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
horan@purdue.edu
1240 4-H Park Road
Bluffton, IN 46714
(260) 824-6412


County offices

wells County Staff

Wells County Happenings

MORE INFO
Fair Entry Instructions

Fair Entry opens June 1st, and all entries are due by Saturday, July 1st.

MORE INFO
Caley Memorial Award
Caley Memorial Award

Here is all the information you need to know about the Caley Memorial Award!

MORE INFO
Purdue Logo
Mastering Home Food Preservation

Learn about Home Food Preservation at this two-day training

More Info
4-H Ambassador
4-H Ambassador

Are you interested in becoming an Ambassador for this year's 4-H Fair? Find out more...

MORE INFO
Green Beans in Canning Jars
Preserve It Now... Enjoy it Later Workshop

Join Purdue Extension Master HOme Food Preservation instructors to learn the basics of pressure...

More Info
MORE INFO
Expo Hall & Foods Project Check-In

To help project check-in run more smoothly, please use these links to sign up for a time!

MORE INFO

2023 Wells County 4-H Rule Book

Check out the 2023 Wells County 4-H Rule Book for updated information about your 4-H projects. The online version has updated wording and changes in red to make it easy to find the updates in your project areas.

2023 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 May/June 2023 edition includes the following articles:

 

Serving up Safe Buffets

Entertaining is one of the mainstays of the holiday season  - and helps commemorate milestone events throughout the year, too. With proper preparation, you can be creative and tempt your party guests with an array of fun platters while still keeping food safety in mind!

Size Matters

If you’re planning a buffet at home and are not sure how quickly the food will be eaten, keep buffet serving portions small.

  • Prepare a number of small platters and dishes ahead of time, and replace the serving dishes with the fresh ones throughout the party.
  • Store cold back-up dishes in the refrigerator and keep hot dishes in the oven set at 200 °F to 250 °F prior to serving. This way, your late arriving guests can safely enjoy the same appetizing arrangements as the early arrivals.

Take Temperatures

Hot foods should be kept at an internal temperature of 140 °F or warmer.

  • Use a food thermometer to check. Serve or keep food hot in chafing dishes, slow cookers, and warming trays.
  • Be aware that some warmers only hold food at 110 °F to 120 °F, so check the product label to make sure your warmer has the capability to hold foods at 140 °F or warmer. This is the temperature that’s required to keep bacteria at bay!
  • Eggs and egg dishes, such as quiches or soufflés, may be refrigerated for serving later but should be thoroughly reheated to 165 °F before serving.

Chill Out

Cold foods should be kept at 40 °F or colder.

  • Keep cold foods refrigerated until serving time.
  • If food is going to stay out on the buffet table longer than 2 hours, place plates of cold food on ice to retain the chill.

Keep It Fresh

Don’t add new food to an already filled serving dish.

  • Instead, replace nearly empty serving dishes with freshly filled ones.
  • Be aware that during the party, bacteria from people’s hands can contaminate the food. Plus, bacteria can multiply at room temperature.

Watch the Clock

Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Discard any perishables left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, unless you’re keeping it hot or cold.

If the buffet is held in a place where the temperature is above 90 °F, the safe holding time is reduced to 1 hour.

Watch the clock with leftovers, too! Whether you’re sending “doggie bags” home with guests or are saving them for yourself, leftovers should be refrigerated as soon as guests arrive home and/or within 2 hours!

Adapt “Old Family Recipes” Safely

Some of your favorite traditional recipes may call for raw or lightly cooked eggs. These may include homemade Caesar salad dressing, ice cream, custards, rice pudding, chocolate mousse, eggnog, and some sauces.

However, some raw eggs can contain harmful bacteria. These can be particularly dangerous when consumed by those at higher risk for foodborne illness – such as pregnant women, young children, older adults, and those who may have a weakened immune system because of organ transplants or diseases like diabetes, cancer, or HIV/AIDS.

Help keep your party guests safe by adapting your favorite egg containing recipes (or substituting prepared products for some items). Here’s how:

  • Add the eggs to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, then heat the mixture until it reaches 160°F on a food thermometer.

      OR 

  • Use store-bought products of the foods listed above, which are often already cooked or pasteurized. (Check the label to be sure.)

      OR 

  • Purchase pasteurized eggs. These eggs can be found in some supermarkets and are labeled “pasteurized.” Here are several types consumers can buy:
  • Fresh, pasteurized eggs in the shell (found in the refrigerator section).
  • Liquid, pasteurized egg products (found in the refrigerator section).
  • Frozen, pasteurized egg products (found in the frozen food section).
  • Powdered egg whites (found in the baking section).

 

Source:  www.fda.gov

 

 

Pressure Canner Testing

Call 260-824-6412 to schedule a time to drop off canner and lid at Extension

Office and pick up later in the week

 1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton

$5.00 for Full Canner Inspection

 Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM

 

  

Cooking Under Pressure

May 25 25th - 6:00 - 7:30 PM

4-H Community Center

Presented by Molly Hoag, this program is FREE and open to the public.
Reserve your spot by calling the Extension Office at 260-824-6412

Cooking Under Pressure is about Electric Programmable Pressure Cookers (EPPC) such  as an Instant Pot.  You will learn about their features and benefits, techniques on using   the EPPC, food safety and recipes. A food  demo will also be included! 

 

  

Mastering Home Food Preservation

June 12-15, 9 am - 5 PM

Johnson County Fairgrounds, 250 Fairground St., Scott Hall, Franklin, IN 46131

Find More Information HERE  

  

Farmer-To-Farmer Project Helps Cocoa FArmers

Check here for full article

 
Preserve it Now... Enjoy It Later

July 25, 2023, 5 PM - 9 PM

Wells County Community Center, 1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton, IN 46714

Find More Information 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 May 2023 issue of News Notes for Parents, you will find the following articles:

 

Increase Your Children's Nutrition Know-How

Helping your kids understand how to read food labels prepares them for making smart food choices their whole lives. Whether in the supermarket, at home, or at school, there are many opportunities to teach your child about healthy nutrition.

For younger children, focusing on MyPlate food groups and eating mindfully is a great place to start. Older children and teens can learn about individual nutrients on the Nutrition Facts label and how to decipher food label claims.

Teaching children the basics of nutrition and label-reading can be done easily at home, with many examples of foods they like to eat with the nutritional information on hand. Try some of these tips to teach them about healthful eating.

  • Enlist your child to help plan a meal based on MyPlate. Discuss themes such as varying protein sources, choosing whole grains and selecting colorful fruits and vegetables.
  • When snacking, have your teen take a look at the Nutrition Facts label and serving size to discover what is in the food they're eating.

Label-reading in the supermarket is important because that's where most of the food in the home comes from. Send your child on a scavenger hunt to find nutritious options:

  • Canned fruit packed in water or their own juices.
  • Frozen vegetables with no salt added.
  • Whole-grain cereal that is low in sugar and high in fiber.

It might be hard to monitor what foods children eat in the lunchroom, so it is best to encourage them to make healthy choices.

  • Challenge your child to pack a lunch modeling MyPlate.
  • Encourage your child to read the labels of cafeteria items, and choose items low in added fats, sugars and salt.
  • Review cafeteria menu offerings and discuss with your child what options they might choose that would provide each of the food groups in MyPlate that together create a balanced, healthful meal. (For example, ask your child what they will take for a vegetable, fruit, whole grain and protein food.)
  • Leave a friendly note for your child about the healthy options in their lunch and why they are included.

Source: eatright.org

 

 

Even a little extra weight can raise kids' odds for high blood pressure

By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter

“Hypertension during youth tracks into adulthood and is associated with cardiac and vascular organ damage," said lead study author Corinna Koebnick of Kaiser Permanente Southern California. "Since the organ damage can be irreversible, preventing hypertension in our young people is critically important.”

Koebnick said the new study findings show the effects of even a few extra pounds.

The researchers studied electronic health records of more than 800,000 Southern California children who were 3 to 17 years of age between 2008 and 2015.

The investigators compared body mass index (BMI) at the outset and at a five-year follow-up. They also determined who had high blood pressure. Compared to youths in the medium range of average weight, the risk of developing high blood pressure within five years was 26% higher for youths at the high end of the average weight range. Every BMI unit gained per year added 4% to their risk, the study authors noted.

The rate of high blood pressure was higher among boys than girls and among youth on government-subsidized health plans, the findings showed.

“This study underscores the need for medical professionals to reevaluate how we correlate and educate about health risks across the spectrum of weight in growing children. Obesity may be the most important risk factor for hypertension during childhood," said senior study author Dr. Poornima Kunani. She is a pediatrician and researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Manhattan Beach Medical Office, in California.

Kunani urges parents to talk to their pediatrician to see if their child is at risk for high blood pressure and other preventable medical conditions related to obesity.

SOURCE: Kaiser Permanente, news release, March 14, 2023

 

 

yogurt and fruit parfaits

Ingredients:

3 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt

1 cup fresh strawberries

1 pint of fresh blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries

1 cup granola

 

Instructions:

Before you begin: Wash your hands.

Layer 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt into the bottom of the four glasses. Alternate layers of fruit and granola with yogurt until your class is filled to the top. Serve parfaits immediately to keep the granola crunchy!  

Source: Food Network

 

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

PDF Version Here.

The June 2023 issue of the Wells County 4-H Newsletter includes the following information:

      • Meet Our 4-H Youth Educator: Hello, Wells County 4-Hers & Families! After many long months of waiting, I am so glad I have officially started my new role as the Purdue Extension - Wells County 4-H Youth Development Educator, and even more glad to get to meet with all of you. My name is Anya Aulbach, and I wanted to take this opportunity to give you all a little bit more information about me and why I am here. I grew up about 30 minutes southwest of Bluffton, outside of Hartford City, IN. I graduated from Blackford High School in 2019, and was a 10-year 4-Her in Blackford County. I primarily showed pigs - at our county fair, the great Indiana State Fair, and various jackpot and national shows - but I also enjoyed participating in various static projects during my tenure! This May I graduated from Purdue University with a degree in agricultural communication. During my time at Purdue, I really dove headfirst into the 4-H world as an intern for Indiana 4-H. I spent three years at the state office and really developed a passion for helping youth experience all the things I loved about 4-H, an organization that helped raise me. Away from the Wells County Extension Office, you can find me at a pig show with family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, or learning a new recipe in the kitchen. I look forward to finding new ways to combine those hobbies with my work here in Wells County. As we gear up for the Wells County Fair, I look forward to working with and getting to know all of you, and I hope we can work together to help make the best better here in Wells County. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns - whether it be in person at the office or through email/phone! - Anya Aulbach

         

      • Wells County Book Signing: Come get your book signed at our county book signing event! Leaders will be present to sign books and answer any questions. Saturday, June 24th from 9:00AM-12:00PM at the Cook Shack, 4-H Park, Bluffton. 
      • Expo Hall & Food Check In: Please use this link to sign up for an Expo Hall project check-in time. Use this link to sign up for a Foods project check-in time. 
      • Mini 4-H Night: Join us for our 2023 Mini 4-H Fun Night! A special event just for our kindergarten through second grade  youth! Junior Leader Club Members and Adult Volunteers will lead the group in fun activities throughout the night that will include science activities, a visit to our Log Cabin, nature stations, and fun food activities. Forms are available in the Extension Office and also online at www.extension.purdue.edu/wells. Please turn in forms to the Extension Office or email the completed form to hoover21@purdue.edu by May 31st. Tuesday, June 20th from 6:30-8:30PM with check in starting at 6:30PM at the 4-H Park Community Center Expo Hall. Registration fee is $20.00, which includes a t-shirt, and is due on May 31st.
      • 4-H 5K Fun Run/Walk: The Wells County 4-H Foundation is planning their 14th annual 4-H 5K Fun Run/Walk to kick off the 2023 Wells County 4-H Fair! Pre-register online at https://myevents.active.com/WellsCounty4H5K. Saturday, July 15th at 7:30AM at the Wells County 4-H Fairgrounds. Pre-registration fee is $20.00/individual and $50.00/immediate family member special. Race day registration is $25.00/individual and $60.00/immediate family member special. 
      • 2023 Wells County 4-H Fair: The Roads to Success: Saturday, July 15th-Thursday, July 20th. See PDF version for Fair Schedule. 
      • 4-H Award Sponsors Needed: Sponsors are needed for the following 2023 4-H Fair Awards. If you are interested in sponsoring an award please contact the Extension Office at (260)824-6412. 
        • 2nd Place Senior Sheep Showman - $26.00
        • 2nd Place Junior Sheep Showman - $26.00
        • 3rd Place Junior Swine Showmanship - $30.00
      • Upcoming Deadlines:
        • Caley Memorial Award applications are due on Friday, June 23rd. Find the requirements and application on the website. 
        • 4-H Ambassador applications are due Friday, June 23rd. Find the requirements and application on the website. 
      • Due in July:
        • QLC/YQCA training is due Saturday, July 1st. Wells County is offering two more QLC Classes on June 12th (find more info below). If you completed the YQCA training online, please send the certificate to the Extension Office by July 1st. 
        • All Book Certificates must be signed by your 4-H Leader by Saturday, July 1st. Find more information below
        • All exhibits for the 2023 Wells County 4-H Fair, including showmanship & fashion revue, must be entered into Fair Entry by Saturday, July 1st. 
      • Fair Entry: All projects must be entered into Fairy Entry. Fair Entry open June 1st and is due on July 1st. Please contact the Extension Office at (260)824-6412 with any questions. A detailed version of instructions is listed on the website. 
      • 4-H Fair Volunteers Needed: Volunteers are need for the following events before and during the 2023 Wells County 4-H Fair. Please contact your superintendent, club leader, or the Extension Office if you are interested in volunteering. 
        • Foods Judging - July 10th
        • Expo Hall Set Up - July 11th
        • Livestock Barn Set Up - July 12th
        • Expo Hall Check-In - July 12th
        • Expo Hall Judging - July 13th from 9:00AM-12:00PM
        • Livestock Barn Night Guards - Fair Week (July 14th-20th)
        • Expo Hall Hosts - Fair Week
      • 4-H Project Supplies: The following project supplies are available for purchase in the Extension Office. 
        • Foam Poster Board - $3.25/each
        • Plastic Sleeve - $1.00/each
        • 4-H Livestock Books - Visit Extension Office for prices
        • Electric Kits - FREE, thanks to Geenex Solar LLC for their generous donation
        • Rule Books - $3.00 for insert only; $5.00 for binder w/insert
      • Sewing - Nonwearables: Stac Shoeff of Hare Canvas Products has graciously offered the use of his heavy sewing machines for  youth in the Sewing-Nonwearable project. Scrap materials are also available for youth to practice with. If interested in scheduling a time to use his equipment/materials, please contact Stacy Shoeff at (260)758-8800. Thank you Stacy Shoeff & Hare Canvas Products! 
      • Club Book Signing: 
        • Chester Chargers: Week of June 26th, date & time TBD
        • Hurryin' Harrisons: Sunday, June 25th at 6:30PM, Cook Shack, 4-H Park
        • Jackson Jaguars: TBD
        • Jefferson Knightriders: Tuesday, June 27th at 5:00PM, Bethlehem Lutheran Church
        • Lancaster Achievers: Monday, June 26th at 6:30PM, Meeting Rooms
        • Liberty Happy-Go-Lucky: Saturday, June 17th at 1:00PM, Liberty Center United Methodist Church
        • Nottingham Nobles: Friday, June 30th at 6:00PM, Petroleum Church
        • Rockcreek Rollers: TBD
      • 4-H Park Work Day: Mark your calendars and make plans to meet us for our 4-H Park Work Day! We would love for you to join us in helping get our park cleaned up and ready for all the fun summer events! Tuesday, June 13th at 6:00PM, Meet at the Rabbit Barn. Make sure to bring your own work gloves! 
      • Poultry Testing Days: Saturday, June 17th from 10:00-11:00AM at the H Barn. Please do not use the back livestock drive as there is an outdoor wedding this day. Tuesday, June 20th from 5:30-6:30PM in the Gravel Lot South of the Caretakers House. If the poultry originated directly from NPIP certified clean flock with one year they do not need to be tested (paperwork must be provided). Waterfowl, pigeons, and doves do not need to be tested. 
      • Swine Market Truck: An extra truck will be available at this year's 4-H Fair for anyone who would like to send their pigs to market instead of taking them home. For those interested, a sign-up will be available during livestock check-in (July 14th) through Wednesday night of the fair (July 19th). 
      • Indiana Quality Livestock Care Training: QLC Training is required for all youth planning to exhibit cattle, goats, poultry, rabbits, sheep, and swine. Classes will take approximately 1 hour each. Cost is $3.00 per person. You can sign up in 4-H Online or by calling the Extension Office at (260)824-6412. Monday, June 12th at 1:00PM, and Monday, June 12th at 7:00PM at the Wells County 4-H Park Expo Hall. 

Upcoming Wells County and State Extension Events

State Extension Events

renewable-energy-sunrise
Purdue Extension to connect underserved communities with funding for energy and environmental improvements

Purdue Extension has been selected to support a multistate effort to help rural, tribal and...

Read More
Indiana cows huddled together wading in standing water from storm
Wetter summer predicted for Indiana

Indiana has above average chances to exceed the normal precipitation amounts for June, July, and...

Read More
Group of Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educators around Parque Nacional Volcan Irazu sign in Costa Rica.
Purdue Extension educators connect with international outreach in Costa Rica

Ten Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources (ANR) educators visited Tecnológico...

Read More
veggie day at Purdue University field days
Registration open for Purdue Fruit and Vegetable Field Day

Fruit and vegetable growers are invited to join Purdue Extension for a day of...

Read More
4-H ambassadors for Indiana 4-H pose for photo.
Indiana 4-H Ambassadors: Teens leading across Indiana

The Indiana 4-H Ambassador program empowers teen leaders with the knowledge and skills to serve...

Read More
celticglen livestock eating pumpkins
Military veteran farmers invited to AgrAbility Regional Workshop

Military veteran farmers, or those interested in starting a career in farming, are invited to...

Read More