Extension’s SNAP-Ed program, in collaboration with Troy Head Start, educated 42 preschool students over a three-week period on the importance of healthy foods and physical activity.
Two Cooking Matters programs were held in collaboration with local agency, Partners in Hope. Over the course of six classes, participants were taught basic nutrition, smart shopping and increased their cooking skills. A total of 25 participants learned how to stretch their food dollars and increase the amounts of healthy food their families eat during this program.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) worked with the summer food service program at Garden Manor, Troy Rec, Lincoln Community Center, and Richards Chapel. The summer food service program saw more than 200 children each week for eight weeks. The children received nutrition lessons, sampled healthy snacks and participated in physical fitness activities.
School programs are the bulk of SNAP-Ed programming where students received nutrition education throughout the school year. Almost 1,900 children in kindergarten through second grade participated in these programs.
More than 260 individuals attended Successful Co-Parenting, a court-mandated program for divorcing couples with children under the age of 18. The program’s main video was developed by former OSU Extension – Miami County family and consumer sciences educator Jamie Seger with local 4-H members; it has received more than 24,000 views on YouTube and is being utilized nationwide.
Miami County 4-H CARTEENS reached 160 teen drivers and their parents. Participants learned about driving distractions, traffic laws and the importance of wearing safety belts. Comments included: “I think all high school age children should have to go through this class with their parents.” “I know I will leave here a better driver and hope my son will as well.” “It made me realize I could’ve been badly injured or killed.” The program collaborates with Miami County Juvenile Court and Ohio State Highway Patrol.
More than 30 youth at clubhouse after-school programs took part in nutrition education lessons. Youth learned about proper handwashing, preparing and selecting healthy snacks, and the five food groups by exploring the USDA MyPlate.
This year, 31 individuals participated in an eight-week New and Small Farms College to gain a greater understanding of production practices, economics of land use choices, assessment of personal and natural resources, and the identification of sources of assistance. Participants also attended a tour of two county farms and learned how to make the most of small acreage.
In all, 449 sixth and seventh grade students participated in the Real Money. Real World. program, a hands-on lifestyle and budget simulation experience designed to help young people understand personal finance. Student comments included: “Your education is very important.” “I will budget my money.” “I plan on keeping up my grades to get in a good college and get a good education.”
More than 120 youth participated in Commodity Carnival at the Miami County fair. Aimed at building greater literacy in agricultural science and economics, this activity employed a fun interactive approach to help participants experience managing the business risk involved in producing and selling livestock.
More than 500 kindergarten through fourth-grade students in 24 classrooms participated in 4-H school enrichment programs. Students exhibited increased knowledge in aerospace science, natural resources, animal science, and nutrition. This was demonstrated through correctly answering questions, completing worksheets, and successfully conducting experiments.
The 171 youth who were enrolled in food and nutrition, clothing, and other 4-H projects participated in 4-H project judging, during which members gained confidence with interviewing and articulated the learning experiences and work involved in their projects.
This year, 97 youth attended the Miami County 4-H junior camp at Indian Hills 4-H Camp in Pleasant Hill. This five-day camp provided youth with activities to develop leadership skills, team-building, interpersonal skills and lasting friendships. After camp, 94 percent indicated that they learned to get along with others, and 87 percent said they learned to work in a group.
This year, 30 youth volunteers served as 4-H camp counselors for 4-H junior camp. They completed 24 hours of training on such topics as program planning, risk management, emergency procedures, first aid, communication, and conflict resolution. Counselors commented that the skills they most improved included: communication, leadership, public speaking, and organization.
Two invasive insect pests (spotted wing drosophila and brown marmorated stink bug) were monitored at two different sites in Miami County. The timing of emergence of the pest and level of infestation was used by the growers to make management decisions.
This year, 343 youth livestock producers learned how to improve the care and well-being of their animals to ensure safe food production by studying the 10 good production practices, animal welfare and ethics taught during six quality assurance training programs.
A virtual farmers' market was established in the county to give local producers the opportunity to expand their customer base and make fresh produce and other foods to available to more residents of the county. The market secured funding through a grant partnership with USDA and the Miami County Local Food Council to hire a part-time market manager. To date, nearly 20 producers and more than 100 residents have taken advantage of the local opportunity.
The first AgricultuHER event was held in Miami County in collaboration with Champaign County. The program is the first in a series that aims to equip women in the agriculture profession to effectively share information to the public on how food is raised and address ethical and environmental concerns regarding agricultural practices. The event gave 26 participants tips for using social media to effectively share the story of agriculture, strategies for handling tense or emotionally charged conversations about agricultural food production, and included information on niche market farm production including marketing products, assessing consumer demand, and difficulties. The women from five different counties were also able to network and share ideas on how to talk to consumers to raise awareness concerning food production
This year, 13 Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) interns were trained, bringing the county total to 69 active members. Each MGV donates 20 to 30 hours per year (about 1,725 hours of service) back to the county. This service is valued at more than $40,600. MGVs undertook projects at the county safety building, the Helpline, Miami County fair booth, Forest Hill Arbor Day School, Head Start Little Gardeners, and via public outreach programs such as the Coffee with the Master Gardener series (which had more than 300 participants in 2016) and the Miami County in Bloom Garden Tour with more than 350 attendees.
This year, 89 individuals were recertified at Pesticide Applicator Training. Trainees learned safeguards for both health and the environment while handling pesticides. Proper spray timing, application rates and methods of application all minimize negative impacts and help protect the environment. Afterward, 77 percent of participants agreed they were better informed about how to apply pesticides safely as a result of the training.
A total of 124 individuals earned their fertilizer applicator certification through sessions and field day demonstrations on soil sampling, manure handling and application, phosphorus management, and timing of nitrogen applications to decrease agricultural impacts on water quality and increase economic efficiency. Afterward, 80 percent agreed their knowledge about nutrient management has improved, and 73 percent planned to review soil tests and phosphorus recommendations.
In all, 108 attendees participated in the first Western Ohio Precision Ag Field Day in Covington. The day focused on fertilizer management and placement opportunities utilizing new precision ag field technology. Sessions on phosphorus management, utilizing aerial imagery to guide nutrient decisions, nitrogen timing applications and a panel discussion including local agronomists, grain producers and soil conservationists were part of the instruction. Participants spent half of the day on formal instruction, and they spent the afternoon at a local farm where nine sponsors demonstrated precision ag field equipment for producers.
Two soil and water testing nights were held in partnership with Miami East FFA and the Miami Soil and Water Conservation District, where a total of 89 water samples and 65 soil samples were collected. Water samples were analyzed for nitrates, nitrites and iron, while the soil samples were analyzed for phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, organic matter, pH and other micronutrients. Individual recommendations and results were sent to attendees.