Using social media, the Family and Consumer Sciences educator conducted two six-week Live Heathy Live Well online Challenges with 121 adults from Hardin County. Twice-weekly email messages encouraged respondents to increase their physical activity, improve their diet, and coping techniques to reduce stress. One participant reported, “When I feel the stress coming, I try to step back and slow down, breathe deep and think of a better choice to stay positive, the stress slows down or leaves.”
ZUMBA fitness classes were taught during 2016. Attendance was higher than anticipated with an average of 53 participants. Participants have self-reported healthier eating habits, better digestive health, and the stress-relief from taking the class.
OSU Extension partnered with the Ohio Health Diabetes educator to offer the Dining with Diabetes class. Participants in the three-week class learned how to count carbohydrates, and they were educated via cooking demonstrations about proper portion sizes. Individuals received follow-up training through the Dining with Diabetes: Beyond the Kitchen online course.
The FCS educator and 4-H program assistant led 32 4-H camp counselors and four adults in the Text, Talk, Act curriculum on Mental Health Awareness. Due to this training, camp counselors who attend Kenton High School were able to explain the need and importance of mental health awareness to administrators, leading to 80 Kenton High School and Middle School educators being certified in Mental Health First Aid. FCS educator became a certified instructor for Youth Mental Health First Aid and is planning to train teachers in the future.
Healthy and Hydrated: It’s In Your Hands was a program that 201 4-H campers and counselors participated in and self-reported their daily results. They were encouraged to drink five bottles of water each day and try at least one fruit or vegetable at meal times while attending 4-H camp. The camp nurse reported a 92 percent decrease in visits related to dehydration. Funds were made available for this program through a 4-H Healthy Living mini-grant.
The FCS educator, 4-H educator, and summer interns led health and wellness programming for county employees, increasing participation by 200 percent over 2015 when it was conducted by the county. They provided educational programming on the topics of Being Heart Healthy, Mental Health, Grilling, exercise, and Tobacco and You.
The 4-H program assistant created and delivering the 4-H Cutting Board Challenge with professionals from two neighboring counties to teach youth about food safety. The program was presented at the Ohio 4-H Conference and in Allen County, and 71 youth participated, including 8 Hardin County camp counselors. After completing the program, 98 percent of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they knew what foodborne illness is and how to prevent it.
4-H Tech Wizards is a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) after-school/group mentoring program for under-represented youth, grades three to five. 4-H Tech Wizards capitalizes on emerging technology as a way of involving youth and their families in learning basic life and workforce skills. The program is offered in collaboration with Kenton and Hardin County community schools, and maintains an enrollment of 29 youth and six trained mentors. Three Tech Wizard counties partnered in a STEAM on the QUAD event with Ohio State – Lima for youth to try hands-on science and technology activities. Tech Wizard youth served as teachers at the event, which reached more than 300 children and adults from the tri-county area.
Hardin County 4-H clubs had 767 members in 34 clubs, led by 120 volunteers. Members took 1,323 projects. In addition, 93 youth participated in advanced 4-H Project Workshop Wednesdays and Tech Tuesdays designed to enhance skills and learning by bringing in industry experts.
At the Hardin Northern Career Day, 54 students learned about agriculture and natural resources as a career choice.
This year, 18 dairy producers enhanced their financial management skills through the use of OSU Extension farm management reports.
Successful Co-Parenting is a court-mandated class is taught to couples filing for divorce with children under the age of 18. Participants learn how to help themselves and their child go through the process of divorce and learn how to effectively co-parent. Fifty-six parents attended classes in Hardin County. According to post-program survey responses, 100 percent of agreed or strongly agreed that the program was helpful.
Little Sparks is designed to offer adults and the young children in their lives a variety of activities to encourage social-emotional, cognitive, physical, and language development. This program encourages intergenerational learning and a place for adults to learn more about child development. In 2016, 19 adults and 31 children were served.
Girls Group finished its inaugural year with 32 girls in grades four, five and six participating in biweekly activities that helped to develop resiliency and positive self-esteem.
Homemaker’s Council programming celebrated the Year of the Pulses. Each club presented a lesson on a different type of pulse and FCS educator provided an experience on pulses that reached 74 club members. Fifty-eight homemakers and guests gathered at the Spring Achievement Day.
Grilling with Grandfathers and WeGrill were programs that grandfathers or fathers and their youth participated in lessons about nutrition and relationship building. These cross-programmatic efforts were a partnership between FCS and 4-H under the direction of Dr. Jim Bates, Extension field specialist. Families grilled a nutritious meal together each week and strengthened relationships with each other. This year, 30 youth and 30 fathers participated in the program statewide; 100 percent of fathers agreed that they were better prepared as a father after completing the program.
Recipients of the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) learned how to stretch their food dollars through programs on diet quality, physical activity, food safety and food resource management. Hardin County SNAP-Ed participants reported that they made food- and diet-related changes in most nutrition areas. SNAP-Ed also provided nutrition programs for preschool through second-grade children in classrooms at Head Start, Kenton City, and Upper Scioto Valley schools.
A Fruit and Vegetable Crop Walk was held for 53 Amish and English growers with instruction on soil fertility, water quality, plant disease, and insect damage. Integrated Pest Management and Pesticide classes were taught to 52 garden club members and Master Gardener Volunteer interns.
Livestock management programming shared best practices in the industry. Thirty-two people attended a carcass show program to learn about meat evaluation. A two-day Hardin County Sheep Management Tour allowed 25 producers to visit four sheep farms and a wool processing facility in southwest Ohio. Three sessions of the Ohio Beef Cattle School was held for 21 producers.
This year, 30 Master Gardener Volunteers taught two group programs with 100 participants and reached a total of 7,228 individuals when providing horticulture education in 2016. This group volunteered 1,455 hours to OSU Extension and spent 674 hours in horticulture continuing education to serve the residents of Hardin County. The value of their volunteer service to the county was $46,966, more than the local share of funds required for providing an Extension educator.
The Hardin County Spark Lab Innovation Center continued to provide programs that enhanced technology access to rural youth and adults. Through the office Maker Space, residents have access to video production equipment, circuitry, Bluetooth sporting equipment, computerize sewing machines, 3-D printers, and other cutting edge technology. A series of seven Tech Tuesdays workshops were offered to teach community members about social media, video production, and gaming. More than 80 percent of those attending video production classes agreed that they learned a skill they would be able to utilize in their life, and one participant continued to utilize the Spark Lab to create a 20-minute promotional video for her community organization.
In partnership with Hardin County Recovery Court, the FCS educator taught budgeting and parenting classes to 9 adults. There were 12 one-hour classes taught to 23 people.
Local producers learned land management practices through various educational efforts. Local county corn, soybean, weed, and insect studies were part of a statewide OSU Extension research effort. Thirty grain farmers learned about inter-seeding soybeans into wheat and late season nitrogen application on corn at two Twilight Tour programs.
Four Conservation Tillage Club Breakfast meetings were held on water quality, grain marketing, production, and farm management topics with an average attendance of 69 farmers per meeting. An Ohio Soybean Council grant of $250 was secured to provide funds for these local programs. The 24th Annual Conservation Tillage and Technology Conference was hosted at Ohio Northern University with 923 participants. At least 195 people attended the Hardin Field Day to learn about conserving soil, nutrient management, and water quality in cooperation with the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). A Conservation Tillage Conference grant of $3,000 was secured to fund Hardin County on-farm research for five fertility trials to study nitrogen rate, nitrogen timing, and phosphorus placement as part of the OSU Extension Nutrient Stewardship for Cleaner Water signature program.
Pesticide Applicator Training was conducted for 95 private applicators in Hardin County and hundreds of additional private applicators in the region. A total of 113 local commercial and private fertilizer applicators were trained for fertilizer certification at two Hardin County events.