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January 14, 2013

Website illustrates how Purdue Extension helps Indiana

Jill Overton

Jill Overton, food service director for Franklin Community Schools, can't overstate the case for food safety with children. She sends cafeteria workers to Indiana food-handler certification workshops offered by Purdue Extension in Johnson County. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue Extension has launched an updated website that features personal accounts of those who have been served by Extension and how the programs improved their lives and businesses and strengthened their families and communities.

Called Making a Difference, the site is at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/extension/makingadifference. In addition to testimonials from individuals, the site includes summaries of Purdue Extension programs searchable by county.

Stories include that of Jill Overton, food service director for Franklin Community Schools in Johnson County. For Overton, food-handling training that Extension provides helps the cafeteria staff ensure that the 4,000 meals it prepares each day are safe for the children. A registered dietician, she sends cafeteria workers to certification workshops offered by the Purdue Extension office in Johnson County.

"We're feeding a lot of kids," Overton says. "We do everything we can to avoid a foodborne illness outbreak."

All state retail food outlets, including school cafeterias, are required to employ at least one certified food handler at each location.

"I like all of our workers to take the training, even if they aren't required to be certified," Overton says.

Overton's Making a Difference story is at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/extension/makingadifference/Pages/story36.aspx.

Paul Flint

Daviess County farmer Paul Flint turned to Purdue Extension for help during the 2012 drought. He hosted a regional meeting in August that attracted many livestock producers. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)
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Farmer Paul Flint was like many producers last summer trying to deal with problems wrought by the drought. The co-owner of Flint Farms in Daviess County in southwest Indiana, where the drought was at its worst, had plenty of concerns and questions about the condition of his crops and how to care for his 75 head of cattle.

Purdue Extension specialists and educators knew that he and many other producers needed help quickly. They organized a series of regional meetings with crop farmers and cattle producers throughout the state to help them get a firm handle on problems and find solutions. Flint's farm was the host site of one such meeting in August. Flint expected 10-15 fellow producers to attend, but more than 50 showed up to learn of possible solutions to the short forage supply and escalating feed costs.

"The people at Purdue put a lot of us at ease," Flint says. "They helped us to understand that it wasn't the end of the world. They calmed a lot of nerves."

Flint's story is at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/extension/makingadifference/Pages/story40.aspx.

Writer and contact: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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