Wow! That’s a lot of sugar!

April 7, 2014 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature

wow-sugar4-H Food Smart Families is a new youth adult partnership program in Delaware.  Through generous funding from ConAgra Corporation, 8-12 year olds throughout the state will be invited to attend this 10 hour hands-on nutrition and physical activity program. The lessons are:

  • Drink Low-Fat Milk and Water Instead of Sweetened Drinks!  The lesson will teach the children the importance of drinking healthy beverages, especially milk and water rather than soda and energy drinks.  The children will get to make and try a strawberry smoothie.
  • Eat a Rainbow: Eat More Vegetables and Fruits!   Children have a reputation of not liking vegetables.  This lesson will use food models and veggie bingo as a subtle way to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables.  The children will make and taste calabicitas-a delicious veggie stir-fry that features a rainbow of vegetables.

Make Half Your Grains Whole: Eat More Whole Grains!  More whole grains equals more fiber in the diet.  Children will compare various grains and get to try oatmeal pancakes as part of this lesson. Learning to read Nutrition Facts labels will help children find the whole grain and see how much fiber it contributes to the product.

  • Healthier Foods Fast: Eat Fewer High-Fat, High-Sugar Foods!  Making “blubber burgers” will help children visualize the amount of fat in many fast food offerings.  Comparing menus for healthier options will educate the children about better choices.  Broccoli Bean Quesadillas will be prepared to expose the children to a quick homemade alternative to fast food.
  • Power Up the Day: Eat Breakfast!  Breakfast parfaits are a quick easy “on the go” breakfast that will dispel the “I don’t have time” myth when it comes to breakfast.  Breakfast Olympics teaches children to compare breakfast options in a fun interactive way.

Each lesson will include games, activities and preparation of healthy recipes.  Food buying, using unit pricing and becoming savvy shoppers will also be taught.  Instructors will be Cooperative Extension staff and 4-H teens.  In addition to teaching the young people about nutrition, the teens will learn leadership skills and self-confidence.

Adults and teens are being trained in the curriculum on April 1st and 3rd in Dover and April 8th and 15th in Newark.  Programming will begin later in April with the goal of reaching 2,500 youth in Delaware between now and October 31st this year.

Families of children who attend the lessons will be invited to participate in family events and will receive groceries to make some of the recipes in the lessons.

For more information contact Kathleen Splane at 730-4000 or email

2014 Horticulture Short Courses

April 1, 2014 in Feature, Lawn and Garden

horticulture-courseOur Commercial Horticulture Program provides non-biased, research based information for growers, retailers, greenhouse operators, landscape contractors, landscape maintenance professionals and other green industry professionals in Delaware, the region, and the nation.  The needs of the green industry are addressed with applied research and demonstration projects focusing on sustainable landscape installation and management as well as pest control.  The information and knowledge is disseminated through a range of venues in collaboration with the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association (DNLA), including educational meetings, tours, publications, newsletters, and short courses.

The following Horticulture Short Courses are being offered by UD Extension in 2014:

Invasive Species Identification and Management

Friday, March 7, 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM

An Adobe Connect conference at the New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, and at the Sussex County Extension Office, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown.  Register for one location only.  For Sussex location register with Tracy Wootten, (302) 856-7303 or OR NCC location with Carrie Murphy, (302) 831-2506, .

Learn how to identify problem invasive plants in natural areas and home landscapes.  Discuss appropriate control recommendations and strategies for these plants.  Learn which invasive insects are currently problems, and which insects are potential new problems, in Delaware.  Instructors:  Susan Barton, Brian Kunkel, Brian O’Neill

Christmas Tree Workshop

Wednesday, May 14, 4 – 6 PM

Spence’s Christmas Tree Farm, 19 Ruyter Drive, Frederica, DE 19946, take Rt 113 to Barratt’s Chapel Rd to McGinnis Pond Rd.  Register with Carol Hrupsa (302) 730-4000 or .

Learn about arthropods and disease problems of Christmas trees using hands-on observation of plants and specimens.  Instructors:  Nancy Gregory and Brian Kunkel

Pest & Beneficial Insect Walks

Wednesday, June 18, 4 – 6 PM, Sussex County Extension Office, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, register with Tracy Wootten, (302) 856-7303 or


Wednesday, June 25, 4 – 6 PM,
UD Botanic Gardens, 531 S College Avenue, Newark (meet outside Fischer Greenhouse), register with Carrie Murphy, (302) 831-2506,

Tour the grounds of the UDBG in Newark OR the Sussex County Extension Office in Georgetown to identify insects, diseases, and beneficial insects in the landscape.  Instructors:  Nancy Gregory, Brian Kunkel, Carrie Murphy, and Tracy Wootten

Disease & Insect Identification Workshop

Wednesday, July 9, 4 – 6 PM
Townsend Hall, 531 S College Avenue, Newark, register with Carrie Murphy, (302) 831-2506,

Learn what signs and symptoms the Extension Specialists use to identify pests and diseases! Tips and techniques will be shared. Fresh and preserved specimens will be available to look at using hand lenses and microscopes.  Instructors:  Nancy Gregory, Brian Kunkel

Delaware Cooperative Extension is willing to come to you!

We’d like to make continuing education training as easy as possible for you and your staff. If you have 10 or more people, we will conduct a workshop at your site. Contact your local County Extension Agent for additional details: Carrie Murphy, (302-831-2506), New Castle County and Tracy Wootten, (302-856-7303), Sussex County.

For more info:


Salt-tolerant crop shows promise as chicken bedding, helping farmers with flooded fields

March 31, 2014 in Feature, Kent County, Kent County Slideshow

volkJack Gallagher grew up on a farm, but he never cared much for the squawking chickens pecking around. The Pennsylvania farm boy gravitated toward the coastline, where he built a career studying salt marsh vegetation as a marine scientist in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE).

Yet the professor emeritus of marine biosciences has returned to his agricultural roots, having found a potential new use for salt marsh plants: chicken bedding.

“I never thought I’d be involved with chickens,” Gallagher said. “That’s the exciting thing about research: You never know where it’s going to lead.”

With funding from Delaware Sea Grant and private supporters, Gallagher has long studied seashore mallow, a salt-tolerant, flowering plant found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. His research may end up helping not only chickens, but also farmers facing saltwater damage to their fields from worsening coastal flooding.

In a new partnership with UD Cooperative Extension, the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN), Delaware Wild Lands, CEOE, Delaware Sea Grant and others, Gallagher and his wife, retired CEOE research scientist Denise Seliskar, will help grow seashore mallow for testing as an alternative material for poultry house bedding.

The team will plant seashore mallow in areas where flooding has left soil salty and difficult to raise traditional crops like soybeans. According to recent estimates, sea level is rising rapidly in Delaware compared to the rest of the country, and up to 11 percent of the state’s total land area may be inundated by the end of the century. Farmers’ fields are already starting to flood more often, become inarable due to salinization and get taken over by invasive plants like Phragmites australis.

Gallagher initially began studying seashore mallow as a natural way to mitigate against such saltwater contamination. Seashore mallow can serve as a buffer plant against coastal flooding, with the plant fending off Phragmites and its deep root system fighting erosion. Seashore mallow is attractive for planting in new areas because it has large seeds that are easy to harvest and mechanically plant.

Gallagher and Seliskar planted two seashore mallow test plots about 10 years ago, one at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus and the other at a nearby family farm in Lewes, the latter of which was the first effort to scale a planting to use commercial farm equipment. Since then, they have investigated a multitude of uses for seashore mallow.

The seeds contain a high percentage of oil, making them a potential source for biodiesel feedstock — and the remaining seed meal usable as feed for cattle and fish. Other harvestable materials from seashore mallow include nectar for honey, thread for cloth and animal bedding.

“We’ve gotten a lot of different products out of the plant,” Gallagher said.

The 2010 BP oil spill inspired a volunteer researcher in his lab to explore seashore mallow’s absorbency, finding it to be effective at soaking up oil. Next, they and a U.S. Department of Agriculture partner in Illinois considered the plant as a base material for biodegradable kitty litter and hydromulch.

That sparked an idea among colleagues at UD.

“We started to say, ‘Well, if it has potential as an animal bedding, could that animal be chickens?’” said Jennifer Volk, a CEOE graduate and extension specialist for environmental quality and management with Cooperative Extension, pointing out that the poultry industry is an important economic sector in the Delmarva Peninsula.

Volk, Gallagher, UD Cooperative Extension’s Bill Brown and others will conduct a trial this spring, comparing seashore mallow bedding to pine shavings, the traditional material that has become increasingly costly and harder to find. They will also compare to two other bedding alternatives, Miscanthus and switchgrass.

The seashore mallow is chopped into roughly 1-inch pieces, making fluffy flakes to spread on the floor of poultry houses. The researchers will monitor the materials’ absorbency and the health of the chickens over the course of the study.

At the request of Delaware Wild Lands, DENIN helped bring the various partners together for early meetings on the project. Two DENIN Environmental Scholars are helping with the project as interns: CEOE undergraduate Harry Colmorgen will map agricultural land vulnerable to Delaware Bay flooding, and Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics student Andrew Flemming will work on land-use agreements with property owners in Kent County.

“This is a truly interdisciplinary kind of project,” said Jeanette Miller, DENIN’s associate director of interdisciplinary programs. “If farmers in Delaware are able to grow a native plant like seashore mallow as an alternative to crops that are no longer suited for salt-impacted agricultural land, that would be a huge boon.”

With support from Delaware Sea Grant, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and additional grants, the project aims to plant 10 acres of seashore mallow by the spring of 2015. The team is looking at planted on land owned by Delaware Wild Lands.

In the process of the cross-University effort, Gallagher said he is finding himself interested to learn about the finer points of raising chickens. Bedding needs to sop away uric acid so the birds’ feet do not get irritated, while also insulating them from the ground. The litter also can’t be too dry, which can cause dehydration and respiratory illnesses.

It took a few decades, but the feathered flocks have started to grow on him.

“I like them better now,” Gallagher said with a chuckle.

Property owners of salt-impacted land who are interested in participating in the project can contact Jennifer Volk at or 302-730-4000.

Article by Teresa Messmore

Article can also be found on UDaily.

Delaware 4-H’ers Compete at State 4-H Horse Bowl Competition

March 14, 2014 in 4-H Youth Development, Feature, Kent County, Kent County Slideshow

85 Delaware 4-H members representing 26 teams competed recently in the State 4-H Horse Bowl Competition held at Lake Forest North Elementary in Felton, Delaware.  The Horse Bowl event is a knowledge- based, quiz bowl competition.  The Delaware 4-H Horse Advisory Committee, a group composed of 4-H volunteers from all three Delaware counties that are dedicated to providing quality 4-H horse programs to members, sponsors this annual event. Members compete on teams of up to four individuals and teams are divided into brackets based on age.  4-H volunteer adult leaders coach young people to prepare them in the months leading up to the competition.  41 Delaware 4-H volunteers assisted with the Horse Bowl event.

The top three teams in each age division were:

Beginner (8-10 year olds)

1st Place- Mini Stars- Sussex County

Team Members: Ruby Phillips, Layne Smith

Coaches: Jodie Gravenor, Heather Smith

Beginner Team-Palomino Ponies- competing L to R- Alexia Carroll, Cheyenne Bowman, Donne Mullins, Paige Taylor

Beginner Team-Palomino Ponies- competing L to R- Alexia Carroll, Cheyenne Bowman, Donne Mullins, Paige Taylor

2nd Place- Palomino Ponies, Sussex County

Team Members:  Cheyenne Bowman, Alexia Carroll, Donna Mullins, Paige Taylor

Coach:  Heather Taylor

3rd Place- Stable Minds- Kent County

Team Members: Bethany Butler, Alex Docherty, Ally Smith, Ashton Stafford

Coaches: Heather Crouse, Stacy Stafford

New Horizons 4-H club senior team competing L to R- Chad Dempsey, Peyton Ridgely, Ashley Hurd

New Horizons 4-H club senior team competing L to R- Chad Dempsey, Peyton Ridgely, Ashley Hurd

Junior (11-13 year olds)

1st Place- Boots “N” Spurs- Sussex County

Team Members: Katelyn Records, Garrett Smith

Coach: Heather Records

2nd Place- Westville Wicked Riders- Kent County

Team Members: McKenna Corbeil, Maggie Kling

Coach: Brittany Blacksten, Laura Pomatto

1st Place Senior Team- Buckin Beauties-  L to R Rebecca Arpie, Jackie Arpie, Whitney Records, Mikayla Ockels

1st Place Senior Team- Buckin Beauties- L to R Rebecca Arpie, Jackie Arpie, Whitney Records, Mikayla Ockels

3rd Place- Hearts-4-Horses- Kent County

Team Members: Rebekah Baughman, Nicole Cannavo, Ashlyn North, Donna Urian

Coach: Betsy Cannavo, Lee Halloran

Senior (14-19 year olds)

1st Place- Buckin’ Beauties- Sussex County

Team Members: Jackie Arpie, Rebecca Arpie, Mikayla Ockels, Whitney Records

Coach: Cindy Ockels

2nd Place- Hearts-4-Horses-Kent County

Team Members: Lexi Bloxom, Haley Reynolds, Hannah Ziccarelli

Coach: Rosemary Baughman, Connie Edwards

2nd Place Senior Team- Hearts-4-Horses- L to R Hannah Ziccarelli, Lexi Blocksom, Haley Reynolds

2nd Place Senior Team- Hearts-4-Horses- L to R Hannah Ziccarelli, Lexi Blocksom, Haley Reynolds

3rd Place- Holler-N-Hooves 4-H Club- Kent County

Team Members: Sara Deason, Katie Messick

Coaches: Sharon Little

4-H is a community of young people across Delaware learning leadership, citizenship and lifeskills.  Join the Revolution of Responsibility!  For more information on becoming a 4-H member or volunteer in Delaware please contact your county extension office:

New Castle County: (302)831-8965

Kent County: (302)730-4000

Sussex County: (302)856-7303

Delaware 4-H leader saluted for excellence in regional award

March 13, 2014 in Feature

Ernie Lopez, UD Extension specialist presents Clyde Mellin with the Salute to Excellence Award. As of March, Mellin is a county, state and Northeast regional winner

Ernie Lopez, UD Extension specialist presents Clyde Mellin with the 4-H Salute to Excellence Award. As of March, Mellin is a county, state and Northeast regional winner

With the right lumber and tools, Clyde Mellin can show just about anyone how to build a birdhouse. But the bigger take away is what is built within – the patience, character and confidence that develops when a 4-H’er participates in an experiential 4-H activity project taught by caring and dedicated adult volunteers.

On March 4, 2014, Delaware 4-H learned that Sussex County 4-H leader Clyde Mellin, Seaford, was named a 2014 Northeast Region recipient of the 4-H Salute to Excellence Award (STE) a national volunteer recognition program. Mellin, recognized as a state winner at February’s Delaware 4-H Leader Forum, is now is one of four individuals in consideration for national honors as the 4-H Volunteer of the Year. The national award winners will be announced during National Volunteer Week, April 6-12.

Clyde Mellin wears a fake ponytail to show how easily hair can get trapped in tools

Clyde Mellin wears a fake ponytail to show how easily hair can get trapped in power tools. A kitchen blender serves as a less threatening example in this safety lesson

Mellin, a professional carpenter, began volunteering for Sussex County 4-H in 2011. Mellin invigorated interest in 4-H’s wood science area by offering a wide assortment of wood science projects and activities. Under his guidance, 4-H members constructed bat houses, robin nesting lodges, and giraffe recipe holders. But Mellin’s goals go far beyond showing someone how to build an object. With his workshops always at peak attendance, having a captive audience for a few hours means, for Mellin, an opportunity to reinforce skills such as tree identification, botany, suitability of wood for carpentry, wildlife and ecology (another 4-H project), math and measuring skills, safety best practices and following directions. Mellin serves as a judge for county 4-H project books and helps develop 4-H youth critical thinking skills through wood science judging contests at the county and state level. Mellin offers trainings throughout the 4-H year (see a 4-H YouTube of Mellin in action) and in 2013 serves as the project chair for the state. He has been a fixture at the Delaware State Fair organizing wood science judging and a visible booster for 4-H overall. A regular at county meetings and wherever help is needed. Mellin does not always need lumber or power tools to build enthusiasm for 4-H.

“Clyde is very meticulous and organized,” said Jill Jackson, Sussex County 4-H Educator. “He has a wonderful connection with the 4-H members and they listen intently to what he teaches them in workshops and trainings.”

Beginning at the county level, The Salute to Excellence Award acknowledges outstanding volunteer service within two service divisions – Volunteer of the Year (VOY) for service 10 years or less and Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer (OLV) for service greater than 10 years. From the county level, candidates are considered for the state – regional and possible national levels of recognition. In Delaware, The Salute to Excellence Award is sponsored by the DuPont Company and the Delaware 4-H Foundation.

Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of National 4-H Council stated in the announcement that each nominee was evaluated and scored “through a rigorous selection process.” Regional recipients will “receive $200 to be donated to the 4-H program of their choice and a $400 travel scholarship to attend their respective STE Regional 4-H Volunteer Forum,” Sirangelo wrote.

Delaware 4-H leaders celebrate, learn and receive recognition

In Delaware, more than 60,000 youth are impacted by 4-H programs and curriculum delivered through traditional clubs, afterschool programs, day and overnight camping and other events. Michelle Rodgers, associate dean at UD’s College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and director of Cooperative Extension addressed the group. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm in Pa., Rodgers was an active 4-H’er and continued in collegiate 4-H while obtaining her undergraduate degree.

Rodgers said the success of the program in Delaware could not be realized without the contribution of the 4-H volunteer. “Our entire Extension program really runs with volunteers. You extend the work we can do in ways we can count that are very tangible in terms of the outreach and education and the impact we have realized in Delaware. My personal thanks to you for your role and leadership.”

At February’s forum UD Cooperative Extension specialist Ernie Lopez welcomed the large gathering of volunteer leaders who meet once a year to train in several 4-H curriculum areas, exchange ideas and are the focus of the special day of honoring their service. “The Salute to Excellence Awards are the pinnacle of recognition for our 4-H volunteers, not just here in Delaware but across the country, Lopez said. “We are all blessed for all of our wonderful volunteers.”

Delaware 4-H Salute to Excellence winners, from left to right: Michelle Rodgers, UD Extension, Joanne Carter, Kim Klair, Patricia Leach, Clyde Mellin. Not available for photo: Sharon Anderson, Elaine Webb

Delaware 4-H Salute to Excellence winners, from left to right: Michelle Rodgers, UD Extension, Joanne Carter, Kim Klair, Patricia Leach, Clyde Mellin. Not available for photo: Sharon Anderson, Elaine Webb

The list of First State 4-H volunteer winners for 2014 are:
• New Castle: Volunteer of the Year : Patricia Leach, Lifetime Volunteer: Kimberly Klair
Kent County: Volunteer of the Year: Elaine Webb, Lifetime Volunteer: Joanne Carter
Sussex County: Volunteer of the Year: Clyde Mellin, Lifetime Volunteer: Sharon Anderson

Click here to learn more about the other Delaware 4-H Salute to Excellence winners.

From these outstanding county winners, Delaware 4-H announced that Clyde Mellin and Sharon Anderson were selected to represent Delaware.

To become a Delaware 4-H leader, adults go through an extensive application process which includes a criminal background check. In addition to training opportunities at the annual forum, 4-H volunteers receive curriculum training and support at the county level, and many participate in regional and national 4-H leader forums and 4-H sponsored events.

For more information on Delaware’s 4-H programs visit the Delaware 4-H website.

Article by Michele Walfred, photos by William Campbell

MARCH to a Different Taste

March 10, 2014 in Family and Consumer Sciences, Feature

MARCHHave you ever purchased a new food product, touted for its nutritional value or healthful ingredients, only to have it fail miserably in the taste category?

Taste and price are identified as more influential than nutritional content when people buy food.  The theme for National Nutrition Month®  2014 is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right”.  Every day, Cooperative Extension nutrition specialists, educators, para professionals and volunteers across our nation show people of all ages how to choose, prepare and enjoy tasty, healthful meals.  The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension can help you to combine taste and nutrition to prepare healthy, homemade meals for your family.

Check out our upcoming programs:

Cooking Concepts for Kids

Learn how to combine cooking skills with reading, math and science to expand children’s knowledge.  March 20,  6:30pm-8:30pm.  New Castle County Extension office, 461 Wyoming Rd., Newark, 19716. To register:

Dining with Diabetes

A 3 series workshop; providing basic diabetes education, cooking demonstrations and tasting of healthy foods.   Participants will receive recipes and resources to take home. April 24, May 1and May 8,  10:00am-12:00noon.  St. Joseph Parish Hall, 371 East Main Street, Middletown, 19709. To register:

EFNEP/Food skills locations in March & April:

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is designed to assist limited resource audiences in acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and changed behavior necessary for nutritionally sounds diets, and to contribute to their personal development and the improvement of the total family diet and nutritional well-being.  Look for the following class locations :

New Castle County:

Newark Day Nursery – March 12, 19, 26 and April 2 and 5,  6:30pm-7:30pm.

  • 921 Barksdale Road, Newark, 19711
  • Contact Betsy:  831-1095                        

Bear Public Library – March 6,13,20,27 and April 3, 11:00am.

  • 101 Governor’s Place, Bear,  19701
  • Contact Anita: 302-730-4000

Westside Family Healthcare (Spanish program) – March 12, 10:00am-12:00noon.

  • 1802 W. 4th Street, Wilmington, 19805  
  • Contact Jennifer: 302-730-4000
Kent/Sussex County:

Delaware Adolescent Program, Inc. – March 5, 12, 18 and 31, 11:30am-1:30pm

  • 26351 Patriot’s Way (Shockley Center) Georgetown,19947 
  • Contact Wanda: 302-856-2585                                 

Smyrna Public Library – March 11,18,25, April 1 and 8,  2:00pm-3:30pm

  • 107 W. Main Street, Smyrna, 19977
  • Contact Anita: 302-730-4000

Casa San Francisco – March 17 through 21, 5:00pm-6:00pm

  • 120 Broad Street, Milton 19968
  • Contact Jennifer: 302-730-4000
EFNEP Youth programs:

Frederick Douglas School – March 6,13,20, April 3 and 10,  3:30pm-5:00pm

  • 1 Swain Rd., Seaford, 19973
  • Contact Wanda: 302-856-2585

Lighthouse School – April 1,8,15 and 29,  11:00am-12:30pm

  • 28154 Lighthouse Crossing, Dagsboro, 19939
  • Contact Wanda: 302-856-2585
AG Day:
  • Townsend Hall grounds – April 26, 10:00am-4:00pm  Rain or Shine.
  • 531 S. College Ave., Newark, 19716
  • Look for our displays in the Cooperative Extension tent!
ServSafe/Dine Safe Classes:

ServSafe  is a food safety certification program that is designed for the food- service professional.

  • April 22  9:00am-6:00pm  University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, 19947.  Contact Kim Lewis: 302-856-2585  ext .542
  • April 30  9:00am- 6:00pm. New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, 19716.  Contact Sandy Peralta:  302-831-1239
  • Dine Safe is food safety training for food-service workers and quantity food preparers. May 7 6:30pm – 8:30pm.  New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, 19716. Contact Sandy Peralta:  302-831-1239

Weed Science School builds on the basics

February 25, 2014 in Cooperative Extension Scholars, Feature

Northeastern SARE is the sponsor of the 2014 Weed School

Northeastern SARE is the sponsor of the 2014 Weed School

Delaware Cooperative Extension  as announced has announced its 2014 schedule of Weed School Training to be held at two locations in March. The weed management training will focus on weeds and issues with agronomic crops and commercial vegetables. The training will be conducted by Mark VanGessel, UD Cooperative Extension Weed Specialist and his research and Extension team.  The objective of Weed Science School is to train agriculture industry professionals and those who work on weeds frequently.  Topics will  include weed management concepts and principles.

Mark VanGessel, UD Extension Weed Specialist at the 2013 Weed School

Mark VanGessel, UD Extension Weed Specialist at the 2013 Weed School

Classes start promptly at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. Lunch is provided and resources will be made available. There is no fee for the training.
CCA credits of 0.5 CEU for Soil & Water and 3.5 CEU for Pest Management; DE and MD Pesticide credits have been requested.


March 12, 2014 at the Kent County Extension Office, 69 Transportation Circle Dover, Del.19901

March 14, 2014 at the University of Delaware Research and Education Center Annex (old office building) 16686 County Seat Hwy., Georgetown, Del. 19947

Please pre-register by March 7 with Karen Adams at 302/856-2585 x540.

Training topics will include:

Weed Biology and Identification – 1 hour

This will include a discussion on weed life cycles (annual, biennial, perennial), with a special emphasis on problem weeds or weeds on the rise.  Identifying live specimens and learning to use an I.D. key.

Integrated Management: it’s not just about herbicides – 50 minutes

Discuss alternatives to herbicides and non-herbicide practices for effective weed control.  Topics to include cover crops, cultivation, cultural practices (row spacing, varieties, fertility).

Herbicides In the Plant: what’s going on in there – 50 minutes

This portion will discuss what happens to the herbicides once it enters the susceptible weeds (MOA) or enters the crop plant (metabolism).  How herbicide MOA relates to symptoms observed in the crops will also be presented.

Herbicide Resistant Weeds and Crops: we like one but not the other – 50 minutes

This portion will include a discussion on herbicide resistant crops and weeds in the Northeast. What is the current situation, what is new and what may be coming?  Incorporating resistance management strategies into the weed management program will be included.

 Herbicides and Soils – 50 minutes

Herbicide interactions with soils will be discussed, including soil degradation and soil adsorption.  Unintended movement of herbicides (drift, volatility, surface runoff, and leaching) will also be addressed.

Developing Weed Management Programs – 1 hour

This section will try to bring everything together by developing management scenarios for several cropping systems.

Click here to visit the University of Delaware weed science website

Delaware Produce Food Safety Training

February 24, 2014 in Feature, New Castle County Slideshow


vegetablesIn 2014, three initial 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 the 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 FDA rule.  A portion of the session will be spent on recommendations for produce wash water disinfection and produce contact surface disinfection.  Recertification credits will be given.

All Sessions will be held at University of Delaware County Extension Offices

New Castle: 461 Wyoming Road, Newark, DE — Kent: 69 Transportation Circle Dover, DE— Sussex: 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, DE

 Dates and Locations:

Initial sessions for those who have not attended training in the past:

NEW CASTLE COUNTY – April 3, 6-9 p.m. basic session.  Phone (302) 831-2667 to register.

KENT COUNTY – March 31, 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

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 27, 6-9 p.m. for the basic session with an additional 3 hour session for those selling to wholesalers on April 1 from 6-9 p.m.   Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.

Update sessions for those that have already attended trainings:

KENT COUNTY – March 25, 9 a.m.-noon   Phone (302) 730-4000 to register.

SUSSEX COUNTY – March 19, 6-9 p.m.  Phone (302) 856-7303 to register.

Become a 2014 Extension Scholar

February 23, 2014 in Feature

Student internship with University of Delaware (UD) Cooperative Extension Delaware Cooperative Extension connects the public with university knowledge, research and resources to address youth, family, community and agricultural needs. The goal of Cooperative Extension is to help individuals, families and communities make informed decisions that can enhance their lives. In so doing, the organization generates and disseminates research-based information, provides focused educational opportunities and builds relationships that create effective solutions.

Eligibility: Current undergraduate (summer following sophomore year and beyond) or graduate students at the University of Delaware.

Purpose: The Extension Scholars program is designed to follow the service learning model whereby interns will have an opportunity to become fully engaged in organizational service experiences that:

a. Are integrated into the academic curriculum

b. Meet the needs of a community

c. Provide structured time for reflection

d. Help foster civic responsibility

Opportunities: To expand knowledge of and to participate in the delivery of Extension programming; to develop leadership and interpersonal skills; to learn about careers in Extension; and to apply knowledge gained through university coursework. Internship experiences include but are not limited to: participating in the conduct of needs assessment; designing and delivering educational programs; evaluating program impact; working with volunteers; fostering partnerships; pursuing funding.

Location: Cooperative Extension offices on the UD campus and in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties.

Expectations: Interns will work from June 9 – August 15, 2014, 40 hrs. per week. Some flexibility in hours may be required. Interns will be expected to provide their own transportation, mileage to and from work is at intern expense. All interns will be expected to participate in the Orientation in June and the Service Learning Symposium in August 2014.

Application Process and Deadline: Applications must be submitted online and are due on or before Friday, February 28, 2014.

Finalists may be interviewed by the selection committee.

Selections will be announced by April 1, 2014. Up to three interns will receive a stipend of $3000 and an allowance of $500 for job related travel and/or housing.




UD Cooperative Extension Centennial Fund

January 30, 2014 in Feature

centennial-fund-donate-buttonThe UD Cooperative Extension Centennial Fund supports general operational needs related to UD’s Cooperative Extension efforts in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. Needs may include staff support, programmatic support, and innovation of new programs and delivery methods.

Make a gift to our Centennial Fund at – in the “Other” box, simply write – UD Cooperative Extension Centennial Fund.

Cooperative Extension’s federal partner, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and will hold celebrations throughout the year.