All 216 4-H volunteers participated in child protection training. The training included instructions on identifying child abuse and neglect, as well as mandated reporting procedures. This training equipped 4-H volunteers with important information to help keep children safe in our community.
In all, 106 campers made Guernsey County 4-H camp a popular program for leadership and citizenship skill development. More than $6,300 was provided for scholarships and programs at camp from community and 4-H organizations. More than 12 hours of training and planning meetings enabled 20 teen 4-H camp counselors to develop skills to work with youth in a group setting.
Guernsey County 4-H member enrollment totaled 1,383 youth, reaching 21 percent of youth in the county. Guernsey County offers 43 community 4-H clubs, led by 216 4-H volunteers. Membership includes 783 youth in club groups and 585 in school and special interest programs. Members were enrolled in 2,059 projects to learn about personal development, careers, and life skills.
Real Money. Real World., a hands-on financial literacy program, engaged 209 eighth-grade students in learning how education affects income and lifestyle. The six-part curriculum included lessons on deductions and how occupation affects income. In all, 20 community leaders, business representatives, and OSU Extension personnel served as simulation facilitators for this activity.
In 2016, 376 kindergarten students celebrated Guernsey County 4-H Week by participating in the “Reading Makes the Best Better” program. 4-H teen and adult volunteers read to students, distributed books, and encouraged students to join 4-H. Parents completing the program survey said family members read the book with their children at home. This program encourages reading and increases public awareness about 4-H opportunities.
Ag School Days, a hands-on educational program for elementary students of Guernsey and Noble counties was held in the spring. Approximately 350 youth attended this two-day program at the Ohio State Eastern Agricultural Research Station. Youth participated in educational stations on topics from livestock production to natural resources.
Guernsey County Master Gardener Volunteers (MGVs) teach horticulture-related classes to the public and in schools. The MGVs volunteered hundreds of hours, valued in the thousands of dollars.
Livestock owners protect the environment and increase production efficiencies by attending OSU Extension Grazing School. Livestock owners managing more than 2,961 acres of hay and pasture land participated in this program. At least 81 percent of attendees expected the information they gained would increase their net profit.
This year, 20 area cattle producers obtained artificial insemination training for beef cattle at the Eastern Agriculture Research Station. After the training, 100 percent of attendees indicated the information they learned would help them implement artificial insemination practices on their farm.
This year, 374 4-H and FFA members participated in livestock quality assurance training to learn how to raise a safe, wholesome food product for consumers. To help, 14 volunteers were trained as certified quality assurance assistant instructors. Also, 138 members participated in the livestock skillathon contest consisting of interviews, evaluation of livestock records, and simulation exercises. More than 60 volunteers donated 180 hours to plan and conduct these programs.
OSU Extension Community Development (CD) professionals partnered with the Guernsey County Planning Commission and Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to develop the county comprehensive strategic plan. The creation of a high school career specialist to grow the community’s workforce was a top priority. All of the schools in the community worked collaboratively to contribute dollars to fund this position. The goal is to increase workforce-ready students by five percent.
Because of the uncertainties in the energy market, impact related to the development of oil and gas resources in Ohio is predicted to continue to slow during 2016. OSU Extension CD educators conducted a three-year research study on the impacts of social, economic, and environmental impacts of shale development in 22 rural counties in eastern Ohio. The philanthropic development as a part of the social impact study showed a growth in the number of community foundations and growth in the amount of philanthropic dollars.
Wealth transfer and giving are predicted to be at the highest level for the next 30 years. The Guernsey County Foundation has been the model for this by increasing the number of donors and funds every year. As a trustee on the Guernsey County Community Foundation Board, OSU Extension has assisted in growth of the foundation. The Foundation began with six funds and $100,000, which has grown to 32 funds and $6.4 million dollars.
Fertilizer certification classes were offered in 2016. These classes covered crop nutrient best management practices, which positively impact water quality. This year, 40 area farmers completed training and obtained a fertilizer license; 96 percent of participants agreed that this training improved their knowledge about nutrient management.
Area farmers holding a private pesticide applicator license attended recertification. In all, 94 percent of them agreed or strongly agreed that they have improved safety practices as a result of this program; and 86 percent of attendees agreed or strongly agreed that this class has helped them obtain better control of pests.
27 area farmers participated in a cover crops program; 90 percent plan to utilize cover crops as a result of this program.