January 2012 archive

Sussex County 4-H Public Speaking Contest winners annouced for 2012

Did you know that there is practically a mobile app for everything?  What lessons can a young girl can learn from the family dog? Does your family use coupons to their best advantage? What does it take to be invited to National 4-H Congress and why does one young man refer to it as a great journey? These and 18 other topics ranging from apples to paleontology were presented at the 2012 Sussex County 4-H Public Speaking Contest, held at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center on Saturday, Jan. 28.

There was a full house at the 2012 Sussex County 4-H Public Speaking Contest

A full house of supporters and family members were in attendance to support the young speakers, who competed in four age divisions; beginner (8-9), intermediate (10-11) junior (12-13) and senior (14 and older.)

4-H members select a topic of their choosing, focus their research and practice their skills before presenting to an audience and a panel of judges. The speeches of the older age divisions are longer in length.


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.


Besides being judged by their age category, contestants are 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, 2012.  Winners are:

Name/Hometown/Division/Title/4-H Club:

Joseph Anderson, Milton, Senior Division, My Great Journey. Hollymount 4-H Club

Emily Lester, Lewes, Junior Division, There’s an App for That! Harbor Lights 4-H Club

Jill Koski, E. New Market, Md. Intermediate Division, Man’s Best Teacher. Seaford Blue Jays 4-H Club

Jenna Anger, Bridgeville, Beginner Division, Couponing – Extreme or Not. Bridgeville Mustangs 4-H Club

2012 Sussex County 4-H Public Speaking winners l-r, Jenna Anger, Jill Koski, Emily Lester and Joseph Anderson will compete for state honors in July at the Delaware State Fair














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.

Additional photographs including closeups of all contestants are available on Sussex County 4-H’s Flickr site.

Sussex Master Gardeners announce early 2012 workshop schedule

Sussex County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce their early 2012 (Winter/Spring) series of gardening workshops. Pre-registration is required for all Master Gardener workshops and the public may register online or contact Tammy Schirmer at 856-2585 x 544.

Master Gardeners are working volunteers and are supported by Delaware Cooperative Extension through the University of Delaware and Delaware State University Extension offices. In 2010 Sussex County Master Gardeners provided outreach to 5, 315 participants via 59 workshops.  Collectively, in 2010 Master Gardeners donated 5,631 hours of expertise to local Sussex communities.




Workshop Schedule

(location subject to change)

‘Starting Plants from Seeds‘, Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 2:00 p.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Ila Myers.  Learn the basics of seed starting including types of containers, timing, lighting, temperature, moisture, and soil.  At little cost, you can increase the variety and quantity of your plants by using seeds.

‘Using the Web to Plan and Design Your Garden’, Tuesday, February 28, 2012, 11:00 a.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Darrell Hagar.  Learn to use several websites that provide garden planning software to layout a vegetable garden.  These sites create plans that can be printed and saved to aid in future planning and proper crop rotation.

‘Weeds, Identification & Control’, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 7:00 p.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Jay Windsor.  Not sure if it’s a weed or flower?  Learn the difference and how to control (eliminate?) those pesky weeds.

‘How Not To Grow Your Grapes’, Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 7:00 p.m., Meeting Room 2

Presented by Dixie Gildon.  Learn about growing grapes from a gardener who has grown them for 20 years.

Garden Smart, Garden Easy’, Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 7:00 p.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Bob Williams.  Think all gardening tools are the same?  Learn what tools and techniques are available for the gardener as we age or develop mobility issues. Tools and techniques which can help make gardening enjoyable again.

‘Planning/Journaling in the Garden’, Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 11:00 a.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Jessica Clark.  A garden journal can add to your gardening success and enhance your enjoyment of your gardening activities.   Discover how creative you can be with the written word. Weather permitting; we will explore the Demonstration Garden for inspiration.  You can feel free to share your writings or write only for your benefit.   Bring a notebook, some photos of your garden and some ideas.

‘Children Planting the Children’s Garden’, Saturday, May 19, 2012, 10:00 a.m., Held in the Demonstration Garden. 

Presented by Chris Henderson.  Children will work with the Master Gardeners to plant seeds and seedlings in the Children’s Garden area and learn about theme gardens.  Ages 5-11, accompanied by an adult, limit 20 children.

‘Five- Minute Flower Arranging’, Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 1:00 p.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Lisa Arni. Watch our instructor make flower arrangements in 5minutes — no rules, just fun with flowers! Several quick and easy flower arrangements will be demonstrated (no hands-on) using flowers and other elements from the garden.

‘Photographing Your Garden’, Tuesday, June 19, 2012, 2:00 p.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Bobbie Ranney.  Whether you want to document development of your own garden, capture the essence of gardens you visit in your travels or take close-up pictures of your favorite flowers, you will gain insights that will enable you to take garden photos that look like they were taken by a professional.  Bring your camera and we will go out to the Demonstration Garden to practice.

You Just Have to Look! ’, Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m., Meeting Room 3

Presented by Brent Marsh.   The insects in your backyard are just as exciting as the wild animals in the jungle, but because they’re so small, you just have to look. Grownups, kids, and grandkids will enjoy this lively presentation.  We’ll end up with a safari outside to our Demonstration Garden.  Bring the kids and grandkids, or come by yourself.


New Delaware child care provider courses offered at Sussex UDel Extension office

UD Cooperative Extension provides monthly child care training in each county. Topics include nutrition, food safety, business management, child development, curriculum and health/safety. Our courses are approved through the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Care (DIEEC) and meet the requirements of the Delaware Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL).

The early 2012 schedule for classes for child care providers in Sussex County have been announced. Please visit the Sussex County Family and Consumer Science child care website to view session details or download the current brochure. FOr more information email Kim Lewis or call Kim at (302) 856-2585 x 542.

Delmarva Safety Association to hold Conference in Salisbury, March 22

Delmarva Safety Association is pleased to announce the DSA Safety & Health Conference being held at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center in Salisbury, Md. on March 22, 2012.  

This single day conference will be full of relevant and timely safety and health information in a format that is efficient and affordable.  Professional experts will present sessions on several important topics targeting your employees who have responsibilities or interests in making your workplace safer.  Resources will be shared to help all levels of workplace safety advocates move their ideas and initiatives forward.  

DSA shares your goal of “Reducing Injuries…Saving Lives” and invites the public to take advantage of this worthwhile, local training opportunity.

Registration can be completed by returning  the DSA Conference Registration Form via mail or FAX.  Registration and payment may also be completed via our updated website,  http://www.DelmarvaSafety.org.

Delmarva Safety Association is supported in part by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension. Businesses and organizations are welcomed as sponsors. Please view our DSA Conference Exhibit-Sponsor information)here.

We look forward to seeing you in Salisbury on March 22, 2012

UDel Extension to hold Agricultural Solar Workshop

The University of Delaware in cooperation with the Delaware Department of Agriculture invites the agricultural community to a Delaware Agricultural Solar Workshop on Wednesday Feb.29, 2012 at the Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, (Route 9) in Georgetown. Two identical sessions will be offered, the first, from 2 to 4 p.m. and the second, repeated from 6 to 8 p.m.

The program will highlight findings from a 2011 DDA study and report titled SOLAR TECHNOLOGY GUIDE & RESOURCES V 1.10. Workshop participants were involved with this study and will be presenting up-to-date information about solar technology. Topics will include facts about the current solar regulatory environment, financial incentives, site evaluations, technology & financing options. The program will conclude with a panel of two poultry growers explaining their operations and their experiences with solar followed by a question and answer period.

To register, please email Karen Adams or call Karen at 302-856-2585 ext.540 Seating is limited and will be on a first call basis. There is no cost for attending.

UPDATE: Agenda



2:00 p.m. Welcome – Cory Whaley ag agent, Sussex County

Opening Remarks – Ed Kee, Delaware Secretary of Agriculture

2:10 p.m. Introduction of Speakers – Bill Brown, state poultry Extension agent

Solar Technology Basics – Dr. Jim Glancey, UD

2:30 Overview of Solar Technology in Delaware – Brian White

Feasibility Considerations – Barry Yerger

Determining if Solar is Right for Your Operation- Brian Yerger,
Dale Davis

3:15 Experiences with Solar (Grower Panel) – Robbie Isaacs,
Dan Heller

3:35 Questions & Answers

Session One 2 – 4 p.m.

Session Two 6 – 8 p.m.


Carvel UDel Researchers and Extension Agents at Delaware Ag Week

Delaware Agricultural Week 2012 began on Monday evening January 16, at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington. Tuesday marked the first full day of exhibits from local and regional vendors,  several sessions including Delmarva hay and pasture, grain marketing, equine pasture and nutrient management, and presentations from the Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association of Delaware (FVGAD). Spanning three facilities, Exhibition Hall, Dover Building and Commodities Building, attendees escaped the rain,  met with friends and colleagues, exchanged information and resources and took in a little bit of Delaware’s agriculture history at the First State Antique Tractor Club.   Events continue through the week and include nutrient management sessions both in Harrington and at the Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.

Carvel personnel in attendance throughout the week include: Dr. Mark Isaacs, Tracy Wootten, Dr. Mark VanGessel, Dr. Kate Everts, Dr. Gordon Johnson, Dr. Cory Whaley, Emmalea Ernest, James Adkins, Bill Brown and other Extension staff and UD researchers from New Castle and Kent County.

Delaware Ag Week is organized by the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and Delaware Department of Agriculture. This year marks the seventh consecutive Ag Week.


Below are some photos taken at Delaware Ag Week 2012. Please visit again as more photographs are added daily.

UD Cooperative Extension to offer Annie’s Project in Georgetown

In 2008 the first class of Annie’s Project was offered to Delaware women, with subsequent classes offered in Kent and Sussex in 2010 and 2011. The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension is pleased to announce that the 2012 Annie’s Project class has been scheduled at the Carvel Research & Education Center in Georgetown.  Click here to view photos of past graduates and general information about Annie’s Project.

Annie’s project is designed to empower farm women to manage information systems used in critical decision making processes and to build local networks throughout the state. The target audience is farm women with a passion for business and involvement in the farm operation.

Project Topics cover the five areas of:

  • Risk Management –Production
  • Market
  • Financial, Legal Risk
  • Human Resources

Annie’s Project will be held Wednesdays,  January 25 to March 14, 2012. (This includes two days in computer lab Feb. 15 and Feb. 22). All sessions will be located at the  Sussex County Extension Office, Carvel Research & Education Center,

16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown, Del.   6 to 9 p.m.  $75.00 per person: Includes dinner and all course materials. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. with social and networking sessions beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m.

For registration information email  Tracy Wootten or call her at  302.856.7303  (office) or 302-236-0298 (cell) or visit the website at http://www.anniesproject.umd.edu.   Download the mail in registration form


Class Schedule

Click here to download Annie’s Project 2012 brochure and class schedule

January 25   Session One

6:30pm – Annie’s Project Introduction

Class Introductions

Class Survey

6:45 pm – Women in Farm Business:  A Personal Experience

Ashley Winterstein, Queen Anne’s County

7:00pm – How Property is Titled: Who Else is in business with you?

Lori Lynch, University of Maryland

We will discuss the different forms of ownership or property titling that impacts the rights of each and every person:  Sole Proprietor, Joint Tenancy; Rights of Survivorship; incorporation versus Partnership.  Some issues related to passing on the farm and estate tax will also be investigated.

8:15pm – Colors Personality Test

Tracy Wootten, Horticulture Agent, University of Delaware Extension

The Personality I.Q. workshop is a spinoff of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicators. Using a simple series of word associations, participants will acquire a deeper understanding and insights of their personality style and work type. Hopefully this leads to clearer perceptions about ourselves and the different gifts we each bring to our families, work groups and personal relationships.


February 1   Session Two

6:30pm – Crop Insurance

Jackie King, King Crop Insurance

Purchasing a crop insurance policy is one risk management option that farm businesses cannot ignore.  This session will focus on available policies, coverage levels and how a policy will work in conjunction with other risk management strategies.

7:00pm – Understanding your Farm Insurance Policy 

Kurt Fetterman, Nationwide Insurance

Farming can be a risky business therefore farms should take measures to protect themselves.  This session will focus on insurance topics and policy information regarding liability protection and risk management.  It will also suggest points to ponder including off premises and ATV as well as production liability insurance, agri-tourism enterprises and equine operations.

8:00pm – 2009 USDA FSA Update

Robin Talley and Jennifer Feindt,  USDA Farm Service Agency

There have been many changes to current (FSA) Farm Service Agency programs and new programs will be added as part of the 2008 Farm Bill. Learn more about these programs and how these changes may implicate your decision making and farm planning.

Become an Informed Agricultural Producer!!


February 8 Session Three

6:30 pm – Business Planning

Shannon Dill, Agriculture Educator, University of MD Extension

Planning is essential to any business, no matter how large or small your inventory, payroll and bank account. To be sustainable and profitable a farm operation must have a clear understanding of production, marketing, finances and labor. Having these plans mentally is not enough!

Taking time to formulate thoughts, evaluate your business, devise a strategy, and anticipate possible problems will help your business be successful.

8:30 pm – Computer Basics and Minimizing Technology-Related Risk – Part 1

Nan Stenzel, Regional IT Coordinator, University of MD Extension

Computer technology provides many benefits to business/farm operations; however, there are also many risks.  Learn about computer basics, internet access options, online security, and securing your data.


February 15  Session Four

6:30pm – Credit Reports

Anne Camasso, Extension Educator, University of Delaware Extension

Credit history or credit report is a record of an individual’s past borrowing and repaying, including information about late payments and bankruptcy. When you fill out an application for credit from a bank, store or credit card company, their information is forwarded to a credit bureau. Therefore, it is important that you understand credit reports and know your credit score.  We will cover how to read and access your credit report.

7:00pm – Computer Basics and Minimizing Technology-Related Risk – Part 2

Nan Stenzel, Regional IT Coordinator, University of MD Extension

Computer technology provides many benefits to business/farm operations; however, there are also many risks.  This session will be hands-on in the computer lab. Learn about computer basics, internet access options, online security, and securing your data.  We will also cover basic spreadsheet operations using Microsoft Excel.


February 22  Session Five

6:45pm – Computers and Your Farm Business

Laurie Wolinski, Extension Educator, University of Delaware Extension

Computers can increase farm efficiency by managing financial and production records.  This session will help you apply Excel and QuickBooks to your farm business.  Learn how to set up Excel spreadsheets to maintain records.  Practice with QuickBooks financial software to improve your farm business.


February 29  Session Six

6:30pm – Straight Talk about Farm Transfer

Crystal Terhune, Extension Educator, University of MD Extension

When communicating with family members and other heirs about farm transfer, many issues and tensions can arise.  This segment will highlight some resources that you can access to make these communications more effective.  Resources will include information about mediation programs, fact sheets to guide you through specific aspects of talking with others about the future of your farm, and handouts pointing you to trusted online sources of information.

7:00 p.m.  Class’s Chosen Topics

March 7  Session Seven

6:30pm – Tax Considerations for Farm Businesses

Henry Leonard, CBIZ

Understanding tax laws is important for every farm business.  This session will address farm tax planning as well as common errors made by agriculture operations.  Information from the Farm Tax guide and the personal experience of a CPA will help you understand tax planning for your farm.

 7:00pm – Estate Planning

Buck Smith, Esquire – Smith Feinberg McCartney & Berl, LLP

An effective estate plan ensures that you and those you care most for will enjoy the security of your assets.   This in-depth discussion focuses on “best practices” to preserve your life’s holdings, ensure their efficient transfer to your beneficiaries and meet family objectives.

Attendees will learn:   Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorneys – What they do- and don’t do; When to update?, How to protect your assets from death taxes and nursing home care costs, Your options for paying for home care and assisted living care, Keeping the peace: Ideas for reducing conflict among family members, Stretch IRA- reducing tax liability over multiple generations, Special issues unique to farmland and farming businesses, What  you can start doing now to prepare for the possibility of your death or disability.


March 14  Session Eight

Annie’s Graduation

Course Wrap-Up

End of Class Evaluation

8:00pm – Developing Grain Marketing Plans

Jenny Rhodes, Extension Educator, University of MD Extension

This session will teach you how to develop a solid grain marketing plan for your farming operation.  Emotions can affect your marketing decisions. Adding just 10 cents to your bottom line could increase your net income by 33-50%.  This grain marketing plan session will include costs of production, knowing where to start marketing, financial goals, crop insurance coverage, storage capacity, projected production, and pricing tools.


Funding for this project was provided by the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, UMD Extension and DE Cooperative ExtensionThis material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2010-49200-06201.