<![CDATA[LIBERTY, Ind. - The Union County 4-H program and the College Corner Volunteer Fire Department have each received $2,500 from Monsanto's Growing Communities program. Former Union County Extension Educator Jennifer Logue, who also farms with her husband, Brad, applied to and was chosen by the seed company to select community groups to receive the company's donation to Union County programs. The program usually makes only one $2,500 award per county, but because 2012 was a drought year it doubled the award and allowed a second community group to be chosen for the extra funding. The Logues reside in the College Corner department's fire territory. HAGERSTOWN, Ind. - Members of Hagerstown FFA poultry judging teams won top spots at the area judging contests held recently. Hagerstown took first, second, fourth and sixth places in the contest and its members were among the top five in individual judging. Mitchell Stitt was first; Brandon Brookshear, second; Brenton Baumer, fourth; and Kendall Combs, fifth. Others on the poultry teams were Larry Lodge, Joseph Limburg, Sarah Baumer, Michael Cowan, Carl Hobson, Sarah Lowe, Mariah Tudo, Georffrey Hoodlebrink, Nate Combs, Christina Kelley, Garrett Blevins and Henrick Stevens. In the junior poultry judging, Sam Tollet was first; Ben Baumer, second; Michael Bane, third; Levi Dilling, fourth; Noah Hancock fifth; and Mason Luellen, sixth. All poultry participants will compete at the state judging contest. The dairy judging team of Kelsie Arnold, Nick Arnold, Alivia White and Ally Bowman placed among the top two teams. Nick Arnold and White were the top scorers, with White placing third and Nick Arnold placing fourth. The livestock judging team is also headed for the state contest, after taking seventh place. Team members are Makayla Crossley, who was 13th in individual judging, Olivia Waltz, Andy Herr and Garrett Wilson. Other team members participating were Cheyanne Bowman, Nick Crossley, Maddy Coffman, Georgia Coffman, Zach Bowman, Luke Coffman, Austin Herr, and Hayley Baker. Bethany Hobson also participated as an individual. WOOSTER, Ohio - Crop growers should take extra precautions to scout fields for slugs this spring to keep them from attacking corn and soybean plants and causing feeding injury. Ohio State entomolgist Ron Hammond is a featured speaker in April on the feeding injury that gray garden slugs can cause. Hammond's presentations may be viewed at: www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/edcenter/seminars/corn/slugmanagementcorn/ and www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/edcenter/seminars/soybean/SlugManagementSoybean/ WASHINGTON, D.C. - April is Invasive Species Month and the Union County Soil and Water Conservation District wants area residents to know there are practices they can follow to reduce the spread of invasive plants, pests and diseases. Ways to help include: * Buy firewood locally and burn it locally, so pests and larvae aren't transported to new areas. * Keep outdoor gear and vehicle tires clean by washing between fishing, hunting or camping trips. Clean lawn furniture and other outdoor items when moving from one home to another. * Buy garden plants from reputable sources and avoid using invasive plant species. * Don't mail fresh fruit, vegetables or plants unless agriculture inspectors have cleared them for safety. * Cooperate with agricultural quarantine restrictions. For more information on invasive species, visit www.HungryPests.com WOOSTER, Ohio - The Wooster campuses of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and the Agricultural Technical Institute have been designated as a "Tree Campus USA" by the Arbor Day Foundation. The Arbor Day Foundation began the program in 2008 to honor colleges and universities committed to promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in conservation. The OARDC and ATI communities celebrated this recognition on April 20 with an Arbor Day program, planting five oaks at various locations to symbolize the idea of an interconnected campus ecosystem and a combined effort toward beautification and education. Wooster is now the second Ohio State campus to earn this recognition, following the Columbus campus in 2011. Ohio State is one of only six universities nationwide to have more than one of its campuses designated as Tree Campus USA.