Approximately 60 4-H members participated in J-Fit activities. J-Fit culminated at the county fair, where members walked one mile each day, learned the importance of nutritious snacks, and the importance of choosing water for thirst. J-Fit addresses the fourth “H” (health) in a fun way.
In 2016, Jefferson and Harrison counties facilitated 360 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) programs with area agencies and partners. In this fiscal year, SNAP-Ed focused on teaching school-age children about nutrition. The “Eat, Play, Grow” curriculum was used for preschool and Head Start classes. “Balance My Day” curriculum, which meets certain HCAT standards, was used for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
All SNAP-Ed programs were direct series, meaning the lesson was with a specified group of people for at least 45 minutes for adults and 30 minutes for youth, with a minimum of three meetings. Overall, 35 of those programs were adult programs, with 106 adults in attendance. These programs were conducted at Job and Family Services in Jefferson County, Job and Family Services in Harrison County, and Beacon House in Jefferson County. 325 programs were youth programs, with 3,763 youth in attendance. Programs were held in seven locations: St. Anthony’s Head Start in Steubenville, Bantam Ridge Head Start in Wintersville, Buckeye West Preschool in Adena, Buckeye South Preschool in Tiltonsville, Buckeye North Elementary in Brilliant, Adena Head Start, and Tiltonsville Head Start. Of the SNAP-Ed participants who reported gender (adult and youth), 1,927 (49.9 percent) were female and 1,932 (50.1 percent) were male.
90 members attended 4-H Contest Day, a public speaking event in which members participate in demonstrations, speeches, and interviews. Members who attended Contest Day built skills that will aid them when they enter the job market.
This year, 34 students participated in the Real Money. Real World. hands-on financial literacy experience in which students learn the importance of career choices and how their career choices impact their income. Students were able to put their knowledge to use in a realistic simulation in which their designated earnings (less deductions) from an assigned career were budgeted to support the needs of their given family scenario.
One of the eight key elements of a successful 4-H program is that youth members are engaged in learning. 4-H projects allow youth the opportunity to learn about subjects interesting to them and help them find success and mastery of the project. This year, 145 members attended clinics which helped them in their chosen project area; and 56 members attended Horse Camp at the Jefferson County fairgrounds to improve their horsemanship skills.
This year, 132 youth attended 4-H Camp Piedmont junior camp. Campers participated in large- and small-group activities and were given opportunities to lead in those groups. Also, 26 teens attended 4-H Teen Leadership Camp where they learned about their own self concepts by participating in confidence-building activities, which they learned affect their unique leadership style.
Approximately 26 percent of Jefferson County consists of land dedicated to agricultural use. However, many children have had little to no contact with the farm, unlike past generations. Agricultural education opportunities were offered to youth at several events to increase youth agricultural awareness. More than 50 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and their families learned about Ohio’s beneficial and pest insects during the Jefferson County Farm Bureau’s Ag Day event. Approximately 100 students in three schools participated in farm-to-school programming, where students were taught the basics of horticulture and how to produce their own vegetables.
This year was marked by the appearance of the periodical cicadas, which emerge once every 17 years. About 50 Jefferson County residents received information about cicada emergence at the Extension celebration event at the fairgrounds and learned how to protect young fruit trees from cicada damage. Additional support for this topic was provided through fact sheet distribution and individual instruction as farmers contacted the Extension office.
Through a bimonthly newsletter sent via mail and email, more than 500 county residents increased their knowledge about various topics related to farm management, horticulture, and natural resources. The office also answered 154 agricultural questions via phone calls, emails, and walk-ins from clientele.
In 2016, 205 4-H members attended quality assurance training to learn about the importance of an effective health management plan, how to properly store and administer animal health products, and proper feed processing protocols. Also, 318 members completed skillathon testing for their individual animal projects, and 264 achieved “most outstanding skillathon youth,” with a score of 90 and above.
The 4-H Youth Development program reached 575 Jefferson County youth through 32 4-H clubs in communities throughout the county. Clubs provide a safe and nurturing learning environment, and the 138 county volunteers provide members with a caring relationship that is a predictor of success as the members move through the often difficult teen years. Members learn responsibility by completing their 4-H projects and community involvement through service projects, which involve hands-on learning opportunities that are educational and fun.
The Master Gardener Volunteers program in Jefferson and Harrison counties provides educational opportunities in the areas of home horticulture. More than 700 volunteer hours were contributed to the community in 2016 by 14 Jefferson/Harrison Master Gardener Volunteers. Local volunteers have taught free gardening education sessions at several schools, a senior center, community gardens, farmers’ markets, and libraries.
This year, 184 4-H members attended the 2016 Iron Chef Clinic, where they prepared dishes with pizza as their category. Participants reported that their involvement in the Iron Chef Clinic made them more comfortable in their kitchen skills. Restaurants in the county provide judges for this contest.
Recent concerns in Ohio include harmful algal blooms caused by fertilizer run-off and health risks associated with improper pesticide use. This year, 10 participants attended the Pesticide Applicator Recertification training in Jefferson County. There were 46 farmers and agency representatives who participated in Tri-County Agronomy Day. Participants learned how to effectively identify and manage pests, protect the environment when using pesticides, and minimize chemical use. Producers also learned about soil sampling and proper fertilizer application to reduce nutrient run-off into Ohio’s rivers and lakes.