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Spencer County Extension Office growing ideas

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By Bryce Roberts

 In Spencer County, we’re growing ideas that make a difference in your life, your family, and your community. 

We have a dedicated staff of trained professionals delivering educational programs in agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H youth development, and community and economic development. 

The Spencer County Cooperative Extension Office is your connection to the University of Kentucky and the world.

You’ll see some key numbers in this report. But the numbers don’t show you the people or the impact of our work. 

So the rest of this report shows the faces behind some of the numbers.

Communication Events Change Lives

Mollie Tichenor

4-H/Youth Development Agent

Public Speaking is a fear that is shared by the majority of youth and adults across America. According to Lenny Laskowski of LJL Seminars, over 41 percent of people have some fear or anxiety dealing with speaking in front of groups.

Spencer County 4-H took a step to help many students face their fears and eight full and two partial classes gave speeches and demonstrations in the classroom at Spencer County Elementary.

Two hundred fifty students were educated how to properly give a speech and/or demonstration on a variety of topics and participated in the classroom level by Cooperative Extension staff. These students were also evaluated in their classrooms before the county event by CES staff and 4-H volunteers.

Twenty-six 4-H members participated in the County- wide contest.

Spencer County was well represented at the Multi County Event, where all eleven members received a blue ribbon and first place. Nine members also went to the state contest and received blue ribbons for their efforts. 

Spencer County was fortunate enough to have two state demonstration winners.

This is a great example of 4-H bringing the best out in members by teaching them the life lessons that will last for the rest of their lives.

LEAP and Body Recall

Allison Lewis

Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

In order for people to live healthy life styles, they have to learn the basics at a young age. 

The HEEL Curriculum Literacy, Eating, and Activity for Preschoolers (LEAP), is a series that teaches children about staying healthy, being physically active, and eating fruits and vegetables. 

LEAP was an eight-month program that used storybooks to teach over 150 preschool and Head Start Spencer County children.

Once a month students between the ages of 3-5 learned about primary colors, healthy snacks to eat, importance of physical activities, and the source of their food. They also took home a  newsletter after every lesson.

In the participant wrap up survey, teachers reported that children: were willing to try new foods, were able to identify foods, learned primary colors, and were more willing to try different physical activities.

Physical activity is very important for any age group. Body recall was established for seniors who are limited in their mobility. But as it became more popular, many different age groups began to participate.

“Body Recall exercises are designed to reclaim the variety of movement and the strength that help make living pleasurable.”

The Body Recall Program is a nine week program that met three times a week for an hour. 

It focused on the mechanics of everyday activities such as walking, climbing stairs, descending stairs, sitting, and standing.

Also, full joint mobility and gravitational force were explored as an assistant strength development and muscle tone.

There were 18 people who participated in the program. This included one male and one teen. The age range was from 18 to 76.

In the participant wrap-up survey some of the positive results reported were: energy level greatly improved, flexibility and strength improved, they will  put what they learned in class to practice, and class met their expectations.

Many of the participants expressed that they wanted Body Recall to continue and hoped that it will be taught again next year.

Spencer County Trading Post

Bryce Roberts

Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent

The Spencer County Trading Post has been in existence for just over one year now. It is a Web site devoted to listing agricultural related services, items, and products that are locally produced. 

It is also a site where people can list items or services  they need.

The goal in developing this site was to connect those who have services or items for sale with those that need the services or items.

The agent has attempted to make the site as user friendly as possible. If someone has something for sale or something that is wanted, they can go to the site and submit their information electronically on the Web site, download the listing form and mail or fax it to the Extension Office, or they can stop in our office and pick up a form. The information that is submitted is reviewed by the agent and then posted to the Trading Post. 

There are several categories where people can list their products or services and they include: agricultural services, animals, equipment, fruit, hay/straw, help wanted, horticulture products, miscellaneous  and vegetables.

Over the past year, there have been over 900 hits to the Trading Post site and at times, there have been over 50 items/services that have been listed. There have been 12 items removed because they have sold as a result of the Trading Post, which has resulted in sales of $4,800 for the items that the producers have sold.

Although this is a new type of marketing for local residents and farmers, there has been nothing but compliments on developing this Web site on a local basis. 

As more people realize that this service is available to them, the site should grow with more local products and services and this will help them market these items.