A partnership of OSU Extension, Muskingum County Juvenile Court and Ohio State Highway Patrol Zanesville Post, the 4-H CARTEENS program taught traffic safety to 229 first-time juvenile traffic offenders and 226 parents. Twelve teen volunteers gained public speaking, teaching, and leadership skills during 10 program sessions. Teen participants report an increased awareness of risky driving behaviors, laws that govern teen drivers, and the relationship between vehicle speed and stopping distance.
Extension staff promoted the safety and welfare of minors by training 296 4-H volunteers and 37 teen camp counselors in child abuse recognition and reporting. Volunteers learned to identify the four main types of child abuse: sexual, emotional, physical and neglect, as well as how and when to make a report to the appropriate authorities.
The Real Money. Real World. hands-on financial literacy program engaged 594 eighth-grade students and 70 12th-grade students in an interactive spending simulation that provided the opportunity for the students to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those made by 27-year-old adults. Pre-simulation classroom lessons included the effect on income of education and occupation, paycheck deductions, checking and savings account usage, and budgeting. Forty-four community leaders, business representatives, and others served as volunteers for this activity at three county middle schools and one high school.
In 2016, 311 current and potential 4-H members, parents, and volunteers attended 4-H Kick-Off during Muskingum County 4-H Week. Participants learned more about 4-H and saw those who excelled in 2015 receive recognition. Participants viewed and interacted with more than 25 4-H members who displayed their county winning projects from 2015. Project Book Central allowed event participants to view any of the more than 200 project books available through Ohio 4-H.
This year, 258 current 4-H volunteers participated in a mandatory volunteer training that included an introduction to the new Ohio 4-H Volunteer Handbook. Topics covered included: a program overview, state and county policies and procedures, member and volunteer requirements, and the county calendar.
This year, 38 new 4-H volunteers were approved through the volunteer selection process including participating in interviews and a two-hour training session. Volunteers learned about the history of Extension and 4-H, while getting a true understanding of the mission, vision, and eight key elements to a successful 4-H program.
Educating youth about livestock care is a high priority for OSU Extension, and 649 4-H members participated in livestock quality assurance training workshops, where participants learned good production practices to raise safe, high-quality food products for consumers.
In 2016, 32 first-time horse project participants participated in horse safety and ethics training with a parent or guardian. They learned the dangers of equine projects and the steps they can take to make their experience with equine a safe experience while making ethical decisions when caring for, training, and exhibiting equine.
The annual livestock skillathon challenged 381 4-H and FFA members to gain knowledge in areas related to animal health, humane care and handling of livestock, and showmanship in 437 livestock projects.
This year, 57 Cloverbuds (ages 5-8) participated in “Barn to Barn” at the Muskingum County fair, with Junior Fair Board members teaching youth about caring for and showing animals during this two-hour program.
In all, 56 producers were equipped with tools to better manage their agricultural business by attending either the 2016 Coshocton/Muskingum Agronomy School or the 2016 Muskingum/Morgan Pastures for Profit grazing school. More than 300 hours of producer contact included training in goal setting, economics, fertility management, grazing system design, and pest management to create and maintain a local vibrant agricultural industry. More than 90 percent of respondents indicated they would share knowledge gained at the Agronomy School program with someone else, ensuring a wide reach throughout the community. More than half of respondents intend to adjust or change an agronomic practice.
Five days and four nights at 4-H Camp Ohio for Muskingum County 4-H junior camp was a highlight of the summer for 147 campers, ages 8-13. Youth participated in outdoor learning experiences and gained skills in independent living, communications, teamwork, and leadership. This year, 37 teen leaders completed an average of 26 training hours to prepare for their counselor roles in areas such as child development, behavior and risk management, camper health and wellness, supportive relationships, and teaching.
In its 20th year, the Muskingum County Master Gardener Volunteer program continues to engage the community in environmentally sound and research-based gardening practices by involving the efforts of 65 volunteers. 21 projects at Muskingum County schools were supported with the mentorship of Master Gardener Volunteers to support youth. A combined minimum of 650 hours of effort from volunteers engaged the public through hospice, community gardens, a juvenile detention center, farmers market, and public spaces while creating community involvement from youth to seniors in multiple economic demographics.
Pesticide Applicator Training was provided to 44 participants, and 38 individuals received Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training, resulting in more than 200 hours of producer contact to ensure proper knowledge of pesticide and fertilizer use. At least 95 percent of applicators reported that they learned improved practices to protect the environment. Also, 92 percent of applicators reported that they had improved their knowledge of nutrient management. Pesticide Applicator Training and Fertilizer Applicator Certification continue to ensure sound agricultural practices to support a sustainable community.
Five producers planted on-farm strip trials in cooperation with the Ohio State University Soil Fertility Lab and OSU Extension – Muskingum County to study fertilizer applications on grain crops of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur as part of a statewide effort to update the Tri-State Recommendations for fertilizer. This is a multi-year effort to provide sound recommendations to producers based on efficiency and economics. By hosting trials in Muskingum County, we are ensuring that the southeastern region of Ohio is represented in the combined statewide product and that county producers continue to be informed of social, economic, and environmental trends that influence the industry.