Wells County

The Cooperative Extension Service is one of the nation's largest providers of scientific research-based information and education. It's a network of colleges, universities, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving communities and counties across America. The Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service program areas are:

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Health and Human Sciences
Community Development
4-H Youth Development

Purdue Extension is a service tailored to meet the needs of Indiana, needs we know firsthand. Our educators, specialists, and volunteers live and work in all 92 Indiana counties. We provide the link between Land Grant research and Indiana citizens. In doing that we provide practical solutions to local issues. We provide information and expertise that's available in the form you want, when you want it. That's Purdue Extension, Indiana's home team advantage.

What We Do

We improve lives and livelihoods by delivering tested and trusted educational resources. The Cooperative Extension Service is one of the nation's largest providers of scientific research-based information and education. It's a network of colleges, universities, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving communities and counties across America. The Purdue Extension focuses on: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Human and Health Sciences, Economic and Community Development and 4-H Youth.

Contact Us

Purdue Wells County Extension
1240 4-H Park Road
Bluffton, IN 46714
(260) 824-6412

County offices

wells County Staff

Wells County Happenings

Become a Wells County 4-H Fair Supporter!

Looking for a way to help Wells County 4-H put on a great 4-H Fair in 2022? Become a 4-H Fair...

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Preserve It Now...Enjoy It Later

Come learn the basics of safe home canning!

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4-H Ambassador Applications

4-H members in grades 7-12 are eligible to apply and represent Wells County 4-H during the 2022...

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Caley Memorial Award Application

4-H members who have participated in 4-H for at least 8 years are eligible to apply for this...

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10 Year 4-H Member Recognition

10 year 4-H members are encouraged to fill out this form to be recognized at the 2022 Wells...

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4-H 5K Run/Walk

Come out and get some exercise for a good cause!

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4-H Fair Entry Due July 1st

All 4-H members should enter their exhibit information for this year's 4-H Fair by July 1st.

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4-H Expo Hall Project Check-In

4-H Expo Hall project check-in is July 13th. Make sure to sign up for your check-in time slot TODAY!

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2022 Wells County 4-H Rule Book

Check out the 2022 Wells County 4-H Rule Book for updated information about your 4-H projects. There were MANY changes to project guidelines for 2022, so make sure to read carefully before you begin working on your 4-H projects!

2022 Wells County 4-H Rule Book

Green 4-H Clover

Helpful 4-H Flyers and Forms:

2022 4-H Archery Club Flyer                           2022 4-H Shotgun Club Flyer

2022 4-H Dog Club Flyer                                 2022 Alpaca Club Flyer

2022 Robotics Club Flyer                                2022 YQCA Update

10 Year 4-H Member Recognition Form         2022 Caley Memorial Application

2022 4-H Ambassador Application                 4-H Online Animal ID Instructions                     

4-H Online Rabbit ID Instructions

ServSafe Classes Offered

For more information and a list of available trainings and exams in our area visit the Purdue ServSafe link below.

Learn More Here

Wells County Newsletters

Check out Health and Human Science Newsletters with helpful articles on health, nutrition, family and finances.

The May-June 2022 edition includes the following articles:


Substance Use Disorder Stigma:

What it is and How You Can Prevent it. 


 Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder (SUD), is the repeated use of alcohol and/or drugs despite negative impacts or damages (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013), it is a highly stigmatized disease. In 2017, SUDs impacted nearly 20 million Americans aged 12 and older (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2018). Of that, 1.7 million misused a pain killer (i.e. opioid) and 700,000 used heroin (SAMHSA, 2018).

 Common forms of SUD include (SAMHSA, 2017):

  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Marijuana Use Disorder
  • Opioid Use Disorder

 How Individuals with SUD May Experience Stigma

Stigma can be a prejudice or discrimination; it can promote fear and shame; it can cause distrust or disgrace; it can lead to anger or frustration; it can exclude and deny rights, and it can reduce support for policies that would improve equitable treatment of this population (Landry, 2012; Barry, McGinty, Pescosolido, & Goldman, 2014; McGinty et. al., 2017).

There are three types of stigma: self, social, and structural. Self-stigma is characterized by negative feelings about one’s self, social stigma is characterized by groups boosting stereotypes of stigmatized people, and structural stigma is the negative attitudes and behavior of those that represent larger groups (Landry, 2012; Livingston, Milne, Fang, & Amari, 2012). Stigma towards individuals with SUD can look like any one or more of the following (Landry, 2012): 

  • Creating Distance: Choosing to be distant, either physically or emotionally, from someone who may need help.
  • Expressing Disapproval: Discouraging behavior that causes some discomfort or that is considered socially distasteful.
  • Feeling Superior: Putting yourself in a bubble and thinking that you are better than other people.
  • Promoting Discrimination: Promoting personal or group goals and objectives by discrediting others.
  • Feeling Unsafe: Creating a false fear of unsafety leading to a feeling of being vulnerable or targeted.
  • Undeserved Control: Stigma creates a sense of false control over an individual or group under the incorrect perception that the person is of lesser value.
  • Encouraging Fear: Expressing and spreading fear about others’ behavior.


Substance Use Disorder is a Disease

Those with a SUD are negatively viewed because of the false characterization that the person chose to misuse substances, and thus, chose the addiction. Often they are wrongly perceived as bad or weak; unfit for society. Many of these negative attitudes are based on the fact that the person is addicted to an illegal substance and is breaking the law.

In fact, Substance Use Disorder can begin with your doctor prescribing opioid medications (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2018). These negative feelings towards someone with a SUD can lead to discrimination at home, school, or work.

Steps You Can Take to Better Understanding SUD Stigma

Everyone is different. Each person’s path to using substances is unique. Examine your beliefs about why some people become addicted to substances.

Everyone is different. No single treatment is the answer to all SUDs. Treatment varies based on personality and personal preference. Examine your beliefs about treatment styles.

Everyone is different. Recovery is a process that patients with SUD often have to repeat. Examine your beliefs about recovery being a lifelong process.

Why Reducing Stigma Can Help

The importance of the person seems to become lost behind negative and harmful words. Stigmatization can leave someone feeling disvalued and even worthless. These feelings create barriers to seek help or to support someone who needs help (Ahern, Stuber, & Galea, 2007).

How to Support Someone with a SUD

If your loved one has a SUD:

Family and friends are often the first to notice someone is developing a SUD, due to changes in behavior, mood, or thoughts. When speaking with your loved one, it is important to act with empathy, compassion, and understanding of this medical condition. Stigma can prevent someone to openly talking about having a SUD, limit or restrict the person’s path to treatment, and in some cases, lead to death (Angermeyer & Dietrich, 2006).

  • Be kind to yourself which may include therapy or other self-care strategies, it can be mentally and physically difficult to help a loved one with SUD.
  • Treatment and recovery services are out there, know more about resources and referrals for when your loved one is ready.
  • Spread the word! Continue educating yourself and others about SUD to reduce stigma.

How to talk with someone with a SUD

(SAMHSA, 2017):

  • Use words carefully, harmful words can trigger different emotions and lead to stigma
  • Ask if they need support, talk to them with compassion and share your concerns. 

Monitor Your Language & Thoughts to Reduce Stigma

  • Use words like “My loved one has a substance use disorder, a medical condition” instead of “They are an addict”. Another example is “They hurt me and don’t care”. Instead say “Many people with a substance use disorder do things they would not do if not on the brain altering substances, it does not mean they don’t care, and it means that they need my help now more than ever.”


Actions to Take to Reduce Stigma Toward Substance Use Disorders
  • You can learn about prevention strategies. There are a number of things that contribute to a person developing SUD. Prevention strategies focus on reinforcing protective factors and decreasing risk factors that influence SUD.
  • You can learn about harm reduction strategies. Harm reduction strategies focus on reducing undesirable consequences that can come with substance use/misuse (e.g. viral infections, skin infections, overdose, etc.)
  • You can speak out and share what you have learned. Implement the things you have learned in both personal and professional settings. You are in a position to teach others about stigma toward SUD and how to reduce it.

 Source: extension.usu.edu



Pressure Canner Testing Offered

Call 260-824-6412 to schedule a time to drop off canner and lid at Extension Office and pick up later in the week. Drop off at 1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton. Cost is $5.00 for Full Canner Inspection. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM




HHS Newsletter PDF version available HERE.

News Notes for Parents is a newsletter geared towards parents with children ages 8 and under. You will find articles about parenting, early childhood education, nutrition and much more.

In the May 2022 issue of News Notes for Parents, you will find the following articles:

How to Prevent 7 Picnic Food Safety Mistakes

When you're relaxing with family and friends, it's easy to get caught up in the fun and accidentally
cross-contaminate food, or forget to pack enough ice to keep your cooler cool. One small error can sicken your whole crew, making you one unpopular host! One in six Americans gets sick every year from foodborne pathogens. Reduce your odds of foodborne illness by avoiding these seven common picnic food slip-ups.
Picnic Error: You Didn't Start with a Clean Slate - Before you pack for your picnic,sanitize your cooler and wash reusable bags.
Picnic Error: You Cross-Contaminated - Bring two sets of utensils: one for handling raw meats and one for serving cooked meat.
Picnic Error: Your Cooler Lost its Cool - Even an insulated cooler can't keep food cool enough on its own.
Picnic Error: You Repurposed Ice - If you're bringing ice to use in beverages, pack it in a separate sealed bag.
Picnic Error: You Didn't Bring a Food Thermometer - Meat needs to be cooked to certain temperatures to control harmful bacteria.
Picnic Error: You Let Food Sit Out - Keep perishable picnic food out of the danger zone— a temperature range between 41°F and 135°F.

Click here to view full article.


What to do When Your Preschooler Lies

Children lie for many reasons. Sometimes for pretending, but other times on purpose. Keep in mind lying is normal for preschoolers. How you handle it now, though, will affect how they behave as they get older.

  • Explain what lying is and tell them how you feel about it.
  • Teach your child the difference between what is real and what is not.
  • Discuss different types of lies with your child. Hurtful lies are different from lies people tell to be polite.
  • Talk with them about what makes it hard to tell the truth sometimes.
  • Have realistic expectations. If you expect them to be perfect, they may lie to gain your approval.
  • Avoid labeling your child as a liar.

 Learn more HERE.


Butterfly Pretzels

Wash your hands before you begin

It’s like it happened overnight! Do you have a toddler that used to eat
anything and now they’ve turned into a picky eater? You might find your
toddler sniffing their food and turning up their nose at anything that looks
“weird” or, in their words, “yucky.” That’s where these easy toddler snacks
come in. These Butterfly Pretzel Snacks are a good source of protein, fiber,
iron, and potassium! Try making them with your toddler!
What you’ll need: celery, peanut butter, raisins, and pretzels
Directions: Spread peanut butter onto a piece of celery. Then add a line of
raisins. Lastly, add two pretzels for wings!

Source: thenerdswife.com/easy-toddler-snacks.html

A PDF Version of News Notes to Parents is available HERE.

The June/July 2022 issue of the Wells County 4-H Newsletter includes the following information:

  • 10 Year 4-H Members - We are excited to recognize you for your accomplishments as a 10 year member. Teh 10 year 4-H member form can be found on our website (one was mailed out to you on April 27th). The form can be dropped off, mailed or emailed to Linda, lbushee@purdue.edu, by JUNE 17th.
  • 4-H Junior Ambassador applicants must gbe in grade 7, 8, or 9 as of January 1, 2022. Ambassador applicants must be in grade 10 or above as of January 1, 2022. Applications can be found on the Purdue Extension website. Interviews will be held Monday, July 13th at 6:30 PM in the Community Center at the 4-H Park. Applications are due at the Extension Office by June 24th. 
  • The Caley Memorial Award will be given to two 4-H members in Wells County who have shown outstanding qualities in the area of leadership, citizen ship, sportsmanship, and personality in their community, church, school and 4-H activities. Applications can be found on the Purdue Extension website and are due June 30th. 
  • YQCA will need to be completed for all 4-H members showing livestock. In-person workshops require online registration of $3 and the online training requires online registration of $12. The new YQCA website is yqcaprogram.org.
  • 2022 4-H Rule books are now available for purchase at the Wells County Extension Office. The cost is $7 for pages, binder and dividers; $3 for just the pages. The full electronic version of the Rule Book can also be found HERE.
  • Fair Entry - All 4-H projects must be entered into Fair Entry by July 1st at midnight. By entering into Fair Entry, you will speed up the project check-in time at the fair, and assist the volunteers who organize the judging, shows and auction. Only enter exactly what you are bringing to the fair. If you are asked for a description of your project, please put it in. Please hit submit at the end. If you do not hit submit, your registration is not complete which can casue confusion at check-in.
  • 4-H Record Book Signing - June 25th from 9 AM - 12 PM - the township club leaders will be available to sign record books so you can receive your completion certificate. Help will also be available during that time to purchase foam posters and poster sleeves and work on Fair Entry.
  • Indiana State Fair (July 29 - August 21) Information:
    • All horse & pony, goats, beef cattle, dairy cattle, llama & alpaca, sheep, swine, rabbits, cat, dog and poultry that will be exhibited at the Indiana State Fair must be entered in Exhibitor's Corner by July 1st. Exhibitor's Corner opened on May 17th and can be found HERE
    • The 2022 Indiana State Fair Entry book has been posted HERE
    • NEW for 2022! 4-H exhibitors in the beef, dairy, swine, sheep, dairy goat, boer goat, and meat goat departments are required to complete the new 4-H Animal Affidavit & Animal Husbandry Form. You can find the form HERE.

PDF version available here.

Upcoming Wells County and State Extension Events

State Extension Events

Livestock producers invited to Purdue Fencing School

Livestock producers are invited to learn about the latest fencing techniques at the Purdue...

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Canned food
Discover home food preservation with Purdue Extension

Home canners are encouraged to join Purdue Extension for the Mastering Home Food Preservation...

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Indiana farmer planting cover corps at ACRE
Purdue to host agronomic scouting training for interns

Interns at agricultural companies are invited to attend a Field Scout Intern Training event...

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Indiana farmer planting cover corps at ACRE
Kernels of Knowledge: The A-Maizing Growth of Corn in Indiana

Agriculture is a vital component of Indiana’s history, culture and future. Discover the...

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national garden day web banner
Four Tips to Grow Your Garden

April showers bring May flowers and summer produce that you can devour! Whether you’re a...

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Purdue University Campus
Former ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture to visit Purdue campus

Kip Tom, former ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, will visit...

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