Do you like to whip up your own recipes? Do you have a flair for the dramatic? Do you dream of competing in one of those reality show cooking competitions? Why not get a team together for the Illinois 4-H Food Challenge. The Illinois 4-H Food Challenge lets you work with a team of your friends to create a healthy food dish for a panel of judges. We'll give you the raw ingredients and it's up to you and your team to create your food masterpiece and present it with a creative flair for the judges. Take the challenge and get a group of together to compete in this new 4-H contest. In addition to the confidence you'll gain making creative dishes without a recipe, you could win prizes and awards for your presentation and your dish. The IL 4-H Food Challenge is geared towards High School age youth. If you would like to be a part of this exciting opportunity, please contact the Extension office! Click here for this and other 4-H news!
Private Applicator TESTING ONLY will be held at the University of Illinois Extension Office, 1209 Wenthe Drive, Effingham on March 11, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. To register click here
Food safety begins on the farm. For fresh fruit and vegetable producers, food safety is particularly important because most of the fresh produce they grow is eaten raw. Recent produce-associated foodborne illness outbreaks have heightened public awareness of produce food safety and increased the demand by fresh produce buyers to have third party auditors verify farm food safety practices. In all produce operations, it is critical to be aware of and implement food safety practices such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) so that microbial risks can be minimized. A simple procedure such as hand washing is highly effective at managing pathogens on workers' hands, but many farms do not have a written farm food safety plan or a worker training program in place.
University of Illinois Extension is teaming with University of Cornell Extension and USDA to offer "Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Workshop" on March 19 at the University of Illinois Extension office in Efingham from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cost per participant is $15. Pre-registration is required by March 12, 2014. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. For more information and to register, contact Jamie Washburn 217-347-7773 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration can also be found at the Unit 21 website.
We currently have six webinars scheduled, one per week with the first on February 27th and the last on March 31st. These will be live events where participants have the opportunity to send specific questions to the presenter. Each webinar will be limited to one hour in total. The format will be fast-paced with about 30 minutes of presentation and 30 minutes for Q&A.
Garden enthusiasts who would like to share their love and knowledge of horticulture with young people are encouraged to attend a University of Illinois Extension Junior Master Gardener training. The training will cover the basic goals of the program and review the excellent teaching curriculum for the course, as well as provide hands-on learning activities based on the curriculum. Trainings are open to MGs, teachers, parents, home school leaders and others interested in learning about JMG. The sessions will be presented by Monica David, Illinois State Master Gardener Coordinator, and Bill Million, Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development. Materials and program design, as well as how to start a Junior Master Gardener group will be covered. Cost for each workshop is $10 which covers lunch and hand-outs. Register online for these workshops here
Ken Larimore Extension CED Educator is active in local government and community development groups within Unit 21. This month Ken helped present Ed Mitchell with the annual Jasper County Economic Development Person of the Year award. Ed is the Jasper County Board Chairman and is very active in community development. Bill Weber is past county board member and is chairman of the Unit 21 Extension Council and was also present for the award.
The healthy choice isn't always the easy choice, especially on a limited budget. Illinois Nutrition Education Programs (INEP) staff provide practical tips to help low-income individuals and families prepare safe and healthy meals while staying active every day! Click here for more information on Nutrition Education programs in Illinois!