University of Wisconsin Extension Rock County hosted UW Extension & UW Colleges Chancellor Cathy Sandeen and Provost & Vice Chancellor Aaron Brower on November 20. They spent several hours in Rock County learning about UW Extension programming and its impact from county Extension staff, program partners and elected officials.
In Beloit, John Ramstad from Community Action, Inc. described the Community Sharing Garden and the role played by Extension Horticulture staff in getting the program started and making it sustainable. The Extension Nutrition Educators were then instrumental in bringing local schools and a community center into the gardening program.
Erick Williams from the Fatherhood Initiative Program shared the impacts of UW Extension’s partnership with that program for single fathers. Nutrition Education staff taught program participants how to improve their health through nutrition. Willie Trammel, a graduate of the program spoke about his personal experience in making lifestyle changes that improved his health and the health of his children.
Family Living programs regarding obesity prevention and intervention were discussed such as Little Steps Big Changes and Fit Families Rock, a joint program with 4-H Youth Development.
In Janesville, the group was joined by Josh Smith, Rock County Administrator and Al Sweeney, Rock County Board of Supervisors who discussed the value that UW Extension programming brings to Rock County. They also described the positive relationship between UW Extension and the Rock County Board.
Chris Blakeney from Amazing Grace Family Farm spoke about his experience with several UW Extension programs, including eleven years as a Rock County 4-H member. As an adult, he has worked closely with Extension staff through the Farm to School Program and now supplies locally grown produce to Rock County schools.
Information on UW Extension programming in Agriculture was also shared, as well as the county and statewide impact of Family Living’s Strong Women program.
The group was accompanied throughout the visit by Steffi Farrey, a member of Rock County’s Turtle 4-H Club. Steffi served as the photographer for the event and spoke about her 4-H experience, which included involvement at the club, county and state levels of 4-H. She identified specific ways in which unique 4-H Youth Development programs have helped her personal growth and development.
For more information on UW Extension Rock County programs in Agriculture, Horticulture, Family Living, 4-H Youth Development and Nutrition Education, contact the UW Extension Office at 608-757-5696.