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Extension Update – December 14, 2018   arrow

On behalf of PLT:

4-H Youth Development – Jean Glowacki

MyPI Overview:
MyPI Colorado will offer its youth preparedness program to teens who will assist families and communities across the state.  15 CSU Extension personnel will recruit 125 teens to graduate the program.  They will develop preparedness and communication plans for their families, plus 6 others, thus reaching 875 households in Archuleta, Montrose, Dolores, Eagle, Grand, Larimer, Logan, Pueblo, Rio Grande, and Routt Counties as well as the SE Area.  Graduation requirements include the follo0wing components.

  • In Component A: Completion FEMA’s  CERT training
  • In Component B, Certification opportunities in CPR and AED usage, Utilizing HAM Radio, NOAA Weather Radio, Smoke Alarm Maintenance, and Smart Phone App and Social Media in Emergency Preparedness.
  • Component C:  Family and community service project entitled PREP + 6 in which each participant helps develop emergency supply kits and emergency communication plans for their family AND 6 additional families or households.

Colorado 4-H Shooting Sports:
The first annual Colorado 4-H Shooting Sports Agent training was held on October 19th at the

4-H building on the Colorado State Fairgrounds.  The training was attended by 18 County 4-H Agents and 4-H Program Staff.  Attendees took part in presentations from Colorado State 4-H Specialists and County 4-H Agents who serve as members of the State 4-H Shooting Sports work team. Presentations and discussions consisted of various aspects and components of managing and implementing a safe and successful County 4-H Shooting Sports program.  All training attendees also participated in hands on “first shot fundamentals” activities that demonstrated what areas of positive youth development that County 4-H Volunteers are trained in while attending a State 4-H Shooting Sports leader training.  

Colorado 4-H Livestock:
Recently, the Colorado 4-H Livestock work team reviewed and updated the Colorado 4-H & Colorado FFA Organization Memorandum of Understanding.  This process included many hours of discussion amongst the 4-H Livestock work team, Colorado County 4-H Agents and the Director of the Colorado FFA Organization.  A final draft was approved and signed by Dr.  Lou Swanson Colorado State University Director of Extension, Jean Glowacki Colorado State 4-H Program Director and Kenton Ochsner Colorado State FFA Advisor.

Colorado 4-H Horse:
The Colorado 4-H Horse work team has developed an introductory horse safety training presentation to be used in the Colorado 4-H Horse program.  The safety presentation is designed for County 4-H Agents to use for first year 4-H Horse project members to educate them on safe horse handling practices and basic horse care.  This presentation is a first step in the development of an interactive horse safety training station that can be used throughout the state by County 4-H Agents.


Cropping Systems – Ron Meyer

Program Highlights

  • 5 state Extension Roundtable hosted in March.  Included Extension Agronomists from Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas.  Informal polling indicated this group would like to continue meeting.
  • Participated on the planning committee for the International Millet Symposium, Ft. Collins, Co.
  • Planted and harvested approximately 25 COFT wheat trials in Eastern Colorado.  This program evaluates CSU wheat varieties for adaptation on Eastern Colorado farms.
  • Conducted a Pest Sweep program.  This pesticide collection program has “harvested” approximately 5000 pounds of hazardous waste.

Digging Deeper
Certified Crop Advisors in Colorado need professional improvement credits in order to remain licensed.  As a result, team members from the Cropping Systems PRU developed the 2018 Crops Clinic.  This program offered approximately 19 CCA credits that are applied toward recertification.  Retesting is an option, however, the pass rate is only 50%.  Attendance at this program totaled 110.  Acres represented at this program totaled more than 416,000 acres.  Average benefit from attending this program was $8.24 per acre.  As a result, impact from this program was $3,430,175.

By the Numbers

  • 91% of participants indicated that this program completely or somewhat met their technical expectations
  • 100% of attendees indicated topics at this program were useful in their operation
  • 93% of attendees indicated they would tell more than 1 person about information from this meeting with 49% indicating they will share information with more than 3 people
  • 94% indicated that they may be making a change in their operation as a result of this program

The Bottom Line
The Cropping Systems PRU has assisted Colorado agricultural producers with cropping choices and strategies employing a “systems” approach.  This is accomplished using a variety of tools that include on-farm crops testing, field days, and winter educational programming.  The on-farm testing is successful due to producers willing to donate land and labor to facilitate the generation of new cropping information.  In addition, consumers of our information are willing to pay to attend many of the winter programming events such as the Crops Clinic.  They view the investment of land, labor, and registration costs as positive investments.  Further, this PRU partners with private industry and other government entities (such as NRCS) to facilitate our programming.  The partnerships as well as registration fees allow programming dollars to better enhance our projects.


Energy – Cary Weiner

  • We completed a statewide residential energy needs assessment, with a graduate student collecting surveys from nine locations in Colorado. Data is still being analyzed, but preliminary results confirm interest in sustainable energy options on a budget, energy efficiency, solar, and all-electric homes.
  • Working with affiliates of the Natural Resources and Horticulture PRUs, we will be developing a set of recommendations for a pollinator-friendly reseeding of Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association’s solar array at the Larimer County landfill.
  • We are working with NRCS and affiliates of the Natural Resources and Cropping Systems PRUs to help assess carbon offset options for a farm and business owner on the west slope.
  • We have expanded our economic feasibility assessments for solar energy to now be open to irrigated farms, dairies, greenhouses, and feedlots. Please send interested farms to our website or have them contact Cary Weiner for more information.
  • We plan to roll out our first workshop on electric vehicles in January in Arapahoe County.
  • Tim Aston is working with Xcel Energy and the City of Centennial to finalize its Partners in Energy Action Plan to put before the city council this month.


Environmental Horticulture – Alison O’Connor

  • The Rocky Mountain Regional Turfgrass Association annual conference will be held in Denver, December 4-6; multiple agents and specialists are doing presentations for this conference, focused on golf course, parks and recreation and sports turf professionals. www.rmrta.org
  • The Colorado Master Gardener state coordinator position description has moved to OEO for review; the chair of this search committee is Curtis Utley
  • Counties offering Master Gardener training in 2019 are conducting interviews on potential volunteers and finalizing their classes
  • The 2018 CMG reports are due on Monday, December 3; these numbers will be compiled and entered into CPRS for 2018 reporting
  • The final classes for the CMG “flipped classroom” are being recorded. In 2019, four classes (recorded lectures) will be viewed by trainees at home (putting the onus of learning on the student) followed by meaningful discussion in-person the following week. Flipped classroom content includes IPM, tree planting and care of trees, turf management, and soils.
  • The emerald ash borer quarantine may be changing, potentially at both the state and federal levels. Currently, the USDA has national quarantines in place to restrict the movement of wood products and plant material from EAB-infested locations. In Colorado, the quarantine surrounds Boulder County. Due to lack of funding and the difficulty (impossibility) of quarantining a pest that cannot be detected early, both of these quarantines may be lifted. However, educational efforts surrounding this insect will continue.
  • The 2019 ProGreen Expo will be held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver on February 5-8. www.progreenexpo.com


Family And Financial Stability (FAFS) – Gisele Jefferson

A sampling of work being done this fall:
New and Improved Plan of Work for 2019-2020 – with probable name change to this PRU. A discussion started at our team retreat last April.  In a deliberate effort, we are working to align our team Plan of Work and programming more closely with the NIFA Division of Family & Consumer Sciences topic of Family Well-Being. Family well-being is vital to thriving communities. Families who are able to make informed decisions, manage their basic needs, and tackle pressing human and community issues are better equipped to lead happy, healthy lives. A range of factors can affect family well-being, and investments in families contribute significantly to the social, psychological, and economic development of our nation.

The Division of Family & Consumer Sciences’ (DFCS) efforts to promote family well-being focus on traditional Family & Consumer Sciences programs in research, education, and extension including:

NIFA’s family well-being portfolio is critical to community vitality and supports Research & Evaluation.

GRANDcares Project – Using the Powerful Tools for Caregivers curriculum, 6-week classes were held in Larimer and Boulder counties to train parents, grandparents and other kin-caregivers on the vital skills of self-care to be more successful at raising children. We also delivered the 6-week GRANDcares Youth club in Larimer County and had 5 youth participate in the program.

Strengthening Families 10-14 Opioid Prevention — grants with Doug Coatsworth and other HDFS faculty and graduate students.  PRU members participated in 3-day trainings held in Sterling and La Junta to train Extension agents and community agency/organization partners in using the curriculum. Overall it was a good training, with a very good trainer. Waiting on the identification of three sites to be funded for the 7-week program for up to 10 families per site.

Cannabis, Your Child, and You: FAQS for Parents and Caregivers  — Cannabis/Marijuana Parental materials, based on current adolescent brain development and addiction, for the prevention of youth cannabis use. Materials posted to the Extension state in early November. A’Lece Boomsma, HDFS graduate student, also wrote a blog yet to be posted Live Smart Colorado.

Annie’s Project – Two Annie’s Project series were held this fall. In September, Brent Young, NE Regional ABM specialist, and a couple of facilitators in Weld and Adams counties, conducted a successful AP Weekend Retreat in Estes Park with about 35 participants. In September and October, Gisele Jefferson and Emily Mollohan (NJC ABM faculty) conducted a successful series at the Arickaree School in southeast Washington County with 24 participants.  Tracy Trumper provided the True Colors training for both groups.  Tracy is planning a weekend retreat session in January at the Ballyneal Golf Resort near Holyoke.  AP is expanding to southeast Colorado with a recent facilitator training.  Abby Weber and Debbie Chapman will be planning their first series in 2019.

Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI) – Glenda Wentsworth, Eagle County, was site coordinator and facilitator for a current 16-week series; and is busy recruiting participants for the next series to begin in January 2019.

Living Mindfully — Sue Schneider, Larimer County, developed and launched a new online course through CSU Online. In addition, Mindfulness in Extension launched in November with online sessions and one face-to-face session.  It will be offered again at a later date.

Emergency Preparedness & Recovery – the FAFS and NFSH teamed up to gather, review and update a variety of materials to be posted and highlighted on the CSU Extension website.  Both PRU teams are working to identify and select the best online resources for Colorado residents in preparation of a range of possible emergencies and natural disasters.

Basic Budgeting classes at community center and homeless center in Adams County by Diana Juarez Sanchez. She is also working on GrandCares, building a community coalition and getting the word out.

Monthly Diversion classes – in Jefferson County by Mary Snow.  She also developed and presented a class with JeffCo Schools with money activities with kids, money skills and literacy titled: Money in Your Children’s Hands.

La Plata County – Wendy Rice, still doing a great job, presented 2 classes on High Altitude/Elevation cooking, financial literacy for 9th graders at local High School, Home Environment was covered with class as well as individual consult on Radon in homes, four cottage food classes and two ServSafe classes for local restaurant management and two class for food safety for food service workers.


Food Systems – Becca Jablonski

The Food Systems PRU hosted a training “From Kitchen to Commercial – A Food Business Development Seminar” on November 12 from 9am-5pm at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds in Aurora. This one-day training was designed to improve business development skills for food entrepreneurs. Over 30 people attended from across the state (and a few from Wyoming), including established, aspiring and early stage food businesses. Presenters included representatives from various support and regulatory organizations. During the daylong course, participants learned business planning and marketing fundamentals, and had the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and service providers. More information about the event, including all slides/materials, can be found at: http://foodsystems.colostate.edu/food-and-ag-training/ PRU team members sent out an evaluation following the training, which will be reviewed in early January. Based on the evaluation the goal is to replicate the training in other parts of the state.

In October, the Food System PRU sent out a survey to 1,023 manufacturers and cottage food producers from across the state. The manufacturing database was created based on input from the Department of Agriculture, Public Health and Environment, individuals who participated in CSU cottage foods safety courses. The goal of the survey is to inform future business development programming and to collect data about the impact cottage foods production has had on their lives. As of December 11, 2018, 194 individuals have responded to the survey. The Food Systems PRU intends to analyze survey results in early January, and will use findings to improve the food business development seminar as well as to craft future trainings and food system PRU priorities.


Livestock & Range – Frank Garry

Our PRU continues work on objectives outlined from our PRU meeting in April, 2018. These included short-term objectives of 1) developing a more consolidated mailing list to reach our stakeholders, 2) developing a beef marketing webinar series, 3) working on short videos for education and promotion.

At the Annual Forum we had a lively meeting to discuss the longer term objectives. We are planning a training meeting in February that will be a team effort with the Natural Resources PRU. Funding has been awarded from a USDA NIFA proposal to develop a beef production benchmarking program that includes education of beef producers on how to manage risks. We also anticipate including range assessment metrics as components of the benchmarking and risk management. This will be a statewide project including all of the livestock and range PRU members. Therefore the February meeting will include education about working with ranchers to collect the appropriate production and financial information needed for the benchmarking, plus basic elements of range assessment that we will be working to incorporate in ranch risk management.

We are planning that February meeting at present. The target dates are February 18-20. We are hoping to have good attendance from members of both the Livestock and Range PRU and also the Natural Resources PRU. The content will include the elements of financial, livestock production, and range assessments, plus the WAVE assessment including a visit to the burn area from the Spring Creek Fire. The meeting is scheduled to take place at Walsenburg, and following the meeting members can travel a short distance to Raton NM for the Drought Workshop on February 20-22.


Natural Resources – Marvin Reynolds

Projects working on:

  • Consortium – A Natural Resources Consortium meeting was held in July at the Air Force Academy.  There were approximately 48 people in attendance.  The group viewed reclamation sites being worked on by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and by CEMML, the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands.  Each site had threatened or endangered species of plants that were being protected.  The CEMML site also had damage from construction some time in the past.  The site was near a railroad track that restricts the creek stream flow.  The site has structures to reduce stream flow speed and provides habitat for plants, invertebrates, fish and mammals.  Also, during this time, the group met with Senator Bennett’s staff to talk about climate change.  There was discussion on what Extension Agents, Foresters and others are seeing in areas of Colorado.  Senator Bennett’s staff shared his concerns and willingness to broach the topic in legislature.
  • Native Common Trees of Colorado – The publication is ready to go to print.  This booklet will provide information on the native common trees of Colorado.  It will be pocket size, so it can be carried easily.
  • Drought meetings have been held across Colorado.  Part of the focus on the meetings was discussions on pasture and forage.  There were significant issues in 2018 on available pasture for livestock.
  • Eleven Backyard Poultry Factsheets were updated.  These are used by small acreage and backyard poultry producers to share with them best management practices for backyard and small flocks of poultry.
  • On APR 14 Seth Davis provided training at a citizen scientist training day to about 50 volunteers in Jefferson County, in collaboration with agent Barb Fahey (who marketed the event). The purpose of the training was to describe pollinator importance in the region, introduce volunteers to the Table Mountain Pollinator project, and train them on the process of collecting and uploading observations to the iNaturalist platform. Volunteers consisted mostly of Native Plant Masters students, who received some credit hours in their programs for participating in the project. Volunteers and citizen scientists who attended the training have continued to make observations between APR 2018 and present; currently we have identified 33 species of pollinators in the Table Mountain area using this non-destructive citizen science approach. URL for Table Mountain Project: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&project_id=17773

Pollinator trainings have been held.  The trainings were to provide education on how to get started on having an apiary with one or more hives.  Trainings included how to evaluate the hive for predators to the bees, care of the bees, care and maintenance of the apiary, what materials are needed as well as other information to help new hive owners be successful.


NFSH – Jessica Clifford

  1. Campus team is continuing to work on building our new Food Smart Colorado Website – which will combine content from and replace our current two websites, Colorado Farm to Table and Live Eat Play Colorado.
  2. We are planning to develop a survey tool and complete a state-wide needs assessment in the near future, working with a graduate student as her course directed plan B project with the department.
  3. Our team met at forum and are now working to better organize all the FCS-related emergency preparedness/response resources on the Extension website.  Ruth is going to make it easier to find them on the Home page, and organize content similar to how NC Extension does.
  4. Cottage Food Safety Trainings are continuing across the state, with large numbers of participants, at least 670, and probably more since some agents may not have yet entered their data in our spreadsheet capturing this info.
    • NFSH PRU along with the Food System PRU, helped to put on a business development training at the Araphoe County Fairgrounds. There were 35 attendees many of which were cottage food producers looking to expand their business.
    • NFSH PRU along with the Food System PRU developed and implemented a survey to nearly 200 Colorado Cottage Food Producers. Results will inform business development curriculum for cottage food producers and general food manufacturers.
    • Related to Cottage Food Training, there have been recurring requests from multiple non-profits for these materials in Spanish. Funding is needed.
  1. Busy time for food preservation classes and high altitude baking and cooking – especially those with a holiday focus
  2. The NE Colorado team (Yuma, Phillips, Logan, Washington and Morgan Counties) are working on 2019 Healthier Weigh Challenge, a recurring nutrition and PA program.  The theme for 2019 is Trek to the Summit. Each week participants will have a mountain to climb using team step counts – using pedometers, cell phone apps or personal tracking devices.
  3. Other current nutrition, food safety, and health programming includes:
    • Kid Phit, a 6 week after school program
    • Nutrition for teen athletes presentations done at area high schools
    • Mediterranean diet workshops
    • Cooking Matters programs
    • Serv Safe classes