We are now full swing into winter, and during this time of year, we as a society tend to focus some of our attention on those around us with limited resources. I would like to share with you information about an Extension program that assists individuals and families with limited resources, and provide you with some data on the need our Unit is facing.
For those that don't know, University of Illinois Extension is your local provider for SNAP-Ed programming. SNAP-Ed is supplemental nutrition and assistance program education. The work is focused on the education of women with children, adults eligible for benefits, pre-school and other youth, and seniors living within our communities. I recently had the opportunity to review data in regards to the needs of Unit 18's four counties and work towards the development of a strategic plan to expand current programming.
There are over 5,500 households within Unit 18, receiving SNAP benefits. Meaning over 12,000 individuals in our communities rely on SNAP benefits for food and beverage purchase and consumption. SNAP-Ed programming provides education and skills needed to help make better decisions on ways to stretch limited food dollars, healthier consumption practices and overall wellness.
To learn more about Unit 18's SNAP-Ed programming please read a more
in-depth feature article on pages 12 & 13 of this issue.
County Extension Director
Amanda Cole, County Director for University of Illinois Extension Unit 18, is pleased to announce that Gary Letterly, Energy & Environmental Stewardship Educator, has been awarded the Interdisciplinary State Team Excellence Award. Letterly received his award along with other members of the state team which included Dr. DoKyoung 'D.K.' Lee, Ted Funk, Dr. Hans Blaschek, Dr. Luis Rodriguez and Dr. Kishore Rajagopalan.
This state team displayed excellence in collaborative work to address a priority issue with academic professionals from multiple units and disciplines, and addressed current state and national priority issues using research-based information. Over the past three years, Extension has provided a critical role in a statewide project that combined campus researchers with resources and staff within the Illinois Department of Transportation to address current needs in the areas of "Ensuring Adequate and Affordable Energy", and in association with "Protecting and Appreciating Our Environment."
The interdisciplinary state team was made up of an Extension Educator; a retired Extension Educator; Assistant Professor/Crop Sciences; Professor Emeritus/Food Microbiology & Biotechnology; Assistant Professor of Agriculture & Biological Engineering and Associate Director of Applied Research.
Cole states, "We are all very excited for Gary and pleased that his important work in the fields of energy and the environment are being recognized. He is a great resource not only for our Unit but to the greater community."
In addition to maintaining the 4-H Park in Butler, IL, the Montgomery County 4-H Foundation also maintains the Extension office in Hillsboro. This year, thanks to past donations, they were able to make much needed façade improvements. Donor gifts keep the buildings open for important educational opportunities and events for citizens of all ages.
In addition to maintaining facilities, the Montgomery County
4-H Foundation continues to help underwrite the cost of 4-H clubs like Shooting Sports, Robotics, Sewing, and Cooking, to help introduce a whole new generation of youth to what 4-H has to offer: knowledge, responsibility, communications skills, community service, and leadership.
Unit 18 Extension wishes to thank the Montgomery County 4-H Foundation and all their donors for continuing to help Extension and 4-H obtain their goal of "Making the best better!"
by Gary Letterly
Over the past several years we have started to hear more from farmers across the Midwest utilizing cover crops as tools to improve a variety of soil and water management problems ranging from "soil health" to nutrient management and off-farm nutrient export concerns. It is also common to read or hear of research only offering occasional "faint praise" to the economic benefits of cover crops as a result of their use to assure higher yields. This certainly can influence a farmer's plan to use or not use cover crops. The bigger picture may include research and analysis/quantification and qualifying of the comprehensive ecological and environmental services value and other benefits afforded by cover crop on the land and in the" farmscape".
Application of research into broad range of cover crop benefits has become the focus of farmers, landowners and conservationists across the country. This due, in part, to evolving partnerships between government agencies, researchers and conservation practitioners where the combination of cover crops and edge-of- field buffer strips are showing promise in reducing nutrient loss from farmland. This past year, our Unit 18 Extension outreach efforts addressed cover crops –in general, and those challenges facing producers as they select, establish, identify benefits, and optimize the value of cover crops in a traditional corn and soybean rotation.
As a result of field days and workshops held in Unit 18, over 50 landowners, farmers and conservationists (along with 60 area high school students) toured a variety of locations to examine different species of cover crops, evaluate the practicality of cover crop use on their lands and to strategize methods to integrate cover crops in their farming system. Agriculture in Unit 18 may not be quite as crop-diverse as in the past, but the rediscovery of some familiar grasses and forbs as cover crops have started to make their presence known on our rich and resilient prairie soils. Look for a continuation of cover crop related programs based on University of Illinois College of ACES research and Extension-based demonstrations with farmer collaboration.
· Now is the time to order plants from seed and nursery catalogs.
· Check for frost heaving on your perennials, cover with mulch if necessary.
· Remember to think of our feathered friends, and keep your bird feeders filled throughout the winter.
A great way to set up for success is to make goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Timely or the S.M.A.R.T way!
The most popular New Year's Resolutions that are made and broken are related to weight loss.
Setting a goal to be healthier is a great way to start the New Year, but avoid the extremes such as completely cutting a food group, crash dieting, or overexertion at the gym.
Specific: Make the goal as specific as possible. Instead of stating, "I'm going to eat healthier this week"-try to focus on what to do to eat healthier. An example of a specific goal might be, "I'm going to eat at least two types of vegetables at every meal." The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to pinpoint success!
Measurable: To better indicate success, it is important to find a way to measure progress towards the goal. For weight loss, stepping on the scale once a week, or measuring the waistline would be a simple method to indicate progress.
Achievable: Think about if the goal being set is achievable. Is success a possibility with this particular goal? Consider focusing on a goal that is both challenging and possible. Setting a goal to lose 50 pounds in one month isn't realistic or achievable in that short of a timespan. A healthy way to lose weight is estimated to be one to two pounds per week.
Results-focused: What will the results of this New Year's Resolution lead to? Increasing exercise, for example, could lead to having more energy throughout the day, or an improvement in mood or attitude. Think about how this goal will impact daily life. Contemplate developing a reward for reaching a goal that is not directly food related. For example, think about taking a vacation as a reward, or buying a new item of clothing.
Timely: Set up a time table that is realistic, and provides an estimated completion date. Don't be discouraged if goals are not met on time. New Year's resolutions can be set anytime during the year; it is important to stay motivated and not let New Year's resolutions cause an overwhelming feeling of defeat. There is no certain time to reach a New Year's resolution, maybe set up a New Year's resolution to be completed in time for New Year's Day 2016!
Thanks to 4-H cooking clubs and workshops, kids are getting a chance to discover the kitchen and learn how to prepare delicious meals, as well as develop important life skills. When kids explore the culinary arts in 4-H, they acquire the skills needed to safely cook for themselves, and make healthy decisions about food. They also learn the importance of food safety.
Christian County 4-H Kids made candy treats as part of their "Frozen" fun workshop. Here they are shown dipping and decorating pretzels.
Jersey County 4-H Cupcake Decorating Workshop gave kids the opportunity to decorate their own cupcakes, as well as learn various icing techniques.
Cooking 101 Program taught kids the basics of measuring ingredients, food safety and kitchen safety.
Macoupin County 4-H Candy Making Workshop taught kids how to make delicious and simple microwave fudge and pretzel candies, as well as how to dip and decorate
Montgomery County 4-H Cooking Club is for youths 8-18 years old and meets weekly for 6 weeks. The kids learn how to measure ingredients, follow a recipe, cutting techniques, kitchen safety and healthy edible art. This year the last two meetings were instructed by Lisa Peterson, Nutrition and Wellness Educator, on healthy edible art snacks. Lisa taught the members how to make olive penguins and other delicious edible art.
In 1946, Robert Allerton donated 250 acres of his estate near Monticello, Illinois, to the University of Illinois so it could be utilized by 4-H members and other organizations as a youth camp.
The camp was dedicated in July 1948 to the memory of Illinois 4-H members and alumni who lost their lives in World War II. The transformation of the site into a premier youth camp was accomplished entirely with donated funds. A campaign to rebuild the original 32 cabins was successfully completed in 2004.
New for 2015! Current year 4-H members within the 4-H Memorial Camp Association will be able to choose ANY camp session at a special discounted rate if they sign up through their local Extension office between Jan. 5 and Feb. 28, 2015.
Open registration will begin March 9th for all remaining camp vacancies for any child ages 8-16 years regardless of 4-H membership.
2015 4-H Camp Weeks
Camp I: June 7-11
Camp II: June 14-18
Camp III: June 28-July 2
Camp IV: July 5-9
The goal of SNAP-Ed is to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy choices
within a limited budget and choose active lifestyles consistent with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans and My Plate. In Montgomery & Christian Counties, SNAP-Ed offers several different classes to varied audiences of the community.
One of the largest classes is the "Organ Wise Guys" which is taught to kindergarten, first and second grade classes. This program teaches students how what you eat, and your physical activity can help the different organs in the body. Its purpose is to promote lifelong healthy eating and physical activity habits from a young age. The "Organ Wise Guys" are characters that help children understand physiology and healthy behaviors. These characters, Sir Rebrum the brain, Calci M Bone, Windy the lungs are manifested as cartoons in books, games and videos and as dolls used in nutrition lessons. This is a yearlong class with visits to each classroom twice a month.
After school programs are also offered, which teach children about "Whoa" foods (those not eat) and "Go foods" (those good to eat). This program also includes a variety of games that promote the physical well-being of the students.
During the summer SNAP-Ed offers "Kids in the Kitchen", a program that teaches children about kitchen safety, food safety and how to prepare several different nutritious options. Last year this program taught over 150 children.
SNAP-Ed also has classes aimed towards families with young children ("Loving your Family", "Feeding the Future"), to a class for all adults ("Eat Smart, Stay Strong"), and for the older generation who might be preparing meals for just one person ("Eating Smart Being Active").
Scattered throughout the year you will see SNAP-Ed at food pantries, health fairs, Head Start parent nights, grocery stores, and senior citizen centers. SNAP-Ed offers single sessions, or once a month classes, and can tailor programs to fit the needs of a particular group.
Basic nutrition for everyone, reaching out to those who have a need to learn about eating a balanced diet, and teaching that it can be affordable is the goal of SNAP ED.
The state website for SNAP-Ed: http://snap.nal.usda.gov/state-snap-ed-contacts/state-and-implementing-agencies/illinois has numerous resources that can be accessed for many different subjects including meal planning, recipe finder, shopping and nutrition.
* Outreach education provided from October until December 2014, has focused on increasing fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks, increasing the selection and eating of whole grain foods, increasing the selection and eating of fat-free and low-fat milk products, increasing physical activity and proper hand washing.
by Chris Casey
With the start of World War I and a severe winter, Standard Oil began to ramp up production from crude oil into gasoline. A steady supply of coal was needed to fuel its refineries. With a seven-foot thick vein of coal and access to the Chicago and Alton rail line, Macoupin County was an ideal location for the company to place operations.
As Standard Oil began to expand its coal operations, the demand for a larger workforce was needed. Hundreds of new employees and their families moved to Macoupin County. The largest number of those settled around the City of Carlinville. In fact, during this time, Carlinville's population grew by one-third which created a temporary housing crisis.
To solve this problem, Standard Oil of Indiana turned to the Sears & Roebuck Catalog for a quick solution. The company purchased 192 kit homes in eight models at a cost of $1 million dollars. This order was proudly touted by Sears & Roebuck as "the largest order ever placed" by a single purchaser.
Of those 192 houses, 156 landed in Carlinville, 12 were built in Schoper (Standard City) and 24 went to Wood River. A 12-block area north of Carlinville was selected for the building site which became known as Standard Addition. Unfortunately, the mines closed after only six years of operation.
Since that time, Standard Addition has seen several periods of positive and negative economic change. Today, 152 of the original 156 homes still stand within a 9-block area of the city. Standard Addition is the largest, concentrated collection of Sears & Roebuck Catalog homes in the United States.
Late in 2014, a group of concerned residents, Officials from the City of Carlinville, and Carlinville Winning Communities approached the University of Illinois Extension about hosting a series of public meetings regarding the Standard Addition. The goal of the program was to discuss concerns and possible ways to improve the neighborhood.
As a result of these meetings, the group decided to form the Standard Addition Neighborhood Association with the purpose of improving and protecting the neighborhood by focusing on safety and security, infrastructure, pride of ownership, communication within the neighborhood, City of Carlinville, other neighbors, and educating the public on the historical significance of Sears Homes.
The Association has already made great strides, and University of Illinois Extension will continue to be there to serve as a resource, and to help them achieve their goals.
If you would like more information about the Standard Addition Neighborhood Association, please contact Chris Casey, Community and Economic Development Educator at 217-854-9604 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: View of
"Standard Edition" circa 1965.
(Photos courtesy of the Macoupin County Historical Society.)