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Applying research, knowledge, and resources to meet the issues and needs of Washington County.
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Upcoming Events
Join us in celebrating Master Gardener Volunteer Week, April 5-9! Master Gardener Volunteers make positive impacts in their communities through hours of community service by answering diagnostic questions, growing and donating food to local pantries, beautifying community spaces, conducting workshops, and more! Across Wisconsin, Master Gardener Volunteers work tirelessly to make our communities incredible places to live.
The Youth Tractor and Machinery Safety Course has been filled at this time. Please call the UW-Extension Washington County office at 262-335-447 to be added to the wait-list incase of any cancellations. 
Wednesday, April 7 is “Thank a Master Gardener Volunteer Day.” Extension wants to recognize all of our Master Gardener Volunteers for their dedication and contributions to Wisconsin. Join us by making a phone call, writing a note, or just saying “Thank you!” to a Master Gardener Volunteer on April 7th! To thank your local Master Gardener Volunteers, find us on Facebook or call the Extension Washington County office at 262-335-4477. Find out more information about the Master Gardener Program at: mastergardener.extension.wisc.edu
The Parent Connect is a FREE weekly opportunity for parents and caregivers to talk with each other. Join us via Zoom to learn about resources and gain parenting skills that promote children’s growth and learning. Each week an Extension educator will highlight a different skill and lead a conversation about how parents can guide their children. Register or Download Flyer to Share
Collage of Various Farming Images
Farm Ready Reasearch
Farm Management Fridays at 11am
YouTube Livestream
 
 
Healthy Minds, Healthy Farms, April 9, 2021
The ongoing economic conditions in agriculture are taking a toll on farm families and their rural communities. The associated chronic stress is also impacting mental and physical well-being, relationships, and decision-making. Extension helps farmers, families, businesses, and communities remain resilient by learning how to manage stress and use planning tools to make sound decisions and create a road-map for the future.

FARMing for Health, April 23, 2021
Evidence-based research suggests that small time investments spent planning and setting goals dramatically reduce stress by giving producers a stronger sense of control in times of uncertainty. The FARM tool helps producers focus their actions and resources in ways that provide a maximum ROI. Too often, we deal with stress by simply “working harder.” This often leads to other outcomes that impact our health, relationships and safety. Tools and techniques that support focused planning with other team members along with simple powerful ways to practice gratitude and “being present” helps producers and family members insure that their most precious resources are FARMED effectively. In this webinar Extension Specialist, John Shutske and Vernon County Extension Educator Ashley Olson will discuss FARMing tools for healthy farm businesses.

*Farm Ready Research is Extension’s agriculture webinar meeting series for farmers and ag professionals. Join upcoming webinars to learn the most up-to-date information on topics from dairy and livestock production to farm management resources. Sessions run through May 2021.**

Virtual Money Smart Week 2021 will be held Saturday, April 10 – Saturday, April 17 . This week-long free virtual campaign aims to help people better manage their personal finances with a focus on those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On each day of Money Smart Week, everyone is invited to tune in for 10-15 minute live-streamed, financial focused presentations. Pre-registration isn’t required but advised, as questions for the panelists can be submitted during the registration process. Download a full list of events flyer or learn more at Moneysmartweek.org

*Be sure to check-out the local, presenter connection for Day 8 on Tips for Managing Money Ups & Downs.



Click to Download and Read


Human Development and Relationships Institute: 2020 Financial Education Impact Report
WeCOPE is an interactive program that helps adults cope with life stress and designed for community partner organization professionals. WeCOPE has been shown to reduce stress and depression, increase positive affect, and improve health behaviors. Register Here or Download Flyer to share.

Attention club, project, & youth leaders!! Our April 22 Conversation Corner will cover Summer 2021 4-H Program Guidelines. Sign up for this Zoom session. These conversations are an opportunity for leaders to ask the Educators questions, brainstorm with other leaders, and share ideas! Hope to see you there!

Washington County 4-H youth leaders are planning a Virtual Game Night open to all ages for Monday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m. This family friendly activity is a great opportunity for youth from different clubs to have some fun and connect with each other! Please register by Monday, April 19th.

New Adult Volunteers are welcome and essential to the 4-H program! 4-H is proud to be a proactive, youth-serving organization with an excellent reputation for providing a healthy and safe environment for its members. The volunteer orientation process assures the quality of the program.

Any adults in need of a Volunteer In Preparation Training (VIP), plan now to attend our Spring VIP training, held April 27, 2021 6:30-8:30pm by Zoom.

Sign up today! Register for April 27 VIP training

Head Start and Looking Ahead
Picture of Kelly Hackett

Nutrition

Kelly Hackett
kelly.hackett@wisc.edu
262-335-4799

          FoodWIse is in full swing this spring, kicking off with our first series of virtual education lessons! Kelly began teaching a Color Me Healthy program to Washington County Head Start 3 and 4 year olds, connecting with 83 students across eight classrooms. 
          Kelly taught the first two of six lessons prior to spring break, going through the five food groups and MyPlate friends in the first lesson, and teaching about eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in the second. Our Head Start partners went above and beyond to coordinate with food service and provide typical taste test foods that correspond with weekly lessons; all the students have had the opportunity to apply the lessons and try colorful fruits and vegetables every week! 
          In addition to direct education, Kelly completed training for a national program, GO NAPSACC, to certify in supporting county early childhood education centers interested in making future changes to their nutrition and physical activity practices.

Facilitating Samaritan Task Force Process

Picture of Paul Roback


Community Development

Paul Roback
paul.roback@wisc.edu
262-335-4480

          Washington County Policy Director Matt Furno asked Paul to facilitate the County Executive’s Samaritan Task Force (STF).  The objective of the seven-member task force was to provide a recommendation to the County’s Human Services Committee and County Board on the policy question; “Should Washington County remain in long-term care (nursing home) services?”  
          The STF met three times over five weeks to gain a greater understanding of the issue, discuss the policy question, and to make a recommendation.  Paul’s specific roles included assisting the development of the STF process, facilitating their discussions, authoring a report of task forces work, and developing a summary presentation to the Human Service Committee and County Board. 
          Six of the STF members completed an evaluation after the last meeting and 100% agreed that the task force’s objective was clear, the presentations informed their decision-making process, the process allowed them the opportunity to contribute to the final recommendation, and that participating on the STF was a valuable use of their time.
Growing in the 4H's
Picture of Amy Mangan-Fischer


4-H Youth Development

Amy Mangan-Fischer
amy.manganfischer@wisc.edu
262-335-4478

          The 4-H’s in 4-H stand for head, heart, hands and health. Over the last year, resilient youth, volunteers and staff have found new ways to continue growing in the 4H’s. 
          Youth and adults have used their heads to learn new ways to connect with each other, share knowledge, and have fun virtually. The heart in 4-H represents youth and adults feeling a sense of belonging in 4-H. Youth have connected with youth from across WI and from Kansas and Tennessee through our virtual exchanges. Washington County 4-H youth have also grown in health through their involvement as youth leaders in state-wide committees and through the WI Virtual Learning Community. Youth have grown in self-confidence and stepped outside of their comfort zones! Finally, 4-H members have used their hands to support their communities by making cards, face masks, and blankets for those in need and participating in a variety of trash pick-up events to keep their neighborhoods clean. 
Assisting Schools with Social Emotional Learning Lessons
 
Picture of Ron Jakubisin

Positive Youth Development


Ron Jakubisin
ronald.jakubisin@wisc.edu
262-335-4481

           Ron delivered two workshops to Jackson Elementary School and Fair Park Elementary School classrooms over a 12-day period in March. The workshop: Think Outside the Box: Strategies for Problem Solving focused on individual problem solving skills and emotion management when dealing with tough problems (attended by 125 fourth graders).
          The second workshop, T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More!) focused on group interaction, group planning, consensus building and positive communication (attended by 125 fourth graders).  All sessions were delivered via zoom. Extension coordinated with the two school’s counselors to deliver these sessions.
           Feedback was positive from both schools. One school noted that a specific classroom was ‘Very challenging. Many learning and behavior difficulties. This was a great experience for them!). Ron will follow up with counselors as they have expressed interest in more sessions provided by Extension later this spring.  
Building Parents' Confidence with the Triple P Parenting Program
Picture of Carol Bralich


Human Development & Relationships

Carol Bralich
carol.bralich@wisc.edu
262-335-4479

          Carol facilitated 3 Triple P Positive Parenting Program virtual seminars in February. The first week, parents (9) explored positive parenting techniques, during the “Power of Positive Parenting” Seminar. The core principles include having a safe and positive learning environment, using assertive discipline, having realistic expectations, and taking care of yourself as a parent. The second week, (10 participants), “Raising Resilient Children” focused on the 6 key building blocks for success which include recognizing and expressing feelings appropriately and developing coping skills. The third week (10 participants), “Raising Confident, Competent Children,” emphasized techniques to foster good communication, social skills, problem solving and independence. 
          Overall, 97% of parents who completed the post session surveys (n=22), strongly agreed that they felt they were more knowledgeable with topics presented during the Triple P parenting series. And 96% felt that the seminar was helpful in gaining an understanding of what you can do to help your child learn new skills and behavior. 

Building a Positive Business Culture on Farms

Picture of Steph Plaster


Agriculture

Steph Plaster
stephanie.plaster@wisc.edu
262-335-4477

          The "Building a Positive Business Culture with Employee Safety and Health" webinar for farmers, ag service providers and educators addressed how farms can become positive places to work during covid19, better understand concerns of Latin/Hispanic employees and explore ways to create a culture on your farm that will attract and retain good employees and empower the business for long-term success.   
          There were 221 participants registered for the program including farmers, farm service providers and educators, with approximately 46 livestream and 34 (and counting) recorded viewings.   As a result of the program, participants said they agreed or strongly agreed (100%) that they increased awareness of the value of a positive workplace culture for my farm business, or businesses I work with. Participants also agreed or strongly agreed (100%) that they learned how they can help improve at least one aspect of an employee's work experience on their own farm or those they're working with.
As part of the UW-Madison Division of Extension, we provide knowledge and resources to engage people and their communities in positive change where they live and work.
 
An EEO/AA employer, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension provides equal opportunities in employment and programming including Title VI, Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act requirements
 


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