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2023 Nov/Dec Perry County Extension Newsletter



Perry County 4-H and Youth Development News

hannah-family-photoHello Perry County 4-Hers! My name is Hannah Lasher and I am the new 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator. I am so excited to meet everyone and kick off a great year for 4-H. I will be sending out a needs assessment to the community in order to see where specifically the youth needs/wants more programming. My main focus will be reaching out to the youth themselves, however, if adults want to submit the survey as well, I will gladly take them!

A little bit about me, I am from Tennyson, IN and recently moved to Perry County after getting married to my husband, Thomas Lasher, in October 2022. I was a 10 year 4-Her in Warrick County and showed various projects throughout my years in 4-H. I participated in sewing, fashion revue, photography, woodworking, scrapbooking, art, (using mediums such as watercolor, paint, colored pencil, etc.) foods, horse poster, goat poster, showed my horse and showed my goats. In my time as a 4-Her I was the President of my club The Yellowbanks Mixers for 4 years. I learned several valuable skills as a 4-Her and developed a passion for learning and leadership throughout the 10 years I was involved. Throughout my years I attended 4-H camp, competed in various events at the fair, and even won a few. Pictured below is my team that won hog wrestling and my team that won mud volleyball.

I graduated from the University of Evansville with my Masters of Public Health in 2020. There, I was involved in College Mentors for Kids, Alpha Omicron Pi, Order of Omega, National Society of Leadership and Success, Recruitment Counselor, Panhellenic Executive Board, Public Health Student Association and Admission Ambassador. I believe that 4-H shaped my leadership qualities in order to not only participate in every student lead association I was in but also pushed me to be a leader among those groups. I am very passionate about 4-H and all the wonderful qualities it brings out in those involved! I am excited to continue that passion with my current role as the 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator. 

Perry County Ag News

Purdue Extension - Perry County

Educator's Corner

   Harvest is wrapping up in Perry County. Overall it has been a good year for Perry County farmers with strong yields and a generally good growing season. While we had some dry spells, overall we had timely rain throughout most of the county. Input costs continue to be high, putting a strain on farm profits while corn and soybean prices have declined since the beginning of the year, putting a greater strain on farm balance sheets. 

   As we move into winter, livestock producers should test hay stores so they can balance rations accordingly. There is a hay probe at the Extension Office that is available for Perry County residents to check out and use.

   It’s time to winterize gardens. Remove dead plants from the garden. Remains of this year’s crop can potentially carry harbor diseases that can be carried over to next year. It’s fine to compost plant remains, but consider using yard waste compost on your garden and garden waste compost on your yard to prevent plant disease transmission within your garden. 

   Monitor temperatures and bring sensitive plants inside when nights get too cold. Ensure that plants brought inside get adequate light and moisture. Indoor conditions are often much dryer than outdoor conditions. 

   Have a wonderful holiday season!

                                         - Sara 

Dec. 7 Perry County PARP to Focus on Biologicals

By: Sara Dzimianski

   Biologicals are the hot new product marketed by ag companies for enhancing crop production. Due to minimal regulation of these products, and no oversight from the EPA/FDA, it can be difficult to sort through the hype and assess what is actually effective. 

   Dr. Shaun Casteel, Purdue University Extension Soybean Specialist has focused research on biologicals to assess what actually works. He will share the results of the workshop at the Perry County PARP on December 7 at 6:30 PM at the Perry County 4-H Fairgrounds located at 99 Roy Fenn Drive, Tell City. Call 812-547-7084 for more information. Preregistration is not required. 

Other upcoming PARP programs: 

Nov. 6 Martin County PARP (Loogootee) Ph.(812)295-2412

Nov. 6 Daviess County PARP (Washington) Ph.(812)254-8668

Nov. 8 Crawford Co. Area 2 PARP (Leavenworth) Ph.(812)338-2352

Nov. 8 Lawrence Co. Area 2 PARP (Bedford) Ph.(812)723-7107

Nov.13 Knox County PARP (Vincennes) Ph.(812)882-3509

Nov. 13 Pike County PARP (Petersburg) Ph.(812)354-6838

Dec. 12 Precision Farming Solutions Workshop & PARP (H’burg)     Ph.(812)684-9700

Dec. 12 Knox County PARP Workshop (TBD) Ph.(812)882-3509

Dec. 12 Gibson County PARP Workshop (Princeton) Ph.(812)385-3491

Free Soil Sampling Program for Indiana Farmers

Source: Dubois County Agrinews, October 2023

   The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and partners throughout the state

have worked with the Gulf Hypoxia Program (GHP) to develop a no-cost program with

a focus on increasing the knowledge and use of soil sampling as a nutrient management

practice to benefit farm operations. The program, titled Indiana’s Mississippi

River Basin Soil Sampling Program, is open now for applicants. The new program

focuses on soil sampling and testing because it is a key agronomic component, and

first step, of developing a plan for nutrient management.

   Soil sampling provides an assessment of the soil’s fertility which can be used for making

fertilizer application recommendations, assessing available nutrients over time, increase

farmer profitability and enhance environmental protection by reducing the risk

of nutrient loss. This project was developed to help further Indiana’s State Nutrient Reduction

Strategy efforts.

   This program includes row crop fields, pastures and specialty crops located within Indiana’s

portion of the Mississippi River Basin. Participating landowners will be prioritized

by fields that have never been soil sampled and fields that haven’t been sampled regularly

(i.e., within the last 3-4 years). Further prioritization may be implemented based

on interest in the program. This program excludes hobby gardens and private lawns.

Interested farmers can sign-up online at ISDA’s website or by reaching out to Sign-ups are now open and ISDA is accepting sign-ups until

April 17, 2024.

This program was made possible thanks to ISDA, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana

Corn Marketing Council, Indiana Agriculture Nutrient Alliance (IANA), Indiana Conservation

Partnership (ICP) members, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, farmers and Certified Crop Advisors.

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Training

   Cattle producers wanting in-person training and certification for Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) will have an opportunity on November 2, 2023 from 6:30-9:00 PM.  The training will be hosted by Purdue Extension at the Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center (SIPAC) at 11371 E. Purdue Farm Road, Dubois, IN. 

   Pre-registration is needed for accommodations, exams, and certificates as well as to speed the registration process and printing of certificates. Registrations can be submitted to the Purdue Extension – Dubois County office at or ph.(812)482-1782.

   Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a program that provides systematic information to U.S. beef producers of how good husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management conditions. BQA Certification is valid for a consecutive three year period, with BQA certification frequently being a requirement for the purchase of cattle by many large-scale buyers.

Recent changes in home-based vendor regulations

Directory Helps Woodland Owners Find Professional Foresters

   A new Directory of Professional Foresters is now available, listing Indiana foresters who provide private woodland services and advice. Foresters are located throughout the state

and provide assistance such as management plans, timber sales, tree planting, invasive species control, and many other services.

“Finding the resources to help you meet your woodland management objectives is important and key to successful stewardship

of private woodlands,” says Lenny Farlee, Purdue Extension Forester. “Professional foresters can provide expert advice and assistance to meet your property management


   The Directory is available online via interactive map at to find foresters by county or address, or as a downloadable document. Printed copies of the booklet are available at County Extension and Soil & Water Conservation District offices or through a state Division of Forestry district forester or by request to

“Making the Healthy Choice, the Easy Choice.”

Erin Meyer, RDN, CDE

Community Wellness Coordinator


Do I Qualify for SNAP?

To qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, applicants must meet certain non-financial and financial requirements. Non-financial requirements include state residency, citizenship/alien status, work registration and cooperation with the IMPACT (job training) program. Financial criteria include income and asset limits.

The asset/resource limits are $5,000 for most households. Assets include bank accounts, cash, real estate, personal property, vehicles, etc. The household's home and surrounding lot, household goods and personal belongings and life insurance policies are not counted as assets in the SNAP program.

All households (except those with elderly or disabled members) must pass a gross income test (130% of poverty) to qualify for SNAP benefits. The gross income is per household size and based on the gross monthly income received by all household members.

For more information, please visit:

Feed Your Family Healthfully on a Limited Budget

When resources are tight, many families must choose between paying household bills or

buying food. Poor nutrition can impair health and immunity, lower productivity, and

hinder development and learning.

If a limited budget makes it difficult for you to buy food, there is help for you and your


Find Out About SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides help for those in need. Eligible

families can buy fruit, vegetables, bread, cereal, meat, fish, poultry and milk with this

monthly benefit. Plus, grocery, convenience and specialty stores accept the SNAP debit

card. And, some stores provide special discounts if you purchase fruits and vegetables

with your SNAP card. SNAP also offers resources on stretching your food dollars. For

example, the “SNAP Challenge” is a 6-week guide to eating on a SNAP budget. Online

information includes grocery lists, recipes and cost estimates for dozens of recipes. Even

if you don’t qualify for SNAP, this resource can help you prepare healthy, easy meals on

a budget.

Look into the Local Food Bank

Food banks receive surplus foods from national sources, as well as local donations from

charities, church groups and individuals. Some distribute prepared boxes with a variety

of foods. Others allow you to walk through the warehouse and fill a box yourself. Food

banks are a good source for staples such as rice, pasta and canned goods.

Visit Your Local Farmers Market

If your neighborhood doesn't have a supermarket, check out other options for buying

fresh produce. For example, farmers markets are sprouting up in many underserved

neighborhoods. These markets provide fresh, locally grown produce that you often can

purchase with SNAP dollars. And there's another perk: Many states will give double

dollars for SNAP participants who use farmers markets. So, $10 in SNAP benefits will get

you $20 in produce.

Or, plant a simple garden. Even if you live in an apartment, you and your kids can grow

your own vegetables. Plant your family's favorite veggies in a clean clay or plastic pot,

trashcan, bucket or another container and place it on a porch, balcony, windowsill or

sunny spot.

Food Sharing

Many families and friends use informal food sharing to stretch their budgets. For

gardeners and farmers, it may mean exchanging crops. Or, suburbanites might split the

cost of foods bought in bulk at discount grocery stores. Another option is to exchange

cooked meals once or twice a week, which also saves you meal prep time a day or two a



Check Out WIC – If the Kids are Age Five or Under

WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

This program provides services for low-income, pregnant, breastfeeding and

postpartum women. WIC also serves infants and children up to age 5 who are at risk for

poor nutrition.

If you're eligible, you'll receive:

  • Foods to help meet the nutrition needs of yourself and your young children. For example, iron-fortified cereal, whole-wheat bread, eggs, milk, cheese, beans, peanut
  • butter, canned fish, fruits and vegetables and vitamin C-rich fruit juice.
  • Foods for young children such as baby food, iron-fortified infant cereals and ironfortified infant formulas.
  • Referrals to healthcare providers.
  • Education about nutrition education and breastfeeding.

Give Your Kids a Head Start

Head Start is a program for preschoolers. Eligible 3 and 4-year old children attend Head

Start to help get them ready for school. And, typically, kids can eat breakfast and lunch

at this preschool program. In addition to giving your child two nutritious meals, it also

helps stretch the family’s food budget.

Take Advantage of School Meals

Depending on your family's income level, your child may qualify for free or reduced

cost meals at school. Overall, school meal programs may provide breakfast, lunch,

snacks and even dinners. Specific offerings for school meals vary by district. School

meals are healthier than ever — many districts now serve lean meat, low-fat dairy,

whole grains and fruits and vegetables. For children with parents who work shifts

during the evening meal, after-school meal programs provide many children with a

nutritious dinner. And, when school isn’t in session, the Summer Food Service Program

provides nutritious meals to fill the void.

Learn More

Check out the links below for additional information about these programs.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Feeding America (nationwide network of food banks)

National Farmers Market Directory

WIC: Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children

Head Start

National School Breakfast Program

National School Lunch Program

After School Meal Program

Summer Food Service Program




American Diabetes Month is a time to raise awareness about the growing

public health crisis of diabetes and to encourage people to make healthy


Every 23 seconds, someone in the US is diagnosed with diabetes, which

translates into approximately 30 million children and adults who have

diabetes; nearly 95% have type 2 diabetes. Another 84 million adults in the US

are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the US; and if

not controlled, may result in health problems such as stroke, kidney disease,

vision loss, and amputation. Heart disease can also be a serious health

problem for people with diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the following

symptoms of diabetes are typical. However, some people with type 2 diabetes

have symptoms so mild that they may go unnoticed.

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry - even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss - even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)

Early detection and treatment of diabetes can decrease the risk of developing

the complications associated with diabetes. Ask your doctor about your risk

of diabetes.

For more information, visit:






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