The events of the past few weeks have brought sadness and outrage to communities across our nation. The senseless killing of black men and women demonstrates that as a nation, we need to make further and strong progress toward our aspirations of a diverse and inclusive society.
The College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources remains steadfastly committed to our goals of creating and supporting a diverse and inclusive environment for us all. In these troubled times, we must stand tall in our beliefs and redouble our resolve to ensure that all members of our community feel safe and welcome. We will continue to take multiple steps to promote diversity and inclusion throughout our college and our communities.
On behalf of the college and in cooperation with our Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy to all who have been impacted by these senseless acts. I know that you share my commitment to supporting all individuals in communities across our state, the nation, and the world.
Best regards on behalf of myself and the CAHNR Committee on Diversity and Inclusion,
Indrajeet Chaubey, Dean
CAHNR Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
Maria-Luz Fernandez, Nutritional Sciences, Chair
Sharon Gray, Extension
Miriah Kelly, Extension
Beth Lawrence, Natural Resources and Environment
Michael O’Neill, Associate Dean, ex-officio
Sara Putnam, Communications, ex-officio
Farhed Shah, Agricultural and Resource Economics
Ellen Shanley, Allied Health Science
Brandon Smith, Animal Science
Young Tang, Animal Science
Beth Taylor, Kinesiology
Huanzhong Wang, Plant Science and Landscape Architecture
Xiaohui Zhou, Pathobiology and Veterinary Sciences
The CT Department of Agriculture secured a limited amount of free hand sanitizer from FEMA through a donation from Exxon. The CT Department of Agriculture has been working to distribute to farmers markets via the Hartford Regional Market. They have given part of the donation to UConn Extension to disperse to on-farm markets/CSA’s and PYO operations. It is on a first come first serve basis and will be available for pick up at designated Extension Centers in gallon jugs with a maximum of 3 gallons per farm operation.You may only sign up for one time slot at one location. Please contact MacKenzie White at Mackenzie.firstname.lastname@example.org with any specific questions.
Please use this link to sign up for a time slot to pick up your free hand sanitizer.
Interested in more nutrition information for you and your family? The Healthy Family Connecticut
website from the UConn Department of Allied Health Sciences offers many science-based and
nutrition resources for you and your family to stay healthy that are offered in both English and
Spanish. Resources are offered for Parents of Toddlers, Preschool Aged Children, Middle-
School Aged Children, and more!
There are flyers, videos, and even a fun game available for the whole family to enjoy. Some of
the information provided includes:
● Eat the Rainbow
● Sugar Sweetened Beverages and You
● Snack Recipes
● Sippy Cup Use
● Physical Activity
● Reducing Screen Time
● Making Less Waste
The website and resources are made possible through three grants, the Child Health and
Development Institute of Connecticut, Hatch Funding from the Storrs Agricultural Experiment
Station in the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, and the SNAP-Ed
Program. The SNAP-Ed Program based in the UConn Department of Allied Health Sciences
reaches thousands of participants through educational nutrition sessions for people of all
different ages. These educational sessions focused on increasing consumption of fruits and
vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains, while decreasing consumption of sugar sweetened
beverages. Other program goals are increasing physical activity, offering cooking
demonstrations, and more. More information on our program can be found on the website:
The SNAP-Ed program is also part of UConn CAHNR Extension. Extension has more than 100
years’ experience strengthening communities in Connecticut and beyond. Extension programs
address the full range of issues set forth in CAHNR’s strategic initiatives:
● Ensuring a vibrant and sustainable agricultural industry and food supply
● Enhancing health and well-being locally, nationally, and globally
● Designing sustainable landscapes across urban-rural interfaces
● Advancing adaptation and resilience in a changing climate.
Programs delivered by Extension reach individuals, communities, and businesses in each of
Connecticut’s 169 municipalities.
Around the state, organizations have found a way to continue UConn Extension’s Parent Leadership Training, part of our People Empowering People (UConn PEP) program. With technology, determination and creativity PEP facilitators are keeping their parent leaders connected and informed during this difficult time by offering the UConn PEP program via Zoom.
One such program is being run by the Wethersfield Early Childhood Collaborative (WECC) and Wethersfield Public Schools. UConn PEP Facilitator Jeanine Berasi is in her 4th year as a PEP facilitator. Jeanine started by contacting parents one at a time and doing a social check in. Next she practiced using Zoom with each family. Once parents felt comfortable, Jeanine offered Wethersfield’s first UConn PEP Program online via Zoom. Jeanine coordinated with WECC staff to have a local business, Cove Deli, deliver meals to each family (dinner was offered as part of the program when the group met in person).
The class raised funds for their town food bank to help food insecure families in Wethersfield.
“Our Wethersfield PEP 2020 cohort is amazing,” Jeanine says. “In spite of the challenges placed on PEP 2020 by the Covid-19 pandemic, the ladies of Wethersfield PEP 2020 set aside their personal community service ideas for later dates to come together and collaborate, bringing the Wethersfield Porch Portraits project to life!”
“Wethersfield PEPs Porch Portrait project has exceeded all expectations,” Jeanine continues. “I am so proud of all they have learned and how much they have contributed to brighten a difficult time. The good news and positive impact of this group project has been amazing! Additionally, the ladies also created a gift certificate for people receiving aid from Social Services. We have had three certificates honored to date.”
Residents of Wethersfield can sign up to have a family portrait taken on their porch, from a safe social distance. It’s been very popular with many families signing up from throughout the community.
In a time when so much is uncertain, we are grateful to all of you for finding ways to support each other and stay connected. Stay Safe.
Electronics may carry germs that pose risks to your health. Minimize your health risks by following these practices:
Before cleaning any device, wash your hands. Apply clean water and soap to your hands. Scrub the back and front of your hands, in between your fingers, and underneath your fingernails for 20 seconds. Rinse your hands and dry with a clean towel.
Make an effort to keep electronics clean and to use them on clean surfaces – desktops, tables, countertops, etc. Cell phones can become contaminated with germs, dirt, and oil. Avoid holding your cell phone against your face.
To learn more about CDC Recommendations and General Electronic Cleaning Guidelines access the full fact sheet at:
When we think of environmental education (EE), we might think of connecting youth to nature, increasing student academic achievement, and developing the next generation of environmental stewards. These are all excellent and proven benefits of EE. But EE that specifically empowers youth and adults towards environmental actionin their community can also lead to direct environmental and community benefits.
Goal:I set out to assess collective environmental & community impact of conservation projects carried out by teen-adult volunteer partnerships participating in UConn’s Natural Resources Conservation Academy.
NRCA comprises programs that provides place-based, environmental action programs for teens & adults
Teen & adult volunteer teamsformed
Trained inconservation science&technology during field experience or workshop
Teams identify &address a local conservation issue(projects tailored to individual circumstances & community need)
Participants share projects atregional conferenceQuantifying impact:I assessed impact of167projects carried out by308teens and adults participating in two UConn NRCA programs (Conservation Ambassador Program and Conservation Training Partnerships).
The challenge: develop a systematic protocol to quantify metrics fromdiverseconservation efforts
With national data showing Americans have been eating more fish and shellfish during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report on a survey of Connecticut residents’ seafood consumption habits and preferences offers timely information seafood dealers can use to help make the increase permanent.
The final report on theConnecticut Seafood Survey, a project to better understand current eating habits and how best to get more seafood into residents’ diets — especially shellfish, fish and seaweed from local waters — was released earlier this month to the Connecticut seafood industry. Key findings, based on anonymous surveys conducted in 2017 and 2018 of a cross-section of 1,756 residents, include:
About 50% of residents eat at least one meal of seafood per week.
About 15% of residents eat two or more meals of seafood per week.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of residents eat shellfish.
Twenty-five percent (25%) of residents are interested in trying seaweed products.
UConn 4-H and Partners Move Over 78,000 Pounds of Dairy Products to Support Connecticut Communities
UConn 4-H, the youth development program of Extension in the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources has moved 78,894 pounds of dairy products to date – the equivalent of six full-size elephants – during Operation Community Impact. 4-H members and volunteers are working with community partners and the UConn Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Deliveries of dairy products were made to 96 food pantries in 57 towns statewide. The effort has involved 88 Extension families that donated their time to help unload and deliver the dairy products.
The most recent donation, 33 pallets of ice cream, was received last week from H.P. Hood in Suffield. “We are glad to partner with a wonderful organization such as 4-H and UConn Extension to provide assistance to local Connecticut communities when we can,” says Megan Uricchio of H.P. Hood, and an alumni of UConn 4-H Hartford County.
Milk donations were received from Dairy Farmers of America through their local facility, Guida’s Dairy. Agri-Mark Cooperative and Cabot Creamery donated yogurt and sour cream. All of these products were previously distributed to facilities statewide. Fluid milk donations totaled 8,640 gallons – that is more than the amount needed to fill an 18-foot round swimming pool.
The Freshplace food pantry in Hartford County stated: “Our Freshplace food pantry serves 100 individuals and families in the North end of Hartford – the poorest neighborhoods in Hartford. Most of our participants do not have access to a grocery store and depend on small bodegas that have a very limited supply of dairy products, fresh veggies, etc. This has become a much larger problem due to the current COVID situation. The delivery of the generous donation of milk will help not only our Freshplace participants but many of our other clients who are having a very hard time obtaining food. We have expanded our Freshplace services beyond our Freshplace members to encompass all Chrysalis Center clients in need of food. The milk is an incredible addition to our daily deliveries! Thanks so much – this definitely shows that we are all in this together!”
A Fairfield County food pantry that serves 115 families said, “The families that our pantry serves are in significant crisis right now. They are relying on the food pantry for all of their food/meals. Typically, we are very limited in the amounts of dairy products we are able to receive and distribute. The milk, yogurt and sour cream has been a blessing – and has made a real impact. Families are now able to add this to their meals, providing a more balanced, nutritional meal and promoting overall health and well-being. THANK YOU!”
Community service is a key component of the 4-H civic engagement mission. This project provides UConn 4-H members the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of consumers and dairy producers. Operation Community Impact would not be possible without the efforts of many community partners, volunteers, food pantries and businesses statewide that the project is serving. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone helping to connect those in need with the milk and dairy donations. We created this short video to thank our dairy donors:https://bit.ly/DairyCollaborations.
UConn 4-H is the youth development program of UConn Extension. 4-H is a community of over 6 million young people across America who are learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), leadership, citizenship and life skills through their 4-H project work. 4-H provides youth with the opportunity to develop lifelong skills including civic engagement and healthy living. Learn more and enroll your child in the UConn 4-H program athttp://4-H.uconn.edu/.