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Extension Update – February 6, 2018   arrow

On behalf of PLT:

  • PLT Meetings

    PLT Meetings

    4-H Youth Development – Jean Glowacki

    Western 4-H Institute is held every three years to provide an in-depth training experience for newer (5 or less years) 4-H Staff. This year Colorado 4-H Youth Development is hosting the event for more than 100 participants, held in Fort Collins through the first week of February. Colorado Institute participants include: Wade Ingle, State 4-H Office; Becky Jacobson, Archuleta County; Samantha Jager, Park County; Andrea Jeter, Montezuma County; Amie Kanode, Morgan County; Kenzie Kimmel, Adams County; Christine Schinzel, Lincoln County; Megan Seltzer, Prowers County; Kim Sterkel, Weld County; and Markley Walsh, Boulder County.

    Core elements of this professional development event include: Positive Youth Development, volunteer development and management, and research based programming and delivery. Topics include access, equity and opportunity, STEM and several breakout sessions.

    Community Development – Greg Felsen

    The Community Development PRU will be hosting a zoom video conference meeting this Friday from 9:30 -10:30 a.m.  The meeting will address signature programs for our PRU to highlight, schedule for the year and professional development opportunities.  In addition, we will continue to discuss best strategies for developing stronger partnerships between field and campus based staff.

    Cropping Systems – Ron Meyer

    Cropping Systems is planning a plant science technical update involving researchers from other states.  The goal is to introduce Colorado Extension plant science educators to what other states are doing and hopefully employ new education methods that may have merit locally.  This will serve as not only an educational effort but a brainstorming event also.  We are planning a meeting this spring in Burlington.  Funding will be offered to in-state team members to cover travel expenses.

    Energy – Cary Weiner

    In 2017, the Energy PRU held 52 group educational events that reached 1,674 individuals directly. This included our ‘Know Before You Go Solar’ workshop series that attracted a record (for us) of 150 people at a single event and capacity crowds at a number of others. 523 solar assessments were conducted using our online solar calculator. We refreshed our website and saw a 10% increase in page views to 32,818 for the year. 30 counties in the state now have energy kits for loaning to households and other educators. Currently, the state energy specialist is wrapping up energy and water assessments of 23 State Forest Service and Ag Experiment Station facilities. Recommendations to improve the efficiency of these facilities will be provided to CSU Facilities. Through a USDA grant, a small team will soon begin conducting economic feasibility assessments for solar at feedlots and diversified farms with animal agriculture in Colorado. We are still working towards our vision of holding Local Government Energy Academy workshops at different locations in the state.

    Environmental Horticulture – Alison O’Connor

    • Colorado Master Gardener and Colorado Gardener Certificate training started mid-January. This year, over 300 apprentices and certificate students are taking training across Colorado. Training is being held in person, via distance education and there are also online classes for the students to watch.
    • The annual Environmental Horticulture PRU meeting will be May 22-24 in Pueblo, organized by Sherie Caffey and staff.
    • If you would like any gardening updates for social media and county websites, PlantTalk Colorado provides a monthly email that can easily be uploaded into these media channels. Email Joanne Littlefield to receive these updates:
    • The 2018 Western Colorado Pest Management Workshop is being held in Grand Junction February 6-7 at the Two Rivers Convention Center; breakout sessions focus on agriculture, turf and ornamentals, natural resources and residential and commercial businesses.
    • ProGreen Expo, the Rocky Mountain region green industry conference, will be held February 13-16 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Many horticulture agents and specialists are teaching seminars during the week.
    • The Colorado Garden and Home Show will be February 24-March 4 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The educational display is coordinated by Boulder County Extension (Carol O’Meara, Deryn Davidson, Kristen Anderson and the Master Gardener volunteers) with a focus on Wise Water Harvesting; focusing on rain barrels, rain gardens, and using techniques to make the most of what precipitation Colorado receives.

    Family and Financial Stability – Jennifer Cooney

    The FAFS PRU is organizing and preparing programming and educational efforts for America Saves Week, February 26th through March 3rd. Agents will be offering education and resources related to opening and expanding savings accounts, debt reduction and ways to build wealth. Seven counties in Northeast Colorado collaborated and received a grant to sustain financial education efforts for special events hosted during America Saves Week. In addition to the regular financial education and family management programming, agents across Colorado are partnering with ag industry providers and educators to offer 3 AgrAbility workshops in the coming months and 5 sites across Northeast Colorado are hosting Annie’s Project, an empowerment program for women in agriculture, serving over 100 farm and ranch women. We are also planning for several upcoming trainings, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, March 23rd and 24th and the FAFS PRU retreat will be hosted in Loveland during the week of April 16th to discuss the 2019 Plan of Work and engage in partnership and development conversations with the Department of Human Development and Family Studies on campus. Finally, the FAFS PRU is currently partnered with the Department on developing applicable youth prevention and marijuana education resources and programming, additionally; Family Leadership Training is being introduced into 3 new counties in 2018/2019, Morgan, Jefferson and Arapahoe. FLTI’s presence in communities is continuing to grow and exceeding expectations; FLTI in Eagle County is in their 6th year, coordinated by Glenda Wentworth, they have 23 family leaders this year.

    Food Systems – Becca Jablonski

    The Food Systems PRU decided on 2 ‘winnable goals’ for 2017/2018: 1) Building your Food and Beverage Business Development Curriculum; 2) Professional development focused on food supply chains.

    To move these goals ahead, Tera Johnson with University of Wisconsin’s Food Finance Institute offered a Level 1 training to 9 Extension staff and 3 collaborators at the Jefferson County Extension Office on January 9 and 10. This training will be used to enhance the business development component of cottage food training offered along the Front Range, and to build a food business development curriculum for CSU Extension. 6 of these participants will return for Level 2 in-depth financial analysis training on February 7-8.

    Additionally, Libby Christensen planned a tour for PRU members of some of Denver’s food supply chain businesses, which will take place on February 22nd. The tour includes stops at Fresh Pack, Western Daughters, Old Major, Safeway, and Ardent Mills Innovation Center.

    The Food Systems PRU is playing another leadership role in the 4th annual Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association conference Feb 19th at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver. The conference will foster linking Colorado produce growers with buyers through a grower/buyer networking session that attracts close to 30 produce buyers from throughout Colorado.  Growers registered for the conference are welcome to attend the G/B.

    Livestock & Range – Todd Hagenbuch

    Many L&R PRU agents enjoyed time in January meeting old friends and getting to see what’s new in the world of livestock, range, and farming at both the National Western Stock Show and Colorado Farm Show.  Now that those are over, work has begun again on locally-based programming, the most recent of which was the West-Central Cattlemen’s Day in Wray, CO, hosted by CSU and Nebraska Extension.

    The L&R PRU is working to update and strengthen the Range Curriculum, and workshops showcasing the new curriculum began being presented in December.  Also, with the completion of the 2017 Beef Producers Needs Assessment, the L&R PRU is working on designing programing that reflects the needs of livestock producers across the state. To that end, the L&R PRU members will be using the recently awarded Program Funding Grant to meet in the coming months to discuss how to incorporate lessons learned from both the 2014 Rangeland Assessment and the 2017 Beef Producers Needs Assessment into programming efforts and an updated Plan of Work.  Look for more information on that meeting to come in the next few weeks.

    Natural Resources – Robin Young

    The Natural Resources PRU welcomes Seth Davis to the leadership team.  Seth is a faculty member in the Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship with a 30% Extension appointment.  His expertise is in tree-killing bark beetles, as well as other forest and agricultural pests.  He is also working to establish baseline metrics for this insect, specifically the timing of annual flights in Colorado and the development of flight and emergence calculators, and other applied ecological metrics that are useful for connecting the public and land managers with scientific information. Seth would like to collaborate on NIFA grants.

    The Woody Plants of Colorado App is in its final stages.  Brian is submitting the last photos out of over 200.  The developers will critique in then beta tested, then ready to go live in the very near future.  The database will be moved to Colorado Heritage Program.

    The Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) proposes to create a webhosted, interactive map that will show Colorado State University (CSU) Natural Resources (NR)

    Consortium partners’ locations, contact information, organizational affiliation, projects, and interests, among other potential attributes. The map information will be easy to update by a representative of each partner affiliation as their team members come and go. CEMML will be responsible for final edits before the updated material goes live on the map. The goal of the map is to improve communication and collaboration between CSU NR Consortium partners, resulting in greater efficiencies and more opportunities for each organization and their affiliates to work together.

    2017 Natural Resource Consortium Meeting:  The Natural Resource Consortium is one of our largest meetings of all natural resource partners that are involved with CSU. We get field staff from across the state in many departments. The major departments each year consist of Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS), Colorado State University Extension (CSUE) and Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR). The programs that come from this group impact much of the state. In 2017 we received funding from WCNR, CSFS, Office of Engagement and CSUE to develop the two apps.

    Even though this is our third consortium meeting we are continuing on bringing new faces to the table. Our relationships across Warner College continue to deepen which in turn has presented more opportunities to collaborate on projects. Again this year John Hayes has presented our group with another $10,000 in seed money to get state wide projects started. We have also been getting invited to other NR meetings from CNHP, CEMML, WCNR and CSFS.

    This CSU wide meeting involves many of our natural resource partners on campus and across the state. The purpose of this meeting is to find out what everyone is working on.  This way we don’t waste our time, money and energy working on a project that could be overlapping a project that is already underway. We cover the entire spectrum of our POW during this meeting to make sure we touch on every bases that natural resources has to offer to Colorado.

    We are currently in the process of viewing six proposals to fund with the 10K. Once reviewed two proposals will be funded. In our next update we will share what these projects look like and how the Natural Resource PRU funding will be split up.

    Rain barrel kits are in 18 offices around the state and will help to expand the resources available to the agents proving rain barrel workshops and other water conservation demonstrations. Promoting the use of rain barrels in landscapes and gardens will improve water conservation and promote a “water ethic” among those that choose to use them.  Rain barrel kits were distributed to extension agents (mostly Horticulture agents or county directors) throughout the entire state. Ten kits were given to agents on the “eastern slope” of Colorado and 8 kits to offices on the “western slope”. Also, the kits were designed to have the same materials, regardless of the location used, which helps create a unified message about rain barrel Extension education throughout the entire state. With the rain barrels it is the first time Extension offices throughout the state have access to the essential rain barrel components, free of charge. By giving the offices a kit of rain barrel components, we expect this will help promote more hands-on learning about rain barrels. Update by Blake Osborn.

    Nutrition, Food Safety & Health – Jessica Clifford

    • The NFSH PRU is in the process of assessing existing Live Eat Play Colorado and Colorado Farm to Table websites. We are facilitating a small research project that includes a card sorting activity with consumers. This will help us better organize website content in a way that makes sense to the consumer and is more user-friendly and searchable.
    • Multiple FCS agents are implementing the Mediterranean Diet Toolkit in their communities, leading workshops that include a presentation, a homemade hummus activity, homemade salad dressing activity and olive oil tasting activity. Classes will continue through June of this year, when data analysis will take place.
    • The NFSH PRU will hold a spring workshop in April. Primary workshop components include discussion and training related to: 1) diabetes education and strategies for implementation and 2) preparing foods at elevation.
    • Eagle County Head Start is facilitating nutrition classes in February.  The two session class is only in Spanish.  A nutrition assessment will be done with the use of MyPlate website and second session will be nutrition education based on their goals. CSU Extension provided recipe book, incentives, and the recommended lesson plan.
    • Below is information about the upcoming Master Food Safety Advisor (MFSA) training in Larimer County. The training is for: Volunteers who will work with FCS agents around the Front Range Region; New agents who will be answering food preservation and safety questions in their county, teaching food preservation or managing MFSA volunteers; Extension office support staff with an interest in food preservation may go through the training so that they can answer consumer phone calls and test pressure gauges.  See brochure on following page.Master Food Safety Training