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

Purdue Logo
Grand Rounds 3.0

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

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Green 4-H Clover
4-H Fundraiser Auction

Come support the Wells County 4-H Association's Fundraiser Auction!

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Purdue Extension Logo
Summer Intern Application

Apply now to be a summer intern at the Extension Office!

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Green 4-H Clover
4-H Fair Camping

Want to camp at the 4-H Fair? Here's the info you need!

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Green 4-H Clover
4-H Animal ID Instructions

4-H Members can find info here on how to ID their animals in 4-HOnline by May 15th.

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Green 4-H Clover
4-H Camp

Calling all 4-Hers in grades 3-6! Don't miss out on this fun opportunity!

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PARP Training Offered

PARP Training being offered in Wells County. Click the link for more information.

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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 March/April 2023 edition includes the following articles:


Healthy Eating on the Run: A Month of Tips

 You may eat out a lot – many Americans do. People are looking for fast, easy and good-tasting foods to fit a busy lifestyle. Whether it’s carry-out, food court, office cafeteria or sit-down restaurant, there are smart choices everywhere. Here are 31 tips to help you eat healthy when ordering out.

  1. Think ahead and plan where you will eat. Consider what meal options are available. Look for places with a wide range of menu items.
  2. Take time to look over the menu and make careful selections. Some restaurant menus may have a special section for “healthier” choices.
  3. Review and compare nutrition information if it’s available. Menu terms that may indicate an item is healthier include: baked, braised, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, and steamed.
  4. Menu terms that usually mean a food is higher in saturated fat and calories include: batter-fried, pan-fried, buttered, creamed, crispy, breaded. Choose these foods only occasionally and in small portions.
  5. Think about your food choices for the entire day. If you’re planning a special restaurant meal in the evening, have a light breakfast and lunch.
  6. Hold the bread or chips until your meal is served. Hunger may drive you to fill up on these foods before your meal arrives.
  7. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. No more than one drink for women and two for men. Alcohol tends to increase your appetite and provides calories without any nutrients.
  8. Order the regular or child-size portion. Mega-sized servings are probably more than you need. For a lighter meal, order an appetizer in place of a main course.
  9. Begin with soup or salad as a way to include more vegetables at mealtime. Follow up with a light main course.
  10. Or choose a salad with grilled chicken or seafood as your main course.
  11. It’s OK to make special requests, just keep them simple. For example, ask for a baked potato or side salad in place of French fries; no mayonnaise or bacon on your sandwich; sauces served on the side.
  12. Ask for sauces, dressings and toppings to be served “on the side.” Then you control how much you eat
  13. Split your order. Share an extra large sandwich or main course with a friend or take half home for another meal (some restaurants may not permit this or will charge for an extra plate).
  14. Refrigerate carry-out or leftovers if the food won’t be eaten right away. Toss foods kept at room temperature for more than two hours (one hour if warmer than 90 degrees).
  15. All-you-can-eat specials, buffets and unlimited salad bars make it difficult to follow recommended serving sizes. Pass these up if you find it difficult to listen to your hunger cues.
  16. If you do choose the buffet, fill up on salads and vegetables first. Use small plates, to encourage smaller portions, and limit your trips up to the buffet line.
  17. At the salad bar, pile on the dark leafy greens, carrots, peppers and other fresh vegetables. Lighten up on mayonnaise-based salads and high-fat toppings. Enjoy fresh fruit as your dessert.
  18. Load up your pizza with vegetable toppings. If you add meat, make it lean ham, Canadian bacon, chicken or shrimp.
  19. Enjoy a variety of healthful foods from different cultures. Focus on dishes that emphasize vegetables and lean meats, seafood or beans.
  20. Tempted by sweet, creamy desserts? Order a small portion or ask if it can be divided and shared with everyone at the table.
  21. At the sandwich shop, choose lean beef, ham, turkey or chicken on whole grain bread. Ask for mustard, ketchup, salsa or low-fat spreads. And, don’t forget the veggies.
  22. Boost the nutrition in all types of sandwiches by adding tomato, lettuce, peppers or other vegetables.
  23. Look for a sandwich wrap in a soft tortilla. Fillings such as rice mixed with seafood, chicken, or grilled vegetables can be healthier options.
  24. In place of fries or chips, choose a side salad, fruit or baked potato. Or, share a regular order of fries with a friend.
  25. Build a better breakfast sandwich: replace bacon or sausage with Canadian bacon or ham and order your sandwich on a whole grain English muffin or bagel.
  26. Be size-wise about muffins, bagels, croissants and biscuits. A jumbo muffin has more than twice the calories of the regular size.
  27. Try a smoothie made with 100% juice, fruit and low-fat yogurt for a light meal or snack.
  28. For desk-top dining, keep single-serve packages of whole grain crackers, fruit, peanut butter, soup, or tuna around for a quick lunch.
  29. Food items on your desk, like nuts or candy bowls, can lead to mindless eating. Keep all snacks and other food items in your desk to avoid the temptation to eat when you’re not hungry.
  30. Grabbing dinner at the supermarket deli? Select rotisserie chicken, salad-in-a-bag and freshly baked bread. Or, try sliced lean roast beef, onion rolls, salad and fresh fruit.
  31. Always eating on the go? Tuck portable, nonperishable foods in your purse, tote, briefcase or backpack for an on-the-run meal. Some suggestions are peanut butter and crackers, granola bars, a piece of fresh fruit, trail mix, single serve packages of whole grain cereal.

Source: eatright.org




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


Food allergies 101

April 25th - 3:00-4:00 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

Food allergies are on the rise. Today, one in 13 children and one in 10 adults in the United States have a food allergy.  This presentation defines a food allergy, identifies the signs & symptoms of an allergic reaction, list the most common food allergens, reviews ways to prevent an allergic reaction, and provides resources for further reference and education.



cooking under pressure

May 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!    


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. You can find more information HERE

help prevent opioid misuse

Take and Store Opioids Properly

  • Never take prescription opioids in greater amounts or more often than prescribed.
  • Always let your doctor know about any side effects or concerns you may have about using opioids.
  • Avoid taking opioids with alcohol and other substances or medications. It is very dangerous to combine opioids with other drugs, especially those that cause drowsiness, such as:

° Benzodiazepines (such as Xanax® and Valium®)

° Muscle relaxants (such as Soma® or Flexeril®)

° Sleep aids (such as Ambien® or Lunesta®)

° Other prescription opioids

° Do not share or sell your prescription opioids.

° Store prescription opioids in a secure place, out of reach of others (including children, family, friends, and visitors).

° Dispose of unused prescription opioids at the end of your treatment.

Nonopioid Therapies

Talk to your doctor about ways to manage your pain that do not involve prescription opioids. Patients with pain should receive treatment that provides the greatest benefit. Evidence suggests that some nonopioid treatments used for many types of pain, including therapies that don’t involve medications, may actually work better for some conditions and have fewer risks and side effects.

Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, options may include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol®), ibuprofen (Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®)
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – a psychological, goal-directed approach in which patients learn how to modify physical, behavioral, and emotional triggers of pain and stress
  • Exercise therapy, including physical therapy
  • Certain medications for depression or for seizures, some of which can also treat pain
  • Interventional therapies, like injections
  • Exercise and weight loss
  • Other therapies such as acupuncture and massage


***Opioids are just one option for treating pain. Other options work just as well or better and have fewer risks and side effects.



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 March 2023 issue of News Notes for Parents, you will find the following articles:


Tips for being more active

Physical activity is important for children and adults of all ages. Being active as a family can benefit everyone. Adults needs 2½ hours a week of physical activity, and children need 60 minutes a day.

  1. Make Time. Find time in the week when the whole family is around and spend it being active. Try doing something physical after dinner or begin the weekend with a Saturday morning walk.  
  2. Plan Ahead and Track Your Progress. Write your physical activity plans on a family calendar. Let the kids help in planning the activities. Allow them to check it off after completing each activity.
  3. Include Work Around the House. Have the kids help with yard work and other active chores around the house. Have them help you with raking, weeding, planting, or vacuuming. 
  4. Use What's Available. Plan things that require little or no equipment or facilities. Examples include walking, jogging, jumping rope, playing tag and dancing. Find out what programs your community recreation center might offer for free or for a minimal charge. 
  5. Plan for All Weather Conditions. Try things that don't depend on the weather conditions. Think mall walking, indoor swimming or active video games. And whenever the weather is nice, get outside!
  6. Turn Off the TV. Set a rule that no one can spend longer that 2 hours per day playing video games, watching TV or using the computer (except for school work). Instead of a TV show, play a family game, dance to favorite music or go for a walk. 
  7. Start Small. Begin by starting one new family activity and add more when you feel everyone is ready. Take the dog for a longer walk, play another ball game or go to an additional exercise class. 
  8. Include Other Families. Invite others to join your family activities. This is a great way for you and your kids to spend time with friends while exercising. Plan parties with active games such as bowling or an obstacle course, sign up for family programs at the YMCA or join a recreational club. 
  9. Treat the Family with Fun Physical Activity. When it's time to celebrate as a family, do something active as a reward. Plan a trip to the zoo, park or lake to treat the family. 
Source: www.eatgathergo.org


Stress awareness month: 6 Signs Your Child Is Stressed

As adults, we're bound to feel stressed out from time to time. After all, bills have to be paid, work has to get done and food has to be put on the table. However, it's easy to miss the fact that our kids can sometimes get stressed out, too. Homework, extracurricular activities, and conflicts with peers can all take a toll on your little ones. And chronic stress can have negative effects on our kids - especially since they often don't have the tools to cope. Therefore, in honor of Stress Awareness Month, here are six signs and symptoms your kid might be stressed: 

  1. Withdrawn Behavior
  2. Unexplained Aches and Pains
  3. Sleeplessness (or Sleeping More)
  4. Loss of Appetite or Overeating
  5. Irritability
  6. They Tell You

If you notice any of these signs of stress, don't panic. There are ways to help equip your kids with the tools they need to not only deal with the stress they have now, but also throughout their entire lives. Follow these tips to help your child deal with stress. 

  1. Talk About It
  2. Provide Effective Strategies
  3. Handle Stress Yourself by Modeling
  4. Visit the Doc

To read the full article, go to: https://www.familyeducation.com/kids/health/mental/stress-awareness-month-6-signs-your-child-stressed


quick toaster-oven pizza


1 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla

1 tsp plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided

5 thin slices tomato

3 thin slices red onion

3 T shredded mozzarella cheese

1 T chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 c packed mixed salad greens


Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  1. Lay tortilla on a foil-lined toaster-oven pan. Brush 1 tsp oil over the tortilla. Top with tomato, onion and mozzarella. Toast until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is starting to crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with basil. Cut into wedges. 
  2. Drizzle the remaining 1 T oil and vinegar over the greens and serve with the pizza. 

Nutrition Information:

Serving size: 1 pizza & 2 cups salad

Per Serving: Calories 424; Protein 11.5g; Carbohydrates 36g; Dietary Fiber 5.8g; Sugars 8.7g; Fat 25.8g; Saturated Fat 5.9g; Cholesterol 16.6g; Vitamin a iu 3897.9IU; Vitamin C 30.5g; Folate 146.8mcg; Calcium 287.6mg; Iron 3.4mg; Magnesium 44.5mg; Potassium 601.4mg; Sodium 507mg; Thiamin 0.1mg

Exchanges: 4 fat, 2 vegetable, 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 medium-fat protein 

Source: www.eatingwell.com


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

The March/April 2023 issue of the Wells County 4-H Newsletter includes the following information:

  • NEW STAFF - We are excited to announce that Morgan Estrada has been hired as the new Administrative Assistant and will be starting March 6th.
    We are also thrilled to announce that Anya Aulbach has accepted the position of 4-H Youth Educator and will be starting May 15th.
    Please make sure to introduce yourselves and give them a warm welcome to Wells County!
  • 4-H CAMP COUNSELORS -  Congratulations to Faith Bales, Elly Kiess, Cohen Miller, and Emma Peterson for being selected as 4-H Camp Counselors for 2023!
  • SUMMER INTERNS - We are pleased to announce that Anna Hoover will be returning as and Extension Office Intern this summer! We are also looking for one more person to join our team as an intern for the summer! Interns will start mid-May and typically finish up the first or second week of August. If you or someone you know would be interested, please have them email Jenni at hoover21@purdue for questions or an application. Applications are due March 24th and interviews will take place the week of March 27th (can be done by Zoom or over the phone if needed).
  • Make sure to check your mail and email for important club/event meeting dates and times!
  • 4-H CAMPING - For those interested in camping at the 4-H Park during the 4-H Fair this summer, there have been some changes for 2023:
    • Sites will no longer be rented per night. Campers will pay a flat fee of $175 and will be able to pull in anytime after noon on Wednesday, July 12th, and leave by noon on Saturday, July 22nd. (NOTE: 2024 rates will be $200 for the same time frame)
    • This does not guarantee access to any added events on the fairgrounds (truck pulls, etc.)
    • Registration opens at noon on Friday, March 31st. Forms will be available at www.extension.purdue.edu/wells or at the Extension Office
    • Registration is first come, first serve
    • Sites must be paid in full when registering
    • Exact cash or checks only
    • No exceptions, no holds
  • Make sure to follow the Wells County 4-H Association on social media to help spread the word about events happening at the 4-H Park! 
    • Facebook: Wells Co. 4-H Association
    • Instagram: wellscounty4hpark 
  • Not sure where to get your 4-H questions answered? Here is a list of the best places to turn to when you have questions:
    • Wells County 4-H Rule Book
    • Your 4-H Club Leader
    • Facebook: Wells County 4-H
    • The Wells County Extension Office / 4-H Youth Educator - 260-824-64121
  • 4-H RULE BOOK - The information in the 4-H Rule Book is VERY IMPORTANT! The rule book will give you detailed information about each individual project, as well as overall information such as helpful poster making tips and much more. It is very frustrating to work hard on a project only to find that it does not meet the specified criteria in the rule book so CHECK YOUR RULE BOOK EVERY YEAR to see if there have been updates! You can purchase a paper copy of the rule book at the Extension Office, or you can find the rule book online at www.extension.purdue.edu/wells. The cost for a paper copy is $7, or if you just need the pages to refill your binder the cost is $3.
  • Club Leaders should make sure to turn in their club's' financial report to the Extension Office if they have not already done so.
  • 4-H PROJECT MANUALS -  Club leaders can pick up the 4-H project resources for their club before their next meeting. Club members should plan to attend a meeting with your club, or arrange a time with your 4-H leader to pick up your 4-H manuals and record books. If you’re not sure which club(s) you signed up for, check your 4HOnline profile, or call the Extension Office at 260-824-6412. Not sure who your club leader is? Check the front of the rule book for a listing of all club leaders, superintendents, and committee members.
    • Premise ID

      • Must have to complete 4-H Online animal ID due May 15th

      • Required for county and state fair exhibition

      • Details: 4-H Livestock members with cattle, swine, sheep and goats need to have a Premise ID. This number is assigned to a farm location where your animals reside. If your farm does not have an ID, you can get an ID number from the Indiana Board of Animal Health at 317-544-2381 or by email at animalid@boah.in.gov

    • DNA Hair Sample

      • Due in the Wells County Extension Office by 4:30 PM on May 15th

      • Required for state fair exhibition only

      • Details: All beef cattle, dairy beef, dairy feeder, dairy cattle, sheep, meat goats, and swine you may possibly want to exhibit at the Indiana State Fair must turn in DNA hair samples for each of those animals. DNA envelopes are available at the Wells County Extension Office.

    • 4-H Online Animal ID

      • Due May 15th in 4-HOnline

      • Required for county and state exhibition

      • Details: All animals (with the exception of dogs and cats) must be identified in the 4HOnline system to be eligible to show. Please ID any animals that you may possibly bring to the fair to make sure they are eligible. An animal just needs to be identified by one member of your family to be eligible to be shown by any member of your family. Instructions on how to ID animals in 4HOnline will be mailed to you in March and will soon be available on our website: www.extension.purdue.edu/wells

    • Quality Livestock Care (QLC) or YQCA

      • Due July 1st

      • Required for county and state fair exhibition

      • Details: NEW IN 2023! The Indiana 4-H Quality Livestock Care (QLC) program is replacing YQCA in Indiana and is required for those exhibiting cattle, goats, poultry, rabbits, sheep, and swine. This course will only be offered in person with a cost of $3 per person. You can register for this local in person training by logging into your 4HOnline family profile at v2.4honline.com. Once logged in, click on “Events” in the menu to the left, then “+Event”. This training will be accepted at both the county and state fairs. See page 3 for upcoming training dates. If you plan to show any livestock outside of the 4-H Fair or Indiana State Fair, we recommend completing the YQCA online option below. 

      • If you would prefer to complete your quality assurance training online, YQCA is your only option and will also be accepted at the county and state fair. This online option is $12 and is available at yqcaprogram.org. **Please note that those selecting the online YQCA option will need to provide proof of a YQCA certificate to hoover21@purdue.edu by July 1.

    • Facilitating monthly club meetings, typically from March-July. Meetings usually include reports from club officers, demonstrations from club members or some other educational component, team building games/activities, and discussion about upcoming club events/activities (ex: community service projects, 4-H Fair float ideas, etc.)
    • Answering general 4-H questions for members. The Extension Office is always available if you don’t know the answer!
    • Securing volunteers for your club’s assigned duties at the 4-H Fair and Street Fair Pancake Booth
    • Completing and turning in the annual club financial and activity reports
    • Being an extra set of hands to help out with large 4-H events such as the 4-H Fair, Street Fair Pancake Booth, and 4-H Fall Spooktacular

       ROCKCREEK ROLLERS CLUB - The Rockcreek Roller are in need of a 4-H Club Leaders. This is the second year that Rockcreek is without a leader. If a leader is not found this year, the Rockcreek members will need to join a different club next year. If this is something you think you might be interested in, please contact the Extension Office at 260-824-6412. Some of the duties of a 4-H Club Leader include:

  • 4-H BENEFIT AUCTION - Wells County 4-H will host an auction at the 4-H Park Community Center to help support upkeep at the 4-H Park. The benefit will be April 1st from 5-7 pm and will include:
    • Free will donation meal from 5-7 pm
    • Silent auction from 5-6:30 pm
    • Live auction at 6:30 pm
    • To donate items for the auction, contact Leeann Pease at 260-273-6796
  • PURDUE FAST START - Many Promising students will now have the opportunity to take their first steps toward a Purdue degree with the new Purdue Fast Start program. Through Purdue’s partnership with ModernStates.org, a website featuring more than 30 free, high-quality courses, you can gain assured admission to Purdue by earning free college credit. This partnership will create new opportunities for Indiana students to take giant leaps in their education with a new pathway to Purdue University. You can find more information at purdue.university/faststart


PDF version available here.

Upcoming Wells County and State Extension Events

State Extension Events

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