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Extension ExPress, March 2019

Director’s Message — Cultivating the Harvest

The 20th anniversary of the Inland Northwest Small Acreage Farming Conference was celebrated by farmers, ranchers, researchers, educators, students and technical assistance providers at the 2019 Small Acreage Farming Conference: Cultivating the Harvest in Moscow earlier this month. We have come a long way in the past 20 years in providing education for small acreage farming.

First of all, University of Idaho Extension has placed an emphasis on small farms programming by increasing the number of UI Extension educators who have a small farm or local food system focus in their job descriptions. In addition to the number of educators, there has also been an increase in the number and types of small farm Extension programming delivered to the people of Idaho. We offer Cultivating Success, Living on the Land, Victory Gardening, farmers market programming and rapid market assessments, just to name a few. Visit the Small Acreages and Local Food website to learn more about these programs.

The way in which we deliver the research based information has also changed. Twenty years ago, we didn’t have the technology available that could effectively reach across our state to offer hybrid in-person and webinar-based classes. With our recorded webinars participants can attend class when it is convenient for them. UI Extension is now involved and has a visible presence with farmers markets in many locations throughout the state.

We have also increased the number and types of research and education projects that are focused on issues related to small farms. In early 2016, with funding from the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Cultivating Success in Idaho began a three-year comprehensive program to provide education for new farmers. Through this program, participants learned to facilitate access to land, capital and decision-making tools, and the farmer-to-farmer mentoring program was strengthened as the program expanded statewide. Program evaluations revealed that 49 participants reported starting a farm-based business and of all participants, 331 indicated they made improvements to their farming operation.

In 2018 we received a NIFA-AFRI grant focusing on vegetable and fruit production and in 2019 another USDA-NIFA grant was awarded to study women farmers in the U.S. and Idaho.

In recent years we have expanded into new areas such as food safety. UI Extension, in partnership with the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, is working to meet the education and outreach needs of produce growers across Idaho. The profile of organic agriculture has been raised during the past 20 years with the Soil Stewards Farm and the new Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center.

This not an inclusive list of the advances in UI Extension small farms programming and research in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho, but it does reflect the cultivation and growth of the field of small farms occurring with UI Extension.

As the snow is melting and you are dreaming about playing in the dirt, UI Extension is your resource for research-based information that will assist you in cultivating the harvest.

Barbara Petty

Associate Dean and Director of UI Extension

Ag Science, Room 52

208-885-5883

bpetty@uidaho.edu

Extension Impact

Latina Entrepreneurship Workshops Help Participants with Networking and Self-Confidence

In August 2018, participants of University of Idaho Extension Latina Entrepreneurship workshops faced a panel of judges and presented their business pitches to local representatives from bank, radio stations, health departments, food establishments and other business partners, all of whom were bilingual. Fifty-three participants, mostly female and Latina, had crafted their business pitches at face-to-face sessions of the Latina Entrepreneurship workshops, where they learned to condense a basic business plan into key points to deliver it quickly to potential investors.

“A successful pitch identifies a gap, a need in a target market,” said Surine Greenway, UI Extension educator. “It contains a plan to meet that need.”

Pitch delivery is important as information must be succinct and assessable, yet still cover basic components of a business plan. In-person workshops in Nampa, Boise and Burley were ideal places to hone pitching skills, just one of many steps for these budding entrepreneurs to master. UI Extension educators and community business partners also taught participants to draft business plans, seek funding sources and establish good credit as well as investigate their competition and navigate finances and paperwork.

Building Confidence

Even armed with this knowledge, starting a business can feel risky, which may be one reason that only 40 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs in 2018 were women.

“We’ve found that females feel less confident, less sure in starting businesses. They want more stability and are less willing to take risks for their livelihood,” Greenway said.

This is why Greenway, along with UI Extension educators Jackie Amende and Liliana Vega, adapted the DreamBuilder online entrepreneurship program into a face-to-face, 12-hour program where participants could practice, network and build self-confidence. 

“They bounce their ideas off each other,” said Greenway. “They discuss where to market, what locations were best for their audience, who they should target in social media.”

Local business mentors also coached attendees in ways to increase their self-confidence and build personal presence. Business owners offered tips from personal experience on positive and negative aspects of running their own business and what they wished they did and didn’t do, what worked and things to avoid.

“Our whole focus is to boost up, ensure, encourage confidence, take skills and apply them in class,” Greenway said.

These newfound skills help participants see what steps they can take to turn their dreams into an actual business.

“We try to provide participants with the foundational skills and local network they would need to make this idea or dream not so far-fetched, but completely within reach,” Amende said.

For example, in one session a woman considered selling homemade jam and jellies. She had weighed the risk versus the reward and was still unsure of pursuing the idea. When she learned foundational skills and methods of looking at a business, she decided to make it a reality.

“She realized this could be someone’s livelihood,” said Greenway. “This could support a family.”

To date, three participants from the in-person workshops have started their own business: a homemade skin product line, a beauty salon and a food truck business.

Meeting a Demand

The rate of Latino entrepreneurs is growing. According to a 2018 Stanford survey on Latino entrepreneurship, Latino entrepreneurs have a growth rate faster than other ethnic groups. Yet there are still challenges, like a lack of bilingual resources and business education.

Susie Rios, a participant of the online DreamBuilder class, contacted Greenway knowing the face-to-face workshops were in Spanish and English.

“She asked, ‘Can you bring this to Burley?’” Greenway said. “She was a community champion for the Hispanic population.”

Rios recruited 32 participants and arranged the workshop location in partnership with the Community Counsel of Idaho. The workshop was so accessible the first day that some participants brought family and friends back the second day.

Future Opportunities

If the UI Extension team had one goal for the community after hearing about the face-to-face Latina Entrepreneurship program, it would be for established businesses to mentor beginning entrepreneurs or to invest in promising, new businesses.

“We want to localize networking and connections for local entrepreneurs,” Greenway said. “A lot of businesses in the Treasure Valley are interested in supporting small businesses — it’s a good opportunity for them as well.”

The UI Extension team will present a three-week program in Caldwell, May 31 to June 14. To find out more information about these programs or to host face-to-face entrepreneur workshops in your community, contact Surine Greenway at 208-896-4104 or surineg@uidaho.edu.

Women stand by tables and displays.
Latina Entrepreneurship workshop participants network with local businesses.

Grant Funding

This work is supported by the Agricultural and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) award No. 2016-69006-24831 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The total amount of federal funds received for the project will be $499,966.

Article by Aubrey Stribling, University of Idaho Extension

Monitoring the Range

Cattle is big business in Lemhi County.

Cows serve as the leading source of income in the county. And with 93 percent of the county classified as public land, it is imperative that the land be properly managed to maintain healthy rangelands and sustainable livestock grazing practices.

Read the Story

Going For a Walk

University of Idaho Extension is helping Idaho citizens get out and move through community walking programs.

Walking is among the most common forms of physical activity and is appropriate for people of all ages and most abilities. It doesn’t require special skills or facilities and other than a good pair of shoes, the financial investment is minimal. But, the physical and mental benefits are significant, from boosting your energy and burning calories to improving your mood.

In Idaho County, UI Extension educator Kirstin Jensen implemented the Walk and Talk community walking program in 2018. Participants of all ages and fitness levels check out pedometers for self-led walks and help finding a walking partner if requested. After their walk, Jensen helps them record in a step-log which includes number of steps, amount of time spent walking and a general description of where they walked. The pedometers are available year round for use from the UI Extension, Idaho County office.

“It really is self-initiated but if there are people who want to walk with others, then based on the log and the times that they walk, I connect them with someone else who walks around that same time,” Jensen said.

Jensen’s next goal is to implement community group walks one Saturday a month starting in spring, 2019, where all participants — and their two-legged or four-legged friends — would meet and walk together. The event will begin and end with a short welcome, healthy lifestyle information, and help in finding other Walk and Talk partners if need be.

“It’s just another way to get the community doing something active together,” Jensen said. “Walking is a social exercise so hopefully those community walks will get other people connected with new people. When you’re involved in any sort of activity, if you have someone to do it with it keeps you more on track.”

During the first year of the program, an average of four to 10 people per week have checked out the pedometers. Over a three month span, participants completed 40 sessions and 153,344 steps for a combined total of 22.13 hours. Jensen hopes to increase the number of participants in 2019 with the implementation of the community walk in April or May.

“Some people have met new walking partners,” Jensen said. “The fact that it’s open to such a wide variety of fitness levels, everybody can feel included in this.”

In Nez Perce County, UI Extension educator Kathee Tifft is hoping to revitalize a successful walking program that was offered in 2013 and 2014, Just for the Health of It. This program is a free community walk that begins with a five to 10-minute presentation from a local health professional. Topics covered everything from arthritis and diabetes to whole grains and healthy teeth. Tifft developed the program as a way to increase awareness of the diversity of care and resources available in the Lewis-Clark Valley for overall health and wellbeing.

“People really enjoyed it,” Tifft said. “It introduced new people into their health related networks and what the resources are in their community.”

With the addition of a new community partner, Tifft plans to offer the Just for the Health of It program later this spring.

“A sedentary and isolated lifestyle can significantly increase risks to our health,” Tifft said. “Walking is just wonderful, it’s so good for you in so many ways.”

Tifft noted that the program is a great activity that families can do together. When it was offered previously, several three-generation family groups attended and made the walk a part of their routine.  

Jensen and Tifft hope that these programs will motivate participants to start developing healthy habits.

“It’s not complicated to get out and start walking,” Tifft said. “It’s not high cost or high skill level to start. We’re talking about quality of life. There is plenty of research that shows going outside improves your mental and emotional development as well. You just feel better.”

“Everyone has to start somewhere,” Jensen said. “The new physical activity guidelines recommend 150 minutes per week of activity. Getting out and moving your body, you’re going to achieve health benefits. Whatever motivates that person to get out and move is what we are trying to achieve through these programs.”

Article by Amy Calabretta, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

The shoes of a woman walking.
UI Extension community walking programs help citizens work on physical fitness.

Promoting Healthy Living

University of Idaho Extension 4-H Health Advocates offer a variety of services and programs to local communities

When teens in the University of Idaho Extension 4-H Health Advocates program noticed younger kids interacting with others via electronic devices rather than face-to-face, they wanted to help them learn better communication skills. The teens compiled social exercises from various sources into a series of 16 short activities promoting communication, awareness and respect.

“They called it C-A-R Chat because they saw the best time to talk to kids was in the car where they are a captive audience,” said Maureen Toomey, an area youth development educator for UI Extension.

As part of their mission to promote healthy living in their communities, the 4-H Health Advocates use C-A-R Chat to teach kids conversation starters, self-image and self-awareness, emotion identification and looking at scenarios from another’s point of view. In one activity, kids form an outer circle and an inner circle. Those in one circle face those in another, talk to each other for 30 seconds and then rotate.

“These activities are good for practice,” Toomey said. “Kids learn communication skills, become more aware of self and others and learn how to be respectful.”

These advocates aren’t just sharing in Idaho communities. In 2018 and 2019 they presented workshops on C-A-R Chat at a National Youth Summit in hopes of inspiring similar activities in other locations. Their efforts have led to grants from the National 4-H Council and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to continue their work.

Serving Their Community

C-A-R Chat isn’t the only activity offered by advocates. Part of their year-long commitment involves a community service project. In 2018, participants at five county fairs created a picture food log with photos from food vendors. Advocates will add to the food logs in 2019 and analyze them as part of a University of Idaho research project.

Advocates also partner with UI Extension’s Eat Smart Idaho Food Smart Families program. They receive training in general nutrition, food preparation and cooking skills, and facilitate activities like label reading, taste testing low-fat milk and identifying sweetened drinks. They run integrative Jeopardy boards at county fairs and the Caldwell Night Rodeo. In 2018, kids learned nutrition facts at the rodeo’s 4-H booth, coached by the teens to learn the correct answers.

“These teens have a great impact on their communities,” said Toomey. “They teach at afterschool programs, summer migrant programs, Boys and Girls clubs, summer camps. They are in position to identify needs for themselves and want to do something about it.”

Growing Confidence

Teens do not need to be 4-H members to apply for the program. Interested participants interview with Toomey, who asks for a one-year commitment, and they become 4-H members during their year of service. As part of an adult’s teaching team, they help run activities at community health fairs, school events, or after-school programs that promote healthy living. They are trained in youth/adult partnerships, given a broad understanding of nutrition and healthy foods, along with cooking and shopping skills, and learn methods of how to teach younger kids.

“The teens become helping hands for UI Extension programs in the community like 4-H, Eat Smart Idaho and the Well Connected Community project,” Toomey said. “They strengthen the reach of our programs for a greater impact. They pitch in, and they’re insightful. They’ve learned that they have a voice and they speak up in meetings.”

It’s a good experience for their résumés, of course, and a good lesson in community building. But the teens themselves are learning integral lessons.

“I have seen a lot of growth and maturity,” said Toomey. “I’ve seen all the teen advocates change over the course of the year and noticed their confidence growing.”

Not only has Toomey noticed the changes, the teens notice it in themselves.

“They take self-assessments, and the majority of the teens report improved confidence in teaching and the ability to stand in front of people,” she said. “With more practice, they grow more successful.”

Getting Involved

The program is hoping to connect with even more community partners.

“Look for the teen advocate in your community,” Toomey said. “If there is one in your area, 4-H is interested in partnering with any community group to teach healthy activities for 15 or 20 minutes.”

Advocates can provide a variety of activities — healthy snack hints, MyPlate demos and C-A-R Chat, to name a few.

There is also a need for adult volunteers. Every trained teen needs the support of a caring adult — one with volunteer training and the ability to participate in a year-long commitment.

“They learn how to be healthy themselves, how to improve overall well-being for themselves and their families together,” Toomey said. “They can be influencers in the communities for change. It’s about health, being the best they can be through a healthy lifestyle.”

A teen pointing at a picture.
UI Extension 4-H Health Advocate presents to a class.

Growing Confidence

Teens do not need to be 4-H members to apply for the program. Interested participants interview with Toomey, who asks for a one-year commitment, and they become 4-H members during their year of service. As part of an adult’s teaching team, they help run activities at community health fairs, school events, or after-school programs that promote healthy living. They are trained in youth/adult partnerships, given a broad understanding of nutrition and healthy foods, along with cooking and shopping skills, and learn methods of how to teach younger kids.

“The teens become helping hands for UI Extension programs in the community like 4-H, Eat Smart Idaho and the Well Connected Community project,” Toomey said. “They strengthen the reach of our programs for a greater impact. They pitch in, and they’re insightful. They’ve learned that they have a voice and they speak up in meetings.”

It’s a good experience for their résumés, of course, and a good lesson in community building. But the teens themselves are learning integral lessons.

“I have seen a lot of growth and maturity,” said Toomey. “I’ve seen all the teen advocates change over the course of the year and noticed their confidence growing.”

Not only has Toomey noticed the changes, the teens notice it in themselves.

“They take self-assessments, and the majority of the teens report improved confidence in teaching and the ability to stand in front of people,” she said. “With more practice, they grow more successful.”

Getting Involved

The program is hoping to connect with even more community partners.

“Look for the teen advocate in your community,” Toomey said. “If there is one in your area, 4-H is interested in partnering with any community group to teach healthy activities for 15 or 20 minutes.”

Advocates can provide a variety of activities — healthy snack hints, MyPlate demos and C-A-R Chat, to name a few.

There is also a need for adult volunteers. Every trained teen needs the support of a caring adult — one with volunteer training and the ability to participate in a year-long commitment.

“They learn how to be healthy themselves, how to improve overall well-being for themselves and their families together,” Toomey said. “They can be influencers in the communities for change. It’s about health, being the best they can be through a healthy lifestyle.”

A teen holding red cabbage.
UI Extension 4-H Health Advocate prepares healthy foods.

Faculty Spotlight

UI Extension is pleased to welcome new educators Shaina Nomee, Sara Fluer and Chandra Vaughan.

Shaina Nomee has been hired as the associate Extension tribal educator for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. Shaina has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho and brings 13 years of work experience to this position, with seven years of work experience with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. 

Sara Fluer is the new associate Extension educator for 4-H Youth Development for UI Extension, Latah County. Sara has a bachelor’s degrees in Family and Consumer Science and Animal and Veterinary Science from the University of Wyoming. She is currently working on her master’s degree at the University of Idaho. Sara brings a wealth of experience and has lifelong experiences with 4-H and Extension programs. 

Chandra Vaughan is the new associate Extension educator specializing in 4-H Youth Development for UI Extension, Blaine County. Chandra has a technical certificate in livestock management and an associates in animal science from the College of Southern Idaho, and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, science, communication and leadership from the University of Idaho. Chandra spent two years working for the UI Extension, Blaine County office as an intern while pursuing her bachelor’s degree and she has been a 4-H leader for the past 10 years.

UI Extension would like to offer a heartfelt thanks and best wishes to Don Morishita.

Don Morishita will retire on April 30 after 29 years of service to the University of Idaho. He joined the U of I Kimberly Research and Extension Center staff as a weed scientist and UI Extension specialist in 1990 after earning a master’s and doctorate from U of I. He became the superintendent of the Kimberly Research and Extension Center in 2003. Don’s research and Extension activities focus on weed management systems in irrigated dry bean and sugar beet cropping systems. He received numerous industry awards during his time at U of I, including the American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists Meritorious Service Award, Idaho Barley Commission Service Award and Wester Society of Weed Science Fellow Award. 

Featured Publication

Designing an Edible Landscape in Idaho (BUL 921)

A successful edible landscape results from good planning, thoughtful design and regular maintenance. This publication provides ideas and suggestions for creating a beautiful, yet productive edible landscape. Edible landscaping is practical and possible in all of Idaho’s growing regions, if careful thought is given to plant choices, design and timing.

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University of Idaho Extension

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St.
Moscow, ID

Mailing Address:
University of Idaho Extension
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2338
Moscow, ID 83844-2338

Phone: 208-885-5883

Fax: 208-885-6654

Email: extension@uidaho.edu

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Barbara Petty