Extension Agents Play Key Role at Richland County Fair and Rodeo

Josie Evenson

"4-H in Richland County has 239 members and 10 clubs," according to Josie Evenson, Richland County 4-H and Youth Development Extension Agent.

Starting with 5-8 year old Cloverbuds to the collegiate 4-H from 9-18 year olds. There are over 200 projects for youth to pick from. Education and workshops that bring in experts to speak plus a teamwork of volunteers.

One of the many examples of our great volunteers is Leslie McMillen a local expert seamstress who conducts 4-H sewing classes plus other programs. Leaders provide hands-on for projects. The 4-H year extends from October-September.

Evenson works with the clubs year-round with their projects, attending state events, fundraisers, county events and craft days.

"4-H is agriculture based with the focus on the kids," states Evenson. Many youth love to learn and work with animals, therefore animal projects are very popular. Some of the animal projects include: beef, pork, sheep, horse, goat, dairy, llama, alpaca, dog, cat, rabbit and poultry. Another category is pocket pets, such as guinea pig, hamster, etc.

Going into the future is the STEAM project, which includes science, technology, engineering and math. Kids work with project books.

"Fair is our celebration. We can get together and celebrate everything 4-H has accomplished during the year and alumni come back to help out."

Carrie Krug

Carrie Krug, MSU/Richland County Family & Consumer Services Extension Agent, conducts great programs for people in the community.

She holds classes in Active Parenting starting from a child's first few years to teens. Active Parenting First Five Years provides you with the skills to achieve a fuller, more satisfying life. The program is four 2-hour sessions and are taught by a facilitator trained in the research material. Sessions include :"You and Your Child; Preventing Problems; Encouraging Positive Behavior; and Preparing for School Success. These classes are for parents and other caregivers.

Active Parenting, a guide to raising happy and successful children school age), is a video and discussion program. The program consists of six 2-hour sessions. You will learn seven strategies for school success, along with positive discipline and communication techniques.

Active Parenting of Teens is a video-based program which provides parents with the skills they need to meet the challenges of parenting teens and preteens in today's turbulent society. This program is six 2-hour sessions designed to include parents and caregivers of teens and tweens.

Krug also has a "StrongPeople" program. The objective of the "StrongPeople" program is to improve the health and well-being of middle-aged to aging individuals throughout the county increasing access to structured, safe and effective strength-training programs, which focus on muscle mass, strength and balance, bone density, arthritis symptoms, metabolic rate, glucose control and lipid profile. Classes can provide not only physical benefits but also mental and emotional benefits. Classes are for anyone and everyone. Call or come to the extension office to inquire.

Foods and Nutrition classes are done upon request. Krug also offers dining with diabetes, providing Type 2 and pre-diabetes approved recipes, food demonstrations, educational resources and more.

"I like working with people by helping them with canning and food processing. I also test dial gauge pressure canners," she adds.

She also assists with activities at the fair.

Tim Fine

Tim Fine, current Richland County Extension agent, joins the ranks of 42 past extension agents since 1917. He has held the position for 11 years.

Fine takes sampling of small grains and tests nitrates from the past, along with information being conducted by MSU and sharing with the community. He focuses on dryland, mostly. "This winter and fall I have been updating the pesticide program with field and drone visits. With the winter and late fall storms a new problem presented itself with pivots being tipped over," he said.

Extension agents work in agriculture, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences.

In agriculture, the Extension Agent is not only charged with sharing information and instructing people in ways to increase production of crops and livestock on a large scale, the agent must also help people with backyard gardens, trees and landscaping, plus all of the other issues that come up in regards to being successful in production agriculture.

The 4-H program has gone through numerous changes since its inception. 4-H was initially formed as clubs for kids to participate in so that they could learn more about production agriculture at an early age. The program has now expanded and includes projects in robotics, technology and many more.

Fine's job at the fair is judging the community booth entries (forage grains and produce).

"I appreciate being able to work with the research centers and their progressive traditions."


Reader Comments(0)