Lincoln County Cooperative Extension’s Holly Gatzke gave her annual report to the Board of County Commissioners on Monday.

She started by saying a new director for the Cooperative Extension at UNR, Ivory Lyles, has been appointed.

Gatzke then explained specifically how the programs she is running have all proven to be successful and why she intends to keep using them.

She noted that the Local Food Program put on workshops last year entitled “Starting your Food Business,” which resulted in 31 new products and an estimated $304,000 in sales.

The Workforce Development Program had 31 participants, “not only to acquire skills to gain occupational skill for employment, but also to help increase their confidence and life skills in planning and decision making. We had 17 become employed, seven complete occupational training, and 10 were provided with on-the-job training,” Gatzke reported.

In addition, 37 at-risk youth were taught how to plan their career path and improve their education, resulting in seven youth gaining their high school diploma or the equivalent and three enrolling in occupational training. Additionally, 22 youth received work experience training and 10 were actually employed.

Gatzke said the evaluations from the Workforce Program and comments from the participants indicated the most important thing they felt they learned in the program was, “I am actually capable of handling and maintaining a job, which before I worried I would not be able to.” Also, “I gained confidence and gained new skills working with computers.”

Gatzke said of the program, “We want them to believe that they can do these things. That’s what we find when they come to it: they don’t have basic skills to create a plan, how to achieve it, how to write a job résumé, etc. A lot of it is life skills we teach them, but that works.”

She said the extension service’s health program ran the Little Book and Little Cooks program in Alamo and Caliente. Twenty-six parents and their 23 pre-school-aged children learned about healthy eating, positive interaction, and school readiness.

The community garden and local food coupon projects provided over $6,000 of local foods to residents.

Gatzke then reported on the 2017 4-H Club program. “We ran 24 clubs with 32 volunteers and 164 4-H members. The number of completed 4-H projects entered in the Lincoln County Fair in August were 254.”

She said the 4-H program worked with 27 percent of the youth, ages 5-17, in the county.

On the financial side in 2017, Gatzke said $1,089,310 was available for the Cooperative Extension program, most of which came from workforce grants and state grants, plus federal funds and grants, totaling $984,820. Only $18,408 was needed for the county’s expenditures.

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