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

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
Purdue Extension Logo
Trinidad & Tobago: an Extension Experience

Join us to learn more about Molly Hoag's trip to Trinidad & Tobago with the...

More Info
A Matter of Balance Logo
A Matter of Balance

Do you have concerns about falling? Join us for this award-winning program designed to manage...

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 September/October 2023 edition includes the following articles:


10 Early Signs & Symptoms of Alzheimer's & Dementia

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer's or other dementia. Alzheimer's is a brain disease that causes a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills. There are 10 warning signs and symptoms. If you notice any of them, don't ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.


  1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease, especially in the early stage, is forgetting recently learned information. Others include forgetting important dates or events, asking the same questions over and over, and increasingly needing to rely on memory aids (e.g., reminder notes or electronic devices) or family members for things they used to handle on their own.

 What's a typical age-related change?
Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later.


  1. Challenges in planning or solving problems. Some people living with changes in their memory due to Alzheimer's or other dementia may experience changes in their ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers. They may have trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills. They may have difficulty concentrating and take much longer to do things than they did before.

What's a typical age-related change?
Making occasional errors when managing finances or household bills.


  1. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. People living with memory changes from Alzheimer's or other dementia often find it hard to complete daily tasks. Sometimes they may have trouble driving to a familiar location, organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

What's a typical age-related change?
Occasionally needing help to use microwave settings or to record a TV show.


  1. Confusion with time or place. People living with Alzheimer's or other dementia can lose track of dates, seasons and the passage of time. They may have trouble understanding something if it is not happening immediately. Sometimes they may forget where they are or how they got there.

What's a typical age-related change?
Getting confused about the day of the week but figuring it out later.


  1. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Some people living with Alzheimer's or other dementia could experience vision changes. This may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading. They may also have problems judging distance and determining color or contrast, causing issues with driving.

What's a typical age-related change?
Vision changes related to cataracts.


  1. New problems with words in speaking or writing. People living with Alzheimer's or other dementia may have trouble following or joining a conversation. They may stop in the middle of a conversation and have no idea how to continue or they may repeat themselves. They may struggle with vocabulary, have trouble naming a familiar object or use the wrong name (e.g., calling a "watch" a "hand-clock").

What's a typical age-related change?
Sometimes having trouble finding the right word.


  1. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. A person living with Alzheimer's or other dementia may put things in unusual places. They may lose things and be unable to go back over their steps to find them again. He or she may accuse others of stealing, especially as the disease progresses.

What's a typical age-related change?
Misplacing things from time to time and retracing steps to find them.


  1. Decreased or poor judgement. Individuals living with Alzheimer's or other dementia may experience changes in judgment or decision-making. For example, they may use poor judgment when dealing with money or pay less attention to grooming or keeping themselves clean.

What's a typical age-related change?
Making a bad decision or mistake once in a while, like neglecting to change the oil in the car.


  1. Withdrawal from work or social activities. A person living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia may experience changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation. As a result, they may withdraw from hobbies, social activities or other engagements. They may have trouble keeping up with a favorite team or activity.

What's a typical age-related change?
Sometimes feeling uninterested in family or social obligations.


  1. Changes in mood and personality. Individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia may experience mood and personality changes. They can become confused, suspicious, depressed, fearful or anxious. They may be easily upset at home, with friends or when out of their comfort zone.

What's a typical age-related change?
Developing very specific ways of doing things and becoming irritable when a routine is disrupted.

Source: www.alz.org  

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




October 12, 2023

9am - 1pm

Wells County 4-H Community Center

1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton, IN 46714

Vaccines offered at no cost:

Free lunch for attendees

Participants must be 18 years of age or older

Bring your insurance card



Free Community Awareness Night

Cody Knuckles and John Humphries speak on fentanyl awareness, the opiod crisis, addiction and recovery. 


The Wells County Chamber of Commerce, Community Members & Organizations announces the creation of its NEW Drug Taskforce and is commemorating it with a FREE community event on Thursday, September 14th at the 4-H Community Building located at 1240 4-H Park Road in Bluffton. Doors open at 6pm and the presentation starts at 7pm. 

Cody & John have witnessed the harrowing grip of addiction and overdoses. Their passionate message reveals this raw truth, to empower people with the knowledge that their choices today hold the key to a different tomorrow.  

All those who attend this FREE EVENT will be entered into a drawing to win prizes such as $25 gas cards, gift cards, gift baskets and Street Fair Bracelets!

No registration needed.



trinidad & tobago: an extension experience

Molly Hoag traveled to Trinidad and Tobago with the Farmer-to-Farmer program to instruct farmers on safe food handling, including preserving food and making flour from root vegetables like cassave and sweet potatoes. Join us to learn more about her trip!

October 10, 2023

7:00 PM

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


A 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. 

More information is 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 September 2023 issue of News Notes for Parents, you will find the following articles:



Contributors: Esther Ellis, MS, RDN, LDN, Cordialis Msora-Kasago, MA, RD, Grace Derocha, MBA, RD, CDCES, Su-Nui Escobar, DCN, RDN, FAND, Rahaf Al Bochi, RDN, LD, and Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDE

Breakfast is an important meal for growing children. Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomach aches in the morning. Their overall test scores are higher, they concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination. Children who eat breakfast also are more likely to maintain a healthy weight and get enough calcium, too. Whether your children eat at home or at school, be sure they eat a nutritious breakfast every day.

Start your child's day in a healthful direction with a breakfast that incorporates a variety of healthy foods.

Try some of these quick options:

  • Peanut butter spread on whole-grain toast
  • Iron-fortified cereal topped with fruit and milk
  • Instant oatmeal topped with chopped walnuts and blueberries
  • Smoothie including milk/juice/water, fruit, spinach, frozen banana and nut butter
  • Parfait with layers of yogurt, whole-grain granola and berries

 Make a Breakfast Bar

Let your kids build their own breakfast with a breakfast bar. Similar to a salad bar, a breakfast bar includes a variety of foods to mix and match. Little ones love to create unusual combinations by mixing, stacking and organizing ingredients. Use peanut butter to glue the berries to a waffle.  No matter what nutritious combinations they create, they will love the sense of control a breakfast bar offers.

Here are some ideas:

  • Whole-grain cereals, waffles, tortillas, bread or English muffins
  • Peanut butter
  • Low-fat or fat-free yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Variety of sliced fruit such as bananas, strawberries, peaches
  • Cheese slices and hard-boiled eggs
  • Raisins and dried cranberries

 If eating breakfast at home simply isn't an option for your child, find out if school breakfast is available. Or pack them a breakfast-to-go that they can eat on the bus or when they get to school. You will not only be encouraging your children to eat nutritiously but fueling their growing bodies and minds for success.






Adequate sleep contributes to a student’s overall health and well-being. Students should get the proper amount of sleep at night to help stay focused, improve concentration, and improve academic performance. Children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk for many health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, and injuries.1-4 They are also more likely to have attention and behavior problems, which can contribute to poor academic performance in school.1,2

What Parents Can Do

  • Model and encourage habits that help promote good sleep. Setting a regular bedtime and rise time, including on weekends, is recommended for everyone—children, adolescents, and adults alike. Adolescents with parent-set bedtimes usually get more sleep than those whose parents do not set bedtimes.
  • Dim lighting. Adolescents who are exposed to more light (such as room lighting or from electronics) in the evening are less likely to get enough sleep.
  • Implement a media curfew. Technology use (computers, video gaming, or mobile phones) may also contribute to late bedtimes. Parents should consider banning technology use after a certain time or removing these technologies from the bedroom.


Source: https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/sleep.htm



oat-banana breakfast cookies

What kid doesn't want cookies for breakfast? These cookies combine fiber and fruit to result in a great portable kick start for the day.

3 bananas, peeled
¼ cup coconut oil, melted 
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups rolled oats (gluten-free, if needed)
1 tablespoon golden flaxmeal
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup mini chocolate chips


Before you begin: Wash your hands.

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C).
  2. Place bananas in a medium bowl and mash well. Add remaining ingredients to mashed banana; stir well.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Press 2 tablespoons mixture into a 2 ½-inch cookie cutter. Remove cutter to create a round shape. Repeat with remaining mixture.
  4. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until cookies are golden and set. Allow to cool before serving.

 Source: https://www.eatright.org/recipes/breakfast/oat-banana-breakfast-cookies  


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.

State Fair Exhibit Pick-Up: 

  • If you have not already done so, please pick up your State Fair project at the Extension Office. There are also a few county projects that still need to be picked up. All projects should be picked up by Friday, September 15th. The space they are being stored in is needed for other events. Thank you!!

Cash Your Checks:

  • 4-H Auction Participants - this is your reminder to cash your checks! You have until November 30th to do so, or funds will be forfeited. If you have not picked up your check yet, please do so ASAP. Make sure to bring in your thank you cards addressed, stamped & sealed. We would like to extend a hugh thank you to First Bank of Berne and the entire Auction Committee for their time and expense in helping ensure our auction ran smoothly, and billing was done correctly and in a timely manner. 

Calendar of Events:

  • September 6th - Street Fair Pancake Booth Work Day, 6PM, 4-H Park Gravel Lot
  • September 7th - Robotics Meeting, 6PM, Meeting Rooms
  • September 11th - 4-H Association Meeting, 7PM, Meeting Rooms
  • September 12th - Junior Leader Meeting, 6PM, Meeting Rooms
  • September 14th - Robotics Meeting, 6PM, Meeting Rooms
  • September 19th-23rd - Bluffton Street Fair
  • September 25th - Livestock Committee Meeting, 6PM, Expo Hall
  • September 28th - Robotics Meeting, 6PM, Expo Hall
  • September 28th - Royal Showmanship Committee Meeting, 7PM, Meeting Rooms
  • October 1st - 2024 4-H Enrollment Opens *See below for more information

Club & Committee Leaders:

  • If you would like to have information shared in any future newsletters, please email all details to Morgan (mcorle1@purdue.edu). This could linclude upcoming meetings and events, updates and reminders, or any new information you would like relayed to 4-H Families. 

2024 4-H Enrollment: 

  • Enrollment for 2024 opens on October 1st and will remain open until January 15th. All 4-H Members and Adult Volunteers must enroll in 4-H Online annually. If you have enrolled in 4-H Online in the past, please make sure to NOT make a new family when enrolling this year. Use this link to enroll for the upcoming year: https://v2.4honline.com We are excited for what is to come in 2024 and encourage you to invite your friends to join! If you or anyone you know has any questions, please call the Extension Office at (260)824-6412.

Mark your calendars!! The 2024 Wells County 4-H Fair will be held July 13th - July 18th

Wells County 4-H Spooktacular:

  • The Wells County 4-H Association is hosting their annual Spooktacular event on October 28th at the 4-H Park. Price to enter is either $1.00 or one canned food item that will be donated to the Wells County Backpack Program. More information to come soon! 

Attention 7th Graders: 

  • Calling all Seventh Graders!! Do you have an interest in volunteering, building your leadership skills, and helping plan events for the 4-H Fair? If so, then the Junior Leaders would be a great fit for you! Junior Leaders meet almost monthly to plan activities, do community service, and to just have fun! If you are interested, join us at our next meeting on September 12th at 6:00PM at the Community Center! You can also call the Extension Office to get more information at (260) 824-6412.

Pancake Booth Sign Up: 

  • The 4-H Pancake Booth will once again be at the Bluffton Street Fair this year! The Booth is a great fundraiser for 4-H, as these funds help sponsor our ribbons at the Fair and various 4-H Trips that our youth get to attend. 
  • Volunteers are needed for various shifts throughout the week. Each township is responsible for finding 12-16 people to work during their assigned shift. Shift days are listed below. Sign up online at: bit.ly/PancakeBooth2023
    • Tuesday, September 19th 5PM to Close - Jefferson Township
    • Wednesday, September 20th 7AM to 5PM - Community Volunteers
    • Wednesday, September 20th 4:30PM to Close - Jackson Township & Shooting Sports
    • Thursday, September 21st 7AM to 5PM - Community Volunteers
    • Thursday, September 21st 4:30PM to Close - Nottingham Township
    • Friday, September 22nd 7AM to 5PM - Rockcreek Township
    • Friday, September 22nd 4:30PM to Close - Lancaster Township
    • Saturday, September 23rd 7AM to 12PM - Harrison Township
    • Saturday, September 23rd 11:30AM to 5PM - Liberty Township
    • Saturday, September 23rd 4:30PM to Close - Chester Township
  • There will be a work day on September 6th at 6PM to get the booth cleaned up and ready for the Street Fair. We appreciate anyone who would be willing to help! 

Upcoming Wells County and State Extension Events

State Extension Events

round bales in a field
Upcoming bale grazing workshop to provide key industry insights

Aimed at the livestock industry, an upcoming bale grazing workshop will offer vital info on...

Read More
sheep and lambs at Indiana state fair
Hoosier Sheep Symposium slated for Sept. 23

Purdue Agriculture’s Indiana Sheep and Wool Market Development Council (IN S&W) and the...

Read More
Photo courtesy of Indiana State Department of Agriculture Bethany Gremel was presented the 2023 Purdue Women in Agriculture Achievement Award on Aug. 3, 2023 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Pictured Angie Abbott, interim director of Purdue Extension and associate dean in the College of Agriculture and Bethany Gremel.
Indiana agriculture leaders honored by Purdue Extension

Three Indiana women were recognized by the Purdue Women in Agriculture Team for their dedication...

Read More
Fairgoers browse all the Indiana State Fair midway has to offer
Purdue Extension State Fair exhibits to showcase mental health awareness, veterinary care and becoming a Master Gardener

When the Indiana State Fair kicks off Friday (July 28), attendees can experience what Purdue...

Read More
sheep in a barn
ISA hosting several sheep-related competitions at Indiana State Fair

Aside from the 4-H and open sheep shows, The Indiana Sheep Association (ISA) is sponsoring...

Read More
grain bins and farm safety
Increase in fatalities and injuries from agricultural confined spaces highlights need for effective management and training

Last year saw a roughly 40 percent increase in the number of reported cases involving...

Read More