Introducing Extension Washington County’s new 4-H Educator, Ron Jakubisin

Hello! My name is Ron Jakubisin and I’m excited about starting my role as the 4-H Educator in Washington County, Wisconsin

The last 4 years I have served Washington and Extension Fond du Lac County as the Positive Youth Development Educator in which I’ve been involved with some fun, educational leadership programs that range from 4th graders, to high schoolers, to working with youth organizations and schools! My career has always focused on programs that develop youth as leaders, train volunteers, and engage community members that supports these things.

My style is focused on positivity and growth for both youth and volunteers. I like teachable moments to be engaging and fun that challenge our knowledge and skill growth.

I look forward to getting out in the county to meet all of the great 4-H volunteers, club leaders and youth members!

Ron Jakubisin, Washington County 4-H Educator

Ron Jakubisin
Washington County 4-H Program Educator


Positive Youth Development December 2022

• A series of presentations to incarcerated youth at the Washington County Detention Center, in which teens will learn about problem-solving strategies, focusing on problem solving, consensus building, and developing resources to achieve positive goals upon release from detention. The purpose of this effort is improve social-emotional learning, goal setting and seeing positive adults as resource to assist in their future success.

• Planning for a West Bend School Dist. (McClane and Jackson schools) Family Engagement Night in collaboration with Washington County Elementary School Counselors. The effort will engage youth in Social Emotional Learning strategies that they will use throughout the year with teamwork being a central theme at schools.

• A series of meetings with Germantown’s Youth Futures Youth Committee where students learn leadership skills in order to design, plan and deliver prevention activities to their middle and high school peers.

• A monthly board meeting (“Germantown Youth Futures”) for Germantown key stakeholders where we collaboratively plan year-round positive youth activities that promote positive peer norms, AOD prevention messaging, and adult/youth connections.

Village of Kewaskum

The administrator for the Village of Kewaskum contacted Paul to facilitate a process that would
engage the village’s board and staff in the development of a strategic plan. After meeting to
discuss the needs of the organization, a process was designed and presented to the Village Board.
Through discussion, the Board opted to include a community visioning session to help inform
the strategic planning process. Paul facilitated the public visioning process in August. Then, he
facilitated two planning sessions with the organization’s board and leadership staff.

At the first session, seven staff members reviewed the visioning session results; developed draft
mission and vision statements; identified organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities,
and challenges; and brainstormed goals. At the second session, seven board members and staff
finalized the mission and vision statements, identified values, and refined the goals identified by
staff. Then Paul met with administrator to develop definitions for the values and identified next
steps for plan implementation.

Through evaluation (N=14), 92% of participants agreed that discussing a vision statement assisted
them in understanding the general direction for their organization’s future, 92% agreed discussing
a mission statement helped clarify their role as an organization, and 100% agreed that identifying
and prioritizing goals increased their ability to identify issues and set priorities. Participants
evaluated Paul’s facilitation as a 4.7 on a 5-point Likert Scale (1=poor and 5=excellent). One
participant commented “Difficult crowd. Worked well.” Another commented “Very good. Was not
boring.” A third commented “Paul is great at facilitating these exercises.”

2023 4-H Visual Arts Festival – Call for Entries

Attention Washington County youth artists: are you looking for an opportunity to share your artwork with the community? If so, the 2023 4-H Visual Arts Festival is an opportunity you’re not going to want to miss!  

Youth in grades 3-13 from Washington, Ozaukee, and Fond du Lac Counties are invited to participate in this fun, free, virtual event. This event is sponsored by 4-H, however, youth are not required to be 4-H members to participate. This year’s theme is “Local Inspiration”. Wisconsin has many interesting and beautiful places to capture. Be inspired by the places you live, work and play. This could be a town, city, park, school, your home, or any other local places. 

We are excited to have two new categories for submissions: Fabric and Digital Media. Other categories include Drawing, Painting, Photography, and Other Media

Entries are accepted now through March 1, 2023. Multiple submissions are welcome! Prizes will be awarded for each category. 

Submit artwork through 4-HOnline (

Questions? Contact the Extension Washington County office at 262-335-4478. 

We are Hiring!

We are hiring; job position: 4-H Program educator; apply now

Extension Washington County is hiring a 4-H Program Educator to lead and manage the full range of the 4-H program including clubs, after school programs, educational experiences, and camps.

Programming focus includes:
• Recruiting, training, developing, and managing volunteers focused on helping youth develop life skills that promote ongoing community involvement and strengthen youth leadership development
• Expanding 4-H membership and volunteer opportunities to underserved youth and adults
• Overseeing 4-H Clubs, 4-H Groups, 4-H Leaders Associations and committees and coordinating the process for youth and adult volunteer enrollment
• Strengthening the 4-H program by providing leadership for marketing, communications, member recruitment, and member retention;
• Cultivating collaborative efforts and partnerships with other organizations to expand 4-H programming opportunities.

Apply today!

Extension Educators Carol Bralich & Paul Roback Receive Awards

Two adults holding award plaques
Carol Bralich, Human Development & Relationships Educator, and Paul Roback, Community Development Educator, receive the 2022 Excellence in Education & Outreach Award presented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension on December 5, 2022

Extension Washington County’s Carol Bralich and Paul Roback were two of the three educators named by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension as recipients of the 2022 Excellence in Education & Outreach Award.

Carol and Paul were honored at UW-Extension’s 2022 All Colleague Conference held this week in Madison. These awards, presented by Dean Karl Martin, acknowledge Carol’s and Paul’s exceptional performance in their work for Extension through teaching, outreach, collaboration, and public service.

Selection criteria for the Excellence in Education & Outreach Award included

  • High impact of programming and outreach on intended audience
  • Passion for learning with a positive attitude
  • Commitment to expanding access, outreach, and inclusion in programming 
  • Characteristics of innovation, adaptability, and flexibility
  • Effective relationships at multiple levels (learners, colleagues, partners, etc.) 
  • Enthusiasm for the purpose, vision, and values of Extension

Congratulations to Carol and Paul!!

Crops and Soils Impact December 2022

• An educational field day for farmers, industry agronomists and agency personnel where they learned about: Managing Rye Cover Crops and its impact on the Nitrogen Cycle, Benefits of Legume Cover Crops in Managing the Carbon to Nitrogen ratios, and Dissolved Phosphorus Losses and How to Limit it. The goal is to assist farmers and industry agronomists to explore alternative cover cropping strategies that include more legumes in cover crop systems as a way to grow on farm nitrogen resources, while providing for effective crop covers to protect soils and water quality. Extension faculty/staff presenting at the field day included: Mike Ballweg, Regional Crops and Soils Agent for Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Washington and Fond du Lac counties, Monica Schauer, UW Agroecology Research Assistant, and Laura Paletta, Extension Agricultural Water Quality Program. About 30 attended the field day.

• Extension Expands Water Quality Outreach Programming
Recognizing the growing need for innovation, research, and outreach to help solve the water quality challenges facing agriculture in the state, UW-Madison Extension has expanded its capacity by creating a new Water Quality program that will work on these issues with communities, farmers, and farm advisors to improve both groundwater and surface water quality across the state.

Positive Youth Development Impact December 2022

• A series of classroom presentations to fourth grade youth, in collaboration with West Bend School Social Workers, where students will learn about problem-solving strategies, focusing on team problem solving, consensus building, experiential team-work and team reflection. The purpose of this effort is improve social-emotional learning and provide opportunities to learn more about 4H and other programs.

• A series of meetings with Germantown’s Youth Futures Youth Committee where students learn leadership skills in order to design, plan and deliver prevention activities to their middle and high school peers.

• A monthly board meeting (“Germantown Youth Futures”) for Germantown key stakeholders where we collaboratively plan year-round positive youth activities that promote positive peer norms, AOD prevention messaging, and adult/youth connections.

“We are very thankful to Ron for his partnership with helping to build skills and leadership with our 4th grade students. In the past month alone he has team taught problem solving strategies in our classrooms in preparation for our Kindness Retreat Nov. 4 with our entire 4th grade, staff and parents. The goals of the retreat are for all to embrace large and small group situations with kindness, creative problem solving, providing opportunities to build skills in leadership and Ron is a great compliment to our school team to help facilitate and orchestrate the event. Ron is a strong collaborative partner I hope we will continue to team with in the future.” -West Bend Dist. School Soc. Worker

How to Prepare for the Holidays Without Feeling Like Scrooge

Inflation and the costs of items seem to be on everyone’s minds lately. Stress levels are high due to the impact that inflation has on groceries, fuel, heating costs and credit card interest rates. This depressing news is making people feel that they have little control of their finances.

As we enter the holiday shopping season, it is easy to get “caught up” in the excitement of buying gifts for our loved ones. However, once the holidays are over and the January bills arrive, we may find that we are in deep financial trouble. The pain outweighs the pleasure and steals the joy.

There are strategies that you can use now that will help you survive the upcoming holiday season without debt and without feeling like Scrooge.

Holiday Tip 1– If it is necessary to cut back on spending this year, communicate that with your family. It doesn’t mean the holidays have to change dramatically. Families should discuss what is important to them this season and be willing to make changes if necessary.

Holiday Tip 2– Set a holiday budget and keep track of what you spend, including all expenditures, not just the cost of gifts. Figure costs of food, entertainment, decorations, travel expenses, holiday cards and postage as well as the costs of new clothes for the season. If possible, look at how much you spent last year to help set your budget.

Holiday Tip 3– Set spending limits for each person on your list as well as for the other items in your holiday plan. Write your limit on an envelope and keep it handy. When you make a purchase, subtract the amount from the limit and place the receipt in the envelope.

Holiday Tip 4– Decide how you are going to pay for holiday spending. If you plan to use only cash, leave your credit cards at home when shopping. If doing on-line shopping, stick to one credit card.

Holiday Tip 5– Avoid impulse shopping. Start shopping far enough in advance that you will not be pressured to buy the first item you see in a store or online. This allows you to compare similar items and take advantage of sales. To avoid impulse online purchases, place the item in the shopping cart and wait 24 hours to decide if you really need it.

Holiday Tip 6– Make gifts by hand or give gift certificates promising your time or talents. Offer gifts for such things as babysitting, car washing or a particular talent, such as photography. Give family keepsakes or pictures as gifts to create memories as well.

Holiday Tip 7– If entertaining family and friends consumes a large part of your holiday budget, consider pitch-in dinners instead of shouldering all the work and expense yourself. You could also invite people for dessert and coffee or a small luncheon, brunch or breakfast.

Holiday Tip 8– It is never too early to start planning for next year. Think ahead and take advantage of after-holiday sales. Good budgeting should take place all year long, not just the holidays.

The holiday season is an exciting time for everyone. With a bit of planning, your 2022 holiday spending does not need to make you feel like Scrooge. It’s a time to be with loved ones and enjoy the holiday celebrations. Ba humbug to letting debt create stress and steal the joy. Article authored by Nancy Vance. For questions or more information on budgeting and other financial concerns, please contact or visit our financial website .