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Extension Update – March 7, 2019   arrow

On behalf of PLT:

CPC Membership Nominations

Classified Personnel Council is seeking State Classified employee self-nominations for three-year terms beginning July 1, 2019, with nominations due March 29, 2019. See for further information.

Volunteers Needed for Off-Campus Employee Climate Survey Focus Group

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity is hosting a focus group about the Employee Climate Survey for off-campus employees. There are eight openings for this group, which will be held on Wednesday, March 13, 8:30-10:30 a.m. via Zoom. If you are interested in participating contact Alicia Sprague at

PRU Updates: 

4-H Youth Development – Jean Glowacki

4-H Agent Professional Development:

Partnering with CSU School of Social Work 4-H Agents will engage in training applying theoretical models of volunteerism to direct practice.  Energize Inc., an international consulting firm specializing in volunteerism, will provide sessions to enhance confidence as volunteer educators, managers, and leaders.  This event is scheduled for May 9-10 in Denver, CO and is free to 4-H agents thanks in part to Regional Directors and Executive leadership funding contributions.  4-H Agents may contact Stephanie Freier with any questions.

Mega Meeting:

The annual combined meeting of the CAE4-HA and Colorado State 4-H office, or Mega Meeting, will be held April 8-12 in Grand Junction, CO.  This is an opportunity for collaborating, State 4-H program development, work team meetings, and team building.  Please contact Stephanie Freier with any questions.

Colorado 4-H Shooting Sports:

2019 Colorado 4-H Shooting Sports Leader trainings are scheduled throughout March and April.  Volunteers will attend a 15 hour training that emphasizes the 4-H first shot fundamentals of getting 4-H youth engaged in their chosen 4-H Shooting Sports discipline safely.  4-H volunteers who participate in the trainings will learn the age appropriate techniques of teaching safe & responsible handling of firearms and archery equipment as well as teaching 4-H youth the life skills and crucial aspects of positive youth development that are found in all 4-H programming.

Colorado 4-H Livestock:

Recently, the Colorado 4-H Livestock work team reviewed and updated the Colorado 4-H Meat Quality Assurance requirements and training materials.  Agents utilize these materials throughout the spring to educate 4-H youth involved in livestock projects on the importance of animal safety / welfare and food safety / quality assurance.

Colorado 4-H Horse:

The Colorado 4-H Horse work team has been having preliminary discussions and collecting input from within the state and from other states about the current status of the Colorado 4-H Horse Levels program.   The work team is having ongoing discussions about different ways that may be utilized to improve the content, and efficacy of the existing levels program.

National Mentoring Program (NMP):

Year 8 has been completed and we are moving into year 9.  Youth and Families with Promise is still the program model being offered through this funding opportunity through National 4-H Council and funded by the US Office of Justice and Juvenile Delinquency Program (OJJDP).

Dear Futures Hub (Coca-Cola):

Contest Award has been funded and will provide/support 4-H computer science programing in Clear Creek County through August, 2019.  After the obligations to the funder are satisfied in August, this programing will be made available to agents state-wide.

Lockheed Martin (LM) Building a 4-H Career Pathway:

Provide engineering and computer science programing to youth in our military 4-H programs.  This funding includes the building of a mobile Computer Science and Engineering Trailer.  Once obligations to the funder are satisfied, this programing will be made available to 4-H agents state-wide.

Lockheed Martin (LM) Growing 4-H Computer Science (CS):

Approved and will provide 4-H Computer Science pilot programs on Fort Carson, Peterson AFB and Buckley Army Nat’l Guard.  Once Obligations to the funder are met, this programing material will be included in the CS/Engineering Mobile Lab and made available to 4-H Agents state-wide.

Mobile STEM Lab Program:

  • STEM Trailer is available to agents seeking STEM Programing opportunities.
  • LM CS and Engineering Trailer is under construction and will be sent to Pueblo/Colorado Springs to be used for LM funded programing on various military bases.  Once obligations to the LM are met (Fall of 2019), the trailer will be available for registration by 4-H agents seeking STEM Career Pathway Programing.
  • Rural Energy Coop. Trailer has been funded and is currently under planning and development.  This trailer will be housed in Ft Collins and available for registration by 4-H agents seeking energy programing.

MyPI Colorado:

Showing promise for a sustainable program state-wide.  Emergency Managers from across the state have shown support for this program both financially and professionally.  Cohort 1 will be completed during of August 2019.  A MyPI Colorado training committee has been developed to train the next cohort of instructors.  MyPI has the potential of doubling its reach during 2020.

Cropping Systems  – RF Meyer, Jerry Johnson, Seth Urbanowitz


  • Pesticide Recertification – training for private and commercial pesticide applicators.  These programs offer continuing education credits.  Approximately 12 of these have been offered thus far.  Following are attendee survey results:
    • What type of licensing do you hold?  83% Private, 14% Commercial, 3% none
    • Where do you apply?  85% Farm, 15% Rural <10,000 people
    • Did the programming content meet expectations?  97% yes, 3% no
    • Rate the program in terms of content.  34% excellent, 66% very good
    • How useful will this program be in your operation?  37% completely, 63% somewhat
    • Will you make changes in your operation as a result of this program?  66% yes, 12% no, 22% maybe
    • Will you share the information presented with?  1-3 people 91%, more than 3 people 9%
    • How did you hear about this program?  53% newspaper, 29% another person, 9% mail (newsletter?), 4% social media, 5% other
  • Technical reports published for corn, wheat, sunflower, and sorghum.
  • Crop production programming – Cropping System PRU members are invited to present new technical information at crop production meetings.  Approximately 25 events have been spoken at present.
  • Other activities include serving on local, state, and national boards.  In addition, news releases and newsletters are an on-going effort from members of this PRU.
  • Extension Roundtable.  This is a regional meeting that includes Extension Agents that contribute to cropping systems.  Last year’s meeting drew Agents from Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas.  This year’s effort will take place March 14 in Burlington.

Energy – Cary Weiner & Tim Aston

  • We are finalizing a needs assessment report based on 400 in-person and online surveys taken by Colorado residents.
  • 21 economic feasibility assessments have been completed for farmers interested in solar energy. We have nine remaining spots in the FASE program.
  • 90 people showed up for our first electric vehicle workshop in Centennial, with a wait list of 30.
  • Our second annual Ag Energy education session at the Colorado Farm Show was successful with about 50 attendees.
  • Natural resources and horticulture agents have made recommendations for seeding 2 acres of a community solar garden with pollinator-friendly native plants and volunteer prep work is scheduled for mid-March.

Environmental Horticulture – Alison O’Connor & Tony Koski

  1. Congratulations to the Colorado Master Gardener program for receiving a $5,000 award from the Colorado Garden and Home Show Foundation to support the program and promote outreach. Tony Koski and Alison O’Connor accepted the award at the Garden and Home Show on February 16.
  2. The Colorado Garden and Home Show ended on February 17, after a successful nine-day run at the Colorado Convention Center. Dr. Jim Klett, Andie Wommack, Katie Dunker, and the incredible Douglas County Master Gardeners created a wonderful educational garden. The theme was “Urban Homesteading” and featured container gardening, patio plantings, a chicken coop, and vegetables for small spaces. Front Range counties provided Master Gardener volunteers to staff the garden and answer questions during the show.
  3. The ProGreen Expo was February 5-8, 2019, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Many Extension staff and specialists did presentations or participated in the trade show. It was another successful statewide conference, despite a couple snowy days.
  4. Interviews for the state Master Gardener coordinator position were Monday, March 4. The two candidates interviewed were Katie Dunker (current Douglas County (Colorado) Master Gardener coordinator); and Mike Maddox (current state Master Gardener Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin). The search chair is Curtis Utley:
  5. Statewide Master Gardener training is halfway complete. Students have taken two online “flipped” courses so far–Soils, Fertilizers, and Amendments, and IPM/Diagnostics. Training will wrap-up in early April. Training is a mix of in-person and online learning.
  6. The Environmental Hort PRU will have its annual meeting on May 21-22 in Larimer or Weld County. The meeting will include a train-the-trainer session on the Backyard Garden Boot Camp series, meetings for both the CMGLC and Hort Agents, and tours of local industry.

Individual, Family & Community Well-Being – Christine Fruhauf & Gisele Jefferson

  • America Saves Week – Extension Agents are partnering with banks and other local entities in the national America Saves Week campaign to educate and motivate more people to start or increase their personal savings. They are using traditional mass media (newspapers and radio), social media, along with displays and incentives to education, motivate and entice people to save money. Joy Akey, Tara Fundus, Gisele Jefferson, Tracy Trumper, Abby Weber, and Glenda Wentworth.
  • Annie’s Project – Debbie Chapman and collaborators from Production Farm Credit and Otero Junior College conducted the first Annie’s Project 6-session series on Farm/Ranch Management for Women in southeast Colorado in January/February.  The 18 participants were from three counties and ranged in age from mid-twenties to mid-sixties.   Most important thing learned: FSA and insurance, every aspect of financials that we learned about, resource sights, marketing, QuickBooks, estate planning issues, strategies & tools, financial records and terms, and more. Specific comments included: “I can be an active participant in our operation because I understand more.” “How to figure break evens/profit/loss & balance sheets” “How amazing it is to be part of an ag community – people go through a lot to provide for our nation!”  “Enjoyed it and learned a lot. Wish I had it years ago.”
  • Live Smart Colorado Blog – Sheila Gains, Glenda Wentworth, Carla Farrand, and Elisa Shackleton serve as editors for this state-wide weekly blog for everything Family and Consumer Sciences in Colorado Extension. Blog posts from this PRU thus far in 2019 include: Heartfelt Valentine’s Day Gift (Sheila Gains), America Saves Week (Glenda Wentworth) and The Gift of Self-Compassion (Sue Schneider).
  • Senior Access Points for Northeast Colorado –  with the guidance of Sue Schneider of Larimer County Extension, FCS agents and NE Regional Center are in the beginning stages of a pilot effort to take the Senior Access Points model development and implemented in Larimer County and adapt it for the 6 northeast Colorado Counties.
  • Gisele Jefferson and Mary Ellen Fleming attended the three-day training “Disasters in Climate Change A Response to a Multi-State Event” held in Raton, NM, on February 20 – 22, 2019.  The training was a joint collaboration between Colorado State University and New Mexico State University.  Gisele and Mary Ellen attended on behalf of the PRU to get additional information on disaster and emergency preparedness for the home.  We learned about resources available on the EDEN website as well as the lack of resources on EDEN for our discipline.  Made contact with Rick Griffith, FCS agent in San Juan County, New Mexico.  Rick just rotated off EDEN but has access to their website in the area of Family and Consumer Science.  Will be contacting Rick to work jointly on the resources our work team is currently developing.
  • GRANDcares Project – Sue Schneider and Diana Juarez continue to support efforts of the GRANDcares project in Larimer and Adams counties. The Larimer County Extension Office just finished (March 1) hosting a Powerful Tools for Caregivers-Grandfamilies (PTC-G) class. Diana is working closely with Adams County Department of Children and Family Services to host/support a PTC-G class this spring. Dates are set for both Larimer and Adams Counties to hold the PTC-G class and the Youth Club – in collaboration with other community partners. Diana is working closely with the Adams County Site Coordinator on a webinar for service providers working with grandfamilies. Sue is assisting the project as a member of a sub-committee to support the final editing of the GRANDcares Project video.
  • Strengthening Families Program – A number of agents continue to work with Dr. Doug Coatsworth and faculty/staff in the Prevention Research Center on the Strengthening Families program to prevent opioid use and abuse in rural communities. Trainings and community meetings have taken place and agents are coordinating with campus faculty/staff to move the program forward in their communities.

Natural Resources – Robin Young

The Livestock and Range PRU and Natural Resources PRU held a combined training for all agents.  The training included: Range Assessment Training with Annie Overlin and Retta Bruegger They discussed adaptive grazing management and using key species to manage for rangeland, herd health and profits; methods for estimating production; observing key species and trends, and tools and apps for range monitoring.  Strategic Performance Analysis given by Dr. Ryan Rhoades, Dr. Frank Garry, Dr. Daniel Mooney.  This training was based on the Colorado Ranch Benchmarking Program.  Bruce Fickenscher gave an introduction to Changing Our Mental and Emotional Trajectory (COMET) reminding each of us that we have people that look to us for help in mental and emotional help as well as technical help.  Blake Osborne had us learning about Watershed Assessment and Vulnerability Evaluations Training (WAVE ) where participants have a better understanding how watersheds can be looked at proactively in the event of a wildfire and other environmental issues.

Many agents that attended this training were able to travel on to Raton NM to attend the Drought Disaster meeting with NMSU agents.  There we learned about the difference between weather variability and climate change, available drought and disaster resource materials, how to remain neutral when estimating crop loss, Incident Command Training requirements,  EDEN’s role in Extension services, lessons learned about Extension’s role during and after disasters, post disaster educational materials, and did a table top exercise in disaster training.  It was a great conversation across state lines to compare notes on our effectiveness in Extensions role in disasters and how to become prepared.

Natural Resources PRU updates:

  • The Tree Guide is ready to disburse – Brian will bring them to CAD or they will go out in Friday mail.
  • The Woody Plant App should be ready to roll out in a few more weeks.
  • The 6th annual Consortium is being planned with the help from our CSU Natural Resource Partners.  Look for future notices on this event.

Program Highlights:

Annie Overlin, Peaks and Plains Regional Range Specialist spoke at Pueblo County Stockmen’s on soil health and techniques for keeping water on land.  She is currently working on 4 Grazing Management plans.  Two of those plans are incorporating 4-H fieldtrips to implement Zeedyk structures and seeding plans.  She wrote a grant on using compost extract, attended and spoke at 5 conferences, and has met with 14 ranchers on site.

Program Highlight from the Western Region – Retta Bruegger: Additional Livestock and Range programing in 2019 consisted of a 3 part series, in partnership with Abi Saeed at the Garfield County Extension office and Lydia La Belle de Rios at the White River National Forest. The series focused on proactive planning after the 2018 drought. It featured a kick-off with Arizona rancher Wink Crigler, who highlighted her experience and adaptations with range monitoring, drought, wildfire, and wolves. The series also focused on collaborative planning for infrastructure on public lands, scenario planning for drought, making a plan before drought hits, and networking with regional partners to accomplish projects to improve drought resilience. It was funded by WSARE, and the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub.

From the San Luis Valley – Marvin Reynolds:  Held the Southern Rocky Mountain Ag Conference in February.  Over 345 people attended.  Some of the program was on Climate Smart Agriculture, farming with reduced fossil fuels with “Resilient Farming in a Changing Climate”, “Soil Health in Small Grains, Cover Crops and Potatoes”, “Using Biologicals in Crop Production”, “Small Grains and Drought Tolerance” “ Variable Rate Irrigation Feasibility”.

There were some beekeeping programs held in the San Luis Valley (a one day program with 12 in attendance), Chaffee County, and Archuleta County.  The Colorado Beekeeping Mentorship Program, a 7 week program, held in Archuleta County was a success with 18 participants and 6 volunteers.

Seth Davis – School of Natural Resources is helping to mentor a summer student internship at Routt county with Libby Christensen (CSU Extension) and Carolina Manriquez (CSFS), with a focus on community fire planning in the county. We are interviewing students now but this will all take off in the summer.

Please send your programming updates to Robin and we would be happy to highlight them in the updates.  Thanks for all the hard work you do! 

Nutrition, Food Safety & Health – Jessica Clifford

Cottage Food Safety Training

  • The newly updated 2019 Ppt. slide deck, handouts, test, evaluation, participant data file and state- wide schedule file were completed and loaded on the NFSH Google doc
  • To date the Cottage Food Safety Team has scheduled 47 trainings across the state for 2019.  More trainings may be added as needed.
  • As of 2/28/19, 8 of the 11 scheduled classes have reported data on the PRU google site, that a total of 114  people completed Cottage Food Safety Classes.
  • On 3/1/19 Sheila Gains will give a talk on Cottage Food Safety rules and CSU Ext. trainings to the Colorado Farmers Market Association in Denver.

Family Matters

  • The January & February issues of Family Matters were distributed in English and Spanish through local list serves, to childcare providers, schools, health departments, libraries and other organizations. The newsletter is also available on the CSU Extension webpage.  The March issue is in translation and will be distributed 3/1/19.
    • January – “Basics of Lentils”  by Glenda Wentworth
    • February – “All About Avocados” by Erin Durant
    • March – “ Getting Children Involved in Meal Preparation” by Glenda Wentworth

Cooking Under Pressure Mediterranean Style

  • This project received funding from PLT and all three Regional Directors
  • Committees are being developed and tasks outlined

Live Smart Colorado Blog

  • As of 2/28/19, 7 of the 12 published Live Smart Colorado  blogs have featured a nutriton, food or health messages.
A New Year A Better You Food & Health Jessica Clifford
Do You Want to Build a Snowman? Family/Food & Health Meridith Burke
Lentil Basics Food/Money Glenda Wentworth
Canned Foods Can be Healthy Food & Health Laura Kraus
Cooking for One or Two Food & Health Jessica Clifford
Conservation Heart Food & Family Carla
National Nutrition Food & Health Chelsea Didinger

Nutrition, food safety, and health programming in Otero and Crowley Counties (Debbie Chapman):

January 18 – February 8:    Swink School Kid Chef Club (four week cooking class for 4th graders)

March 25:                             Artisan Bread Workshop (Whole Grain Bread Baking) in Ordway

March 22 – April 12:           La Junta Intermediate School Kid Chef Club (four week cooking class for 4th graders)

A Healthier Weigh – Health & Fitness Challenge – Trek to the Summit (Northeast Counties):

The annual 12-week Health and Fitness Challenge took on a mountain climbing theme for 2019.  Each week there is a virtual mountain to climb with team step counts. Teams consist of 4 adults. Individuals may also participate. This team format provides for more accountability and personal encouragement for participants.  However, most counties are allowing for individuals to also participate in the program.  Each participant must complete 5 of the 6 online nutrition and fitness lessons to be eligible for prizes. The 12-week program began in early January with weigh-ins; and will conclude in late March/early April with weigh-outs.  Prizes will be awarded for most steps/mountains climbed, most weight loss by percentage, and most inches of waistlines lost by percentages.  We have participants from 7 counties:  Bent 44, Phillips 42, Yuma 48, Kit Carson 4, Washington/Logan/Morgan 38 for a total of 176 participants (54 males and 122 females).

Nutrition and health programming in Washington County (Gisele Jefferson):

Health Council – Lunch & Learn – Gisele Jefferson presented a 30 minute lunch program to 35 seniors on Staying Healthy in the New Year – Body, Mind and Soul.  She shared information on eating for anti-inflammation, 3 Good Things (positive/thankful thoughts) for improved emotional and physical health, importance & strategies for quality sleep; and dancing for better health.

Nutrition and health programming photo from Phillips County (Tracy Trumper):
Health Programming from Phillips County
Nutrition, food safety, and health programming in San Louis Valley (Mary Ellen Fleming):

  • Mary Ellen taught food safety/hand washing to 64 middle school students in the home economics classes at Ortega Middle School
  • She also lead a nutrition class for each of the six home economics classes at Ortega Middle School, using the ‘Plate Method’

Delivered a four-hour food safety curriculum for six staff members at the Legacy, an assisted living facility in Monte Vista.  All six participants received certification.