According to the Robert Wood Johnson county health rankings in 2016, Auglaize County had a 34 percent adult obesity rate and a 29 percent inactivity rate. The Grand Health Challenge promoted healthy lifestyles with an increase of fruits and vegetables, increase of physical activity, and weight loss through healthy eating. A total of 345 adults participated in the multi-county challenge. As a result of the five-month challenge, a total of 2450.2 pounds were lost.
Key behaviors showed consumption of fruit increased from 22.7 percent every day before the challenge to 40.3 percent at the end of the challenge. Vegetable consumption increased from 16.2 percent every day before to 35.8 percent every day after the challenge. Everyday physical activity increased from 9.63 percent every day before to 31.3 percent every day at the end of the challenge. Participants reported positive behavioral changes toward a healthier lifestyle.
340 high school and middle school students participated in the Real Money. Real World. financial literacy program. Classroom teachers prepare students through a series of four lessons about family finances, payroll taxes, retirement planning, etc. Students then participate in a hands-on simulation which allows them to manage a household budget for a month. Students must purchase housing, food, clothing, child care, insurance and other items based on their household income and family demographics. Post-event comments like “It really got me to understand how the real world works” and “I think that the credit card debit surprised me the most. I didn’t think it would be that expensive” show the impact that this program can have on students. Community volunteers assist with the simulation booths, helping students make choices that fit into their budget. Schools participating were St. Marys, New Bremen and Minster.
The number of establishments serving food to the community has increased along with the potential risk of pathogens harming the food supply and making people sick. The Ohio Department of Health has made food safety a priority and ruled that establishments preparing food need to have approved food safety training. A total of 167 food service managers and supervisors in five counties received 15 hours of ServSafe Manager Certification training and 44 employees received four hours of basic food safety training from the Family and Consumer Sciences educator. The average manager certification test passing score received was 85.93 percent. Participants reported learning new information and improving the quality of food safety in their establishments.
Auglaize County 4-H served more than 2,000 youth during 2016. Enrollment reflects that 15 percent of eligible youth in the county are participating in the program. This number reflects participation in community clubs, school enrichment, Cloverbud and special events. More than 225 volunteers were involved in the program.
Approximately 850 students are learning the “4-H way” – with hands-on experiences. The program offers a variety of topics including chick embryology, butterfly life cycle and nutrition education. 4-H in the Classroom has one or more educators in almost every elementary school in Auglaize County for a total of 36 classrooms participating. Statements like “Thanks for all you do” and “Thank you for always checking with us” and long term retention indication educator satisfaction in the program.
143 campers went to 4-H Camp Palmer for the five-day residential camping program. Highlights included canoeing, high ropes, dances, crafts, campfires and swimming. Teen counselors gained leadership skills by conducting activities and supervising campers. Counselors attended a series of training sessions to learn counseling skills and plan the program. Counselors and counselors in training were selected through an application and interview process. Campers responding to the post-camp evaluation said they had a good/excellent experience and planned to return in 2017. Camper comments included “I learned how to be myself” and “I had a fun time as a last year counselor. Seeing the camp change over the years from a camper to a counselor has been a journey. It has been amazing seeing campers grow up and turn into counselors.”
- 36 4-H Cloverbuds attended the day camp. Day camp gives young 4-H members the opportunity to experience 4-H camping. Day campers enjoyed crafts, making nutritious snacks, story time and games. Good nutrition and exercise were the theme for the day. Teen and adult counselors also taught traditional camp songs. Participants said “I learned about food groups, and eating healthy,” “some fat is good for you” and “what I should have on my plate.” All participants responding said they would like to attend day camp again in 2017.
4-H CARTEENS reached 133 teen drivers through October 2016. The program is taught by teens. Guest speakers include individuals who have been touched by traffic fatalities and troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol, Wapakoneta Post. The program is a cooperative effort between Auglaize County 4-H and the Juvenile Court. Participants consistently rate the program as a 4.5/5.0 or higher and share that they have learned the importance of paying attention behind the wheel, not to text and drive and that driving is a big responsibility.
The Weed of the Week is a weekly radio program that airs on WCSM. Information presented includes other names for the weed, identification features, biology, habitat, control, and interesting facts. Comments regarding the program include: “I enjoy learning about a weed every week” and “I sure have learned a lot about weeds.”
Weed management is becoming more important, especially due to the increase in Waterhemp in the county. Seventeen individuals participated in a meeting about weed identification, herbicide site of action, and weed management. Participants reported they could now identify Waterhemp and will make changes in their weed management to control Waterhemp and other glyphosate-resistant weeds.
Local foods are a big topic. OSU Extension worked with the Auglaize County public library system to present a program called Farm to Table. At least 100 people attended the meetings with 70 percent of the participants planning to purchase local foods after the meeting. The participants enjoyed the program, especially the food demonstrations. A listing of local food producers in Auglaize County and the surrounding area was developed for the program and is maintained on the county website.
A Spray Diagnostics Field Day was held to discuss herbicide site-of-action and injury symptoms and sprayer technology. Of the 42 people who participated in the program, 80 percent said they will spend more time cleaning out their sprayer to minimize crop injury after attending the field day.
Soybean trials were conducted looking at seeding rate and planting depth. The information will allow growers to make more informed decisions regarding soybean planting.
Topics presented at the noon Dairy Luncheon Series included dairy farm business management, genetic testing, and forage establishment; 27 people participated in the program
Ohio farmers who apply fertilizer to greater than 50 acres must have a Fertilizer Applicator Certificate. OSU Extension is providing the training for farmers to receive their certification. Auglaize County hosted three certification meetings with 314 farmers attending. Of those who attended, 73 percent said they will change their nutrient management practices as a result of the meeting. Also, 97 percent of participants improved their knowledge about nutrient management. These changes will improve water quality for the Western Lake Erie Basin.
Field research was conducted looking at different rates of nitrogen for corn. The information generated will help farmers in making decisions on proper nitrogen rates. Any reductions in the amount of nitrogen will improve water quality.
Auglaize County is participating in the Western Lake Erie Basin Water Quality Research project looking at phosphorus in tile lines. Seven farmers are cooperating with the project. Early research results indicate grower practices in Auglaize County have reduced phosphorus loss by 80 percent of the targeted concentration of 0.05 parts per million for the watershed.
This year, 39 people participated in a Want to Know More About the New Nutrient Rules meeting. The Ohio Nutrient Management rules were presented along with the current water quality issues for the Western Lake Erie Basin. Now, 90 percent of the participants have a better understanding of the water quality issues facing Ohio and the Western Lake Erie Basin.