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Extension annual meeting focuses on education

Past year's successes highlighted

March 13, 2013
If you've ever wondered what the Crawford County Purdue Cooperative Extension Service does, then last weekend would have been a great time to do some research.

Extension held its annual meeting on Saturday, and all members of the community were invited to educate themselves on the services the office provides the county.

State Sen. Richard Young, D-Milltown, was the guest speaker at the annual Crawford County Purdue Cooperative Extension Service meeting. Young spoke about the virtues of both traditional and technical education. Photo by Leslie Radcliff
After all, education was the name of the game for the evening, which included featured speaker State Sen. Richard Young, D-Milltown, awards for Purdue University graduates, long-time homemakers and 4-H alumni, as well as a meal where event-goers were able to partake in some fellowship and camaraderie with fellow Extension supporters.

Young reiterated his support for the 4-H programs and the Extension office, saying that education and student involvement are key to success.

"4-H and the Extension Service are a tremendous attribute for the state of Indiana and our country," Young said. "They provide a wealth of opportunities for our young people."

He reminisced about his involvement in the legislative process that has allowed for the programs to develop and grow within the county and the state.

However, while candid at moments, Young was also serious about his message that education is the key to success, and he posed a serious question to the audience.

"Do you know how they determine how many jails they will need in the future?" he said. "They look at how many third-graders have failed."

It was a revelation that left many in the audience wide-eyed and served to underscore his message of community education and involvement.

Kayla Lemley, agriculture and natural resources/4-H youth development educator, highlighted several of the programs that Extension utilized in 2012 to make a difference and promote Young's message.

Captain Cash and Professor Popcorn — County Extension Director Carol Judd and Family Nutrition Program Assistant Jackie Young, respectively — were applauded for being "fan favorites" in 2012.

Judd and Young often dress as their alter egos and travel to the county's schools, teaching the importance of smart saving and eating healthy.

As Captain Cash, Judd has spoken to more than 90 students; Young's Professor Popcorn has spoken to more than 100.

Another success for Extension was the second annual Forestry and Wildlife Field Day. More than 40 people participated at the event held at Wehr Farm in October. The event was held in conjunction with the Crawford County Soil and Water Conservation District in order to teach children and young adults the importance of preserving and treating wildlife with respect.

A memorable moment of the evening came when Erma Scott of Grantsburg was presented with an award for homemaker participation. Scott has been a member of the Indiana Homemakers for 68 years and participates locally with the Happy Hour Homemakers. This year will mark the 100-year anniversary for the Indiana Homemakers, and they will be hosting a gala in June at Purdue University.

In other news, members were elected to the board. Don Cook, Carol Mudd, Carol Sharp, Alan Langill and write-in Cassidey Davis were all given seats.

"I thought it would be a long shot to ask for write-in votes," Davis, a student at Crawford County Junior-Senior High School, said. "It's encouraging to know how many people believe in me. … It's a little intimidating knowing that I am not as experienced as the other board members. I plan to bring my best knowledge to the table. … I look forward to an exciting year."

The meeting, with more than 60 individuals and families in attendance, was considered a success by Extension personnel.

"We had good representation from each of our communities," Judd said. "We had people from each of the groups we honored, and many people who came expressed interest in the different programming."

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