Skip to Main Content

Perry County March/April Extension Newsletter

4-H Newsletter

 Bio photo of Hannah Lasher

Hannah Lasher, 4-H Educator

Important Dates

  • Trip applications due March 1st
  • May 15th 4-H animal ID deadline
  • 4-H Camp May 31st-June 2nd
  • Academy June 12th- June 14th
  • Round-up June 24th- June 26th
  • Project check-in July 8th from 5pm-7:30pm
  • Livestock check-in July 11th 4pm-8pm
  • Fair is 7/12/24-7/15/24
  • New this year Opening Ceremony has been moved to 8 AM on Friday July 12th!
  • Project check-out July 15th 4-8pm

 Summer Trips 2024

4-H Trips for Grades 7-12 Summer 4-H trips are a great opportunity to meet new friends and learn about topics that interest you. Mark March 1 as the very latest that you can apply for the trips and receive financial support. While it is possible to enroll later, those who miss the March 1 deadline will pay the full fee and possibly need to provide their own transportation and chaperone. The 4-H Council will provide funding to support participation in these trips, based on the applications submitted by March. 1.

Youth selected for trips will only pay $50 for trips in Indiana. Transportation to/from Roundup and Youth Academy is provided by charter bus. The bus will pick up at Denny’s in Dale. For all other trips, no transportation is offered. Trips are awarded based on available funding and the submitted application. Information about the trips is posted here:  . These trips provide a fun opportunity to explore career options and learn about topics of interest to you while meeting youth with similar interests. If you have questions, please contact Hannah Lasher at or call 812-547-7084.

Perry County Needs Assessment

            4-Her’s, we want to hear from you! Please follow the link below to answer a few questions in regards to programming in Perry County. The 4-H Youth Development Educator is new and would like to hear your thoughts on how to better serve the community. 4-H is a positive youth development program that helps facilitate leadership and this is one way to make a difference. Every 4-Her is encouraged to fill out the assessment not just one per family.

This survey is designed to get the youth’s opinions please only answer if you are 18 years old or younger. The goal of this needs assessment is to figure out what the youth want to learn in school and through 4-H programming. The program areas that the 4-H educator can bring for programming are STEM, Healthy Living and/or civic engagement. 4-H emphasizes the practical applications of knowledge or “learning by doing” to develop skills and acquire the sense of responsibility, initiative and self-worth.  

4-H Camp

4-H Camp will be held on May 31-June 2, 2024. Our camp will be held at Country Lake Campground in Underwood, Indiana. We will be camping with several other southern Indiana counties and this is a great opportunity to meet other 4-Her’s. There are several fun events scheduled throughout the weekend camp. Camp is open to all enrolled 4-Her’s in grades 3-8 and counselor positions are open to grades 9-12.

The 4-H Council will be sponsoring most of the trip for youth interested in going. The camp will cost the 4-Her $50 to attend and council will cover the remaining $150.

Purdue Broadband

Did you know there is a federal program that can help pay for your home internet bill? Learn more about the FCC Affordable Connectivity Program  #BoilerBroadband

Perry County Ag News

Bio photo of Sara Dzimianski

Sara Dzimianski, ANR Educator

Educator's Corner

   We’re at that time of year where it can’t decide if it is winter or spring. Be cautious working soils in early spring - too much moisture can cause equipment to bog down or compaction issues that will last all season long. When soils dry sufficiently, this is a great time to test for nutrients. Soil testing should be performed every 3-5 years and fertilizer and lime added based on soil tests. 

  As plants come to life, be careful grazing livestock on newly-green pastures. Early spring grasses are very high in protein and water, and low in carbohydrates. While plants may look lush and green, livestock may lose condition on early spring pastures. 

  Ensure you are adequately supplementing livestock, and monitor for bloat. Livestock should be gradually introduced to new spring growth to reduce risk of bloat. 

  Many leafy greens and some other vegetables may be planted as soon as the soil is dry enough to work. Getting in an early spring garden can give you a chance to get plants established before pests move in. 

  This is the perfect time to spray invasive species such as Japanese honeysuckle and other invasive vines and shrubs. These often green before native plants, giving a great opportunity for control. 


Graphic with info about Perry/Spencer Crop Day

Southwest Indiana Homesteading Conference

Purdue Extension will offer the Southwest Indiana Homesteading Conference to help current, beginning, and prospective small farmers in the Tri-State area improve and diversify their small farm and homestead operations.  

Friday’s sessions focus on food preservation, with topics such as boiling water bath, jams and jellies, pressure canning, and fermenting and pickling with hands-on practice in the kitchen.

Saturday sessions involve an array of small farm presentations, with topics including vegetable production, fruit production, soil fertility, composting, beekeeping, backyard poultry, urban agriculture, cover crops, organic systems, food storage panel discussion, small business resources, rain harvesting and storage, tools for the farm, and mushroom cultivation.

Conference participants will receive information on production methods and processes from a variety of experts to plan for new ventures, improve current production and profitability, and diversify current operations.  The event will also feature vendor booths with products and services geared towards small farm and homestead operations. Learn more here. 

Fruit-Ful Lunches

Purdue Extension invites current and aspiring backyard fruit growers to join our 5-session program and learn about ways to improve their fruit production. Educators and Specialists will discuss modern fruit production practices, pest and disease management, and more! Learn more. 

Ag Workforce Study

Dear Indiana Food, Agriculture, and Forestry Employer,

 As you know, Indiana’s agriculture and forestry industries contribute over $35 billion to Indiana’s economy. A crucial piece of supporting and growing Indiana’s agriculture economy is developing a 21st Century Agriculture Workforce. The Purdue Extension 4-H Youth Development Program offers a pipeline to youth and a foundation in agricultural education and programming.

 Purdue University Extension 4-H Youth Development Program is seeking information from you as a food, agriculture, forestry, and related employer in Indiana. If you are an owner, producer, or employer in one of the industries listed above and have at least 2 or more employees, your responses to the survey below may make an impact on the future! This 10-minute survey is designed to gather information about current workforce needs, job growth, recruitment and retention practices, skills, and training needs, and how businesses are adopting technology and automation. 

 Survey participants must be 18 years of age or older. Participation is voluntary and confidential and there is no more than a minimal risk to participating in this study.

 If you have questions about this study, you can contact Dr. Casey Mull at Or Jamie Morris at If you have questions about your rights as a research participant, please contact Purdue University Institutional Review Board (IRB) at 765-494-5942 or

 Thank you for your consideration and support.

 Casey D. Mull, Ph.D.

Assistant Director of Extension, 4-H Youth Development

Jamie Lee Morris

Extension 4-H Specialist, Volunteer Development

Purdue University

OISC Pesticide Applicator Changes

Source: Dubois County Agrinews

There were some recent Office of the Indiana State Chemist (OISC) revisions to the Indiana pesticide rules that affect applicators, particularly those who apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). These revisions have been in process since 2018, and officially became a part of application rules in January 2023. The biggest change is that only fully certified applicators (private and commercial) are now allowed to apply Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). The previous rule was that RUPs could be applied by anyone who was supervised by a private or commercial fully licensed applicator, but all must now be fully licensed. So, how do you obtain a Private Applicator license? The most popular way to take the exam has been to obtain the training manual for the CORE exam (PPP-13), study the manual at home, and then take the exam at the Ivy Tech Community College in Evansville (other testing locations available at or ph. 877-533-2900). The test is administered by the Metro Institute, and Ivy Tech merely provides the supervision during the exam. To prepare for the exam, the study manual can be purchased for $40 plus shipping at or by calling 765-494-6794. Manuals are available in English and Spanish.

Once you receive a manual, go on-line to or call 1-877-533-2900 to schedule an appointment to take the exam. Leave a message and let them know when the best time is to reach you. Everyone taking the exam must show a government issued photo ID. Contact the Indiana State Chemist at 756-494-1492 for alternative identification, if needed. A person is allowed three attempts to take the exam in 12 months’ time. There is a $55 fee for use of facilities through Ivy Tech.

Health & Human Sciences

Bringing University information to the local level to strengthen families, spend smart, eat right, and live well.


Contact Megan Jasperson, Health and Human Sciences Educator

Perry County Office

65 Park Ave

Tell City, IN 47586


Spencer County Office

1101 E. County Rd 800 N

Chrisney, IN 47611

Head Start Opening New Room for 0-3 in North Perry Co

Being a parent can be challenging for a number of reasons. Being a working parent in need of childcare can add additional stress. It’s no secret that there are a lack of  options when it comes to quality childcare in Perry County. Parents often face long waiting lists and find themselves scrambling for options. This can have a significant impact on families as they consider work options, earning potential, and above all, the safety of their children.

Lincoln Hills Development Corporation is excited to announce that they are doing their part to alleviate the issue. They are opening a new Infant and Toddler Room at North Perry Head Start located next to the Perry Central School System. They are currently accepting applications for enrolment. You can call 1-800-467-1435 ext 420 to reach the North Perry Family Advocate. Please see enclosed flyer for additional details. You can also visit for more information.

 Head Start Flyer

Resource for Mental Health & Substance Use

Do you need technical assistance or resources to help you address mental health and substance use disorders? Do you want to connect with researchers, experts, and individuals with lived experience to hear their perspectives on these important topics? The multi-state Great Lakes Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Regional Center, or ROTA-RC, includes Purdue Extension and is here to help.

You can submit a Technical Assistance Request at 

To learn more about the Great Lakes ROTA-RC visit 

Guarding Your Safety: Protection from Scammers

Ever heard of an app called Brigit that promises you fast cash? Pay just $9.99/mon and you can get up to $250 super fast, it claims - only that's not what happens. And if you try to cancel that subscription? Good luck doing so. Learn how to avoid becoming a fraud or scam victim.

HHS offers a program called Staying Scam Safe. This free educational program will cover some common types of scams, provide you with proactive steps you can take to protect yourself and your information, and show you where you can go to report scams or frauds that have taken place. Contact Megan if your organization would like to schedule this class.

Don’t Let Heart Health Education End in February


February was heart health month, but that doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about it since March has arrived. Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women? There are several types of heart disease, but the most prevalent is coronary artery disease. When left untreated, this can lead to a heart attack. Heart attacks can look and feel different for everyone. Some are sudden and intense, others can start slowly with mild pain or discomfort. Even if you aren't sure what's wrong, do not wait too long before getting help. The following symptoms might indicate that you could be having a heart attack:

  • Chest pain or discomfort;
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck or back;
  • Feeling weak, light-headed or faint;
  • Pain in arms or shoulder;
  • Shortness of breath; and
  • Nausea (an extra symptom in women)

There is never a wrong time to have a conversation with your health care provider about heart health. A few lifestyle changes, some exercise and possible dietary changes might significantly reduce your risk. Follow your doctor's advice and take your medicines as directed. Most importantly, if you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 right away. Quick action helps save lives.

Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois



Do I Qualify for SNAP?

To qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, applicants must meet certain non-financial and financial requirements. Nonfinancial 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:


March is National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® Weekly Messages

Week 1: Stay nourished on any budget.

  • Learn cooking, food preparation and meal planning skills.
  • Use a grocery list and shop sales when purchasing food.
  • Learn about community resources such as SNAP, WIC and local food banks.
  • Practice home food safety.

Week 2: See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).

  • Ask your doctor for a referral to an RDN.
  • Find an RDN who specializes in your unique needs.
  • Receive personalized nutrition information to meet your health goals.
  • Learn about the many ways RDNs can help people live healthier lives.

Week 3: Eat a variety of foods from all food groups.

  • Include your favorite cultural foods and traditions.
  • Eat foods in various forms including fresh, frozen, canned and dried.
  • Experiment with recipes using different ingredients.
  • Try new foods or global cuisines.

Week 4: Eat with the environment in mind.

  • Get creative with leftovers and ways to reduce food waste.
  • Enjoy more plant-based meals and snacks.
  • Buy foods in season and from local farmers when possible.
  • Grow food at home or in a community garden.

For more information, visit: 



Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Smart Tips for Successful Meals

Preparing food at home can be a great way to save money, express creativity and stay on track with healthful eating. However, cooking can also be a challenge for many people.

With a few tips and tools, cooking at home becomes a little bit easier for everyone!

Keep a Well-Stocked Pantry

If you don’t have time to plan meals some days or have unexpected guests, a well-stocked pantry can relieve some of the pressure when it comes time to make a meal. Keep the following on hand for quick, easy-to-fix dishes.

Shelf Stable Products

  • Dried or canned beans, peas and lentils (such as black, garbanzo, kidney, white and pinto beans; green, yellow or split peas and lentils)
  • Canned vegetables with no added salt (such as diced tomatoes, peas, green beans and corn)
  • Whole grains (such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet and whole-grain pasta)
  • Pouches or canned fish and chicken
  • Olive, canola or other vegetable oils
  • Dried herbs and spices 

Frozen Foods

  • Vegetables (such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and brussels sprouts)
  • Fruit (such as berries, cherries and bananas)
  • Whole wheat pizza dough
  • Frozen poultry or seafood

Invest in the Right Tools

While you may be able to improvise, the following kitchen tools make working in the kitchen easier.

  • Baking sheets and roasting pans
  • Stock pot, sauce pans and skillets
  • Tongs and spatulas
  • Slotted and mixing spoons
  • Potholders and towels
  • Colander or strainer
  • Mixing bowls in various sizes
  • Separate cutting boards for raw and cooked foods
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Chef knives and vegetable peelers

Don’t Stress

 You don’t need to be a master chef in order to whip up something tasty and nutritious.

You can create healthy and tasty meals without a recipe.

For example:

  • Baked fish with sautéed veggies and rice
  • Black bean and vegetable burrito
  • Scrambled eggs with cheese, salsa and whole grain toast

 If you don’t have an ingredient, try substituting with something similar:

  • Making black bean burgers but running short on black beans? Try them with pinto beans instead.
  • Having pasta but forgot the sauce? Toss together canned tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and season with herbs to provide that extra flavor.
  • If you’re missing sour cream, plain Greek yogurt can be used in its place in chili, on potatoes and in baked goods.
  • Cauliflower can replace broccoli in casseroles and soups.

Mix and Match

These easy combinations pair well and contain many items you may already have on hand:

  • Whole grain pasta with garbanzo beans and canned tomatoes, seasoned with basil and served with a medley of microwaved frozen vegetables on the side.
  • Quinoa with black beans, corn, and bell pepper, dressed with olive oil and lime juice.
  • Salad with lettuce, hard boiled eggs, tuna, tomatoes and olives and dressed with a little olive oil and vinegar.
  • Soup using grilled or baked chicken, low-sodium broth, veggies and brown rice.

 Find more healthy eating tips at: 

For a referral to a registered dietitian nutritionist and for additional food and nutrition information, visit

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

This tip sheet is provided by:  Erin Meyer


Nutrition Education Program Newsletter

Danica Williams

 Nutrition Education Program Advisor

Purdue Extension-Perry County Office

65 Park Avenue Tell City, IN 47586

Cell: 270-993-8549 Office: 812-547-7084



Food Safety: E.Coli in Leafy Greens

Written by Emma Araya, Purdue University Nutrition and Dietetics

Vegetables are essential for a healthy diet. Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, kale, and cabbage have nutrients that help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. However, it is important that they are cleaned and stored properly. Leafy greens might harbor harmful germs. Since some leafy greens can have different textures and lengths, it's easy for bugs and bacteria like E.Coli to hide on them, making it difficult to remove the E.Coli by washing it away. E.Coli can be spread through contaminated food, water; and even people who are infected. Eating E.Coli can make you very sick. Symptoms include diarrhea, food poisoning, and even pneuomnia which can be fatal.

Avoid the spread of E.Coli and harmful bacteria with these tips:
  • Rinse well. Make sure to wash leafy greens by rinsing them under clean, potable, water. It is important to use clean water because E.Coli can also be spread through dirty water. Avoid using bleach or other disinfectants to wash your greens.
  • Use different cutting boards and utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Have seperate cutting boards for raw meat, poultry, eggs, and vegetables to avoid moving germs from one type of food to another.
  • Pick your produce well. Avoid buying leafy greens that are bruised, damaged, or wilted.
  • Refrigerate at 40F or lower Store all pre-packaged, pre-cut, and washed leafy greens in a clean refrigerator at 40F or lower. Make sure to store leafy greens seperately from any raw meat or poultry.



Rainbow Bell Pepper Boats


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cook brown rice according to the package directions.
  1. Meanwhile, slice the bell peppers in half (vertically). Remove all the seeds.
  1. Mash half the can of garbanzo beans and save the other half to use for another day.
  1. Mix the mashed garbanzo beans mixture with the rice, chopped kale, chopped walnuts, salt, and pepper.
  1. Fill bell peppers with the mixture. Place in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  1. Bake for 30 minutes or until crispy. Enjoy!

Ingredients ( 12 servings)

  • 2 cups brown rice*
  • 4 medium bell peppers
  • 2 cups kale (chopped)
  • I can garbanzo beans*
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • I /8 teaspoon pepper


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 330

Protein: 11g

Carbs: 48g

Fat 11g

*foods included in the TEFAP(The Emergency Food Assistance Program)


Making Affordable Plant-Based Meals

Written by Julia Balbach, Purdue University Public Health, Spanish, and, Foods and Nutrition '26

Including more plants in your diet is easy and cost friendly. Including a few plant-based meals a week can

reduce your grocery bill and motivate you to eat different foods.

  • Focus on a variety of whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains,a nd legumesa re all great ingredientst o create nutritious and colorful meals. Canned, pre-cooked, or frozen provide the same vitamins and minerals as fresh foods.
  • Make sure you include all the food groups. Foods such as lentils, peas, beans, nuts, and seeds are a way to get more plant-based protein in your meals. Although the protein content of plant source foods might be lower than animal-baseds ources, these alternatives can help you get an important variety that supplies nutrients.
  • Get creative! Try making your own soups with a variety of different vegetables, grains, and legumes. Switch up simple dishes like pasta and lasagna with different vegetables and tofu as a protein source.
  • Buying with the season. When shoppingf or fresh fruits and vegetables, try looking for produce in season. Most of the time the seasonal produce will be on sale and can be more affordable.
  • Stock up on pantry staples. Long-lasting pantry staples such as beans, chickpeas, canned tomato products, whole grain pasta, and frozen whole foods are an affordable way to have ingredients on hand. When you see a bulk item that you and your family like that is on sale, stock up! Store these staples in air-tight containers and they can last up for up to a year.


To Top