Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP Ed) presented 135 educational sessions with 1,760 participants. Partner agencies including Ohio Means Jobs, Ravens, Island Parkway Manor, and St. Paul’s United Methodist Food Pantry presented nutrition classes. Participants attend nutrition programs, take part in nutrition activities and enjoy taste tests. Lessons include MyPlate, Portion Distortion, Rethink Drink, and Cut the Fat.
SNAP-Ed delivers a variety of nutrition lessons and games that encourage students from Head Start Preschool and Defiance Elementary to eat healthy and develop children’s willingness to incorporate healthy foods into their diets.
The summer food service program offered by NOCAC allows children to participate in nutrition activities offered by SNAP-Ed. Nutrition Bingo, making healthy plates, making a grain train, and participating in the Two-Bite Club are just a few activities.
Cooking Matters was offered in Defiance County for the first time in August. Cooking Matters is a six-week course where participants learn culinary skills, meal preparation, nutrition, and budgeting. The goal is that participants will be able to provide nutritious meals within their budgets, thereby reducing the needs for additional food subsidies.
During the summer, many children need an alternative to the lunch program available during the school year and the summer food service program meets that need. Summer program attendees learned how to prepare healthy meals, tasted the meal, and received groceries to prepare the meal at home for their families. Recipes included: frittata, orange oatmeal pancakes, yogurt parfait, veggie quesadillas, and pasta with roasted vegetables.
Over the summer, children at the summer food service program through NOCAC learned about healthy eating with MyPlate. Lessons included: Feeding Your Bones, Eat Whole Grains in which the children used popcorn to decorate an ear of corn, and making collages out of pasta shapes. Children enjoyed using popsicle sticks to make healthy fruit snacks. In Defiance, 3,685 nutritious lunches were served to 549 children, and 72 bags of food went home for weekend meals.
The Real Money. Real World. signature program which simulates real-life experiences to help youth achieve financial literacy was provided for 431 students in four school districts. Evaluations showed: 58 percent of students indicated a positive change in learning how to make wise financial decisions; and 67 percent said they believed participating in this program gave them a better idea of what is involved in earning, spending, and managing money.
STEM Pathways programs in science, technology, engineering and math improve participants' curiosity, logical thinking, problem-solving, and team communication – workforce skills necessary to compete in a high-tech global society. STEM programming took place in a variety of settings in Defiance County that allowed for 305 youth to practice experiential learning.
4-H camp helps build critical life skills for both campers and teen counselors by stressing teamwork, communications and leadership. Camp also cultivates the job readiness skills employers look for, while giving campers a chance to connect to nature. In Defiance County, 120 campers and 30 teen counselors spent five days sharpening these important life skills in “nature’s classroom” at 4-H Camp Palmer.
In cooperation with juvenile courts of Defiance, Williams, Fulton and Henry County, Defiance County 4-H coordinated and hosted the Ohio 4-H CARTEENS program. This program seeks to reduce the number of second-time traffic offenders in Ohio by having driver safety information taught to teens by teens and other professionals. This year, 204 teens attended a CARTEENS session.
OSU Extension supports the Defiance County Farmers' Markets for local food entrepreneurs and small/non-traditional farm businesses. The part- and full-time vendors use the farmers' market to add value to the products they've made or grown by interacting with direct marketing customers. Customers have access to vendor products that are local and fresh, and the markets keep consumer dollars in the local communities.
The Defiance County Master Gardener Volunteers are trained volunteers who assist with community service projects and education. Volunteers earn 10 hours of continuing education credits and 20 hours of community service credits toward their annual requirements to be active volunteers. Defiance County has 24 active/certified MGVs, and they volunteered 2,464 hours that have a community value of more than $53,000.
OSU Extension taught nearly 450 youth at the Defiance County Public Safety Open House. Youth from farms or non-farm backgrounds are fascinated by tractors and farm life, but often don’t see danger zones. Such dangers include rotating tractor parts, multiple riders on tractors/lawn mowers, and playing in stored grain bins and wagons. Lifesaving tips and lessons were demonstrated with hands-on examples that can be easily remembered by youth participants.
Defiance County farmers with pesticide licenses learned safe and effective methods to control agricultural pests by attending OSU Extension training. Participants improved personal safety practices and pesticide handling practices (mixing, loading, storing, and applying). They learned how to control insects, diseases or weeds more effectively. Evaluations indicate the most important thing learned was selecting herbicides to avoid weed resistance and measuring dry and liquid pesticides correctly to avoid misuse.
OSU Extension hosted a 2016 Farm Outlook meeting that taught more than 120 area farmers and ag-business professionals several strategies and information about trends and forecasts impacting local and global production agriculture. Participants improved their knowledge about input purchasing decisions essential in 2016 crop production. Participants learned information that will be useful for their grain marketing strategy and crop profitability in 2016 such as seed costs, fertilizer rates and needs, cash rent and machinery costs.
At least 97 local farm managers participated in meetings where OSU Extension taught how recordkeeping is more than just financial, it also involves production, labor, land management and maintenance. Participants indicated this information will help them directly in the farm business, and they learned strategies to implement farm recordkeeping. While many records are kept just to complete the annual tax return, participants can now do more with the records to improve the profitability of the farm business.
OSU Extension’s nutrient management plan writer, housed in Defiance County, has completed 12 Nutrient Management Plans (NMP) and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP) within the Western Lake Erie Basin with about 7,900 acres.
The 2014 USDA Farm Bill provided program choices to farmers and cropland owners. The outlook for farm profitability in 2016 is sharply tight to negative profit margins. A narrow profit margin means tight cash flow that can affect local economies. OSU Extension reached more than 200 local farmers and landowners, assisting with estimates to develop a cash flow plan during the 2016 crop year.
OSU Extension trains field crop agronomists to be Certified Crop Advisers (CCA) which is the benchmark of agronomy professionalism. A CCA can write and/or certify voluntary nutrient management plans described in Ohio’s 2014-2015 nutrient management legislation.
OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) established a collaborative research test plot to investigate soybean disease management and nutrient management. Private companies requested university assistance to screen protective materials for further research and development. Ohio State and farmers benefit by having the cutting-edge research conducted in northwestern Ohio where disease management is critical for economic soybean production.
Ohio Law requires farmers and commercial applicators of fertilizer to be certified by September 2017. OSU Extension taught water quality, proper soil sampling, calculating fertilizer recommendations, and utilizing plant nutrients where needed and not needed. Farmers are managing nutrients to reduce production costs, produce responsible crop yields, and have a positive impact on water quality.