Impact Reports

WSU Extension Diabetes Prevention Program

2016

Partners

More than one-third of Washington adults, about 1.87 million people, have prediabetes, and most of them do not know it. Eleven percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years. Type 2 diabetes is a preventable but serious condition that can lead to a number of health issues, including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of toes, feet, or legs.

One in five U.S. health care dollars is now spent treating individuals with a diagnosis of diabetes. In Washington, as of 2012, direct medical expenditures for diabetes were $3.76 billion. Costs are expected to increase to $5.39 billion in 10 years (2012 dollars). Nationwide implementation of this program could save the U.S. health care system $5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type 2 diabetes.

More than one-third of Washington adults, about 1.87 million people, have prediabetes, and most of them do not know it. Eleven percent of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within 3 years. Type 2 diabetes is a preventable but serious condition that can lead to a number of health issues, including heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, or loss of toes, feet, or legs.

One in five U.S. health care dollars is now spent treating individuals with a diagnosis of diabetes. In Washington, as of 2012, direct medical expenditures for diabetes were $3.76 billion annually. Costs are expected to increase to $5.39 billion annually in 10 years (2012 dollars). Nationwide implementation of this program could save the U.S. health care system $5.7 billion and prevent about 885,000 future cases of type 2 diabetes.

On a personal level, people with diagnosed diabetes incur about $13,700 in annual medical expenditures on average; $7,900 attributed directly to diabetes.

Research shows that modest behavior changes, such as making better food choices and increasing physical activity, reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% in people at high risk for developing this disease.

Washington State University Extension collaborated with the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA), Washington State Department of Health, and Washington State Health Care Authority to bring the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) to communities around Washington.

National DPP is based on a research study led by the National Institutes of Health and supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which showed that participants who lost 5% to 7% of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) by making modest changes, reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Participants meet as a group with a trained lifestyle coach and learn how to make important changes during 16 weekly classes and 6 monthly follow-up sessions. Trained lifestyle coaches facilitate group discussion and coach participants to make key behavior changes to support weight loss and reduce diabetes risk including: making healthful eating choices, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, and adopting physically active lifestyles. » More …

Ideas for Healthy Living

2016

The health and well-being of a changing society is a critical concern for Skagit County.  A recent community health needs assessment identified excessive weight, obesity, and improving nutrition (fruit and vegetable consumption) as priorities. Lack of access to healthy food is one contributing factor to the health status of community members. While the Skagit Valley is a rich agricultural area, access to food is difficult for many county residents. It is estimated that 1 in 9 households experience food insecurity, including the 27% of households with children who struggle to put food on the table. The Department of Health chronic disease profile of Skagit County reports that 27% of adults, and 13% of 10th graders are overweight. Only 25% of adults consume the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and just 1 in 10 youth report eating more than 1 serving of fruits and vegetables daily.

The health and well-being of a changing society is a critical concern for Skagit County and lack of access to healthy food is one contributing factor to the health status of community members. A recent community health needs assessment identified excessive weight, obesity, and improving nutrition (fruit and vegetable consumption) as priorities. While the Skagit Valley is a rich agricultural area, access to food is difficult for many county residents. It is estimated that 1 in 9 households experience food insecurity, including the 27% of households with children who struggle to put food on the table. The Department of Health chronic disease profile of Skagit County reports that 27% of adults, and 13% of 10th graders are overweight. Only 25% of adults consume the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and just 1 in 10 youth report eating more than 1 serving of fruits and vegetables daily.

The Ideas for Healthy Living (IFHL) program at Skagit County WSU Extension has designed interactive learning experiences for each step along the consumer food pathway – selection and purchase, growing and harvesting, preparing and cooking, storage and waste reduction, and movement and physical activity. Choosing healthy foods no matter where someone shops, whether at the supermarket, corner store, farmers market or food bank, is promoted through supermarket tours, recipe tastings, and educational displays. Culinary skills needed to prepare easy and delicious meals are presented in small, group classes for young and old alike. A food safety and food preservation advice phone line, instructional classes, and handouts present best-practices for preserving food, and information on how to reduce food waste and incidence of food-borne illness. Promoting healthy habits to reduce the risk of chronic disease and help maintain a healthy weight occurs in small, group meetings, after-school programs, early learning centers, and at health fairs. Skagit County WSU Extension incorporates best-practice theory in interactive learning that is engaging and meaningful to participants. Additionally:

  • Parents, childcare providers, and preschool teachers learn proper food portions and nutrition tips for preschoolers to support the development of positive eating habits for preschoolers and youth;
  • Food bank shoppers learn how to select and prepare items available at the food pantry through educational displays and recipe demonstrations;
  • Older adults and seniors adopt new strategies for meal planning and physical activity with the support of  a  lifestyle coach in the Diabetes Prevention Program;

» More …

Benton-Franklin Master Gardener

Community Gardening and Plant a Row for the Hungry

2016

USDA indicates that food insecurity is a lack of “access to enough food for an active, healthy life,” with 1 in 7 Americans living in food insecure households. It is estimated that 16 million children in our country consistently face hunger or unhealthy diets that can impair their cognitive and physical development, as well as their academic achievement. This is not just a national problem; 12.6% of Benton County and 10.1% of Franklin County residents are food insecure.

USDA indicates that food insecurity is a lack of “access to enough food for an active, healthy life,” with 1 in 7 Americans living in food insecure households. It is estimated that 16 million children in our country consistently face hunger or unhealthy diets that can impair their cognitive and physical development, as well as their academic achievement. This is not just a national problem; 12.6% of Benton County and 10.1% of Franklin County residents are food insecure.

In 2011, Americorps volunteer Nathan Finch worked with the WSU Extension Benton-Franklin Master Gardeners to provide coordination, leadership, and technical assistance to local community gardening efforts and to promote the Plant-A-Row Program (PAR) that encourages home gardeners to donate produce to local food banks. When Finch left the area, Master Gardener Bill Dixon took over leadership of the Food Gardening Team.

Since assuming leadership, Dixon annually has contacted local nurseries and garden centers to get donations of garden seed often disposed of at the end of the gardening season. He also has contacted local high school Future Farmers of America clubs to ask for donations of transplants left over after their plant sales.

With the support of Marianne Ophardt, Benton County WSU Extension director and Benton-Franklin Master Gardener program director, the Food Gardening Team has focused its efforts on helping those families most in need. This has included working with garden sponsors to build gardens in the lowest-income and highest-population density neighborhoods in the two counties. The team works with local cities, schools, service groups, and churches that already have community gardens or want to establish new ones. Team members provide information on community garden construction, organization, and management, plus mentor community gardeners throughout the area to help teach people how to garden.

Benton-Franklin Master Gardeners continue to make a difference in their communities. Starting in 2015, they launched the “Food Garden Drive” that raised nearly $13,000 through grants and corporate and individual donations to support food gardens for low-income and disadvantaged persons. Additionally, they received a United Way grant through Second Harvest for up to $20,000 over the next two years for the “Build A Bed to Feed A Family” Program to help build new food gardens for low-income and disadvantaged families (up to 100) or individuals (up to 400). » More …

Farm to Fork Field Day Program

2016

Funding and Partners

Washington State University Extension programs have promoted healthy living through a variety of delivery methods for individuals and families for more than 100 years. Today, health issues continue to be significant to youth and families in our state. In Washington, 24% of youth ages 10-17 and 27% of adults are overweight or obese (Department of Health, 2013). There is a strong need for people to identify the health benefits of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and recognize the bigger picture of food systems. Putting food on the table is not only an experience that begins at the grocery store, and it is important to understand that it grows locally and each person can be involved in its production and/or finding more of it locally. This is especially critical in urban settings where people are farther removed from the production of their own food. Teaching and showing youth where their food comes from and how it gets to their table can influence their desire to increase their local selection of produce for a healthy diet.

Agricultural literacy is an important way to encourage healthy eating behaviors through education about food systems. Pairing this with hands-on activities involving growing food increases the chances youth will make changes in their food choices.

Washington State University Extension programs have promoted healthy living through a variety of delivery methods for individuals and families for more than 100 years. Today, health issues continue to be significant to youth and families in our state. In Washington, 24% of youth ages 10-17 and 27% of adults are overweight or obese (Department of Health, 2013). There is a strong need for people to identify the health benefits of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption and recognize the bigger picture of food systems. Putting food on the table is not only an experience that begins at the grocery store. It is important to understand that it grows locally and each person can be involved in its production and/or finding more of it locally. This is especially critical in urban settings where people are farther removed from the production of their own food. Teaching and showing youth where their food comes from and how it gets to their table can influence their desire to increase their local selection of produce for a healthy diet.

Agricultural literacy is an important way to encourage healthy eating behaviors through education about food systems. Pairing this with hands-on activities involving growing food increases the chances youth will make changes in their food choices.

In an effort to connect youth to local food access and help them understand where their food comes from, 4-H and Food $ense have worked together to develop the WSU Clark County Extension’s Farm to Fork Field Days. This field trip experience gives youth the opportunity to visit the Heritage Farm and learn about local food access.

In 2014, the WSU Clark County Extension faculty, staff, and volunteers worked together to pilot the Farm to Fork Field Day program. The goal was to increase the awareness and knowledge of agriculture and the role it plays in the lives of young people in Clark County. Through Farm to Fork, area youth from schools and community groups came to the Heritage Farm to learn more about how their food grows and gets to their tables at home.

Since the pilot project, Farm to Fork has been promoted in school classrooms and community youth programs encouraging youth to participate in hands-on farm experiences. Groups participate in farm- and food-topic-related workshop stations. The topics of these stations include: planting, weeding, and harvesting produce, worm composting, water resources, bees and pollination, uses of animals and animal byproducts, food systems, and other farm-based activities. » More …

Food $ense: Nutrition Education in Clark County

2016

Partners

In 2014, 15.8% of Washington’s population received basic food assistance. Twelve percent of Clark County residents face challenges in meeting basic needs including adequate and healthy food. Clark County ranks 6th in the state for the highest number of people living in poverty. Only 26% of Clark County residents eat fruits and vegetables every day and 53.6% engage in regular daily physical activity. Though the population is fairly active, 25.8% of Clark County’s population is obese and 35.5% are overweight. Consequently, they are at increased risk for nutrition-related health issues and chronic disease. Compared to other income levels, low-income families consume fewer fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk, and more high-fat foods, sweetened beverages, and other non-nutritive foods. Many lack the skills to select and prepare healthful foods within their income.

In schools with a high percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced meals, attendance and test scores suffer. Thirty of 43 elementary schools in 3 of Clark County’s 9 school districts have between 52% and 89% of the students receiving free or reduce breakfast and lunches.

In 2015, 16.2% of Washington’s population received basic food assistance. Clark County ranks 6th in the state for the highest number of people living in poverty. Only 26% of Clark County residents eat fruits and vegetables every day and 53.6% engage in regular daily physical activity. Though the population is fairly active, 25.8% of Clark County’s population is obese and 35.5% are overweight. Consequently, they are at increased risk for nutrition-related health issues and chronic disease. Compared to other income levels, low-income families consume fewer fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk, and more high-fat foods, sweetened beverages, and other non-nutritive foods. Many lack the skills to select and prepare healthful foods within their income. In schools with a high percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced meals, attendance and test scores suffer. Thirty of 43 elementary schools in 3 of Clark County’s 9 school districts have between 52% and 89% of the students receiving free or reduce breakfast and lunches.

Food $ense in Clark County is funded through a SNAP-Ed federal grant. Nine nutrition educators work in 17 elementary schools and one middle school, teaching a series of 6 lessons to youth in grades K-8. Topics include the basic food groups, importance of eating healthy, selecting healthy foods, food safety, hand washing, importance of physical activity, and tasting new foods. Educators emphasize increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, and low-fat milk, and decreased consumption of high-fat, high-sugar foods. Additional messages focus on portion size and the importance of physical activity. Parents of the youth are provided with a weekly newsletter that covers similar topics. There are suggested activities that parents and youth can do together such as snack recipes, physical activities, and fruit and vegetable challenges.

Outside the classroom, nutrition educators visit lunchrooms to interact with youth about their food choices and encourage them to eat their fruits and vegetables and drink low-fat milk instead of chocolate milk. They display the MyPlate lunch tray image with the school lunch menu written in the appropriate food group areas on the tray sections to show students how they can get a balanced meal. Farm to Fork is a field trip opportunity that connects 5th graders that are learning about where their food comes from with a food production experience. Through local grant funding and school support, 6 schools brought students to The Heritage Farm to learn about how food grows, the food production system, and local food access. Plans are underway to make this an annual event for 5th graders.

In 2015, 4,519 youth and their families were impacted by the Food $ense program in Clark County. Changes in behavior that occurred as a result of Food $ense programs in the schools included:

  • 3,750 youth understand the relationship between eating healthy foods and their health;
  • 3,931 families use food labels to compare the nutrition content of food;
  • 3,389 youth consume fruits and vegetables every day;
  • 1,130 youth now eat breakfast that includes 3 food groups daily before going to school;
  • 1,084 youth now participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week;
  • 4,519 youth wash their hands before eating; and
  • 1,335 youth wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.

1,117 parents of youth in the classrooms reported that the following changes in behavior occurred in their families after reading the parent newsletter and hearing about what their children learned in class:

  • 755 families increased their physical activity each week;
  • 802 eat more meals together as a family;
  • 644 use MyPlate for selecting healthy snacks and meals;
  • 878 families eat more fruits and vegetables every day; and
  • 992 read nutrition labels more often when choosing foods.

In 2016, to date, Food $ense has worked with 5,225 youth in the schools. In addition, Food $ense is reaching out to more than 200 families at food pantries, teaching them how to use food found in their food boxes. They are tasting new food combinations and planning to make the recipes when they get home.

  • 4,519 youth participated: 15% Hispanic, 4% Asian, 3% African American, 2% Native American, and 2% Pacific Islander.
  • Parents of the 1,484 youth acknowledged receiving the parent educational newsletter and responded that they read them and used some of the information.
  • In 3 of 9 Clark County school districts, 30 of the 43 elementary schools have a free and reduced lunch population of 52%-89%.

“We eat healthier snacks, eat seasonal fruits, and moderated our way of eating. We read every label for nutrition information. My daughter likes the new foods tasted in class and we make them at home all the time. We now walk for 45 minutes each day for mother-daughter time.” – Parent

“We eat better. We drink more water, eat more vegetables, and exercise together as a family” – Parent

Multiple teachers said they hear their students talking about the nutrition objectives after class, and the students also discuss nutrition when they’re eating breakfast or lunch.

Evergreen School District, Washougal School District, Clark County Food Bank, Share House, 5 Family Resource Centers in Evergreen School District

For more information on the Food $ense program, please contact Sandra G. Brown, WSU Clark County Extension Faculty, Food Safety and Nutrition Heritage Farm, 1919 N.E. 78th Street, Vancouver, WA 98665, call: 360-397-6060, Ext. 5700 or email: browns@wsu.edu.

Food $ense: Nutrition Education in Cowlitz County

2016

Partners

In 2015, 15.8% of Washington’s population received basic food assistance. Cowlitz County ranks third in the state with 25% of its population receiving food assistance. Having limited income puts these families at risk for consuming foods with low nutritional quality and getting less physical activity. Consequently, they are at increased risk for nutritional-related health issues including obesity and chronic disease. Youth in these families are not getting adequate nutrition or meals that help them perform well in school. In schools with a high percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced meals, attendance and test scores suffer. At 8 of the 14 elementary schools in Cowlitz County, 50% or more of the population receives free or reduced breakfasts and lunches.

In 2015, 15.8% of Washington’s population received basic food assistance. Cowlitz County ranks third in the state with 25% of its population receiving food assistance. Having limited income puts these families at risk for consuming foods with low nutritional quality and getting less physical activity. Consequently, they are at increased risk for nutritional-related health issues including obesity and chronic disease. Youth in these families are not getting adequate nutrition or meals that help them perform well in school. In schools with a high percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced meals, attendance and test scores suffer. At 8 of the 14 elementary schools in Cowlitz County, 50% or more of the population receives free or reduced breakfasts and lunches. In 3 schools the rates are between 91% and 95%.

Food $ense in Cowlitz County is funded through a SNAP-Ed federal grant. Two nutrition educators work in 7 elementary schools teaching a series of 6 lessons to youth in grades K-5. Topics include the basic food groups, importance of eating healthy, selecting healthy foods, food safety, hand washing, importance of physical activity, and opportunities to taste new foods. Educators emphasize increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, low-fat milk, and decreased consumption of high-fat, high-sugar foods. Additional messages emphasize portion size and the importance of physical activity. Parents of all participating youth are provided a weekly newsletter that covers similar topics to teach them about healthy eating, making healthy food choices, and encouraging them to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. There are suggested activities that parents and youth can do together such as snack recipes, physical activities, and fruit and vegetable challenges.

Outside the classroom education, nutrition educators visit the lunchroom to interact with youth about their food choices at lunch. They display a poster with the MyPlate lunch tray image. The school lunch menu for each day is written in the appropriate food group areas on the tray sections to show them how they can get a balanced lunch that day. Parents are offered a series of classes with tips about shopping on a limited budget and making healthy food choices for their families.

In 2015, 1,440 families were impacted by the Food $ense program in Cowlitz County. Changes in behavior that occurred as a result of our programs in the schools include:

  • 454 families use food labels to compare the nutrition content of food;
  • 1,440 youth consume fruits and vegetables every day;
  • 435 youth now eat breakfast daily before going to school;
  • 318 youth now participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week;
  • 1,440 wash their hands before eating; and
  • 485 wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.

275 parents report the following changes in behavior occurred after reading the parent newsletter and hearing about what their children learned in class:

  • 206 eat more meals together as a family;
  • 175 use MyPlate for selecting healthy snacks and meals;
  • 275 tried new recipes using new foods;
  • 217 eat more fruits and vegetables every day; and
  • 185 read nutrition labels more often when choosing foods.

Classroom teachers report that students are eating more fruits and vegetables at lunch and fewer processed snack foods, and they are choosing white milk over chocolate milk. Teachers are modeling good food choices and have adopted one or more of the nutrition practices.

In one school, a Student Nutrition Advisory Panel (SNAP) was created with 3rd through 5th graders. They worked on projects that encourage healthy food selections and more physical activity. The group sponsored a healthy yogurt snack and salad contest. The winning recipe was featured on the school menu.

  • 1,440 youth participated in the program. 21% were Hispanic, 2% were Native American, and 2% were Pacific Islander or Asian.
  • Parents of the 1,440 youth acknowledged receiving the parent educational newsletter and responded back to us that they read them and used some of the information.
  • 5 of 7 elementary schools in the Longview School District have a free and reduced lunch population of 59%-89%.
  • 3 of 7 elementary schools in the Kelso School District have a free and reduced lunch population of 51%-95%.
  • In the 2016 school year, to date, 1,815 youth participated in this program.

“Our family enjoyed learning about the importance of eating healthy foods and what it does for our bodies. Understanding this motivated our kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.” – Elementary school student

“My family decided we aren’t going to watch TV a lot and me and my mom will go to the gym or do something active together.” – A third grader, who reported that she is exercising more, watching less TV, eating vegetables she doesn’t like, and drinking more water.

“I hear the kids talking about food groups and which ones may be missing from lunch that day, or celebrating [kids] who have and eat all the food groups at lunch.” – Elementary school teacher

Kelso School District (Barnes, Beacon Hill, Caitlin, and Wallace Elementary Schools) , Longview School District (Mint Valley, Northlake, and Olympic Elementary Schools), ESD 112 STEPS Program, and Cowlitz River Club

For more information on the Food $ense program, please contact Sandra G. Brown, WSU Clark County Extension Faculty, Food Safety and Nutrition Heritage Farm, 1919 N.E. 78th Street, Vancouver, WA 98665, call: 360-397-6060, Ext. 5700 or email: browns@wsu.edu, or Gary Fredricks, WSU ExtensionCowlitz County, 1946 Third Avenue, Longview, WA 98632, call: 360-577-3014 Ext. 3 or email: garyf@wsu.edu.

Benton-Franklin Master Gardener

Community Gardening and Plant a Row for the Hungry

2015

USDA indicates that food insecurity is a lack of “access to enough food for an active, healthy life,” with 1 in 7 Americans living in food insecure households. It is estimated that 16 million children in our country consistently face hunger or unhealthy diets that can impair their cognitive and physical development, as well as their academic achievement. This is not just a national problem; 12.6% of Benton County and 10.1% of Franklin County residents are food insecure.

USDA indicates that food insecurity is a lack of “access to enough food for an active, healthy life,” with 1 in 7 Americans living in food insecure households. It is estimated that 16 million children in our country consistently face hunger or unhealthy diets that can impair their cognitive and physical development, as well as their academic achievement. This is not just a national problem; 12.6% of Benton County and 10.1% of Franklin County residents are food insecure.

In 2011, Americorps volunteer Nathan Finch worked with the WSU Extension Benton-Franklin Master Gardeners to provide coordination, leadership, and technical assistance to local community gardening efforts and to promote the Plant-A-Row Program (PAR) that encourages home gardeners to donate produce to local food banks. When Finch left the area, Master Gardener Bill Dixon took on the leadership of the Master Gardener Community Gardens/PAR Team.

Since assuming leadership, Dixon annually has contacted local nurseries and garden centers to get donations of garden seed often disposed of at the end of the gardening season. He also has contacted local high school Future Farmers of America clubs to ask for donations of transplants leftover after their plant sales.

With the support of Marianne Ophardt, Benton County WSU Extension director and Benton-Franklin Master Gardener program director, the Community Gardening/PAR Team has focused its efforts on helping those families most in need. This has included working with garden sponsors to build gardens in the lowest-income and highest population density neighborhoods in the two counties. The team works with local cities, schools, service groups, and churches that already have community gardens or want to establish new ones. Team members provide information on community garden construction, organization, and management, plus mentor community gardeners throughout the area to help teach people how to garden.

In 2015 the Community Gardening/PAR Team has partnered with the Master Gardener Education Team to launch a food gardening education program targeting low-income families. In 2015 they taught 13 “Introduction to Food Gardening” classes, and 12 “Growing Food in Containers” classes where all participants were provided with free containers, potting mix, seeds, and transplants provided by local nurseries and our Master Gardeners. These classes taught by team members reached about 400 low-income families.

Our Benton-Franklin Master Gardeners are making a difference. They have continued to promote the PAR program, soliciting donations of garden seed and transplants to share with gardeners throughout the area who are willing to grow a little extra in their gardens and donate some of their produce to local people in need. Over the last three years, Master Gardeners have distributed more than 11,000 seed packets and 7,000 transplants to gardeners in the community, and it is estimated that more than 48,000 pounds of produce have been donated to local food banks. Master Gardeners also have donated 6,583 pounds of produce harvested from the vegetable garden in their Master Gardener Demonstration Garden.

The Master Gardener team has supported the burgeoning local interest in establishing community gardens. In 2013, team members helped the City of Kennewick organize and build its first in-park community garden at Jay Perry Park. Since then, the team of 60 Master Gardeners under Dixon’s leadership gave 2,340 hours of volunteer service to help establish 11 new community and food gardens and mentor 24 community gardens, teaching novice gardeners how to plant and care for their gardens.

It would be hard to say which of these gardens is making the most impact on community hunger, but the new garden established in 2014 at the Benton-Franklin Juvenile Justice Center may be the most rewarding. For the first time in more than 10 years, the youth incarcerated there have been allowed outside the facility for an activity. The youth helped build the bed, select the crops, planted the garden, and harvested the produce. Master Gardeners mentored both the youth and staff. Participation in gardening was viewed as a reward, with only youth that were exhibiting good behavior allowed to participate in garden activities.

The youth worked with kitchen staff to decide what crops would be planted and how they would be used for meals. Tomatoes, peppers, and onions, for making fresh salsa, were the most highly desired. As a result, more fresh produce was introduced into the diets of the juvenile justice youth, they gained access to fresh air and physical activity, and they experienced greater self-esteem by growing their own produce and contributing extra to local food banks. Staff and youth felt that this garden was very successful and the Master Gardeners are helping them expand the garden in 2015.

A large part of this team’s success is due to the time, effort, and dedication of Bill Dixon who gave 877 hours of service to the Master Gardener program in 2013 and was recognized for his efforts as the Benton-Franklin Master Gardener of 2013.

  • 521 Master Gardeners trained from 2012-2014.
  • 30,893 Master Gardener hours logged from 2012-2014.
  • 48,167 pounds of produce grown in the Plant-a-Row program from 2012-2014.
  • 32 community gardens mentored from 2012-2015.
  • 24 new gardens developed from 2012-2015.
  • 332 raised beds built from 2012-2015.
  • $1,750 in grants received from 2012-2015.
  • $42,000 worth of in-kind donations of materials and services received from 2012-2015.

“They receive perhaps their first exposure to growing food and flowers and get a new skill – maybe how to use a shovel properly, how to test the soil and learn what soil needs, how to plant seeds according to their size. They get one-on-one time with the correctional officers, who use this time to mentor and model positive personal interactions in the freeing environment of sunshine and dirt.” Chris Dougherty, Benton-Franklin Master Gardener

“… One of the gardeners at Keewaydin Plaza told me that for him gardening was therapy. It gets him outside, and he gives everything he grows away. For me, it makes me feel good to see people taking advantage of the opportunity to grow their own food, even if they give it all away.” – Bill Keatts, Benton-Franklin Master Gardener Veteran

“The Jay Perry garden provides the opportunity to succeed at an effort that provides a visible return and to provide some elements of a healthy diet. Family life is also enhanced. The Jay Perry garden is an excellent example of families working together.” – Bernie Saffell, Benton-Franklin Master Gardener Veteran

For more information, please contact Marianne C. Ophardt, WSU Extension Benton County Director & Area Horticulture Specialist, 5600E West Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336, call: 509-735-3551 or email: ophardtm@wsu.edu.

Youth Advocates for Health

YA4-H!

2015

Teams & Resources

Despite research showing the benefits of healthy eating, obesity and overweight status in children and adolescents has tripled in the past 30 years, nationally. In Washington, 11% of youth ages 10–17 are obese.

WSU Extension Youth Advocates for Health is a statewide effort to address obesity among children and youth, by promoting healthy eating behaviors.

Despite research showing the benefits of healthy eating, obesity and overweight status in children and adolescents has tripled nationally in the past 30 years. In Washington, 11% of youth ages 10 to 17 are obese, and only 28% of youth this age participate in vigorous physical activity for 20 minutes daily (Levi, Segal, Laurent and Kohn; 2012). Among youth in grades 8 through 12, only 25% reported eating five or more fruits or vegetables per day, and in grades 6 through 12 less than one-half of the youth reported 60 minutes of exercise 5 or more days a week (Washington State Healthy Youth Survey; 2008).

Washington State University Extension Youth Advocates for Health (YA4-H!) is a statewide effort to address the developmental risk factor of obesity among children and youth. The primary mission of YA4-H! is to promote healthy eating behaviors in children and adolescents 8 to 18 years old. Other goals include promoting positive youth development in teens (as teen teachers) (Balsano et al.; 2009; Catalano et al.; 2004; ) and building healthy youth-adult partnerships (Handy & Rodgers; 2011; Lee & Murdock; 2001; Libby et al.; 2005; Zeldin et al.; 2005; Mellanby et al.; 2000).

Four Washington counties (Spokane, Kittitas, King, and Pacific/Wahkiakum) participated, with county educators, staff, volunteers, and teen teachers in the initial statewide training. County groups then recruited additional teen teachers; secured local sites; and continued to train, practice, and prepare teen teachers to deliver the nutrition program to younger youth. Participating teens received stipends at the end of the program.

YA4-H! teen teachers delivered the Choose Health: Food, Fun and Fitness (CHFFF) nutrition program to youth ages 8 to 12. The Teens-as-Teachers (TAT) program was an additional resource for the teen teachers.

YA4-H! included six phases of (voluntary) evaluation including teen teacher pre-implementation  and post-implementation surveys and interviews, program recipient end-of-lesson surveys, and program staff/volunteer surveys.

Future program development will include streamlining survey methodology/activities; increasing program monitoring and technical assistance between staff/volunteers; developing teen teacher recruitment and retention plans; developing a statewide marketing plan to help secure appropriate program sites; securing additional funding for teen teacher incentives, recruitment and marketing efforts; and providing multicultural food alternatives for CHFFF lessons.

Before implementing the program, teen teachers consistently reported being unsure of their knowledge, skills, and abilities to teach younger youth. However, post-implementation results showed a pattern of improved health knowledge, self-perception, and increased skills/abilities such as communicating with others and public speaking. Post-implementation data also show that teen teachers reported increases in positive youth development constructs (e.g., pro-social values, future orientation, contribution to others).

Participants also consistently reported that because of their YA4-H! experience, they view themselves as leaders, mentors, and people who can help others. Analysis of the program shows that teen teachers’ levels of comfort, confidence, and teaching skills increased after the full program.

Pre- and post-survey results, interviews, open-ended comments, observations, and notes illustrated increases in health knowledge and healthy eating behaviors among participating teens and younger youth such as reading nutrition labels and engaging in more physical activity on a regular basis. We found that teen teachers and younger youth demonstrated increases in health/nutrition awareness, skills such as food preparation, and increased motivation and desire to eat healthy.

Evaluation revealed emerging aspects of both positive youth development and youth-adult partnership frameworks. Teen teachers and participating adults consistently reported that the initial statewide training was a key component, and the CHFFF curriculum and TAT materials were considered highly useful resources.

The YA4-H! pilot program demonstrated initial success in achieving its mission and targeted goals. We found, overall, that when youth are trained, given a stipend for their involvement, and provided a high level of support, structure, and organization to teach younger youth, they gain important developmental benefits (Lee and Murdock 2001).

Teen Teachers reported overall increases in healthy eating behaviors:

  • 100% reported increased effective communication skills/abilities.
  • 91% reported possessing teaching skills and abilities.
  • 71% reported eating more vegetables.
  • 71% reported eating more whole grains.
  • 57% reported drinking more water.
  • 57% reported eating fewer snack foods like chips, cookies, and candy.

“The more I learn about the CHFFF curriculum and the more I learn about health and nutrition in general, the more I can apply it to my own life and see the results myself.”

“Our adult partner has helped a lot, like making sure that we know how to deal with different kinds of kids and different kinds of situations.”

“At the last school, a girl came to 5 out of the 6 lessons that we taught. Every week she’d come back and talk about how she used what she learned. … It was pretty cool that we made that much of an impact.”

http://ext100.wsu.edu/2015/02/
12/ya4-h-resources-and-team

For more information, contact Mary Katherine Deen, Assoc Professor, Human Development
mdeen@wsu.edu or 509-682-6956.

Tagged
YF

Ideas for Living

2014

IFL was developed in response to requests from social service agencies for basic life skills for their clients on topics such as money management, parenting, food selection and shopping. IFL presentations are fast-paced, fun and engaging, and focus on developing self-sufficiency skills like time management, budgeting, supermarket savvy and healthy eating.

Since 1995, the Ideas for Living (IFL) program at WSU Skagit County Extension has offered interactive learning experiences for adults on 26 different topics. IFL was developed in response to requests from social service agencies for basic life skills for their clients. At that time, state and national welfare reform policies highlighted the need for basic skills to enhance the lives of people either going back to work or joining the work force for the first time. Topics included money management, parenting, food selection, and shopping. IFL presentations are fast paced, fun, and engaging, and focus on developing self-sufficiency skills such as time management, budgeting, supermarket savvy, and healthy eating.

While IFL is an invaluable program, an updated curriculum was needed. In 2013, a review of the IFL curriculum led to updates in lesson plans to reflect best practices and identified additional topics of relevance to community needs and interests. Research and surveys identified certain life-skills assistance programs that were being offered by other agencies, including budgeting, time management, and parenting, and also identified interest in, and a need for, health and wellness topics, particularly in learning how to use/prepare foods received from food banks. Survey respondents said they were interested in recipe ideas, cooking shortcuts, and feeding young children. The curriculum and educational materials also needed to reflect updates to best practices and access to information on the Internet.

For IFL, WSU Extension developed a curriculum based on adult learning theory that includes an active hands-on learning component. Audience members include seniors, parents of young children, young adults, and community members. IFL presentations have covered:

  • Developing positive eating habits for preschoolers: Parents learn proper food portions and nutrition tips for preschoolers;
  • Life Skills and Health and Wellness series: Young adults attending Transitional High School learn techniques for self-sufficiency and healthy living;
  • Health and Wellness classes: Participants learn about various nutrition-related topics and are encouraged to implement new knowledge and techniques in their own lives;

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The National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center

2016

The Environmental Protection Agency has identified agriculture as the leading contributor of pollutants to the nation’s rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. The quality of and timely accessibility to science-based information is a significant weakness of our current research and outreach infrastructure. There is a need for real time and on-demand access to a national team of technical and outreach experts.

The Environmental Protection Agency has identified agriculture as the leading contributor of pollutants to the nation’s rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs. These reports often do not separate animal agriculture from other agricultural enterprises, but they do note that pathogens, nutrients, and oxygen-depleting substances associated with manure are three of the top five pollutants. Some emerging issues related to manure management include: endocrine disruptors (hormones), pharmaceuticals (antimicrobials), and antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Adopting farm practices that minimize the environmental impact is important for food safety.

The quality of, and timely accessibility to, science-based information is a significant weakness in current research and outreach infrastructure. There is a need for real time and on-demand access to a national team of technical and outreach experts.

The National Livestock and Poultry Environmental Learning Center (LPELC) was established in 2005 to connect experts across the U.S. with consultants and advisors who assist producers, and joined the national eXtension system in 2006. The LPELC hosts approximately ten webcasts per year on high-priority issues and publishes a monthly newsletter with more than 1,400 subscribers. The LPELC provides on-demand access to the nation’s best science-based resources that is responsive to priority and emerging water quality issues associated with animal agriculture.

The center’s Animal Agriculture and Climate Change online certification course provides an in-depth understanding of the relationship between animal agriculture and climate change, both nationally and regionally. This 12-hour, non-traditional, self-paced course is designed specifically for agriculture educators, advisors, and professionals seeking to understand the relationship between animal agriculture and climate change, and prepares professionals to engage their stakeholders in this new and often controversial issue. The main objectives are to examine the impact climate change is having on farmers and ranchers, provide tools to help adapt to risk and uncertainty, and offer strategies for communicating these topics.

The course covers climate and weather trends of the recent past and examines the scientific basis for climate change projections in the future. Course participants also learn agriculture’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and discuss how agriculture might benefit from capture and utilization of these gases. The course qualifies for continuing education credits from Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and many professional engineer licensing programs.

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