Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) of Hocking County reached 3,676 adults and youth with direct education classes for fiscal year 2016. An additional 1,215 adults were reached indirectly with educational newsletters. Behavior surveys showed that 77 percent of adults attending presentations on MyPlate and food shopping were very confident of making at least one positive change in their household.
The Logan-Hocking Schools continue to be a strong partner with nine preschool classrooms and six before- and after-care schools receiving programming. An end-of-series survey showed 54 percent of youth eating foods from MyPlate groups “almost every” or “every” day.
The Cooking Matters course empowers low-income adults to get the most nutrition out of their limited budgets through a series of cooking classes. SNAP-Ed partnered with the Hocking County Farm Bureau, Logan Moose Lodge #873, and Logan Kroger to provide the course. An end-of-series behavior survey reported 60 percent of participants make meals from scratch often; 100 percent were very confident using basic cooking skills; and 80 percent were very confident of helping their families eat healthy.
The Ohio State University takes seriously the responsibility for safe guarding the welfare of minor participants. As a result, 110 4-H volunteers and 15 4-H camp counselors were trained on the prevention of child abuse and reporting obligations in instances of known or suspected abuse or neglect of minors.
Real Money. Real World., an OSU Extension signature program, gives middle school students an understanding of how current grades and life choices affect future income. A total of 118 students (five classes) participated in Real Money. Real World. programming during May. Evaluations showed that 83 percent of students believed participating in the program gave them a better idea of what’s involved in earning, spending, and managing money, and 88 percent believed that what they learned would help them in the future.
Young people know 4-H camp is fun. Youth development experts know 4-H camp helps build teamwork, job readiness, communication and leadership skills, all while campers connect with nature. As part of the 2016 “Lumber Jacks and Jills in The Hills” theme, beginner/junior 4-H campers learned about the timber industry; identified trees; watched a lumber jack demonstration and chain saw carving; and created cool, leaf design t-shirts. Evaluations showed campers “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the following statements: campers accomplished something they couldn’t do the first day (100 percent); campers built friendships that will last after camp (96 percent); and campers learned things that will be useful in the future (93 percent).
This year, 12 girls participated in Sewing Camp to learn or enhance clothing construction skills. The evaluation showed that all of the campers were able to identify three new things they learned during Sewing Camp. In addition, 100 percent said “yes” to the following questions: I learned new skills at Sewing Camp; Are you planning to continue to sew at home; and Sewing Camp was fun.
Crockett’s Island was the theme of 4-H Cloverbud Camp which was held at Crockett’s Run. This year, 21 Cloverbuds and six counselors hiked; made crafts; and learned about healthy eating, fish, and how underwater volcanoes form islands. Evaluations showed that all campers learned something new, including: “sometimes fish eat other fish,” “volcanoes can start from under water,” “how to make an erupting volcano,” and “I like cauliflower.”
This year, 20 4-H members attended Horse Camp at the Crazy Woman Ranch. Evaluations stated that new information and skills were gained, resulting in improved youth horsemanship and knowledge.
This year, 14 middle school students participated in a “4-H Sampler” after-school. Lessons and activities were taken from six different 4-H projects and completed over nine weeks. Evaluations indicated that 50 percent of participants would like to join 4-H, and 75 percent felt they learned something new.
4-H CARTEENS stands for Caution And Responsibility and TEENS who present the program. Juvenile traffic offenders attending this program have typically been cited for speeding, stop sign violations, distracted driving, reckless operation, and other moving violations. After-class evaluations show that 79 percent of participants are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to change their driving habits as a result of the program. In addition, 78 percent “strongly agree” or “agree” with this statement: “I am less likely to be a repeat traffic offender as a result of attending the 4-H CARTEENS program.”
The Hocking County Youth Board received a letter of thanks from a local soldier after he received one of the Valentine’s shoe boxes the group sent to area troops. The Youth Board partnered with the Blue Star Mothers to get a list of the most requested items that service people serving overseas need. His letter read, in part: “Thank you for all of the miscellaneous goodies in my Valentine box. I felt so loved! I definitely needed the foot powder. I’m happy to see that there is still life in the 4-H youth program, and in 4-H as a whole. I was a 4-H member for nine or 10 years, and I would absolutely not be where I am today if I wasn’t in 4-H. So, moral of the story, keep at it! I’m stationed in Iraq at the moment. I’m here with the other engineers to help make the living conditions better for everyone. And trust me, they need it!”
The Hocking County 4-H horse teams utilized the expertise of the ANR educator while preparing for the hippology contest. During the first session, the teams learned about common types of injuries and ways to provide first aid as well as common medications and their use and contraindications. During the second meeting, team members learned about fecal egg counts and what is considered normal and abnormal. According to a 4-H horse volunteer, “This session really helped to put the ideas we were learning in books into practical application.” As a result, both the junior and senior teams placed in the top 10.
Local and community food systems were prioritized in Hocking County in 2016 through programming, field work, partnerships and projects. One in six residents of Southeast Ohio struggles with food insecurity. Classes were offered to 384 individuals on the following topics; seed starting, composting, pest management, container gardening, cover crops, pollinators, organic techniques and bio-intensive methods. Five classroom presentations and 12 on-site field consultations/wet labs were conducted.
Extension partnered with Hocking Athens Perry Community Action Program to construct a disability-accessible, raised bed garden at the Southeast Ohio Regional Kitchen, as part of the “What a Waste” Program sponsored by the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger and Wal-Mart. Extension provided education on raised bed gardening techniques to a group of 10 senior citizens who planted, maintained and harvested the beds. The produce was served for lunch at the Scenic Hills Senior Center.
Extension volunteers make a significant economic impact in our community. A total of 131 local residents volunteer with Extension: 110 in 4-H, 15 in Master Gardener Volunteers, and six in the Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program. With the value of a volunteer hour estimated at $23.56 per hour (independentsector.org) and a conservative estimate of 40 hours a year in volunteer time, the value of these efforts donated to Hocking County exceeded $123,450 in 2016.
Extension and Master Gardener Volunteers provided expertise and labor to the city of Logan to prepare for the 2016 America in Bloom competition. Logan Town Centre, the Hocking County fairgrounds and Worthington Park were renovated for the competition. The city of Logan won an award for America in Bloom for the population category, as well as a “Circle of Champions” award for outstanding achievement.
“Ticks: Emerging Diseases and Prevention Strategies” was presented to 32 members of the Hocking Hill’s Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist program as a result of the educator noting an increase in tick-related diseases. The program was presented in an online format. This resulted in an increase of traffic to the agriculture and natural resources page on the OSU Extension – Hocking County website from 496 page views the month prior to 3,924 views the following seven weeks, including 252 unique visitors. The program was repeated during “A Day in the Woods” at the Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest. Pre- and post-program knowledge gains were 2.50 pre-program and 4.17 post-program, with a gain of 1.78. As a result, the educator was invited to present the program to the Ohio forestry staff of Glatfelter, a global manufacturer of paper goods.