OSU Extension provides support to those involved in the home processing of food by answering consumer calls and by conducting pressure canner testing and home food preservation workshops. These are great opportunities to talk about the steps needed to ensure the safety of home food preservation. Five pressure canner testing events and many one-on-one, in-office tests were conducted for more than 100 canner units. More than two-thirds of canner units tested needed new parts or needed to have adjustments made during the processing procedure. A total of 17 food preservation workshops, with 143 participants were held on topics including Canning Basics, Making Fruit Leather and Jerky, Salsa and Freezing Basics.
19 Holmes County 4-H and FFA members participated on the 2016 Holmes County Junior Fair Board. Throughout the year, topics were explored such as public speaking, leadership, event planning, and conflict resolution. In August 2016, these youth facilitated the Holmes County junior fair by announcing the shows, maintaining accurate show records, which were then released to the public and media outlets, and successfully planned and implemented activities for Cloverbud youth and Holmes County youth during Kid’s Day at the fair.
Seven Holmes County teens served as camp counselors for the Knox-Holmes 4-H camp. Counselors were responsible for youth ages 9-14 in a week-long residential camp. Counselors also planned, implemented, and taught daily programs such as kitchen chemistry, capture the flag, and canoeing.
The nationally recognized ServSafe Food Safety Programs were offered for the 16th year. In 2016, 78 participants attended the 16-hour Level 2 (Food Service Manager) training. The average passing certification exam score was 86 percent. Level 1 (Safe Food Handler) training was attended by 41 Holmes County food service employees. An average 16 percent increase from pre- to post-test results indicates that this four-hour food safety program impacts how these employees handle the food served to our local residents and visitors. Participants learned about the dangers of foodborne illness, preventing cross-contamination, utilizing time and temperature control effectively, and cleaning, sanitizing, and managing for pests.
The eighth-grade classes of Hiland Middle School and West Holmes Middle School, assisted by many community volunteers, participated in Real Money. Real World. At least 280 students attended the in-class lessons about critical concepts related to personal finance and participated in a hands-on simulation in which the students put their knowledge to use in a realistic simulation where their designated earnings (less deductions) from an assigned career, were budgeted to support the needs of their given family scenario. Participants documented learning in a variety of areas related to money and their future. Student comments ranged from “children, food, etc. cost a lot more money than I thought” to…“it was stressful, but opened my eyes about the future.”
This year, 34 Holmes County youth ages 5-9 participated in the Cloverbud day camp, supported by 14 adult and teen volunteers. Youth participated in activities to develop leadership, communication, fitness, service, and teamwork.
This year, 45 4-H members attended the 2016 Knox-Holmes 4-H camp where they participated in activities such as high ropes, shooting sports, nature, crafts, campfire, and recreation. The 2016 theme of camp was superheroes, and participants were encouraged throughout camp to find “their inner superpower” to gain insight into self and the positive attributes that each individual can contribute to the group.
More than 60 parents attended the Successful Co-Parenting Program, a class for separating or divorcing parents to receive information on how to best help themselves through the divorce process, while also helping their children cope with living in two separate homes. When asked what they will do differently now, comments included: “Be patient and consider the other parent’s opinion,” and “Set rules and not be a friend but a parent.” Successful Co-Parenting is making an impact by preparing parents for the post-divorce lifestyle, while helping them provide a healthy positive environment for their children to enjoy.
This year, 270 4-H members attended and completed quality assurance certification. Youth discussed food safety and government regulations, ethics and animal welfare, tools for continuous improvement and proper equipment, good environmental stewardship, maintaining proper workplace safety, and providing proper animal handling and care to produce a viable food product for the community.
This year, 434 maple syrup producers across Ohio and surrounding states gained unbiased research knowledge and skills suited to improve production efficiency within economical enterprises. Maple syrup producers gained the knowledge to comply with state and federal regulations regarding grading and labeling of products produced within their operations. Attendees indicated they had attended for seven years, on average, with 73 percent indicating they saved money due to the workshops. At least 75 percent indicated that the workshops "greatly met" or "met" their needs within their sugaring operation. Survey results indicate that 46 percent of the state’s $5 million annual income from maple syrup production attended an Ohio Maple Days Workshop. Participant comments included, “…this workshop is indispensable for me,” and “Thanks for being so straight forward. I appreciate the science presented today and information having the scientific data backing.”
Six Holmes County youth participated in the 4-H Overseas: Citizenship and Agriculture experience, which included a nine-day tour of England, Ireland, and Wales. While on the tour, the youth visited an Irish sheep farm, took a tour through Killarney National Park, and participated in cultural experiences, such as attending a performance at the National Irish Folk Theatre. One participant reported, “My horizons have been broadened, and I am more aware of how others live.” Upon returning to Holmes County, the youth reported what they learned to their community clubs and also created a booth of pictures and educational information which was on display for the community at the 2016 Holmes County fair.
Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT) – Within the five trainings offered, 272 agriculture producers with a pesticide applicator’s license gained training in proper application, measurement accuracy, and handling of the chemistries available to them in the state. Of the attendees, 90 percent indicated the training has improved their personal safety, practices to protect the environment, and how they handle (mix, store, apply) chemicals within their farming operation due to the workshops. The majority of participants (89 percent) indicated they were better prepared to identify pests, weeds, and diseases to reduce costs, while protecting the environment.
Fertilizer Applicator Requirements Training (FERT) – Within the six trainings offered, 204 farm managers gained training in fertilizer application to keep them in compliance with the state’s new requirements. At least 60 percent indicated they gained nutrient management practices that will save money but also protect the environment; 72 percent indicated they better understand how and where nutrient movement derives from.