Illinois Extension, Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit, Year in Review 2018

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Year In Review 2018 University of Illinois Extension Fulton, Mason, Peoria & Tazewell Counties

A Message from the Chancellor University of Illinois Extension provides practical education you can trust to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. Based in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, Extension is the statewide outreach program of the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is an economic engine and a driver of innovation deeply rooted in the Illinois prairie and engaged statewide, from Cook County to Cairo. Illinois Extension brings the University to your doorstep. Extension educators live and work alongside you in every county, allowing the university to support local leaders, businesses, farmers, and residents to address grand challenges and everyday problems with practical, research-based solutions. As a youth, my own 4-H experience inspired a rewarding career in agricultural research and higher education. Today, it’s an honor to lead this great public university and deepen its commitment to serve the people of Illinois. Robert J. Jones Chancellor, University of Illinois

A Message from the County Director As the staff and volunteers in our Extension unit go about their work each day, I ask them to examine their efforts through the lens of our guiding principle, which is “To Make People and Communities Better.” We did just that in 2018, resulting in many impactful outcomes in each of our program areas. I am always proud of the work conducted by our staff and volunteers, and take much joy in reporting some of their results to you in this report.

Extension Council Sally Bair, Astoria Shundell Broomfield, Peoria Meghan Curless, Havana

Please take time to look through this report and share with others as opportunities arise. Your help in making more of the public aware of what we do strengthens our organization and helps us reach more people.

Kim Dunnigan, Fiatt Erika Eigenbrod, Lincoln Nicole Forsberg, Pekin *Katherine Gottemoller, Princeville *Mark Gottemoller, Princeville Paul Gottemoller, Princeville Holly Koch, Tremont Rosemary Palmer, Manito Carla Presnell, Canton Sunita Shastry, Washington Tyson Walters, Delavan Steve Waterworth, Havana Patty Wiegers, Lewistown *youth members

Before closing, I give special recognition to three staff members who retired this year after contributing a combined total of more than 75 years to University of Illinois Extension. All three retired this past fall and served well throughout their time with us. Congratulations and best wishes to Horticulture Educator Rhonda Ferree, Fulton County Office Support Assistant Debbie Shelby, and Peoria Nutrition Instructor Ronda Mitchell. To all our stakeholders and supporters, I close by saying thanks for learning with us, serving with us, and supporting us. You are greatly appreciated! Earl Allen County Extension Director


The Strategy Guiding Principle Making people and communities better.



To extend research-based information, technology, and best practices from the university arena into public and private arenas in order to strengthen local communities and improve people’s lives.



1,070 Volunteers 406 Partners

The Methods


Process Education Facilitation Collaboration

Scope Agriculture Horticulture Natural Resources Nutrition & Wellness 4-H Youth Development Community & Economic Dev.


Social Media & Website Reach


To adapt research-based knowledge into accessible forms so that every person we serve will experience and recognize a positive impact from our work.


News Releases & Newsletters


TV & Radio


In-Person 49% by staff 51% by volunteers

Financial Report REVENUES Federal State University Local Other

$2.8 Million 48.6% 14.1% 15.0% 20.2% 2.1%

EXPENDITURES Personnel Programming Equipment Overhead

$2.8 Million 71.0% 16.4% 0.3% 12.3%

Fiscal Year 2018



6,687 Youth Reached 1,420 in 4-H Clubs 2,509 in Extended Programs   517 in One-day Programs 2,241 in Short Programs

814 Adult Volunteers

135 Multi-project Club Leaders  72 Special Interest Club Leaders  31 Cloverbud Club Leaders 161 Fair Superintendents 415 Program Volunteers

94 Clubs

49 Multi-project Clubs 30 Special Interest Clubs 15 Cloverbud Clubs

123 Programs

88 Extended Programs  6 One-day Programs 29 Short Programs


Fair Highlight: Mason County 4-H

“Community” is the word that comes to mind when describing the Mason County 4-H Show. You see it in the partners that support the fair and you feel it when you participate in the events. Menard Electric Cooperative demonstrated “community” with a generous donation to install lights at the horse arena. The 4-H Federation created an avenue for “community” to happen as they planned a variety of yard games for fair-goers to enjoy together. • 98 4-H members exhibited 574 entries • 55 Best of Show trophies and 8 Livestock Showmanship awards • 55 exhibits selected for Illinois State Fair plus 90 alternates • 28 youth exhibited general projects at Illinois State Fair and 7 earned Superior awards • 15 youth exhibited livestock projects at Illinois State Fair

“4-H was the best thing I have ever done for my kids and my family. The time we have spent at 4-H Shooting Sports and during fair week is some of the best family time we have had together.” CASEY MCKIMSON, NEW 4-H DAD

4-H Special Interest Club Gave Youth Real-World Engineering Experience High schoolers were challenged to think critically, work as a team, develop better communication skills, network with community leaders, and help the community. A 4-H special interest club known as the DaVinci’s Coders was started to introduce youth to authentic engineering challenges. Volunteers Doug Bergeron and Jeremiah Proctor led the club targeted to high school age youth which put a heavy focus on college and career development. The club started with the goal of using a unique approach to the projects. “We found a ‘customer’ in the community who had a need for a new or improved process, tool, system, or product,” he explained. The club members learn the engineering process with a real-life situation, while also making a positive impact in their community. Bergeron taught the club members the three basic phases of an engineering project: 1) define the problem, 2) investigate the solutions, and 3) evaluate the options. “The first phase involved working directly with the customer to capture all the requirements for solving the problem,” mentioned Bergeron. “Once captured, the students began the second phase known as solutioning. The students researched the pieces of the puzzle, found other technical experts to ask questions of, and began to find solutions for the project requirements. This is where creative problemsolving skills are developed.”

“Taking something that you have zero experience in and putting together a whole project; it builds confidence to do things like that in the future.” BOONE FORMHALS DAVINCI’S CODERS 4-H CLUB MEMBER

The final phase is the detailed proposal and a final presentation to the customer. “The third phase is all about the written and oral communication an engineer is often tasked with,” Bergeron stated. Working through the entire engineering process helps members work better as a team, develop communication skills, learn problem-solving skills, network with community members, and more. DAVINCI’S CODERS STEM PROJECTS • Dickson Mounds Museum – proposal for audio/visual upgrades • City of Havana – proposal for energy efficient lighting project at Havana Fire Department • 2018 4-H state robotics competition FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL YEAR IN REVIEW 2018 5

4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Cathy Eathington, Fulton County, served as leader of Avondale 4-H Club for 40 years. Her four sons are 4-H alumni and now she is enjoying being a 4-H grandma.

CAREER DEVELOPMENT AT 4G STEM CAMP Larry Hill, Mason County, has been a part of 4-H since he was a member. His roles have included club leader, fair board member, and beef superintendent.

This summer, 35 young women and nine teachers participated in the fifth annual 4G STEM Camp (Girls + Games + Gadgets = Genius). One of the main goals of the camp is to introduce girls to careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Participants visited multiple sites over four days: Jump Simulation, Advanced Medical Transport, CSE Software, Caterpillar, University of Illinois - Springfield Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, and The Nature Conservancy in Illinois.

Special Thanks to Our Longstanding Leaders

Dan Keyt, Peoria County, is a 30 year volunteer. His roles include goat superintendent, archery instructor, robotics team co-leader, and treasurer of the foundation.

Kelly Stuber, Tazewell County, is the Dog 4-H Special Interest Club leader and superintendent where she has grown the department in numbers and skills. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 6 YEAR IN REVIEW 2018

FULTON COUNTY Bruce Spangler, Checkrow Volunteers Sharon Spangler, Checkrow Volunteers Charlotte Ann Myers, Canton Luckettes Craig Porter, Pleasant Spacemakers Linda Porter, Pleasant Spacemakers Cindy Ellis, Smithfield Up and Coming Lisa Miller, Smithfield Up and Coming Heidi Putman, Canton Luckettes MASON COUNTY Jamie Harp, Peaceful Valley PEORIA COUNTY Carol Cowser, Laura Winners Fred Rosenbohm, Neighbor Kids Cathy Stahl, Edelstein Eager Beavers TAZEWELL COUNTY Darlene Curry, Green Valley Toilers George Gerrietts, Green Valley Toilers Vivian Gerrietts, Green Valley Toilers Vera Betzelberger, 4-H Forever! Judy McFarland, Shamrocks

45 Years 45 Years 39 Years 38 Years 37 Years 32 Years 21 Years 21 Years 25 Years 25 Years 25 Years 22 Years 47 Years 40 Years 40 Years 37 Years 33 Years

Dog 4-H Special Interest Club

Teen’s passion for dogs launched a club that has grown beyond original goals.

In 2012, Danielle Stuber was a Tazewell 4-Her with a passion for dog training. Along with her mom, the duo started a club focused on dog obedience and care. It has grown to include agility, showmanship, and rally. Through the six years, total club enrollment stands at 130 youth. It is currently drawing members from three additional surrounding counties.

Growing Leaders 4-H Club

New club at Common Place in Peoria inspired by 4-H Spark Tank.

Two years ago Judy Schmidt, 4-H metro educator, led 4-H Spark Tank teens through a community service project to build a hoop house at Common Place in the South Side of Peoria. Many benefits have resulted from that project, including a 4-H gardening club. This summer, several of the members exhibited their produce at the 4-H Show.

STEM Academy

Youth connect with outer space using science, technology, engineering, and math.

This year’s STEM Academy inspired 25 potential future astronauts. During the week-long camp, youth explored a virtual Mars environment, used virtual reality goggles to “do” experiments on Mars, programmed Raspberry Pi devices, built and launched a high-altitude weather balloon, talked to former NASA astronaut Scott Altman, used amateur radio to talk to NASA astronaut Serena AunonChancellor aboard the International Space Station, and worked alongside volunteers from Caterpillar and Peoria Area Amateur Radio Club. This is the third year partnering with Pearl Technology and Richwoods Township for this program.

Tot Time at Dickson Mounds Museum

4-H member improved communication and leadership skills at community program.

Fulton 4-H member Cole Ricker and his mom Tara were invited to present a program about turkeys at Dickson Mounds Museum’s monthly event called Tot Time. Cole brought along two turkeys he raised as part of his 4-H poultry project. Programs like this are just one example where 4-H members start to build their communication and leadership skills at a young age. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL YEAR IN REVIEW 2018 7

COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Collaboration to Help Improve Derby Street in Pekin

Extension and U of I staff and students were involved in local planning study. Kathie Brown, Extension community and economic development educator collaborated with the City of Pekin, Hanson Engineering, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Department of Urban and Regional Planning to conduct a planning study of Derby Street in Pekin. Teresa Anderson, a U of I master’s student was also instrumental in the process. The study looked at the Derby Street area’s needs, assets, and opportunities with an objective of planning better ways to serve residents, visitors, and businesses who use the street regularly. The planning process examined issues such as walkability, street beautification, parking needs, traffic calming, and safety. The goal is to improve the quality of life on Derby Street.

The community steering committee consisted of over 30 residents, government representatives, business owners, and others who are directly affected by activities on Derby Street. It is an excellent example of community collaboration and U of I campus engagement, coordinated by U of I Extension staff. Hanson Engineering and the City of Pekin provided exceptional support in creating this programming partnership, that established a solid foundation for community and student learning. This engagement work demonstrates how the University can be responsive to a critical community need. This programming cuts across the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service.

Strategic Program Planning to Strengthen STEAM Education STEAM experts and leaders join forces to better serve our local educators and citizens. In March, University of Illinois Extension, in collaboration with Illinois Informatics Institute and Champaign-Urbana Fab Lab convened a half day workshop at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum that brought together experts and leaders in science, Hosea Washington, Caterpillar engineer and FIRST Robotics team technology, engineering, arts, and coach, was one of 30 STEAM experts and leaders who came together to develop a plan to synergize efforts in STEAM education throughout the mathematics (STEAM) teaching and Central Illinois area. learning to share their ideas and recommendations for strengthening STEAM education throughout the Greater Peoria Developments stemming from this workshop Region. More than 30 individuals, representing a include: wide range of expertise, contributed to this plan. • regional STEAM events online calendar • online organizational database The goals set forth through this planning process • quarterly meetings to build awareness, include: build an engaged professional network promote collaboration, and implement goals focused on STEAM education, develop a social • monthy feature articles in iBi magazine marketing campaign highlighting the value of highlighting organizations engaged in STEAM STEAM, and expand volunteer engagement. education activities FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 8 YEAR IN REVIEW 2018

{re}Imagine West Main Sets Stage for Progress School of Architecture students worked with City of Peoria’s Innovation Team to begin small changes that will lead to big impacts in one Peoria neighborhood. Improving the livability of our towns and cities commonly starts at the street, block, or building scale. While larger scale efforts do have their place, incremental, small-scale improvements are increasingly seen as a way to stage more substantial investments. University of Illinois Extension and the U of I College of Fine and Applied Arts, School of Architecture joined forces with the City of Peoria’s Innovation Team to pursue a “tactical urbanism” approach to planning along West Main in Peoria. Throughout the spring semester, 20 students researched, dreamed, created, and proposed a variety of small-scale interventions that could improve the vitality of the corridor. Their work was showcased at an open house event and interactive installation along West Main. The collaboration helped community members and local business owners experience first hand how short-term, low-cost, and scalable interventions can catalyze long-term improvements.

During the summer, the City of Peoria implemented one of the design concepts created during this spring studio course, with the expectation that one small change will lead to more ideas that will take root in the community. Architecture student Saloni Sheth (pictured above) took her experience from the spring “{re}Imagine West Main” project to the next level as she worked this summer at the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum. Working with a team of museum and park district staff, Saloni developed a proposal for a temporary exhibit space. The effort considered the needs of the museum and its visitors, relocated existing exhibit components, and created a temporary exhibit space with storage. “Her design work transformed sections of the museum on three different floors, reinventing the use of existing spaces for programming possibilities,” described Extension educator Kathie Brown.


NUTRITION & WELLNESS Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Education)


SNAP-Ed Participants 14.7% Adults 85.3% Youth


SNAP-Ed Partners

K-12 Schools, Early Childhood Centers, Food Pantries, Community Centers, Youth Centers

Race & Ethnicity

60% White 39% Black  1% Other 3.1% Identified as Hispanic

“I took your advice about how much sugar I eat. I started watching it and at my doctor’s appointment my doctor was impressed with how much weight I have lost and that I am eating better.” St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bartonville, Food Pantry Client

SNAP-Education OrganWise Guys

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) instructors throughout the unit use the curriculum OrganWise Guys in kindergarten, first, and second-grade classrooms. Using “Organ Annie” or “Organ Andy” puppets, instructors teach youth about what our bodies need to stay healthy. “I really like it when you come to our class with Annie and teach us about bones and how to keep them healthy,” announced a first grader at Lewistown Elementary. After a story and lesson, the classes end with a song cadence that includes motions. One student in Canton loves OrganWise Guys so much that he made up his own song about how much he loves low-fat foods.

“Mom, you were right. I did not want to go to cooking school, but you told me that I would like it. You are right, I really like cooking school and learning how to make stuff.” Fulton County Illinois Junior Chef Participant


LaSalle Elementary School SNAP-Ed Assistance Beyond the Classroom Kaitlyn Streitmatter has worked alongside food service staff in Creve Coeur to make many improvements in students’ lunchroom experience. LaSalle Elementary Food Service Director Michelle Davis and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Education (SNAP-Ed) Educator Kaitlyn Streitmatter worked together to encourage students to make more healthful food choices. They started the process in the lunchroom and included strategies to reach the students’ families at home as well.

a productive step forward for LaSalle Elementary. In essence, the cafeteria has become the school’s largest classroom. Michelle transformed meal times into opportunities to educate and interact with students.

Improvement plan In order to establish a plan, a food environment assessment was conducted. After meeting with Michelle to discuss an action plan, Kaitlyn provided the school district with three hours’ worth of training meeting USDA professional development requirements.

Food waste reduction In an effort to decrease food waste, Michelle implemented a “care share” or share table. Students placed whole fruit, packaged food, and unopened milk in the “care share” for other students to select and enjoy. It successfully decreased waste and provided students with an opportunity for seconds. The cafeteria staff surveyed students’ taste preferences, resulting in increased consumption and decreased waste.

Healthy messaging in the cafeteria Posters with nutrition education hang throughout the room. To promote national school lunch room week, students colored pictures, which were displayed on the walls. These are examples of work done to help make the lunchroom an inviting food environment. The goal is for students to feel comfortable and hopefully consume food provided by school staff. Engaging with students has been

Fresh fruit and vegetable grant With the help of University of Illinois Extension, LaSalle Elementary received over $17,000 from the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. This money is allocated for fresh fruit and vegetables in the classroom. SNAP-Ed staff has provided in-classroom nutrition education resources for students and staff to learn more about eating healthy. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL YEAR IN REVIEW 2018 11


Peoria High School students Edu, Jaqueline, and Daisy enjoyed learning new recipes and cooking skills from EFNEP staff.

Spanish Bilingual EFNEP Programs Reach Broader Audience in Peoria Extension staff Mari Lopez, Petra Eberle, and Angela Jimenez are forging the way for new Spanish bilingual Expanded Food Nutrition Education Programs in Peoria. Their language skills and cultural understanding have been instrumental in bringing cooking classes and nutrition education to Hispanic youth and adults.

EXPANDED FOOD & NUTRITION EDUCATION PROGRAM (EFNEP) Through hands-on classes that focus on improving eating habits and physical activity, EFNEP staff serve limited-resource families in Peoria and Tazewell counties.



31.6% Adults 68.4% Youth

91 Partners

Community Centers, Food Pantries and Food Banks, Youth Centers, K-12 Schools, Early Childhood Centers

Race and Ethnicity of Adults 64.4% White 29.2% Black  6.2% Other 18.5% Identified as Hispanic

Pictured above: EFNEP instructor Cheryl Russell taught at cooking school. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 12 YEAR IN REVIEW 2018

During 2018, Mari, Petra, and Angela connected with over 400 people at partner sites such as Friendship House, area high school Spanish classes, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, and local churches. The lessons provided recipes that are familiar to Hispanic families, and introduce new foods as well. “I like the fried rice and lasagna recipes best,” mentioned Jaqueline, Peoria High School student. “My family is from Mexico and we don’t make either of those at home. Mari and Angela are good at explaining how we can eat healthier, like eating a good breakfast instead of junk food and how to cook, like using measuring spoons.” The 2017 estimate from the United States Census Bureau indicates 4.8% of the population in Peoria County identifies themselves as Hispanic ethnicity, up from 2.1% in the 2000 census. “We know the information EFNEP staff share with people is so valuable and beneficial,” mentioned Margaret Cover, EFNEP educator. “Being able to bring that to Hispanic families in our area is incredibly important.”

SNAP-Ed and Master Gardeners team up for food pantry gardens

SNAP-Ed Staff Make Special Efforts to Teach Nutrition to Hearing Impaired Students It is hard to see a difference when Kathy Ellis, SNAP-Education instructor, presents “It’s Fun to be Healthy” curriculum at Valeska Hinton Early Childhood Education Center in Peoria. The pre-school students are happy and active three, four, and five-year-olds. The difference with this specific classroom is the entire class is hearing impaired. “One of Extension’s objectives is to reach underserved audiences,” explained County Director Earl Allen. “That includes people with disabilities. Kathy’s efforts at Valeska are one example of the work our staff does to reach a variety of underserved audiences.” The core of Kathy’s monthly lesson at Valeska stays the same for this classroom. The difference is that Kathy works alongside a sign language interpreter and she also wears a special Bluetooth-enabled microphone. These special efforts allow Kathy and the students to interact and engage with each other like a typical classroom. “I notice the classroom teachers making their own special efforts by introducing new vocabulary words and the corresponding signs,” Kathy mentioned. “Words like stir and cinnamon are new words they were practicing the signs for during our most recent lesson about dairy foods.” The students are always included in the process of making the snack. Each student takes a turn adding, stirring, or measuring.

Volunteers at Common Place Food Pantry encourage shoppers to take fresh produce grown in the garden and new recipes.

Master Gardeners and SNAPEducation staff collaborated on a project to help address the issue of food access to those in need. There are many “giving gardens” throughout the four counties. The Jr. Master Gardeners garden in Havana and the Peoria Common Place garden and hoop house were identified for this special project designed to create a partnership with local food pantries. While the Master Gardeners focused on growing the food, SNAP-Ed staff worked with Mission of Hope and Common Place food pantries to help make improvements to do things such as display healthful messaging, provide seasonal recipes, and offer additional resources. One of the greatest challenges identified was helping clients learn how to cook produce from the garden. “We noticed more clients taking fresh vegetables and herbs when we bundled them and included a recipe using those items,” noted Kaitlyn Streitmatter, SNAP-Ed educator. Both food pantries improved their food environment assessment scores at least 15 points by implementing the SNAP-Ed recommendations. The most important improvement was getting more people to eat fresh produce.


243 Master Volunteers 156 Master Gardeners  87 Master Naturalists


17,300 hours

volunteering reported 11,400 Master Gardeners  5,900 Master Naturalists

Over the past six years, 90 Master Naturalists have taught over 12,000 students from Central Illinois how to help keep our water clean via a demonstration about watersheds. Each year, Master Naturalists receive training to become familiar with the EnviroScape model and work through the logistics of teaching 2,500 students they see throughout the day-long event. This year, “EnviroScape veterans” Lee Maki of Washington, Cathie J. Maguire of Edelstein, and Doug McCarty of Peoria took on additional leadership roles as they became the trainers of the new volunteers.

4,000 hours

continuing education 2,600 Master Gardeners 1,400 Master Naturalists



value to communities $275,000 Master Gardeners $142,000 Master Naturalists


Vickie Shipman, a new Master Gardener, headed up two projects in Tazewell County. She rejuvenated the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) garden with the Tazewell County Health Department and a pollinator garden with Tremont Public Library. She has involved other Master Gardeners and community members in her efforts to supply fresh produce to WIC participants as well as providing gardening and pollinator education to children and families.

Master Naturalist Dennis Johnson volunteered at Science Adventure Day.

Science Adventure Day Helps Draw Kids Outdoors in Canton

“Adventure Day provides that emotional ‘hook’ for students to hang this new learning experience on,” explained Master Naturalist and event coordinator Jenny Beal. “I usually stay inside and play on my tablet,” mentioned fourth-grader Hunter during lunch at Science Adventure Day. Comments like this are one of the driving forces behind Master Naturalist Jenny Beal. Beal launched Science Adventure Day in 2014 and has continued to lead the team of collaborators whose goal is to engage youth in a variety of hands-on, outdoor activities. “My grandmother had a great love of outdoor adventures, which she passed on to her children and grandchildren,” explained Beal. “I went on many adventures with my family. I fell in love with science and nature because of my childhood experiences, and I chose a career as a middle school science teacher.” While teaching Jr. High, Beal worked with nine other teachers to develop a multidisciplinary unit for outdoor education called Outward Ingersoll, a three-day environmental learning adventure that continues 20 years later. After retiring from full-time teaching, Beal connected with the Master Naturalist program. “My experience with

planning and organizing Outward Ingersoll was the blueprint for creating Science Adventure Day at Lakeland Park in Canton.” Partnering with Canton school and park districts, Beal and her team have provided this program to more than 650 youth over the past five years. “Lakeland Park was the obvious choice to hold Adventure Day because of its history and natural resources. It is always a surprise to me that a number of students have never been to Lakeland. This provides an opportunity to share the natural beauty there with the hope that the student will return with their family.” The day’s sessions include Monarch butterflies, art and science journaling, predator and prey, aquatic life, and Illinois mammals, in addition to exploring the park and Veterans Memorial. What makes this program exponentially more successful is the fact that Beal includes the teachers in the planning. The teachers use pre and post-event activities to expand and solidify the student learning. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL YEAR IN REVIEW 2018 15


Advanced Medical Transport has been a constant influence in our health career training programs for several years. This past summer they became a host site for 4G STEM Camp. The participants toured the Peoria facility, learned basic compression-only CPR, and had several hands-on lessons with emergency responder training tools. AMT graciously provided financial support for STEM programming in our unit, compression-only CPR training for our staff and at two of our 4-H Shows, as well as a donation of two portable automated external defibrillators (AED).


Spring Lake Elementary School has been a partner with our SNAP-Education program for many years. In addition to classroom-based nutrition lessons, Extension staff work with the school on the Great Garden Detective program. It includes a school garden, where students learn gardening skills and then enjoy the produce in the school cafeteria. SNAP-Ed also provides lunchroom tastings to encourage youth to try more fruits and vegetables. Other collaborations include Illinois Jr. Chef, establishing a wellness policy, technical assistance with grant applications, National School Lunch and Breakfast program, as well as the farm to school program.


The Havana National Bank has held the annual Mason 4-H Show & Jr. Fair Trophy Winners Banquet for 56 years. Former Bank President Frank Cook started the event. It was his idea to send the ag department loan officer, Ken Emme, to the county fair to photograph award winners. The bank would then frame and present the photos to the 4-Hers at the banquet. Ken emceed the banquet for 41 years. After Ken retired 15 years ago, Gary Mueller stepped into his place. Each year the bank provides a meal, entertainment, and special recognition for the top fair award winners. The program was developed to give youth incentive to continue to do their best with their 4-H projects. It continues to be a well-known community event and is considered an honor to be invited. In addition to the banquet, HNB hosts 4-H window displays and the Federation gingerbread house contest. Gary and many of his co-workers and their children are 4-H alumni and members. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 16 YEAR IN REVIEW 2018


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Illinois at the Emiquon became an Extension partner in 2011 when Rhonda Ferree, horticulture educator, invited them to join the planning committee for our local Master Naturalist program. Since then the wetland/aquatic lesson of the Master Naturalist training has been held at TNC - Emiquon and the University of Illinois - Springfield Therkildsen Field Station. Master Naturalists volunteer annually at the Emiquon Science Symposium. This summer, TNC extended their partnership with Extension to add 4G STEM Camp. As a host site for the camp, they provided a meaningful and eye-opening day for the participants.

Why Extension is Needed More than Ever Horticulture Educator Rhonda Ferree shared a farewell reflection. In an ever complicated and changing world, I feel that Extension is needed now more than ever. Through my 30 year career with University of Illinois Extension, I’ve watched us adapt and change our educational delivery methods and program priorities to better meet the needs of the people and communities we serve. In my early career, my horticultural program focused mainly on teaching individuals how to grow beautiful plants. This was done through media, face-to-face instruction, and volunteer programs. Today we still do traditional programming but also strive to expand our reach to new audiences and cover emerging issues. This includes teaching people how to sustainably and responsibly grow their own food, such as through urban and community gardens. Another recent priority is to educate local citizens with regard to the myriad of “green” practices often discussed in the media. Extension provides public value in this educational area by

helping individuals and commercial audiences better understand practices such as sustainable landscapes, organic production, integrated pest management plant protection systems, habitat preservation, invasive species management, water quality and availability, urban stormwater runoff management, pollinator protection, and more. One of the biggest, and most exciting changes for me is how Extension delivers our educational messages. We strive to assure that all segments receive equitable programming by using creative and innovative educational modes that include technology, various delivery systems, and collaboration with local partners. For me, this has included the expansive use of social media and various distance technology delivery methods. Today, my social media network reaches a larger and more diverse audience that provides cuttingedge information to educate and interact with local citizens where they live and work. Through the years, University of Illinois Extension has successfully adapted through ever-changing clientele needs and the many cuts in public funding to continually provide accountable and responsive service for its local citizens. In this complicated world of instant information access through smart devices, Extension is needed more than ever— continuing its reputation of providing reliable information in a timely manner. FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL YEAR IN REVIEW 2018 17



Earl Allen County Director

Anita Wilkinson Communications



Kathleen Brown Educator

Ian Goslin Coordinator

Christine Belless Coordinator

Cathy Ludolph Coordinator

Joli Pierson Coordinator

Judy Schmidt Educator


Janis Blout Coordinator

Katharine Girone Coordinator

Emily Schoenfelder Educator

Virginia Girsch Summer Help

Bailey Hoerbert Summer Help

Rondaia Moore Summer Help


Deb Balagna Office Support

Sheila Bolliger Office Support

Jorge Martinez Janitorial FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL 18 YEAR IN REVIEW 2018

Paula Lane Office Support

Patti Downs Sub-Office Support

Angie Sassine Office Support

Diane Roecker Sub-Office Support

Julann Schierer Office Support

Patty Wiegers Sub-Office Support


Tara Agama SNAP-Ed Instructor

Nate Anton SNAP-Ed Instructor

LaNeena Close EFNEP Instructor

Margaret Cover EFNEP Educator

Rebecca Crumrine SNAP-Ed Instructor

Debra Donaldson EFNEP Instructor

Petra Eberle EFNEP Instructor

Irene Edwards EFNEP Instructor

Katherine Ellis SNAP-Ed Instructor

Krista Gray SNAP-Ed Instructor

Jill Hopps SNAP-Ed Instructor

Angela Jimenez EFNEP Instructor

Cheryl Russell EFNEP Instructor

Mari Lopez EFNEP Instructor

JoElyn Smith EFNEP Instructor

Kellie Roecker SNAP-Ed Instructor

Kaitlyn Streitmatter SNAP-Ed Educator


Rhonda Ferree Horticulture Educator 30 years

Ronda Mitchell EFNEP Instructor 20 years

Debbie Shelby Office Support 23 years FULTON, MASON, PEORIA, TAZEWELL YEAR IN REVIEW 2018 19

TAZEWELL MAIN OFFICE 1505 Valle Vista Blvd Pekin, IL 61554 309-347-6614

FULTON BRANCH 15411 N IL 100 Hwy Lewistown, IL 61542 309-547-3711

MASON BRANCH 127 S High St, Ste 1 Havana, IL 62644 309-543-3308

PEORIA BRANCH 4810 N Sheridan Rd Peoria, IL 61614 309-685-3140





Cover photos: (front) 4-H Teen Teacher Maria Gottemoller

(back) Master Gardeners Class of 2018

University of Illinois ~ U.S. Department of Agriculture ~ Local Extension Councils Cooperating University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any program, please contact the county Extension Office. The Illinois Nutrition Education Program is funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the US Department of Agriculture by the Director, Cooperative Extension Service, and University of Illinois. © Copyright 2018 University of Illinois Board of Trustees

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Why Extension is Needed More than Ever

page 17

The Nature Conservancy - Emiquon

page 17

Spring Lake Elementary School

page 16

Havana National Bank

page 16

Advanced Medical Transport

page 16

Science Adventure Day Helps Draw Kids Outdoors in Canton

page 15

Master Gardener Rejuvenated Gardens in Tremont

page 14

Master Naturalists Taught Watershed Lesson At Clean Water Celebration

page 14

Master Volunteer Stats

page 14

SNAP-Ed and Master Gardeners team up for food pantry gardens

page 13

SNAP-Ed Staff Make Special Efforts to Teach Nutrition to Hearing Impaired Students

page 13

Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

page 12

Spanish Bilingual EFNEP Programs Reach Broader Audience in Peoria

page 12

LaSalle Elementary School SNAP-Ed Assistance Beyond the Classroom

page 11

SNAP-Education OrganWise Guys

page 10

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education stats

page 10

{re}Imagine West Main Sets Stage for Progress

page 9

Strategic Program Planning to Strengthen STEAM Education

page 8

Collaborations to Help Improve Derby Street in Pekin

page 8

Tot Time at Dickson Mounds Museum

page 7

STEM Academy

page 7

Growing Leaders 4-H Club

page 7

Dog 4-H Special Interest Club

page 7

Special Thanks to Our Longstanding Leaders

page 6

Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame

page 6

Fair Highlight: Mason County 4-H

page 4

4-H Youth Development

page 4

Unit At A Glance

page 3

Career Development at 4G STEM Camp

page 6

4-H Special Interest Club Gave Youth Real-World Engineering Experience

page 5
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