Grants Maquoketa Ag Learning Center

Healthy Learning
  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education Standards can be taught more effectively in the updated facility.
    •  Performance Element: Examine components of the food industry and historical development of food products and processing. 
      • Performance Indicator: Evaluate the significance and implications of changes and trends in the food products and processing industry. 
        • Evaluate changes and trends in the food products and processing industry. 
        • Determine appropriate industry response to consumer concerns to assure a safe and wholesome food supply. 
      • Performance Indicator: Work effectively with industry organizations, groups and regulatory agencies affecting the food products and processing industry. 
        • Prepare a plan for implementation of industry standards in food products and processing programs. 
      • Performance Indicator: Implement Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) procedures to establish operating parameters.
        • Analyze the effectiveness of a food products and processing company’s Critical Control Point (CCP) procedures. 
        • Analyze the effectiveness of a food products and processing company’s Critical Control Point (CCP) procedures. 
      • Performance Indicator: Apply principles of science to food processing to provide a safe, wholesome and nutritious food supply. 
        • Conduct research in food science and interpret results to improve food products.  
        • Explain how the chemical and physical properties of foods influence nutritional value and eating quality. 
        • Prepare and label foods according to the established standards of regulatory agencies.
        • Perform sensory-testing and marketing functions to characterize and determine consumer preference and market potential. 
    • Performance Element: Select and process food products for storage, distribution and consumption. 
      • Performance Indicator: Utilize harvesting, selection and inspection techniques to obtain quality food products for processing. 

  • Poverty and Obesity in the U.S. (Natl. Inst. Health)
    • High-income countries have greater rates of obesity than middle- and low-income countries.
    • The situation is predicted to worsen; rising childhood obesity rates forewarn of worsening statistics.
    • In 2010, 15.1% of Americans lived in poverty based upon family income census data.
    •  In contrast to international trends, people in America who live in the most poverty-dense counties are those most prone to obesity. Counties with poverty rates of >35% have obesity rates 145% greater than wealthy counties.
    • The link between obesity, inactivity, and poverty may be too costly to ignore because obesity-associated chronic disease already accounts for 70% of U.S. health costs.
  • Fat Broke: The Link Between Poverty and Obesity
    • ○ $190 billion in annual medical costs
    • Obesity-related chronic disease accounts for 70% of US health costs
    • For those with diabetes, the health care costs amount to $9 billion/year
    • ○ $9,000 per new diabetes patient/year
  • Income and Obesity: what is the direct link?
  • Poverty and Food Needs, Jackson County, Iowa (Iowa State Universit"y research) << excellent
    • Poverty data on p. 2 of PDF at link above
  • Iowa School District Free & Reduced Lunch data 2000 to 2018 << comparison data among school districts and nearby schools districts
    • 2000-01 Maquoketa School District was 56th poorest district in the state with 36% Free & Reduced lunch for K-12 students
    • 2012-13 Maquoketa CSD had 48.4% Free & Reduced lunch
    • 2018-19 Maquoketa CSD has 60.8% Free & Reduced lunch and is the 33rd poorest school district in the state.
      • 2018-19 Bellevue CSD has 27.8% Free & Reduced lunch
      • 2018-19 Andrew CSD has 44% Free & Reduced lunch
      • 2018-19 Easton Valley CSD (Preston) has 39.4% Free & Reduced lunch
      • 2018-19 Midland CSD (Wyoming) has 47.4% Free & Reduced lunch
      • 2018-19 North Scott CSD (Eldridge) has 23.8% Free & Reduced lunch
      • 2018-19 Western Dubuque CSD (Wyoming) has 31.8% Free & Reduced lunch
      • 2018-19 Dubuque CSD (Wyoming) has 43.8% Free & Reduced lunch
  • Poverty vs. Free & Reduced Lunch
    • High-poverty schools are defined as public schools where more than 75.0 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch (FRPL), and low-poverty schools are defined as public schools where 25.0 percent or less of the students are eligible for FRPL.
      • Maq CSD 60.6% is 15% from High Poverty
    • The percentage of students receiving free or reduced price lunch is often used as a proxy measure for the percentage of students living in poverty. 
    • Because the free/reduced price lunch eligibility is derived from the federal poverty level, and therefore highly related to it, the free/reduced price lunch percentage is useful to researchers from an analytic perspective.
    • Free = students households with an income at or below 130 percent of the poverty income threshold 
    • Reduced = student households with an income between 130 percent and up to 185 percent of the poverty threshold
      • U.S. family poverty level $23,850 family of four. (130%=$31,005 185% = $43,645)

Projected Ag Learning Center Impacts on Health and Poverty among area school districts

  • Food Science will be an area of emphasis in the Ag Learning Center.
  • Iowa is a leading state of agricultural production in the nation and the world.
  • The data below suggest WHY the Ag Learning Center will have a major focus on Food Science and Healthy Living.
    • As neighboring school districts shrink (demographic projections), the Ag Learning Center will become the premiere agricultural education learning center in the area (Jackson county and northern Clinton county).
    • Among the 2014 ISU data of "Secondary School Performance Measures of Nutrition", Maquoketa ranks a "needs work" in 8 of the 18 areas measured. As compared to wealthier Jackson county school districts, one may assume Maquoketa CSD may have more areas of "needs work" than the rest of the student populations in the other school districts.
    • Compared the the average rate of the United States, the state of Iowa has a higher rate of residents classified as overweight/obese.
  • The goal is to be a leading learning center in the nation among Farm-to-School programs. > https://foodtank.com/news/2017/10/national-farm-school-initiatives/
    • "...according to the U.S. National Farm to School Network the benefits include an increased knowledge and awareness about gardening, agriculture, healthy eating, local foods and seasonality, greater fruit and vegetable consumption both at school and at home, and enhanced overall academic achievement."
  • Compared to several other winning Wellmark Healthy Community Grants ( https://www.wellmark.com/foundation/grants/healthy-communities-grants-2015.html ), the Ag Learning Center will provide intense education to middle school and high school students...our future.
  • As the world population approached 10 billion in 2050, the Ag Learning Center will provide opportunities for students and families to create their own "Victory Gardens". 
    • The WWI and WWII Victory Gardens were food gardens for defense, and indirectly provide morale boosters for citizens.
    • Similarly, the Ag Learning Center Victory Gardens would be designed to:
      • Improve student health >> "increase in availability and consumption of fruits and vegetables among families participating in community gardens. Although there are limitations because this is a pilot study, this strategy seems to be promising for addressing childhood obesity, particularly among low-income Latino immigrant families." >>Growing Healthy Kids (American Journal of Preventative Medicine) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379712009075
      • Reduce the impact of low income >> "A community gardening program can reduce food insecurity, improve dietary intake and strengthen family relationships." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3661291/
      • Improve Student Achievement >> 
        • "Findings suggest that garden-based activities show promise for supporting students’ engagement and learning in science classes and in fostering students’ interest in pursuing science long-term."  
        • "Findings also suggest that the motivational model based on self-determination theory can be useful in identifying some of the “active ingredients”—in pedagogy, curriculum, and social relationships—that engage students in these garden-integrated science learning activities."
        • >> https://stemeducationjournal.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40594-018-0104-9 

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Notes for Enhance Iowa Grant https://www.traveliowa.com/industry-partners/grants/enhance-iowa/

Gruis' thoughts in red. -- This page will likely more than may be needed for the Enhance Iowa Grant...just my thoughts. - Dale Gruis


  • Applications are accepted quarterly – the next deadline is October 15, 2018

The Enhance Iowa program is comprised of four funds:  

  • Enhance Iowa,

  • Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT),

  • River Enhancement Community Attraction and Tourism (RECAT) and Sports Tourism.

The CAT program assists projects that will provide

  • recreational,

  • cultural,

  • entertainment, and

  • educational attractions.

  • Per Grant Description: The facility may provide an "educational attraction" or opportunity for neighboring, smaller school districts. Eastern Iowa Community includes Clinton Community College, but CCC does NOT offer agriculture programs. The Ag Learning Center may evolve as Clinton Community College-area's agriculture site.

The project must be available to the general public for public use and be primarily vertical infrastructure.


Section 8.57(5)(c), Code of Iowa, Definition of Vertical Infrastructure

"vertical infrastructure" includes only land acquisition and construction, major renovation and major repair of buildings, all appurtenant structures, utilities, site development, and recreational trails. "Vertical infrastructure" does not include routine, recurring maintenance or operational expenses or leasing of a building, appurtenant structure, or utility without a lease-purchase agreement. However, appropriations may be made for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 1997, and July 1, 1998, for the purpose of funding the completion of Part III of the Iowa Communications Network.

An eligible applicant to the program is a city, county, non-profit organization, or a school district in partnership with a city.  At least 65% of the funds must be raised prior to submitting an application.

The CAT application calls for a broad base of funding sources, which has been interpreted as requiring cash contributions from the city, county, and private sources.  Up to 25% of the local match can be made up of donated labor and materials (in-kind contributions).


Example Grants Awarded:

City of Bellevue – Walkways for Life Date of Award: 8/8/2007 Award Amount: $130,000 Project Description: This project includes two components. The first component is to upgrade the pedestrian transportation system in the commercial area of the City. The upgrade includes rehabilitating the sidewalks in downtown, landscaping, and installing period streetlights and receptacles on each block. The second component the construction of a half mile paved trail.

City of Maquoketa – Area Recreational Center, The ARC Date of Award: 4/13/2005 Award Amount: $825,000 Project Description: The Area Recreation Center will be a 36,000-square foot facility with indoor swimming pool, outdoor mist plaza, gymnasium and jogging/walking track, an exercise/aerobic room, and weight room.

Maquoketa Fine Arts Center, Inc. – Maquoketa Fine Arts Center Date of Award: 8/8/2001 Award Amount: $143,649 Project Description: The Maquoketa Fine Arts Center will include a 700-seat auditorium, large reception hall, and art display area.


Briggs Woods Conference Center, Webster City

Note: Briggs Woods is a golf course

Total Project Cost: $2,042,460

Amount Requested: $350,000

Award Amount: $350,000

Project Description: This project includes the construction of a conference center with capacity to hold 350 people, additional meeting space for 30 that can function as a food service space, office space, restrooms, a commercial kitchen and storage areas.


King Theatre Renovation, Ida Grove

Note: Ida Grove is a town of 2,100 people. King Theatre has been inactive since 2010 when the previous owner could not keep pace with the building’s necessary upkeep nor the transition to the digital age of films.

Total Project Cost: $419,099

Amount Requested: $62,005

Award Amount: $62,005

Project Description: This project includes expanding the lobby, installing new ADA compliant restrooms and redesigning the ticket taking and concession areas of the historic King Theatre.

The Enhance Iowa Program provides financial incentives to communities for the construction of recreational, cultural, educational or entertainment facilities that enhance the quality of life in Iowa. To date, 19 CAT awards have been granted by the board, totaling $5,803,302. The next Enhance Iowa Board meeting is scheduled for August 9, 2017, in Washington.


Enhance Iowa - Iowa Stories >> relevant points on grant webpages

Key Uses to  Include about the Maquoketa Ag Learning Center:
  • Agrotourism - Unlike most other disciplines, agricultural education is conducted year-round / day & night. The Ag Learning Center is intended to be 'the' location in eastern Iowa where groups can meet and learn about agriculture in eastern Iowa.
  • Biotechnology - The World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology will be held in Des Moines, Iowa in July 2019. Iowa is a leading location in the world. The Ag Learning Center will include scientific equipment to provide an opportunity for students and business & industry to learn about and stay up-to-date on biotechnology advancements. Because research on humans is often avoided, agriculture will continue to lead biotechnological developments.
  • Medicine, the environment and agriculture

    Significant medical breakthroughs are happening via synthetic biology.  

    The synthetic biology revolution is now << article link



Comparison of agriculture in two Iowa counties (PDF's attached at bottom)
  • Hamilton County is Webster City, Iowa
    • County Comparisons: Jackson to Hamilton County
      • The number of farms in Jackson County increased from 2007 to 2012, whereas many other counties had decreases like Hamilton
      •  % Land in Cropland
        • Hamilton: 93.3% vs. Jackson 69.3%
          • Jackson 12.7% Woodland, 14.1% Pasture
          • Jackson Co. has unique potential for Agritourism >> http://www.iowagrouptravel.com/agritourism/ 
            • The Ag Learning Center in Maquoketa will provide a unique facility to maximize education about area-agriculture and woodlands; woodlands which are unique to eastern Iowa near the Mississippi.
            • Plan to see the Ag Learning Center added to the following site >>  http://www.iowagrouptravel.com/eastern-iowa/ 
            • 4-H, FFA, tourists, and community members would have access to the Ag Learning Center outside of the regular school day/year.
    Ċ
    Dale Gruis,
    Sep 27, 2018, 6:47 PM
    Ċ
    Dale Gruis,
    Sep 27, 2018, 6:45 PM
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