Compost Is A Soil Amendment

April 13, 2015 in Feature, Lawn and Garden

compost-soilSpring has finally arrived and many of us are eager to get outside and feel warm soil in the palm of our hands. As you are ‘cleaning-up’ garden areas from winter debris – in preparation for spring plantings, remember to compost the organic material. Yes, this can become next year’s soil amendment, if you start composting now and continue to feed your compost pile throughout the year. Healthy roots systems stimulate healthier plants – incorporating ‘well-rotted’ compost to your soil prior to planting will give your new plants (and established plants) a happier home to grow. For more information on backyard composting, contact your local Delaware Cooperative Extension office.

Your Money Your Goals

March 24, 2015 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature, New Castle County

finance-photoAre you in a helping profession? Do you mentor others? Staff from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will be presenting training on the Your Money Your Goals a Financial Empowerment Toolkit for Social Services programs. This resource was specifically designed for those who may need to increase their comfort level in sharing good accurate financial management information with those they work with. The toolkit provides resources that can be copied and distributed to customers/clientele.

Financial topics that will be covered include:

  • Setting Financial Goals
  • Saving for Unexpected Emergencies and Goals
  • Managing Income and Benefits
  • Paying Bills and Other Expenses
  • Managing Cash Flow
  • Dealing with Debt and Understanding Credit Reports and Scores
  • Protecting Consumer Rights
  • Evaluating Financial Service Providers

The full day training reviews the content of the material and provides some guidelines on how to best use the materials with others. Dates are scheduled in April with a registration deadline date of April 17th.  Go to this link for the training schedule and a registration form

The cost of $25/per person covers a light lunch and snacks for the day.

From home visitors to lay people in church groups who mentor or council others, this tool kit will be a valuable addition to their resources. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Maria Pippidis at or call 831-1239.


Extension offers teens a unique opportunity this summer

March 24, 2015 in Cooperative Extension Scholars, Feature

Youth teaching other youthDo you have a teenager who is interested in a positive and life-changing experience during the summer months? Would they be interested in earning a stipend, practicing their cooking skills and learning how to purchase healthy food?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you will want to encourage your teen and perhaps even yourself to join us for an exciting opportunity. 4-H is currently recruiting teen and adult trainers for our 4-H Food Smart Families program.

Thanks to renewed funding by ConAgra Corporation, 4-H Food Smart Families programming will be coming back Delaware for 2015 and 2016. This youth-adult partnership will offer teens (13 to 18 years old) an opportunity to work with Extension professionals throughout the state to bring nutrition education, physical activity, food preparation and savvy shopping skills to kids 8 to 12 years old.

Teen and adult trainers will be paid a stipend for teaching a series of 10 hours of lessons. Those interested need to have day time availability in the summer and their own transportation.

4-H requires that teens and adults who teach the children receive training in Youth Adult Partnership, Youth Development and the Nutrition Curriculum. Lunch will be provided at these all-day trainings.

Youth and Adult Partnership and Youth Development training is set for April 8, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Rd. Directions.

Nutrition Curriculum training is set for May 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the same location.

Participants will need to attend both trainings.

Please register by March 31 by calling Jan Unflat at 302-730-4000 or emailing If you have questions feel free to email Kathleen Splane or call 302-730-4000.


Become a Master Gardener

March 23, 2015 in Feature, Lawn and Garden

Bob Mulrooney, Plant Pathology Extension Specialist, provides several sessions on plant diseases to the Master Gardener Training Class.

Bob Mulrooney, Plant Pathology Extension Specialist, provides several sessions on plant diseases to the Master Gardener Training Class.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 Delaware Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Training Program, scheduled for Mondays and Wednesdays, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. from Wednesday, September 2 through Monday, November 23. Most training will be held at your county Extension Office. Some training sessions will require travel to another location to learn with your fellow trainees from the other two counties.

As a member of the 2015 Delaware Master Gardener training class, you are expected to complete the course of study, volunteer 40 hours, and gain an additional 5 hours of advanced training by November 1, 2016, to become a Master Gardener.

Learn more about becoming a Master Gardener here or call your county office Master Gardener coordinator:

New Castle County, Carrie Murphy,, (302) 831-2506

Sussex County, Tracy Wootten,, (302) 856-2585

Kent County, Megan Pleasanton,, (302) 857-6438

Poultry Growers’ Field Day

March 20, 2015 in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension Scholars, Feature, Special Events

Bill Brown conducts one of many workshops at the 2014 Poultry Field Day

Bill Brown conducts one of many workshops at last year’s Poultry Field Day. The 2015 field day will be held in Seaford, Delaware

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 Wednesday, May 20, in Seaford, Delaware from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Online Registration

The field day will focus on hot weather broiler management. Demonstrations and workshops will cover the following areas:

  • Maximizing Effective House Temperature in Market-aged Broilers
  • Summertime Brood Chamber Cooling and Reducing Heat Stress in Young Birds
  • Considerations for Managing Heat Loss Mortality
  • Generator Management and Electrical Inspections
  • Production Site Maintenance
  • Marketing Manure to Third-party Users
  • Utility Considerations for Tunnel Ventilation Upgrades
  • Record keeping for CAFO Permits and Inspections
  • Perdue AgriRecycle Plant tours (transportation provided)

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. All registrations include the full-day program and lunch.

Registration Deadline: Friday, May 15, 2015.    Please register online! >>>>>>>Click here

Event Information Flyer:  poultry-grower-field-day-2015

Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Woodpecker Farm
3557 Woodpecker Road
Seaford, DE 19973     (Google Map)
Cost: Free
Registration: Yes, deadline 5/15/15

View photos from the October 2014 Poultry Field Day

Contact  Lisa Collins by Friday, May 15, 2015.  (302) 856-2585 x 702 or Sheila Oscar (410) 742-1178
For more information contact: Bill Brown (302) 236-1887

Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle!

March 18, 2015 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature

Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle is the theme for March 2015 National Nutrition Month. The Family and Consumer Science team is providing nutrition education programs open to the public at various locations this month. A team of Master Food Educator Volunteers will be conducting

  • Boning Up on Health – March 12th Glasgow/Bear YMCA, 12:30 and 6:00PM
  • Healthy Kids Delaware Dinner – March 18th, Absalom Jones Community Center, 4:30-6:30PM
  • Grow Your Own Food – March 21st DuPont Environmental Educational Center, 1400 Delmarva Lane, Wilmington, 10-Noon
  • Healthy Kids Delaware Dinner - March 26th, Elbert-Palmer Elementary, Wilmington
  • Cooking from Your Spring Garden – March 28th, 1:45-2:45 and March 29th, 2:00-3:00, Home & Garden Show, Chase Riverfront, Wilmington
  • Spin Into Spring with Healthy Veggies – March 16th, Trabant Center, Main Street, Newark, noon-2

If you have questions about these programs contact Kathleen Splane

For more information on nutrition programs and resources visit the Family and Consumer science webpage at this link

USDA Provides One-Time Extension of Deadline to Update Base Acres or Yield History for ARC/PLC Programs

March 10, 2015 in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Feature

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that a one-time extension will be provided to producers for the new safety-net programs established by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). The final day to update yield history or reallocate base acres has been extended one additional month, from Feb. 27, 2015 until March 31, 2015. The final day for farm owners and producers to choose ARC or PLC coverage also remains March 31, 2015.

“This is an important decision for producers, because these programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. Producers are working to make the best decision they can. And we’re working to ensure that they’ve got the time, the information, and the opportunities to have those final conversations, review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make those decisions,” said Vilsack.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm’s current yield and base will be used. A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by March 31, 2015, or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

Read more on the USDA website.

Food safety GAP/GHP trainings for produce growers, handlers

February 25, 2015 in Feature, Kent County Slideshow, New Castle County Slideshow

Delaware Cooperative Extension Announces Food Safety Trainings for 2015

A two track training on food safety practices that reduce the risk of foodborne illness when growing fruits and vegetables. The first session (3 hours) is for those farmers who only grow produce while the second track expands the principles learned in track one to include further processing such as washing and packing of the product for sale.

The class, taught by a team of Extension Agriculture and Family and Consumer Science Educators, offers farmers a Delaware Department of Agriculture certificate for completion of food safety training.

Click to register for GAP/GHP Food Safety courses

In 2015, three basic training opportunities will be offered for produce growers on food safety and good agricultural practices and good handling practices (GAP’s and GHP’s) by Delaware Cooperative Extension. Training covers microbial food contaminants, outbreaks associated with produce, how produce becomes contaminated, Good Agricultural Practices in the field (water sources; animals, manures, and compost; field sanitation; and worker hygiene) and Good Handling Practices from harvest to sales (packing area sanitation, worker hygiene, storage, handling, and shipping).

For growers who have attended previous trainings, we are having two update sessions which will provide the latest information on produce food safety science, industry actions, audit requirements, and the status of the upcoming FDA-FSMA produce regulations. A portion of the session will be spent on proposed water sampling requirements and irrigation water treatment options.

All Sessions will be held at University of Delaware County Extension Offices
New Castle: 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE 19716— Kent: 69 Transportation Circle Dover, DE 19901—
Sussex: 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE 19947

Dates and Locations:

Basic and wholesale sessions for those who have not attended training in the past:

NEW CASTLE COUNTY – April 16, 6-9 p.m. basic session. Phone (302) 831-2667 to register. Register online.

KENT COUNTY – March 19, 9 a.m.-noon for the basic session with an additional 3 hours for those selling to wholesalers from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Phone (302) 730-4000 to register. Register online.

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 18, 6-9 p.m. for the basic session with an additional 3 hour session for those selling to wholesalers on March 30 from 6-9 p.m. Phone (302) 856-7303 to register. Register online.

Update sessions for those that have already attended trainings:

KENT COUNTY – March 20, 9 a.m.-noon. Phone (302) 730-4000 to register. Register online.

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 24, 6-9 p.m. Phone (302) 856-7303 to register. Register online.

For more information you may also contact Gordon Johnson via email or by calling 302-545-2397

For more information on farm food safety audits, click here >>

2015 Horticulture Short Courses

February 24, 2015 in Feature, Lawn and Garden

UD Cooperative Extension is offering a comprehensive line-up of courses throughout the year. Short courses are designed to give participants up-to-date information and skills that can be applied to what they see and do on the job.   Many classes also offer continuing education credits for Delaware pesticide and/or nutrient management recertification.

New for 2015 is the Landscape 101 series. This series is in direct response to green industry requests for assistance in providing basic information to landscape employees in areas such as:

  • Pruning
  • Plant Identification – Evergreens, Shrubs & Trees, Small Flowering Trees, Herbaceous Plants, Woody Shrubs, Shade Trees
  • Turf Maintenance
  • Soils
  • Weed Identification/Maintenance

Classes are one hour in length and are completely hands-on. Participants can sign-up for individual sessions or for the entire series.

Other short courses offered include:

  • Greenhouse Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – March 7th UD’s Fischer Greenhouse, Newark
  • Pest and Beneficial Insect Walks – June 17th at DE State Univ. in Dover and June 24th at the NCC Coop. Ext. Office in Newark
  • Disease and Insect Identification Workshop – July 8 at UD’s Townsend Hall, Newark
  • Pruning – March 25th at the Sussex Co. Coop Ext. Office in Georgetown, and Sept. 16th at the Kent Co. Coop. Ext. Office in Dover

For additional course and registration information  click here.

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

February 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

UPDATE: Feb. 10, 2015. Delaware 4-H is currently leading the nation to win the $10,000 Science  Scholarship! Following in second place is West Virginia 4-H, and in third place is Maine 4-H.

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 , 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


To learn more about the National 4-H Council and HughesNet partnership, visit