This year, 75 percent of individuals who participated in “Start with 10” were successful in losing weight. Participants of this newly developed program reported that weekly weigh-ins and accountability to the group was a major factor in motivating them toward attaining their weight loss goals. Evaluations say 100 percent of those who completed the program learned new information that has helped them adopt healthier eating habits.
In a newly developed program called “The Sweet Life,” more than 150 students learned about the adverse effects of excess sugar in their daily diet. High school students participated in interactive lessons that encouraged them to limit sugar consumption to amounts recommended by the American Heart Association and to avoid consuming empty sugar calories through highly sweetened beverages.
The 4-H educator trained approximately 69 volunteers in positive youth development practices, which included child abuse and neglect training. The training focused on recognizing signs of abuse and how to respond to suspected abuse. This training enabled county volunteers to have the confidence to report any suspicious activity that may be affecting the health and safety of our youth.
This spring, 113 4-H members attended 4-H Camp Piedmont. Youth, counselors, and volunteers were challenged physically and mentally through a series of rigorous outdoor activities and mentally challenging science/engineering projects. Camp counselors received more than 12 hours of educational training that encouraged youth attending camp to build valuable life skills.
SNAP-Ed is an evidence-based program that helps people lead healthier lives, teaching people using or eligible for SNAP about good nutrition and how to make their food dollars stretch further. Participants also learn to be physically active. By working collaboratively with FCS programs and building partnerships with all types of community organizations, the SNAP-Ed program assistant reached more than 1,000 persons with nutrition and health education programs.
OSU Extension – Carroll County Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) and Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) educators worked cooperatively with 11 other counties in the area to coordinate the East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference. Many attendees from Carroll County were included in the more than 140 participants and 27 counties represented at the event. This day-long event consisted of 16 breakout sessions covering finance, livestock, special interest, food and family, partner agencies and youth. Educators from Carroll County presented educational sessions on small business recordkeeping and raising small ruminants.
This year, 23 4-H members between 14-18 years of age underwent training to be 4-H camp counselors. In this training process and at camp, counselors are expected to act as professionals and learn vital job-related skills. Counselors start the process off by filling out an application and completing a comprehensive interview that includes traditional one-on-one interviewing, along with demonstrations and teaching. Counselors are expected to always model the role of a counselor both inside and outside 4-H events just as they would be expected as professionals in their field. Finally, they are given assigned responsibilities to complete before camp and are expected to provide notice if they are unable to attend or provide shared materials for the group.
The 4-H Youth Development program enrolled 425 youth in 20 community 4-H clubs that are currently led by 69 volunteers. A new specialty club that focuses primarily on computer programming was added in the fall; this club has allowed our program to grow in a more diverse way. A total of 809 4-H projects were completed this year, covering an array of topics that involve personal growth, life skill development, and career exploration for youth.
More than 200 youth learned how to provide proper handling and care of livestock, maintain workplace safety, and practice good environmental stewardship at one of the four livestock quality assurance trainings. This training is required for youth exhibiting market, breeding, and lactating livestock at the Carroll County fair to ensure that they learn how to raise a safe, wholesome food product for consumers.
Participants of the Carroll County Council on Aging senior programs at the Friendship Center learned new information about the relationship between sleep and aging. The class reported that they plan to implement recommended changes to their sleep health habits.
OSU Extension – Carroll County and the Carroll County Beef Producers sponsored a beef-on-the-farm education class. During class, 58 participants learned how to body condition score cattle, select replacement heifers and show cattle, and feeder cattle grading as a marketing tool.
Farmers’ markets encourage local food security through their promotion and support of local food production. Through their potential to sustain and support the local food system, local markets are contributing to sustainability goals. Under new leadership and working cooperatively with OSU Extension – Carroll County, both vendor participation and attendance have increased dramatically. The addition of a Carrollton Farmer’s market Facebook page produced a social media reach to more than 14,000 for the 2016 market season, sharing educational information and promoting the local foods initiative. In addition, monthly education demonstrations and activities drew new participants to the weekly market.
The “Livestock Jamboree” is an annual educational opportunity each spring. This event is hosted by the 4-H youth development program and taught by numerous volunteers and older youth. This year, 91 4-H members learned proper care and showmanship practices in various species areas. Newer 4-H members use this opportunity to ensure they are raising and treating their animals properly so they can anticipate a safe fair experience.
This year, 425 4-H members prepared to be educationally challenged in regard to their increased knowledge and awareness about their chosen subject matter. Members who take both a livestock animal and food related project areas are expected to know best practices for raising and creating consumer safe products.
OSU Extension – Carroll County, in collaboration with the Carroll Soil and Water Conservation District and NRCS, offers county residents a program titled Backyard Food Production. This monthly program is offered March through September and encourages participants to utilize their backyard or unused green space for sustainable food production. More than 160 attendees learned about seed selection and propagation, pallet and container gardening, backyard sheep and goat production, and preserving your harvest and the benefits of growing grapes.
To help address issues of poverty in Carroll County, “Bridges out of Poverty” and “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’-By World” initiatives have been established. A $26,000.00 TANF grant through Carroll County Department of Job and Family Services has helped to fund training, certification, curriculum materials, stipends, and supplies. Income-eligible families are offered education that can help them build family resources and identify personal and community barriers that keep them from moving ahead. The FCS educator extended the reach of the Bridges out of Poverty initiative by presenting at local, regional, and state conferences and sharing the Bridges constructs with a diverse audience of individuals and organizational leaders.
4-H youth development encourages 4-H members and clubs to participate in community service and outreach opportunities. Every year, we recognize outstanding teens iand honor 4-H members and clubs by encouraging them to complete a yearly application. An essential part of being an honor member or outstanding member is completing community service work and showing that they have made a difference in their club or their community.
OSU Extension – Carroll County renovated an area within a historical building at the Carroll County fairgrounds this year to incorporate all that Extension has to offer in one large display area. During the county fair, all program areas were represented while providing fairgoers with a place to relax, gather information, and get answers to questions relating to family and consumer sciences, agriculture and natural resources, and 4-H youth development.
Widening concern about water quality led to creation of the new agricultural fertilizer applicator certification program. Farmers who apply fertilizer to 50 acres or more of farmland must be certified by September 1, 2017. Two classes certifying 93 farmers covered crop nutrient best management practices, which positively impact water quality.
Farmers who hold restricted use pesticide applicator licenses must be recertified every three years. Two classes covering new pesticide products, safe responsible handling and use of pesticides, and management practices to minimize environmental impact were attended by 91 pesticide license holders in Carroll County.