It has been a good year for the Lincoln County Cooperative Extension Service, reports Extension Educator Holly Gatzke in Caliente.

“I’ve been working hard at creating a curriculum where people can learn how to develop their own food business,” she said. “Not a restaurant, coffee shop or deli, but rather in building food products for sale to the public, such as pickles, jams, bread, etc.”

In effect, it would be like the cottage food industry, which is growing in the U.S.. To qualify as a cottage food, it must be designated by the state as non-potentially hazardous, meaning it has a low risk of spreading bacteria.

She said the extension service is working on building and launching in the next month or two, a new website, “so that we can connect with the community and the community can connect with us.”

4-H also had a good year in 2016 Gatzke reports. “We’ve had excellent numbers in kids signed up and number of leaders. We’ve had a lot of fun new activities from the garden outside the extension office and the participants are excited about doing it next year. We’re looking at doing a bit more on health and nutrition classes and information for the community. We’ll do that largely through the website that we are building.”

The Workforce program has also been successful, Gatzke said. “We have a large number of signups with the youth already. We’d like more adults, but we’re on track for the number of people we plan to service. We’re excited that we have been able to provide a large number of work experiences with on-the-job training for adults and hope to continue with that.” She added, “I’m very blessed to have an exceptional staff.”