CROWN POINT | Attending the annual business meeting of the Lake County Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service this year felt a bit like being on a television game show.
Audience members were given keypads and asked to select the answers to quiz questions about the services and programs provided by the Extension Service.
It was a unique way to inform attendees that 6,593 family members were served in 2012 through nutrition education programs, 8,000 hours were logged by more than 300 volunteers in 2012, and 928 young people were enrolled in Lake County 4-H programs - a 30 percent increase from five years ago.
"Instead of standing up here and talking, this gets people involved in the answers," said Corinne Powell, Health and Human Sciences educator for the Extension Service, of the interactive quiz.
"In one word, education is our mission," added Janet Reed, Lake County Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service director and Economic Community Development officer.
From chicken embryology in kindergarten classrooms, to Dining with Diabetes classes for adults and Master Gardener training for hobbyists, the Extension Service provides educational programming for all ages.
Helping guide the agency is an Extension Advisory Board that added five new members in an election held at the annual meeting: Victor Garcia, of Highland, division director for the March of Dimes; Helen Gutyan, of Schererville, board secretary for two years and president of the Lake County Extension Homemakers Chorus, The Noteables; Sheree Japchinski, of Crown Point, a Master Gardener, Extension Service volunteer and 4-H judge; Ed Rice, of Gary, a retired union plumber and president of the Northwest Indiana Beekeepers Association; and Ryan Richardson, of Hobart, a farmer and business owner serving as vice president of development for Luke Oil and vice resident of operations at the company's County Line Orchard.
Plaques were presented to four outgoing board members, board President Matt Hayden; Mark Schulte; Lyle Patchett, who served 40 years; and Butch Zandstra, who served 32 years.