As of 2016, the Supplemental Nutrition Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) is now offered in Warren County. Clients of Jobs and Family Services, and other low-income audiences will now receive education on the importance of making healthy eating choices, a key factor in child development and long-term health outcomes.
In partnership with local high schools, and businesses, and community volunteers, the Real Money. Real World. (RMRW) program reached more than 900 high school students from five local schools. RMRW is an interactive financial literacy program that gives youth a “real” look into the costs of maintaining a household and the interrelationships between education, jobs, and money. One result of the program indicated that by participating in this program youth reported an 87 percent increase in gaining a better idea of what is involved in earning, spending, and managing money.
The management of family resources and money are the foundation for assuring a secure financial future, one that does not rely on others. Due to the efforts of the FCS educator in Warren County, the Real Money. Real World. youth financial literacy program was expanded to 77 Ohio counties in 2016. Data from nearly 34,500 surveys indicate that because of this OSU Extension program, 63.4 percent of the participants learned of the importance of having a spending plan, 58.3 percent will take time to think through how spending impacts other opportunities and choices, and 70.9 percent indicated that the training will help them in the future.
Ohio Works First clients were provided practical lessons on employability skills, exploring personal values, coping with change and stress, consumerism skills, and communication skills. These basic life skills are essential for successful employment and quality living. In 2016, the FCS educator provided 94 one hour lessons to nearly 300 clients at Warren County Workforce ONE.
This year, 208 young people from around Warren County participated in three local 4-H camps. Campers had the opportunity to engage in individual and group living skills, developmentally appropriate recreational activities and healthy decision making.
In all, 74 county teen volunteer counselors were involved in the 4-H camp counselor program, which involved more than 30 hours in training in team-building, leadership development, and program planning skills. The training program also enhanced teens’ understanding of child behavior and development as well as grasping camp risk management issues.
A four-day 4-H Urban Immersion Project trip took place in Washington, DC and included 12 teenage youth from several Ohio and Kentucky county 4-H programs. Service projects included work at local social service agencies and community centers. Participants also experienced cultural experiences that took them out of their comfort zone and included interactions with persons experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and poverty.
965 youth from 47 4-H clubs participated in more than 2,500 projects in more than 175 project areas. Plus, 32 newly trained volunteers joined the program to guide and support club activities and county events promoting leadership, citizenship and character development
Two 90-minute sessions on understanding poverty and caring for yourself were provided for court-appointed special advocates in Warren County. Attendees indicated that they better understood poverty and the clients they were going to regularly encounter in their volunteer service.
Locally grown, healthy food is important to Warren County citizens. OSU Extension works directly with our local growers at the Southwestern Ohio Fruit and Vegetable Grower School to provide information on food safety and protecting their crops. In 2015, 94 Ohio growers, representing 2,653 acres of produce, attended the school. Growers were asked to estimate the potential increase in profit on a per acre basis due to the information they received at the conference. Increases in profit could be because of cost savings, improved quality, increased yield or more effective pest control. Using a weighted average, growers indicated they expected a potential profit increase of $32.67 per acre. The potential increase in revenue for the growers that returned evaluations was more than $86,000 because of this OSU Extension conference.
Honeybees are vital for the production of food and the interest in beekeeping has never been higher. To meet the demand of this clientele base, OSU Extension coordinates an annual school for beekeepers to inform them about current management issues. In 2016, more than 400 beekeepers from three different states attended the school and every evaluation indicated that they learned something new at the school.
In cooperation with the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Warren County Juvenile Court, a team of seven teen educators provided peer-to-peer instruction to 522 first-time juvenile traffic offenders through sessions on seat belt safety, defensive driving, and the consequences of texting and driving, road rage, and other irresponsible driving choices. Based on survey results, 98 percent of participants indicated 4-H CARTEENS would improve their driving skills.
A two-hour workshop on understanding poverty and its impact on families was provided to the volunteers at Faith Ministries in Mason. The training is designed to help volunteers learn to maintain healthy boundaries while serving and provide ways to prevent compassion fatigue. Evaluations indicate knowledge gained and better teamwork achieved. This group of volunteers serves the west side of the county and based on the value of the OSU Extension workshop, plan to meet more often to improve their communication and quality of service.
The FCS educator serves on numerous county collaborations and coalitions to improve multi-agency decision making, decrease duplication of effort, and to identify priority areas to better utilize limited resources.
Because of an increase in harmful algae blooms in Ohio’s lakes and streams, the state passed legislation that requires farmers to be certified if they apply fertilizer on more than 50 acres. OSU Extension is the only organization permitted to provide the certification training for farmers in Ohio. In Warren County, one meeting was held and 27 farms became certified to apply fertilizer on their fields.
The correct use of pesticides was the primary focus at OSU Extension’s 2016 agronomy meeting. This year, 33 farmers were provided up-to-date, research-based information to better manage their crops while protecting the environment. Evaluations indicated that 94 percent learned how to control pests, diseases and weeds more effectively because of this OSU Extension program.