The SNAP-Ed team taught 952 programs with 13,662 participants. Highlighted programs included, “Let’s Go Shopping,” “Summer Youth Program,” “Cooking Matters,” as well as teaching hundreds of school nutrition programs throughout the county. It has been an amazing year for the SNAP-Ed team due to continual growth and popularity of the programs. New requests from schools and agencies for additional programming are received every month.
More than 110 participants attended one of the eight food preservation classes where they learned how to preserve food safely at home. In addition, 115 canners were inspected for safety and accuracy during the year, with about 75 percent of them needing to have adaptations (new parts or additional pressure) to achieve accuracy with home canning foods. Approximately 100 phone calls were answered directly related to food safety and preservation.
The FCS educator was involved in teaching many wellness programs that were popular in the community including “Mindful Extension” for stress management; “Eating Healthy on a Budget” in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic’s community wellness series; and “Dermascan for Sun Safety Education.” Because of these programs, 438 participants were inspired to make at least one healthy habit change for the rest of the year.
A Project Excel presentation was shared with 23 parents of incoming freshmen at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute. The FCS educator provided parents with questions to use while helping their teens prepare their college budget. Less than 30 percent indicated that their student had a budget ready for college. Following the program, 46 percent felt prepared to work with their teen, and 54 percent felt better prepared to guide the budget conversation.
This year, 53 teens engaged in leadership and personal development sessions at the 2016 Kelleys Island 4-H Teen Retreat. Topics included ages and stages of youth development, Real Colors personality profile, and public speaking, to name a few. The teens also participated in an etiquette dinner, where they learned how to behave at business meals and important social events.
This year, 413 youth participated in 4-H project judging, where they were interviewed one-on-one with judges to explain their level of knowledge, skills, and mastery of their projects. Through this experience, the youth gained vital workforce preparation skills and experience in interviewing.
4-H Junior Leaders participated in two important career field trips. A meeting was held at Luk Manufacturing, where they learned about engineering and manufacturing. Many were impressed with the facility and the availability of internships and good wages. An additional field trip to the Cleveland Road Animal Hospital demonstrated pathways to veterinary medicine as part of the Farm Heroes series for career exploration. More than 60 youth participated in career exploration outings.
At least 206 teens learned about safe driving habits at 4-H CARTEENS sessions held this year. In one activity, the teens experienced impaired driving while wearing fatal vision goggles. Local state troopers attended the class regularly and gave students vital information about what to expect when they are pulled over, as well as how dangerous texting and driving can be. Participants said that after completing CARTEENS, “I will take driving much more seriously,” “I will not text and drive, or use my phone in general,” and “I will think twice about the decisions I make.”
This year, 88 youth and teens participated in a Cloverbud day camp, where the youth (ages 5-8) were paired with teen leaders to engage in learning activities related to insects and animals. From a parent, “We love the Cloverbud program because it’s a great opportunity for young kids to learn new skills including independence, teamwork, and responsibility. We feel strongly that leadership and follow-through is learned at a young age, and the 4-H Cloverbud program offers a great start.” From a Cloverbud: “I like getting to meet new friends and doing projects at 4-H meetings. I had a lot of fun at camp because the counselors were really fun and the snacks were good!”
“Smart Start with money, teaching preschoolers about money" was an invited presentation at the Ohio Head Start State Conference. Melinda Hill and Carol Chandler presented 18 preschool professionals with lessons and materials they could use in their classrooms to teach children basic financial concepts. After the training, more than 83 percent indicated they were likely to utilize the materials to help children in their classrooms, and 100 percent were likely to use the parent resources to send home with the children to help families talk about money with their children.
The SNAP-Ed team had a great experience after one of their presentations. A 90-year-old shared that since our discussion of whole fruits and vegetables and the benefits of fiber, she is scrubbing and eating carrots without peeling them. She also made ratatouille after seeing it made in class and tasting it. This participant has a wonderful attitude and shows all of us how to be open to new ideas, even after nine decades of life experience.
The farm financial management series was conducted on five successive Thursday evenings beginning in early January. The overall average pre-series knowledge score across the seven topic areas was 2.2 and the overall post-series knowledge score was 4.1, indicating participants gained significant farm management knowledge from attending. Evaluation results indicated that 50 percent of the participants had completed a mission statement, 68 percent either completed or had started a beginning year balance sheet, 94 percent had started on a farm transition getting their affairs in order task list, and 81 percent had started to develop a farm business plan.
One of the biggest threats to pasture-based sheep production profitability is internal parasites. A small ruminant parasite control workshop was held in May. As a result of the workshop, 24 sheep and goat owners were certified in the use of the FAMACHA system. All of the participants indicated that they planned to use the FAMACHA system as a part of the parasite control strategy on their farm.
This year, 1,054 youth learned about assuring care for animals, and completed 1,400 skillathon stations in which they demonstrated their animal science knowledge. One 4-H senior wrote, “Quality assurance is very important to me as both a consumer and producer. I use quality assurance by making sure my animals are being properly cared for, from a health and behavior standpoint, and I also make sure my feed and treatment records are kept up to date at all times to ensure the best and safest product I can to consumers.”
Approximately 1,800 people attended the annual Dairy Twilight Tour on July 12. The ANR educator worked with the Wayne-Ashland Dairy Service unit to plan and organize the event, which featured 65+ dairy sponsor exhibitors and displays, and narrated wagon tours explaining dairy farm management practices. The event is a community favorite, and it served as an educational look into the operation of an organic dairy farm.
This year, 164 youth, teens, and adult staff participated in 4-H junior camp. Activities included archery, canoeing, fishing, nature studies, high ropes leadership initiatives, and much more. "The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning, and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school" (Michael Popkin, PhD, family therapist, founder of Active Parenting).
Money 101 (a series of four, one-hour classes) was offered five times this year, reaching about 30 individuals. Evaluations indicate knowledge gained in all areas; and one participant indicated gaining useful information and reported saving more than $150 in two weeks by tracking her spending, cooking at home and eating out less. Others shared, “I learned how to better manage my money and how to rebuild my credit,” and “I plan to use the calendar to keep track of bills and pay them on time.”
The ANR educator's final pesticide recertification meeting of 2016 was a no-technology meeting for Amish church participants. According to evaluations, 100 percent of the participants agreed or strongly agreed, that as a result of training they learned how to control pests more effectively, they were better informed about how to apply pesticides correctly, and the program brought them up-to-date on current pesticide related topics, issues, and regulations.
The ANR educator worked with Moreland Fruit Farm, the USDA-ARS technology program housed at OARDC, and OSU Extension sprayer technology specialist Erdal Ozkan, to conduct an Orchard Sprayer Technology Field Day. Trials with the intelligent sprayer have shown reductions in pesticide use of 47 percent to 70 percent compared to conventional orchard sprayers and annual chemical savings of $140 to $280 per acre. A crop consultant who attended said, “I was skeptical about this field day and the intelligent sprayer, but now after seeing this, I think we need to do more of these field days and promote the technology.”
As a result of participating in the 2016 IPM scouting program, 71 percent said they made more timely pesticide applications, 85 percent said it saved them time, 57 percent said the program resulted in an increase in net farm income, and 71 percent said that the value was greater than the cost to enroll in the program.