UD at the State Fair

July 22, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The University of Delaware will participate in the Delaware State Fair to be held from July 21-30 in Harrington, providing information on the wide range of programs offered throughout the state and particularly in Southern Delaware.

The State Fair is the premier showcase event for celebrating Delaware’s agricultural history and attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually, including residents of Delaware and the surrounding region.

Continuing its longstanding presence at the fair will be CANR’s Cooperative Extension and 4-H programs, located in the Commodities Building and the Centre ice arena respectively. 4-H has been a part of the Delaware State Fair since its inception and according to fair officials is still one of the fair’s largest draws.

UD is sponsoring a demonstration booth under the central M&T Bank Grandstand area to highlight the research, educational and public service initiatives occurring throughout the state under the leadership of Delaware’s flagship university.

“Participation in the Delaware State Fair provides an excellent opportunity to talk about the many outstanding programs offered by the University of Delaware, not only on the Newark campus but also in Kent and Sussex counties,” said Rick Armitage, director of community and state government relations.

Representatives of a variety of UD units will participate, including the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), Student Centers, the Water Resources Agency, the Center for Disabilities Studies and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, which offers programs in all three counties.

Also, both the UDairy Creamery and the University of Delaware Bookstore will be providing coupons.

This article can be viewed online on UDaily.



4-H, Hopkins Family Celebrate 25 years of Farm Tours

May 19, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Each May in Lewes, Sussex County Cooperative Extension, 4-H and the Hopkins family (owners of Green Acres Farm, Delaware’s largest dairy operation) swing open the farm gates and welcome busloads of young students eager to discover what really goes on at authentic dairy farm.

Two gorgeous days provided the backdrop to an estimated 1900 youth, teachers and parents.

Unaccustomed to farm aromas, many young students arrived pinching their noses, but soon little hands relaxed and began to explore – holding chirping, yellow poultry puffballs, petting a young, well-behaved Holstein cow and peeking through a slatted fence to watch pigs snort, and sometimes sleep, in their pens.

It is an agricultural classroom without exams or textbooks. The experiential learning component of 4-H allowed students and adults to explore the many ways a family farm brings food to the table. Under the blue and gold tents, Extension staff offered entertaining and educational interactive displays, helping the young visitors make the agricultural connection to nutrition, safety and fitness. Sussex Master Gardeners provided a theatrical show and Extension staff directed bus traffic, assisted in the tractor rides and kept the lines to the popular milking tour moooving!

In addition to the herd of Holsteins and 4-H project pigs that are kept full time at the farm, 4-H volunteers brought in other animals that one might typically see around the farm grounds. Goats, small horses, rabbits, barn kittens, and a few ducks, delighted the students. Volunteers were assigned stations and filled curious minds with fun facts about the display animals.

In recent years the Hopkins family has added new playground features to their pasture to coincide with the opening of their Hopkins Creamery in 2009. Many climbed aboard a wooden train, milked a display cow the old fashioned way, savored complimentary cones at one of the picnic tables and poked their head through a farm photo prop.

The farm tour has been conducted at the Hopkins’ location for 25 years and Sussex County 4-H Educator Mary Argo has coordinated the last 16 of them. Argo feels at home with the hustle and bustle of the two-day event. “The weather was great, animals were perfect,” Argo says. “We are always delighted to partner with the Hopkins family for this unique educational opportunity for Sussex students. This was a picture perfect farm tour.”

Visit the Sussex County 4-H Flickr page for more photos of the event.

Article by Michele Walfred


Delaware 4-H lends a hand at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Children’s Hospital

March 7, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

In early February, close to 100 teen members of the Delaware 4-H Youth Development program spent a portion of their annual leadership retreat at the University of Delaware making special gifts that they hoped would touch the lives of dozens of young people in need.

On Monday, Feb. 28, that hope was realized as officers of the 4-H State Teen Council, along with longtime 4-H supporter Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, distributed 20 handmade “no sew” fleece blankets to children currently in long-term care as patients at the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington.

The concept for the service project came from Hannah Harvey, a member of the Porter Gang 4-H Club in Newark, who also serves as vice president of the Delaware 4-H state council. Making “no sew” fleece blankets is a project many Delaware 4-H members were already familiar with as it is a popular 4-H exhibit entry at the annual Delaware State Fair.

The idea of donating the blankets to the hospital was a natural one considering the strong relationship Nemours has with the University of Delaware through the Delaware Health Sciences Alliance and the success of recent partnerships such as the UD 4-H/Master Gardener Demonstration Plot. The garden project, which began in 1999, has yielded hundreds of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables to the Food Bank of Delaware.

UD extension specialist and 4-H state teen council adviser Ernesto López described the work of the teens saying, “Nemours is one of the best children’s hospitals in world, and we are fortunate to have it right here in our backyard. Days like this make it all worthwhile, and we thank key stakeholders like Lt. Governor Denn and the Mid Del Foundation, whose funding each year makes our State Teen Conference possible, for continuing to support the mission of 4-H in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at UD.”

4-H is the largest youth serving organization in the state of Delaware with more than 60,000 youth participating annually in experiential based learning and outreach through the Cooperative Extension Service at the University of Delaware and Delaware State University.

For more information on joining 4-H and finding a club in your county or in serving as an adult volunteer, please contact the State 4-H Office at (302) 831-2509 or via email at [elopez@udel.edu].

This article can also be viewed online on UDaily by clicking here.

At the delivery of the handmade blankets are (from left) Sara Somers; Patricia Pritchett; Bernard J. Clark, vice president for physician practices at Nemours; Delaware Lt. Gov. Matt Denn; Hannah Harvey; and Melanie Jackson.


New Castle County Extension names new 4-H agent

February 25, 2011 under Cooperative Extension

Mallory Vogl has joined University of Delaware Cooperative Extension as the new 4-H agent for New Castle County.

Vogl comes to UD Extension from Lake Forest Elementary School, where she taught 5th grade. She is currently a master’s degree candidate in elementary education at Wilmington University, where she expects to receive her degree in June. She earned a bachelor’s in psychology from Wesley College.

Vogl has been associated with the 4-H youth development program since she was seven, when she joined the 4-H Cloverbuds. She was an active member of the Westville 4-H club, based in Camden, Del., throughout her school years and, while in college, was a counselor at 4-H camps. Her project areas of interest included horses and swine.

“I’ve always bled green; 4-H has always been an essential part of my life,” says Vogl. “As a 4-H educator I am able to combine my interest in educating children with my passion for 4-H. I can’t think of a better mix.”

Vogl’s objectives in her new role are to revitalize 4-H’s agriculture programming in New Castle County. She also would like to increase the number of clubs and grow the membership base. “There are so many facets to 4-H; our projects encompass so many different interests. I want youth to see that in 4-H there is something for everyone.”

“I am delighted that Mallory Vogl has joined UD Cooperative Extension as our newest 4-H agent,” says Jan Seitz, associate dean and director of UD Cooperative Extension. “Her enthusiasm for 4-H shines through; I know she will be a real asset to our organization.”

Vogl can be reached at the New Castle County Extension office at 302-831-COOP or by email at [mvogl@udel.edu]. To learn more about Delaware 4-H, call the state 4-H office at 831-2509.

Article by Margo McDonough
Photo by Danielle Quigley

This article is also posted online on UDaily.


NCC 4-H Announces Summer Camps

February 1, 2011 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

4-H camp registrations are now being accepted for the University of Delaware’s New Castle County Cooperative Extension 4-H Day Camp programs.

Program information, registration form, and health form can be found online:   http://ag.udel.edu/extension/ncc/4h/4hcamp.html

Please email or call the NCC 4-H Office at (302) 831-8965 with questions.


Delaware 4-H’s Martell wins Air Force Aim High Award

November 30, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

“I know it can be tough to be a member of a military family; my husband is retired military. I understand the importance of community support for military families,” says Rhonda Martell, military liaison for Delaware 4-H.

It’s that attitude — plus plenty of hard work, creativity and long, irregular hours — that has earned Rhonda Martell the 4-H/Air Force Aim High Award.

This award is presented annually to a 4-H youth development professional who has excelled at creating programs for Air Force, Air Guard and Air Reserve families. Martell received her award from National 4-H and Air Force’s Family Member Programs at recent ceremonies in Arizona.

Martell has been responsible for Delaware 4-H’s Military Programs since 2000. Previously, she oversaw 4-H’s substance abuse prevention programs in Kent County.

The full article with photo can be viewed online on UDaily by clicking here.


Local 4-Hers Win at National Engineering Event

October 19, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Three local Delaware 4-H members representing the University of Delaware 4-H Engineering Cooperative Extension Program at the 60th Annual National 4-H Engineering, Science and Leadership Event in West Lafayette, Indiana, September 26-28, 2010.

Joseph (JT) Robbins of the Peach Blossom 4-H Club, Harrington, Delaware had the highest national placement in the parts identification and written test examination in the lawn tractor event.

Lee Severson of the New Horizons 4-H Club, Dover, Delaware finished in the top five in the lawn tractor event.

Michael Severson of the New Horizons 4-H Club, Dover, Delaware competed in the electric event.

The event drew in 60 contestants from 12 states. Areas of competition include aerospace, bicycle, computer, electric, lawn tractor, robotics, small engines, tractor and welding. All of the contestants had won county and state competitions to qualify for the national event.

Contestants and accompanying adults spend a day on educational field trips at Purdue University and Indianapolis. Included were workshops in the Departments of Electrical Engineering Technology, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Aviation Technology, and guided tours of Fowler Ridge Wind Farm and Rea Magnet Wire Company.

The event was conducted by Extension agricultural engineers and 4-H professionals from participating states. John Deere and Company sponsored the lawn tractor and small engines contests. Lincoln Electric sponsored the welding contest. Landis and Gyr and Stuart C. Irby Company sponsored the electric contest. Additional funds were provided for hotel, transportation, registration, and meals by the Delaware 4-H Foundation.


4-H Prepared Miss Delaware for Life

June 21, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Last Saturday, Kayla Martell competed in the Miss Delaware pageant as Miss Kent County and came home with the crown.

Martell has been active in the 4-H youth development program since she was 5 and she credits 4-H, in part, for who she has become today.

“Delaware 4-H was where I learned poise and self-confidence,” says Martell, who turns 22 on June 27.

The Milford resident demonstrates that poise every day in dealing with alopecia areata, an auto-immune disorder that causes hair loss on the scalp and sometimes on the body.

Martell wore a wig during the Miss Delaware competition but often goes without one, equating a wig to other accessories such as rings and watches. “Sometimes I wear a wig but sometimes I don’t,” says Martell. “4-H helped me become comfortable in my own skin so when I was diagnosed with alopecia areata I didn’t feel like I have to hide the condition,” she says. “This is simply who I am.”

During her reign as Miss Delaware, Martell’s platform will be the National Alopecia Areata Foundation. In 2006, she created an effort called Caps for Yaps – Caps for Youth Alopecia Patients. She designed simple hats and taught youths how to make these hats for youngsters with alopecia. More than 2,000 hats, caps and scarves have since been collected and distributed.

Martell began her involvement in 4-H as a kindergarten Cloverbud. She was a member of the Harrington Sunshine, Houston Cardinals and Holler and Hooves clubs. She has played an integral role in Delaware 4-H initiatives to combat substance abuse by youth and teens. In 2000, she became a certified peer educator for the Health Rocks program, a 4-H curriculum that teaches at-risk youth about the hazards of tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. The cause is personal for Martell, who is driven by the loss of an 11-year-old friend who died of a drug overdose when they were in 6th grade together.

As a 4-Her, Martell devoted more than 2,500 hours of community service to the Health Rocks program and she continues to be active in Health Rocks today. During high school she also created the organization PLEDGE — People Learning to Eliminate Drugs by Gaining Education.

“The mission of 4-H is to be a catalyst for positive change and I can’t think of anyone who epitomizes this better than Kayla Martell,” says Dr. Jan Seitz, associate dean and director of UD Cooperative Extension. “She is such a force for good in the community.”     

“Kayla’s life has always been about giving to others and serving as mentor and supporter to those in need,” adds Seitz. “I cannot think of an individual more suited to be named the new Miss Delaware.”

Martell is the daughter of Ron and Rhonda Martell of Milford. Rhonda Martell is an Extension educator who has served a number of roles in Delaware 4-H.

“4-H provided Kayla with opportunities that not only enhanced her public speaking and communication skills but helped her to develop leadership, citizenship and community service skills,” says Rhonda Martell. “Her desire to help others was not only instilled by her father and I but by her 4-H volunteer leaders and county and state 4-H staff.”

Martell is a graduate of Dover High School and while in high school was the Delaware state winner (out of 20,000 nominations) of the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This month, she received the Top Ten Outstanding Young American award from the United States Jaycees. The only other Delawarean so honored was Vice President Joe Biden, who received the award in the early 1970s.

A rising senior at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., Martell will be taking a year off from school to commit to her responsibilities as the new Miss Delaware. She will compete in the Miss America pageant on Jan. 15 2011 in Las Vegas.


MetLife Foundation, National 4-H Council award grant for after-school programming

April 19, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

The MetLife Foundation and National 4-H Council have awarded Delaware 4-H a $13,500 grant to improve the state’s after-school programming. Delaware is one of 11 states to receive the funding that will deliver cutting-edge training to 550 local after-school providers, reaching 6,050 after-school providers nationwide.

“4-H Afterschool programs are an important part of young people’s lives,” said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. “By offering crucial training and resources to our 4-H Afterschool providers, we can create a safe, nurturing environment for young people to come together, engage with their communities, and become confident, capable leaders. We are honored to partner with MetLife Foundation on this exciting initiative.”

The new training will allow 4-H Afterschool providers to increase the number of youth engaged in high-quality after-school programs, incorporate civic engagement into their daily activities, provide young people more opportunities to develop their leadership skills, and help them to play positive roles in their own communities. Grants of this kind will be awarded to 11 states throughout the nation.

In Delaware, 4-H Afterschool provides afterschool to over 400 youth with daily afterschool homework help, enrichment, and 4-H hands on learning programs. “The Metlife Foundation grant will help us to continue our commitment and leadership in afterschool programming,” said Carol Scott, 4-H Afterschool Project director, “by offering quality professional development workshops throughout the state.”

“MetLife Foundation shares 4-H’s commitment to increasing after-school and civic engagement opportunities for young people,” said Dennis White, MetLife Foundation president. “We are proud to join the 4-H movement to help 4-H expand their after-school training and give America’s youth a positive place to grow and learn.”


Ag Day Exhibitor/Vendor Registration Now Open

March 3, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

The University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources invites you to take part in one of the longest-running and most popular spring events in the City of Newark—Ag Day!

Ag Day 2010 will be held on Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., rain or shine, on the grounds of Townsend Hall in Newark, Delaware.

Registration for exhibitors/vendors is now open and available at http://ag.udel.edu/agday by clicking on Exhibitor/Vendor Registration.

REGISTRATION IS DUE BY March 24, 2010. PAYMENT MUST BE RECEIVED BY APRIL 1. Registration is subject to approval by the Ag Day Planning Team.

If you have further questions, please contact Katy O’Connell at (302) 831-1135 or via email to kvo@udel.edu.  

Ag Day is a community event that brings agriculture and natural resources to life for the approximately 3000 people who attend each year. Through educational exhibits, tours, and activities, our exhibitors educate everyone from schoolchildren to homeowners, senior citizens to teenagers, about the world of agriculture and natural resources. Adding to the fun are our many supplemental vendors, who provide food and entertainment for our guests.

With its far-reaching audience, Ag Day is the perfect opportunity to promote your organization, raise funds, and enjoy a spring Saturday with people who are interested in learning more about agriculture and natural resources. We hope you will consider joining us as an exhibitor at this year’s event, which marks our 35th Ag Day!

We hope to see you at Ag Day 2010!

College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
104 Townsend Hall – 531 S. College Ave. – Newark, DE 19716
PH: 302/831-2508 – FAX: 302/831-1360
Web: www.ag.udel.edu/agday