January 2011 archive

Sussex 4-H announce public speaking winners

Winners show off their trophies. Left to right, Collin Cunningham of Milton, Jill Koski of E. New Market, Md., Mikayla Ockels of Milton and Bethany Killmon of Bridgeville.

Speaking before an audience of any size is known to be worrisome for most people.   The fear of public speaking often appears on the list of common phobias! For 4-H youth members however, speaking before a crowd is easier thanks to the experience and public speaking practice learned at the club and county level.  With a little bit of practice, it is not very long before 4-H’ers begin to show mastery in this important skill that lasts a lifetime.

Many people are surprised to learn that public speaking is a popular project area in 4-H, which is historically known for its traditional agricultural focus. Public speaking is one of more than 130 project areas from which a youth member may participate. Many adult 4-H alumni readily credit their public speaking skills for success in school, college and in their chosen careers. On Saturday evening, Jan. 29, It was a packed house at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown as 17 4-H members, and an audience of  family and friends supported the young speakers and learned something new from the wide variety of topics that were presented. The contest is supported locally by the Georgetown-Millsboro Rotary Club

The 4-H youth, ages 5-19, competed in four age divisions, each delivering a short speech on a topic of their choosing, often related to their 4-H experience or current project work.  Besides being judged by their age category, contestants were evaluated on subject matter, thoroughness of their research, poise, appearance and natural delivery. Each year as 4-H’ers move up through the divisions, their confidence and ease at speaking before an audience is a proud and noticeable accomplishment.

The following 4-H youth have won their age division and will repeat their speech and compete at the state level during the Delaware State Fair in July, 2011.  Winners by  Name/Hometown/Speech Title/ Age Division are:

  • Collin Cunningham, Milton, Del., Weird Worms, 8-9
  • Jill Koski, E. New Market, Md., The Best Trip of all, 10-11
  • Mikayla Ockels, Milton, Del., The Buzz About Bees, 12-13
  • Bethany Killmon, Bridgeville, Del., A Desire, A Dream, A Vision, 14 and older

4-H is a community of young people in America who are learning leadership, citizenship and important life skills. In Delaware, 4-H is supported by the University of Delaware and the Delaware State University though Cooperative Extension.  Delaware Cooperative Extension welcomes and encourages the participation of all individuals. For more information about 4-H youth programming in Sussex County, please visit our website at http://www.rec.udel.edu or contact Mary Argo at (302) 856-2585 ext 559.

Food safety instruction offered by Sussex Cooperative Extension

Knowledgeable, well-trained staff equals customer confidence!

The University of Delaware Sussex County Cooperative Extension office in Georgetown will offer two different levels of food safety courses, ServSafe® and Dine Safe, at multiple times during 2011. Workshops will be held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown. Both ServSafe® and Dine Safe are appropriate for any individual who works for the food industry (restaurant, church cafeteria, school) or who handles, prepares and serves food to the public.

Food safety in a food service establishment is non-negotiable; each year, an estimated 6 to 12 million Americans contract a food-borne illness as a result of micro-organism contamination.  These illnesses are preventable.  Proper training is the key to preparing food in a safe environment.

Dr. Anne Camasso, family and consumer science educator for Sussex Cooperative Extension teaches the ServSafe® and Dine Safe classes at the Carvel facility. Camasso said employee instruction in food safety practices is not only vital, but makes good business sense.

“With all the information about food borne illnesses in the news today people want to make sure they get the best for their money, restaurants who can demonstrate that they have done all in their power to provide safe, as well as tasty food, have a better chance of bringing in the business.” Camasso said.  “If someone from your restaurant takes either of these classes, post a copy of their certificate in your facility so show your patrons that you care.”

The ServSafe® program is the premiere food safety certification offered by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). The program is designed for the food-service professional.

A ServSafe® certificate from the NRAEF will be awarded to individuals who complete the course and receive a passing grade on the exam.  Instructors are registered ServSafe® instructors with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.  The cost of $150 for the course covers the training, textbook, lunch, and certification examination from the NRAEF.  A reduced course fee of $130 is available for three or more registrants from one establishment. A ServSafe certification is valid for five years and is nationally recognized.

Delaware Dine Safe is a three hour short course designed to focus on the basic principles of food safety and handling. Each participant receives a training guide with the information covered in the program. The instructor will use presentations and hands-on activities to reinforce the lessons taught. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

The Dine Safe training concentrates on five food service topics: Food Safety; Ensuring Proper Personal Hygiene; Purchasing, Receiving and Storing Foods; Preparing Cooking and Serving Food; and Cleaning and Sanitizing. The Dine Safe short course is $25.  Dine Safe can be scheduled at a business location provided there are at least 10 employees enrolled.

It is the policy of the Delaware Cooperative Extension System that no person shall be subjected to discrimination on the grounds of race, color, sex, disability, age or national origin. If you have special needs, please advise the office upon registering.

Below is the course schedule and contact numbers:

ServSafe® will be taught on Wednesday, April 13.  The class is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Download the ServSafe® registration form here.

Dine Safe ($25) will be offered on Tuesday, Feb.15. The class runs from 1-4 p.m.  Additional classes will be held in May and September with afternoon and evening hours. For a full listing of all food safety classes visit our website (www.rec.udel.edu) where the entire statewide listing of food safety classes is available at all county Cooperative Extension offices. For more information contact Michele Walfred at 302-856-2585 ext 550. You can also download the Delaware food safety course offering brochure here.

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4-H Spring Farm Tour scheduled for May 11 and 12th in Lewes

For two days in May, the Hopkins Family of Lewes, Delaware opens up their dairy farm so that Cooperative Extension educators and volunteers can teach young school children how a real life dairy farm operates! Sussex County Cooperative Extension professionals and agents, including the entire 4-H staff, organize the event and provide educational support during the tour.

The 4-H Spring Farm Tour is opened to area day care centers, pre-schools and elementary schools up to Grade 2.  Pre-registration is required. Notices for the 2011 tour will go out to educators in January 2011. If you would like your school to be placed on our mailing list, please contact Kim Lewis to be added to the invitation list. There is no cost. Space is limited and registrations are first come first served. Individuals and their families are encouraged to register through their school or child care facility. Sorry, no walk-ins. Pre-registration through a school or day care facility is required.

Last year more than 2000 youth and their teachers visited Delaware’s largest dairy farm!  Visit our 4-H photo gallery to see images from last year’s tour.  Except for taking a peek at the Milking Room, which must be scheduled in advance, the tour is self-guided.  On average, most groups plan about an hour and a half to see all the sights. Picnic grounds are available for group lunches.

Area schools will be able to register by contacting Kim Lewis at 302-856-2585 ext. 544. For more information visit the 4-H Farm Tour website.

A little more garlic please!

Do you like to cook with garlic? Is the Mediterranean bulb a must-have ingredient in your pantry or kitchen counter? Have you ever thought about growing it in your garden?  The next workshop in the Sussex County Master Gardener’s series of garden-themed classes will show you how to enjoy home-grown garlic!  Mark Thursday, Feb. 10,2011 at 11 a.m. on your calendar and take a look at the full list of workshops that our highly trained volunteers offer to the public, most often free of charge (or very low cost). The garlic workshop is free, but space is limited. Register now to guarantee your spot!  All workshops are located at the Carvel Research and Education Center on Route 9, just west of Sussex Tech High School.

Registration is easy and online! Take a look at what is in store in organizing your garden, encouraging native plants and beneficial insects, making your garden work for your budget, and how to be a successful gardener in Delaware.   Or if you prefer, download the PDF brochure and call in your registration to Tammy Schirmer, 302-856-2585 ext 540.

To learn more about the Sussex County Master Gardeners, its programs and volunteers – and for detailed directions please visit their website: http://ag.udel.edu/rec/Extension/MasterGardeners/index.html