Extension coordinates a program in cooperation with Delaware County Juvenile Court, Ohio Highway Patrol, and the Delaware General Health District for first-time teen traffic offenders. The teens get powerful lessons through the 4-H CARTEENS auto safety program. In 2016, more than 450 teens attended the monthly program. About 74 percent of the teen participants indicated their opinion on following speed limits changed for the positive, and 70 percent had an at least moderate change of opinion on the need to eliminate distractions while driving.
“For the Children” is a monthly 2.5-hour court-mandated parenting education program for couples going through a divorce or dissolution whose children are under 18. This year, 230 parents completed the program. Program evaluations indicated 82 percent of participants felt more prepared to co-parent as a result of the program.
This year, 246 adults attended a total of 45 direct education classes held in cooperation with Delaware County Department of Job and Family Services, nonprofit social services agencies, low-income housing sites, and congregate meal sites of the Senior Nutrition Program. Participants learned to select fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products for a healthy diet; to use limited resources to plan, purchase, and prepare food for the family; to be physically active every day; and to store and handle food so it is safe to eat.
A total of 1,646 youth learned about food and nutrition topics while attending Head Start classes, the summer food service programs or kindergarten, first- or second-grade classes at Woodward Elementary (which has a free and reduced lunch participation greater than 50 percent), through experiences such as sorting foods into the five food groups, food samplings, and making healthy simple snacks.
Real Money. Real World. gives students an awareness of how income and life choices affect lifestyle. Youth participants experience life at age 27 and pay for housing, transportation, childcare, and other monthly expenses. This hands-on program reached more than 1,100 Delaware County middle school students, and 83 percent believed the program gave them a better idea of what is involved in earning, spending, and managing money.
Rockets Away and ChickQuest, which are 4-H school enrichment programs, use science, engineering, and technology to provide hands-on curriculum in classrooms. ChickQuest teaches life cycle with chick embryology and reached about 350 Delaware County third-grade students. Rockets Away teaches laws of motion using balloon and pop bottle rockets and reached 180 Delaware County fifth graders.
Quality assurance programs combined with educational livestock information train youth in the proper handling, treatment, and recordkeeping for animals that will be used for food. This year, 350 youth, 46 advisers, and countless parents were certified in quality assurance. At the trainings, 100 percent of participants gained some level of knowledge of creating an Emergency Action Plan. Live animals and hands-on activities help to teach the real aspects of the trainings.
The ever-changing Microbrewery scene in central Ohio has raised some questions of locally sourcing ingredients. OSU Extension – Delaware County conducted a hops workshop. Participants (18) learned about starting a hops farm, variety selection, labor, and economics. The teaching was held at a bar with a brewery tour and hops yard tour following.
OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) awarded a $2,000 scholarship to a county resident pursuing education in botany, horticulture, agriculture, food sciences, or related field.
Delaware County supported 54 4-H clubs, involving almost 1,100 youth, ages 5 to 19, and 285 adult volunteers. Volunteers contributed more than 20,000 hours of time to teach youth life skills, which represented an economic value of more than $400,000 to Delaware County.
4-H camp builds critical life skills for campers and older youth counselors by stressing teamwork, communication, and leadership. Delaware County 4-H Camp offers a teen camp and junior camp which reached a total of 113 youth ages 9 to16. Campers report learning how to get along with others (93 percent) and gaining a skill they can use in leading others. Many campers reported gaining confidence, listening skills, and teamwork. A 14-year-old teen camper expressed that he learned “listening to others who may not have a loud voice, but have great ideas.”
Ohio ranks in the top 10 states for direct-to-consumer food marketing sales. Producers view direct marketing as an alternative market outlet to increase their income while consumers see it as a means of gaining access to fresher, healthier, and higher quality goods at lower costs. OSU Extension – Delaware County partnered with local and state organizations to conduct five workshops, delivering information to more than 125 farmers to help them enhance their operation through direct marketing local foods.
One of the top grain crops grown in Ohio is soybeans. OSU Extension – Delaware County hosted an all-day Intensive Management Soybean Workshop for farmers and crop consultants. This year, 20 participants learned about fertility, insect management, seed treatments, and general planting management for soybeans as well as an update on drone usage regulations. At the workshop, 100 percent reported they had previously explored using drones, but were skeptical due to the unfamiliarity of the regulations.
In 2016, 20 new Master Gardener Volunteers were trained by OSU Extension. MGVs lead educational gardening activities such as Kids Garden Club and Ready Set Grow. They presented several sessions allowing the public to learn how to successfully grow vegetables, along with information on the health and wellness benefits from growing your own produce. More than 200 adults and children were reached.
A school enrichment program taught 128 Olentangy Liberty sophomores through seniors about global food sustainability and offered them the opportunity to participate in the Ohio Youth Institute at the state level.
The Master Gardener Volunteers donated more than 9,650 hours to OSU Extension, sponsored research-based programs, and a variety of community projects. These projects included community gardens in which they donated more than 350 pounds of produce to PIN (People in Need) in 2016. This along with the hours donated represented the total economic impact of $155,250 to Delaware County.
In collaboration with local organizations, research is being done on water quality to help farmers understand how to keep nutrient resources out of the water ways. Phosphorus measuring devices are placed at the end of field tile where it enters water sources. Measurements are being taken to identify types of field management to potentially lower phosphorus leaching. This research will help Delaware County and central Ohio farmers better understand the relationship between land management practices and the loss of phosphorus through subsurface drainage into the water resources of Delaware County.
A total of 97 farm operators who attended Delaware County Pesticide Applicator Recertification were recertified for their Ohio Department of Agriculture pesticide licenses. After training, 100 percent said they are more aware of best-use practices on the farm in relation to safety to themselves, staff, and families.
In 2016, two fertilizer applicator certification trainings were conducted in Delaware County. In these meetings, 62 Delaware County growers were certified to apply fertilizer. Of those surveyed, 95 percent stated they are more aware of fertilizer issues in Ohio. Delaware County also assisted with five additional FACT meetings within the Heart of Ohio Extension region.