Our Impact on Sedgwick County
Senior Health Insurance Counseling of Kansas (SHICK)
Every day 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, and many do not understand Medicare. In 2017, during Medicare Enrollment, Sedgwick County Extension reached 3,775 individuals and saved local citizens $1.8 million dollars in health care costs.
Agriculture is the second largest industry in Sedgwick County. Seventy-six percent of our county's land is in agriculture production today. Sedgwick County K-State Research and Extension provides non-bias research based information to help producers be more efficient, profitable, and better stewards of the land. We provide in county research for producers through replicated wheat variety plots, as well as many other in field test plots. We offer soil testing and fertility recommendations based on the test results. Extension played a key role in providing information to producers when a new pest, the sugarcane aphid, threatened our state's sorghum crop.
Family Life and Resource Management
Parents and caregivers who are facing many struggles may lack the resources to cope with the normal transitions and stresses that accompany caregiving. Children and adults with stable and satisfying family relationships experience greater emotional stability. Research results indicate that the first three years of life are critical in children's brain development and that effective and positive parenting and caregiving -- along with quality child care and early education -- can greatly enhance children's lives. Programming such as Better Brains for Babies, Responsive Discipline and Childcare Provider Training are just a few examples of what is offered to residents of Sedgwick County. According to the 2016 Census, 23.5% of children in Sedgwick County who are under the age of five are living in poverty. Family Life and Resource Management focuses on providing all families with the knowledge, skills and decision-making strategies to make a difference in their lives, especially those in disadvantaged situations.
4-H Youth Program
4-H is committed to providing positive experiences for as many young people as possible, helping them "Learn By Doing" in a variety of ways. In 2018 more than 4,000 Sedgwick County youth were served by 4-H programs, such as school enrichment lessons that offer hands-on learning opportunities in local schools, or in-school 4-H clubs that meet monthly in the Wichita special education classrooms. Military youth at McConnell AFB participated in 4-H weekly as part of their after-school program, and inner-city children attend a 4-H summer day camp that keeps their academic skills sharp. Some families choose to join a 4-H club in their local community while others enjoy focusing on special interests like rabbits, shooting sports or horsemanship.
Nutrition Education Programs
Kansas State University Research and Extension in Sedgwick County provides nutrition education to limited resource families through two research-based programs. EFNEP, the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, is a USDA-funded program, in which paraprofessionals deliver education to low income youth and families with young children. SNAP-Ed, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education, is a nutrition education program provided to SNAP eligible individuals and families and delivered by program assistants. Over 15% of persons in the county live below the Federal poverty level and 32% of Kansans that receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance benefits live in Sedgwick County. Additionally, Kansas now has the 7th highest adult obesity rate in the nation. Programs such as EFNEP and SNAP-Ed help alleviate poverty, reduce food insecurity, improve dietary quality, protect against obesity, and improve health.
In 2022, Sedgwick County Master Gardeners contributed over 21,978 volunteer hours in community service, gained 5,426 hours of Advanced Training, and made over 88,589 contacts with the public through their events and workshops. Master Gardeners also assisted over 2,781 clients with gardening questions via the Master Gardener Hotline and Walk-in Clinic. The Sedgwick County Master Gardener Volunteer program is now in its 36th year.