Cooperative Extension staff in Sullivan County make an important difference in specific ways, among them:
Community Visioning & Profiles: Community & Economic Development staff work with local communities to enhance skills of local leaders, broaden their knowledge on decision-making, engage the public, create a vision for the future, and improve the economy. For more information about community and economic development programs in Sullivan County, please email Andre.Garron@unh.edu or call 603-862-5171. Following is a list of program offerings:
Nutrition Connections programming reached 457 youth in five schools using a series of nutrition, food safety and physical activity lessons.
Natural Resources: Landowners with over 1,100 acres of forestland received education and technical assistance on forest stewardship topics such as silviculture, wildlife management, timber sales and taxes.
Twenty-one landowners developed forest stewardship plans, created wildlife habitats and conducted timber stand improvement on 1,195 acres.
In response to Sullivan County Task Force findings that showed a prevalence of risk factors in the county contributing to substance abuse among young people, county Extension educators wrote a successful grant application bringing in $114,000 for prevention and treatment of substance abuse in the county.
These educators also received a $30,000 sub-contract from the county to develop the Sullivan County Strengthening Families Project.
Eighty individuals learned how to better manage their personal finances, decrease debt, increase savings and plan for the future by attending money management classes last year.
Food Safety programs reached 56 food handlers and food service managers with 39 of them becoming SERVSAFE certified, a national certification process.
Commercial and non-commercial growers learned new crop production methods, integrated pest management practices, farm and financial management skills, animal husbandry, and marketing ideas.
Five major areas of agricultural programming offered to growers this past year included agricultural business management, marketing, grass farming/pasture management, whole farm planning/holistic management, and sustainable agricultural practices. These programs involved in-depth work with over 41 farms and farm families.
In addition to these outcome-based educational programs, five grants funded this past year resulted in over $15,000 worth of materials or expertise to help producers in Sullivan County.
With the help of 92 volunteer leaders, the 4-H Youth Development program fostered life skill development in youth. In one year alone, 307 youth took part in 26 community and two family clubs to build personal skills in communication, relationships, leadership and management through their participation in club and county project activities.
Recommendations started to become reality following an “Issues Identification” meeting held in 2003. Youth needs topped the list, and a Claremont Teen Center opened with support from Extension. A Newport Teen Center also opened as part of the Newport Enrichment Team grant. (This grant was a collaborative effort spearheaded by Extension and currently funds a full time director for out-of-school programs and several part-time program supervisors.)
Another identified need was financial education for teens. Two teen teams from Newport and the Claremont area competed in a recent state Life Smarts contest. In the 2005 competition on financial and consumer literacy the Sugar River Rapids 4-H Homeschool Team from Sullivan County won the state competition!