Category Archives: K-State Extension

Season Of Change For K-State Southwind District

As an editor who receives weekly submissions from K-State Southwind Extension,  I noticed I wasn’t receiving submissions from a few of the agents.

It turns out that one agent resigned, one retired and in addition, Kansas State University Research and Extension is in a hiring freeze.

Here is  the Southwind Extension District Director Carla Nemecek’s response:

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.

No doubt we are living in a season of change, and the fresh autumn weather is likely the very best of times for many. The virus that has taken over our world and everyday lifestyles is hard enough to cope with, but add heated local and national political battles, school safety and mask debates to the dynamics and the chaos can be overwhelming. 

“The Southwind Extension District is also going through a season of reorganization, but I am optimistic for a bright future because of these changes. Christopher Petty, Livestock Production & Forage Management Agent for the Southwind District resigned in May.

Christopher Petty, former Extension Agent
Livestock Production and Forage Management
K-State Research and Extension
Southwind Extension District. Petty resigned in May. Submitted photo.

“Then in September, Kathy McEwan, Foods & Nutrition Agent and who was also the SNAP Education Coordinator for the Southwind District retired.

 

Kathy McEwan, K-State Extension Agent recently retired.  Submitted photo.

“Without a full-time Agent to manage the SNAP program, the federal SNAP grant was regretfully ceased for FY21. The bad news is that K-State Research & Extension is in a hiring freeze for an indefinite time, and although replacing our agents will certainly happen, it just won’t be soon. Let’s choose to focus on the good news because the Southwind Extension District has a diverse and talented pool of staff who will see to it that all of your questions are answered. 

“Southwind Agents Barbara Stockebrand and Joy Miller continue to provide a broad base of expertise to help solve complicated problems by teaching essential living skills including finances, aging well, caring for your home, food preparation skills, strengthening family relationships and raising your children.

Barbara Stockebrand
Southwind Extension District – Yates Center
Family and Consumer Sciences
211 W. Butler
Yates Center, KS 66783
bstockeb@ksu.edu
620-625-8620; Fax: 620-625-8645

  “We are coming into the open enrollment season for Medicare, and Joy can help you navigate Medicare and Market Place Insurance, too. 

Joy Miller, RD, LD
Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent
Adult Development and Aging
Family Resource Management
K-State Research and Extension
Southwind Extension District
210 S. National
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Office: 620-223-3720
Fax: 620-223-0332
joymiller@ksu.edu

“Krista Harding is actively engaged in educating adults and youth in the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, ornamental plants, and trees through her Horticulture role in the Southwind District. Whether you have a question about lawns, vegetables, flowers, or landscape maintenance, Extension information is created for use by everyone, including homeowners, lawn services and nurseries.

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

“Our 4-H program is going strong with Jennifer Terrell, 4-H/Youth Agent leading our team of professional 4-H staff as we transition into the new 4-H year. MaKayla Stroud and Cassidy Lutz serve as our 4-H program assistants and their activity on the Southwind District 4-H Facebook page is energizing and a fun way to engage youth and families in 4-H project learning.

 

Makayla Stroud. Submitted photo.

“If you want your kids to be involved in something that will teach them skills for a lifetime, then you should consider joining 4-H!

Jennifer Terrell, District Extension Agent
4-H Youth Development
Southwind District – Erie Office
620-244-3826

“Dale Lanham and James Coover are actively managing our Extension Agriculture programming and answering questions about pastures, weed control, pesticide management, cropping systems and livestock production.

Dale Lanham. Submitted photo.

Dale is our resource for livestock-related concerns and James is knowledgeable in issues related to agronomy. Farm management is vital to the success of our rural communities, so don’t overlook their availability for your ag-related questions.

James Coover. Submitted photo.

“In addition to my role as the Southwind District Director, I have educational programming responsibilities related to Community Vitality. I am available to facilitate strategic planning for community groups or businesses, foster skills in board leadership for all organizations, assist with community needs assessments through First Impressions, and I will be offering a Grant Writing Workshop in Yates Center on November 5th

“Even though we are down a couple of Agents, it is my opinion there is a new level of energy and excitement across our staff and offices. We have high expectations for the future by expanding opportunities for all our programs and look forward to providing trusted, research-based information in Allen, Bourbon, Neosho and Woodson Counties for years to come.  

 

“If you haven’t already, you can find more information about the Southwind District on our website, www.southwind.ksu.edu or our Facebook page: Southwind Extension District. “

 

Brain Breaks by MaKayla Stroud

MaKayla Stroud. Submitted photo.

MaKayla Stroud  

Southwind Extension District 

4-H Program Assistant   

Brain Breaks 

Do you have a hard time staying focused while working on the computer or studying? Do you ever feel like your brain is on idle or taking a nap? If you have ever felt like this, then you should try taking a brain break! A brain break is an exercise that gets you out of your chair while using different parts of your brain. These challenges can be altered for all ages, abilities and working environments. Brain breaks help one to refocus, increase energy and helps you have fun!  

Brain breaks can be used within a classroom setting, office environment or any place that includes long periods of stationary work. These exercise bursts should last between one to four minutes in length. It is recommended that for elementary students to have a brain break after 20-30 minutes of sedentary work. A quick brain break allows physical energy to be burned allowing the brain to reawake while also utilizing regions that aren’t used when students are sitting down. For adults, a brain break can allow for a quick session of stretching to make sitting at a desk more comfortable.  

Since brain breaks require you to stand or participate in light exercise, this benefits the participant by improving cognitive skills while encouraging muscle growth, increasing motor skills and strengthening cardio-vascular systems. By using both the brain and body simultaneously this allows for the brain to be reset while increasing the flow of blood & oxygen that in return boosts energy 

Having fun is another reason to break up your workday with a short brain break. These activities allow you to take a breather from work while being silly and testing your personal best. Some brain break activities can be completed as a group to have fun with colleagues or classmates. When participating in a fun activity it boosts your mood, encourages smiling, causes laughing while helping to decrease stress.  

If you’re interested in more information, go to our Facebook page or YouTube channel named Southwind District 4-H and watch various brain break activities. Other youth development resources can be found at southwind.ksu.edu.  

Is Your Home a Danger Zone?

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent.

When it comes to aging, it’s been said that if a home transition — or move to another dwelling–is being considered, it is most easily done when individuals are in their 60’s or 70’s. This is especially true if a couple can move together to a new home and adjust to their new surroundings together.

Our homes are familiar to us, they hold special memories, and it may be ‘home’ for other family members to come back to that have moved away. However, our homes that have been safe havens over the years, can become danger zones in our later years.

Every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall related injury. Yet, many falls are preventable. Next week, September 21-25, is Falls Prevention Awareness Week. It presents a good opportunity to re-evaluate our living situation and take a look at what ‘stumbling blocks’ could be existing in our homes.

Many of us have lived in our homes for numerous years. We’ve learned to navigate the steps and hallways and probably feel like we could do it safely with our eyes closed. Yet, activity limitations can creep in with aging, such as arthritis, high blood pressure, hearing/vision impairments, and heart conditions. Our balance may not be as good, our strength is likely not what it was, and there may be pain involved that can interfere with mobility.

Even if we don’t require the assistance of a mobility device – such as a cane or walker—the need exists to make sure walking areas throughout the house are clear. I find I don’t pick up my feet as far as I used too. Thus, I catch my toe on steps a little more often than I would like.

Look for areas of clutter that can be cleared, cords that may be removed, or furniture that can be rearranged to create a clearer walking path. Pitch the throw rugs that could contribute to a tripping hazard. Make sure light switches are at the ends of stairways and hallways to better mark travel paths.

Yes, we might feel comfortable walking around in our house in the dark. However, it may be that one out-of-place item that takes us down and creates a serious injury. Establish better lighting situations for night time movement throughout the home. Our eyes are slower to adjust to light and dark environments as we age. Our eyes may also find it harder to differentiate between patterns on floors and steps.

Medications, along with reduced strength in arms and legs, can play havoc with our sense of balance — especially if we try to raise or lower our bodies too quickly. Installing grab bars and handrails at proper heights and locations can make those movements safer. Medications should be reviewed with health care providers on a regular basis to make sure they are not contributing to a balance issue.

A basic desire of all of us is to maintain our independence. Many of us want to do that in our current homes. To help assess the safety of your home and areas that can contribute to falls, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) has a room-by-room checklist of areas to more closely consider. To assist in determining your risk for falls, the NCOA also has a free fall risk assessment available online.

Both the home checklist and the personal fall risk assessment can be accessed on the Southwind Extension District website at https://www.southwind.k-state.edu/home-family/adults/. Contact me by phone at 620-625-8620 or by email at bstockeb@ksu.edu for more information on falls related information.

Strengthening communities: Grant writing workshop planned 

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.

 

(Yates Center, KS) – Do you know how that playground equipment at the park down the street was purchased? Or the new sign leading visitors to a local landmark? How about initial money for a festival? In any community, chances are that someone, or a group of individuals, wrote a grant proposal and received funding to help with the project.

Individuals and community groups can learn more about writing successful grant proposals at a workshop planned in Yates Center, KS on Thursday, November 5, 2020. The workshop is presented by Nancy Daniels, a community vitality specialist with K-State Research and Extension and the author of many grant proposals. The training will be at the Yates Center Community Building, 713 S. Fry Street, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and includes lunch. The cost to attend is $40.

 

“This workshop is for everyone, whether they’ve never written a proposal before and have no idea where to start, to those who have experience but are looking for ways to improve their approach,” Daniels said. “The magic that happens in a local community when people find out they don’t have to wait to get something done, that they can do it themselves, is incredible.”

Participants also learn from each other, Daniels said, adding that even experienced grant writers pick up tips and are reenergized after coming together with peers in their communities.  Participants are encouraged to bring their grants or grant ideas to share.

Workshop topics include:

  • Sources of data for community needs (where do you find the numbers to back up your request?);
  • Where to find grants;
  • The five common elements of a great grant proposal;
  • Practicing the grant writing elements.If you have questions, please contact Carla Nemecek at the Southwind Extension District Iola Office, 620-365-2242 or email cnemecek@ksu.edu. Details and registration are available at www.southwind.k-state.edu

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Carla Nemecek
Southwind Extension District
Director & Agent
cnemecek@ksu.edu
620-365-2242
1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749

Fescue Lawns Need a Boost in September

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

September is here and that means it is prime time to fertilize your fescue lawns. Even if you faithfully fertilize in the spring, by September fescue plants are literally starving to death.

Fescue is entering into its fall growth cycle as days shorten and temperatures moderate. Fall is the time that cool-season grasses naturally thicken up by tillering. Tillering is the term used to describe how the plant forms new shoots at the base of existing plants. Plants also build their root system for the following year in the fall. An application of fertilizer in September is put to immediate use by the plants.

However, before applying any fertilizer, I recommend that you have a soil test done. Lawn soils vary widely in pH, available phosphorus and potassium. It is very difficult to just “guess” about which nutrients are lacking and how much of each is needed. Soil testing can be done through the Extension office with a fee of $12 per sample. You will receive a detailed report that outlines your soil needs and how to fertilize accordingly. It is recommended to have a soil test every five years.

The procedure for soil testing is simple. Use a sharp shooter shovel and go straight down into the soil about four inches. Pull the soil clump up (grass and all) and knock the soil off into a bucket. Do this in about five to six locations in the lawn. In the bucket, mix the soil samples well and then randomly pull out about two cups of soil and place in a zip-lock bag and bring to one of our office locations in Erie, Iola, Yates Center or Fort Scott. For those living in or near Chanute, you can drop soil samples off at Breiner’s Feed Store for pick-up.

If you have not had a soil test, here is a general fescue lawn fertilizer recommendation. With a fall application, it is best to use a “quick-release” source of nitrogen. Apply 1 to 1 ½ pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn. If the fertilizer analysis is 10-10-10, it is declaring that it contains 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus, and 10 percent potassium. So, to get the 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet using a 10-10-10 blend, you would need to apply 10 pounds of the fertilizer.

Another application of fertilizer in November should be applied to help the plants build up their food reserves for use when the grass greens up in the spring. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you can get the same results if you just waited and only fertilized in the spring. Spring only fertilizing leads to fast growth, which means more mowing. This can also promote shallow root growth and possible summer die out.

Fall is the ideal time to renovate poor doing lawns. If you have an overabundance of weeds, crabgrass, etc. then you may want to consider reseeding. New lawns should also be planted in the fall.

If you would like more information on lawn fertilization, seeding or soil testing, please contact me at the Extension office.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Explanation of 4-H Club Communications Project

Jennifer Terrell, K-State Extension Agent

4-H Communications

In the communications project, Youth will learn to interpret verbal and nonverbal information, develop effective public speaking skills, enhance written and spoken communication, defend a point, design a presentation and much more!

There is 4-H Curriculum that can be purchased for anyone interested in the communications project. Here is a breakdown of what youth can learn at different levels:

Ages 7-8:

  • Learn responses to bullying

  • Decode a message

  • Write a letter

  • Give a project talk

Ages 9-11:

  • Give and receive directions using directional and transitional words

  • Write a speech and critique it

  • Write a press release 

  • Create and give a demonstration or illustrated talk

Ages 14-18:

  • Discover what causes a communication gap

  • Create and give a demonstration or illustrated talk

  • Plan, research, outline and present a speech

  • Debate an issue

  • Prepare a resume and interview for a job or office

In addition to the curriculum, youth are also offered the opportunity to attend project meetings held by volunteers. Each year, youth are able to demonstrate their hard work locally at club meetings, 4-H Day, the county fair and depending on age and placing, the Kansas State Fair.

The communications project is a great opportunity for youth to learn important life skills. For more information about this project or the workshop, contact Jennifer K. Terrell, 4-H Youth Development for K-State Research and Extension – Southwind District at jkterrell@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

Handle Emergencies: Prepare Kansas

Joy Miller, RD, LD
Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent
Adult Development and Aging
Family Resource Management
K-State Research and Extension
Southwind Extension District
210 S. National
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Office: 620-223-3720
Fax: 620-223-0332
joymiller@ksu.edu

 

Prepare Kansas online challenge offered to get yourself, family better prepared.

Prepare Kansas is a free, easy way to ensure you’re better equipped to handle emergencies.  

 

Whether it’s reviewing insurance coverage or putting together a grab-and-go kit, preparing for any kind of disaster will make recovery easier. And Kansans know a thing or two about disasters. Flooded basements, fires, tornadoes or ice storms, we have them all and much more.   

 

To help Kansans become as prepared as possible for emergencies, K-State Research and Extension is offering the Prepare Kansas Annual Preparedness Challenge. It’s a free weekly online challenge through September that includes activities individuals and families can accomplish each week. By the end of the month, participants will be better prepared to withstand and recover from emergencies.   

 

Prepare Kansas aligns with National Preparedness Month, with a theme in September this year of “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”   

 

The weekly activities this year revolve around:   

  • Making a plan – talking with others about being prepared, updating the family communications plan and reviewing plans for shelter and/or evacuation, including pets, taking COVID-19 into account.  
  • Building a kit – build a kit of basic emergency supplies plus grab-and-go backpacks for family members and pets.  
  • Preparing for disasters – know the difference between watches and warnings, sign up for emergency alerts and participate in an emergency drill.  
  • Talk to your kids – seek information on preparedness.  
  • Get financially prepared – set aside money for an emergency, review insurance coverage, build or maintain a financial grab-and-go box, and complete a home inventory.  

 

For more information about the weekly challenges, go to the Prepare Kansas blog https://blogs.k-state.edu/preparekansas/ or on social media at #PrepareKS and #BeReady.  Follow us on Facebook @southwindextensiondistrict or Instagram @southwind_ext. For more information, please contact Joy Miller at joymiller@ksu.edu or by calling 620-223-3720.  

SOUTHWIND 4-H MEMBERS WIN STATE 4-H LIVESTOCK SWEEPSTAKES 

Thirteen 4-H members from the Southwind Extension District – Allen, Bourbon, Neosho and Woodson Counties – had the opportunity to participate at the Kansas 4-H Livestock Virtual Sweepstakes. Their skills and knowledge were challenged by participating in Livestock & Meats Judging, Livestock Quiz Bowl and Livestock Skillathon contests. Those attending were (from left to right) Front Row: Carla Nemecek (District Director & Coach), Haleigh O’Brien, Emery Yoho, Kristy Beene, Carly Dreher, Leah Mueller, Taylor Elsworth, Gwen fry, Sadie Marchiano Back Row: Byron Fry, Aidan Yoho, Trey Sommers, Clay Brillhart, Brody Nemecek. Submitted photo.

 

4-H members from the Southwind Extension District competed in the annual Kansas 4-H Livestock Sweepstakes event on August 22-23. These events were like nothing the teams had competed in before because normally, the teams would have been in Kansas State University’s Weber Hall, but due to COVID-19 all contests were held virtually. Participants from the Southwind Extension District were Sadie Marchiano, Clay Brillhart, Brody Nemecek, Carly Dreher, Aidan Yoho, Emery Yoho, Kristy Beene, Gwen Fry, Byron Fry, Taylor Elsworth, Leah Mueller, Trey Sommer and Haleigh O’Brien. Southwind District 4-H members represented 4-H Clubs from Allen, Bourbon Neosho and Woodson Counties.

4-H members learned gained new knowledge and worked on livestock skills in order to be competitive in the Sweepstakes event which consisted blending scores in four contests. Southwind Extension District completed the weekend by being named the 2020 Champion Kansas State 4-H Sweepstakes Team. Top ten individual Sweepstakes winners for Southwind were Aidan Yoho, 4th and Sadie Marchiano, 3rd overall.

The Livestock Quiz Bowl started with a qualifying exam. The eight teams with the highest average scores advanced to the quiz bowl competition. Southwind #1 (Dreher, G. Fry, Sommers, O’Brien) was seeded 3rd after the test, and was named Reserve Champion Quiz Bowl Team. Southwind #2 (Nemecek, Brillhart, A. Yoho, Marchiano) was seated first after the test and was later named the 3rd best team.

The Livestock Judging contest consisted of seven judging classes, three questions classes and then two sets of reasons that were presented live to officials via zoom. Out of 163 contestants and 37 teams from across Kansas who judged livestock by online video, Southwind #2 (A. Yoho, Dreher, Marchiano, Beene) was 3rd in Swine; 4th in Sheep/Goats; Reserve Team Reasons; Reserve Team Cattle and 3rd Team Overall. Southwind #3 (B. Fry, O’Brien, E. Yoho, Elsworth) was 10th Team Overall, and Southwind #1 (Sommers, G. Fry, Mueller) was 11th Team Overall. Individual livestock judging results are as follows:

  • Emery Yoho – 10th Swine
  • Aidan Yoho – 7th Swine
  • Carly Dreher – 9th Reasons
  • Sadie Marchiano – 2nd Reasons; 2nd Cattle; 2nd Sheep/Goats; 6th High Individual Overall

    The Meats Judging contest was based on identification of thirty retail cuts, six placings classes and two sets of questions. Southwind #2 (Brillhart, Nemecek, A. Yoho, Marchiano) was 1st in Retail ID; 4th in Placings; 5th in Questions; and Reserve Champion Team Overall. Individual meats judging results are as follows:

  • Clay Brillhart – 1st Retail ID; 3rd High Individual
  • Sadie Marchiano – 5th Placings; 9th Questions
  • Brody Nemecek – 9th High Individual

    In the Livestock Skillathon, 4-H members rotated individually through stations that addressed six areas of animal science. Those included feedstuffs, breed identification, equipment identification, meat identification, wool evaluation and a written test. Just like the rest of the weekend activities, this contest was offered virtually using Qualtrics with a timed and extensive exam. Southwind #2 (Marchiano, A. Yoho, Dreher, O’Brien) was 3rd in Exam; 2nd in Practicum and Reserve Champion Team Overall.

  • Aidan Yoho – 4th Practicum, 5th High Individual
  • Sadie Marchiano – 3rd Exam, 5th Practicum, 4th High Individual

    This group was limited in the amount of time they could meet and work together because of the pandemic. Their story is a remarkable testament to how to overcome a challenge and make the most of it. There is no question they would have preferred to have traveled to Manhattan, KS and compete with their peers in face-to-face competition, but like so many others from across the state, they made the most of the situation and turned a challenge into an opportunity to learn and try new technologies. A different set of life skills were acquired because we competed in a platform like nothing we have ever experienced before. Reserve Champion Team in Meats, Reserve and 3rd Quiz Bowl Teams, Reserve Skillathon Team, and Reserve Livestock Judging Team did add up to the Overall Champion Sweepstakes Team and for an Extension District is our biggest goal because the Southwind is able to serve as the vehicle that brings motivated and competitive youth from four counties together, and allow them to accomplish big goals as a team. They are an example we should all learn from during this difficult time because they have shown us how to “Make the Best Better.”  The Southwind District is proud of their accomplishments and look forward to future growth and learning.

K-State, County Extension Councils, Extension Districts, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating.  K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

 

Submitted by:
Carla Nemecek
Southwind Extension District
Director & Agent
cnemecek@ksu.edu
620-365-2242
1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749

Home Preservation Requires Food Safety Steps

Kathy McEwan, K-State Extension Agent. Submitted photo.

 

 

Safety and security of foods preserved in the home depend on the cook. It is vital that proper techniques and processes are used to ensure that home-preserved foods remain safe.

The failure to follow a tested recipe or to store food in a safe place can jeopardize food safety, yet recognizing when home preserved foods are past their prime or no longer safe-to-eat is sometimes a challenge, said Karen Blakeslee, Kansas State University Research and Extension food scientist.

Tell-tale signs that suggest food is suspect and should be discarded include:

* Vacuum seal on the lid has been compromised; lid may pop, bulge, or show signs of rust;

* Jar is chipped, cracked or otherwise damaged;

* Evidence of loss of food quality, such as the presence of mold, loss or change of color, texture, or off odor.

* Evidence of insect or rodent infestation; and

* Date made is unknown.

Do not taste or use food from any jar that has become unsealed or shows any signs of spoilage, Blakeslee said.

To keep home canned foods safe, she recommends:

1) Choose a tested recipe from a reliable source;

2) Use canning equipment that is in tiptop shape. Check the pressure canner gauge annually or more frequently, if a malfunction is suspected. Replace damaged jars and containers. Use new lids;

3) Follow recipe directions exactly;

3) Label and date all home-preserved foods;

4) Store home canned foods in a cool, dry and dark place. Avoid attics, garages, or shelving near a water heater or other appliances that generate heat;

5) Use home preserved foods within one year; and

6) Check food storage area regularly to inspect for potential problems, such as a water leak or insect damage.

It is recommended that pressure canner/cooker gauges be tested for accuracy. This can be done quickly and easily in any of the Southwind Extension offices at no cost. Call any of the Southwind offices to schedule a time to have testing done.

More information about food preservation is available at K-State Research and Extension Southwind offices, and on our website at www.southwind.ksu.edu.

An additional resource is the National Center for Home Food Preservation, located at the University of Georgia and online at: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp.

A Snippet of the Future After the Pandemic

Barbara Stockebrand. K-State Extension Agent.

We’re continuing our way through the COVID pandemic. Some of us are starting to venture out and ‘testing the waters’ so to speak.

We know that staying home is the safest for our physical health — especially for our senior adults. As we look down the road to what the future holds beyond this pandemic, there are likely some additional precautions our older adults (and many others) may take – even after a vaccine becomes available.

The handshake may be gone forever.

Increased handwashing, disinfecting, mask wearing will develop into standard protocol in many establishments.

Businesses and restaurants will elevate their hygiene standards and will make that a key piece of their advertising strategy to their customers.

Look for other forms of greeting while social distancing that you can use to show your enthusiasm in meeting someone.

Many have already moved into the more isolated economy where online shopping has become the norm.

Some older adults are having to make a big jump into the realm of online shopping, not having used the internet a great deal in the past. Yet, shopping from the comforts of home enhances the safety reassurances older adults are seeking. Shopping from home and picking up curbside or by mail will bolster those assurances.

Those exploring or wanting to brush up on internet safety precautions may want to visit https://ksre.k-state.edu/tuesday/announcement/?id=47047 for internet usage tips.

Local small restaurants and businesses may find their way again as residents restrict their travel to the city to shop and eat. Those in their smaller communities will likely do more business locally since they know and trust the owners.

Travel will change. Overseas travel will decrease. More vehicles will be on the road for longer drives, which may have been by air in the past. When flights are required, extra seats may be purchased to assure a more comfortable social distancing experience. Future travel plans are most likely to focus around visiting family. With more wheels being on the road, renting an RV may become an attractive alternative for multi-generational travel for families.

Travel to visit family may not be as necessary in the future as in the past. Families are more apt to move closer together.

A trend may develop where older family members that were leaning toward assisted living situations may be moving in with family members. The trust level of family members looking over the care and contacts of loved ones versus strangers taking that charge, may override many of the usual deciding factors for external health care.

Looking at health care, telemedicine will continue to surge ahead as an appealing option to monitor personal health. My recent experience with telemedicine options has been refreshing when conducting follow-up with a specialist. While my situation was not serious, it was a nice opportunity to visit with the doctor from my own home and getting mine and his questions answered without having to travel out-of-town for a 5-minute conversation. Obviously those visits requiring procedures need to be face-to-face. However, telemed options can save time, not to mention allowing for safe social distancing.

Change is ever-present. As we age, change is often not as welcomed as it may have been when we were younger. However, pandemic has mandated many changes in how we go about our daily lives. Many of those changes will be here for the foreseeable future.

 

Barbara Stockebrand

Southwind Extension District – Yates Center

Family and Consumer Sciences

211 W. Butler

Yates Center, KS 66783

bstockeb@ksu.edu

620-625-8620; Fax: 620-625-8645

Now is the Perfect Time to Plant Fall Vegetables

Krista Harding
District Extension Agent, Horticulture
Southwind Extension District
111 S. Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Office: 620-244-3826
Cell: 620-496-8786

 

I realize we just turned the calendar to August, and although our summer gardens are still going strong, it is time to start thinking about getting our fall vegetables planted. Believe it or not, fall is a great gardening season!

When you think about it, fall weather is much like spring – warm daytime temperatures and cool nights. Rainfall is typically more abundant in the fall than summer so less irrigation is needed and fall gardens often have fewer insect pest and disease problems. Combine all of these and you have the ingredients for a great garden! And of most importance is the taste of the produce grown. Flavors of fall grown vegetables are often sweeter and milder in taste than those grown during hot summer weather.

Some of the best vegetables for a fall garden are lettuce, spinach, radishes, beets, cabbage, turnips and carrots because of their frost-tolerance. These vegetables can be planted directly into your garden wherever space can be found – next to plants still growing in the garden like tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins. Plant mid-August until the first week of September.

Left over seed from spring planting can be used as long as it was stored in a cool, dry location. To speed up germination and seedling emergence, soak the seeds overnight before planting. If you are purchasing new seed, look for the shortest season cultivars that you can find to insure harvest before a killing frost. The average fall freeze date for our area is around October 24 according to the Weather Data Library on the K-State campus.

Sometimes establishing a fall garden can be difficult during the summer when soil temperatures are extremely high. One way to avoid this is to establish plants in containers or pots for transplanting into the garden later in the season when the weather begins to cool. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and collards can be grown in cooler protected areas for 2-4 weeks prior to setting in the garden. Be sure to acclimatize crops for several days before transplanting directly into the garden.

Garden soil should be prepared just like for spring. An application of fertilizer will probably be necessary for optimum plant growth. Use one pound of a complete analysis fertilizer, such as 12-12-12, applied per 100 square feet of garden area. Weeds and grasses will also grow well in a fall garden so mulching may be warranted.

If you do not have a traditional garden space, think about doing a container garden. Just about anything that will hold soil and have a drain hole in the bottom can be used.

Everyone gets geared up to plant vegetables in the spring, but the fall season offers many benefits to gardening. Few take advantage of the season, but consider giving it a try this year.

The Extension office has the “Vegetable Garden Planting Guide” publication available free of charge. This guide offers information such as days to first harvest, days to germination, planting depth, frost resistance, and more.

Krista Harding is a K-State Research and Extension Agricultural agent assigned to Southwind District. She may be reached at kharding@ksu.edu or 620-244-3826.

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Benefits of Youth Livestock Projects

Carla Nemecek is Southwind District Director and agent.

 

With county fair season behind us, it may appear youth livestock exhibitors in the Southwind District may have wrapped up their livestock projects for 2020. However, many are still working at home to prepare for the Kansas State Fair and Kansas Junior Livestock Show – which are still options to them despite the many event cancellations across the country.  Not only are they practicing to drive their hogs, brace their sheep and goats and set up their cattle, they are working hard to keep them cool and on feed while managing summer temperatures and navigating a back-to-school schedule.

 

Lots of Southwind District 4-H members sold animals at their livestock premium sales, knowing they still had work to do at home. Youth who exhibit cattle care for and own their animals for about 280 days, and youth with sheep, meat goats and hogs care for and own their livestock for about 130 days. The time spent with animals teaches basic life skills and eventually help them develop into better citizens.

 

Following are some life skills that youth livestock project members can gain:

 

  1. How to get along with people. A large number of people in society quit or lose their jobs because they cannot get along with others. 4-H members who show livestock are around people they have never met but have similar interests. They learn to communicate with these people.

 

  1. Sportsmanship. At a livestock show, there is only one Grand Champion. However, there are many winners. Most 4-H members who show livestock for any period of time usually experience the  extreme high feeling of an exceptional effort and the extreme disappointment of a project that didn’t turn out as well as was expected. Normally, win or lose, the competitors in the show can be seen after the show talking and enjoying life together.

 

  1. Responsibility. Feeding and daily chores in a 4-H livestock project teach responsibility. Top feeders follow the time clock in their daily efforts. This is a good habit to start at a young age and may  reap youngster’s substantial benefits in a career later in their lives.

 

  1. Attend to details. Most young people take care of major items in a 4-H livestock projectlike fencing, feeding, etc. However many times it’s the little things that make a different: keeping water  tanks and feed troughs clean, working on grooming and showmanship several months before the show,  keeping pens clean and close observation for sickness and disease. Paying attention to details is  beneficial in almost everything we do in life.

 

  1. Decision making. Decision making is never easy at any point in our lives. 4-H livestock projects require several key decisions be made: selection of project animals, selection of feeding  method, care and management decisions, fitting and grooming techniques, etc.

 

  1. Goal setting. For every successful 4-H livestock project, there is usually a good plan. Most details and plans for the project on selection, feeding and management of the project have been planned well in advance. Goal setting is important for everyone regardless of future endeavors.

 

Next time you are at a livestock show, study the kids instead of the animals. Their 2020 projects may be far more diverse and advanced than the few animals taken to the County Fair, and plans are already underway to purchase stock for 2021 when we can hopefully return to normal.

 

For full results of your local County Fair in the Southwind District, visit www.Southwind.k-state.edu

Carla Nemecek

Southwind Extension District
Director & Agent
cnemecek@ksu.edu
620-365-2242
1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749