February 2012 archive

UDel Extension offers Free Turf Workshop

8:00 – 8:30 am  Registration                                     Credits: 2.5 Nutrient, 1 Pest., 1 CNP, CCA


8:30-9:30 am  Greener Turf Care: Athletics and Lawns

Dr. Mike Goatley, Extension Turf Specialist, VA Tech

This presentation will focus specifically on organic and/or biological approaches in lawn and sports turf management, their possible successes, and their likely challenges.



9:30-10:30 am  Insects  & Diseases of Turf

Dr. Brian Kunkel, Extension Ornamental IPM Specialist, UD

A review of common insects & diseases in turfgrass.  Options for managing these pests with cultural tactics, biological control or chemicals will be discussed.

10:30-10:40 am   Break


10:40 – 11:40 am  Turf is NOT a 4-Letter Word

Dr. Mike Goatley, Extension Turf Specialist, VA Tech

This presentation will detail the potential value of turf as a means of protecting the

environment through responsible selections in grasses, fertility, and cultural

management programs.

11:40 am – 12:10 pm  Delaware Livable Lawns

Dr. Sue Barton, Ornamentals Specialist, UD
Rick Williams, R & L Irrigation Services

While many homeowners are unaware of how, when, and how much fertilizer to apply,   professional lawn care staff have the expertise to fertilize lawns correctly. The Voluntary Livable Lawns Program certifies lawn care companies that follow environmentally-friendly practices in fertilizer application while educating homeowners.  Join us to learn more about this initiative, the rationale behind it, and how your company can profit by participating in this program.

12:10 pm Adjourn

To Register: Contact Tracy Wootten, Carvel Research and Education Center.  There is no cost to attend the workshop.

(302) 856-7303

SEDAC continues its Open for Business events Monday, Feb. 27 at Georgetown Public Library

Aquaponics Entrepreneur Finds Food for Growth at Sussex Resource Cluster

Georgetown, DE.  February 17, 2011. It’s always good for Southern Delaware when a dynamic entrepreneur has an advanced idea that fits well into the region’s existing strengths. And Pennsylvanian Robert Weening has exactly that beneficial combination in mind, pairing innovative science with agricultural production. He sees agriculturally strong Sussex County as an excellent place to create his business, which centers around the growing field of “aquaponics.”


“Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. In aquaponics, you grow fish and plants together in one integrated, soilless system. The fish waste provides a food source for the plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in,” Weening explained.  “Aquaponics produces safe, fresh, organic vegetables and fish. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, premium quality crops can be grown on a year-round basis while producing virtually no waste products.”


The exciting aspect of Weening’s business plan is its job creation goals. “My plans are to move from Pennsylvania to Sussex County by the end of the summer and be in production by the end of the year,” said Weening. “I plan to start out small, working as a family business, and expand over time, which will involve hiring several employees.”


The challenge for Mr. Weening was navigating a new economic terrain while trying to plant the seeds of his new business. He  needed a comprehensive source of information to help map the plans for his Sussex County venture. Weening found it by attending  one of a series of free resource cluster workshops called “Sussex County is Open For Business,” an event that creates a one-stop experience with a number of financial, educational and consulting resources to help beginning entrepreneurs and existing companies looking to expand.


Instead of trying to make individual introductory appointments with these resource providers, Weening could immediately interface with many of the pivotal federal, state and county services and consultants guiding businesses in Sussex County. Then he could make appointments to follow up with the particular providers to help him achieve his goals.


Participating organizations and agencies include Delaware Center for Enterprise Development-DSU, Delaware Economic Development Office, Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (DEMEP), Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center, Delaware State Treasury, DTCC-Entrepreneur Center, First State Community Action Agency, Job Center of Delaware Libraries, Southern Delaware Tourism, SCORE Delaware, Sussex County Economic Development Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, and YWCA-Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship.


“’Sussex County Is Open For Business’ was a great way to meet with the local government,” Weening related. “Working as a team they answered many questions and pointed me toward valuable resources I can use to achieve my goal of opening a profitable business in their community.”


The workshop series was developed by Sussex County Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC), a nonprofit partnership of business people, educators and government officials to further retention, expansion, creation and attraction of better business for Sussex County. SEDAC’s goal is creating resources to support existing businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, facilitating improvements to infrastructure and nurturing a well-trained workforce.


The resource cluster events have to date served more than 20 business people, helping them clarify their plans and find ways to accomplish them. However, the participating service providers also benefit from access to prospective entrepreneurs and growing companies. Brenda Whitehurst of YWCA-Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship reported being able to fill her classes on business plan development with “Sussex County Is Open For Business” attendees looking for guidance. That was quite valuable for the Center, which continually seeks individuals to utilize its programs and resources.


According the Ms. Whitehurst, “Even if one person shows up at a ‘Sussex County Is Open For Business’ session, it’s worth me being there.”


“Sussex County Is Open For Business” is sponsored by Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center, and made possible through the support of University of Delaware Sustainable Coastal Community Initiative. There is no charge to attend. Regular resource events are held the fourth Monday of each month, excluding December, at the Georgetown Public Library, 123 West Pine Street in Georgetown, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. To learn more information or to pre-register, call 302-856-1555. Or visit SEDAC’s website.

Delaware Cooperative Extension to host Ag Workshops

Our partners at Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University have announced two agricultural workshops.

The first, Agriculture Entrepreneurship Workshop Series, begins Feb. 29 and continues through March 21, 2012

Download Agriculture Entrepreneurship Workshop brochure here

The second is a two-day workshop is Geospatial Technology in Agriculture , on March 15-16. 2012

Download the GIS Technology brochure here

For more information on these workshop opportunities please contact John Clendaniel. Phone- (302) 857-6425.

Sussex 4-H member Emma Rider, selected as Delaware’s top high school youth volunteer

Sussex 4-H Member, Emma Rider, selected as Delaware’s top High School Youth Volunteer. 


Emma Rider, 14, of Bridgeville was named Delaware’s top High School youth volunteer for 2012 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, a nationwide program honoring young people for outstanding acts of volunteerism.


Mary Argo 4-H Agent, presents Prudential Spirit of Community Award to Emma Rider, of Bridgeville

Emma, a seven year member of the Dublin Hill 4-H Club and a freshman at Sussex Technical High School, has collected nearly 40,000 pairs of used shoes over the past year and a half in order to buy water purification systems in developing countries.  While participating in summer mission trips with EDGE OUTREACH, an international organization that helps prevent waterborne diseases through clean water initiatives, Emma learned that a child dies every 15 seconds from drinking impure water.  She also learned that by collecting shoes, she could have a direct impact on reducing the death toll.


When Emma first started her project, she set a goal of collecting 4,000 pairs of shoes, which would then be sold to an exporter through EDGE OUTREACH and resold to small businessmen around the world.  This would provide enough money to purchase two water purification systems, each capable of purifying more than 10,000 gallons of water per day.  The project also creates jobs, gets shoes on people’s feet, and keeps tons of shoes out of landfills.  Emma organized shoe drives in schools, churches, and 4-H clubs in three states.  Within four months, she had collected 8,500 pairs of shoes.  Then she set her sights on collecting a trailer load of shoes – about 22,000 pairs.  Emma got a trailer from a shipping company, asked local farmers for pallets and large bins, and to promote her effort, scheduled speaking engagements and sent out information packets.  She also recruited volunteers to help pick up and sort donated shoes, as well as organize their own shoe drives.  So far, Emma has collected close to 40,000 pairs of shoes, enough to bring life-saving clean water to nearly 20 communities in impoverished lands overseas.  She hopes to be able to travel to Kenya or Haiti with EDGE OUTREACH in the next year to help install a water purification system.  “It would bring me great joy to see pure water flowing into the cups of children who have never even tasted it before”, she said.


Emma is the daughter of Lori and Dennis Ockels and Rob and Susan Rider.


To learn more about Emma’s project or to find “shoe drive” locations, please contact Lori Ockels at

(302) 542-1485.


More information on EDGE OUTREACH can be found at http://www.edgeoutreach.com


Brain Healthy Lifestyle Series offered in Sussex County

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension along with its Sussex Mental Fitness partners invite the public to attend Plant-Based Eating for Healthy Well-Being 101, a program on Thursday,Feb. 16 from 1-4 p.m. at the Cordrey Center in Millsboro. Cost: $5 to cover food. Please pre-register so that an accurate food count can be ordered. You may register by calling (302) 856-5815. The check-in table opens at 12:30 p.m.  Download the Brain Healthy Brochure (PDF)

The brain is the largest organ in our body, and exercising and keeping it fit is crucial to the quality of human life. Young, old, or in between, it is never too late to challenge our brain and allow it to work for us at peak capacity.

Practicing a Healthy Brain Lifestyle not only enhances your overall health by promoting exercise and nutrition, it asks your brain to work in new ways helps to prevent diseases that can manifest in our more mature years.

Healthy Eating is Tasty Eating is the first of three series focusing on maintaining  a healthy brain. The second in the series is Feel Better, Move Better, and will offer an introduction to Tai Chi & Qigong. This will be held on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 1-4 p.m. at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center, 16486 County Seat Highway, Georgetown.  The workshop is free. Please dress for comfort!

The third Healthy Brain Lifestyle seminar, Lighten Up…Feel Great, will focus on the medicinal properties of laughter and will include a Positive Energy People Panel. Workshop is Thursday, March 15. Hours are 1-4 p.m. at the Lewes Library, 111 Adams Avenue.

For the past four years, Anne Camasso, Sussex County family and consumer science extension agent has been UD’s representative at the event. “This is the fourth year the Sussex Mental Fitness Partners have organized the Living a Brain Healthy Lifestyle program,” Camasso says.  “Each year attendance has grown and each year attendees go away talking about the great time they had.  We are pleased to offer three diverse programs and activities to stimulate the brain.  Taken together, they encourage a healthy lifestyle and balance for our brain’s well being.”

Joining Delaware Cooperative Extension as partners are the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Cordrey Center, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Sussex (RSVP).

Additional Information:

Download the Brain Healthy Brochure (PDF)

Download the Brain Healthy Flyer (PDF)

Directions to Cordrey Center

Directions to UD Carvel Center

Directions to Lewes Library


Delaware Cooperative Extension offers Ornamental Horticulture short courses for 2012

This year Delaware Cooperative Extension offers Ornamental Horticulture Short Course schedule, beginning in February and continuing through the spring.

Course topics include: integrated pest and disease management, turf weeds, insects and diseases, pruning, soil health, and insect identification.  Courses are scheduled in each county to address a variety of subjects, offer nutrient managment and pesticide credits to help you maintain your certification (s), and introduce you to both new and existing programs and resources. To register for a short course contact your county office.

Download the complete listing of 2012 Ornamental Horticulture Short Course for New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties

In Sussex County, the following courses have been scheduled at the Carvel Center:

  • Feb. 23, 2012  4-6 p.m. – Soil Health (Credits: 2 Nutrient, 1 CNP)  CANCELLED
  • TBA (Spring) half day. – Turf Workshop  (Credits: 2 Nutrient, 1 CNP)
  • March 27, 2012 4-6 p.m. – Pruning Trees and Shrubs  (Credits: 1 CNP, 2 ISA)
  • June 26, 2012 6-8 p.m. – Pest and Beneficial Insect Walk  (Credits: 2 Pest., 1 CNP)

Please register by contacting Tracy Wootten, Sussex County Extension Office
(302) 856-7303.

Pesticide, Certified Nursery Professional, Nutrient Management and ISA credits awarded for participation, please refer to each course for specifics.

Delaware Cooperative Extension is willing to come to you!

If you have 10 or more people, we will conduct a workshop at your site on:

  • Insects
  • Diseases
  • Weeds
  • Cultural problems
  • Sustainable landscapes
  • Business skills or other nursery or landscape topics that interest you and your employees. Cost is $10/person/

Scheduling is based on availabililty of the instructor wit the expertise in the topic you choose. Contact your local County Extension Agent:

  • New Castle: Carrie Murphy, (302) 831-2506
  • Sussex County: Tracy Wootten (302) 856-7303


Christmas Tree Production – Feb. 21, 2012  4-6 p.m.
Delaware Department of Agriculture
2320 S. DuPont Highway
Dover, Del.

Cost $10/  Credits: 2 Pest., 1 CNP

Learn to identify and control important pests and plant diseases that affect Christmas Trees in production. Instructors: Brian Kunkel, Nancy Gregory, Jeff Brothers. Register at any Extension office.

NCC (302) 831-2506 or email

Kent (302) 730-4000 or  email

Sussex (302) 856-7303 or email


Download the full 2012 Delaware Cooperative Extension Horticulture Short Courses


Rep. John Carney thanks Delaware 4-H volunteers at recent forum

Delaware Congressman John Carney meets with YoUDee and 4-H Program Director Mark Manno

University of Delaware mascot YoUDee was proud to include a little 4-H green into his ensemble.











On Sat. Jan. 21, 2012, despite a forecast of sleet and snow – already accumulating in New Castle County – more than 100 4-H adult volunteers from all three counties assembled at the University of Delaware’s Townsend Hall to begin a day of volunteer training.

The 4-H forum is a long standing tradition, providing several workshop sessions in leadership, interpersonal skills and an array of 4-H project curriculum that includes the sciences, technology and healthy lifestyles. In turn, the volunteers, known as “4-H leaders” take what is learned back to their 4-H clubs, afterschool programs and communities.  Each year, the location is rotated among the county Extension locations. The 2012 Newark location included some inclement weather, but that didn’t deter leaders from their mission to enhance their skills. They even got a few snowball tosses from a playful YoUDee.

The weather didn’t stop Rep. John Carney either, whose morning comments paid tribute to the consistent dedication of the 4-H volunteer spirit. “Your example is the Delaware way,” Carney said. “That is working together to do what is best for Delaware’s children.” “That you do it with such dedication and passion is remarkable.”

Delaware 4-H has reasons to be proud. 4-H is the largest youth development program in the state, making a difference in Delaware youth through a variety of delivery methods: traditional community clubs, in-school outreach, afterschool programs, special events and day and overnight camping.

4-H leaders put the program’s curriculum into action. With the support of Cooperative Extension and national 4-H curriculum of more than 130 project areas, 4-H leaders set the examples and are the teaching role models for the four H’s: Head, Heart, Hands and Health, that as their motto states, “make the best better.”

“The 2012 Delaware 4-H State Leader Forum was a terrific success!” said Ernie Lopez, UD extension specialist and 4-H statewide volunteer coordinator.   “We had one our largest turnouts and the day was filled with wonderful fellowship and learning by all who attended.  We are fortunate in Delaware to have the best 4-H adult volunteers in the country.  All of us who work at the county and state level are grateful for their service and dedication.”

In addition to continuing volunteer education, the forum provides a venue to recognize achievements in outstanding volunteer service. The Salute to Excellence Award, created by National 4-H Council and sponsored by Monsanto, is awarded to two individuals from each county in the following categories: Volunteer of the Year, for service 10 years and under, and the Lifetime Volunteer Award for more than 10 years of service. This year’s list of winners included:

  •  New Castle: Volunteer of the Year: Caryn Pierson, Lifetime Volunteer: Marian Harvey
  •  Kent: Volunteer of the Year: Heather Crouse, Lifetime Volunteer: Charmayne Busker
  •  Sussex:   Volunteer of the Year: Debbie Lagano, Lifetime: Wendy Wharton

From this pool of excellence, Delaware 4-H announced the selection of Charmayne Busker, Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Caryn Pierson, Volunteer of the Year to represent Delaware and be placed in consideration for the regional and national 4-H Salute to Excellence awards that are announced at a later date.

“All of our Salute to Excellence winners are in a class by themselves, “Lopez said.  They exemplify the model of servant leadership we ask of all of our volunteers. These are challenging times for children and families throughout our state and once again, 4-H leaders have shown that their hearts are in the right place,” Lopez said.

Associate dean and Director of Extension Jan Seitz receives a flowers from 4-H Teen Council officers. Seitz, a former 4-H'er is retiring from UD in March, but is not retiring from 4-H

Also speaking at the event were Dr. Lisa Lauxman, representing USDA and NIFA, Maggie Bergen, from National 4-H, John Hickey, speaking on behalf of Monsanto, Mark Manno, Delaware 4-H program director and Dr. Jan Seitz, associate dean at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and director of Cooperative Extension.

Seitz was surprised by a standing ovation and by a bouquet of flowers presented to her by state 4-H teen officers. Seitz, who is retiring in March, has been active at 4-H events throughout her tenure at UD and has been a 4-H fixture at annual forums. Seitz pledged that her future involvement with Delaware 4-H will continue. “My first 4-H meeting, I was in a bassinet,” she remarked. “4-H will always be in my heart.”

For more information about Delaware 4-H please visit their website at: http://ag.udel.edu/extension/4h/.  New 4-H volunteers are always welcome. For more information about becoming a 4-H volunteer leader, please contact Ernesto López at (302) 856-2585 ext 561.


Article & photos by Michele Walfred  Additional photos may be viewed at the 4-H Flickr site.

Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility to host free Respiratory Health Webinar

Respiratory Health Webinar hosted by Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility


DATE:   February 15, 2012 at 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

SPEAKER:  John May, M.D., with Bassett Hospital and New York Center for Agriculture Medicine and Health


The agricultural workplace has long been associated with respiratory diseases.  Respiratory disease is among the main chronic health conditions affecting farmers, agricultural workers, greenhouse and nursery workers, veterinarians, and grain handling workers.  While significant exposure leading to acute disease have decreased, it is estimated that there has been a significant increase in subacute and chronic respiratory diseases associated with agricultural confinement facilities.

Exposures to organic dusts, molds, bacteria, and gases such as from the fermentation of manure and silage will lead to respiratory illnesses, often with overlapping clinical signs and symptoms.  Other respiratory hazards include inorganic dusts, pesticides, and other agricultural chemicals.

Don’t miss this informative webinar to learn more about respiratory hazards, respiratory protection and supporting farmers with respiratory illnesses. 


Dr. May is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  His training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Disease was at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY and at the University of Colorado Medical Center. For most of the past 30 years,

he has practiced pulmonary medicine at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, NY. Over this time he has worked increasingly on occupational health problems affecting people in agriculture. As Director of the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), Dr. May leads one of nine regional centers for agricultural safety and health designated by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.   The Northeast Center has active projects in a number of northeastern and middle Atlantic states.  Through this work, Dr. May has acquired experience in a variety of approaches to public health intervention.  He also serves as director of the Bassett Research Institute.


Please visit http://www.mid-atlanticagrability.com and follow the link to learn more about the webinar and complete the webinar registration form which is located in the news section of the home page.  You may also go directly to http://ag.udel.edu/rec/Staff/Jester/respiratoryhealthwebinar.html and register for the event.  The Webinar is free. Registration is limited so please register as soon as possible.


The webinar will be conducted using Adobe Connect. High speed Internet is recommended.

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:

Test your connection: http://ud-canr.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Adobe Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

Registrants will receive a link to the webinar by Feb. 10, 2012.

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