2015 Annie’s Project to focus on equine Industry

January 21, 2015 in Feature

Annie’s Project, a risk management program for women, empowers farm women to manage information systems used in critical decision making processes and to build local networks throughout the state.

Annie’s Project for Delaware Horsewomen

In Delaware, Annie’s Project has been a great success. In 2015, planners are offering the program with an emphasis on the equine industry in Delaware.  Classes will be held in the Harrington Raceway Board Room in Harrington, Delaware Friday afternoons from 1:00- 4:00 p.m. from February 27- April 17, 2015.  Each week we will begin with lunch and then enjoy the topic of the week.  Topics include:

  • Insurance and Liability
  • Business Planning
  • Understanding Credit and Financial Record keeping
  • Healthcare Options
  • Using Excel and QuickBooks for Your Business
  • The Next Generation
  • Estate Planning
  • Marketing and Social Media

” We are really excited to be offering this program specifically targeted to Delaware’s equine industry for the first time.  Women are an integral part of many equine related businesses, ” says Susan Truhart Garey, Extension agent and state animal science coordinator. “This program helps to empower women by developing their skills, knowledge, networks and confidence that are all key in making them successful partners in equine businesses.”

Annie was a woman who grew up in a small town in Northern Illinois.  Her goal was to marry a farmer and she did.  Annie spent her lifetime learning how to be an involved business partner with her farm husband.  Together they did great things, but it wasn’t easy.  This is Annie’s Project- to take her experiences and share it with farm women living and working in a complex business.

Be An Annie’s graduate. We predict that you will learn as much from your classmates as you will from our group presenters.  The notebook, flash drive and other resources are well worth the $75 registration fee.

The class is limited to 20 participants.  To register online visit http://www.extension.umd.edu/annies-project/2015-class-information or by mailing the form and registration fee.  Special thanks to Harrington Raceway for their in kind support of this program.  For more information please contact Susan Garey (302)730-4000 truehart@udel.edu or Tracy Wootten (302)236-0298 wootten@udel.edu

2015 Delaware Equine Industry Annie’s Project Registration Form

New Harr Logo Jpeg (1) 2015 Annies sponors




Banner photo credit: Kimmy Risser

Delaware 4-H alumni check in to win state $10K in STEM funds

January 20, 2015 in Feature, Kent County, Kent County Slideshow, New Castle County, New Castle County Slideshow

Delaware 4-H Invites Local Alumni to Check In, Help Youth Win $10,000 Science Sponsorship


Tell your friends on social media. Use #4HGrown

Tell your friends on social media. Use #4HGrown

January 20, 2015 – Delaware 4-H announced today they are competing in a national contest to win a $10,000 “Innovation Incubator” Science Sponsorship. Local 4-H alumni will determine the outcome.

The contest is part of the 4-H GROWN Alumni Campaign, sponsored by National 4-H Council and HughesNet. The interactive campaign invites the estimated 25 million 4-H alumni across the U.S. to help direct sponsorship funding by checking in, tagging friends and casting votes to bring more science innovation experiences to youth in their hometown communities.

When a local 4-H alum “checks-in” at www.4-H.org/4HGROWN, Delaware will get one vote closer to winning the $10,000 “Innovation Incubator” Science Sponsorship for the state. With the sponsorship, 4-H leaders will engage local youth in hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities, and will challenge them to design innovative solutions to solve a real community problem.

If Delaware wins a sponsorship, up to two local young innovators will also have a chance to receive an all-expenses paid trip to the flagship 4-H National Youth Science Day event in Washington, D.C., where they will participate in the world’s largest youth-led science experiment.

“We see every day the impact of 4-H in growing confident, caring and capable young people who are skilled for life today and prepared for careers tomorrow,” said Doug Crouse, interim 4-H project leader at Delaware 4-H. “This is an exciting chance for 4-H alumni who also understand the life-changing 4-H experience to help us reach more young people and show them that STEM can be rewarding and fun.”

Through 4-H GROWN, local alumni will also re-connect with the local 4-H that helped them succeed and with a network of millions of 4-Hers around the world.

National 4-H Council and HughesNet are offering this opportunity through their collaboration to spark more youth interest in STEM. The partnership brings hands-on STEM learning experiences to youth across the country, with a focus on small communities where resources for interactive STEM learning are limited.

To check in as a 4-H alum and help Delaware win an “Innovation Incubator” Science Sponsorship, visit www.4-H.org/4HGROWN.


To learn more about the National 4-H Council and HughesNet partnership, visit www.hughesnet.com/4h.


Help Spot Invasive Pests!

December 11, 2014 in Feature, Lawn and Garden

Adult spotted lanternfly courtesy of PA Dept. of Ag.

Adult spotted lanternfly courtesy of PA Dept. of Ag.

Invasive pests and plant diseases cause millions of dollars of damage to our food crops and landscape plants each year. Efforts of USDA APHIS, Customs and Border Patrol, and other inspections find and destroy many unwanted invasive or exotic pests, however, some do become established and cause problems for U.S. agriculture. Pests that are located in one area of the country may be spread to other regions by moving firewood or shipping plants or plant products. Home gardeners may be the first ones to see new pests.

One new insect pest is the spotted lanternfly, which may attack grapes, apples, tree of heaven (Ailanthus), and other hosts. Found recently in Berks County Pennsylvania, the inch long, black, red, and white insect is a plant hopper and a potentially harmful plant pest, but is not harmful to people. The spotted lanternfly is native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam, but has been an invasive species in Korea, where it has attacked 25 plant species which also grow in the United States. In the U.S. it has the potential to impact grape, fruit tree and logging industries. This time of year, look for grey egg masses on trees such as Ailanthus. Egg masses may look similar to chewing gum that has been smeared on a tree trunk or stone wall. Please take pictures and collect samples and report any suspect finds to your local Cooperative Extension office or Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Plant for nursery inspection for disease" N Gregory.

Plant for nursery inspection for disease” N Gregory.

This time of year, people bring firewood into homes and insects may emerge from the wood. Firewood should not be moved from state to state, due to the possibility of moving invasive insects. Unknown insects should be collected and sent to your local Cooperative Extension office or Delaware Department of Agriculture.

Plant diseases can also be spread from one area of the country to another. Home gardeners should be very careful, especially when ordering plants such as rhododendrons from home hobbyist growers. Ask whether plants have been inspected for diseases.

12/2/2014 NFG BAK



Delaware Ag Week – January 12-16, 2015

December 8, 2014 in Feature

Mark your calendars for the 10th Annual Delaware Agriculture Week, January 12-16, 2015.  This is an excellent educational opportunity for Delaware agriculture stakeholders to learn best practices and new technologies, meet vendors and network with other agricultural producers.  This year’s event will once again be located at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.  Delaware Agriculture Week provides numerous sessions that cover a wide array of topics including small fruits, fresh market & processing vegetables, small flock & commercial poultry, grain marketing, grain crops, hay & pasture, beef cattle, irrigation, direct marketing, and much more.  Nutrient management, pesticide, and certified crop adviser continuing education credits will be offered.

Delaware Ag Week is sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Agriculture is an $8 billion industry in Delaware according to a 2010 University of Delaware report which factors in agriculture jobs and related production, goods and services that support the largest industry in the First State.

“We are very excited to be celebrating the 10th year of DE Ag Week,” said Cory Whaley, University of Delaware agriculture Extension agent and Delaware Ag Week Chair. “Ag Week is great event where the ag community can come together for continuing education, to catch up with friends, and talk with local vendors.”

This year, Ag Week will begin on Monday evening with the Fruit session and Beef session.  Please take a look through the program book and make note of the new sessions for 2015 which  include:  Agriculture Best Management Practices- Financing, Weathering These Changing Times, Soil Health, and Growing Delaware’s Agriculture in Urban Communities.

The main meeting area will be located in the Exhibit Hall this year.  A trade show, with more than 8o exhibitors, will take place in the Dover Building.

There  is no fee to attend.  For more information, including an electronic version of the program booklet, be sure to visit the 2015 Delaware Agriculture Week website:  http://sites.udel.edu/delawareagweek/

Tasty and Safety: Top Tips for Preparing Turkey

November 25, 2014 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature

Photo source: USDA Flickr

Photo source: USDA Flickr

As Thanksgiving approaches we all look forward to a joyful holiday feast with friends and family. However, good food hygiene and preparation is vital to avoid turning your happy celebration into a far less joyful nightmare. Food borne illnesses can cause serious health problems with symptoms of nausea, diarrhea and vomiting spoiling family plans and Black Friday shopping trips.

Food safety expert Kathleen Splane from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension shares her top tips.

• Make sure you thaw your turkey thoroughly. The best way to do this is to thaw it in the refrigerator. A 15-pound bird can take 3-4 days so allow plenty of time.

• Never thaw a turkey on the kitchen counter or in the microwave. If you don’t have time to thaw the bird in the fridge, don’t panic – there is another method to use in an emergency – however this takes time and some work. Submerge the bird in cold water in a clean sink or pan and set a timer to change the cold water every 30 minutes. It will take around 30 minutes to thaw per pound of turkey using this method. A large bird could take up to 10 hours.

• Cross contamination is a big risk in the kitchen – raw and ready to eat food should be prepared on different cutting boards and separate areas of the counter and always make sure you wash you hands thoroughly.

• Wash fruit and vegetables with water and a brush – harmful bacteria can be found on the skins

• Buy a meat thermometer – never rely of the color of the juice to ensure your turkey is cooked. The thickest part of the bird should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

• If you stuff the turkey ensure that the stuffing reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If the stuffing has not reached that temperature but the rest of your bird is cooked – remove the stuffing and cook it separately until it reached 165 F.

• Planning a buffet? Don’t leave food out for too long and ensure you keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Put cold foods on ice and consider using a hot plate for hot foods.

• Never leave leftovers out for longer than 2 hours. Once you have finished – refrigerate it, freeze it or discard it.

• Lose the restroom hand towel and use disposables.

• Ice in cocktails can be problematic. Make sure that the bar person is not using their hands to scoop ice or has touched the rim of your glass.

• Lastly – throw a packet of dish cloths in your cart when you go to the grocery store. Cleaning cloths support the growth of harmful bacteria and can be a petri dish for harmful bacteria. Wash them daily or throw your scubbies in the dishwasher.

Top Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

November 18, 2014 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature

o-HOLIDAY-STRESS-facebookThe stress of upcoming holidays can overshadow the joy of spending time with family, exchanging gifts, nibbling on holiday goodies and relaxing with friends. No one wants to be too frazzled to enjoy what the holidays are all about. Here are some tips for memorable holidays.

  1. Sit down with your family and talk about what this holiday means.
  • Ask each person to share, “What are the most essential (important) parts of this holiday?” “What would really be missed if we didn’t do it together as a family?”
  • What can you do for others who may find it difficult to have a happy holiday? Not only will this be helpful to others, but it will also be a big boost to your health and happiness.
  • What will each person do to help get ready for the holiday? Make a list of who will do what when.
  1. Whittle down the plans until you feel confident you can accomplish them. This will give you a sense of “being in control” (one of the key characteristics of good stress managers) — rather than feeling overwhelmed (which is a major stress generator).
  • One of the biggest sources of stress is unrealistic expectations – trying to accomplish more than is reasonable – and trying to have everything perfect. Some things may need to be postponed for the next holiday.
  • Are there family rituals that need to be dropped or modified? Family rituals are very important, but they may need to evolve as children grow up and families change.
  • Stay within your budget. Feeling in control of your money (no matter how much you have) is a priceless feeling.
  1. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and relax deeply.
  • Taking good care of yourself is one of the cornerstones of stress management, and it’s especially important at holiday time – for you and everyone else in the family (especially children).
  • Your stress can splash over onto other family members – so it’s a kindness to everyone when you take good care of yourself. Too much stress can cause you to feel fatigued, can mess with your blood sugars and send your hormones out-of-whack.
  • Holiday stress and the elevated cortisol hormone that stress releases can cause people to eat excessive amounts of comfort foods and gain weight. Curb your hunger and overindulging at holiday gatherings by eating a light, low-fat snack such as soup, fruit, or cereal before parties.
  • When things get too stressful, call a 10-minute time out. Get a cup of tea, run around the block or just relax with your feet up. You will come back to face any challenge with a refreshed mind and body.
  • Plan time to relax deeply.
    1. Practicing meditation and mindfulness are well documented stress management strategies.
    2. If it fits in your budget, sign up for a massage. Massage can give a wonderful psychological boost and help reward you for all you’ve done to manage your stress in positive ways.
  1. Spend fun time together – and roll with the punches.
  • Planning time together with your family may be the most important thing you can do for each other.
  • The best laid plans of mice and people regularly go astray! Expect glitches and make the best of what comes your way. .

Happy Holidays!

Dr. Pat Tanner Nelson, Extension Family & Human Development Specialist


Cheryl D. Bush, MS, RDN, LDN

Extension Agent


Food Insecurity in Delaware

October 7, 2014 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature, Impact Stories

hunger awareness-nocropAccording to the United States Department of Agriculture, 14.3% of American households were considered to be food insecure in 2013. Food insecurity can be divided into two different categories:

  • Low food security: reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
  • Very low food security: Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

The 2013 National percentage of 14.3% can be broken down specifically to 8.7% households with low food security and 5.6% households with very low food security. This hunger problem is an issue that Delawareans are faced with as well. In Delaware, 12.9% of households are food insecure, with 5.1% being very low food security. To put this in a different perspective, about 1 in every 8 Delawareans has experienced food insecurity in the past year.

How Does Cooperative Extension Help?

Through federally funded programs, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed), Cooperative Extension educators increase participants’ knowledge of health and wellness. One educational focus of both the EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs is to help participants develop necessary skills to use their resources wisely. Data from 2013 shows the impact that both programs have had on food and resource management for participants in Delaware:

  • 72% of EFNEP participants improved one or more food resource management skill
  • 38% of EFNEP participants ran out of food less often
  • 70% of SNAP-Ed participants improved one or more food resource management skill
  • 36% of SNAP-Ed participants ran out of food less often

How Can You Help?

R.A.I.S.E. awareness of food insecurity:

  • Recruit: Tell people about our EFNEP and SNAP-Ed programs
  • Advocate: Share your knowledge and awareness with others
  • Involve Yourself: Volunteer your own time to programs, shelters, food banks, and food kitchens
  • Support: Donate resources to programs, shelters, food banks, and food kitchens
  • Educate: Become aware of hunger problems and food insecurity, generally and locally

By: Sarah Bercaw

Fall Fertilize and Go Native

October 2, 2014 in Feature, Lawn and Garden

residential landscape

Fertilize in the fall to promote a healthy lawn

Fall is for fertilizer (and for planting native plants)! Now is the time to fertilize your lawn. Grass puts most of its energy into growing roots in the fall, so by fertilizing now you promote root growth, which helps establish a healthy lawn. A relatively new program –Delaware Livable Lawns—has been promoting this type lawn management to professionals and their campaign is now adding homeowners to its focus. If you want to manage your lawn as simply as possible, apply one application of a slow release fertilizer in September, using 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet (for example, 12 ½ pounds of 16-3-7 fertilizer). If you don’t want to use a slow release fertilizer product, you can split the application of fertilizer into two applications-one in August/September and one in October/November. If this sounds complicated, watch the videos on the livable lawns website for a simple explanation (http://www.delawarelivablelawns.org/homeowner.php).

A number of Delaware environmental agencies and organizations want to encourage you to apply the right amount of fertilizer to your lawn at the right time, as well as increase the number of native plants in Delaware’s suburban landscape. So this fall, Delaware Livable Lawns is launching a new program for homeowners. Your lawn can become a certified Livable Lawn; either by hiring a certified Livable Lawn company to manage your lawn maintenance (see http://www.delawarelivablelawns.org/directory.php for the certified company nearest you), or by managing your own lawn following the livable lawns guidelines (http://www.delawarelivablelawns.org/homeowner.php). If you become a certified Livable Lawn, the program will provide you a $50 voucher to purchase native plants from participating retailers to plant in your landscape.

Here’s how it works. This fall, you register online to agree to the Certified Livable Lawn requirements. If you haven’t taken a soil test recently, start with testing your soil to discover the nutrient status and pH. Once you have applied your fertilizer for the reporting time period (July 2014 – June 2015), you fill out the reporting form online and within 2-3 weeks you should receive a voucher for $50 to spend on native plants at a participating garden center (look at http://www.delawarelivablelawns.org for a list of retailers). You can buy your plants this fall or next spring. If you chose to fertilize once in early spring for quick green-up, you will need to wait until that spring fertilizer application to fill out your reporting form and receive your voucher.

Check the Livable Lawns website (http://www.delawarelivablelawns.org) for more details about this exciting new program.

Poultry Growers’ Field Day

September 26, 2014 in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension Scholars, Feature, Special Events

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, in partnership with Delaware State University, University of Maryland and Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. will hold a poultry grower’s field day on Friday, October 31, in Hurlock, Md.

The field day will concentrate on managing energy, labor and environmental resources.  Demonstrations and workshops will cover the following areas:

  • Solar panels in broiler houses
  • Managing LED lamps
  • Poultry farm energy audit
  • Fan and shutter operation and efficiency
  • Vermin control strategies for composters
  • Managing HUPs and on-farm manure storage
  • Dry cleaning broiler houses (Buffalo Turbine)
  • Rapid chick box feeding (Feed Caddy)
  • Comprehensive rodent control program
  • Assessing and troubleshooting poultry house tightness
  • Managing vegetative buffers

Maryland and Delaware Nutrient Management credits will be awarded to those attending the sessions.

There is no charge to attend this event, however, preregistration is required. A maximum of 225 people will be accepted. All registrations include the full-day program and lunch.
To Register: Contact  Lisa Collins by Friday, October 24,  2014.  (302) 856-2585 x 702

Event Information:  Download  Poultry Grower’s Field Day flier

Friday, October 31, 2014
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Maple Breeze Farm
6743-2 ENM Elwood Road
Hurlock, Md. 21643  Google Map

For more information contact: Bill Brown (302) 236-1887

Summer Turf & Nursery Expo

September 12, 2014 in Feature, Lawn and Garden

Extension agent, Dot Abbott and Hagley’s Richard Pratt demonstrate the proper pruning of crape myrtles and hydrangeas

Extension agent, Dot Abbott and Hagley’s Richard Pratt demonstrate the proper pruning of crape myrtles and hydrangeas

The Delaware Nursery & Landscape Association (DNLA) and UD Cooperative Extension joined forces for the Summer Turf & Nursery Expo which was held on August 13th at East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro. More than 140 green industry professionals visited with exhibitors and participated in advanced training classes led by industry professionals and extension staff. Topics covered were as follows:

  • LED Lighting – Maintenance & Troubleshooting
  • Designing with Conifers
  • Container Combinations
  • CNP Plant ID & Their Potential Pest
  • Health Insurance – Understanding Policies and your Options in the New Marketplace
  • Weed ID – A Process of Elimination
  • Winning Plants for the Landscape
  • Proper Pruning of Crepe Myrtles & Hydrangeas

Additional advanced training workshops for green industry personnel will be offered in November and January when the DNLA and UD Cooperative Extension team-up once again for the Ornamental & Turf Workshop (Nov. 19th in Hockessin, DE), and the DE Horticulture Industry Expo & Annual Pesticide Conference (January 28th & 29th in Dover, DE). For further information, contact Valann Budischak valannb@udel.edu