seem so distant from the heat and humidity of the Northeast Iowa summer.  I have been filling up on roots: turnips, carrots, and potatoes.  Storage crops grown by local farmers this past season are keeping me nourished and warm during this season of sleep.  I am so lucky to have access to healthy, local food.  I am so privileged to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Continue reading