Source: The Corydon Democrat

Purdue Extension celebrates 100 years

by Ross Schulz

May 27, 2014

The Purdue Cooperative Extension program in Harrison County has a lot to offer to residents of all ages, whether it be cooking, gardening, farming or just getting together with peers to complete a project or spend time together.

For 100 years now, Extension programs throughout the country have been providing residents these opportunities and more.

Representatives from Harrison County Purdue Cooperative Extension attended last week’s Harrison County Board of Commissioners meeting to seek approval for a resolution recognizing the centennial celebration of the nationwide Extension system.

On May 8, 1914, the Smith-Lever Act was signed, establishing cooperative Extension, the nationwide transformational education system operating through land-grant universities in partnership with federal, state and local governments.

The commissioners unanimously agreed to sign the resolution, which encourages the residents of Harrison County to observe and celebrate the centennial with a focus on launching an innovative and sustainable future for the cooperative Extension.

Purdue Cooperative Extension has been making a difference for a long time in Harrison County as expressed by a handout from board members. A few quick facts:

•Every dollar spent on the Indiana Family Nutrition Program, administered by the Extension, is expected to create $35.75 in economic returns.

•In a recent survey, 94 percent of Indiana 4-H participants graduating from high school planned to pursue post-secondary education.

•In a similar Midwest state, an independent study concluded that every dollar invested in Extension yielded $15 in economic impact.

•A Cook Smart, Eat Smart Cooking School program takes place at the Purdue Building on the Government Center campus each year, providing an opportunity for participants to learn cooking techniques and how to make healthy, tasty meals.

Extension officials said participants learned how to use knives and other equipment correctly and how to use spices and herbs for flavor, nutrition and to use less salt, and participants said they plan to change the way they cook, not overcook, vegetables, and will use food thermometers to test for the proper temperature of their foods for food safety.

•Harrison County’s 4-H program began this year with a series of project nights where members could learn about several projects in one night. Volunteers taught the classes with subjects including electricity, crafts and cooking. Members took home new projects and new talents as they explored the many projects and life skills 4-H has to offer. Project nights will continue this fall.

•The Harrison County Master Gardeners Inc., another Extension group, provided 12 educational sessions to 22 children and 25 adults in the county on soil health, beneficial insects and maintenance tips for landscapes and vegetable gardens.

Extension officials said participants enjoyed each topic and asked for more programming to be offered during the year.

•Extension provided economic community development curriculum to aid in using public spaces to both preserve and increase economic value to the community. Harrison County has more than 475 acres of park land and many other public-use facilities.

To learn more about Extension in Harrison County, call 812-738-4236 or visit the Purdue Extension — Harrison County Facebook page.