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Community News Archives for 2022-07

Program to help businesses to become the "Employer of Choice"

In addition to the daily responsibilities of keeping an agricultural operation running, farm managers, owners, and agribusiness providers also have to become human resource specialists in their quest to find and retain the best employees.

To help develop those skills, Purdue Extension will offer the Becoming the Employer of Choice program virtually starting on August 1, 2022. This popular program, developed by University of Wisconsin Extension, is designed to improve human resource skills through hands-on activities and interactive sessions.

"An issue identified in the ag industry is the tight labor market and lack of labor currently available," said Jenna Nees, Purdue Extension educator in Putnam County. "You have to objectively ask yourself what are your strengths and weaknesses as a manager and if your farm or business is the kind of place where people want to work. This program will help managers become an employer of choice who can successfully compete for the best available employees."

Becoming the Employer of Choice will run from 9:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on August 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, & 16.  The program will be held via Zoom. Register for this program at <https://bit.ly/2022employerofchoice>. The cost is $40. If you have questions about this event or need reasonable accommodations, contact Amanda Mosiman at <bailey1@purdue.edu>. While this virtual training has a focus in agriculture, the leadership and management principles and techniques can be applicable across different types of businesses. 

Attendees will gain effective and practical approaches to managing human resource challenges on the farm. The program consists of seven modules addressing how different leadership styles are used on the farm; reducing mis-hires and turnover through hiring best practices; learning about organizational culture and how it impacts employee motivation and engagement; identifying keys to create a motivating environment; learning how to effectively communicate expectations to employees; developing skills to provide effective feedback; and learning ways to address and work through conflict.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events.  Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm.  Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request.  It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs.  While many publications are free, some do have a fee.  All times listed are Eastern Time.  Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

Upcoming Events:

July 22-29 – Putnam County 4-H Fair

July 25 – Book to Barn, 11am or 3pm, late registrations accepted at sampsona@purdue.edu

Aug. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, & 16 – Becoming the Employer of Choice, Virtual, 9:30-11 am, $40, register at https://bit.ly/2022employerofchoice

Aug. 4 – ServSafe Food Managers 1-Day Course and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register by July 28 at www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28 – Dining with Diabetes, 2-3:30pm, FREE, register at 765-653-8411 or sampsona@purdue.edu

New scholarship accounts empower parents, children with disabilities

State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) encourages families of students with disabilities to apply for Indiana's new Education Scholarship Account Program to expand academic opportunities for their children.

 

The program, established through legislation supported by Baird, gives parents more tools to help meet their child's academic needs.

 

"Students with special needs often require extra support to ensure their success in school," Baird said. "These scholarships can help families access resources so they have the academic setting that works best for them."

 

Families can use these tax-free scholarships to pay for pre-approved education services like tutoring, therapy and tuition. Baird said participating families get 90% of their child's state education funding, plus all special-education money, through these education accounts. Funds do not count as income for families of recipients and have no impact on other financial aid they may receive.

 

To be eligible for ESAs, students must have a disability requiring special education services and an individualized education plan, service plan or choice special education plan; choose not to enroll in a public school or receive an Indiana Choice Scholarship; and meet the annual income qualification, which is currently 300% of the qualification for free or reduced lunches. For a household of four, that's $154,012.

 

Applications for eligible students are open through Aug. 5. For more information and to apply, visit in.gov/tos/inesa.   


Dining with diabetes

Do you have type 2 diabetes?  Living well with diabetes is a challenge. Would you like to learn more about your disease and how to live well reducing your health risks?  Would you like to learn how to help a friend or family member with diabetes?  If so, Purdue Extension has a great program for you!

The Purdue Extension – Putnam County office will be offering Dining with Diabetes sessions beginning Wednesday, September 7th at 2:00 PM at the Purdue Extension – Putnam County office.  Dining with Diabetes is a series of four sessions, and an additional three-month reunion session.  The program will run each Wednesday afternoon in September.  The Dining with Diabetes program is open to those with diabetes, their family members and caretakers.  The series of four sessions is $40/person.  However, the program this year has been sponsored by THRIVE West Central, and the registration fee is completely covered, making the class FREE! Pre-registration is required.  There is a limit to participants. Participants are encouraged to attend all class sessions.

The educational programs and cooking school will help adults with type 2 diabetes control their blood sugar to feel better and reduce risk of health complications.  You will learn how to prepare meals that are healthy, easy to prepare and taste good.  Recipes will be demonstrated, and participants will have the opportunity to taste each one.  Participants will also learn up-to-date information on nutrition, meal planning, exercise and how to understand common diabetes-related medical tests.  Recipe and handouts will be given to each participant.

Diabetes is a very serious and costly disease, but research has shown that those who learn to manage their blood glucose (sugar) levels eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly can lower their risks of complications and lead a healthier and more productive life.

Purdue Extension – Putnam County is currently recruiting participants for this program.  If you have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, or know someone and are part of the support system for an individual and are interested in being a part of this program, please call Purdue Extension office at 765-653-8411 or email sampsona@purdue.edu to register.  Dining with Diabetes is offered statewide and is sponsored by Purdue Extension.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events.  Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm.  Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request.  It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs.  While many publications are free, some do have a fee.  All times listed are Eastern Time.  Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

July 22-29 – Putnam County 4-H Fair

July 25 – Book to Barn, 11am or 3pm, late registrations accepted at sampsona@purdue.edu

Aug. 4 – ServSafe Food Managers 1-Day Course and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register by July 28 at www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28 – Dining with Diabetes, 2-3:30pm, FREE, register at 765-653-8411 or sampsona@purdue.edu

 

Mental Health America of Hendricks County to provide needed services to veterans

Mental Health America of Hendricks County proudly announces our new Open Door Social Club for veterans.

 

Sponsored by IU Health, the MHAHC social club is offered on the second and fourth Fridays of the month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their office in Avon.

 

"The inaugural meeting was on July 8," according to Lael Hill, Executive Director of MHAHC. The office is at 75 Queensway Drive, just west of Ind. 267 (Avon Ave.) off Rockville Road (US 36).

 

The Social Club is "a place for veterans to meet with their peers, learn a new skill, or cook a meal while providing information on community resources," Hill said. "And the best part is – it's free."


"There are no fees or dues. You can come and go as you like," Mrs. Hill continued. "Our veterans served our country, and now we will serve them."

 

MHAHC's social club allows veterans to sit and chat with fellow veterans, play games, take computer classes in the computer lab, and participate in art therapy and music expression (art supplies and instruments provided).

 

For more information, call 317-272-0027 or email INFO@MHAHC.ORG


Pre-fair activities in full swing

While many first thoughts about the fair may include an elephant ear or a grilled cheese and shake at the dairy shack, the first competition associated with the fair for many occurred this past weekend with the pre-fair activities of archery shooting competition. Dairy cattle were at the fairgrounds for a dairy showmanship practice workshop, a llama alpaca workshop with animals and tractor driving practice all occurred this past weekend. Fairboard President, Adam Hochstedler and Gene Grable were measuring and marking out locations on Sunday afternoon for tents that will soon be erected. While the activity was minimal for what is about to come, several boxes on the checklist for the annual event were already being checked. Super volunteers are what makes the 4-H program a success and that was certainly on display with the weekend activities.

The 4-H tractor driving contest will be this coming weekend. Did you know that this was a 4-H fair competitive event both locally and at state? While most will not be on a farm driving a tractor with a wagon or trailer, this contest seems hugely important as a life skill and an obvious good prerequisite for driving a car. There are three division choices where one may choose one or do all three. A zero turn (ZTR) mower division, a tradition lawn and garden tractor division and an ag tractor division comprise the contest. Contestants compete in a set driving course, take a parts quiz, knowledge quiz and trouble shoot. The event certainly is a help to learning driving skills and while most won’t be driving tractors every day as an adult, the skills can be put to use when pulling recreational items like campers, boats, mowing or other items that may be job related.

Finally, it would be a great time to have a family chat about what are your 4-H expectations? Why do you do 4-H? Adults can fail their children in exhibiting behavior suggesting that the purpose is to win and if we don’t win, then we either quit that activity or pull out. Yelling, whining, putting others down or complaining are not good virtues of 4-H and exhibiting these behaviors seeking to get one’s way or to elevate self is certainly failing our children in teaching them to be their best, be strong and to persevere as they begin adulting. When a parent is more upset than a child about a placing, it begs the question of whose project was it?  

Frankly a judge makes decisions on a certain day as they see a situation. There could be a lot of opinions and somethings are very subjective while others are more objective. Not everyone is going to be in first place and the Danish recognition systems utilized by many 4-H activities is good for allowing everyone to be assessed for their performance based on criteria. Remember, ultimately 4-H is a FUN method to learn life skills doing hands on activity. Anytime someone makes the 4-H experience to be something different, one is off task. The beauty of 4-H is that parents can use 4-H to teach their children life skills of how to manage events including outcomes that we may or may not agree with at times.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Liam Bee and his dad Randy are at the 4-H tractor Sunday afternoon driving practice at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Dad had a very positive experience as a youth in this contest placing in the top ten at state and father/son enjoy the practice together for Liam to develop skills. All of the tractors for the event and practices are provided by Humphreys Outdoor Power Equipment.

Liam Bee and his dad Randy are at the 4-H tractor Sunday afternoon driving practice at the Putnam County Fairgrounds. Dad had a very positive experience as a youth in this contest placing in the top ten at state and father/son enjoy the practice together for Liam to develop skills. All of the tractors for the event and practices are provided by Humphreys Outdoor Power Equipment.

 

Upcoming Events

July 12 – Forest Management and Selling Timber webinar, 12pm, register at https://women4theland.org/upcoming-events

July 12 – FairEntry.com deadline for all 4-H projects (except rabbits July 16) entered for county fair

July 16 – Tractor Driving 4-H Contest, 9 am, Fairgrounds

July 16 – Shooting Sports Firearms Competition, 8:30 am, Cloverdale Conservation Club

July 17 – Dog Obedience 4-H Show, Noon, Fairgrounds

July 17 – Putnam 4-H Fair Parade, 2 pm

July 22-29 – Putnam County 4-H Fair

July 25 – Book to Barn, 11am or 3pm, register by July 15 at 765-653-8411

Aug. 4 – ServSafe Food Managers 1-Day Course and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register by July 28 at www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

Aug. 9 – Food Preservation/Canning workshop, Johnson Co. Fairgrounds, 11am-4pm, register at https://cvent.me/kagOyz

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff to honor and remember the victims of the horrific tragedy in Highland Park, IL.

 

Per President Biden's order, flags should be flown at half-staff immediately until sunset, Saturday, July 9.

 

Gov. Holcomb is asking businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags.


Shades SP hosts 75th anniversary celebration July 16

Celebrate Shades State Park’s 75th anniversary with a day of events commemorating its history and unique features.

The day’s activities include a Race the Ranger fun run at 11 a.m. for advanced hikers and 11:30 a.m. for novice hikers. Register for both at RacetherangerShadesSP.eventbrite.com.

Food trucks will be at the party beginning at noon, and from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. there will be family activities, including make-and-take crafts.

Also at 12:30 p.m., there will be a fossil hunt hike, and from 1 to 2 p.m. naturalists will guide hikers on a Shades history walk.

The event is free, but the standard park entrance fees of $7 per in-state vehicle and $9 per out-of-state vehicle will apply.

Shades State Park (on.IN.gov/shadessp) is at 7751 S. 890 W. Waveland, IN 47989.

Inflation-fighting tips from a Rutgers Cooperative Extension webinar

With food, gas, and energy prices at historic highs in recent months, American families are struggling to adjust their budgets to make ends meet. According to Parul Jain, associate professor of professional practice at the Rutgers Business School in Newark and New Brunswick, the average household is paying about $315 a month more than it did last year for the same "basket" of goods.

 

Rutgers Cooperative Extension's webinar on inflation-fighting hacks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7s__kAaBz8) contains dozens of ideas to cope with inflation in 10 different product purchase categories. Not every idea will work for every person. The idea is to pick the ideas that best fit your budget and lifestyle.

Below is a summary of some ways to fight back against inflation:

 

Groceries- Make product substitutions (e.g., store and generic brands or alternative ingredients), eat more meatless meals, stock up on sale items, consider shopping at a warehouse store, eliminate high-cost "junk" food snacks and beverages, and use coupons and double coupons from newspaper ads and online web sites.

 

Eating Out- Drink water with a meal instead of soft drinks or alcoholic beverages, share an entrée or a dessert with someone and split the cost, eat an appetizer as a meal (ask about the size first), select BYOB restaurants for meals with adult beverages, eat out for lunch, "linner " or "early bird specials," and simply eat less food (e.g., skip an appetizer or order a smaller portion).

 

Gasoline- Drive less by consolidating trips, consider carpooling with others, find less expensive gas using online apps such as Waze and GasBuddy, pay for gas with cash, join a supermarket fuel rewards program for gas discounts, time your fill-ups (some experts say Sunday and Monday are the best days and Thursday is the worst), check your tire pressure, and remove unnecessary items that do not need to be carted around.

 

Road Trips-Vacations- Stay at hotels with free breakfast and/or snacks when on road trips, pack snacks and beverages when driving, try to eat out only once a day, get restaurant and hotel coupons at highway rest stops, travel with a group and share expenses, travel at "off-peak" times, join hotel and airline rewards programs for free rewards, and consider daycations and staycations to save on gas.

 

Utilities- Adjust the thermostat (a bit warmer in summer months) and use ceiling fans, turn down the water heater from 140° to 120–130°, unplug items not in use by using a power strip, take advantage of "off-peak" electricity rates and time-of-day meters, change HVAC system air filters regularly, use LED light bulbs, wash (most) laundry in warm water, empty the dryer lint trap after every load, and switch to low-flow showerheads.

 

Clothing- Shop department store and online merchant sales, use retailer coupons, join retailer loyalty programs to earn rewards, shop at thrift and consignment shops and online secondhand clothing websites, use hand-me-down clothes from others, make simple clothing repairs and alterations, and buy fewer clothes and shoes.

 

"Big Ticket" Items- Wait to buy items with big price increases if you can (e.g., cars and computers), compare at least three product or service vendors before making a purchase, and compare at least three financing options.

 

"Shrinkflation"- Recognize that some product manufacturers are "hiding" price increases by reducing the quantity of a product. The best workarounds are to pay attention to package sizes and unit prices, wait for sales and stock up, and buy fewer pre-packaged foods (prone to shrinkflation) and more store brands.

 

For more expense-cutting tips to combat inflation, review the CFPB publication (PDF) Cutting Expenses. Source: Rutgers University – June 2022, Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®, AFC®

 

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

 

Upcoming Events:

July 12 – Forest Management and Selling Timber webinar, 12 pm, register at
               https://women4theland.org/upcoming-events

July 12 – FairEntry.com deadline for all 4-H projects (except rabbits; July 16)

July 22-29 – Putnam County 4-H Fair

July 25 – Book to Barn, 11am or 3pm, register by July 15 at 765-653-8411

Aug. 4 – ServSafe Food Managers 1-Day Course and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register by July 28 at www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

Aug. 9 – Food Preservation/Canning workshop, Johnson Co. Fairgrounds, 11am-4pm, register at https://cvent.me/kagOy


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