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Purdue Extension Martin County Blast August 14, 2023

The Purdue Extension Martin County weekly column is provided to help all learn

about programs & opportunities. We highlight events from Purdue University & Extension

where we hope you will choose to be part of Extension…..  where there is Opportunity4All! 




Save the date:  Sunday, November 5, 2023

Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building


2024 martin county 4-h fair

The fair dates are confirmed, July 11-16, 2024- Thursday to Tuesday


VOLUNTEER opportunities

Have you ever thought about a talent you have or a talent you want to develop alongside youth in the 4-H Program?


Purdue Extension & Martin County 4-H is seeking adults to work to MAKE THE BEST BETTER through 4-H programs. Contact Dena to explore how to work together in this way.  No matter how much time you have, volunteering with 4-H makes a difference by helping youth explore and discover the skills they need to lead for a lifetime. There are lots of ways to get involved! Currently, 4-H Club Leaders are needed for All Terrain Vehicle Program and STEM/Robotics. Various content specialist and general volunteers are also needed. Looking to help with the 4-H Fair and have some ideas?  Join one of the committees. Wonder how we can continue to bring fun and learning to youth through 4-H all year long? Do you have ideas?  NOW IS THE BEST TIME TO GET INVOLVED!

Parents, family and adult friends of 4-H members are often a natural fit to help with programming and is one way to spending quality time with the youth in your lives!


It's Okay to Not Be Okay Program: A Guide to Coping and Managing Stress, Anxiety and Depression


Not only is it okay to not feel 'okay,' it is essential. An abnormal emotional response to an abnormal situation IS normal. 


Join Kelsey Neuhoff, Licensed Social Worker, as she discusses healthy ways to cope and manage stress, anxiety and depression.

When: Thursday, September 14, 2023

Time: 6:00 - 7:15 p.m. EST

Where: Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building

Meal will be provided.


To register for this free event, call 812-996-2352 or visit

Registration Deadline:  September 7, 2023

Registration for this event is limited and for those 16 years of age and older.


4-H began over 100 years ago and has since grown into the largest youth development program in the nation. 4-H prepares young people to be leaders in their community and around the world through hands-on experiences alongside their peers and caring adults. Backed by a network of more than 6 million youth, 540,000 adult volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni, 4-H delivers research-based programming around positive youth development. 4-H is delivered through America’s 109 land-grant universities and the Cooperative Extension Service, reaching every corner of our nation.


In Indiana, 4-H can be found in all 92 counties delivered through Purdue Extension. Community clubs, afterschool programs, school enrichment, camps/workshops, and special interest programs are all ways youth across Indiana can be involved with the 4-H program. The impact of 4-H for life skill development providing college & career pathways is proven.  Volunteer leadership in 4-H provides a part of the critical competencies required for 4-H programming. Thank you to all volunteers! 


We invite all youth, kindergarten to twelfth grade, to join 4-H! The program provides opportunity for all!



From Ryegate,  Montana. Curt Pate uses his personal experience incorporating effective stockmanship principles, supports a “for profit” mindset and focuses on highlighting the increased economic benefits of handling stock correctly.  In addition,  Curt recognizes the growing public scrutiny surrounding livestock production and the impact that improved livestock handling practices create for the sustainability of the cattle industry.


WHERE:  Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center, Dubois, IN

WHEN:  Friday, September 29, 2023 – Beef Focused Program

               Saturday, September 30, 2023 – Sheep & Goat Focused Program




WHEN:  Saturday, September 9, 2023

WHERE:  Jay County Fairgrounds, 806 East Votaw Street, Portland,  IN  47371

TIMES:  Check in:  8:00 to 10:00 AM & Show Time:  12:00 Noon

For more information contact:  Nancy Snyder - 260-703-0627 or Mark Valentine – 260-251-8066



Save the date:  Monday, November 6, 2023 10 am – 12 Noon EST

Martin County 4-H Fairgrounds & Event Center, Community Building



To help entrepreneurs, freelancers and employees enhance their remote work skills, the Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) and Purdue Extension have partnered to offer the Remote Work Professional Certificate course. Grant funding allows Indiana participants to complete the certificate for $50 compared to its regular price of $199.


The Remote Work Professional Certificate course equips individuals with the skills needed to excel in a remote work environment. The course covers topics such as time management, communication, collaboration and strategies for staying focused and productive while working from home. Participants will learn about the latest tools and technologies that are essential for remote work success.


“Remote work is the future of work, and we are thrilled to offer this course to help individuals thrive in this new environment,” said Emily Del Real, PCRD engagement specialist. “With grant funding, we are able to make this course accessible, regardless of financial circumstances.”


The online certificate course consists of nine self-paced core modules and four interactive workshops. The modules will cover how to set up a virtual office and communicate professionally, as well as understanding task management and project tracking, the legal precautions of working online, problem solving, and remote professional development. Participants will need reliable access to broadband, a web camera and microphone, and basic computer proficiency. Program coaches will be available throughout the course to answer questions and guide participants through the modules. 


To register for the online course and take advantage of the grant funding program, visit and enter discount code RBDG_Grant22.


About the Purdue Center for Regional Development

The Purdue Center for Regional Development (PCRD) seeks to pioneer new ideas and strategies that contribute to regional collaboration, innovation and prosperity. Founded in 2005, the center partners with public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations to identify and enhance the key drivers of innovation in regions across Indiana, the U.S. and beyond. These drivers include a vibrant and inclusive civic leadership, a commitment to collaboration and the application of advanced data support systems to promote sound decision-making and the pursuit of economic development investments that build on the competitive assets of regions. Learn more at



The seven-week program is designed for local leaders, government officials, NGOs, and community members interested in living and leading sustainably. It meets online once a week and incorporates live presentations, activities, and group discussions. Weekly assignments, including online videos and homework, supplement the live sessions.


The program begins on September 13 and takes place on Wednesdays from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm EST through October 25.

  • Expolor energy, water, and food topics and learn how these three work together as a system.
  • Delve into the U.S. economy and understand how our consumption of goods impacts our world.
  • Discover ways to take action in your home and community to reduce your footprint and increase your handprint.
  • Learn how people across the country are making a difference for their communities.
  • Earn a digital badge when you complete the course

Please contact Steve Yoder at or visit


Register here:

2024 Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy

Learn to be a Leader in Watershed Management & sign up now to improve your watershed management skills. If you’re interested in water quality and watersheds, consider applying for the 2024 Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy.

The Academy, organized by Purdue University with support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other Indiana conservation agencies and organizations, gives participants the chance to:  

  • Engage with watershed topics covering leadership principles, watershed science, organization and communication, technology and GIS, stakeholder involvement techniques and policy skills
  • Meet, learn from, and engage with others who work in watershed management
  • Interact with topic experts
  • Gain strategies, skills, and resources for successful watershed management
  • Earn a Professional Certificate in Watershed Management 

Enrollment deadline: November 3, 2023

Web site: For the online application and information about the Academy, visit

Format:  The program includes three face-to-face group sessions, plus distance learning and online networking (approximately 2 hrs/week). The Academy will run from January to May, 2024, with workshops on January 3-4, March 27-28, and May 22, 2024.

Recognition: Participants who complete all requirements earn a Purdue University Continuing Education Professional Certificate in Watershed Management.

For more information, please contact Sara Peel,, or see the Academy Website to fill out the registration application.

MORE 2023 Indiana State Fair 4-H Project Results


Fashion Revue -Sewing

Makenzie Mauder, Grades 8-12 Informal or Casual Wear - Blue Ribbon

Lawn and Garden Tractor Operator Skills

Jase Dages, Junior – White Ribbon

Russell Mauder, Senior – Red Ribbon

Zero-Turn Radius Mower Operator Skills

Jax VanMeter, Junior – Blue Ribbon & 8th Place

Adult Short Hair Cat

Phoebe Jones, Class 2, Intermediate – 10th place

Adult Short Hair Cat Showmanship

Phoebe Jones, Intermediate – 4th place

Adult Short Hair Cat Interactive Demonstration

Phoebe Jones, Intermediate – 1st place

Swine Duroc Division - Barrow

Carter Walton, Class 31 – 9th place

Swine Landrace Division – Barrow

Carter Walton, Class 22 – 5th place



All State Fair static project 4-H exhibits may be picked up from the Extension Office Tueday, August 22nd through Friday, September 1st.   


Adapted from:

by; Ben McCallister, Urban Forestry Specialist, Purdue Forestry & Natural Resources


Purdue Landscape Report: I have lost count of the number of times I’ve witnessed people working with chainsaws in shorts, a tank top, and flip flops with maybe a pair of earbuds, and it makes me cringe every time.  According to the CDC, over 36,000 chainsaw-related injuries a year are reported with annual medical costs of more than $350 million (Johnson, 2023).  Wearing the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) can help prevent accidents and injuries (Fig. 1).  PPE is there to protect you from head to toe and if you are investing in a chainsaw, it doesn’t take much more to invest in the proper PPE.  Including a work shirt and pants, if you’re using a chainsaw you should wear protection for your head, eyes and ears, hands, legs, and feet, most of which can be found at your local hardware store or home center.


Protecting your head means using a helmet, not a baseball cap or bandanna.  Depending on the type of work you’re doing there is a risk of being struck by wood or branches or if kickback occurs, sending the chainsaw back towards your head. Safety glasses will help keep sawdust and other debris out of your eyes and should be stamped with Z87.1, showing they conform to ANSI safety regulations.  Normal glasses and sunglasses are not rated for being struck and can shatter, sending broken lenses into your eyes.  Ear protection can be in the form of plugs or muffs and should be rated to reduce noise to appropriate levels when worn properly.


Most modern chainsaws have built-in anti vibration technology to reduce fatigue, but having a nice pair of work gloves will still help to protect your hands and grip.  Gloves will help protect against debris and are also good to wear for chainsaw maintenance.  Although not about PPE, another note on protecting your hands when operating a chainsaw includes the proper use of the chain brake.  Injuries can occur on the right hand because operators will remove it from the back handle to activate the chain brake with the palm of their hand and miss it, putting their hand on the still moving chain.  Injuries on either hand can happen when one handing a saw while using your other hand to brace or manage what you are cutting and losing control.  The chain brake is designed to be engaged by popping your left wrist forward while maintaining a grip with both hands on the handles.

To protect your legs some form of chaps or chap pants are needed.  Prices can range from around $40 for a pair of wrap-chaps that can be worn over your work pants up to around $400 for a high-end pair of chap pants that are a stand-alone work pant replacement.  Whichever you choose to wear, the protection should be from the top of your thigh to the top of your foot and wrap around your calf.  Care should be taken to keep them clean from gas and oil and if they are ever damaged by a chainsaw, chaps should be discarded and replaced.  Once the protective material has been damaged the safety has been compromised.  Chainsaw boots are also available to protect your lower legs and feet but are expensive and can be heavy.  A sturdy work boot should be worn at the very least while staying alert to how close the chainsaw is coming to you.  And please, no open-toed shoes.


Whatever the task, if you are going to do your own chainsaw work, then I implore you to wear your PPE from head to toe.  I know it’s hot and can get uncomfortable, but all it takes is one mistake to send you to the ER.  If you feel the job is beyond your capabilities you can always contact an ISA certified arborist at Find an Arborist through the website.


Special Submission from Mark Sims

Have you ever wanted to make a difference for today’s youth?

I am the new Martin County 4-H Shooting Sports Coordinator.

I am seeking highly motivated men and women that want to help Martin County youth in a positive way. Being a 4-H volunteer is easy. All you must do is pass a background check, follow process and behavioral expectations and take about less than an hour of online training. 

To be a Shooting Sports instructor, we will send you on a training course the weekend of September 8,9,10, 2023. 

“I don’t have time, I have never taught weapons, I don’t know what to do.” No problem! The answer to the 1st excuse is the more adult volunteers and instructors we have the easier it is for everyone. For the other 2 excuses don’t worry, we will work with you and teach you.

We are also recruiting today’s youth 3rd grade thru 12th grade as members of Martin County 4-H and Shooting Sports. It doesn’t matter if you plan on hunting or not. Shooting Sports teaches proper handling of weapons. This, in turn, creates awareness and familiarity around pistols, shotguns, rifles, and archery equipment. Target shooting with a bow or gun is relaxing and it helps with eye hand coordination and patience. As I said before you don’t have to hunt to be in this program. We don’t promote hunting, that’s a choice outside skill development.  There is skills competition at the state level. If you do well at state, you will have the opportunity to go to the national level while in 4-H. There are college scholarships available for shooting sports beyond high school.  If you like it and practice, you could even make the Olympic team. The sky is the limit. Maybe this will lead to a career. 

Please contact me if you would like more information or to volunteer as a volunteer and/or instructor. As of right now we only have 3 volunteers out of 6 that can attend the training in September. To teach a weapon we must have 1 instructor on site trained by Purdue University/Indiana 4-H to teach that to the youth. There are 6 weapon disciplines to teach. Enrollment for the youth opens in October 1st for the next program year.

Thank you for your time.

Mark Sims


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