Morrow County (2016)

2016 County Highlights
Morrow County

5362 US Highway 42 Suite 101 Mt. Gilead, OH 43338

Phone: 419-947-1070
Becky Barker
Health and Wellness

Live Healthy Live Well programs via email wellness challenges, wellness health fairs, and face-to-face classes attracted 108 community members. Programs included Stop Stressing Start Living, The Skinny on Fat, The Science Behind Cleaning, Slow Cooker Basics, Nutrition and Fitness, Sun Safety, Balance Your Wellness Wheel Challenge, and Time Out 4 Health Challenge. More than 90 percent of participants reported “learning new information,” and more than 85 percent planned to use the information they learned. Participants reported learning a lifestyle change of “relieving stress at the work desk,” “decreasing salt,” “using more fiber,” “adding more meditation,” “consuming stress relief foods,” and “recognizing symptoms of stress sooner.”

The manner in which people handle and prepare food is a major reason why foodborne illness occurs. Food safety and home food preservation information was provided for 92 participants through classes, individual instruction, and pressure canner inspections. After attending one class, an increase of more than 80 percent of participants reported they will always “wash hands with soap and warm running water for at least 20 seconds before working with foods.” After taking part in a class, 81 percent of participants reported they will always “use current OSU Extension and USDA canning and freezing recommendations,” which is a 51 percent increase from the pre-class status.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) is a nutrition education program serving low-income adults and youth throughout Ohio. In Morrow County, the SNAP-Ed program offered information on nutrition, food safety, and thrifty shopping to 156 adult and more than 100 teen participants through direct education classes taught at the Job Training Office and The Tomorrow Center High School. Adults self-reported through pre- and post-training surveys a 9.1 percent increase in “always eating a variety of fruits and vegetables.” They also self-reported a 7.8 percent increase in “always eating whole grains.” After participating in classes, an increase in 17 percent of adults reported feeling at least somewhat confident that the SNAP-Ed program could help them to make at least one positive change to their household.

SNAP-Ed programming identified evidence-based curriculums for use in schools. The nutritional educational series provided information and activities about eating breakfast, eating different kinds of fruits, eating healthy snacks, eating different kinds of vegetables, drinking water instead of soda or fruit flavored drinks, eating food from the My Plate food groups, and doing things to become or stay physically active. Head Start and Park Avenue Elementary School were both impacted by this programming and have opted to continue SNAP-Ed classes in the 2016-2017 school year.

Job Skills and Careers

Increasing financial stability by learning how to use a spending plan to save and reduce consumer debt was the goal of the nine Manage Your Money series of classes completed by 77 Job and Family Services clientele. More than 97 percent of participants reported the positive change to “set aside money for occasional expenses.” The planned behavior change to “set aside money for emergencies” was also reported by more than 98 percent of participants. In addition, 91 percent of class series participants reported a change to “using written goals to guide my financial decisions” in the future.

Through the Real Money. Real World. program, 212 teens from three middle schools learned lifestyle and budget choices. “How expensive kids are!” and “That you need to be smart with your money” are a few of the lessons learned from this collaborative program.

Thriving Across the Life Span

This year, 74 teens received at least 90 hours of skill development training in leadership, public speaking, program-planning, community service, mentoring and conflict management by participating in Junior Fair Board, camp counselor training, Junior Leaders, Food and Fashion Board, 4-H CARTEENS leadership, and being a Health Advocate leader.

The 4-H youth development program reaches more than 971 youth through 4-H clubs and 1,529 additional county youth through other research-based educational programming such as school enrichment, safety programs, environmental education, summer day camps, and after-school programs.

This year, 174 volunteers worked directly with youth, ensuring positive youth development experiences through Extension programs. They volunteered an estimated 7,000 hours, a donated economic value of more than $154,980.

In cooperation with juvenile court, first-time teen traffic offenders attended the CARTEENS auto safety educational program held monthly. Teens and attending parents learned effective strategies for safe driving through 4-H teen-led activities and guest speakers. A total of 77 teens participated so far in 2016. Parents attending with teens “strongly agreed” the program helped the teen drivers.

Young people know 4-H camp is fun, and youth development experts know 4-H camp helps build critical life skills for both campers and teen counselors. Camp helps build teamwork, communications, and leadership while cultivating job readiness skills; plus, campers have a chance to connect to nature. Again, we topped out at 205 youth (ages 8-14), 49 teen counselors and nine volunteer adult supervisors attending this year’s camp. Teen counselors donated 6,240 hours or $50,544 of service if paid minimum wage.

Animals, trees, plants, insects, conservation, and energy were the programs highlighted at the Earth Day event, which provided hands-on educational programs based on Ohio academic content science standards and benchmarks. The event was attended by 423 second-graders, teachers, and parents attended. “All sessions were helpful to me as a teacher,” was the response of teachers in attendance.

Sustainable Food Systems

A three-session basic gardening class was completed by 63 job and family services clientele. During the class participants started seeds, learned about soil science, weed and insect control, container gardening, edible landscapes, traditional gardens, and that they can purchase seeds and plants with their SNAP cards. Participants said the class was very helpful, wished they had known sooner they could purchase seeds and plants and were eager to start gardens with the information learned.

To promote high-quality, safe produce from local growers was the objective of the Good Agriculture Practices certification that nine producers attended. This program teaches best practices for fresh produce, helpful tools and resources to develop risk assessments, and food safety plans for the farm.

During a two-hour class, 30 county residents learned the rules and regulations of selling homemade food products and farm-raised meat from their homes and farmers markets. During this training, they also learned about licensure, the importance of marketing their products, and consumer food safety.

Assuring Quality Care for Animals educates youth and their parents on proper animal care and handling, recordkeeping, and ways to carry out healthcare activities in a manner that will maintain a wholesome food product from the project animal. More than 1,100 youth and their parents attended this educational program.

Engaged Ohioans, Vibrant Communities

Awareness to our community about where they can purchase fresh local foods for their families was the goal of our Ohio Local Foods week program. During the week, seven county food producers were featured in our weekly paper and on our Facebook page reaching 7,983 people. 

Environmental Quality

Pesticide Applicator Training was conducted twice in Morrow County, with more than 65 private applicators in attendance. Applicators indicated gaining knowledge in the correct use of pesticides to protect the crop and environment. An additional six farmers attended a training session to prepare for the certification exam. Attendees, who took the test, all passed the exam and are now licensed private applicators.

Water quality has come to the forefront in Ohio, and part of the solution for improving water quality may also be a financial savings for farmers. In 2016, 80 Morrow County farmers were certified through two Fertilizer Applicator Certification Trainings. Producers will need certification starting September 30, 2017 if they produce crops, primarily for sale, on more than 50 acres.

Morrow County receives $68,707 in federal funding for nutrition education for low-income people, thanks to Extension’s local-state-federal partnership. Visit for more information.
Morrow County receives $2,780 in gifts and grants to magnify the impact of federal, state and local funding and partner with citizens, families and business owners to strengthen the lives and communities of all Ohioans. Visit for information about opportunities to support OSU Extension.