Aug. 25: NCC Day in the Garden

August 22, 2012 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Join the New Castle County Master Gardeners and Master Food Educators for a Day in the Garden.  FREE, and for the entire family.  Saturday, August 25, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

Master Gardeners and Master Food Educators will be available in the Vegetable Teaching and Demonstration Garden at the University of Delaware New Castle County Extension Office at 461 Wyoming Road to answer home gardening-related questions and share a taste of the garden harvest.

Displays will offer information on the following:

  • food safety
  • nutrition
  • growing and harvesting summer and fall vegetables and fruits
  • freezing and canning
  • worm bin and backyard composting
  • pollinators
  • seed starting
  • and more….

Samples of fresh salsa, gazpacho, and vegetables, harvested from the garden on that day, will also be available for tasting.

For more information, contact Carrie Murphy, Horticulture Educator, New Castle County Cooperative Extension.  (302) 831-2506,


UD helps keep jockeys race ready

August 30, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension

Thoroughbred racing requires jockeys to maintain a low body weight, which often causes riders to indulge in unhealthy behaviors such as skipping meals or overeating and purging, especially on the day of a race. These actions can be dangerous for the jockeys, leading to dehydration, loss of concentration, and decrease in mental and physical abilities.

University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is continuing its partnership with Delaware Park to research how jockeys eat, and creating a nutritional program that will enhance the jockeys’ performance while supporting a healthy lifestyle.

To educate and protect the riders, Cooperative Extension specialist Sue Snider and her team worked with the jockey health and welfare benefit board at Delaware Park to conduct individual assessments to determine the jockeys’ eating habits and create personalized diet recommendations.

Snider and Nancy Cotugna, professor of nutrition at UD, spent six months surveying the jockeys about their diets and the practices they followed to maintain a low weight. The Cooperative Extension team then created an educational program focusing the importance of eating small amounts of nutritious, low-calorie foods throughout the day to sustain energy.

“The healthy eating practices were based on looking at the actual practices of the jockeys, their need to maintain a weight appropriate for racing, and good nutrition practices,” Snider said. “We looked at the literature, especially recommendations from other counties such as Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.”

Snider said members of the board, along with Robert Colton, president of the Delaware Jockey’s Association, and Wesley Jones, a counselor with the Backstretch Employee Assistance Program, were “extremely helpful in assisting us to understand the jockey’s needs and the restraints under which they work.”

The Cooperative Extension team delivered an educational program at Delaware Park in June that brought jockeys and their families together to discuss food and nutrition.

Cheryl Bush, a Cooperative Extension agent, said the event was meant to facilitate a conversation within the family.

“It’s kind of a taboo subject, jockey weight,” Bush said. “We hoped that by bringing this to the whole family, there would be more discussion between spouses, more pressure on the jockeys to eat better.”

The next step is to look at the food service given to jockeys at Delaware Park and other locations and to make suggestions for more nutritious options. A group of jockeys are assessing what foods they would like to have available in the jockey room for purchase during races.

“This has been a wonderful project,” Snider said. “The jockeys are a great group and have been extremely accepting of us. Their job is extremely demanding and hopefully our suggestions will help their performance and overall well-being.”

Read the full story on UDaily by clicking here.


Dining with Diabetes Classes Start in March

February 9, 2010 under CANR News, Cooperative Extension, Events

Adult-onset diabetes is a major public health issue in the U.S. and Delaware isn’t immune to the problem. In fact, Sussex County has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the nation. That’s why University of Delaware Cooperative Extension offers Dining with Diabetes classes in Sussex and throughout the state.

“The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes consume a healthy, low fat diet consisting of plenty of grains, fruits, and vegetables,” says Kathleen Splane, an Extension educator in Kent County. “By keeping their blood glucose levels close to normal, people with diabetes reduce their risk of developing major complications.”
The three-part Dining with Diabetes program includes education, cooking demonstrations and samplings of healthy foods. The next session begins March 9 in Dover.

All of the dishes prepared at Dining with Diabetes classes not only are healthy but taste good, too. Recipes range from a beef stir-fry entree to reduced-fat, reduced sugar versions of desserts, including an apple cobbler with crumb topping. Before introducing a new recipe, Splane makes sure it is easy to prepare and uses inexpensive ingredients that are readily available at area supermarkets.

“We teach diabetics that there are no ‘bad foods,’ that there are many creative ways to modify sugar- and fat-laden recipes into new, healthy favorites,” says Splane. “Class participants learn ways to reduce the sugar, salt, and fats in favorite recipes without sacrificing the taste.”

The Dining with Diabetes program costs $30 and will be held March 9, 16 and 23. Classes meet from 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. in the Kent County Cooperative Extension office in Dover. To register, or for more info, call the Extension office at 302-730-4000.