Licking County (2016)

2016 County Highlights
Licking County

771 E. Main Street, Suite 103 Newark, OH 43055

Phone: 740-670-5315
Lisa McCutcheon
Health and Wellness

More than 1,100 citizens participated in health and wellness education classes that included understanding new food labels, learning portion sizes, combating stress, sun safety screenings, and chronic disease prevention.

Diabetes education was conducted with more than 400 participants. As a result, 100 percent gained new knowledge and have implemented portion control, counting carbohydrates, and exercising.

Licking County SNAP-Ed has grown by more than 200 percent in providing valuable educational opportunities in the community. As of August 2016, we have two SNAP-Ed program assistants serving the county. Since January 2016, more than 3,346 participants attended 221 SNAP-Ed direct education programs in Licking County.

Behavior change regarding drinking water instead of sugar-containing drinks has also improved after receiving SNAP-Ed programming, with 50 percent of participants indicating they usually or always choose water over sugar-sweetened beverages.

This year, 279 first-time juvenile traffic offenders participated in 4-H CARTEENS, learning effective strategies for safe driving. The program was facilitated by eight 4-H teen leaders in partnership with the Licking County juvenile court and local law enforcement.

A Diabetes Garden plot was developed this year in the learning garden of the Master Gardener Volunteers. The fresh-picked tomatoes, stevia, and basil grown in this plot was used in Dining with Diabetes programs to share the taste and nutrition of fresh food. 

Job Skills and Careers

More than 250 participants learned about food preservation education through various classes.

A total of 87 food service employees were trained through nationally certified ServSafe program. The National ServSafe Certification Exam was passed by 94 percent who earned certifications in food protection from the Ohio Department of Health.

Real Money. Real World., a financial literacy program for youth, was introduced to 353 students (31 percent increase over last year) at middle schools in Granville, Northridge, and Utica. Students learned the impact of education on their potential income, budgeting, and the importance of saving money.

A total of 44 Junior Fair Board members volunteered approximately 7,700 hours total to prepare programs that served 1,675 junior fair exhibitors. Evaluations indicated that 91 percent learned program-planning, 89 percent learned conflict management, and 97 percent learned time management.

Through Junior Fair Board, 4-H camp counselor training, Food and Fashion Board, and 4-H CARTEENS, 110 teens were provided with training in leadership, speaking, program planning, mentoring, conflict management, community service, evaluation, and communications. These youth each individually contributed more than 125 hours of volunteer service on average, with a total value of $323,950.

Ohio 4-H school enrichment programs helped 28 teachers of 500 students acquire additional science proficiency through hands-on classes and demonstrations from the chick embryology curriculum.

Thriving Across the Life Span

More than 300 senior citizens participated in aging-related programming on longevity, the blue zones, food safety, and heart health.

A summer nutrition workshop in collaboration with Ohio Library Summer Reading program was attended by 40 children and 20 parents; 100 percent reported gaining new knowledge.

Nutrition training was presented to 13 school nurses on new food labels and childhood obesity.

4-H GrandLetters concluded its 10th year with 58 fourth-grade students from Cherry Valley Elementary corresponding with their senior citizen “GrandPals.” Students improved their writing and literacy skills, and hosted their GrandPals at a year-end party.

Sustainable Food Systems

Livestock quality assurance training was presented to 1,057 youth members, 411 parents, and 139 community club advisers – using 34 adult volunteers and 44 teen leaders. Youth learned animal health and the humane care and handling of livestock.

The learning garden of the Master Gardener Volunteers produced vegetables and fruit for hands-on workshops for attendees from spring through fall. The program reached an estimated 200 individuals; and 2,000 pounds of produce grown was donated to the Salvation Army Food Pantry so those in need could enjoy fresh, flavorful local food. 

Engaged Ohioans, Vibrant Communities

A diabetes garden was designed for use in collaboration of the diabetes education classes with the help of local Master Gardener Volunteers. They harvested 150 tomatoes that were used in cooking demonstrations in the community. The garden provided approximately 200 taste testings throughout the community including those conducted at each diabetes class, a Master Gardener Volunteer open house, and a legislative visit.

SNAP-Ed program assistants provided seven community programs reaching more than 500 indirect contacts. One site for these programs is Newark’s Canal Market District which accepted SNAP dollars and matched them for participants shopping for goods at the market through their “Double Up” campaign. More than $4,000 was spent on fresh produce by SNAP participants during this campaign.

Through 70 community 4-H clubs, 1,615 youth ages 8-19 and 149 Cloverbuds in kindergarten through second grade participated in Licking County 4-H. These youth enrolled in 3,185 projects that were supervised by 228 adult club advisers. The service that club advisers contribute is valued at $376,018.

Master Gardener Volunteers began a new outreach program at the Canal Farmers' Market called Newark Grows. The booth was set twice a month on Fridays, and members shared timely vegetable gardening topics for attendees to grow their own food. Tomato plants, garlic cloves, and other samples were given during the events. They made 1,193 contacts in their first year.

Master Gardener Volunteers are expanding their pollinator garden at Dawes Arboretum at the request of the arboretum director. The garden educates approximately 250,000 visitors a year including school groups, tours groups about the importance of pollinators, and what plants are best for food and nectar sources.

Master Gardener Volunteers spoke with 984 fair attendees and discussed gardening topics with handouts and engaging displays.

The Horticulture Hotline, through the Master Gardener Volunteers, assisted community gardening concerns by answering 25 emails, 68 calls, and 33 walk-ins.

In 2016, Master Gardener Volunteers logged 4,384 volunteer hours with a dollar value of $101,138. 

Environmental Quality

This year, 69 private pesticide applicators received initial or continuing education credit as certified applicators by participating in a three-hour class. Afterward, 93 percent of the participants shared that they had gained new knowledge concerning pesticide safe handling and were more confident in their ability to determine when the use of a pesticide was warranted.

Two fertilizer certification classes were offered in 2016. The program covered crop nutrient best management practices which will positively impact water quality. Training was completed by 57 area producers who obtained a fertilizer license. Of those surveyed, 94 percent agreed this training improved their knowledge about nutrient management.

Licking County receives $73,587 in federal funding for nutrition education for low-income people, thanks to Extension’s local-state-federal partnership. Visit for more information.