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

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Help Purdue's Broadband Team and Make Internet Accessible Across Indiana

Click the link below to find out how you can help make Broadband Internet accessible to all...

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Purdue Extension Wells County Annual Meeting

Join us for our Annual Meeting with highlights of programs that took place in 2023.

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Purdue Extension Classes Offered During Senior Snippets

Learn more about dehydrating or air frying foods at these 2 programs offered during Parks Dept....

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Mastering Home Food Preservation Workshop

Learn more about canning, pickling, fermenting, freezing and dehydrating in this 4 day workshop.

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2024 Wells County 4-H Rule Book

Check out the 2024 Wells County 4-H Rule Book for updated information about your 4-H projects.

2024 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 2024 edition includes the following articles:


sleep joins revamped list of heart health essentials

Proper sleep is essential, and a widely used scoring system for heart and brain health is being redefined to reflect that.

Since 2010, the American Heart Association has said seven modifiable components – maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, being physically active, eating a healthy diet and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar – were key to ideal cardiovascular health.

Those components, dubbed Life's Simple 7, became a common way for doctors and patients to rate and discuss heart and brain health. It's also been a key research tool, used in more than 2,500 scientific papers.

Sleep duration joins those seven original metrics in a revised scoring tool, now called Life's Essential 8, which published last year as an AHA presidential advisory in the journalCirculation.

The update is about much more than adding sleep, said AHA president Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, who led the expert panel that wrote the advisory. The new score incorporates 12 years of research and enhances its evaluation of diet, exercise and more.

"We're hoping that this will, in fact, be a moment of empowerment, a moment of optimism for people to think positively about their health," said Lloyd-Jones, a cardiologist, epidemiologist and chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. "And this is a good way for them to measure it today, monitor it over time and focus on ways to maintain and improve it."

Adults should average seven to nine hours of sleep a night, the advisory says. For children, the amount varies by age.

Lloyd-Jones, who led the creation of the original seven categories in 2010, said sleep's importance was clear even then. But it was difficult to agree on how to score it, because sleep information wasn't being collected in large national databases.

"Now it is," he said, and "the science has shown us how sleep is part and parcel of cardiovascular health."

The advisory notes that both too much and too little sleep are associated with heart disease and that poor sleep health is linked to poor psychological health, an important driver of heart disease.

"And of course, sleep affects all the other seven metrics here as well," Lloyd-Jones said.

Cheryl Anderson, dean of the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science at the University of California San Diego, called Life's Essential 8 "a big deal" both for health care professionals and people who want to understand their cardiovascular health.

Anderson, who co-wrote the advisory, said the update is "a really good recognition of how science has changed, and our ability to adapt according to the changes."

The revisions introduce a 100-point measure of heart health, which can be taken online at www.heart.org/lifes8.

The new score replaces a 14-point scale and tweaks several of the original categories.

On smoking, for example, the old measure considered only traditional cigarette use. The new score includes nicotine use and exposure from e-cigarettes, as well as the effects of secondhand exposure.

The new score also shifts from emphasizing total cholesterol in favor of measuring non-HDL cholesterol. It's now calculated by subtracting "good" HDL cholesterol from total cholesterol, leaving just a measurement of the "bad" types of cholesterol. The new tool also expands how blood glucose can be evaluated.

The system allows for more precise evaluation of exercise levels, Lloyd-Jones said. And it looks at diet in a new way. "Before, we had five very clunky yes-or-no metrics to say whether someone had a healthy diet or not. And that wasn't really appropriate for all different types of eating patterns and cultures."

Anderson said the new diet component rates how closely someone follows a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, type of diet.

But although the measure broadens the foods evaluated, people shouldn't focus on single items, Anderson said. "We want to think about the whole package. There is no one food or nutrient that will completely overhaul one's cardiovascular health."

Some key components of heart health, such as stress, are not part of the new score.

"Stress is real," Lloyd-Jones said. "It's an important part of all of our lives. But it's hard to measure how we internalize that stress, and what the effect is on our health status."

The advisory discusses the importance of both psychological health and the societal and environmental factors known as the social determinants of health, which include whether someone has access to healthy food, medical care or a safe place to exercise. But although Lloyd-Jones called them "foundational" for heart health, he said such factors couldn't be boiled down into something that fit the scoring system.

The old scoring system sorted responses in its seven categories as either "poor," "intermediate" or "ideal." Fewer than 1% of people in the U.S. across all age groups reached the overall "ideal" level, primarily because of diet, the advisory says.

But for people who want to improve their heart health, the new approach makes progress easier to see. "The positive changes don't have to be really big," Anderson said. "They can be moderate. And you can still get credit for it within this new approach."

Good heart health begins with talking with a doctor to know how you're doing in all eight categories, Lloyd-Jones said. Improvement in any of them helps.

"If I have three or four things of the eight that are suboptimal that I could work on, do I need to tackle three or four at once? Absolutely not," he said. "The data show us that picking and improving one thing will actually have a measurable impact on improving your health and improving your health outcomes."

So people shouldn't feel overwhelmed, he said. "It doesn't really matter which one you pick. Pick the one that you're going to succeed on. And that's the way to move your cardiovascular health forward."

Source: heart.org


servsafe training offered

Purdue Cooperative Extension Service will be offering a Retail Food Certification class on March 1st. 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 the Allen County Extension Office, 4001 Crescent Ave., Ft. Wayne, 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/VvZO0M. For more information, go to https://www.purdue.edu/servsafe, or contact the Purdue Education Store by phone, 765-494-6794, or email, edustore@purdue.edu




you can help Purdue's broadband team

The federal government, in partnership with states, is deploying broadband funds through the Broadband Equity, Adoption, and Deployment program, also know as BEAD. Indiana is receiving close to $870 million starting mid to late 2024. A map put together by the FEderal Communications Commission or FCC, the government entity that regulates telecommunications, will dictate where these funds go, so we need to make sure Indiana's broadband map is as accurate as possible. Click HERE to see how you can help!




a matter of balance class offered

See THIS ARTICLE for more information.



Purdue Extension Offerings at Bluffton Parks Department Senior Snippets Program


Ever wonder about dehydrating foods? Whether you’re thinking about getting a dehydrator or have one but need guidance, this class is for you! Make sure to sign up for both sessions of this 2 part workshop.

 Both Workshops are FREE!


Session 1 of 2

April 15, 2024, 2:00 PM

Washington Park Pavilion, Bluffton

Call 824-6069 to register


  • Basic methods and techniques for dehydration
  • Choosing healthy foods to dehydrate
  • Learn to safely preserve food through dehydration
  • Hands-on demonstration of the process


Session 2 of 2

April 22, 2024, 2:00 PM

Washington Park Pavilion, Bluffton

Call 824-6069 to register


  • Learn effective storage methods for long-term preservation.
  • Explore how dehydrated foods enhance a healthy diet
  • Sample healthy dehydrated snacks


Cooking With an Air Fryer

May 6, 2024, 2:00 PM

Washington Park Pavilion, Bluffton

Considering whether an air fryer would be beneficial for your kitchen or do you already have an air fryer, but aren’t sure how to use it? Join us for this class on air fryer basics!


  • Basics of Air Frying and different air fryer models
  • Cooking/Food Safety Tips
  • Air Fryer Safety Tips
  • Recipes
  • Demonstration and Samples

Call 824-6069 to register

Workshop is Free!


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 2024 issue of News Notes for Parents, you will find the following articles:



Financial literacy is an important skill for navigating life’s complexities. While retirement might seem distant for young children, introducing the concept early in their lives will help set them up for lifelong financial success. This article explores practical strategies to help teach young children about retirement while also emphasizing the importance of early financial education.

If you have not had a discussion about finances with your child yet, begin laying a foundation with the basics. Start by talking about fundamental financial concepts like earning, saving, spending, and budgeting. Try to incorporate interactive activities, games, and stories to make learning about money fun and relatable.

 After you lay the foundation, introduce long-term goals. Gradually introduce the idea of long-term goals. As children become familiar with saving, you can then discuss goals that focus on buying a toy that they may want or saving for a family trip. This will help bridge the gap between short-term desires and lifelong aspirations!

 Below are more strategies to help you educate your young child about retirement.

  • Use simple analogies. Try explaining retirement using age-appropriate analogies. For example, compare it to a long summer vacation or a break after working hard on a school assignment or project. Analogies help simplify complex ideas for young minds!
  • Create a piggy bank for the future! I recommend encouraging children to have a special savings clear container. This can help them visually see their long-term goals. This could also help educate them about saving for retirement. This tangible representation provides a hands-on connection to the abstract concept of retirement.
  • Include real-life experiences. When they are ready and you are able, expose children to real-life retirement experiences. For example, you could visit a retirement facility or have a conversation with an individual living in a retirement facility, such as a grandparent about how they got to where they are today.
  • Foster a positive work and saving ethic! It is important to instill a positive attitude towards work and saving. This may be easier said than done. Children learn by example, remember that! Elaborate on the importance of having a fulfilling career, combined with smart financial habits. Children may be able to recognize that this will lead to a secure and comfortable retirement in the long run.


In conclusion, teaching kids about retirement early will instill financial responsibility and set the stage for a secure future. By introducing basic financial concepts, using relatable analogies, and incorporating real-life experiences, parents can empower their children to make informed decisions about their financial well-being. Check out, “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money,” by Stan and Jan Berenstain to help teach your child more about earning, saving, and spending money. This storybook provides practical lessons on how to manage finances!

 Source: OpenAI (2023) [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com



snacks serve several purposes for active kids
  • Providing energy (calories) to help working muscles power through activity.
  • Supplying fluids for hydration and to keep the body cool.
  • Providing nutrients for growth and development.
  • Promoting recovery after hard exercise.
  1. In addition, snacks should be easily digested so blood flows to the muscles during exercise and not to the gut in order to digest a heavy, greasy snack.”

    For the full article, go to: www.eatright.org “15 Fueling Snacks to Take to Your Childs Game”



alfredo bagel bites

A surprise ingredient adds healthy nutrients to these cheesy bagel bites!

6 100% whole-wheat mini-bagels
3 cups (3 ounces) fresh cauliflower florets
¼ cup fat-free Greek yogurt
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1¾ cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange bagel halves, insides facing up on sheet.
  3. Steam cauliflower for 3 minutes in large microwave safe bowl.
  4. Transfer steamed cauliflower to a blender. Add yogurt, salt, garlic and ¼ cup mozzarella. Puree until smooth.
  5. Spread cauliflower-yogurt Alfredo sauce evenly on bagels. Top with remaining cheese.
  6. Bake 15 minutes until tops are golden. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Analysis

Serving size: 2 bagel halves (88 grams) Serves: 6

Calories: 229; Total fat: 8g; Saturated fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 22mg; Sodium: 505mg; Total carbohydrate: 28g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 5g; Protein 15g


Watch the Video on how to make them! https://www.eatright.org/recipes/snacks-and-sides/alfredo-bagel-bites


 Source: www.eatright.org


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.

  • New Member Workshop:
    • DATE: Thursday, February 29, 2024
    • TIME: 7:00PM
    • PLACE: Meeting Rooms at the 4-H Park
    • New to 4-H or new to Wells County 4-H? Join us on Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 7:00PM in the Meeting Rooms at the Wells County 4-H Park! You can expect to learn more about 4-H policies and rules, 4-H Clubs, 4-H projects, trips and educational opportunities, and the Wells County 4-H experience! We hope to see you there!
  • 2024 Fair Dates:
    • Wells County 4-H Fair: July 13-18, 2024
    • Indiana State Fair: August 2-18, 2024
  • Membership Dues:
    • Please make sure that if you have not already paid your membership dues, that you do so ASAP! Dues are $20.00 per person, up to 3 people per family. This will ensure that we are sending you all the important information you need to know for your clubs & projects.
    • Scholarships are available to any family that may need one. Please contact our office to let us know. No questions asked. Youth will not be turned away due to financial strains.
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day:
    • Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day with us on Saturday, February 17, 2024. Here is a list of fun ways you can be kind to others:
      • Give a friend or family member a nice compliment
      • Send art to a retirement home, a first responder, or a medical professional
      • Do a chore without being asked
      • Hold the door for someone
      • Help make dinner
      • Pick up trash around your neighborhood
      • Donate clothes and/or toys that you no longer need
      • Leave a kind note and/or snacks for your mail carrier
      • Write a happy note to a kid in your class
      • Spend quality time with your parents - no phones or tablets
      • Smile at everyone you see
      • Share your toys with others
  • Canvas Painting STEAM Event:
    • Under the sea we go to paint with the elements of Art! Join us for a fun Valentine’s Day night of painting. Open to youth in grades 3-12, parents are welcome to assist!
    • Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 6:00-8:00 PM, Expo Hall
    • Registration: https://bit.ly/canvassteam24
  • QLC Training Dates:
    • Quality Livestock Care Training is required for all youth planning to exhibit cattle, goats, poultry, rabbits, sheep, and swine at the 2024 4-H Fair. Below are all the current scheduled dates and times for QLC Trainings in Wells County. Classes will be held in the Expo Hall at the Wells County 4-H Park. There is a $3.00 fee per person that is to be paid in cash day of event. You can register online through your 4-H Online account.
      • Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at 6:00PM
      • Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 6:00PM
      • Monday, March 25, 2024 at 10:00AM
      • Monday, March 25, 2024 at 1:00PM
      • Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at 6:00PM
      • Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 10:00AM
      • Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 1:00PM
      • Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 6:00PM
  • Junior Leaders Upcoming Meetings:
    • February 12, 2024 at 6:00PM
    • March 11, 2024 at 6:00PM
    • Meetings will take place in the Meeting Rooms at the 4-H Park.
  • Club Meetings:
    • Lancaster Achievers: Monday, February 5th at 7:00PM in the Meeting Rooms
    • Nottingham Nobles: Wednesday, February 28th at 6:30PM in the Expo Hall
    • Llama/Alpaca: Sunday, February 11th at 4:00PM in the meeting rooms
    • Horse & Pony: Sunday, February 18th at 6:00PM in the Expo Hall
    • Club leaders - PLEASE email Morgan (mcorle1@purdue.edu) or Jenni (hoover21@purdue.edu) once you have set meeting dates/times. Members have been asking when their clubs will be meeting.
  • Deadlines for 2024:
    • 4-H members not complying with published deadlines may be denied the privilege to exhibit at the Wells County 4-H Fair or may be limited to exhibition only status, making them ineligible for premiums or awards. Deadlines are as follows:
      • May 15th - All animals requiring 4-H Animal Identification (as accordance with Board of Animal Health regulations) must be identified in 4-H Online.
      • May 15th - All DNA (State Fair Animals ONLY) should be turned into the Extension Office by end of the day.
      • July 1st - The items below must be completed by the selected date for each county:
        • 4-Hers exhibiting beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine, sheep, meat goat, dairy goats, poultry and rabbits must complete Indiana 4-H Quality Livestock Care (QLC) or Youth for the Quality Care for Animals (YQCA)
        • All exhibits must be entered into FairEntry for the county of exhibition. This serves as the “drop/add” deadline for 4-H projects.
          • Livestock projects must identify classes of exhibition. Those missing this deadline may exhibit and will have opportunities to receive feedback from the judge, but will not be eligible to place. Youth may still participate fully in showmanship classes.
          • Non-livestock projects must identify classes of exhibition. Those missing the deadline may compete, but the highest placing eligible is “blue.” Counties should correct mistakes in classes in FairEntry when mistakes are made by 4-H members.
          • The intent for this deadline is for individuals who make no attempt to complete FairEntry by the county’s selected date. Counties may use their discretion as to the attempt made by individuals.
  • Manuals & Records Rule Change:
    • 4-Hers can choose whether or not they would like to complete the record sheet/workbook in addition to or in lieu of a physical exhibit of the project at the Fair. 4-Hers can pick up their record sheets/workbooks in the Extension Office upon request. Any 4-Her that chooses to complete their record sheets/project workbooks instead of submitting a physical exhibit should turn them into the 4-H Educator on or before July 1st.
  • Mini 4-H:
    • Mini 4-Hers can now choose up to 3 projects to exhibit at the Wells County 4-H Fair. Mini 4-H projects include: Bugs, Collections, Crafts, Dairy Goats, Dinosaurs, Farm Animals, Foods, Horse & Pony, Models, My Pet & Me, Rabbit, Sewing, and Space
  • Fair Security:
    • Wells County 4-H Association and 4-H Council will be implementing quiet hours at the 4-H Park from 11:00PM - 5:00 AM. 4-Hers should limit activity at the park during this time and keep activities limited to 4-H Project care.
  • Royal Showmanship:
    • Royal Showmanship participants will include the senior showmanship winner of the current year in Beef, Sheep, Swine, Dairy Goat, Meat Goat, Dairy, and one Dairy Steer representative (chosen between the Dairy Feeder and Dairy Beef Senior Showmanship winners).
    • Participants can choose to receive their scores during the Livestock Auction. Scores will not be available before or after this time.
  • Wells County 4-Hers are responsible for knowing the rules and regulations for each project they are enrolled in. Please check each of your projects in the Wells County 4-H Rulebook to see new changes in each project. Rulebooks will be available in the Extension Office by the end of February.
  • Summer Interns Needed:
    • Our office is currently looking to hire two interns to help with 4-H summer activities this year! Interns will start mid-May and typically finish up the first or second week of August. This is perfect for any college student returning home for the summer that is interested in Extension and 4-H! Stay tuned as more information will be coming out soon!
  • New Nottingham Leader:
    • We would like to introduce you to our new Nottingham Noble leader - Michele Dixon!! Thank you for volunteering to take on this role - we appreciate your dedication to making the best better! If you are in this club, you should be hearing from her shortly. Check out the upcoming meeting dates below:
      • Wednesday, February 28th
      • Thursday, March 14th
      • Thursday, April 11th
      • Tuesday, May 14th
      • Tuesday, June 11th
      • All meetings will take place from 6:30-7:30PM in the Expo Hall
  • Beef & Dairy Beef ID Day:
    • Saturday, March 2nd, 2024
    • 8:00 - 11:00 AM
    • Cattle Barn, 4-H Park
    • Enter Park on South Drive
    • Snow Date - March 9th, Same Time
    • More information will be sent out soon via mail to those enrolled in Beef & Dairy Beef. You can also check our Facebook Page - Wells County 4-H.
  • Upcoming Meetings:
    • 4-H Association:
      • Monday, February 19, 2024, 7:00PM, Meeting Rooms
    • 4-H Council:
      • Monday, March 11, 2024, 7:00PM, Meeting Rooms
    • 4-H Club Leaders:
      • Monday, February 12, 2024, 7:00PM, Meeting Rooms

Upcoming Wells County and State Extension Events

State Extension Events

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