PARSONS, Kan. – Kansas State University will host its annual Beef Cattle and Forage Crops Field Day on Thursday, May 3. This year the event will be at the K-State Southeast Research and Extension Center, 25092 Ness Rd. in Parsons.
The day starts with registration, coffee and donuts and time to view sponsors’ displays at 8:30 a.m. Presentations begin at 9 a.m. Lunch will be served following the last presentation, compliments of several sponsoring companies.
Spring Safety Around the Farm
Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District Director & Agent
For Release: week of April 9, 2018
Preparing for spring does is not limited to preparing the soil and crops on those warm spring days. This is also the perfect time for farmers, ranchers and homeowners alike to take the steps necessary to prevent injuries in order to have a truly productive season. Placing emphasis on agriculture safety recognizes the rich tradition of our farming and ranching culture in producing the safest and most abundant food in the world, and the involvement of all members of the farm family in age appropriate tasks.
One good way to manage safety on the farm is to establish a checklist. The Farm Safety 4 Just Kids program offers the following safety checklist suggestions:
* Are the keys removed from idle equipment?
* Are riders NOT allowed on tractors, farm machinery and lawn mowers?
* Are slow moving vehicle (SMV) emblems in place and still reflective?
* Are power take off (PTO) shields in place on tractors and machinery?
* Are other safety shields and guards in place on machinery and lawn equipment?
* Are warning and danger decals prominently displayed on all equipment, including grain handling equipment?
Children being carried along as extra riders on farm and lawn care equipment continues to be a concern among safety professionals.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to pay full attention to operating the machine when you have a youngster in your lap or riding on the fender. More than 100 children are killed on U.S. farms each year. Many of these deaths are from accidentally falling off the operator’s station of a tractor or farm implement and being run over by the tractor or trailed equipment.
When there is only one seat, the rule of thumb is for the operator and no one else to occupy the seat. For safety sake, never allow extra riders. This rule applies to farm as well as lawn and garden tractors.
The Kansas 4-H organization experienced budget cuts in the last few years, according to officials, and began a process to keep the youth organization going and growing.
Kansas 4-H implemented a “4-H Program Fee” effective October 2017. This is new since the 4-H organization has traditionally been free for participants.
“Many states have already implemented this type of fee – including Missouri and Oklahoma,” Carla Nemecek, K-State Southwind District Director and Agent said.
The organization gathered input on how to stabilize funding and grow the 4-H program, according to Wade Weber, Kansas State University’s 4-H Youth Development Department Head and State Program Leader.
“We hosted discussions as well as conducted a survey to gain feedback on program impact within K-State Research and Extension,” Weber said. “A task force of eight extension agents was formed to review all information and develop recommendations on how to move forward.”
The task force worked to provide a means to ensure a steady funding stream to grow the 4-H program, Weber said.
The task force members were Candis Meerpohl from Shawnee County, Monica Thayer from the River Valley District, Michelle Beran from Midway District, Melinda Daily from the Sunflower District, Allen Baker from Wichita County, Nancy Honig from Stevens County, Jodi Besthorn from Sedgwick County
and Brian Swisher from the Wildcat District, according to links provided.
A recommendation from this task force was to implement an annual 4-H program fee of $15 per member, beginning October 2, 2017.
“Funds from the 4-H Program fee are placed in a restricted funds account available for use only by the Kansas 4-H Youth Development Department,” according to Weber.
“Funds generated will strengthen our program priorities of volunteer development, project support, and program enhancement,” Weber said.
“K-State Research and Extension had to face several budget cuts over the past couple of years, and this would seem to be an option to help fund Kansas 4-H on a State level.” Carla Nemecek, Southwind District director, and an agent said. ” The Southwind District will not receive any financial benefit, as 100 percent of the program fee is directed to the State 4-H Program.”
Southwind District encompasses Allen, Bourbon and Neosho Counties.
“Some counties were fortunate to have found donors who are offsetting the cost, but we do not know how long those donations will last,” Nemecek said.
“As a 4-H parent and Director for the Southwind District, I am sympathetic to those who are upset about the fee,” Nemecek said. “Kansas 4-H has always been free for anyone to join, so this is taking us down a path we have never been.”
A provision has been made for those for whom it would be a hardship to pay the $15 per child program fee, she said.
“There is a waiver process for those families or individuals who are not able to pay the fee,” Nemecek said.
Message from Weber on benefits for local 4-H programs:
In January Dr. John Floros, Kansas State’s College of Agriculture Dean presented highlights of 4-H Youth Development efforts in the last 12 months to a joint meeting of state senators and representatives.
Also in January, Dr. Floros, Dr. Greg Hadley, Associate Director of Extension and Applied Research and Weber conducted meetings with local leaders to tell of the progress made.
These findings are what they reported, according to Weber:
“Examples of National and State 4-H Funding Efforts Benefitting Local 4-H Programs:
• Kansas 4-H Foundation Expansion Grant – 2017 marked the conclusion of a five-year effort to expand 4-H youth and volunteer participation in 14 extension units. This effort resulted in an increase of 458 4-H volunteers. Evaluation data has been collected from the units and a framework for growing 4-H will be created based on the learning experiences of those involved and will be shared with local units for implementation.
• National 4-H Council Ag Innovators Experience– 2018 will feature 4-H teen leaders in the Cottonwood District reaching area youth with the “Monarchs on the Move Challenge.”
• National 4-H Council Youth Futures: College Within Reach Grant–The focus of this grant is on providing mentoring partnerships to underserved youth in Seward (2017) and Riley (2018) counties. Program results in reaching new audiences will be shared statewide for local unit implementation.
• National 4-H Council Science Matters Grant – Johnson County (2018) is currently collaborating with Bayer to inspire young people to become tomorrow’s science leaders. Program results will be shared statewide for local unit implementation.
Kansas 4-H Youth Development Program Fee Prioritization Survey
• When: Conducted October 19 – November 15, 2017 by the K-State Office of Planning and Analysis
• Who: 612 Respondents statewide: 67% were volunteers or parents
• What: Received input within the following program priorities:
1) Project support and enhancements (i.e. principles of engaged learning, communicate and connect learning opportunities, updating/refreshing existing project materials)
2) Volunteer Development (training materials and support for volunteers; tools for recruitment, growth, evaluation and accountability)
3) Program enhancements benefiting community clubs (including but not limited to updating and refreshing tools for use with youth and volunteer audiences)
4) Foundational Supports (accessibility to all Kansas youth, campus/community partnerships and improved marketing at statewide events, and promotional materials that can be used by local units)
Fast Enrollment Stats 2016-17
•74,837 Kansas 4-H Youth Impact: This includes all delivery modes and has had duplications removed.
• 17,796 4-H Community based Club Enrollment: This includes Cloverbuds (ages 5-6) who are enrolled through a Community Club.
Dean Floros and Dr. Hadley provided the ability for the 4-H Youth Development program to hire a statewide volunteer development specialist while facing increasing budget challenges. This act affirmed the strategic support from administration to assist the 4-H youth development program in growing and modernizing.
Starting on Feb. 5, Shane Potter, New Volunteer Specialist, is tasked with refining the volunteer development process to ensure safe learning environments for youth and grow local 4-H volunteer capacity beyond the 6,000 existing adult 4-H volunteers statewide.”
Earlier this year, I highlighted the All-America Selections (AAS) vegetables for 2018. There is also a listing of new flowers that have been chosen. These plants have proven themselves to do well in trials across North America. The AAS winner label is like a stamp of approval.
The flower descriptions were taken from All-America Selections material.
Canna, South Pacific Orange F1 – This newest AAS Winner is compact in habit and well suited for both landscape and container use. This variety is more vigorous, more uniform, and has more basal branching than comparison cannas. It offers an outstanding bloom color in an attractive, vivid bright orange that contrasts nicely with the bright green foliage. Pollinator gardens will love this addition of an attractive canna that sports uniformly colored flowers over a long blooming period.
Cuphea, FloriGlory Diana – Cuphea, commonly known as Mexican Heather, is an ideal plant for borders, mass plantings and containers. FloriGlory Diana was highly praised by the AAS judges for its larger flowers, the impressive number of flowers and the darker, more intensely colored magenta flowers. The dark green foliage complement the flowers and really makes a statement for this new AAS winner. Gardeners will be delighted with the compact (10-12 inch) size, longer flowering time, heat and weather tolerance.
Gypsophila, Gypsy White Imported – Semi-double blossoms on this new, improved variety of gypsophila will make your garden sparkle! Not only are the flowers semi-double, but are also a bit larger in size and produce more flowers per plant, resulting in a fluffy white mound of beauty. Gypsy White Improved has better branching and a better growth habit than its predecessor, making it perfect for containers, small spaces and garden beds. A much longer bloom season and better heat tolerance than Gypsy Comact White will make this your new garden favorite.
Marigold, Super Hero Spry – Super Hero Spry is a lovely compact (10-12 inches) French marigold with dark maroon lower petals and golden yellow upper petals perched on top of the dark green foliage. The list of winning attributes continues: a more uniform and stable color pattern, earlier to bloom and no deadheading required.
Ornamental Pepper, Onyx Red – Onyx Red is one of those stunning double-take plants that steal the show! This is an unprecedented compact, well-branched ornamental pepper adorned with eye-catching dark black foliage. The contrast between the diminutive black foliage and tons of shiny red fruits is striking and makes a bold statement in the garden. Plants are vigorous, continually growing but retain their neat, compact habit, making Onyx Red a wonderful plant for beds, borders, containers and dramatic mass plantings.
Zinnia, Queeny Lime Orange – A “wow” color in an easy-to-grow zinnia is what Queeny Lime Orange brings to the garden. Sporting lovely, large, dahlia-like blooms on a sturdy, compact plant, this variety provides cut flower gardeners and growers with a wonderful hue for today’s floral trends. The unique color evolves from dark coral/peach/orange to light peach with a dark center as the flower ages. Each uniform plant produces prolific deeply fluted blooms that last about three weeks without preservatives or feed.
Submitted by Kathy S. McEwan, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Foods & Nutrition, SNAP-Ed Coordinator, Southwind Extension District
To celebrate National Nutrition Month in March, the National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is promoting the theme, ‘Go Further with Food.’
In today’s world, it’s a worthwhile call to action, says Kansas State University nutrition specialist Sandy Procter.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion tons of food – and just under $1 trillion in equivalent U.S. dollars – each year.
Not all of that is food lost in the home, but Procter said that’s a good place to start.
“It’s not just the people with higher incomes who waste food,” said Procter, who is with K-State Research and Extension. “Folks that are trying really hard to save money and do all of their grocery shopping just once a month are likely to have more food waste than if they were able to get to a store on a regular basis.”
To maintain good nutrition and reduce the amount of food wasted, Procter shared these ideas for helping to make food go further:
Fruits and vegetables. “The way you store fruits and vegetables is part of the art of reducing waste,” Procter said. Extension educators often conduct tours with shoppers to help them identify good quality fruit and vegetables, and then how those will be stored. For example, tomatoes don’t need to be refrigerated, but strawberries certainly do.
Selecting quality produce and storing them correctly “work together to keep food at its best as long as possible,” Procter said.
Meats. Buying in bulk may help you save money at the store, but “it takes a little bit of discipline,” Procter said. A five-pound package of chicken thighs may be on sale, but “unless you’re doing a banquet, you’re probably going to want to re-package for freezing and have those ready in a size that you can thaw out for a meal’s worth.”
Make a plan for cooking meals. It takes some planning, but if you can take time on the weekend to cook and then freeze individual meals, it saves time and helps to use up available groceries.
Others may choose to shop for ingredients as they’re needed, though Procter says “that can create a problem with access to the right ingredients, in addition to more time spent shopping.”
Use the foods you have. Everyone tends to build up extra cans of food or other items that were originally intended for another purpose. As those build up, think of how you can pair foods to make another meal.
“Maybe you have a protein, and maybe you have a vegetable and sometimes it can be incorporated into a one-pot meal,” Procter said. “Or, maybe you have a can of tuna and corn, and you can do a similar type meal with ingredients that you wouldn’t normally choose but would fill all of the components of a healthful meal.”
There are many other ways that consumers can contribute to making food go further, she said, including trying a variety of foods, purchasing at local farmer’s markets, and supporting the local food pantry.
“Eating a variety of foods is a way to ‘go further’ in a healthy lifestyle,” she said. “The body does amazing things; if we make choices from a variety of colors and variety of foods, our body is going to get most of the nutrients that it needs just from the variety that we choose.”
Procter noted that farmer’s markets give consumers a chance to talk directly with the person who has grown a certain food. “And the foods are going to be at their prime, and we’re probably not going to be able to experience them at a more tasty level than what we might find at the farmers market,” she said.
Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District, Director & Agent
While most kids are relaxing and enjoying Spring Break this week, 4-H livestock project members in the Southwind District will be learning more about their livestock projects through a new national program aimed at teaching youth that part of the learning process in raising livestock also involves understanding that our animals will eventually reach the food supply.
Youth for the Quality Care of Animals (YQCA) is a national multi-species quality assurance program for youth ages 8 to 21. The program is designed to provide an estimated 60 minutes of education each year. The online program requires the passing of a series of three quizzes to earn certification. An in-person YQCA workshop requires complete attendance.
YQCA is the result of a collaborative effort between states that have previously offered multi-species youth livestock quality assurance programs, the National Pork Board’s Youth PQA Plus program and representatives from other national livestock groups.
YQCA is designed as an annual education and certification program focused on food safety, animal well-being and character awareness for youth ages 8 to 21 producing and/or showing pigs, beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, market rabbits, and poultry. The program has been designed by extension specialists and national livestock program managers to ensure it is accurate, current and relevant to the needs of the animal industry and shows and is appropriate for youth.
The primary goals of the program include:
Ensure safety and well-being of animals produced by youth for showing and for 4-H and FFA projects
Ensure a safe food supply to consumers
Enhance the future of livestock industry by educating youth on these very important issues so they can become more informed producers, consumers and/or employees in the agriculture and food industry
Maximize the limited development time and budgets of state and national youth program leaders to provide an effective quality assurance program
Offer livestock shows a valid, national quality assurance certification for youth livestock exhibitors
While the training is not required for youth to exhibit at our local county fairs, it is required for some species at the Kansas State Fair and Kansas Junior Livestock Show. The in-person training will be offered at the Moran Senior Center on Tuesday, March 20 at 10:00 am. Further details can be found on Facebook at ‘Southwind Extension District’, or by calling the Iola Office at 620-365-2242.