Ross County (2016)

2016 County Highlights
Ross County

475 Western Ave., Suite F Chillicothe, OH 45601

Phone: 740-702-3200
Chris Bruynis
Health and Wellness

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) – In 2016, 113 adults participated in EFNEP, with a total reach of 429 family members. Graduates improved nutrition practices (89 percent), food resource management practices (80 percent), and food safety practices (44 percent), resulting in 23 percent of graduates running out of food less often each month. Also, 23 percent of graduates increased their physical activity levels, and 54 percent improved vegetable consumption.

American Red Cross CPR/AED Training – Ross County 4-H offered a grant-funded training to ensure volunteers preparedness to respond in an emergency while serving in rural situations where delayed response times from emergency personnel are possible. Twenty-six volunteers participated in the training and reported a significant increase in both their confidence in their ability to help in an emergency situation and their readiness to provide short term care.

Cooking Matters – Four series of six classes each, taught with hands-on activities to increase adoption of food resource, food selection, and food preparation strategies by limited income adults, was taught in 2016. Additional funds from the SNAP-Ed state grant were matched locally by the United Way of Ross County and provided equipment and supplies to operate this intensive course. OSU Extension partnered with the Mid-Ohio mobile market organized through the volunteer efforts of the Hope Clinic of Ross County to extend the food resources available to each participant. Research has found that cooking a meal at home costs approximately 60 percent less than eating out. In a post-test, participants reported 100 percent confidence that they can use basic cooking skills and buy healthy food for their family on a budget. Pre-class versus post-class survey results found a 33 percent increase in use of Nutrition Facts on food labels to make better choices, a 43 percent increase in choosing low-fat dairy products, and a 64 percent increase in choosing low-sodium food options. Cooking Matters participant Laura said “Cooking Matters taught me how to read labels and use whole grain foods. Thank you very much, the classes were very informative.”

SNAP-Ed programming – In 2016, 237 adults and 60 youth that participated in SNAP-Ed educational programs in Ross County were given a pre-test and post-test to measure behavior change as a result of the training. Measures that were statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level for adults included: Eating more fruits and vegetables of different colors (increased variety) and making one positive change in the home (food choice/more cooking from scratch, etc.) Youth showed significant change in the following: Using MyPlate to make healthier choices, using labels to make food choices, eating more fruits and vegetables of different colors, increase of planning meals in advance, more confidence that they can stretch the food dollar, and to eat breakfast daily.

Live Healthy Live Well e-Challenges – Using social media, the Family and Consumer Sciences educator conducted two, six-week online wellness Challenges with 437 adults from Ross County during the past year. Twice-weekly email messages encouraged respondents to increase their physical activity, improve their diet, and to use coping techniques to reduce stress. More than 87 percent of Challenge participants report adopting one or more of the recommended practices that might help reduce their risk of developing chronic disease in post-challenge surveys. While research on the cost savings of workplace wellness programs varies, studies have typically shown a return of $3 per $1 spent; and a new study shows a health insurance savings of $2.38 per month by employees who participate which would equal $12,480 for a one-year savings by Ross County participants. One participant from the recent Challenge reported because of their Challenge participation “When I feel the stress coming, I try to step back and slow down, breathe deep and think of a better choice to stay positive, the stress slows down or leaves.”

Job Skills and Careers

Business Financial Management – In 2016, 263 people were taught business financial management skills through live and recorded webinars as well as a classroom setting. Skills such as preparing and interpreting financial statements and ration to make management decisions were taught. After the small farm conference, 100 percent of participants indicated they would use the information learned to improve the management of their farm business.

Thriving Across the Life Span

In June, 293 youth attended 4-H junior, senior, and Cloverbud camps at Tar Hollow State Park. Teens were responsible for planning and conducting the camp under the guidance of eight adult staff members. Forty-eight youth counselors received a minimum of 24 hours of training and, in turn, donated more than 150 hours of their time to the younger members. Parents reported their children learned the following by participating in camp: friendship, teamwork, learning how to go outside of their comfort zone, personal responsibility, independence, social skills, respecting others, patience, independence, self-confidence, coping skills, enjoy the outdoors, helping others, camaraderie, responsibility, and trustworthiness.

Sustainable Food Systems

Agricultural Crops Research and Education (ACRE) Intern – A partnership between producers and the summer ACRE intern resulted in 14 on-farm research plots and 2000 acres being scouted for pests and disease in 2016. Participating producers reported an average expected increase of income at $13 per acre for a total of $163,735 in expected income through informed decisions.

Engaged Ohioans, Vibrant Communities

Leadership Participation – 100 teens participated in Junior Fair Board, 4-H camp counselor training, Junior Leaders, and 4-H CARTEENS, expanded and added skills in leadership, public speaking, program-planning, mentoring, conflict management, community service, evaluation and communications. These youth individually contributed more than 5,774 hours of volunteer service, valued at $46,770.

Traditional 4-H club leadership training – 35 new volunteers and all existing volunteers attended a three-hour training which included instruction on behavior management, conflict resolution, empowering teen leaders, and recognition and prevention of child abuse and child neglect. These 314 adult volunteers provided leadership to 78 4-H clubs and 14 4-H subject matter committees, providing a safe secure learning environment for 1,595 traditional club members this past year. According to The Independent Sector Report, the value these volunteers brought to Ross County was more than $491,229.

Environmental Quality

Nutrient Management Education - Nutrient management education was provided to 101 farmers in Ross County in 2016, meeting the requirements of fertilizer applicator certification training (FACT) requirements in Ohio. Research from the University of Delaware indicated that respondents estimated nutrient management training increased their profits by $7.49 per acre resulting in a gain of $605,192 in Ross County.

Assuring Quality Care for Animals Training – Ross County taught six sessions educating 1,045 youth taking market animal projects on the humane care and handling of livestock, appropriate recordkeeping practices and proper production methods. Youth also were instructed on how to properly complete a Drug Use Notification Form as required by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The Ross County Agriculture Society reported 99.9 percent compliance with this paperwork at the county fair.

Pesticide Certification Training – In 2016, 92 producers were trained on pest management strategies, ODA regulations, mishandling of pesticides, and increased crop productivity strategies. In Ross County, this translates to $1,229,672 based on research from Washington State University that places a $13,366 value per individual receiving training.

Ross County receives $202,929 in federal funding for nutrition education for low-income people, thanks to Extension’s local-state-federal partnership. Visit for more information.
Ross County receives $20,873 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.