2013 Healthy Brain Lifestyle program on March 14 at Carvel

Download the flyer for the March 14 event: Age Proofing Your Brain!

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

Local audience listening to a Healthy Brain Lifestyle program

A 2011 audience listens to a Healthy Brain Lifestyle program

Practicing a brain healthy lifestyle not only enhances overall health by promoting exercise and nutrition, it asks the brain to work in new ways and helps to prevent diseases that may manifest in our more mature years.  Researchers are continuing to discover new pathways of prevention and unlocking the mysteries behind this fascinating control center of the human body.

For the past three years, Anne Camasso, Family & Consumer Science Educator, with the University of Delaware’s Sussex County office of Cooperative Extension, has partnered with RSVP Sussex, the Cordrey Center and the Sussex County office of the Alzheimer’s Association, Delaware Valley Chapter, to bring this programming to residents of Sussex County.  This year’s program titled Age Proofing Your Brain will be offered on Thursday, March 14 at the University of Delaware Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.  To download copies of the informational flyer go to http://www.extension.udel.edu  or call the RSVP Sussex office at 302-856-5815 to register.

2013 dates for ServSafe, Dine Safe announced by Sussex County Cooperative Extension

Is the food you are eating prepared safely? 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 in 2013. 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 & Consumer Science educator for Sussex Cooperative Extension,  is a certified ServSafe instructor and a registered ServSafe proctor.  She teaches both ServSafe and Dine Safe at the Carvel Facility in Georgetown.  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, ” says Camasso. “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.”

ServSafe logo 2012

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 written exam.  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:

  • Tues., April 16, 2013
  • Thurs. June 20, 2013
  • Tues., Sept. 17, 2013

All  ServSafe® classes are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Deadlines to register for ServSafe® are approximately three weeks prior to class date, in order for student to obtain and study materials for the national exam.

Dine Safe ($25) will be offered on:

  • Wed., Feb.13, 2013. 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Tues., May 21, 2013.  1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Wed., Sept.10,2013. The class runs from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

There is no exam for Dine Safe.

For a full listing of all food safety classes county and statewide and to download registration forms please visit our food safety website at http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/food-safety/  For more information contact Kim Lewis at 302-856-2585 ext 542.

Child care credits, accepted by the Delaware Office of Child Care Licensing are available with both courses. Please notify us at registration if you will require a OCCL certificate.

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Kent and Sussex Cooperative Extension offer Master Food Educator training

Have you ever heard of the Master Gardener program?  While the Master Gardeners offer information about best practices in gardening, the Master Food Educator program is for individuals who have an interest in nutrition, food preparation, health, wellness and the education of youth and adults.  Whether you are a foods or nutrition professional or an individual without professional training  Delaware Cooperative Extension educators will provide participants with the information and training needed to help  expand the nutrition education efforts of University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.  The volunteers work in local communities and with organizations assisting with the ongoing initiatives of our organization.

Since the inception of the program in New Castle County, Master Food Educators have staffed educational displays at locations such as the Delaware State Fair, Ag Day, health fairs and expos at schools and businesses.  Additionally, Master Food educators have assisted with or conducted workshops or demonstrations on topics such as food safety, foods selection/preparation, nutrition and diet and stretching your food dollar.  They have also offered school based educational program and assisted with the development of new educational resources.

Registrations are now being accepted from individuals who are interested in becoming Master Food Educators. Training for volunteers from Kent and Sussex County will be offered Tuesdays and Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. starting on Tuesday, Jan. 29 through March 7, 2013. It is open to the public without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, age or national origin.  The training is free in exchange for a commitment of 40 hours of volunteer outreach in the community. Programs will also be offered in Newark for New Castle County residents.

Courses are open to the public without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, age or national origin. The Master Food Educator program provides participants 30 hours of training in the areas of nutrition, diet, health, food safety, food selection and preparation. Cooperative Extension is looking to those who would be willing to take the course and then volunteer 40 hours of time over the next year. Volunteers can choose how they give back time but suggestions might include assisting with the presentation of workshops such as Dining with Diabetes, Eat Smart for a Healthy Heart, Stretching Your Food Dollar and others or participating in other public programs sponsored by Cooperative Extension.

Individuals who are interested in nutrition, diet and health issues, want to learn, would enjoy working with and helping others or want to be affiliated with a professional organization are perfect candidates for this program.  Applications must be received by January 18, 2013. Classes will be conducted at UD’s Carvel Research and Education Center in Georgetown.

For more information about this training and to obtain an application please contact:

Kent County – Kathleen Splane (302) 730-4000 or,

Sussex County – Anne Camasso  (302) 856-7303.

Information and the application are also available on the Master Food Educator Volunteer Program website: http://extension.udel.edu/fcs/master-food-educator-volunteer-program/

2013 Delaware Ag Week information

The 2013 Delaware Agriculture Week Planning Committee is pleased to announce the release of updated information concerning the annual week long focus on Delaware agriculture held in January at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington Delaware Ag Week begins Monday, January 14 to Friday, January 18, 2013. The website includes a detailed daily schedule of the entire week, as well as a pdf of the program booklet.  Click on the image below or visit Delaware Ag Week website at http://sites.udel.edu/delawareagweek.

All of the sessions offered during the week enable attendees to earn continuing credit. Credits appear at the bottom of each session page and may also be indexed by selecting the specific credit category on the right sidebar. The website also features related agriculture events that may be of interest to stakeholders in Delaware agriculture.

Delaware Agriculture week is organized and presented by The University of Delaware College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University and Delaware Department of Agriculture.


UD Blue Hens Can – southern Delaware drop off locations

The UD Freshmen Class here in Georgetown and Sussex County Master Gardeners are working together to promote the Blue Hen’s CAN campus-wide food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.   I am inviting staff to participate.   If you participate in the food drive, drop off your items with Tammy and register for the three prizes that will be given away as part of the event.   We will need items by 12 noon on Friday, Nov. 16 to get your names up to Newark and entered in the drawing.  The students have decided to collect food items until Tuesday, Nov. 20., if you do not make the Nov. 16 deadline. (collection bin located in the master gardener office).
Individuals who donate will be entered to win:
UDairy Creamery ice cream gift basket;
Authorized Campus St
$100 iTunes gift card from UD’s Apple store; or
Wool blanket, made from wool of UD sheep, a $100 value
This link below will take you to the UDaily article about the Blue Hens CAN food Drive in Newark.
http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2013/nov/blue-hens-can-110112.html  Suggestions for items needed:
•           Canned sweet potato or yams
•           Canned corn, green beans, peas or mixed veggies
•           Cranberry sauce
•           32oz shelf stable milk or instant milk
•           Boxes pudding
•           Canned pumpkin
•           Turkey roasting pans
•           Pie crust mix or gram cracker crust
•           Canned or jarred fruit, including applesauce
•           Family sized juice can/bottle or mix
•           Coffee, tea or coco mix
•           Family sized breakfast cereal or oatmeal
•           Pancake mix with syrup
•           Canned meat or family sized canned ham
•           Cornbread mix or other bread/muffin mixes
•           Canned or packets of gravy
•           Stuffing
•           Instant mashed potatoes
•           Macaroni & cheese
Please feel free to invite others you interact with to participate.  There is information on a yellow sandwich board in the lobby and flyers by the mailboxes. 
Thank you for your consideration.  I appreciate your support of the Food Bank of Delaware, Sussex Master Gardeners, UD freshmen students here in Georgetown and those who are hungry here in Sussex County.

AgrAbility focuses on respiratory health on farms

The respiratory health of farmers has been identified as one of the major health concerns facing the farming population.  Recent agrability surveys conducted by the Mid-Atlantic Agrability Project in New Jersey showed respiratory illnesses to be the 6th leading cause of disability and accounted for 5.2% of the total disabilities.  This compares to a survey on the Delmarva Peninsula in 2000 where respiratory illnesses accounted for 8% of all disabilities.  A study in Iowa showed the overall rate of respiratory illness among farmers to be 17% per year.  Chronic bronchitis and organic toxic dust syndrome (OTDS) were the most commonly reported conditions.

November is COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) Awareness Month and a great time to emphasize respiratory health on farms.  According to the American Lung Association (ALA) 24 million Americans have impaired lung function, which is commonly known as COPD which is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

COPD, also known as emphysema and chronic bronchitis is a lung disease characterized by an obstruction to airflow that interferes with normal breathing and over time makes it difficult to breath.  Although COPD is not curable, it is preventable and can be treated and managed effectively.  ALA encourages people at risk to consult a physician about a spirometry test in order to diagnose the disease and begin treatment.

Despite smoking less, farmers have increased rates of chronic bronchitis.  Components of agricultural dusts are sufficiently irritating to the airways of the lung to cause mucus overproduction leading to repeated coughs with phlegm.  The dust is also a factor in asthma and allergic problems (runny nose, irritated eyes) which may occur with entry to poultry and other confinement housing.  Toxic fumes can also be encountered by people working in manure storage areas associated with animal confinement facilities.  A wide range of morbidity and mortality findings suggests that respiratory hazards may represent the greatest health hazard to famers.

The following strategies are important in addressing COPD and other respiratory diseases:

  • Know the respiratory hazards on your farm

Common respiratory hazards on farms include but are not limited to dusts, mold spores, gases such as ammonia in poultry operations, silo and manure gases; pesticides and fumes from welding and hot work

  • Know the signs and symptoms of COPD

Symptoms include constant coughing, shortness of breath when doing everyday activities, producing a lot of sputum, wheezing and feeling like you can’t breathe or take a deep breath

  • Get help

Consult a physician about a spirometry test in order to diagnose the disease as early as possible and begin treatment

  • Practice prevention

Use ventilation and PPE to protect yourself from the identified respiratory hazards.  In general respirators should have two straps, fit the face tightly, be appropriate for the respiratory hazard and approved by NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health).  For the proper respirator contact a local safety equipment supplier.

Replace the respirator if it becomes difficult to breathe through, dirty or loses it shape.  Always follow the manufacturer’s instruction relative to replacement, maintenance and storage.

How important is your health?  If you want to continue to breathe freely and promote respiratory health, protect yourself from respiratory hazards.  Remember that farm safety adds value to your business and you are the primary benefactor!


Extension offers fall-winter child care provider classes

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Educators in Family Consumer Science offers professional continuing education credits for child care providers in compliance with State of Delaware Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL).  Child Care Providers may also register for food safety courses, Dine Safe and ServSafe® that offer 3 and 9 clock hours, respectively. Dine Safe is Level 2.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012, Bullying – What to Do; $15.


Thursday, November. 8, 2012 Math for Every Age  $15.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012 The Importance of Going Green  $15.

2012 Sept-Dec Brochure

2012 Sept-Dec Additional Registration Froms

New Requirement!
In addition to our registration forms, anyone registering for a class for this Sept-Dec 2012 session must fill out Provider Information Sheet. And return this with your registration. This information will need to be re-collected as each new session is announced (new brochure of workshops).

2012 Sept-Dec Brochure

2012 Sept-Dec Additional Registration Forms


UD Extension & Researchers to hold Irrigation Field Day

The University of Delaware Irrigation Program invites farmers, industry and the general public to tour UD’s Warrington Irrigation Research Farm on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 9:00 a.m. UD Irrigation Engineer James Adkins along with Sussex County Agent Cory Whaley and Kent County Agent Phillip Sylvester will present the following:

  • First year experiences with Subsurface Drip Irrigation (SDI)
    Tour our newly installed 42 zone SDI research facility and discuss the potential of SDI to irrigate previously uneconomical fields.  Join in a candid discussion of the benefits and challenges of SDI in sandy soils and the nuances every farmer should consider before installation.


  • The Potential for Variable Rate Center Pivot Irrigation (VRI)
    Discuss the feasibility, practicality and affordability of VRI as a tool to improve irrigation management in highly variable fields.  View a demonstration of the UD 4 tower VRI system and the potential applications of VRI technology outside of irrigation research.


  • Soil Moisture Monitoring as a Tool to Refine Irrigation Management
    View many of the various options to monitor soil moisture levels with a discussion of the pros and cons of each option.


  • Irrigated Corn, Full Season and Double Soybean Irrigation Research Plots
    Discuss the preliminary results of multi-year irrigation research to improve the yields of irrigated agronomic crops.

Directions: University of Delaware Warrington Irrigation Research Farm is located at the corners of Route 5 and Delaware 290 (Cool Spring Road and Hurdle Ditch Road) just 4 miles south of Harbeson. Signs will be posted. Click map to enlarge.

Map to Warrington Farm – Harbeson, Delaware


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