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Extension Washington County
Monthly Program Highlights
July 2021 


Upcoming events

Heart of the Farm -- Coffee Chat Online Series
Support networks for farm women
Focus on Fathers...dads make a difference! Join county Extension Educators for a virtual discussion series on parenting, family, and coping successfully in these modern times. Focus on Fathers provides a variety of family friendly topics for information sharing and opportunities for dads to be part of parent to parent support in a safe and inviting environment.
Dates: August 3, 10, 17, 24
Time: 8:00 - 9:00pm

Extension Educator Highlights

Learning & Growing at 4-H Camp

Amy Mangan-Fischer 4-H Educator

This year’s Washington County 4-H Camp was held at Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat Center. 28 youth campers, 12 youth staff, and 10 adults attended this year’s two-day day camp. Camp was a fun way for our 4-H’ers to experience the four essential elements of 4-H: belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. 4-Hers experienced belonging within their camp groups as they sang songs, participated in silly skits, and built friendships. Campers worked towards mastery as they learned new skills in the five different rotation stations: archery, nature, crafts, teambuilding, and waterfront. Youth staff and campers grew in independence as they tried new things and thanks to our amazing volunteers, our youth saw true generosity. Thank you to all of our volunteers for making time in their busy schedules for camp and thank you to the Blue Lotus Farm and Retreat Center for making this year’s camp experience a fabulous one! 
Summer fun at 4-H Day Camp!

Partnering  with Local Agencies for a Summer of Fun!

Ron Jakubisin Positive Youth Development Educator

Ron trained 8 high school youth in facilitation skill who will serve as day camp staff at Washington Co. Volunteer Center’s Camp Super Hero. He also presented to 25 elementary school-aged participants of June’s session of Camp Super Hero on the topic of positive communication skills and problem solving skills. Ron coordinated and co-presented (with 4-H teens) 3 educational sessions to youth 6-8 years old at Germantown’s ‘Safety Town’ day camp. Sessions focused on Farm Safety, Animal Safety and Personal Protection Equipment. 90 youth attended.
PYD Educator leading workshop at Camp Super Hero

Building Staff Through Real Colors

Paul Roback Community Development Educator

After a long COVID-induced hiatus, Carol and Paul have resumed in-person Real Colors® Staff Development Workshops! Real Colors® is a fun and interactive workshop that teaches participants skills to understand human behavior that are easily incorporated into everyday life. Three workshops were held, including one for a local nonprofit (10 participants) and two for County employees (27 participants).

End of session evaluations from the two County workshops indicate that 93% of participants increased their ability to recognize their strengths and 96% increased their ability to recognize the strengths of others. 89% increased their ability to build rapport quickly with others. 93% increased their ability to understand how others process information and learned how to modify their communication to connect with others. 100% evaluated Paul and Carol’s facilitation of the sessions as good or excellent. One participant commented they will use this information “to relate and work in a better manner with my coworkers, especially in a supervisory role.” Another commented that the workshop was “very fun and interesting and very well done.”
County Executive Schoemann recently commended Paul Roback for being recognized as the national runner-up for the Excellence in Community Development Award from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.  This award recognizes members for their outstanding programs and excellence in collaboration with others to help them meet local needs.  The County Executive’s commendation also states that “Paul demonstrates the county value of ‘collaboration’ by working with local governments, civic organizations, non-profit organizations, businesses, and community leaders to enhance local decision-making and help communities respond to new challenges and opportunities.”
County Board Chairman Kriefall, Paul Roback, and County Executive Schoemann

Providing Youth Tractor and Machinery Safety Certification

Stephanie Plaster Agriculture Educator

Stephanie worked with the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Center to develop and facilitate the Youth Tractor & Machinery Safety Certification Course on a virtual platform.  This course covered eight online Zoom teaching sessions, interactive homework assignments, a virtual written exam, and in-person driving exams at individual farms. This 24-hour program meets the requirements of Wisconsin Act 455, which requires youth under the age of 16 to hold a certificate of training in order to operate a tractor or self-propelled implement of husbandry on a public road. It also meets the child labor requirements in agriculture under the Fair Labor Standards Act, pertaining to the employment of youth ages 14-15 on farms not operated by their parents or guardians.  Thirty-seven youth completed the sessions. One of the parents commented, “He and I are loving the tractor safety class and are very thankful for this virtual opportunity.” 
Ag Educator conducting a youth tractor exam

Building the Framework for Community Partners to Learn Coping Skills

 Carol Bralich Human Development & Relationships Educator

WeCOPE (Connecting with Our Positive Emotions) is the fourth phase of a professional development offering for partners from community serving agencies to provide a space to reflect on changes during the pandemic, try out new coping skills and strategies, and network with others.  The program was adapted for group education by Extension educators. This program provides information to explore and understand emotional awareness, gratitude, mindfulness, positive reappraisal, self-compassion, acts of kindness, and strengths to set personal goals. Each week a new skill was introduced, the research behind the skill was discussed, and ways you can practice was provided as homework in the participant workbook.

Carol co-facilitated this 6-week virtual series from April 20 – May 25. Over 10 partner organizations were engaged from Washington, Fond du Lac, Dodge and Winnebago counties, with 50+ direct contacts throughout the series. As a result of participating, an attendee stated: “Thank you so much for putting on these classes and trainings. What a valuable resource they have been.”

Food Insecurity in Washington County

Kelly Hackett Nutrition Educator

This June, Kelly completed a 3-session series of training on UW-Madison Division of Extension’s internal Equitable Program Development Dashboard, using the tool to identify geographic and demographic gaps in FoodWIse programming in Washington County. She further used this tool to identify areas in the community with higher likelihood of food insecurity. Along with this tool, she used existing and available data on demographics, federal poverty level, FoodShare participation and food insecurity rates to develop a community presentation, “Food Insecurity in Washington County”, to share and educate community members on the scope and extent of food insecurity in the area. She delivered this presentation on June 23rd during a community information session hosted by the Washington County Democratic Party to nine participants and hopes to deliver to other interested community organizations this year.
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