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 .

Development of a Strategic Plan for the West Bend Library

The executive director of the West Bend Community Memorial Library contacted Paul to
facilitate a process that would engage the library’s board and staff in the development of a
strategic plan. To address this need, Paul surveyed thirty-five board and staff on their preferred
mission, vision, and values. Then, he facilitated three planning sessions with the organization’s
board and leadership staff.

At the first session, 10 participants reviewed the survey results and developed draft mission and
vision statements; identified organizational strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges;
and identified goals. At the two leadership staff meetings attended by six participants, Paul
facilitated a process that updated the organization’s value statements, refined the goals identified
by the board, and developed actions steps.

Through evaluation (N=16), 100% of participants agreed that discussing a vision statement
assisted them in understanding the general direction for their organization’s future, 100%
agreed discussing a mission statement helped clarify their role as an organization, 80% agreed
that identifying and prioritizing goals increased their ability to identify issues and set priorities,
and 100% agreed that discussing action plans increased their ability to identify next steps for
future implementation. Participants evaluated Paul’s facilitation as a 4.9 on a 5-point Likert Scale
(1=poor and 5=excellent). One participant commented “It was wonderful having you lead these
meetings. You kept everyone on track – began and ended the meetings promptly, were very well
organized, pleasant and was one of the best set of meetings I’ve been to. Thank you so much.”

Apply for 4-H Travel Experience Funding from the Washington County Leaders Association

Wisconsin 4-H offers educational travel experiences for youth in grades 6 -13. Partial funding is available for these experiences through the Washington County 4-H Leaders Association. To apply for funding, 4-H members may submit a completed application packet to the Extension Office by Wednesday, January 4, 2023, and participate in an interview on Wednesday, January 11, 2023. Applications for Leaders Association Funding can be found on the Educational Travel Experiences/Awards/Opportunities page of our website.

A reminder that any 4-H youth can register for Wisconsin 4-H educational travel experiences, whether or not they apply for funding. Note that applying for funding does not guarantee you a spot on the experience.

See Wisconsin 4-H Educational Travel Opportunities for a complete listing of statewide events & opportunities.

Washington County 4-H Member Kate D. attends 4-H National Congress

Washington County 4-H Member Kate D. is one of 26 Youth representing Wisconsin at the 101st National 4-H Congress in Atlanta, Georgia. Kate joins more than 800 delegates from across the United States and its territories that are coming together to discuss youth leadership, service learning, and the positive impact 4-H has on communities across the world. We look forward to hearing more about Kate’s experience when she returns!!!

4-H has overtaken Atlanta! 2022 National 4-H Congress, Unforgettable past, Innovative future, with photos of 4-H youth

New 4-H Project: Weather

Have you always wanted to learn more about the fascinating subject of weather? Washington County 4-H now offers a weather project for youth in grades 3-12 interested in learning about the weather!!

Families can enroll their child(ren) in the weather project by logging into their 4-H Online account and adding it (see 4-H Online guide), or by calling the Extension office at 262-335-4478, or emailing Karen at

Thank you to the 4-H volunteers who have stepped up to lead this new project!

storm clouds

4-H Family Orientation: November 30

NOVEMBER 30, 6-7:30PM
4-H Family Orientation
All Washington County 4-H
families, both new and not-so-
new, are welcome to attend!
Learn more about:
• Club meetings
• Project meetings
4-H summer camp
Countywide 4-H workshops
• Youth leadership opportunities
Please sign up by Nov 27
or call 262-335-4478

Join us Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 6-7:30pm at the Washington County Fair Park (Ziegler Building) for this first of our three-part Family Orientation series designed to give you and your family a great overview of Washington County 4-H.
***Please register by November 27***
4-H Family Orientation Registration

Tell us about your 4-H experience

Washington County 4-H is participating in the 4-H Thriving Model survey! Parents with youth ages 13-19, please watch for an email with directions and the survey to complete. Your participation will help make decisions for upcoming programs, training, and resources. Don’t forget, those who complete the survey will be entered to win one of fifty $25 Amazon gift cards!

4-H Thriving Model Survey opens November 1; helping youth thrive; information sent to 4-H'ers ages 13-19 via the email used in 4HOnline