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Commissioners approve new extension board members

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Red Willow County commissioners approve the appointments of two new members of the Red Willow County Extension Board during their meeting Monday morning.

Lori Beeby of Lebanon will represent District 1, replacing Elaine Haag. Beeby's term will expire in 2012. Theresa Tiller of rural McCook will be the 4-H Council representative, replacing Jeff Stagemeyer; her term will expire at the end of 2010.

Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Extension representatives Mary K. Warner and Brian Strauch made this end-of-the-year report to commissioners:



* Quality Assurance Training: A total of 58 youths completed this training to ensure that food products from 4-H livestock projects will be the highest possible quality and safe to eat.

* Crop Management: IANR-developed wheat varieties that perform well in Nebraska were planted in test plots in Red Willow County. A total of 26 producers attended the winter wheat meeting and tour.

* Pesticide/Chemigation Education: A total of 55 producers completed pesticide training and 12 completed chemigation training. Producers are trained to safely apply pesticides to protect human health and the environment.

* Farm Bill Education: Five workshops reached 134 producers with an estimated effect of $1.02 million for Southwest Nebraska. Producers were introduced and educated on the changes in commodity programs in the 2008 Farm Bill, especially the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program.

* Soybean Management Field Day: Helped organize a field day, the first soybean management field day west of Holdrege. The field day reached 40 producers and crop advisors in Southwest Nebraska representing 970,218 acres and a combined value of $8.7 million.



* Parenting Education: Three "Parents Forever" classes for families going through divorce or seeking custody of their children were conducted with 15 participants. The course meets the requirements of the Nebraska Supreme Court. Adults learned to focus on the needs of their children during divorce.

* Family Night Connection: A community-based parenting education program that reached 32 families.

* Wiring Infants and Toddlers for Success: A total of 25 child care providers attended this workshop that focuses on brain development and creating positive interaction, helping children be ready to learn.

* ServeSafe for Employees: 13 food services workers learned safe food handling procedures, focusing on applying minimum internal cooking temperatures to foods. All participants passed the certification test.



* NEP: A grant-funded program serving Red Willow, Furnas and Frontier counties. Fifty-nine limited-resources families enrolled in the program. Seventeen adults graduated from the program, 14 of whom showed improvement in one or more nutrition practices including making healthy food choice, reading nutrition labels and having their children eat breakfast more often. A total of 302 students in 17 classrooms in two qualifying school are receiving nutrition education.


* 4-H: A total of 188 youths participated in 12 4-H clubs with the help of 58 organization, project and activity adult leaders. A total of 28 youths are enrolled as independent 4-H members. Virginia Grafton, a 50-year 4-H leader, received the "Outstanding Volunteer" award from the Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards.

* State Fair: Sixty-one 4-H'ers participated in the Nebraska State Fair with 178 placings, an increase of seven youths and 19 placings over 2008. Four youths received special recognition on static exhibits. Two exhibits were selected for the "Celebration of Youth" exhibition in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.

* Leadership Development: Fifteen McCook Senior High students completed "Discovering the 'Real Colors' in You and Others." These students have been selected as peer mentors and leaders for elementary and middle school students.

* Saturday Morning Kids' Fun: A total of 41 youths participated in Saturday morning 4-H workshops with 10 older 4-H members assisting. The workshops increase awareness of projects available in 4-H. Some participants are first-time exhibitors at the county fair.

* 4-H Day Camps: These camps provide youths ages 5-12 with the opportunities to discover educational experiences within 4-H. A total of 259 youths attended the short term/special interest camps.

* 4-H Shooting Sports: Fifteen youths enrolled in archery, with two new volunteers training also in other sporting disciplines. Three 4-H youths participated in the national trap shoot contest.

* ESI Camp: EntrepreneurShip Investigation camp for youths ages 14-16 teaches youths what it takes to be a business person and how to investigate sills and abilities. A total of 80 percent of the youths increased their knowledge of entrepreneurship by at least one score on a scale of 1-5.

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