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

Purdue Extension Wells County is Hiring!

Come join our team! We're accepting applications for a full-time administrative assistant. You can find more infomation, a job description, and an application by clicking the link below. Application deadline is January 31st, so don't wait! Apply now!

More Info Here

Wells County Happenings

4-H Clover
4-H Enrollment for 2023

Enrollment for the 2023 4-H Program year will start October 1st! Enroll early to avoid missing...

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4-H Scholarship
4-H Scholarships

Senior 4-H Members should make sure to check out these 4-H scholarship opportunities!

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Purdue Logo
Purdue Extension Wells County Annual Meeting

Join us for our annual meeting on February 16th!

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Green Clover
4-H Camp Councelors Needed!

Check out this great leadership opportunity for 4-H Youth in grades 9-12!

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Purdue Logo
Grand Rounds 3.0

Join Purdue Extension for this professional development conference open to anyone who is...

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ServSafe Logo
ServSafe Training Offered

There will be a ServSafe training and exam offered in Huntington County. Click on the more info...

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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

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 January-February 2023 edition includes the following articles:


Tips to Prevent Falls During Winter Months

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for older Americans. Almost 30% of Americans 65 and older fall, resulting in about 36 million falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Not only older Americans are at risk of falling. Falls were the leading cause of unintentional nonfatal emergency department visits among all age groups between 2000-2020, according to data produced by the CDC’s National Center for Injury Control and Prevention and Control.

These eight tips can help you to maintain your balance and move confidently across snowy, icy, or wet surfaces:

  1. Wear shoes with good traction.
  2. Dress warm. If you’re warm, your muscles will stay relaxed. Tense muscles can adversely affect your balance.
  3. Be careful getting out of your car. Plant both feet firmly on the ground before moving. Steady yourself on the door frame until you have your balance.
  4. Don’t take shortcuts. Stay on cleared sidewalks and paths, and don’t walk between parked cars. Remember that grassy slopes can be as slippery as snowy steps.
  5. Take extra time. Don’t rush. Take short steps with your toes pointed slightly outward to maintain a stable base of support.
  6. Pay attention. Stay aware of the surfaces ahead of you. Look down with your eyes only. If you move your head downward, you may shift your balance.
  7. When walking in the dark or in shadowy areas, stay alert for black ice. It is treacherous and extremely slippery.
  8. Keep your driveway and walkways clear. Pay someone to do this if necessary.




servsafe training offered

Purdue Cooperative Extension Service will be offering a Retail Food Certification class on March 15th. This is for food handlers who need to obtain a Retail Food Certificate. The class will take place 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. with the exam following at 4:00 pm. A photo ID with signature is required to take the exam.

The training will be held at Life Church, Café of Hope, 900 E State St., Huntington, IN.

Cost for this training is:

Training, Exam, and Manual—$165

Training and Exam—$115

Exam With Manual—$115

Exam Only—$65

Register at: https://cvent.me/LZoGrN. For more information, go to https://www.purdue.edu/servsafe, or contact the Purdue Education Store by phone, 765-494-6794, or email, edistpre@purdue.edu


matter of balance

 Many older adults experience concerns about falling and restrict their activities. A MATTER OF BALANCE is an award-winning program designed to manage falls and increase activity levels. The next program will be offered on Tuesdays in February and March. You can find more information on the program and how to register HERE. 


grand rounds 3.0

Grand Rounds 3.0 is a professional development conference open to anyone who is interested in learning how to refresh, reset, and renew. This FREE conference will be held April 3, 2023 at Ball State University's Student Center Ball Room. For details and registration information click HERE


How to plan meals

Do you ever get tired of running to the grocery store several times each week? Do you ever
get frustrated because you forget about a food and it spoils before you can use it? Do you
want to save money on your food budget? If so, menu planning is for you.

To plan a menu for your family, start by picking a length of time that works best -- usually a week is a good place to start. Write down your meals and snacks on a dry-erase board, calendar, notebook, piece
of paper, app, worksheet or whatever works best for your family. Using your menu plan, write your grocery list and you are ready to go shopping.

5 Simple Steps:

  1. Check your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry to see what you already have. You can build a meal around something simple you already have. For example, if you have a lot of frozen vegetables, plan meals such as soups and casseroles that you can stir frozen vegetables into. 
  2. Check weekly grocery ads to see what is a good deal. Using sale items in your menu can help you save money. If you see blueberries are a good deal, plan blueberries as snacke, blueberry muffins for breakfast, and a fruit pizza with blueberries for dessert. If they are a really good deal, freeze some for another day.
  3. Keep a list of family favorites. List meals and snacks that your family likes and use the list when you have a hard time thinking of meals.
  4. Plan to have leftovers. You can make a double batch of something one night and serve it again another night. This works well if you know you have a busy night coming up and will not have time to cook.
  5. Be flexible. Think of simple things to stock for breakfast, lunch, and snacks—especially if your family is on the go with work and school. Then put more planning into supper, a meal you can sit down and enjoy as a family.

Source: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach


The art of kindness

Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week Feburary 14-20, 2023!

Kindness is more than behavior. The art of kindness means harboring a spirit of helpfulness, as well as being generous and considerate, and doing so without expecting anything in return. Kindness is a quality of being. The act of giving kindness often is simple, free, positive and healthy.


Good for the body

Kindness has been shown to increase self-esteem, empathy and compassion, and improve mood. It can decrease blood pressure and cortisol, a stress hormone, which directly impacts stress levels. People who give of themselves in a balanced way also tend to be healthier and live longer. Kindness can increase your sense of connectivity with others, which can directly impact loneliness, improve low mood and enhance relationships in general. It also can be contagious. Looking for ways to show kindness can give you a focus activity, especially if you tend to be anxious or stressed in some social situations.


Good for the mind

Physiologically, kindness can positively change your brain. Being kind boosts serotonin and dopamine, which are neurotransmitters in the brain that give you feelings of satisfaction and well-being, and cause the pleasure/reward centers in your brain to light up. Endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killer, also can be released. 


Be kind to yourself

It is not just how you treat other people — it is how you extend those same behaviors and intentions to yourself as well. I believe you can be kinder in your own self-talk and practice gratitude. People are good at verbally beating themselves up, and rarely does that work as a pep talk. Rather, negativity often causes you to unravel and may even create a vicious cycle of regularly getting down on yourself. You wouldn't talk to your neighbor the way you sometimes talk to yourself. This is what I call the “good neighbor policy,” which can be helpful. If you would not say it to your good neighbor, do not say it about yourself.


Take action

Simply asking "How am I going to practice kindness today?" can be helpful. For a homework assignment, I have invited some clients to pay attention and periodically document during the day their evidence of kindness to others and especially to themselves. This positive focus is like planting positive seeds in your mind garden. Where focus goes, energy flows.


I recently was talking about kindness to a young client who asked if I wanted them to get on the ark. I asked what that meant. The client said, "Acts of random kindness." That was a great response from a young person. How about you? Are you willing to get on the ark?


Finally, I'd like to leave you with this quote: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." —Dalai Lama

 Adapted from: mayoclinichealthsystem.org



it's time to enroll in 4-h for 2023!

The enrollment window for Wells County 4-H is October 1, 2022—January 15, 2023. Enroll early to avoid missing important information! You can enroll by visiting v2.4honline.com

Please feel free to call the Extension Office at 260-824-6412 if you have any questions, or if you need assistance. 


Wells County Extension annual meeting

 The Wells County Extension Annual Meeting with be held February 16, 2023 at 6:00 PM at the Wells County Community Center in Bluffton. Tickets are free! Come enjoy fish from Dan's Fish Fry and a program on raptors! More information on the program and how to register are available HERE.


A PDF version of this newsletter is 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 February 2023 issue of News Notes for Parents, you will find the following articles:


Sippy Cups and Your child's Teeth

     As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One of the risk factors for early childhood caries (sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay or nursing mouth syndrome) is frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby’s teeth to liquids, such as fruit juice, milk or formula, which all contain sugar.

     Tooth decay can occur when a baby is put to bed with a bottle. Infants should finish their naptime or bedtime bottle before going to bed. Because decay can destroy the teeth of an infant or young child, you should encourage your children to drink from a cup by their first birthdays.

      Many training cups, also called sippy or tippy cups, are available in stores. Many are ―no spill cups, which are essentially baby bottles in disguise. ―No spill cups include a valve beneath the spout to stop spills. However, cups with valves do not allow your child to sip. Instead the child gets liquid by sucking on the cup, much like a baby bottle. This practice defeats the purpose of using a training cup, as it prevents the child from learning to sip.

     Don’t let your child carry the training cup around. Toddlers are often unsteady on their feet. They take an unnecessary risk if they try to walk and drink at the same time. Falling while drinking from a cup has the potential to injure the mouth.

     A training cup should be used temporarily. Once your child has learned how to sip, the training cup has achieved its purpose. It can and should be set aside when no longer needed.


     For sipping success, carefully choose and use a training cup. As the first birthday approaches, encourage your child to drink from a cup. As this changeover from baby bottle to training cup takes place, be very careful:

  • what kind of training cup you choose
  • what goes into the cup
  • how frequently your child sips from it
  • that your child does not carry the cup around

      Talk to your dentist for more information. If your child has not had a dental examination, schedule a ―well baby checkup‖ for his or her teeth. The American Dental Association says that it is beneficial for the first dental visit to occur before the child’s first birthday.

 Source: ADA.org




Helping Your Child Get Organized - It's EAsy as 1-2-3

     Most kids generate a little chaos and disorganization. It is not uncommon for children to forget books at school or to not finish a project once they start it. Do you want your child to be more organized and to stay focused on tasks, such as homework? Is this even possible? Yes, it is!

     Some kids seem naturally organized, but for the rest, organization is a skill learned over time. With a little help and some practice, kids can develop an effective approach to getting stuff done. Even if you don’t feel all that organized, you can still teach this skill. For kids, tasks can be broken down into a 1-2-3 process.

 Step 1: Getting organized. This means your child gets where they need to be and gathers the supplies needed to complete the task.

Step 2: Staying focused. This means sticking with the task and learning to say “no” to distractions.

Step 3: Getting it done. This means finishing up, checking your work, and putting on the finishing touches, like remembering to put a homework paper in the right folder and putting the folder inside their backpack, so it is ready to be turned in the next day.

      Once kids know these steps and understand how to apply them, they can start tackling tasks more independently. That means homework, chores, and other tasks will get done with increasing consistency and efficiency. Teaching these skills is not only practical, but knowing how to get stuff done will help your child feel more competent and effective. Kids feel self-confident and proud when they are able to accomplish tasks and responsibilities.


     Remember to be patient throughout this process, as children still need guidance along the way.


Source: kidshealth.org - Nemours KidsHealth




Energy Bites


1 1/2 cups oats (old fashioned or quick)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour
  4. Roll each drop of mixture into a ball. Place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.

Tip: Use finely chopped dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins in place of the coconut flakes, chia seeds, or chocolate chips.


Source: spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu


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

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