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The Phytopoetry Project

Extension Education

Adam Sisson
Integrated Pest Management Extension Specialist
Iowa State University


The Phytopoetry Project is a multi-media Extension communications effort using short-form poetic literature to attract end-users to land-grant Extension. Subjects include plant disease, insects, and topics associated with production or protection of gardens, landscapes, and horticultural and field crops. Phytopoetry consists of humorous or thoughtful poetry following established forms (i.e., haiku) or using rhythm, rhyming, and/or alliteration. The goal of Phytopoetry is to increase use and positive perception of Extension. The objectives are to increase knowledge of and access to Extension resources; increase use of Extension resources; and promote use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). A series of phytopoetry videos were released episodically on YouTube, consisting of fictional character Sebastian E. Bartholomew, played by NACAA-member Adam Sisson, as a bumbling and pompous plant poet. Videos generally direct viewers to Extension resources after Sisson steps out of character with words like “For real, if you need help with this plant pest, university Extension has resources.” Season 1 consists of 25 videos with titles like Do You See Dead Plants or Cute Fluffy Soybean Slayer. Videos have 3,850+ views with 55+ hours of watch time and a second season is planned. Twitter and Instagram accounts (@phytopoetry) were created to drive interest and showcase content, which can include illustrations, videos, images, and text. An example is the “The Twelve Days of IPM,” a parody of “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” which promoted Extension sources during the 2022 holiday season. In 2023, the Twitter engagement rate was 2.7%, with 200,000+ all time impressions across Twitter and Instagram accounts. At Field’s End is a bound book compiling images and poetry about crop diseases produced as a collaboration between Extension workers at Iowa State University and Auburn University. With poem titles such as “Knotty Nematodes,” and “Real Crop Scouts Ride Dinosaurs,” this hard cover book brings attention to corn and soybean diseases in a humorous fashion. 225 copies have been printed, but we plan to print 1,000 more for additional promotion at appropriate agricultural-related events or through other dispersal routes. Phytopoetry multi-media content can be accessed via

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Adam Sisson, Brandon Kleinke, Joey Cornelis, Keaton Hewitt, Edward Sikora, Daren Mueller
  1. Sisson, A. Integrated Pest Management Extension Specialist, Iowa State University, Iowa, 50011
  2. Kleinke, B. Extension Videographer, Iowa State University, Iowa, 50011
  3. Cornelis, J. Extension Communications, Iowa State University, Iowa, 50011
  4. Hewitt, K. Extension Graphic Designer, Iowa State University, Iowa, 50011
  5. Sikora, E. Extension Plant Pathologist, Auburn University, Alabama, 36849
  6. Mueller, D. Extension Plant Pathologist, Iowa State University, Iowa, 50011