Hispanic Nutrition Education Classes 'Save Lives'

Angel Tello, 12, helps his mom Olivia Tello, prepare lentil soup for the class. 
At just 11 years old, Jose was overweight, diagnosed with pre-diabetes and suffered from constipation so severe he went to the emergency room twice. Just eight weeks after taking nutrition classes through OSU Extension, Jose is no longer pre-diabetic and has already lost seven pounds. 
"Usually a family comes to us due to a recent diagnosis of diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other chronic illness, and they literally do not know what to do," said Lynn Steele, OSU Extension Nutrition Education Program staff member. "The classes in some cases save lives."
Jose is one of 530 youth who received instruction through OSU Extension's Metro Hispanic Nutrition Education Program in 2016. Along with more than 180 adults last year, Jose has transformed his life, preparing fresh fruits and vegetables, swapping out unhealthy ingredients and helping his family shop for nutritious foods on a tight budget.
Chronic disease and poor health disproportionately affect minority and low-income audiences. To reach them, Steele along with her Nutrition Education Program staff members Lucy Lores and Yolanda De La Cruz work together to teach classes throughout the Portland metro area in housing complexes, churches, schools, libraries, medical clinics and more. 
OSU's nutrition programs are part of two federally funded efforts: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP-Ed) and the Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).  Courses take a comprehensive approach and cover diet quality, physical activity, food resource management, and food safety and security.  In 2015, EFNEP programs directly reached nearly 200,000 adults and nearly 378,000 children nationwide. Reaching the whole family is part of the solution to long-term changes in diet. 
For example, two teenage brothers enrolled in OSU Extensions classes at a migrant farmworker center wanted to learn to cook so they could become healthier, along with the rest of their family. Their mom no longer cooks with lard. Their father is managing his diabetes by cutting down his intake of soda and tortillas.
"Getting the entire family involved in classes makes it a team effort and the whole family wins," Steele said. "Eating healthy starts at home and takes a little bit of planning, creativity and effort, but it is worth it in the end."
For more information, contact Lynn Steele, MPH, Program Coordinator at 971-361-9623 or Lynn.Steele@oregonstate.edu.
Polly Gottesman of Pumpkin Ridge Gardens talked with participants about seed starting.

Growing Farms Class Draws Farmers of all levels
Farmers from Aumsville to Oregon City came together during a rainy February to learn about whole-farm management in OSU's hybrid class Growing Farms.
Both experienced farmers and total beginners alike enrolled in the class, each with a variety of interests from pig production to starting a native seed nursery. 
The Growing Farms curriculum consists of six online modules, three face-to-face classroom discussions, one full-day farm tour, and attendance at the Small Farms Conference in Corvallis.
"I love the holistic, professional approach," said one class participant. "The program really encourages you to think critically about the entire farming process."
Growing Farms is intended for people who are starting farm-related businesses, are still in their first five years of farming or who are considering making major changes to their business.
Farm owners gave tours highlighting ecological growing practices and niche marketing strategies.
" I greatly enjoyed your course and it has really inspired me to define what my future farming goals are," said Sam Scheidt, a current farm worker and aspiring farm owner.
When the class ended, 80 percent of participants said they planned to complete a personal whole-farm plan. About 45 percent said they planned to start a new farm business and the same percentage planned to implement new marketing methods. About 27 percent said they planned to add a new crop or livestock along with the same percentage who said they wanted to now expand their existing business. 
Interested in Pacific Northwest Weather and Ecology?
You may want to consider enlisting in the Oregon Season Tracker program, an OSU Extension Citizen Science Program. Volunteers collect and report data on precipitation and native plant growth in their backyards, farms, woodlands and neighborhood schools. Make it a family project! Two-hour online trainings are available in April. Find more information on being an Observer here
Monthly Preparedness: Safe Food
Each month, OSU Extension Service offers tips on surviving disasters. It all starts with being prepared. This month covers safe-food practices. Plan ahead by storing canned and dried goods, bottled juices that don't need refrigeration, cereals, oatmeal, bottled water, nuts, powdered milk and salt. Don't forget to store can and bottle openers. Get more tips here.  
May 13 Naturescaping Workshop 
Looking for a low-maintenance landscape option? Learn to naturescape! Sign up for a workshop Saturday, May 13, from 9 to 11 a.m., at Leedy Grange, 835 Saltzman Road in Portland. Learn to use native plants to create a thriving landscape that attracts birds and butterflies, basic planning site principals and preventing pollution by cutting down on chemical and pesticide use. 
OSU Experts Debunk Garden Myths
This article in the Statesman Journal featured nine OSU Extension experts answering questions about everything from topping trees to removing moss to composting. 
Their research-based answers help clear up confusion on common garden problems. Read more for a healthy and vibrant yard and garden this year. 

Do you care about urban communities?  
OSU Extension in the Portland Metro region is embarking on an "Urban Communities Reimaged" project intended to empower communities to tackle complicated community problems, something that is essential to citizen-centered democracy. 
As part of the project, OSU seeks your input and engagement in an urban survey. Using literature reviews, surveys, focus groups and cultural engagement tools, we will frame urban stories in urban voices, contributing to the national conversation of what community means to urban. Responses collected from the survey we are asking you to complete will lead to the development of an "urban issue guide" in partnership with the organizations and people who use it, including under-served and under-represented populations. The project involves not only Portland  metro but metropolitan communities in Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio Washington and Wisconsin. 
Urban areas face daunting economic and cultural challenges that have increased in scope in recent years. At the same time, cities provide exciting opportunities for growth and revitalization. The interplay of these challenges and opportunities create important tasks for educators, researchers and policymakers alike. We appreciate hearing from you and the time it takes to complete this survey .  
Make use of the tender greens this spring has to offer this year. High in essential nutrients such as vitamins A and K, spinach is a wonderful choice for lunch and dinner. This spring salad features onions, citrus and other vibrant flavors that pack this simple salad with nutrition and flavor. 
The WCMGA Annual Plant Sale will be held 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Hillsboro Armory, 848 NE 28th Ave. in Hillsboro, just west of the Washington County Fairgrounds. Hundreds of hardy perennials, shrubs, berries, and trees. Raffle tickets will be on sale for $1.
We invite you to join OSU supporters, families, alumni, partners, volunteers and staff at the Oregon Food Bank on May 20 at the OSU Day of Service! The event will be held at the Beaverton and Portland sites from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Bring family and friends for fun and service. See details and secure a spot or call Vicki at 503-821-1127. 
Register for the  PDX Talks: OSU Public Health Speakers' SeriesThe College of Public Health and Human Sciences is excited to host Certified Northwest: A Course in Public Health. This 10-week speakers series features 10 experts from OSU addressing essential and timely insights on everything from sleep and stress to tsunami/earthquake preparedness and much more.
Is an  MBA  right for you? Attend an event with the  College of Business in downtown Portland! The lunch and learn will be held noon to 1 p.m. 
April 6. Is this year you take your next step and earn a Masters in Business Administration? Join a recruiter from Oregon State University's hybrid MBA program to discuss the benefits of earning an MBA and how you can complete the degree while working and living in Portland. Light lunch will be provided. Register today! 
Join us for SOLVE: The Workplace of the Future. Our panel of Oregon companies will explore issues on how to attract and retain the next generation of talent, address flexible work needs, the impact of technology, and how the workplace can influence productivity, collaboration and innovation. The event will be 5 to 7 p.m. April 26. Register and find more details. 
If you're interested in all things soil, save the date for Saturday, April 8, for the 2017 Soil School held at the Portland Community College Rock Creek campus. Learn about soil, what it's made of and why. 
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Have Questions, Comments or Suggestions?
We would love to hear what you want to see in the next issue.  Please send your thoughts to us at    vicki.campbell@oregonstate.edu.