Diabetes affects 17 million Americans with annual health care costs estimated at $200 billion. Dining with Diabetes programs held in Trumbull County focused on how to manage food intake and portion control, possible complications, and the importance of exercise. This year, 12 people participated; and as a result, 96 percent learned about portion control and 85 percent learned why the plate method was useful in meal planning.
OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) experts have been working with Ohio’s Smarter Lunchroom project to create sustainable research-based focused principles that promote healthful eating in four Warren City schools. These lunchrooms guided smarter choices with the way children eat and make choices and contributed to the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables by 75 percent by changing behaviors through the application of evidence-based strategies in their lunchrooms.
Recipients of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) learned how to stretch their food dollars through classes offered by OSU Extension. SNAP-Ed in Trumbull County provided direct contact to 375 adults who participated in a 3-series educational class. Class topics included healthy eating with MyPlate and how to stretch food dollars. Evaluations showed the following participant results: 51 percent of direct participants reported learning a lot of new information, 46 percent of direct participants reported learning some new information; and 77 percent stated they plan on making healthier changes as a result of what they learned.
Live Healthy Live Well e-Challenges – Using social media, the FCS educator conducted two, six-week, online wellness challenges with 80 adults from Trumbull 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 84 percent of Challenge participants reported 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 on every $1 spent, and a new study shows a health insurance savings of $2.38 per month by employees who participate. 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, and the stress slows down or leaves.”
The Trumbull County 4-H CARTEENS program finished its seventh year and impacted 108 youth, increasing their driving skills. As a result of the program, 97 percent agreed that the CARTEENS program would make them safer drivers, and 97 percent also agreed they would never ride in a car with someone who had been drinking. When asked if they would ever drink while driving, 99 percent answered that they never would. Overall, 98 percent of the teen drivers said the class helped them see the risks of unsafe driving. Parents are required to attend the program as well and one parent said, “It was very informative because it helps to give the teens and the parents a visual and hands-on experience of what can happen.”
The 4-H program helps young people understand what it means to raise an animal project, specifically when that animal becomes a product in the food chain. The Ohio 4-H quality assurance program teaches young people their responsibilities as food producers. In Trumbull County, 100 youth participated in the quality assurance program, and 86 percent agreed the program helped them understand quality assurance when working with livestock; 79 percent agreed quality assurance helped them understand what withdrawal time is and how to calculate it; 70 percent agreed that they learned what drug residue is and how to calculate it; 74 percent agreed they learned how to read medicine labels and understand the components; and 81 percent agreed they understand the importance of a good working relationship with a veterinarian.
In partnership with Warren City Schools, 165 students participated in Real Money. Real World. Through this program, students learned to manage their money, pay bills, and learned the importance of a good education in relationship to earning a good job through a real-life simulation program. This year, 15 volunteers assisted with the simulation. At the conclusion of this program, 88 percent of students strongly believed that participating in the program gave them a better idea of what’s involved in earning, spending, and managing money. Several students commented on how much money they needed to live the way they wanted to and several other students commented on how having a college education is vital.
The third annual Trumbull County 4-H STEM Days brought 28 4-H members and non-4-H youth to the Trumbull County Agricultural and Family Education Center for two days of science experiment fun, with eight adult and two teen volunteers. American students are shown to be in the middle of the pack when it comes to math and science and today’s economy requires students to be STEM literate, including those who have not traditionally been able to participate in STEM fields. In the last several years, National 4-H has sought to increase the number and quality of STEM programs offered, as well as increasing the number of youth involved.
Early care and education programming provide child-care providers and teachers professional development in all areas of the Ohio’s Early Childhood Core Knowledge areas. At least 185 providers attended programs to gain knowledge and skills to improve the quality of child care to children in center and family child care. In all, 95 percent reported that they have made at least one change in the past year within their settings. Also, 85 percent plan to incorporate observation and assessment in their plan of work.
In 2016, Trumbull County 4-H hosted its second 4-H Kickoff event with the theme being “Discover Yourself in 4-H!” The event was held at the Trumbull Career and Technical Center in Warren, Ohio. Trumbull County’s 4-H clubs set up interactive displays with projects, members, and advisers. The Trumbull County 4-H Advisory Committee distributed 10,000 flyers to 20 elementary and junior high schools throughout the county, advertising the event. More than 250 people, adults and youth alike, attended with 81 visitors reporting that they were not currently involved in 4-H but were interested in the program. Nearly every participating club reported it gained at least one new member as a result of the Kickoff.
What makes your garden grow? Master Gardener Volunteers, trained by OSU Extension. The volunteers help Extension share research-based information with gardeners through workshops, community gardens, one-on-one consultations, and weekly educational programs in the garden from April to October. In total, the 40 Trumbull County Master Gardener Volunteers volunteered more than 2,000 hours (value of $61,460), reaching more than 1,098 residents to educate them on gardening and healthy lifestyles to the Trumbull County community in 2016.
This year, 82 Trumbull County farmers who hold a private pesticide applicator license attended a recertification session sponsored by OSU Extension during the 2016 winter. Afterward, 100 percent of the attendees reported they have improved practices to protect the environment, are better informed about compliance with pesticide and environmental regulations, and better understand how to check personal protection equipment. Purdue University places a $625 value/hour on pesticide certification training based on Extension pest management knowledge, cooperation with Ohio Department of Agriculture, prevention of individual and commercial mishandling of toxic chemicals, and potential increases in productivity. In Trumbull County, this translates to $135,000 of economic benefit.
OSU Extension conducted training sessions in 2016 to certify more than 40 farmers who were required to be certified for the first time, according to new state laws. Education topics included soil sampling, phosphorous and nitrogen best management practices, pasture fertility, lime recommendations, and plant nutrients. Almost all strongly agreed that fertilizer applicator training increased their knowledge of phosphorus and nitrogen management. More than half of the participants agreed they would change their nutrient management practices.
Two traps were placed in areas with a history of Western Bean Cutworm pressure and monitored every week. White mold continues to be a major disease of soybeans in Trumbull County, and OSU Extension worked with the state specialist to monitor disease loads in soybean fields throughout the county. Data collected was included in statewide soybean studies.