A love of all things culinary and a passion for educating kids inspired a retired pig and crop farmer to provide an opportunity not available in the county.

Steve Heaberlin, vice chair of the Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Council in Warren County, started BBQ School for youth in the county four years ago.

Familiar with ISU Extension programming in the area, he knew there was nothing like it.

"I knew there weren’t any programs like this, and I enjoy cooking, so I thought I’d start it," he said.

During BBQ School, kids learn about food safety, how to properly handle both uncooked and cooked food, and how to grill and smoke meat. They also make their own marinades and rubs and learn about which types of meat are best for grilling and smoking. They not only learn about how to use the grills and smokers, they get to use them.

Four years ago, when BBQ School was established, the War­ren...