Purdue Extension Lawrence County releases quarterly report

LAWRENCE CO. – Purdue Extension Lawrence County released their quarterly report from July – September 2021 at the Commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.


The Cooperative Extension Service is one of the nation’s largest providers of scientific research-based information and education. It’s a network of colleges, universities, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving communities and counties across America. The Purdue Extension focuses on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Human and Health Sciences, Economic and Community Development, and 4-H Youth.

From July through September Purdue Extension Lawrence County provided more than 5,290 minutes of education, had 192 client consultations, hosted more than 80 program sessions, and held 14 community and coalition meetings. More than 1,486 people participated in programs. Social media reached more than 19, 774 people.

Women in Ag: Lunch ‘n Learn “K.I.S.S.- Keeping It Straight, Sis”

The 2021 Women in Ag. Lunch ‘n Learn was hosted in person on Thursday, August 26, 2021, at Otis Park Bath House.
The featured speaker was Bec Wicker, recent Women In Agriculture Award recipient. This program included lunch and featured an insightful and lighthearted presentation from Bec that included her techniques to keep farm, family, work – basically everything – all straight and together! Purdue Extension in partnership with Farm Credit Mid-America, was able to provide this learning opportunity free for participants.

How to Better Your Garden Plot

A partnership between Lawrence County SWCD, Bedford Parks Department, and Purdue Extension-Lawrence County allowed for an in-person program hosted on September 21 at the Bedford Community Garden. The topic of how to take soil samples properly from a lawn or garden was discussed, as well as demonstrations related to planting cover crop seed varieties. Attendees looked at examples of soil analysis results to learn how to interpret them and what to do to make soil amendments for improvement.

4-H Youth Development – Lawrence County 4-H Council

One unique aspect of the 4-H program is that it is truly driven by local needs and input, even though it is also supported by the Land Grant University system across the entire nation. While some direction is given by the state 4-H entities, many of the programs offered and policies that exist are enacted by the local 4-H groups. In Lawrence County, this is commonly the Lawrence County 4-H Council.

The 4-H Council is the governing body that exists to promote the education of young people. They advise the 4-H Educator and the educational 4-H program in the county; develop rules, policies, and procedures; promote the 4-H program; set the schedule and coordinate events such as the fair; and much more.

The 4-H Council is a group of outstanding, local volunteers that meet monthly to review the needs of the 4-H program and take action. There are 15 volunteers elected to the board by the 4-H community, and they elect their own officer team. Each township has a representative, and there are also representatives from different groups such as Club Leaders, 4-H Junior Leaders, Lawrence County Fair Board, and Lawrence County Extension Board. The Extension Educator for 4-H and Youth Development serves as a non-voting, ex officio member of the board.

The 4-H Council is also the primary financial supporter of the 4-H program, and they go even further by completing annual fundraising efforts to support 4-H, with the help of some clubs. A few things they fund include scholarships for members to attend events like 4-H Camp, college scholarships, supporting fair activities as a capstone experience for members, and coordinating the purchasing and distribution of awards. The local 4-H program is made possible, thanks to the 4-H Council and the support provided by the volunteers that serve as members.

Health & Human Sciences – Partnering with HOPE

Families face many tough situations and decisions as they navigate becoming parents. Hope Resource Center provides a source of support and education to Lawrence County and surrounding areas. One of their most notable services is their parenting program. Health and Humans Sciences Extension Educator, Sarah Richer, has been fortunate to offer programming as part of the parenting program. This year she offered three programs regularly to the clients of the center; Stress Management, Goal Setting, and Safe Sleep Education. As needed, Sarah also taught a Budgeting class. This year alone, her classes reached 93 participants.

Eat Smart, Move More (ESMM)

This summer, in-person programming at Cambridge Square was able to resume. Weekly lessons were taught at all three apartment complexes over the course of five weeks. There was an average of 15 residents in attendance each week. IU Health donated Farmers Market Vouchers that allowed residents to earn each week they were in attendance.

Thanks to GLICK Philanthropies, residents were able to earn a small appliance upon completion of the program series. Every resident who started the program earned this reward. This was the first time residents have had the chance to earn a small appliance and it was unanimously appreciated by residents who primarily chose an air fryer as their reward.


With summer winding down and school resuming, it was time for the Nutrition Education Program Advisor (NEPA) to focus on CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health). Several local schools have given the OK to resume in-person programming. The NEPA, J.J. was excited to step inside a classroom and see the kids face-to-face. One of the activities students anticipate during each visit is the possibility of creating a healthy snack. Last year during Zoom and Google Meet sessions, snacks were prepared by the NEPA, but students were unable to help with the process or sample the snack.

At an in-person lesson, students are actively engaged in creating and sampling the snack they create. “It is very rewarding to see smiles and hear the excitement of kids enjoying this part of our lesson. It is even more rewarding when they realize they like what they made,” J.J. stated. Giving students the opportunity to create a healthy snack in the classroom by providing them with the recipe, the hope is that they are confident enough to make it at home for their families. At Lincoln Elementary, Mrs. Hooten’s 3rd-grade class tried a new snack recipe this year called Crunchy Apple Roll-up. It proved to be a huge hit with her students.

Lawrence County’s Annual Community Baby Shower

On Saturday, August 28 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., Ascension St. Vincent Dunn Hospital hosted their annual Lawrence County Community Baby Shower.

This year the shower was hosted in a drive-through format behind the hospital. Vendors and community partners lined up and distributed information, educational items, gifts, and food to registered participants. Some of the vendors included Ascension St. Vincent Dunn, the Lawrence County Breastfeeding Coalition, the WIC office, Hoosier Uplands Headstart, CareSource, and Purdue Extension.

An estimated 65 cars came through the Baby Shower drive-through collecting educational materials and gifts like baby clothing, car seats, pack and plays, building blocks, and much more. At the end of the line, CareSource provided meals for each registered participant. In collaboration with Purdue Extension’s Nutrition Education Program, the meal packages included groceries, a recipe, and a link to view a video demonstration for Lentil Veggie Tacos. The meal distributions were well received, as it was the first time this type of hospitality was offered. Sending people home with a complete meal that can feed a number of people, rather than a single boxed lunch had the potential to be more valuable to participants

LIFE Blessings in a Backpack

This program was created with the needs of children, who attend Burris and Hatfield Elementary Schools in Mitchell, in mind. Thanks to funding from community partners, this program is able to provide food for students on the weekends. Thanks to the support from the United Way of South Central Indiana (UWSCI) a $500 grant was secured for the program to resume this school year. Shortly after receiving notice of the United Way funding, an additional $3000 from Ascension St. Vincent Dunn was secured. A little over half of the funding for the program has now been raised.