April 9: Extension celebration

March 31, 2014 under Cooperative Extension

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will hold a volunteer appreciation event and celebrate “100 Years of Extension” from 3-7 p.m., Wednesday, April 9, at the New Castle County Extension Office, 461 Wyoming Rd., Newark.

The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 was passed to provide funding for land grant universities, such as the University of Delaware, to establish the Cooperative Extension Service. Its purpose was to work within the community to address youth, family and agricultural needs.

Extension accomplished this through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state of Delaware and the University by connecting UD resources and research and by establishing programs such as 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Science, Agriculture and Horticulture.

This year, the New Castle County office of UD Cooperative Extension is not only celebrating this 100-year milestone anniversary but also showing its appreciation for dedicated and hard-working volunteers.

Invitees have been asked to bring along their favorite Extension story and will have the opportunity to record it on video so that in 100 years, others can learn about Extension’s 100-year history.

4-H will be providing games and activities for children, and the 4-H Junior Council will provide a special surprise for volunteer visitors.

An interactive timeline “When Did You Connect with Extension?” will highlight important Delaware Extension milestones and give volunteers the opportunity to add when they first joined Extension.

An “Ask an Expert” display will showcase a new way to get solid science-based answers to questions.

Guests can have their photo taken in front of the centennial logo in the photo corner, and a suggestion box will encourage people to “Forecast the Future.” At this station, people will be challenged to imagine what issues families, youth, and agriculture will be facing on Extension’s 200th anniversary and how its role will have changed in addressing these issues.

Those who are interested in attending should RSVP by Friday, March 28, by calling 302-831-1239.

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UD Cooperative Extension presents awards at annual conference

November 6, 2013 under Cooperative Extension

Cooperative Extension 100th anniversary celebration and awards ceremony held at the Atlantic Sands Hotel in Rehoboth, Delaware.University of Delaware Cooperative Extension kicked off a Centennial Celebration at it annual conference held at Rehoboth Beach on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

At the celebration, UD Cooperative Extension recognized four Director’s Friend of Extension Award recipients as well as the recipients of the 2013 Director’s Leadership Award.

The following were the recipients of the Director’s Friend of Extension Awards:

Nancy A. Cotugna

Nancy A. Cotugna is a professor of behavioral health and nutrition at UD and in 2004-05 she spent her sabbatical with UD Cooperative Extension researching where other states obtained matching funds for the Food Stamp Nutrition Education program (SNAP Ed) and identifying potential sources of funding in Delaware.

Her graduate students have also conducted research to further Extension programming efforts.

Michelle Rodgers, associate dean for Cooperative Extension in the University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said Cotugna has been “extremely helpful in assisting with the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension nutrition education programs. When the nutrition department had a coordinated dietetic internship program, Dr. Cotugna was instrumental in placing dietetic interns with Extension. Additionally, she assigns one to three community nutrition students each semester with various staff members to volunteer for Extension.”

Fifer Orchards

Fifer Orchards, a fourth generation family farm that features a farm and a country store in Camden-Wyoming and a local fresh market in Dewey Beach, was presented with the award thanks to its support of 4-H and Cooperative Extension over the years.

4-H youth have been given the opportunity to gain educational knowledge and value from various operation tours provided by Fifer Orchards staff. These youth have been able to develop and showcase their presentation skills as well as their culinary skills through the Front Porch Demonstration program.

Through the program, members of 4-H prepare recipes using fruits and vegetables in harvest and showcase them on the front porch of Fifer Orchards. They also have been allowed to share their knowledge and skills with others through the Animal Showcase program.

Fifer Orchards has also been a donor of funds and products to various 4-H events, including the peach ice cream donation booth at the Middletown Peach Festival that provides $1,100 annually to support the county program.

Fifer Orchards has also allowed Extension to host tours at its site and has provided speakers for various Extension events, all in an effort to promote agriculture and to share knowledge and information with their clientele as well as to the clientele of Cooperative Extension.

Fifer Orchards has been instrumental in providing land and labor to do various vegetable trials. In addition, Fifer family members participate on various Extension committees and boards.

Delaware State Housing Authority

The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) is a low-income public housing community with 10 locations throughout Kent and Sussex counties. UD and DSHA have collaborated to provide 4-H Afterschool Programs to youth at seven of those locations.

For the past twenty years, 4-H and DSHA have operated a site at Hickory Tree in Selbyville and the success of that program has convinced the state agency to partner with 4-H to reach all their eligible children.

DSHA provides the community rooms, computer labs at some locations, recreational space, heat/air conditioning, maintenance of facility, water, and monthly pest control at each location at no cost to UD.

The housing manager and social worker at each location assist in identifying children to attend the afterschool programs and serve on the afterschool advisory board.

David Marvel

David Marvel is a grain and vegetable farmer focused on fresh and processing vegetable production. He is the past president and current vice president of the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware (FVGAD).

As an officer and member he continues to serve on a number of boards and committees that connect the issue of healthy living and family farming. Under his leadership, the FVGAD started the first farm to school program in Delaware and continues to lead the way in getting farm fresh food into rural public schools in the state.

Marvel has always been a strong supporter of Delaware Cooperative Extension as evidenced by his involvement with on farm extension demonstrations, his input and overall vegetable science extension and research programs, and current and past membership on the UD and Delaware State University County Extension Advisory Boards.

Marvel is a graduate of the first Delaware LEAD Class organized by Delaware Cooperative Extension and has assisted with recruiting and training with subsequent classes. Marvel also served on the UD CANR advisory committee that provided input in the selection of the dean, Mark Rieger.

Delaware Cooperative Extension Director’s Leadership Award

The Delaware Cooperative Extension Director’s Leadership Award was given to Katy O’Connell, Michele Walfred, Adam Thomas, Christy Mannering and Troy Darden.

Rodgers cited their collective work on the successful rollout of the Cooperative Extension “Ask an Expert” service as the catalyst for the award.

Photos by Evan Krape

This article can also be viewed on UDaily.

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UD’s Cooperative Extension unveils a new way to connect with experts

July 16, 2013 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

havequestion-ask-expertDelaware residents with questions related to family and health, community development, food and agriculture, programs for young people and gardening will now have a new way to connect with experts on those topics thanks to the University of Delaware and Delaware State Cooperative Extension’s Ask an Expert website, which will be unveiled this week at the State Fair.

Michelle Rodgers, associate dean and director of UD’s Cooperative Extension, said that Delaware Cooperative Extension is “excited to bring our areas of expertise to Delawareans through a simple request on your web browser.”

Rodgers added, “The unique aspect of Extension’s Ask an Expert is that all of our responses are based in university research, and if we don’t have the research experts here, the system has the capacity to connect with Extension experts across the country. It is information you can trust through a simple question entry on your browser.”

Ask an Expert is as simple as clicking on the Cooperative Extension website and asking a question about a problem related to the topics above. The people with questions will then be connected with a Cooperative Extension, university staff member or volunteer expert who will be able to provide them with a timely and regionally specific response electronically. The goal is to have a response within 48 hours.

Images can be attached to the question to help further explain questions, such as attaching a photo of an insect or a spot on a plant.

Questions and answers can be made publicly or privately, depending on preference.

To check out the Ask an Expert page, visit the following link.

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