2020 Report to the People

The following 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Family and Consumer Sciences articles printed in the 2020 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter and the 2020 Oldham County Extension Report to the People.

Report to the People


DID YOU KNOW…

Local Extension volunteers provided 8,736 community service hours, representing Agriculture & Natural Resources, Family Consumer Sciences, and 4-H.


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4-H Youth Development

The 4-H Communications Program is presented in cooperation with participating Oldham County Schools. It focuses on helping youth develop public speaking skills; addressing leadership development, increased self-confidence, and ability to accept feedback.

Extension staff taught writing and presentation skill workshops to the over 225 youth that participated. Focusing their entire 4-H year curriculum around developing effective communication skills, 100 students at LaGrange Elementary explored the importance of effective communication, parts of a speech, different types of speeches, and delivery methods. With the COVID-19 pandemic closing schools just before the students’ presentations, Extension staff incorporated the program into non-traditional instruction plans. Speeches were judged virtually at county and district events. Three Oldham County 4-H members advanced to the State 4-H Virtual Communication Event.

294 || Number of youth reported being a better leader (due to skills improved through Extension programming)

811 || Number of youth who can comfortably talk to others about their thoughts and feelings

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Agriculture & Natural Resources

For livestock owners, a big challenge is successfully managing pastures, especially areas damaged by overgrazing, heavy traffic, and excessive rainfall. Heavy rains in winters 2018 and 2019 made this problem worse. In addition to damaging pastures and available forage, muddy areas may also affect livestock health.

To address concerns, Oldham County Extension offered programs like Master Horse Owner, hosted expert speakers with Oldham County Cattlemen’s Association, and made individual site visits to provide assistance. Producers learned to improve production and minimize damages. Pasture and feed management practices were improved for 39 producers, including rotational grazing, installing feeding pads, and changes in hay feeding systems.

These practices also reduce the risk of soil and manure runoff. One producer reported, “We don’t have cattle sinking in mud around the feeding area like before. Installing a feeding pad has made a huge difference.”

153 || Number of landowners who implemented one or more new best practices for improving water quality

27 || Number of producers reporting changed or improved pasture management practice

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Family & Consumer Sciences

Community outreach efforts of Oldham County Extension Homemakers include free educational events such as Addiction 101. This drug awareness class initially reached twenty-one individuals from three counties. Homemakers that attended the lesson taught the material back to their clubs, reaching an additional 129 people. Participants learned how addiction develops, how addiction affects your brain chemistry, and what the recovery process entails.

Homemakers also support the community through various service projects each year. In 2020, the clubs supported the health department’s HANDS program for new parents with donations of children’s books, handmade blankets, and hand-knitted and hand-crocheted hats. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, members have also made and donated hundreds of cloth face masks to local hospitals, nursing homes, and emergency services.

6452 || Number of community service hours committed by homemakers

132 || Number of homemakers that donated to Ovarian Cancer research

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Nutrition Education Program

Working with the Oldham County 4-H Agent and the 4-H Assistant, the Oldham County Nutrition Education Program Assistant offered a 4-H Chef’s Club to 30 middle school students. The knowledge to prepare their own food builds confidence and fosters creativity in the kitchen, building a lifelong habit of healthier eating — not to mention the development of life skills such as communication and problem-solving.

Following MyPlate guidelines, students practiced planning and preparing nutritious meals, following a recipe, and avoiding cross contamination. Basic kitchen skills such as proper knife safety, manners, table setting, and social skills were also part of the curriculum. Additionally, the youth received recipe and tools to help them prepare healthy meals at home.

A follow-up survey showed 96% of youth improved in three or more food selection behaviors, 95% utilized effective interpersonal skills while working with their chef group, and 89% adopted two or more food safety practices.

1366 || Number of youth who reported that they followed instructions step-by-step to do or make things themselves

542 || Number of youth who reported that they demonstrated what they learned to do for themselves

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A Few Ways Extension Supports Kentucky

  • 37,770 Kentucky youth applied the skills they learned in 4-H to home, school, or community.
  • 5,510 Kentucky producers implemented sustainable practices they learned through Extension programs.
  • 6,121 Kentucky families grew a garden using Extension resources
  • 2,544 Kentucky beekeepers incorporated best practices recommended by Extension.
  • 17,504 Kentuckians reported improved lifestyles through a focus on proper nutrition, disease and injury reduction and comprehensive health maintenance.

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Written by Lauren Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Program Assistant; Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent; Sherry Ragsdale, Oldham County EFNEP Assistant; and Kelly Woods, Oldham County 4-H Agent.

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