FALL is here, and it truly is my favorite season. I love the colors and cool
weather. September 1 starts our new 4-H year and we are hoping to continue to grow membership in both traditional and SPIN (special interest) clubs. The academic staff and myself have prepared the Unit's annual plan of work and we are ready to start offering some new and innovative cross-discipline
As I said, I truly enjoy FALL, but we had such a productive summer I have to share some of my favorite highlights. We piloted "Entrepreneur Camps" in Christian, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties, the full story is included in this addition; we served over 100 youth in our "Kids in The Kitchen" program in Christian County; and we are now able to host the "Four Seasons Gardening" educational programs in Jersey County just by changing the days we are open to the public each week.
In addition to new programming, we have continued to grow our staff. Starting in October, Alicia Gullidge joined the team as the new 4-H Program
Coordinator for Christian County, and Kathie Hunnicutt joined our team as the new Agricultural Literacy Program Coordinator for Christian County. These two positions now complete our team of 21 staff members working in our four county unit.
Lastly, take sometime this FALL to visit one of our offices, or go to our website to learn about our ever growing programming list.
We look forward to hearing from you.
County Extension Director
Alicia Gullidge - Christian County 4-H Program Coordinator
I grew up on a fifth generation grain and livestock farm just north of Assumption, right here in Christian County. I was an active 10 year member of 4-H showing
livestock and various other projects, and I was a member of the Central A&M FFA Chapter, winning many awards including my State FFA Degree. My favorite time of year is summer, and the happenings that come with the season. There is just something about the atmosphere of the County Fair and the Illinois State Fair that doesn't go away, even as I get older.
I continued my interest for agriculture on to Lake Land College for my Associates in Science degree, then Illinois State University to
complete my Bachelors of Science in Agriculture
Communications. I studied Agriculture in Angers, France for a summer semester while working on my bachelor's' degree. That was an awesome
experience. I worked professionally in the agriculture industry for a few years, and then in 2012 I decided to go back to Illinois State University for my Masters of Science degree in
Agriculture Education and Leadership. I absolutely love working with today's youth,
inspiring them to learn more and informing them about the importance of agriculture.
In my spare time I enjoy traveling and being with family and friends. I love to be on or near water. I really enjoy taking trips to Missouri to go canoeing on the river, enjoying Branson or spending time at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Kathie Hunnicutt - Christian County Agricultural
Literacy Program Coordinator
I was born in Decatur, IL and grew up in Shelbyville, IL where we moved when I was in Grade School. I graduated from EIU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. I have taught First Grade and Title I Reading in grades K-2.
I have lived in Pana, IL for most of my adult life. I have three children. My oldest daughter is a freshman at SIU, my son is a Junior at Pana High School and my youngest daughter is in second grade. My interests include reading and walking the dogs. I've recently started decorating cupcakes and cakes just for fun. I haven't travelled much in my life, and that's something I really want to do; I crave new experiences.
I am excited to start my new position as Ag Literacy Program Coordinator. I'm looking forward to meeting everybody and to being in the classroom again!
The Next Generation Is Ready For Business With
"Next Top Product" Youth Entrepreneur Camps
Community and Economic Development was getting down to business in the Summer of 2014. Unit 18 hosted four "Next Top Product" Youth Entrepreneur Camps in Taylorville, Litchfield, Carlinville, and Pana.
Twenty eight area youth participated in the camps, which were free of charge and held over a three day period. The program offered an exciting, hands-on way for kids to discover what it takes to develop and sell a product. Participants, grades 5-8, worked as teams to imagine a new product, create a business plan, and develop a
marketing strategy, which included designing a company logo, business cards, and filming a TV commercial. Teams then "pitched" their product to community leaders playing the part as potential investors.
Extension partnered with Lincoln Land Community College to offer programs at the Taylorville and Litchfield locations.
Here are some of the great products our Young Entrepreneurs Came Up With:
· Flavor Favors – A Flavor Scented Bracelet
· Air Car Inc. – An Air Powered Car
· GNO – A Multi-Purpose Cooker
· Baking Basket – A New Healthy Cupcake Delight
· Extra Hand Attachment Industries – A New Bike Safety Attachment
· Future Tech – An Alternative Transportation System
· MBM – A Popcorn Flavored Popsicle
· Stuff Cakes – A New Tasty Treat
· Rhino – A Protective Sports Sock
· Explosive Flavors – A New Chocolate Treat
· Intelliball – An Electronic Soccer Ball which keeps score
· Smart Air – A personal climate control system
· Game Buddy – A new video gaming system
Photo: Two Montgomery County participants shoot a commercial for their magnetic powered car, while Chris Casey, Extension Community & Economic Development Educator, films.
The 2015 Christian County LEADership program will mark the start of its tenth class. To date, over 150 individuals have attended this program which is designed to enhance the social and economic wellbeing of Christian County by developing an active group of effective leaders. This program is developed in partnership with the University of Illinois Extension and Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce.
Sessions will be held each Tuesday afternoon from 1:00-4:00 p.m. beginning on January 13 and ending on March 31, 2015. (Exceptions are January 13 and March 3, which will be all day sessions.)
Topics to be covered include team building and personal leadership dynamics, developing effective meeting management and communication skills. The program also takes an in-depth look into Christian County history, economic development, state and local government. Tours will include a behind the scenes look at local businesses, education facilities, social service agencies, and health care resources.
Class size is limited to 20 participants and is open to anyone interested in the future of Christian County. Tuition for the program is $199 and includes a one day orientation, a day trip to Springfield to meet local legislators, class materials, supplies, weekly refreshments and guest speakers.
The University of Illinois - Dudley Smith Farm near Pana, IL in Christian County serves all of Unit 18 in the development and delivery of programs associated with agriculture and natural resources. Extension serves to link local issues of agriculture and community to the research staff from all the departments within the College of ACES in Champaign-Urbana.
Over the past 12 years this site has been used for more than 35 Extension sponsored field day demonstrations, hosted over 3,000 visitors (34 states and 40 countries), provided a land-based "test tube" for over 30 University of Illinois researchers from several colleges, served as the main or secondary site for 21 research projects (3 ongoing) ranging from biomass feedstock production/utilization to rotational / intensive grazing management.
In 2014, local Extension staff organized a beef cow-calf producer's field day for over 70 participants. Programs focus on current research initiatives with local impact and global relevance. Landowners and producers have the opportunity to learn more about livestock and natural resource management, supplements to animal nutrition, specific forage production strategies and the value of novel varieties of perennial and annual pasture species for improved profitability.
Mark your calendar for the annual field day which is held in June at the Pana farm, and watch for announcements on upcoming projects and fall events at the U of I – Dudley Smith Farm.
When is the last time you took a look at the edge of your field or property? With the procession of fall harvest and other activities, attentions tend to be focused on tasks that are at hand. One task that would be well worth the investment of time and energy is identifying and eradication of invasive plants.
Lookalikes can make invasive plant identification challenging. Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is one invasive that has a lookalike of American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens). Oriental bittersweet had been used for holiday decorations for many years and assisted in the spread of this troublesome invasive. The fruit capsules can help to distinguish Oriental bittersweet from American bittersweet.
Oriental bittersweet has yellow seed capsules on red berries whereas American bittersweet has orange seed capsules on red berries. To distinguish American Bittersweet from Oriental bittersweet, notice the placement of the berries; on the American they hang in terminal panicles of 5-60 berries whereas on the Oriental there are small clusters of 2-4 berries all along the stem. The leaves on Oriental Bittersweet are usually rounder than that of the American.
Unit 18 Extension recently hosted an Invasive Species workshop that discussed identification and eradication methods. It was attended by participants from a nine county area.
If you would like to be notified when the next Invasive Species workshop will be held, please contact us at 217-532-3941.
An interview with Bob Fuehne, a Master Gardener volunteer, and one of the organizers of the annual Farmers Institute.
How did the 124th annual Montgomery County Farmer's Institute & Household Science Section go?
"We were very successful this year. We had more entries than we have ever had in the 8 years the Master Gardeners have hosted the event, with 460 individual
entries. We have seven different classes with a total of 123 categories. The biggest increase of entries this year came from the youth division, which virtually doubled in number. A lot of this is due to 4-H and the area schools encouraging the kids to enter their items."
So what's new for next year's big 125th anniversary?
"It is our hope that we can get to 500 entries. We will be putting out more booklets and handing them out to more people so that they are aware of the event and will be inspired to participate. We hope to get the word out to those who maybe haven't heard of the event."
You offer such a wide variety of categories, what is the most popular?
"Traditionally the most popular class has been fruits and vegetables, and we had 115 entries this year. Then next most popular is culinary class, and we had 90
entries this year, up 15 entries from last year. In fact, most categories were up this year, in terms of entries."
Growth of the Youth division
"The Youth Division entries have really been growing in numbers, with 16 different categories kids can enter. Thanks to the efforts of Master Gardener volunteer,
Kevin Leitheiser, and the 4-H clubs throughout the county, the youth are really
What is the Farmers Institute?
The Farmer's Institute is similar to a 4-H general project show except it's for participants of all ages. In the old days, farmers brought grain, straw and hay, while the ladies would pack their baked goods and bring in their crafts and quilts. Today there are a lot of entries in all of the classes, be it ag science, fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants, canned goods and miscellaneous, fancywork and sewing, culinary or in the youth division.
There is no charge for entering exhibits, and no admission fee. This year they paid out almost $2,000 in prizes to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. This is possible through the generous support of their many sponsors.
· In Carlinville at the Macoupin County Extension office on Mondays (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) starting February 2 and runs for 10 weeks.
· In Jacksonville as well as Jerseyville on Tuesdays (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) starting January 27 and runs for 10 weeks.
There is a $175 registration fee to participate in the training, which includes the Master
Gardener manual. Contact the Macoupin County Extension office at 217-854-9604 for more information.
What is a Master Gardener? Master Gardeners are a dedicated group of volunteers for University of Illinois Extension. The program is open to any adult with an interest in plants and a desire to share the knowledge they gain with others.
What do Master Gardeners do? They educate the public on a wide variety of topics such as improving landscapes, choosing plant varieties, water saving tips for gardens,
proper pest identification and management, how to grow their own produce, optimum mulching strategies, and composting. Volunteer opportunities include but are not limited to answering telephone or email questions about gardening; staffing plant clinics; speaking to local organizations; establishing demonstration or community gardens; conducting
programs with area youth and the elderly.
What is covered in training?
• Vegetable Gardening
• Tree and Small Fruits
• Basic Botany
• Flower Gardening
• Integrated Pest Management
• Turfgrass Care
• Soils and Fertilizers
• Tree and Shrub Care
• Plant Diseases
Diabetes affects 30 million Americans, and another 7 million are currently walking around undiagnosed. More people die from diabetes each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. However diabetes doesn't have to be a death sentence. With support and education, diabetes can be successfully controlled, and people can live long and fruitful lives. November is National Diabetes Awareness month, and the perfect time to understand what diabetes is and learn some helpful pointers to keep it under control.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that affects the way the body converts food to energy. The body breaks down carbohydrates into its main source of energy, glucose. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, moves glucose from the blood into cells where it turns into energy. Diabetes is when the pancreas produces a low amount of insulin, no insulin, or the insulin isn't used properly. Without insulin, glucose stays in the blood stream and the body doesn't get the energy it needs. The high levels of glucose in the blood can cause damage to the nervous system, circulatory system, renal problems, and gum disease. There are two main types of diabetes: Type I and Type II.
Type I Diabetes: Type I Diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes/juvenile onset diabetes) is when the pancreas does not make any insulin. Type I Diabetes can be triggered at any time, but typically it occurs in individuals under the age of 30. Only 5 percent of Americans have this type of diabetes. Individuals with type I diabetes rely on an external source of insulin to maintain a healthy blood sugar, often through an insulin pump or regular injections.
Type II Diabetes: Type II Diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) is when the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, or the cells do not respond to the insulin. 90-95 percent of newly diagnosed cases are type II. Type II Diabetes can be triggered not only by genetics, but lifestyle factors. It can be managed by glucose lowering medication or insulin injections as needed. Unlike type I diabetes, type II can be prevented or prolonged through changes in lifestyle such as eating healthy and exercising regularly.
Pre-diabetes has also become a growing concern over the past few decades. People who have pre-diabetes have a high blood sugar, but not high enough to be clinically diagnosed with type II diabetes. 86 million Americans suffer from pre-diabetes, and 9 out of 10 are unaware of it. 15 to 30 percent of people who have pre-diabetes develop type II diabetes within 5 years. It's important to get tested, as a high blood sugar can cause damage throughout the body.
Diabetes can be controlled by following a healthy diet, which is often easier said than done. A great strategy provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for smart eating with diabetes is:
"Eating the same amount of food, in the right balance, at about the same time of day, and to avoid weight gain, balance your day's food choice with regular physical activity."
To help control the fluctuation of blood sugar, it is important to control what is being consumed, how much, and when. There is no perfect diet for someone who suffers from diabetes, every person has different needs, and it's beneficial to meet with a dietitian, a physician, or a certified diabetic educator to help find a meal plan that meets individual needs and promotes a healthy and realistic lifestyle.
Know The Symptoms:
· Frequent Urination
· Blurry Vision
· Feeling extremely thirsty
· Feeling extremely hungry
· Extreme fatigue
· Weight loss
· Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
· Cuts and Bruises take a long time to heal
If you experience any of these symptoms see a physician as soon as possible. Type II diabetes can often show mild or no symptoms.
Wanting more information about
managing diabetes or recipes?
Watch for the upcoming "I on Diabetes" program offered through the U of I Extension in the New Year:
I on Diabetes is a series of four 2 ½ - 3 hour sessions designed for anyone interested in preventing or managing diabetes. In each session participants receive recipes, watch cooking demonstrations, and taste foods to meet their dietary needs.
- Visit the University of Illinois Extension
Website Your Guide to Diet & Diabetes: Providing up-to-date information about managing diabetes, recipes, diabetes from a medical perspective, and other recommended websites and resources. http://urbanext.illinois.edu/diabetes2
- The American Diabetes Association Website offers fantastic information about diabetes in every aspect of life, helpful information on diabetes advocacy, current research, information for family and friends about coping with diabetes, and more! http://www.diabetes.org
For almost a year they prepared. They learned, attempted, cared for, succeeded and failed. They recorded, reviewed, tried again, and learned even more. They sought help, asked questions, connected the dots, and got "hands on". Show day finally arrived and it was time for 4-H members to demonstrate what they've learned, show their projects and/or animals, and answer that all important question a judge inevitably asks, "What did you learn?"
This past summer hundreds of kids across Unit 18, and thousands across the State of Illinois did just that. A year of hard work came down to a few minutes at the local county show, and for those who excelled, the chance to represent their county at the State Fair.
It takes hard work, discipline, confidence and a desire to learn to receive a Superior Award ribbon, but the true award comes from what they learn along the way.
According to Dr. Richard Lerner, and the team at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, the structured learning, encouragement and adult mentoring that young people receive through their participation in 4-H plays a vital role in helping them achieve future life successes. In his in-depth, longitudinal study he discovered that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H have higher educational achievement, and higher motivation for future education. In addition, youth in 4-H are more civically active, and make more civic contributions to their communities than youth in other out-of-school programs.
The positive program results in 4-H comes from the intentional effort to create a program that addresses the key points of Belonging, Independence, Generosity, and Mastery, the basis for Positive Youth Development.
All young people want to belong and be members of groups. Groups may be formal such as a classroom, or informal like 4-H clubs. A 4-H club must have three essential elements to create a strong feeling of belonging among club members.
The first element, a positive relationship with a caring adult is without a doubt one of the most important elements in a 4-H club. Young people in clubs are directly impacted by relationships with caring adults (4-H leaders), and if the adult is outside the family, better social development and improved parental relationships occur.
The second element, a welcoming and inclusive environment allows young people to feel they are connected and valued in a larger social network. When youth feel they are accepted in a club, they are more likely to contribute to the club, and to engage in healthy peer relationships that benefit their community too.
The final element states that young people need to feel safe at all times—physically as well as psychologically safe. This is the most basic need for healthy youth development. Youth participating in clubs should not fear physical or emotional harm whether from the club's learning environment itself, or from adults, other club members or spectators. They then can feel free and comfortable to act honestly and communicate openly in the club.
Gaining the ability to see oneself in the future is to have hope and optimism to shape life choices, which will in turn transfer into actively engaging in future choices. Youth today are faced with so many opportunities it could appear that the transition into living their future would be an easy one; however these same opportunities turn into challenges.
One key component of independence is seeing oneself as an active participant in the future. One of the most difficult tasks for youth is learning to set attainable goals and defining realistic strategies for reaching those goals. Success in setting and achieving goals gives youth the confidence to aspire for increasingly more difficult and challenging accomplishments.
Self Determination is another key component of independence. Young people must believe they can influence life's events,
rather than life's events having control over their lives. During the early stages of a young person's development, many decisions are made for them by parents, by teachers, or other outside forces. As young people mature, 4-H helps foster that personal sense of influence over their lives, helping them exercise their potential to become self-directing, autonomous adults.
Mastery is described as building knowledge, skills and attitudes, and then providing opportunities for youth to demonstrate the competent use of their new knowledge and skills. Mastery is associated with the "Hands" in the 4-H pledge because of the experiential or hands-on learning component of the 4-H program
One element of mastery is self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is believing in yourself, and knowing you are capable of achieving goals and mastering tasks. Youth need to feel and believe they are capable. The second element of mastery is engagement in learning. Active learning strategies keep youth engaged and interested in what is being taught. Engagement is about the spark of excitement learning can create.
Finding one's self begins with losing one's self in service to others. Service is a way for 4-H members to gain exposure to the larger community. In a 4-H club, young people should feel free to contribute their skills, their ideas and time, and their contributions should be accepted, acknowledged and appreciated. In a 4-H club, youth are encouraged to teach and mentor younger youth often as a Jr. Leader. 4-H members are also given opportunities to develop civic responsibility, and learn more about their community through programs and projects that bring them in contact with people from local agencies, government, and service organizations.
The 4-H program offers youth experiences that influence or produce those positive outcomes. Belonging, Independence, Generosity, and Mastery are foundational program features or key concepts that guide the work with youth in 4-H. They are the cornerstones of the 4-H program.
References: 4-H Essential Elements of Positive Youth Development, University of Illinois Extension, 2010, Baldwin, Leman, McGlaughlin, Seibold, Wagoner.
The 4-H Study on Positive Youth Development , 2006, 4-H.org/ about/ youth-development-research. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development is a longitudinal study that began in 2002, and continues today, surveying more than 6,400 adolescents from diverse backgrounds across 34 U.S.states. The study is made possible by the contributions of our nation's land-grant universities and National 4-H Council.
The Illinois 4-H Foundation annually recognizes one 4-H volunteer per county for exemplary service to the Illinois 4-H program as a Hall of Fame winner. This year, more than 1,000 supporters watched the induction of 66 new members into the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame.
This year celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the award, said Angie Barnard, director of the Illinois 4-H Foundation. All but ten inductees were in attendance for the ceremony held Saturday, August 9 on the Director of Agriculture's Lawn on the Illinois State Fairgrounds.
"These long-time volunteers fully embody what 4-H strives to instill in youth," Barnard said. "They are caring, dedicated, generous leaders, and the Illinois 4-H Foundation is extremely proud to be able to provide this honor to each and every one of them to thank them for their service to this wonderful organization."
The Illinois 4-H Foundation established the statewide Hall of Fame in 2004 to honor and celebrate extraordinary 4-H alumni, volunteers, and former 4-H staff. Nominations for the Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame are made by University of Illinois Extension staff. Each inductee received a commemorative Hall of Fame medallion.
"As a result of these volunteers' years of service and leadership to Illinois 4-H," Barnard said, "the program they love will continue to create brilliant futures for the young people whose lives it touches."
Inductee Donna Wilcox
has been working with 4-H for 24 years as a parent and volunteer. As a 24-year leader, Donna truly enjoys watching the members transform over their years of membership. Every summer Donna can be found helping with the Food Show, 4-H Auction, or even serving as the visual arts superintendent.
Inductee Kathy Stine
is a model example of a 4-H volunteer. Her family has a long history of 4-H involvement and Kathy even grew up in the club that her mother, Evelyn, started. She always demonstrates patience and her love of cooking and baking with Jersey County 4-H members. Kathy currently serves on the Jersey County 4-H Foundation Board.
Inductee Rosie Huff
was a ten-year 4-H member and is currently in her 32nd year as a 4-H leader in Macoupin County. Rosie has inspired many youth over the years and is dedicated to community service. As Macoupin County Fair Food Coordinator for 15 years, Rosie put in countless hours and energy in making the food stand a success and a place people enjoyed coming during the fair. Rosie loves helping youth grow and blossom and even had the first Cloverbud Club in Macoupin County. She is a perfect example of "making the best better."
Inductee Belinda Ernst
was a 10-year 4-H member and has been a volunteer for 30 years, 17 of those as leader of the Panhandle Aces 4-H Club. She has also served on the 4-H committee as annual cook at the Fair, judge at the cooking and visual arts shows, and has helped with countless 4-H events over the years. Montgomery County 4-H knows they can always count on her assistance any time. She is a devoted volunteer and
Montgomery County is proud to have her.
Educators Connect To Agriculture
Educators connected to agriculture at the Summer Agricultural Institutes conducted by the Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program. This year two institutes were held with educators participating from Calhoun, Christian, Greene, Jersey, Macoupin, and Montgomery counties. Throughout the five day institute held in June, twenty-five educators learned more about various aspects of agriculture through traveling workshops, guest presenters, and hands-on activities.
Traveling workshops included Armour's Dairy Farm in Carlinville, Backwoods Berry Farm in Hettick, CHS in Shipman, Holzwarth Flying Service in Virden, Monsanto Chesterfield Village Research Center, National Great Rivers Museum/Melvin Price Locks and Dam in Alton, Pioneer Hi-Bred - Litchfield Production Plant, Rhodes Angus & Greenhouse in Carlinville, Sloan Implement Company in Carlinville, and Triple D Farms in Carlinville.
Presenters included Kevin Daugherty from IL Agriculture in the Classroom, Julie Blunier from the IL Soybean Association, Karen Schmitt from the Midwest Dairy Association, Abby Marten from the IL Corn Growers/IL Corn Marketing Board, Gary Graham from CNB Bank & Trust, Charlotte Schuricht from the Montgomery County Agricultural Literacy Program, and Connie Niemann from the Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program.
Educators tried hands-on multidisciplinary activities all correlated to the learning standards. They received innovative, classroom-ready materials and learned about project grants available. Educators were able to earn 37 continuing professional development units (CPDU's) or three graduate credit hours for the course.
On their evaluations and reflections educators commented they "learned many new things about agriculture, and discovered many new resources for use in the classroom." Some commented it was an "eye opening" experience and "will have an impact on my teaching." Several wrote about the many careers in the diverse agriculture industry, the amazing technology utilized, and the many skills needed. Another said the traveling workshops were the best feature for "seeing these places first hand is priceless!" Several said they "developed an immense appreciation for farmers and those who support them in their work."
In July, fifteen educators participated in the first Summer Agricultural Institute 2. This institute was designed for educators who had attended previous 4-5 day institutes. During this two day institute, educators toured several sites as they learned more about the agriculture industry.
Traveling workshops included Baisch & Skinner - St.Louis, ADM Grain Company - St. Louis, Ronnoco Coffee - St. Louis, Helgen Farms - Litchfield, Worksaver - Litchfield, and Plainview Vineyard & Winery - Plainview. Educators were able to earn 15 continuing professional development units (CPDU's) for the course.
Over the past three years, we have had 101 educators participate in our summer institutes. These programs and all the resources are made possible by the Macoupin County Agricultural Literacy Program's 54 sponsors. We appreciate the support of these sponsors, traveling workshop sites, and presenters that helped make these institutes a success.