Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education is a free nutrition education program serving low-income adults and youth. Using the MyPlate as a guide, participants learn how to select fruits and vegetables, whole grain, lean forms of protein and low-fat dairy products for a healthy diet and to decrease risk of chronic disease. Other subjects include understanding nutrition labels, lowering sodium, proper portions, and calories in and out, and the importance of exercise.
- At least 40 adults at Jobs and Family Services and the Jericho House participated once a week for a series of classes consisting of four lessons on food shopping with a limited budget using MyPlate.
- Cooking Matters met for six weeks at The Bucyrus United Methodist Church and the Crestline Trinity Lutheran Church for classes. The lessons involved nutrition education and basic cooking skills to prepare the meals in class and take home groceries to make the recipes for their families. The funding for the Crestline groceries was from the county Farm Bureau. There were 20 participants, and one said that “Cooking Matters helped me by educating me and further inspiring me to eat healthier, and cook healthier for my family.”
- Crestline, Fairway and Bucyrus preschoolers became members of the Two-Bite Club after learning to try two bites of new or different foods. Later learning to eat, play and grow strong and healthy using MyPlate as a guide to a health life. All kindergarteners of Crestline Elementary are Discovering MyPlate, smarter snacking, healthy beverages, healthy foods and playing every day to stay strong.
- The first and second graders of Crestline Elementary are learning how to be active every day, snacking on smart healthy foods, and breakfast go power with MyPlate and sampling new healthy foods to continue growing strong and healthy.
- Summer food service programs in Galion, Crestline and Bucyrus were attended once a week throughout the summer reaching youth and their families through newsletters which were sent home. Nutrition lessons on thinking about what we drink, smarter snacking choices, and active play every day were taught with samples of new foods. These activities encourage youth to try new foods and incorporate healthy snacks in their diets.
Through the work of OSU Extension, members of the Crawford County 4-H program participate in programs and events that foster lifelong learning. Local teens that serve as weekend camp counselors learn to be effective leaders, make informative decisions, and improve responsibility. These skills gained help prepare teens for their future careers and life. Through the officer training program, many county club officers improved their leadership skills and gained additional officer knowledge, such as parliamentary procedure. Youth not only practice real-life skills but are able to prepare for leadership roles for their future careers by holding a club office. Once-in-a-lifetime experiences were had by 18 local teens who participated in statewide and national 4-H trips. These teens gained leadership skills, improved their teamwork, created a networking base, and had the opportunity to learn from others about leadership, government, and natural resources through these travel opportunities.
Ohio 4-H uses youth development education to help young people in the local communities develop characteristics that build a foundation for a positive adulthood. In Crawford County, 139 youth participated in the county 4-H camp. Throughout the weekend camp program, youth worked on improving their team-building skills, self-confidence, and made meaningful relationships. The youth known as Cloverbuds had 95 youth participate in one or more kindergarten through second grade-specific county programs. These programs allowed the youth to explore areas of healthy lifestyle, earth/environment, plants and animals, science, and personal development.
Farmers and home garden producers turn to Extension when they are faced with unusual management challenges on a wide variety of topics including diseases, fertility, weed control, production technology, or economical situations. Their questions are answered through personal visits, phone calls, and meetings providing the latest research and diagnostic information available. Livestock producers were assisted with the latest information in forage production and reproductive management. Crop producers were assisted with local research, answering localized questions on the latest practices to improve soil health and minimize weed competition in their crop fields. Through newsletters and pesticide applicator certification producers save on average $10 per acre in the county. The research done and presented by OSU Extension – Crawford County and OARDC has been shown to save producers an additional $20 per acre. Home gardeners play an important role in suppling in season fruits and vegetables but often are faced with disease and insect challenges which can destroy their crop without proper treatment. Some of these diseases go deep into management like soilborne diseases caused by fertility and crop rotation issues. With around 100 home diagnostic issues OSU Extension helps families save money in food production, insect control, and home lawn maintenance.
Crawford County 4-H enrolled more than 650 youth in 2016, and had almost 30 non-4-H members participate in local events. Through county club involvement, local 4-H members learned or improved on: public speaking, parliamentary procedure, sportsmanship, time management, and the importance of completing what is started. Cloverbuds focused on cooperation and social skills. Almost 150 adult volunteers helped to make these county youth development programs a success and guided the youth through these learning experiences.
All youth and adult leaders also gave back to their community through many different community service activities conducted by county clubs. Making a difference in the local community helps youth create an understanding of community involvement and encourages the continuation of giving back to the community throughout life.
Crawford County 4-H volunteers reported an average of 100 hours supporting 4-H this year. Using the $23.07 value from private sector volunteer time, a total of $2,307.00 was donated to the Crawford County community per volunteer.
Crawford County sits in two major water sheds and so has a special responsibility to protect phosphorous levels in water flowing north to Lake Erie and nitrate levels in water that flows south toward the Gulf of Mexico. We work with farmers across the county bringing research and education to their front door. Over the past year, 100-plus farmers were certified as nutrient applicators in the county which helps address these concerns. With many more learning how manure nutrients can be used as a more economical replacement for commercial fertilizer and how to use utilize the manure during the growing season to decrease the risk of nutrient losses compared to a fall or spring application before crop planting. Land is a finite resource, and farmers are trying to keep it healthy for the next generation that will be taking over the farm. To do this, they are learning more about soil health and the management of cover crops and other methods that keep something growing on their fields year-round and complement the agronomic crop production and instead of hindering it.
Through quality assurance livestock education, 313 Crawford County youth and many of their parents made the promise to provide a food animal product preferred by consumers, which area safe, and wholesome food animal product. During this program, they learned how to use antibiotics in a responsible manner, such as how bio security and facility design can improve animal health and decrease the need for antibiotics. Proper animal handling techniques utilizing flight zones is another important topic producers learned to keep themselves and animals safe.