Growing Youth to Youth program teaches healthy living, leadership, mentorship, and community responsibility by matching teens with younger youth to teach them hands-on gardening skills and how they can grow their own food in raised beds at the fairgrounds. Sixty-five youth shared the produce and new food preparation skills with their families and gave back to the community by sharing produce with families in need.
Real Money. Real World. is a hands-on experience that gives young people the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those they will face as adults. OSU Extension – Champaign County 4-H offered the program to 359 eighth grade students. Each student was assigned a job based on education and a family. After learning about managing and budgeting money, students participated in a hands-on simulation making their own monthly budgeting decisions. Post-evaluations showed students want to further their education beyond high school, make sure they have good jobs before starting a family and make wise decisions with their money.
The Leadership Task Force is made up of 72 eighth to 12th grade students who meet monthly to learn leadership skills. Youth practice their skills during various activities and events in the county each month.
Interviewing skills are taught to youth through 4-H livestock skillathons, 4-H judging events, and as a special additional class to the Real Money. Real World. program with eighth grade students in three local school districts.
The Champaign County 4-H program consisted of 1,210 traditional 4-H members completing 3,205 projects and exhibiting at the county fair. There were 82 traditional 4-H clubs led by 298 trained adult advisers.
Two five-day overnight camps and one week-long Cloverbud camp accommodated 225 campers and 78 counselors learning lifelong skills of responsibility, teamwork, acceptance of diversity, healthy living, nature appreciation and face-to-face communication skills in an outdoor, technology-free atmosphere.
On-farm research projects included pollinator observation and collection in soybeans and a fungicide and insecticide application on soybeans.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) programs were held with 967 youth during school enrichment programs, after-school programs and daily activities at the county fair.
Ag lender seminars are held each year in Urbana, Ohio. These are designed to update agriculture lenders on relevant industry information to help them better serve clientele. In 2016, the total portfolio estimate for agriculture loans of the lenders in attendance was $1.7 billion.
Private Pesticide Applicator re-certification training held this year revealed that 100 percent of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they learned how to improve practices to protect the environment and feel they are better informed on how to apply pesticides effectively. There were 72 pesticide applicators that participated in the training.
More than 850 Champaign County youth participated in livestock quality assurance programs taught by local Extension educators. Participants learned how to raise 4-H and FFA livestock projects in a humane manner while safely contributing their market animals to our nation’s wholesome food supply. Proper animal care, nutrition, reading a feed tag label, and the correct use of antibiotics were some of the topics addressed. As a result of the livestock quality assurance training, there were no cases reported of drug residues within junior fair livestock animals in 2016. There were no reported cases of animal abuse and/or maltreatment during exhibition at the junior fair within the county.
Extension taught sessions on benefit of earthworms and erosion process to more than 300 students during Earth Day coordinated by Cedar Bog.