Applying research, knowledge, and resources to meet the issues and needs of Washington County.
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Upcoming Events
Voting opens, Monday, March 1st for the 2021 Tri-County 4-H Visual Arts Festival sponsored by the Ozaukee, Fond du Lac and Washington County 4-H Leaders Associations. One People’s Choice winner will be selected from each of the four submission categories: Drawing, Painting, Photography, and Other Media.
Join in the celebration, Vote by Noon, Friday March 12
The four People’s Choice winners will be announced during the virtual portion of the festival being held March 13, 2021.
Collage of Various Farming Images
Farm Ready Reasearch
Farm Management Fridays at 11am
YouTube Livestream
Building a Positive Farm Business Culture, March 5, 2021
Explore how farms can become positive places to work during covid19, which will help attract and retain good employees.  Join Extension Specialist John Shutske, UW Center for Agriculture Safety & Health and Extension educators Jim Versweyveld, Walworth County Extension, Maria Jose Fuenzalida, Dane County Extension and Liz Binversie, Brown County Extension with a panel of experts in exploring ways to create a culture on your farm that promotes safety and health to achieve top performance, enhance teamwork, and help you empower your team for long-term success.

Your farm startup: Where to being and who can help? - March 19, 2021
Whether you’re currently farming and want to explore a new idea or someone new on the farming scene, this session will help you figure out where to start. Learn about tools, people, and resources available in the state that can help you explore your farm dreams.  We will hear from Extension Specialist/UW-Platteville Professor Kevin Bernhart, and Extension Ag Educators Leigh Presley Kenosha and Racine County Extension, Steph Plaster Ozaukee and Washington Counties, and Ben Jenkins Green Lake County Extension, and from UW Food Finance Institute

*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.**

Ever wanted to brand and market your farm’s product? Jenny Gavin will discuss how she and her husband developed a brand and began to market their beef directly to consumers. They just opened a farm store where they market their beef as well as other local food products. Jenni is very excited to share their story, how they created their brand and what it has looked like for them to market their beef locally. Register or Learn More
Rent Smart is designed for people with little or no rental experience or those that have had difficulty obtaining rental housing. Register or Learn More
Become a Washington County 4-H Volunteer. Attend our Spring VIP training for new volunteers. March 23, 2021 6:30-8:30pm. Zoom link will be emailed to you.
Why become a Washington County 4-H Volunteer?
• Help the local community!
• Be more involved with your child’s project!
• Looks great on a resume!
• Learn something new!
Plan to attend our Spring VIP (Volunteers in Preparation) training, held March 23, 2021 6:30-8:30pm by Zoom.
Healthy Kids
Picture of Kelly Hackett


Kelly Hackett

           Healthy environments and health education supports healthy kids, and February for Kelly has been all about learning how to cultivate those environments and starting to teach those lessons! She has started a spring Healthy Schools training series to understand how FoodWIse can work within eligible schools and youth-serving community organizations to support development and improvements in school wellness policies and practices. She’s also moved from observing into co-piloting virtual Color Me Healthy lessons with 4K students in other counties, practicing lessons with knowledgeable FoodWIse Educators as a last step before being able to lead classes herself. Finally, she met with West Bend School District Head Start towards planning a virtual Color Me Healthy series before the school year ends.
          FoodWIse is also entering a three-year planning phase, so Kelly began attending virtual statewide conferences around building equity into programs and the county community assessment process she and the rest of FoodWIse will begin in March.

Updating Elevate's Mission & Vision Statements

Picture of Paul Roback

Community Development

Paul Roback

          Mary Simon, the Executive Director of Elevate, contacted Paul to facilitate a process to update the organization’s mission and vision statements. Elevate provides “services to support and empower individuals and families experiencing challenges with substance use and mental health disorders.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual process that included an electronic survey to board members and staff was used to gather initial feedback on updating the statements.  Then, Paul facilitated a virtual session attended by eleven board members and seven staff.
          As a result of Paul’s facilitation, 82.4% agreed that discussing the mission statement helped clarify their role as an organization and that discussing the vision statement assisted them in understanding the general direction for their organization’s future. Overall, participants evaluated Paul’s facilitation a 4.5 on a 5-point Likert Scale (1=poor and 5=excellent). One participant commented “Appreciate your expert assistance in this effort! The updating is much-needed and will help bring our leadership together for the next several years.”
Learning Virtually
Picture of Amy Mangan-Fischer

4-H Youth Development

Amy Mangan-Fischer

           Extension’s Virtual Learning Community provides quality learning opportunities to all individuals throughout Wisconsin. The community offers a wide variety of sessions including a design your own parachute challenge, an art session where youth explore monoprinting techniques and a weekly session on science offered by UW-Madison’s Biotechnology Center. 
           In February Amy Mangan-Fischer, 4-H Program Educator, led a session on glitter calming jars and stress management. The hour-long session was attended by 33 youth from 21 different counties, including participants from Washington County. 
           The session started with youth reflecting on and sharing what makes them upset. Common concerns were conflict with siblings and frustration with school. Youth then made their calming jar, practiced using their calming jars and shared other ways that they use to calm down. At the end, participants showed each other their final product and shared their favorite calm down strategy.
Building Partnerships to Deliver Programming
Picture of Ron Jakubisin

Positive Youth Development

Ron Jakubisin

             Ron focused time in strengthening community partnerships with schools/agencies to address needs for service to youth. This resulted in scheduling twelve classroom sessions for all 4th graders at Jackson and Fair Park Elementary schools in March (125 student combined). Sessions will   focus on school Social Emotional Learning Standards. Other collaboration successes are upcoming April workshops with Big Bro./Sis. and The Family Center.
          Ron presented a leadership skill-building session at the 2/10 Germantown Youth Future’s Youth Committee (monthly session). As part of the Heroin Task Force’s Prevention Committee, Ron will provide guidance in developing the format for focus groups to determine important modules of the countywide Youth Risk Behavior Survey to collect (fall of ’21) concerning youth and AOD issues.   
            Ron assisted the 4-H Educator with presentation at "4-H Meetings Reimagined" workshop; He attended the professional development workshop ‘Disabilities & Compliance’ focusing on program development and accommodations for all audience. 
Building the Financial Capability of Helping Professionals
Picture of Carol Bralich

Human Development & Relationships

Carol Bralich

          Encouraging Financial Conversations (EFC) Training- Helping professionals such as social workers, home visitors and community agency staff establish relationships with their clients and families. Since clients frequently bring up financial concerns during scheduled appointments, a newly updated financial curriculum for training professionals, was created, packaged and rolled out in 2020. Carol has led the statewide Extension EFC team in this curriculum development and co-facilitated the Extension Educator training in June of 2020. In January of 2021, Carol coordinated a virtual regional EFC training series with Extension HDR colleagues in Dodge, Winnebago, Green Lake, Brown and Outagamie counties. Over 50 professionals attended the 6 one-hour sessions. This training focused on financial competencies, such as setting goals, maximizing income, borrowing and saving. When staff members understand basic financial competencies themselves, they are more confident starting financial conversations with clients that have financial concerns and addressing their own finances.  
Discussing Farm Family and
Business Inheritance Considerations
Picture of Steph Plaster


Steph Plaster

          “Is Equal Fair?” addressed the idea that in order to be fair, owners need to transfer everything equally among all the children, which challenges the ability to continue the farm business.  Stephanie and three Extension colleagues discussed the inheritance considerations based on goals for the future of the business and strategies for success. 
          There were 103 viewings to date.  As a result of the program, participants (n=17) said they agreed or strongly agreed (100%) they increased awareness of the common need for farm assets to be retirement, business, and inheritance assets.  They also agreed or strongly agreed (82%) that they intend to have a conversation around farm transition and succession with my family or business partners.   
          One Washington County participants said, “I was watching your program on farm inheritance today.  My family owns several farms...  My parents refuse to talk about how we will work through this process of land ownership at the time of death.  I hope with the tools you gave me now [my sister] and I can begin to deal with this very issue.”  
 Is Equal Fair, streamed live on Feb 19th. 
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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Extension Washington County · 333 E Washington St., Suite 1200 · P O Box 2003 · West Bend, WI 53095 · USA

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