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    SDSU Extension’s Approach to the 2017 Drought

    Most of the Great Plains, of which Western South Dakota is part of, have always been considered a semi-arid area of the U.S. This region is characterized by hot, relatively short summers, and usually cold, dry winters.

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    Food & Families Impact Reports

    SDSU Extension Food & Families program impacts strengthen, and contribute significantly to the overall effectiveness of the national work done by Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension. The program impacts described on this page provide a thorough picture of learning community and programmatic efforts provided by SDSU Extension Food & Families staff across South Dakota, further summarizing our accomplishments and their impact on our state, communities, families, and citizens.

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    2015 Healthy Families Impact Reports

    SDSU Extension staff keep stakeholders informed about issues that impact Food & Families and raise awareness of public value, progress, and outcomes through impact reports. Programs described in this page provide a thorough picture of learning community and programmatic efforts provided by SDSU Extension Food & Families staff across South Dakota. These impact reports summarize our 2014 accomplishments and their impact on our state, communities, families, and citizens.

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    Preserving the Harvest

    Interest in food preservation has increased because consumers: 1) would like to gain control over the foods they eat, 2) aim to save grocery dollars by preserving their own food and, 3) desire to add value to their products by processing fruits and vegetables within their own homes, and selling them to the general public. This interest in growing produce and/or purchasing locally grown food has increased the need for correct food preservation information, such as canning and freezing.

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    Healthy Food, Healthy Communities Program

    This program integrates components that enhance communities, businesses and individuals on South Dakota reservations. The program encompasses training through Extension and our partners in home and commercial gardening, utilization of small acreages through livestock and other enterprises, nutrition education, and market development. Reservations throughout South Dakota are classified as food deserts by the USDA. These programs provide an opportunity towards addressing food access issues, as well as contributing towards self-sufficiency and food sovereignty. Those participating in these programs acquire skills that help improve nutritious food utilization in home and agency settings. On the business side, participants acquire skills in marketing and presentation of their goods, as well as an understanding of the regulations governing local food utilization in commercial settings.

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    Food Safety

    South Dakotans, constituents, and partners recognize SDSU Extension as a leading resource for food safety practices to maintain a safe and secure food system for SD and beyond our borders. Food producers, processors, retailers, and consumers of all ethnic groups involved in preparing and preserving food will adopt safe food handling practices that reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.

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    Aging Gracefully in South Dakota

    The vast majority of South Dakotans identify remaining in the home or community as a high priority during retirement and older age. This goal will be difficult to attain without deliberate anticipation of future needs and efforts to mitigate barriers to independence. We have more choices today than ever before as we move through life. AGE in South Dakota 2016 evaluation results suggest consumer knowledge about these options is low.

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    Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota Program Business Plan

    Cooperatively, the South Dakota Department of Health and SDSU Extension are launching Better Choices, Better Health® South Dakota (BCBH) in an effort to educate South Dakotans with chronic health conditions on ways to manage the impact of their disease on their daily lives. Individuals will learn coping skills to actively manage or co-manage their chronic condition and its impact on their lives.

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    Food & Families Worksite Wellness Program Business Plan: 2014-2015

    This program will focus on reducing the incidence of chronic disease including heart disease, obesity/overweight, diabetes and hypertension of South Dakotan’s. The CDC notes that more than 75% of health care costs are due to chronic conditions and it’s estimated that one-fourth of persons living with a chronic illness experience significant limitations in daily activities.

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    Burke Community Walk Audit

    This program will focus on increasing physical activity in youth and adult residents in Burke, SD. Because Burke has an inadequate sidewalk system and most walking and bicycling is done in Burke streets, adults and youth are at risks for traffic accidents. Currently, Burke doesn’t have an identified safe route for children to walk or bicycle, though this is viewed as a key strategy to keep kids active and healthy.

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    Innovative STEM Instructional Techniques: Increasing the number and diversity of food safety majors

    Most students, especially under-represented students, consistently struggle with key scientific and math concepts used in science-intensive agricultural courses, due largely to a lack of conceptual understanding in pre-requisite STEM skills. This deficiency deters under-represented students from completing coursework in science- and math-intensive agricultural majors, thus decreasing the number of potential graduates in these fields.

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    Jump$tart Teacher Training

    The Jump$tart Teacher Training Model focuses on a learner-centric approach to build teachers' confidence. This initiative emphasizes the instruction of personal finance concepts, information, and behavior so that teachers have the tools and confidence to implement positive financial management in their own lives - and then to transfer that knowledge to their own students in the classroom.

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    Adding to the Harvest: Reducing unsafe food handling risks while enhancing marketability of crops

    The overall goal of this project is to reduce food safety risks associated with unsafe food processing and handling of fruits and vegetables and other specialty foods, and provide opportunities for specialty growers to meet the food safety standards and regulations to expand their specialty crops through additional retail markets.

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