Skip to Main Content

Purdue Extension Martin County Blast November 20, 2023





Save the date: Tuesday, February 13, 2024

For ALL youth in grades 7th – 12th grade. 

Registration will open on 4-Honline in December. 


Indiana 4-H Day at the Statehouse allows students in 7th-12th grade learn about their state government through a day full of civic engagement and leadership.

Participants will tour the state house, meet representatives, and have the opportunity to serve as student pages.

For more information about Indiana 4-H Day at the Statehouse, visit:

See more on the 2023 Experience at:


Indiana is receiving close to $870 million for broadband. How much Martin County gets is up to us and our neighbors!


A huge investment is underway to make sure rural and underserved communities have equal access to broadband. Where the money goes will be based on data collected.


We need as many people as possible to submit information about their internet in order for Martin County to get the most funds possible.


You may have completed similar speed tests over the past year or two – but this is the one that will determine where the most need is and where the money will go.


Here’s what to do to make sure your location is counted:

  • If you do not have internet, email you address to (Updated as of 11-1-23) In Martin County, you may call 812-295-2412 and provide your address and we will email the information in for you. 
  • If you do have internet of any kind (excluding cell data):
    1. Visit to submit a speed test
      • Make sure you are connected to your home (or business) internet and not to cellular data.
      • It is important to do this multiple times at different times of the day
    2. Visit, enter your address and look to see which internet providers are listed as available for your address
      • Make sure the “fixed broadband” tab is selected
      • If your address comes up at the wrong spot, click on the dot that is closest to the address pin and verify that it is the correct address. If it is not, click location challenge on the right
      • If your provider availability list is incorrect, click availability challenge on the right


A couple of important notes:

  • If your tested internet speed is less than 100Mbps download and 20Mbps upload (aka 100/20) you are considered underserved
  • If your only internet option is satellite – you are considered
  • If you have dedicated wireless (not cell phone data) that is considered served.
  • This is not for cellular data. However, you can follow step 2 above and select the “mobile broadband” tab to see which services are listed as available for your address.


For step by step instructions with screen shots visit:


IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ACCESS TO INTERNET OR YOUR SPEED IS LESS THAN 100/20, you should also visit and click at the top where it says “click here to register” This will allow you to call special attention to your address. If you don’t know all the questions, that is ok. What is most important is your name, phone number, physical address, email address if you have one, and county. The rest can be left blank if you don’t know the answer.


Financial assistance is available to those within certain income levels. Visit to learn more and apply for assistance.


Purdue Extension staff are here and happy to help, if you need assistance, please call 812-295-2412 or text 812-653-2089.


Calling all 4-H members:  become an Indiana Broadband Influencer

Do you want to help bring broadband to every person in Indiana?


Indiana will be receiving $870 million dollars to bring broadband to areas where connectivity is low or non-existent. The FCC will use the map to determine what areas will be prioritized. Our job is to make sure that the map is correct.  


Will you help correct that important map?  If you choose to report your help, you will receive a broadband influencer pin and enter your essay in the contest to win an iPad. 

Go to enter your address and answer the questions. It is a good idea to take a screenshot of your results, especially if you are unserved.


Then verify your address at  If it is incorrect, or if the information about your speed is incorrect, please submit a challenge. If you do need to issue a challenge, it helps to have multiple screenshots of speed tests over time to upload. 


Next, write one paragraph explaining why ensuring that everyone in your community has broadband internet will help your community and make it a better place to live. 


Once you have done these three things, go to 4-H Online and register for the Indiana Broadband Influencer event. You will find instructions attached. Then, just wait for your pin. They will be sent after the first of the year, so make sure you do this early.  



Martin County Extension is accepting applications for youth 8-12 grade to serve on the Martin County Teens as Teachers STEM Team.  This team will present the Power Protectors curriculum to younger students.

How to apply: Express interest via email to or via text 812-653-2089 by answering these five simple questions:

  1. Name
  2. Grade
  3. School attended
  4. Why is STEM important?
  5. Where might the Power Protectors activities be taught at?

Power Protectors is a National STEM curriculum developed by 4-H educators from Cornell University, University of Illinois, Utah State University and West Virginia University and a collection that teaches kids how to address real-world issues and explore careers in energy.  The Power Protectors STEM Challenge kit includes three activities designed for individuals or groups and are adaptable for after-school programs, 4-H clubs, classrooms, home use, and more. The activities are:

  1. Superhero Hideout–  Kids will learn about renewable energy and design an electrifying Power Protector hideout!
  2. Amped Up Engineering– Acting as engineers, kids will design and build a model of a renewable energy source to help Energy Island survive and thrive!
  3. Energy Island Adventure– Playing this collaborative board game, kids work as a SUPER team using solar, wind and hydropower to save endangered Energy Island!


You now have an option to text with Extension staff.  Text 812-653-2089 to reach Purdue Extension Martin County.


All are invited to send a text with your name and in return a full detailed contact card will be texted back for you to save in your device contacts. The contact card will include helpful links will be easy for you to save in your contacts for future use. Then, going forward, you may text as a straight communication option for your Purdue Extension needs!


2024 4-H Scholarships 


4-H Accomplishment Scholarship –Available to 4-H members in grade 10-12 and the year immediately following high school graduation. Selection is based on the member’s life skill development resulting from their 4-H participation. Awards range from $1,000.00-$2,000.00. Categories include Animal Science; Citizenship; Communications; Engineering and Technological Science; Healthy Living, Food, and Nutrition Science; Leadership Development; Plant and Environmental Science; Premier Achievement; Premier Citizenship; and Premier Leadership.


4-H Senior Year Scholarship – All Seniors are eligible to apply.  Available to 4-H members in their senior year of high school. Selection is based on the member’s overall 4-H achievement. Awards range from $250.00-$1,000.00.


4-H Club Scholarship - Available to 4-H members entering Purdue University, as a freshman or transfer student, majoring in the College of Agriculture or select majors, listed on the application, in the College of Health and Human Sciences. Selection is based on the member’s overall 4-H achievement and financial need as determined by Purdue’s Division of Financial Aid.


2024 4-H scholarship applications must be uploaded & submitted through 4-HOnline by January 25, 2024.  If you would like review assistance, provide by January 12, 2024 via email to or schedule appointment. 


4-H Scholarship Questions?  Call or email Dena Held.


For scholarship forms please visit this website: 





  • 4-H Day at the Indiana Statehouse: February 13, 2024.  Open to grades 7-12.
  • 4-H Camp Counselors:  TBA
  • Southern Indiana 4-H Camp: TBA
  • 4-H Academy @ Purdue: June 12 – 14, 2024. Open to grades 9-12.
  • State 4-H Junior Leader Conference: June TBA, 2024. Open to grades 7-12.
  • 4-H Band Workshop: June 22 - 24, 2024 Open to grades 9-12.
  • 4-H Chorus Workshop: June 22 - 25, 2024.  Open to grades 9-12.
  • 4-H Round Up: June 24 – 26, 2024. Open to grades 7-9.


ServSafe Food Handler Class, March 12, 2024 in Vincennes, register at


Meats Judging and Milk Quality and Products Invitational Contest

Save the date: Saturday, February 3rd at Tri-County High School  

Teams must check in to compete from 9 am to noon Eastern time and compete at their own pace.  Hosted by Tri-County FFA.




2024 Martin County 4-H Fair 

July 11-16, 2024



The 167th Great Indiana State Fair will be Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 18th, 2024; closed on Mondays.

Animal Health & Poultry Science WORKSHOP


A free hands-on workshop, hosted at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, presented by Purdue Poultry Science team will include activities on exploring micrscopy, egg grading, biosecurity, & running disease diagnostics.

When: Deember 2, 2023 10 am

Where: Indiana State Fairgrounds

For who: 7-12 graders

Register at:

Cost for attendees:  None

Limited spots, register early!



Forces of Nature 4-H SPARK CLUB


Forces of Nature is a hybrid (both virtual and in-person experiences) Spark Club open to youth in 3rd-12th grades who have an interest in any area of Natural Resources. 


One virtual meeting and one in-person meeting will be held once per month beginning in January and running through April.  Areas explored include Wildlife, Soil and Water, Geology, Weather and Climate, and Forestry.  What makes this fun is the chance to dig a little deeper and get more hands on with topics within these subject areas.  For example, see a restored wetland and many of the birds that call it home or learn how maple syrup is made. 


Registration is open now!


Those who join pay one registration fee of $35 which unlocks access to all experiences.  Members can attend all sessions or pick and choose which ones best fit their interests and schedule.  Registration is at  (Registration requires youth to choose which sessions they wish to attend but will only charge them one time.)














Questions: Contact Christie Jacob,



Applications will be accepted for the 2024 Junior & Senior Boiler Vet Camp until February 1st, 2024. 


The Junior Camp will run from June 2-8 and Senior Camp will run from June 9-15.


The only camp of its kind in Indiana, Boiler Vet Camp gives want-to-be veterinarians or veterinary nurses the chance to live out their dreams. This camp is designed for students who are interested in becoming veterinary healthcare professionals and provides a preview into the real and vast fields of veterinary medicine. Students who attended a previous camp cannot repeat the same camp.


Through presentations, demonstrations, laboratories, visits and in-depth, hands-on activities, students will discover what modern veterinary medicine is all about. Students will gain personal experience of what it is like to attend vet school and what it takes to become a veterinarian or veterinary nurse through this seven day on-campus experience at one of the premier veterinary schools in the country. Students entering 8th and 9th grades are eligible to attend Junior Camp and students entering the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades are eligible to attend the Senior Camp. The minimum age required to attend Vet Camp is 12 years of age.


Many partnering organizations have joined with the College of Veterinary Medicine to provide financial assistance for both camps. Partial scholarships are available. Camp fees are all-inclusive for the hands-on in-residence camps.


Learn more and apply now at



ServSafe Manager Certification is an approved training in the state of Indiana to become a certified food protection manager.

ServSafe Food Handler is for anyone else who needs basic food safety and food handling training, including home-based vendors, food service workers, volunteers, or others who work with food who only need the basic training. This course is NOT intended for food service managers.

Here are upcoming classes scheduled in our area. For more information including registration links visit or


ServSafe Manager Class June 7, 2024 in Washington, Contact Jennifer 812-254-8668





You can’t take care of your farm, your livestock or your family if you don’t first take care of yourself.


The Purdue Farm Stress team is part of a 12-state collaborative effort that was awarded the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network grant administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.  The goal is to create/expand stress management and mental health resources and services to agricultural producers/stakeholders in the North Central region.  Listen to the podcast!  Tools For Today’s Farmer.   Featuring interviews with leaders in the agriculture industry.  Find it anywhere you listen to podcasts or simply google search “Tools for Today’s Farmer Podcast.” 


Resources for Farm Families:

Need help and don’t know where to start:

Call:  211 OR

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Call: 988 OR

Be Well Indiana

Call: 211 OR 1-866-211-9966 OR https//


Concern Line for Farmers (Hosted by Iowa)

Call:  1-800-477-1985

Farm Aide Hotline

Call:  1-800-327-6243

Strong Couples Project (Partnership with IL)



Check the website for more resources and information:


February 28, 2024

Beck Agricultural Center, West Lafayette,  IN

The Indiana Organic Grain Farmer meeting increases participant understanding of organic transition, certification and cropping systems through peer learning and networking.  This annual event includes education and workshops on transitioning to organic grain, breakout sessions, farmer panels, networking time and an industry trade show.

For more information contact:  Ashley Adair - Extension Organic Agriculture Specialist  Email:


2024 Indiana Small Farm Conference

WHEN:  Thursday, February 29, 2024 – March 1, 2024

WHERE:  Hendricks County Fairgrounds, Danville,  Indiana

The Indiana Small Farm Conference is a unique space to learn new techniques, see what works, and network with others.  Over 400 attendees, 40 + exhibitors and a vendor trade show along with several national speakers.

To learn more about the conference and the work that the Purdue team does to make your small farming program work.  Contact Information: Amy Thompson,

If you are interested in being a show vendor, contact:  Phil Cox at



Adapted from:

The Indiana State Department of Agriculture is seeking applicants for a new soil sampling program. The program called, Indiana’s Mississippi River Basin Soil Sampling program, is free to applicants. This seeks to encourage farmers to include soil sampling in their plans for nutrient management.

This program will provide soil sampling and analysis at no cost to the producer along with lab recommendations for nutrient applications based on yield goals and soil test results.

Producers will work with ISDA staff to coordinate soil sampling and to provide the best available information for the most accurate recommendations. Soil sampling will take place prior to fertilizer application.

Samples will be submitted to contracted labs for routine soil fertility testing.

This program includes row crop fields, pastures, and specialty crops located within Indiana’s portion of the Mississippi River Basin.

Participating growers will be prioritized by:

  • Fields that have never been sampled before, or
  • Fields that haven’t been sampled regularly (i.e., not sampled within the last 3-4 years), and
  • New program enrollments.

Further prioritization may be implemented based on interest in the program.

Producers can register via the online form, by reaching out to their Resource Specialist, by reaching out to the Program Manager at or 317-605-0701.




This is a four-week course offered virtually November 28, December 5, 12, and 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. EST. This is a discussion-based workshop to connect women and subject-matter experts in the areas of financial records and interpreting results.  Participants should plan on attending each of the four workshop dates. The course requires participants to have an internet connection.  Women will find many opportunities for questions, sharing, and connecting with the presenters and other participants.  Upon completion of this program, participants will have a better understanding of how financial records can be used to make decisions.

Session highlights:
Week 1 - Balance sheet construction and interpretation
Week 2 – Cash flow and income statement fundamentals
Week 3 – Ratios, lease evaluations and negotiations
Week 4 - Know Your Numbers Know Your Options

Registration is $20 per participant and class size is limited to 20.

Register by November 22 at: .

Class material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2020-70028-32728 (Cooperating with University of Nebraska Extension). For more information, or if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Mathias Ingle  or 765-456-2313 by November 22, 2023.



Please join us for the 2023 Regional Ag Forum Wednesday, November 29th at the Toyota Events Center 709 N Embree Street Princeton, IN 47670.


Good information and great opportunity for networking with other producers in the region.  Panel of regionals farmers discussing relevant topics as well as up to date information on climate smart funding.  Adam Daughtery will speak on beginning cover crops, followed by a farmer panel.  At 11am, there will be climate smart funding speed talks.  Lunch is provided free of charge, but registration is required.  After lunch, Adam Daughtery will speak again on a more advanced topic.  The day will start at 7:30am CST with registration, doughnuts, coffee and networking and should wrap up around 2pm CST.  Registration


Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings

The Indiana Farmers Market Community of Practice is hosting Produce Safety Alliance Grower Trainings (PSAG) starting in November, 2023 through June, 2024 with the Safe Produce Indiana Training Team.

Adapted From the DFFS Update November 2023


PSAG training is for Indiana fruit and vegetable growers, specifically farmers market vendors, and market managers, interested in learning about produce safety. Topics covered include the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety.

Training Dates for 2023 & 2024:

Thursday, November 30, 2023 - Vincennes, IN- Purdue Extension Food Safety Training Hub

Wednesday, January 17 – Virtual

Thursday, February 8 – Hancock County – Hancock Co. Extension Office

Saturday, February 24 – Virtual

Tuesday, March 19 – Elkhart/Lagrange County – Location - TBA

Tuesday, April 9 – Wayne County - Location - TBA

The cost of this training is covered by the Indiana Farmers Market Community of Practice with a grant from the Indiana Dept. Of Health, Food Safety Division.


Economics of Soil Health Systems Program

Nov 30, 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

Danville, 1900 E Main St, Danville, IN 46122, USA


Economics of soil health systems is regularly identified as information critical to farmers and those who work with farmers. This training is designed to not only explore annual return on investments of soil health practices, but the longer term ramifications on economic resiliency and potential economic opportunities. We are bringing together a group individuals representing farmers, farm management, and ag banking to provide their insights in to financial impacts of soil health systems. CEUs have been requested.


Register at:



A virtual, muilt-session program for the beef cattle industry. Topics include overview of beef cattle, behavior & facilities, health, genetic selection, forages, nutrition & reproduction.

Dates & Times: February 6 until March 26, 2024

Tuesdays, 6 pm – 8:30 pm EST & Thursdays from 7 pm to 8 pm EST. 

Registration Deadline: by January 24, 2024

Cost: $50

Register Today:

For any questions, please email or


SAVE THE DATE! January 22-23, 2024

Event Location: Hendricks County Fairgrounds  1900 E Main St. Danville IN 46122



SAVE THE DATE! February 29- March 1

Event Location: Hendricks County Fairgrounds 1900 E Main St Danville IN 46122



SAVE THE DATE! June 11-13, 2024

Developing Urban Food Systems for Sustainable and Resiliant Communities

Event Location: Hyatt Regency Downtown Columbus, OH


Capital Comments: How Much Will Homeowner Property Taxes Rise in 2024?

Adapted from:

By: Larry DeBoer

The second installment for 2023 property taxes was due earlier this month. If you’re a homeowner, either you sent a check to your county treasurer or your bank paid the tax out of escrow. Homeowner tax bills were especially painful in 2023. Statewide average homestead tax bills went up 17 percent over 2022, a much bigger increase than in years past. So we wonder, now that 2023 is done, what will happen to tax bills in 2024?

To answer, we need to know a bit about the property tax system. Tax bills rose so much in 2023 because of an extraordinary rise in gross assessed value. Gross assessed value is the county assessor’s estimate of the value of each property parcel. For owner-occupied homesteads it’s the likely selling price if it was put on the market. The gross assessed value of all taxable property, including homesteads, rental housing, farmland and business property, rose 13 percent in 2023. The average for the previous five years had been 4 percent.

Net assessed value is the gross minus deductions. Net assessments for all property rose 16 percent in 2023, more than the increase in the gross. That’s because the homestead standard deduction is fixed at $48,000, so it becomes an ever smaller share of the total as assessed value rises. 

Net assessed value is taxable. The tax bill is the net times the tax rate. That rate is set by dividing the revenue local governments intend to raise, called the levy, by each jurisdiction’s net assessed value. Much of the levy is limited by a state maximum, which increased 5 percent for 2023. A 5 percent levy increase over a 16 percent net assessed value increase should have cut tax rates a lot. But debt service levies and operating referendum levies are outside the maximum, and many local units did not cut those tax rates. So the levy increased 9 percent statewide. 

Homestead gross assessed values rose 16 percent on average. Net assessments increased 21 percent (because of that fixed deduction). Tax rates fell, but not by much, and that’s why homeowner tax bills rose an average of 17 percent. 

Now we have the first evidence for what will happen in 2024. Indiana’s Gateway system has posted the certified net assessed values for taxes in 2024, for all the counties. The statewide increase for all property was 6 percent, a lot less than the 13 percent rise in 2023, but still higher than the typical rise before that.

Homestead net assessments increased 4 percent for 2024, much less than last year’s 21 percent increase. Part of the reason is a slower rise in selling prices. At the end of 2022, Indiana home prices had risen 12 percent over the previous year, compared to 17 percent in 2021. Selling prices in 2022 were used to set assessments in 2023, which will be taxed in 2024.   

Another reason for slower growth in homestead net assessed value is a policy change passed by the General Assembly earlier this year. Legislators increased the supplemental deduction for homesteads from 35 percent of the value after the standard deduction, to 40 percent, just for 2024. That seeming small change increases the size of the deduction a lot. It probably reduces homestead net assessment growth by 8 to 9 percentage points. Without that deduction rise, the homestead net might have risen 12 percent instead of 4.

The legislature also cut the maximum levy increase from 5 percent to 4 percent, and restricted increases in operating referendum revenues to 3 percent. Debt levies are still uncontrolled. Still, levies will increase more slowly in 2024. Let’s call it 4.5 percent, half the 9 percent increase this year.

If total net assessed value rises by 6 percent, and the levy rises by 4.5 percent, the average tax rate should fall about 1.5 percent. A homestead’s 4 percent rise in net assessed value would result in a tax bill increase of 2.5 percent. Compare that to last year’s 17 percent average rise.

Of course, this is all back of the envelope guessing. We’ll know for sure when the statewide data comes in next spring. You’ll know sooner than that, when your tax bill arrives in March.

To Top