Category Archives: Feature

Poultry Growers Electrical Farm Safety Workshop

Poultry Growers Electrical Farm Safety workshop seeks to save lives

In the aftermath of Bill Brown’s tragic death by electrocution, his colleagues from University of Delaware and University of Maryland Cooperative Extension collaborated to present an important safety workshop in his honor. The sessions were presented live to 95 people at the Carvel REC, attended by others live via webinar, and recorded for the public (links below).

The worskhop was presented live in person, via webinar and recorded for the public
The workshop was presented live in person, via webinar and recorded for the public

While the workshop focused on poultry farm safety, the information available below is applicable to any farm, business, or residential scenario.

Tips such as using insulated tools, wearing leather gloves and electric-rated foot ware, never working alone, spotting risk factors, understanding how electricity works, and how it is delivered to private property all provided eye-opening, yet practical behaviors that can be adopted to prevent a  future casualty or fatality.

Thank you to Carvel REC director Mark Isaacs in working with UD presenters Jim Glancey and Stephen Collier who joined electrician Tim Norman and UMD poultry Extension educators Jenny Rhodes and Jon Moyle in their poignant effort to prevent another tragic accident.

Save a life. Share this information!

Bill Brown May 29, 1961 - April 14, 2016
Presented in memory of Bill Brown
May 29, 1961 – April 14, 2016






Drink water to refresh, restore, and reinvigorate!

waterWandering through the UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources’ 2016 AG Day, the Meado-Larks 4-H Club presented a water taste test that was intriguing.  3 small cups of water labeled A, B, and C were sitting on trays and each participant was asked to sample each cup and note their preference on a slip of paper.  Clustered at the educational end of the table were bottled waters and popular beverages.  Participants could spin a spinner to choose one of the beverages pictured and labels on the bottles revealed what was really in those bottles!  Posters also revealed answers to questions such as: Where does my water come from?  If my water source is my well, how frequently should I test my water? Who will test my water? I walked away with a Home Water Testing handout from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, answering all of those questions and much more.

My taste buds put to the test, the preference that I jotted down and placed into the basket was “B”. This was Deer Park, a spring water and the “winner of the day”, per Janice Melson, the Meado-Larks’ founder. Choice “A” was Smart Water, a popular distilled water and choice “C” was Acme’s Refresh, purified water from a public water source, treated to remove chemicals and any harmful bacteria. Spring water comes from underground and naturally flows to the surface of the ground.  It is collected directly from the spring or through a hole tapping the underground formation feeding the spring.  Distilled water is created when water is boiled to collect the vapor and cool it to return to a liquid state for bottling.  Distillation removes bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and other materials.  Purified water comes from a well, spring, or the public water source, and treated to remove impurities (contaminants and minerals).

Why is water so important?  Often labeled “the Forgotten Nutrient”, water is what makes all the systems in our bodies work.  The Centers for Disease Control says water helps keep your body temperature normal, lubricate and cushion joints, protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues, and eliminate wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.  That’s a nutritional powerhouse!

Are you drinking enough water?  Fluid needs are different, depending on your age, activity level, health status, and environmental conditions.  Thirst should be your guide.  Signs of dehydration or excessive water loss start with fatigue and dry lips and tongue, but progress to heat cramps, dizziness, nausea, delirium and unconsciousness.  Hot temperatures, direct sunlight, and humid summer days call for drinking extra water, especially when you are exercising or playing outdoors. If you have a fever, diarrhea and vomiting, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, your body needs more water. Anyone with a medical condition requiring fluid control, athletes, and those living in extreme conditions have individual water requirements which may not follow current general recommendations.

For adults, the popular guideline to “drink 8 cups of water each day” is not supported by hard evidence, but it is easy to remember and is similar to the recommendation from the Institute of Medicine for total fluid intake from fluids and foods. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups of total beverages a day.  Remember, thirst determines fluid needs. The smaller body size of a child and inability to tell when too thirsty or hot should be a red flag for parents on hot, humid days. Children, four to eight, require 5.5 cups. Teenagers need to drink more- 7 cups for girls and 10.5 cups for boys. When playing during hot weather, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 5 ounces of cool tap water every 20 minutes for a child weighing 85 pounds and 9 ounces for a teen weighing 132 pounds.

To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. Water has zero calories, is sugar-free, and choosing water instead of sugary drinks reduces your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal. Water is a great choice, but we also need the calcium and vitamin D in fortified, low-fat milk. Drink water before, during and after exercise and on warm days. Some tips for hydrating in hot weather include:

Start hydrating right away. It’s easier to maintain your fluid balance if you start out in a well-hydrated state.

Schedule regular beverage breaks and keep a water bottle handy so you can take frequent sips of water while you work or exercise. Choose electrolyte-replacing drinks for maximum water absorption only when there is a need for rapid replenishment of carbohydrates and/or electrolytes in combination with water during prolonged, vigorous physical activity.

Drink water after you’ve finished work or an exercise session.

Snack on fresh fruits like berries, watermelon, peaches, and nectarines that are high in water volume. Other foods containing water include lettuce, broccoli, milk, orange juice, carrots, yogurt, and apples.

Don’t drink large amounts of plain water all at once – this can lead to hyponatremia or water-toxicity.

While rare, water intoxication is caused when too much water is consumed in a short period of time, diluting other nutrients in the body and putting pressure on the brain. This condition is called hyponatremia. If not treated, it can lead to coma or death.  Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water, are at higher risk of hyponatremia. How do you know if you’ve consumed enough water? One way to gauge your hydration level is to look at the color of your urine. If you’re well-hydrated, it should be pale. Also, you’ll be urinating more frequently.

Water is also easy on the wallet.  You can save money by drinking water from the tap at home or making it your beverage choice when eating out.  Many people think bottled water is purer.  The facts learned at the Meado-Larks’ table showed that both bottled and tap water from a public water source must meet the same standards.  If you get water from a private well, the owner is responsible for testing it, which should be done each year. Contact a private commercial laboratory certified to test drinking water or the Delaware Public Health Laboratory at (302) 223-1520.  The Safe Drinking Water Hotline is (800) 426-4791 or

Just remember drink water to refresh, restore, and reinvigorate!


“Home Water Testing.” EPA Office of Water, Bulletin. EPA 816-05-013 May 2005.

Zaneta M. Pronsky, MS,RD,LDN,FADA and Sr. Jeanne P. Crowe, PharmD, RPh. “Food – Medication Interactions, 17th edition.” 2012.

8 Great Reasons to Drink Water. Santa Cruz: Journeyworks, 2014. Print.

Janice Melson, Master Food Educator and 4-H Meado-Larks AG day 2016 water educational display

“Nutrition and Healthy Eating.” Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day? Mayo Clinic, 05 Sept. 2014. Web. 14 May 2016.

“Dehydration: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 03 Mar. 2016. Web. 14 May 2016.

“Drinking Water.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 03 June 2014. Web. 14 May 2013.

Crowe, Kristi M., and Coni Francis. “Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Functional Foods.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 113.8 (2013): 1096-103. Web.













DoMore 24 Delaware

Be a part of this great Community Movement that brings together nonprofit organizations, companies, and people committed to making a difference!  Go to DoMore 24 Delaware and donate to the 4-H Foundation found under the education partner category.

What would $24 do for your organization?

  • Partial scholarship to State 4-H Camp or 4-H Day Camp • Funding to support 4-H Awards, Trips and Scholarships to recognize youth • Funding to support 4-H project work in special project activities

What would $48 do for your organization?

  • Partial scholarship to State 4-H Camp or 4-H Day Camp • Funding to support 4-H Awards, Trips and Scholarships to recognize youth • Funding to support 4-H project work in special project activities

What would $124 do for your organization?

  • 50% scholarship to State 4-H Camp • 50% stipend for State 4-H Camp Counselor • Funding to support 4-H Awards, Trips and Scholarships to recognize youth • Funding to support 4-H project work in special project activities

What would $248 do for your organization?

  • Full scholarship to State 4-H Camp • Full stipend for State 4-H Camp Counselor • Funding to support 4-H Awards, Trips and Scholarships to recognize youth • Funding to support 4-H project work in special project activities


Statewide Clothing and Textiles Showcase

2016 Clothing and Textiles Showcase – A Night in Hollywood

The Statewide Clothing Showcase took place on Saturday, April 9 at Lake Forest High School. Twenty-nine participants arrived at 2:00 pm and were interviewed by judges on their garments.  The youth also participated in their County Clothing Judging Contests, learned modeling techniques and participated in Make It Take It Crafts and Community Service projects.  The contestants also enjoyed a delicious dinner, provided by the Kent County 4-H Links.

The Clothing Showcase began at 7 pm where participants were judged on their modeling skills.  Each county gave ribbons to the participants and the honor courts received gift cards.  The statewide honor court was also announced and received engraved medallions.

A special thank you to 4-H volunteers and teens who helped make the event a success:

  • Planning Committee: Lisa Berry, Karen Crouse, Heather Crouse, Debbie Lagano, Gail Tipton and Elaine Webb
  • Community Service: Lisa Berry
  • Modeling Instructor/Photographer: Jackie Arpie
  • Teen Volunteers and emcees: Jenna Anger, Maycee Collison and Mary Beth Robbins
  • Judges: Judy Anderson, Rebecca Bristow, Charmayne Busker, Kathleen Cannon,
    Betty Wyatt-Dix, Jenna Hitchens, Karen Moore and Deborah Vanderwende
  • Honor Court Gifts: County Leader Associations

Ready to Wear – Sussex
Ainsley West

Sussex County Honor Court


  • Destiny Carmona

Other Ribbon Winners were:  Dakota Carmona and Diamond Carmona

Kent County Honor Court:

  • Rain Vasey
  • Jeremy Mahoney
  • Addison Brode
  • Madison Poore  (*Madison also received the Novice Award)

Other Ribbon Winners were:  Lahna Chagaris, Ava Gallo, Annika Genke, Rebecca Kemp, Terra Mills, Emma Stallings, Riley Taylor, Lizzie Tucker and Delaney Westhoff

4-H Demonstration Contest Spotlight

Have you ever wondered “Where’s the Water Going”–a demonstration lesson in Environmental Science by Lena Berry, Kent County 4-H member?  Do you want to know the secrets to “Keeping your Dog Healthy and Happy”–a demonstration by Sussex County 4-Her, Ainsley West? Both of these were demonstrations presented recently in the various 4-H Demonstration contests in the Delaware 4-H Program. In this event, 4-H youth members demonstrate individually or with another member as a team entry based on a list of thirty-five available 4-H demonstration topic areas. Props and visual aids are required, and many demonstrations include handmade posters or presentations using software. A successful demonstration will show the audience and judges several steps in a process, such as preparing a cooked dish, grooming an animal, demonstrating how to take a good picture, etc. Demonstrations are followed by a question and answer period with the judges where the contestant(s) provide answers, and can cite further resources or expertise.  Participants learn and develop many excellent communication and life skills through this activity as they gain confidence to be prepared to speak in front of audiences.

The Kent County 4-H County Demonstration Contest included 28 youth presenting 19 demonstrations in the first round of competition.  The Sussex County 4-H Contest included 19 demonstrations with 27 4-Hers presenting, and New Castle County 4-H had one Demonstration presented.  Each county has a make-up date offered, so it’s not too late to share a demonstration about your favorite topic. We look forward to seeing these additional interesting 4-H demonstrations presented!

Pictured: Leighton Webb presenting his 4-H demonstration on “How to Make a Rustic Pallet Tree”

Weather Woes and Plant Diseases

Photo Credit: Michele Walfred
Photo Credit: Michele Walfred

Cloudy, wet, damp, cool and dreary are words that have been heard over and over recently, regarding the weather in Delaware. Cloudy and damp weather is conducive to plant pathogens that infect in the spring. Fungi and bacteria overwinter in twigs and buds of trees and shrubs. Spring rains and humidity will prompt new growth and spore production, and then winds and rains carry spores to newly emerging flowers and leaves. Recent weather has favored plant disease, but we have also had injury from freezing weather that occurred in April. Hydrangea has been reported with browning and dieback, and samples have come into the Plant Diagnostic Clinic. New growth came out early due to warm weather, and growth of buds and leaves has been affected by the freezes that we had in the area April 5, 6, and 10th. Plants will put out new growth when the weather warms again. Affected growth could be pruned back, depending on the type of hydrangea, and whether it blooms on new wood or old. Frost or freeze damage has also been observed on new growth of boxwood, and other shrubs. These plants should put out new growth when the weather warms. Fruit trees that were affected by frost and freeze will have fewer fruits this season. Keep up fruit tree sprays. Fungicide sprays should also be going on Douglas fir and spruce that are affected by needlecast fungi. Fungicide applications should be made when new needles are ¼ inch long, followed by a second application ten days later. Check annuals carefully for Botrytis blight or grey mold, and prune or discard plants. Sanitation is a big part of plant disease management.

N. Gregory 5/6/16

Delaware 4-H/FFA Spring Dairy Expo Results

2016 4-H and FFA Spring Dairy Show Results
2016 4-H and FFA Spring Dairy Show Results

47 exhibitors presented 66 entries to judge Aaron Horst of Hershey, Pennsylvania, at the recent Delaware 4-H and FFA Spring Dairy Expo held at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.  Champion awards were presented to the following entries and exhibitors:

CHAMPION FITTING AND SHOWMANSHIP- Presented in Memory of Susan Hudson- Ethan Miller, Chestertown, Maryland

AYRSHIRE JUNIOR CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR SHOW- Kent Manor Burdette Josephine exhibited by Alexandra Miller, Chestertown, Maryland

AYRSHIRE JUNIOR CHAMPION FEMALE OPEN SHOW- Jackson Hill Homerun Blitz exhibited by G. Robert Moore, Harrington, Delaware

AYRSHIRE SENIOR AND GRAND CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW- Baker Brook Poker Stella exhibited by Angelina Horack, Middletown, Delaware

BROWN SWISS JUNIOR CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW- Stephs Jongleur Natasha exhibited by Oliver Menard of Harrington, Delaware

BROWN SWISS SENIOR AND GRAND CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW- Zahncroft Brook Money VG86 exhibited by Jaycie Kerrick of Greenwood, Delaware

GUERNSEY JUNIOR AND GRAND CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW- RRG Yogi Bear Annabelle ET exhibited by Ethan Miller of Chestertown, Maryland

JERSEY JUNIOR CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW-Saybrook Incentive Sabrina ET exhibited by Leslie Webb of Greenwood, Delaware

JERSEY SENIOR AND GRAND CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW- Diamond Hill Plus Renee exhibited by Madison Cook of Newark, Delaware

HOLSTEIN JUNIOR CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW- G & S Armani Angela ET exhibited by Spring Vasey of Lincoln, Delaware

HOLSTEIN SENIOR AND GRAND CHAMPION FEMALE JUNIOR AND OPEN SHOW- VT-Pond-View Alex Audry exhibited by Jaiden Cain of Harrington, Delaware

BEST BRED AND OWNED HOLSTEIN-Presented in Memory of Kenny Warren- MS JA Fairhope Tara Red- ET exhibited by Jaycie Kerrick of Greenwood, Delaware

SUPREME CHAMPION JUNIOR SHOW- Presented in Memory of Sam and Myrtle Dixon- VT-Pond-View Alex Audry exhibited by Jaiden Cain of Harrington, Delaware

The Delaware 4-H & FFA Spring Dairy Expo Show Committee would like to express their appreciation to the following individuals and business whose contributions made the Spring 4-H & FFA Dairy Show possible:

A-Sure-Bet Farm, Aunt Gail, B& W Ag Enterprises, Caesar Rodney FFA, Cain View Farm, Canterbury Ayr, Chestertown Animal Hospital, LLP, Country Roads Veterinary Services, Delaware 4-H Foundation, Delaware Pet Creamation, Delaware Veterinary Medical Association, Dixon Farms, Dulin Brothers, Dutch Ayr Farm, Emerson Farms, Exchange Tract, Ltd., Forrest Avenue Animal Hospital, G&S Dairy, Gladden’s Furniture and Bedding, Hi-Rail Farms, Hudson Farm Supply, Jenamy Farms LLC, Justa Dreamin’ Livestock Supply, Keith Pam and Logan Derickson and Jack Cliffe, Ruthie Franczek, DVM, Sassafras Veterinary Hospital, Select Sire Power, Semper Fi Acres, Summit Bridge 4-H Club, ShureLine Electrical, Inc., Taylor & Messick, Inc., The Eliason Family, The Morris Family, Walls Irrigation Inc., and Woodside Farm Creamery.

Cooperative Extension Education in Agriculture and Home Economics, University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating.  Distributed in furtherance of Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914.  It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age, or national origin.

USDA’s Urban Agriculture Toolkit is finally here!

Production of Lettuce in the Planting Hope Urban Farm.
Production of Lettuce in the Planting Hope Urban Farm.

USDA’s Urban Agriculture Toolkit is finally here! USDA has a new urban agriculture webpage hosted on the recently updated Know Your Farmer Know Your Food website.

The toolkit is available on the Known Your Farmer Know Your Food site as PDF file to download. It “lays out the common operational elements that most urban farmers must consider as they start up or grow their operations.”

To access the Toolkit as well as additional information from USDA on urban agriculture and local and regional food systems and to learn more about Delaware’s Urban Agriculture efforts visit Delaware Urban Farm and Food Coalition.


Got Fresh Fruits & Veggies? Delaware Does!

One thing to look forward to is the first day of Spring, warm weather, and the many opportunities for fresh, local produce the upcoming seasons will bring.  If you know anything about Delaware, it is probably that there is a farm of some type on just about every back road – which is a great thing when it comes to healthy eating!

There are many benefits of buying local produce.  It is fresher than anything you will find in a grocery store which means it will taste better and will most likely contain more nutrients.  Buying from local farmers is also great for our local economy – which is important now more than ever.

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is becoming a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.  Here is how it typically works:  A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public which usually consist of a box of vegetables and sometimes may also include other farms products such as eggs and milk.  Weekly shares are purchased upfront through a membership or subscription and are available through pick-up or delivery each week throughout the farming season.  For more information on CSAs visit:

delaware freshFarmer’s Markets

A Farmer’s Market is an area where local growers gather once or twice a week to sell their produce directly to the public.  The Delaware Farmer’s Market Guide can be found on the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s website by visiting or by downloading the Delaware Fresh app from the your app store supported by your mobile device.  More information about the app can be found here:

U-Picks / PYOs

A U-Pick or Pick-Your-Own Farm is one in which you travel to a farm and pick fresh produce directly from the field or orchard.  To find a u-pick farm in Delaware and other helpful information about canning and freezing fresh produce, visit

Roadside & Farmside Stands

An informal, but convenient, way to purchase local produce is at a roadside stand.  Roadside stands pop up all over Delaware between May and July and offer many fresh produce selections including tomatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers and peaches.  Find your closest Delaware roadside stand by visiting

Unfortunately, many children never learn where their food actually comes from.  In addition to great nutrition, farms and farmer’s markets can also provide excellent agricultural and nutrition education opportunities for children and families.  So the next time you get held up behind a tractor or combine, just relax and think of how lucky you are to have so many opportunities to eat healthy in Delaware!




What’s up? Delaware 4H Program Up for the Challenge!

The Delaware 4H Program has been actively reaching schools and youth programs across the state of Delaware to get Delaware youth healthy, pumped, and Up for the Challenge! Up for the Challenge, targeted toward youth in grades 4th-9th, has been taking off across elementary, middle, and high schools, to spread nutritional and fitness knowledge. The program, generally taught in a classroom setting, emphasizes the positive impact daily nutritional habits and exercise frequency can have on our lives. Each group of youth is taught a curriculum based on the MyPlate recommendations of the five food groups, healthy dietary choices, and the three types of exercise; strength, cardio, and flexibility. Throughout the courses the youth involved begin to feel empowered in making healthy nutrition and fitness decisions in their day to day lives. Educators lead nutritional lessons as well as fun group fitness that include a range of activities from stretching, flexibility, and mindfulness, to muscular strength building exercises. The curriculum strongly encourages the reflection of youth on their own habits. This generates a lot of feedback and conversation from the youth, making the lesson entertaining and interactive for both the instructor and participants!

So, why should you be Up for the Challenge?

Up for the Challenge is a rewarding and fun experience to give back to the youth in our community! This program allows for youth to really get involved by including activities that push youth to reflect and recall their own habits. It encourages youth sharing of ideas pertaining to personal nutrition and fitness experiences. Many activities included in the curriculum encourage children to think critically about their health choices and how to make better ones in the future. A curriculum is in place to guide you, but educators have fun putting their own unique spin on the educational activities and nutritional lessons throughout the curriculum! Educators also get to know their students over the brief courses, and feel rewarded after knowing they have made a positive impact in empowering youth to make healthy choices.

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in becoming part of the Up for the Challenge teaching team please contact Breanna Banks at We plan on holding future Train the Trainer sessions, dates TBD. Please inquire for more information.