Come to the Farm Zone at the Butler County Fair!

The Farm Zone is a great place for KIDS!  This year, we have exciting activities and special events every day of the week.  Butler County’s Master Gardener Volunteers will have a fun, interactive display on pollinators throughout the week and the “I’m a Farmer” area will run all day, every day:  Sunday, July 21st through Saturday, July 27th from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.  This area, where kids can experience life on a farm by picking produce and milking a pretend cow, is always a favorite!  Kids of all ages will have fun trying new things in the Farm Zone at the Butler County Fair.

Sunday, July 21st  –  For the opening day of the fair, our theme is Farm Bureau Day.  We will have agriculture displays, coloring books, and story time, a special Farm Safety Interaction Demonstration, and a lamb tasting.  Reily Township Fire Department also will be here to showcase their Large Animal Rescue unit, which is the only one in Butler County!  These special displays run from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  To top off our farm fun, be sure to stop by to see the results of our Cabbage Contest at 1:00 p.m.!

Monday, July 22nd  –  Today in the Farm Zone, The Ohio State University Extension is showcasing their many programs!  Come explore the 4-H CARTEENS and after-school programs, learn about sun safety and drug safety, and watch a cool 4-H robotics demonstration. There will be canner testing to ensure your canning equipment will safely seal your food.  The OSU smoothie bike will also be in the Farm Zone.  Make sure to stop in to try a delicious smoothie powered by you!  All of these events will run from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 23rd  –  Have fun with Butler County Soil and Water Conservation District Day at the Farm Zone.  Learn about soil and the environment with displays on soil profiles, and stream testing.  Check out the NRCS display, Boy Scouts exhibit, electric tree stump, and soil trailer!  Then, sample some tasty food with our soil profile pudding cups activity and a beef tasting.  All of this will happen from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., or while supplies last, so don’t hesitate to stop by!

Wednesday, July 24th  –  Come on down to the Butler County Fairgrounds to see our Cloverbuds race their fruit and veggie cars!  This event will take place from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. in the Swine Show Barn.  Remember to stop in the Farm Zone too, because today is Master Gardener Day!  In addition to their daily activity, there will be displays of the Master Gardener’s projects, a representative from the Butler County Beekeepers, and a Farm Zone Scavenger Hunt, all from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.!

Thursday, July 25th  –  It’s Farm Day at the Farm Zone, and you don’t want to miss it! Jason Jackson will have a fantastic interactive display of pedal tractors and farm equipment.  Kids will be able to ride these tractors around the Farm Zone in an event bigger than we have ever had before!  The Edgewood and Talawanda FFA members will also have their SAE projects on display today, so be sure to come by and see what America’s future farmers are busy doing! These groups will be at the Farm Zone from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Friday, July 26th  –  To celebrate Natural Resources Day, come and learn about nature with Butler County Metroparks, Girl Scouts, and Three Valley Land Trust.  A naturalist from Hueston woods will have an incredible display about birds of prey, which is always a highlight of the week!  And finally, kids will make invisible ink and use a surprising natural material to reveal their hidden message.  Come on down between 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to be sure you don’t miss out.

Saturday, July 27th  –  Remember to visit the Farm Zone on the last day of fair!  We will be running exciting crafts from 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., or while supplies last.  Come on down to see what is going on and be sure you don’t miss your last chance to visit the Farm Zone until next year!

Please contact the OSU Extension Office with any questions at (513) 887-3722.

News Release provided by Emily Waldron, Summer Intern, OSU Extension, Butler County.

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit:  For an accessible format of this publication, visit:  Butler County / July 12, 2019

DLS Helps to DIY

Parents, June means summer is officially here!  With that comes summer break for our kids and we focus on being outside and planning vacations or outings with them.  But June is also the month we celebrate Father’s Day.  Often we prioritize our moms on Mother’s Day and we forget about dads.  Now is the time to remedy that!

What better way to honor the men in our lives than by creating a Building Memories with Dad Jar?  Creating this jar is a unique way to give our children ideas of things to do to ward off their summer boredom by coming up with ideas to do together that dad would love.  Men often enjoy physical activities as a form of bonding and connection with their family, so thinking about being active is a great place to start.

Here are some other helpful hints:

  1. Find a mason jar, a permanent marker, construction paper, string, and some blocks or Legos
  2. Have the children complete the sentences:
  • What I like to do with daddy is….
  • My favorite thing to do with daddy is…
  • What I want to do with daddy is…
  • I love it when daddy…
  • Remember when daddy…
  1. Write the children’s responses on the blocks
  2. Place the blocks in the jar
  3. Add a tag or label which says, “Building Memories with Dad”
  4. Encourage dad to pick a block and plan an experience for the whole family to enjoy! Or perhaps dad creates one-on-one time with each child for a specific activity.

You can add to the jar at any time.  Think about outdoor activities as well as ideas for rainy days when you are stuck inside.  If there is a beloved family event, then you know you are creating memories, so: repeat, repeat, repeat!

For more ideas to spend with dad, visit:


Nina Solomon, DLS Instructor, OSU Extension, Butler County

DLS Helps to DIY

Parents, in May many of us celebrate Mother’s Day, which often brings to mind: Flowers!  Spring has sprung and it is common to give our mothers flowers which, although beautiful, will eventually wilt away.  One simple way to celebrate Mom and create a family keep-sake is to make a paper flower.  You and your children can make this craft together by following these easy steps:

  • Trace your children’s handprints onto construction paper.
  • Cut out the handprints. These become the flower petals.
  • Cut long rectangles to create the stem of a flower.
  • On a separate piece of paper, glue the petals into a flower shape and add the stem.
  • On each petal record your children’s responses to the statements below:

My favorite thing about my Mom is…

I love it when my Mom…

My Mom is funny when…

My Mom makes the best…

My Mom always says…

My Mom makes me feel…

  • Decorate the margins of the paper to create a picture frame effect.

Feel free to allow the children’s imaginations to run wild if they have additional statements to add.  But most importantly, enjoy the process with your children.  The best Mother’s Day gift of all may be the memory of this time together!

For more conversation starters for families, visit

Nina Solomon, Development of Living Skills Instructor, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County

DLS Helps to DIY

Parents, April is upon us and that means we are thinking about money- either filing our taxes or spending our tax return.  April is also National Teach Your Kids About Money Month.  While it is fresh in our minds, now is a good time to begin teaching our kids basic money skills that will guide them throughout their lives.

One simple way to teach children is to use three clear containers and label them with “Share,” “Spend” and “Save.”  Even preschool-aged children can learn these basics.  Using clear bottles (such as 2-liters) or jars helps children feel motivated to continue adding money when they can see their progress as their money increases in the container.

When your child receives money from completing a chore, for their birthday, or another reason, teach them to split their money between each jar.  You can decide whether or not to divide the money equally or not.  An important step is to explain to your child the reason for having each category.  Some ideas are listed below.

Share: A common value we all have is sharing.  Our children can learn to share their resources in a concrete way by sharing their money with a loved one or agency in need.  As the saying goes, “See a need; fill a need.”  Giving of oneself creates a sense of confidence and strength!

SpendWhy would we teach children to spend?  Well one reason is that it is the process of getting things we want or need.  Children will learn the difference between a “want” and a “need” when it is explained to them.  Also, children will learn the value of their money and the ability to make wise choices when a caring parent guides their spending.

Save:  There are several great benefits for learning to save money.  The process of saving builds the muscle for learning to wait, which is a necessary skill for success.  Saving also teaches the concept of planning ahead and following steps to reach a goal.

When teaching children to save, start with a small goal for the children to work toward such as saving for a specific toy, and with practice they can strive for a larger purchase.  This will keep his/her momentum up to accomplish the goal.  When enough money is saved, have the child be an active participant in every step of the process including:

  • retrieving the money from the jar;
  • going to the store;
  • choosing the toy;
  • and if they are able, paying for the toy him/herself.

And finally, praise the child for his/her hard work and responsibility!  The same steps can be applied to sharing/giving their money as well.  As your child grows, continue the steps above to strengthen these skills.

Nina Solomon, Development of Living Skills Instructor, OSU Extension, Butler County


For additional information on teaching kids about money visit:

DLS Helps to DIY

Parents, March is a month of change.  We have been inside a lot recently and the dreary days may have caused us to become self-focused and feel run down.  But then comes March, when there is more sunlight, longer days, and the cold weather finally breaks.  These outward changes inspire us inwardly as well: we are inspired to go outside and get some fresh air, which creates more opportunities to interact with those around us.  Increased physical activity and vitamin D from the sun are two positive benefits from the great outdoors which can strongly improve both mood and energy levels.  Considering that, lets plan a time to do exactly what this month commands: March! …

Plan a Kindness March in March!  What is a kindness march, you ask?  It is a march, or mission, to do a random act of kindness for someone, and physically marching while you do it.  The point is to combine your physical and emotional body into doing something kind for someone around you, which will result in a healthier you, as well as a healthier community.  By actually marching, you may draw attention to your mission, which will spread the word about kindness.  And kindness is contagious!

You can start small and simply march over to greet a lonely neighbor with a smile, or kindly march to get the mail or the garbage cans for a neighbor.  You can encourage the younger children to get their energy out in a constructive way by acting like a soldier who is on a mission is to be kind!  Perhaps they can march to feed the first robin of spring, or march while walking someone’s dog.  The children can march to find a leaf to create a leaf-rubbing picture with crayons and later march it over to a friend.

You can schedule a family march or a neighborhood march on the weekend to help someone in need or to build a sense of community.  No matter what you decide to do, just march!  Get those knees up and enjoy the sun on your face and the warmth in your heart that comes from kindness expressed to others.

For more ideas about creating positive family interactions see:

Nina Solomon, Development of Living Skills Instructor, Ohio State University Extension, Butler County

Dental Health

Good oral health is important, as indicated in the chart below, and should be practiced all year!  Practicing good oral habits at an early age can prevent cavities and promote healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime. Brushing, flossing, rinsing and eating healthy snacks are desirable behaviors to implement for maintaining optimal oral health!

For more healthy tips like this, please visit the Live Healthy, Live Well Facebook Page.