Category Archives: Kent County

Kent County! Step into Spring Health Challenge!

Kent County Delaware residents! Step into Spring!

A friendly competition that encourages individual and community health and wellness by maintaining or adopting healthy nutrition and physical activity habits for the spring season. Step into Spring! will begin February 1 and run through May 1, 2017.

How will teams earn points?
Teams will identify strategies to improve their physical activity and eating habits. Points are assigned to a variety of healthy eating and physical activity related activities. Each week, team members will complete personal logs to track their progress and points. At the end of the month, the team leader will turn in a log with his or her team’s average monthly points. One way points can be earned is by attending Cooperative Extension programs. See a list of programs on below. A team is two or more people working towards making a change.

Prizes and gift cards

What are the incentives?
Participants will earn monthly prizes and the sponsoring organizations can win a cash award. The first place organizational prize is $500.00 for the most points and second place is $250.00. Winning organizations must have at least 10 participants, compete for the full three months and sponsor two Cooperative Extension programs.

How will incentives be awarded?
Team leaders will collect monthly point logs from team members and incentives will be awarded individually for participation. Additional incentives will be awarded for the best team success story.

Who can be on my team?
Any resident of Kent County aged 18 and over who is interested in improving their health through better food choices and physical activity by working together as a team. Teams must have at least two members to participate in the challenge.

How do I sign up?
If you are interested in participating in the challenge or scheduling programs for your team contact Lucy Williams or call 730-4000.

Go to //http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/healthy-living/ for more information.
Funded through grant from:

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Maintain Don’t Gain! Challenge Programs

  • Mindful Eating – This session offers information on sensible eating for good health and general nutrition centered around MyPlate. Length: 1.5 hours
  • Portion Control: How to Indulge Without the Bulge – Portion control is the key to staying healthy. This session will identify
    strategies you can use to manage portions for better health. Length: 1 hour
  • Get Your Snack on Track – This session provides ideas for healthy snacking and ways to supplement your meals with those foods that will balance your diet. Length: 1 hour
  • Meal Time in Less Time – This workshop will help you develop strategies to offer healthful meals for your family in less time. Being busy is no excuse for poor nutrition. Length: 1.5 hours
  • Boning Up on Health – Preventing Osteoporosis – This program recognizes that what you eat as a youth impacts your health as you age. You will learn important strategies for keeping your bones strong no matter what your age. Length: 1.5 hoursUD logo
    Click here >>> for information on New Castle County program

4-H Summer Evening of STEM

2015-stem-flyer-434x600Experience an interactive and engaging evening using Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) on Monday, July 13, 2015, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Delaware Aerospace Education Foundation (DASEF), 585 Big Oak Road, Smyrna, Delaware 19977.

Dinner is provided for all participants and a free t-shirt will be provided for all youth participants!

Cost is free for 4-H youth members statewide. Parents/guardians are welcomed to attend. The fee for adults are $5 per adult.

Registration is due July 2, 2015.  For questions, please contact the NCC 4-H office at (302) 831-8965 .

Return the 2015 Summer Evening of STEM_Registration Form, payment (if applicable) and health/photo release form to:

New Castle County 4-H
Attention Autumn Starcher
461 Wyoming Road
Newark, DE 19716

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

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

CHECK IN HERE!  www.4-H.org/4HGROWN

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 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.

 

Fruit and Vegetable Open House – August 2, 2014

Watermelons and lima beans will be featured among many other topics
Watermelons and lima beans will be featured among many other topics

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension members of the agricultural community to see and hear about many of the UD’s Extension Vegetable and Fruit Program’s field research projects from the 2014 season. The program will be held on Thursday, August 21, 2014, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway in Georgetown. Program highlights:

  • Watermelons: seedless variety trial, pollenizers, growth regulators, compost, irrigation, root stocks, hollow heart
  • Sweet Corn: processing corn nitrogen, tillage trials
  • Lima Beans: tillage, stress mitigation, rhizobium inoculants, regrowth cropping, variety evaluation and breeding for pole, Fordhook and baby lima types will be discussedPickles: parthenocarpic and gynoecious variety trials
  • Other: onion variety trials, zucchini variety trials
  • Fruit: blueberries, grapes, blackberries

We will also have graduate students on hand to discuss their research in these areas: Phytophthora capsici in lima beans, root knot nematodes in lima beans, and watermelon fruit set.

Dinner featuring local produce will be served. This program is sponsored by the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware. Please pre-register by contacting Karen Adams at302-856-2585 ext.

UD Irrigation Field Day – Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Visitors at UD Warrington Farm hear a presentation about subsurface irrigation in 2012
Visitors at UD Warrington Farm hear a presentation about subsurface irrigation in 2012

The University of Delaware College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and Delaware Cooperative Extension will hold an Irrigation Field Day on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 10 a.m. at the Warrington Irrigation Research Farm located on the corners of Route 5 and DE 290 Cool Spring Road/Hurdle Ditch Road, just 4 miles south of Harbeson, Del. (Signs will be posted.) Link to Google Map  The program will last approximately two hours.

The program invites farmers, industry professionals and the general public to tour UD’s Warrington Irrigation Research Farm. UD personnel will be sharing their latest irrigation research findings

  • Irrigated Corn, Wheat, Full Season and Double Crop  Soybean Irrigation Research Plots
  • Experiences with Subsurface Drip Irrigation for Agronomic Crops (SDI)
  • Soil Moisture Monitoring as a Tool to Refine Irrigation Management
  • Variable Rate Center Pivot Irrigation (VRI)

For more information contact Karen Adams at 302-856-2585 ext.  540

Research Sponsored by DNREC, Delaware Soybean Board, MD Grain Producers, NRCS and Vincent Farms.

For more information contact Karen Adams at 302-856-2585 ext. 540

Research Sponsored by DNREC, Delaware Soybean Board, MD Grain Producers, NRCS and Vincent Farms. This event replaces a previously advertised date of Sept. 19.

Nutrient Management Credits Offered at Upcoming Pasture Walks

pasture-walkThe University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is offering pasture walks in two locations this spring.  Participants will have the opportunity to earn nutrient management and pesticide certification credits.  The first walk is being held on May 28th from 6:30-8:30 pm and is being hosted at the farm of Rick and Kim Vincent of Harrington and the second walk will be on June 4th from 6:30-9:00 pm at the University of Delaware’s Webb Farm in Newark.  Program agendas are listed below.  Participants are welcome to bring a plant or weed sample with them for identification.  Please pre-register if you plan on attending either program.

For more information click through to the new Animal Science with Extension blog.

May 28th Pasture Walk Hosted by Rick and Kim Vincent

3427 Burnite Mill Rd. Harrington, DE 19952

6:30-8:30 pm

2014 Kent County Master Gardener plant sale a big success!

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Our Annual Plant Sale was a huge success thanks to the hard work of our Co-Chairs Charlotte Mathis and Sharon Cohee, all the Master Gardeners that contributed their time and expertise, and the public for supporting our sale. The plants were blooming, the sun was shining, and the people were buying. The proceeds from the plant sale will enable the Master Gardeners to continue awarding scholarships to students entering or continuing their post-secondary education in the field of Agriculture.

 

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

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 jennvolk@udel.edu 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

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