Lawrence County Extension Holds Annual Meeting

(BEDFORD) – The Lawrence County Extension held it’s annual meeting Wednesday at the Milwaukee Depot.

The Lawrence County Extension Office provides a lot of information, education, and resources to Lawrence County residents on a variety of topics and areas of interest.

Right to left -Annie Eakin, Community Wellness Coordinator, Ophelia Davis Agriculture & Natural Resources Educator, Sarah Richer, Health & Human Science Educator, Lesley Lodmell, 4-H Youth Development Coordinator, and J. J. Goldsberry, Nutrition Program Assistant.

The Lawrence County Extension Office focuses on four main areas: Agriculture & Natural Resources, Nutrition /Community Wellness, Health & Human Resources, and 4-H Youth Development.

Agriculture & Natural Resources:

Indiana Master Cattleman Program is a nationally recognized 12-week program hosted by the Lawrence County in 2018-2019. There where 22 producers from five different counties, ages ranging from 16 to 76 years of age. The highly interactive master-level lesson provided by campus specialists and local extension educators were designed to target cattle producers and help them improve their operations.

Pasture Conversation Field Day:

 The number of natural resources within Lawrence County are numerous. According to Indiana’s USDA/NASS results. Lawrence County ranks 2nd in the state for a total number of pasture acres, nearly 34,500, which equals more than 12% of the county’s total land area.  Eighty-nine producers from Lawrence County and surrounding counties attended the 2019 Fall Pasture Conservation Field Day. The event featured conservation topics including winter sacrifice lots with annual grass plantings, maximizing water facilities and fences for rotational grazing, pasture setting waste storage facility use, and hay sampling importance.

Figuring the farmers share: Ham (1lb) Retails $4.99 Farmer Share $0.81; Bacon (1lb),Retail $5.32 Farmer Share $.081; Eggs ( 1 dozen) Retail $2,29 Farmer Share $0.63; Apples (1lb) Retails $2.89 Farmers share $.040; Bread (2lb) Retails $2.99 Farmers Share $0.12:Milk FF ( 1 gallon) Retails $4.59 Farmers Share $1.59 Total purchase $23.57 Farmers Share $4.29.

These are the total number of producers attended programs or event opportunities in Lawrence County:

  • 1390 + Livestock
  • 365  + Farm Management
  • 250+ Natural Resources
  • 785 + Food/Farm Safety

Women In Agriculture Lunch and Learn:

According to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, 36 percent of all agriculture producers are female. More importantly, 56% of all farms have at least one female decision-maker heavily involved in the day to day activities on the farm.  This year’s two-hour topic was “ The Value of Sweet Equity”  presented by Dr. Michael Lanemeier from the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. 24 women attended to build relationships, and question and answer session.

 “ I’ve definitely learned so much. I had never completed an expense report in a spreadsheet beforehand. I was shocked at how much it costs ( to run our beef operation ). All of the ANR Extension workers do a heck of a job and are passionate about helping livestock producers,” said Stacey Brown, Lawrence County Producer, Master Cattleman participant.

Nutrition Education/ Community Wellness:

Annie Eakin the community wellness Coordinator has been partnering with the Service Coordinator at Cambridge Square. Together they have administered a $10,000 grant to provide a monthly food pantry to residents on-site garden for fresh produce, education provided by the Nutrition Education Program Assistant, and vouchers to the Bedford Farmer’s Market. At the end of September, the grant was funded again for $7,500. This provided the same services at Cambridge Square Apartments plus transportation to the farmer’s market weekly during the summer season.

The educators use many tools to teach children and adults on life skills, nutrition, and financial information so they can make smart choices.

There was a 78 percent redemption rate of the farmer’s market vouchers handed out through the Glick Grant. 

Amount of sugar in a bottle of Mountain Dew.

CATCH: Coordinated Approach to Child Health

Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) is a fun, interactive program designed to teach youth about physical activity and healthy eating habits. Many of our local schools qualify for this free program. With the implementation of CATCH in schools, students.  With the implementation of CATCH in schools, students are learning about topics like the importance of being physically active, making healthier food choices, eating healthier at a fast-food restaurant, limiting screen time, and making time to eat breakfast every day.

Patsy Craig of Fayetteville fills 19 teaspoons of sugar to demonstrate how much sugar is in a Mountain Dew bottle

Students are taught a maximum of eight CATCH lessons a day. During these lessons, students are engaged in hands-on activities, sampling healthy snacks, and learning a new physical activity game that they can share with their family. They are learning practical lessons that can be applied to everyday life.

  • 258 Healthy Living Adult/Youth Lessons Taught
  • 6,007 the total number of contacts made during such lessons.

“CATCH has been an incredible program that students at Burris LOVE! With enriching lessons and engaging in physical activities, students learn about their bodies, healthy choices, and being active. Each year I make sure to have a time allotted for my students to spend with Mrs. Goldsberry. Thank you for helping our students at Mitchell become more thoughtful about health and fitness,” said Bryan Fountain, a 5th-grade teacher at Burris Elementary.

Health & Human Sciences

Purdue Extension Health & Human Sciences  (HHS Extension) in Lawrence County provides education to people of all ages. The community is the classroom – where officials bring university information to the local level. The programs help people strengthen families, spend smart, eat right, and live well.

“Captain Cash” is an interactive educational program designed to teach basic financial management skills to students.  Along with learning basic financial concepts, students learn and practice important life skills such as managing resources, decision making, and problem-solving. “ Captain Cash”  was taught to four 3rd grade classes in Lawrence County.  Eighty-eight students learned about earning, saving, spending, and borrowing money.

“I am Moving, I am Learning” is a fun activity program for caregivers of young children ( birth to 5)  to encourage children’s movement and healthy food choices each day. Purdue Extension Lawrence County offered Nutrition Building  Blocks session of “I am Moving”, I am learning, to 60 adult participants. Survey results indicated that 97 percent of the employees gained new knowledge that will influence their teaching practices.

A Block Party was held at Bedford Public Library this year.

Block Party events are times of free play with blocks for families and their children. These events provide an opportunity for parents to interact and play with their children while learning how they can help them develop a variety of skills through block play. Purdue Extension-Lawrence County hosted a block party at the Bedford Public Library. A total of 9 adults and 16 youth attended the program.

Overall Program Outcomes:

One hundred percent of participants have improved knowledge in areas of food, family, money, and health.

  • Know how to follow a spending/saving plan
  • Know the difference between needs and wants
  • Know how to create a spending/saving plan
  • Learned information that will improve their life positively
  • Plan to make small changes to build their healthy eating style
  • Intend to eat fast food and drink beverages lower in added sugar
  • Plan to save money for emergencies
  • Intend to drink more water instead of sugary drinks
  • Intend to make changes to improve health
Michelle Hardman Lawrence County Extension Board introduces the staff at the Extension Office

4-H Development:

More than 1,000  plus youth impacted in this program.  One of the many ways 4-H develops and promotes leadership is through the Junior Leader Project. In 2019, the Lawrence County Junior Leader group had approximately 23 active leaders that dedicated their time to leadership, service and building community.

The teens elect officers, hold monthly educational meetings, organize community service activities, and provide education.

  • There were 23 Active teens participating in Junior Leaders
  • 98 Youth who have attended camps, conferences, and leadership development opportunities throughout the year.
  • 194 total club meetings held for the 2018-2019  4-H program year. 18 Clubs and three SPARK Clubs make up the 4-H program.

Area II 4-H Camp encompasses nine counties. The camp is for those in grades 3-8. The Lawrence County 4-H educator serves as the camp director and manages 40 plus teen counselors, three junior directors and ensures a successful camp for 198 campers.

This year Lawrence County had the largest delegation in recent history with 25 participants – even one jr. director. Campers were able to select 17 options, many taught by trained teen counselors.  Area II 4-H Camp helps youth exercise decision-making skills, the ability to manage a schedule and create life long bonds and interests.

Other statistics :

  • The Lawrence County Extension provided 437 Educational Program Sessions
  • 651 Hours of Education
  • 12,103 in-education participants.

For a detailed look at the annual report go to https://

The Lawrence County Extension can provide education to adults and children for scheduling a class you can call 812-275-4623.

The following members were elected to the board:

  • Linda Batman
  • Nicole Blackwell
  • Barry Jeskewich
  • Janice Pendergrass