The Successful Co-Parenting program is a court-mandated class for divorcing couples with children under the age of 18. The class helps parents understand their child’s perspective and needs during a divorce. Participants learn to: maintain a healthy parent-child relationship through the divorce process; avoid conflict with their co-parent; have healthy communication with their child and their co-parent; and create a stable environment for their child. Approximately 22 parents attended the class in Noble County in 2016. Participants reported that conflict resolution skills were one of the most important things they learned in the class.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) offered 125 classes to Noble County residents. Interactive classes taught skills in healthy eating, food budgeting and active lifestyles to 1,339 youth and adult participants. Educational programs also provided information on nutrition, food safety and food security.
Through the county’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant from the USDA, a revolving loan fund is maintained. Two new businesses were started in the county in the last year and one was saved, keeping or creating more than 25 jobs. One of the business owners credits Extension with changing the life of her family and giving them an opportunity for their dream to come true.
OSU Extension – Noble County and the Noble County Health Department partnered in their annual babysitting seminar; 23 youth attended and were presented information by two Extension personnel in the areas of finances and healthy snacking. At the end, they were provided resources to take what they learned back and one student stated, “Even though I knew it, you taught me even more!”
The 4-H Youth Development program reached more than 600 Noble County youth through 4-H clubs and research-based educational programming, such as school enrichment, agricultural awareness programs, environmental education, summer day camps, and after-school programs. The 25 community clubs provided youth with positive relationships with caring adults. This year, 91 volunteers assisted youth in developing life skills in communication, interpersonal relations, decision making, and responsibility.
This spring, residents of Summit Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Caldwell were given the opportunity to engage in a create-your-own hanging basket workshop. Three community businesses sponsored the program by donating materials, which made it possible for the 20 senior residents who attended to participate at no cost. The uniquely designed baskets served as personalized room décor for residents and their families as well as the center’s common gathering places. With the help of the Summit Acres staff, residents were able to enjoy their handiwork for many months. At the request of the center, OSU Extension will work with their activity coordinator to create additional programming with the goal of enhancing the residents’ experience while in a senior care setting.
This year, 453 members and parents learned how to ensure animal and food safety by attending one of three quality assurance education sessions. As a result of participating in this Ohio Department of Agriculture-mandated program, participants were able to identify what good environmental stewardship practices are, put into place proper workplace safety methods and properly handle and care for their livestock projects.
The Noble County Growing Together Program has grown again in 2016. This year, multiple raised bed gardens were constructed at the OSU Extension – Noble County office. By providing these raised beds, those without space to have a garden still have the opportunity to fully participate. From March to October, the program group met 10 times with lessons provided by the SNAP-Ed program assistant, Lori Harris. The gardens were very successful and enjoyed by everyone young and old, and plans for 2017 are already in the works.
OSU Extension offered multiple learning series for livestock producers in Noble and surrounding counties during 2016. Attendance for the Grazing School, A.I. School, Hay Day, Beef, Sheep, and Forage School programs offered at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station totaled more than 200. The goal of these programs was to improve practical management of forage and livestock in Ohio’s southeastern region. Events included seminars, pasture walks, practice in livestock handling, livestock facility tours, and equipment demonstrations. On average, 95 percent of event participants indicated that they learned something new from the program that they could put into practice in their own systems. Continuing to encourage an attitude of progress by offering tips and instruction for setting attainable production goals among local farmers will help ensure sustainable production of food and other animal by-products for future generations.
The Community Development educator worked with the Noble County Historical Society to create a strategic plan looking at long-term impacts of the organization on the community and ways to ensure its continued success.
Ag School Days is a two-day program that has reached approximately 400 third-grade students each year since its beginning in 2000. Through partnerships with the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Extension offices of Noble and Guernsey counties, area children engage in an active-learning experience while touring 15 learning stops at the Eastern Agricultural Research Station. The children, some of whom have never been to a farm before, learn how agriculture and natural resources are intertwined with their daily lives through hands-on interactions. This year, Ag School Days was awarded a grant from the Ohio State Scarlet and Gray Ag Initiative Endowment Fund to purchase new fishing poles and activity materials for the next four years.
Distraction is the cause of 80 percent of automobile accidents. With the rise of technology and the increase of texting and driving accidents, the Noble County Senior Citizens’ Center held a mandatory staff in-service regarding the issue. Extension provided a short presentation and two hands-on activities that simulated texting and driving. Many were surprised how easily they were distracted and could possibly have an accident. Being able to educate those 30 people may seem insignificant, but could save a life!