Category Archives: K-State Extension

Late winter livestock feeding

Christopher Petty, M.S. Extension Agent Livestock Production and Forage Management, K-State Research and Extension Southwind Extension District, 210 S. National Fort Scott, KS 66701 (620) 223-3720 Work (620)224-6031 Cell

During late winter, many cow herds begin the calving season. This is also the time that our feed resources may begin to become limited. Additionally, in southeast Kansas, we get the occasional severe winter storm. As our farmers and ranchers know, this winter has been particularly cold, muddy and icy. Do we really know if our hay and other feeds can accurately meet the nutritional needs of our cattle?

The best way to be sure that your hay and other feeds are adequate is to send a sample to a lab for testing. Your local extension office is a great place to go for help in this process. Your Southwind Extension District Offices can loan you a hay probe for use in testing hay bales. We can also help with sending samples to the lab and with explaining the lab results, once returned to you.

Just before a winter storm approaches and throughout severe weather, cattle should have the opportunity to eat your better quality feeds. This increase in nutrition will help them persist until the weather improves. After the bad weather passes, you can return to feeding your regular feeds. Testing is the best way to know which feeds are of higher quality.

Additionally, better quality feeds can be used for heifers. Generally speaking, young growing heifers need a higher plain of nutrition for growth and development. Older dry or open cows can be fed your average quality feeds.

For more information call me, Christopher Petty, at 620-223-3720, that’s 620-223-3720


Carla Nemecek Southwind Extension District Director & Agent 620-365-2242 1 North Washington, Iola, KS 66749

Ask yourself, “What do I think about leadership and myself as a leader?” Each one of us has a wide range of skills, interests and abilities that we use in our daily lives – at home with our family – on the job – and in our communities.  As Extension continues to focus on youth and adult leadership, I hope to motivate you to release the leader within and get yourself up and moving to contribute as a leader to your school, church, community or even among your friends.

As you consider your leadership philosophy and style, ask yourself what can I contribute to my organizations and community – either on or off the job? Understanding and supporting the motivation of the individual group member is vital. Your own enthusiasm and commitment are also crucial to success.  As someone who attends a great deal of meetings each month, I see a wide range of leadership and experience in serving on local boards. In my observations, the best leaders are not always the most outspoken or aggressive, but often the “thinkers” at the back of the room who wait until the perfect moment to speak their opinions. That is not to say those that speak up are wrong in their ideas, just that we should all be aware of possible leaders at our activities – and not determine leadership by where a person sits in the room.

Citizen leaders are people in the community who are concerned about the quality of life in their community. They assume responsibility for the public good and see a need to act together for the common good of the community. Citizen leaders take ownership of the problems and opportunities that exist in the community and hold themselves accountable for seeing that action is taken. In other words, they don’t want “experts” or politicians to solve the problems for them.

Citizen leaders work with others in the community to identify opportunities or problems. They help others articulate a common purpose and set goals and objectives. They also assume that there are differences in the way people regard the opportunity or problem – such as different values of the people, different experiences, and different viewpoints. Citizen leaders help people connect their differences to the common purpose that brought them together. In other words, the citizen leader helps people see how their differences can be used to solve problems rather than be a point of conflict. In the Southwind District, these citizen leaders are often the most exciting group for us to work with. With a shared passion for the betterment of Allen, Neosho, Bourbon and Woodson Counties, with resources from Kansas State University, the possibilities are truly endless.

When you are thinking about moving into a leadership position, or a more active role as a group member, think about these questions:

  • What skills do I have to offer?
  • What would I like to learn more about?
  • What is it that I don’t like to do?
  • What do I want to do, but am hesitant about?

As I observe our rural communities in the Southwind District, I can’t help but see the many opportunities that exist for your leadership. Think about what motivates you, get excited about that motivation and consider the opportunity to step up and serve as a local leader in your own community.  I would be interested in your thoughts on leadership, so please email me at if you are motivated to consider leadership as an activity and not just a position.




Chamber Coffee At Courthouse Jan. 31

Join us for Chamber Coffee
Hosted by:

Southwind Extension District

Courthouse Lobby, 210 S. National Ave.
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Click here for Southwind Extension District web page.

Chamber members and guests are encouraged to attend for networking, community announcements, and to learn about the hosting business or organization.
Members may pay $1 to make an announcement about an upcoming event, special/sale/discount, or news of any kind.
Upcoming Coffees:
February 7 – City State Bank
February 14 – Visage Skin Care
February 21 – Fort Scott Lofts
February 28 – Hole in the Wall Liquor Store/Adventures in Mission

Land Leasing Meeting Scheduled Feb. 1


Leasing land for farming and ranching has become a necessity to grow and stay competitive in today’s commercial agriculture. As a result, understanding how to effectively and equitably negotiate a land lease has risen in importance for both landowners and tenants. This workshop is designed to help both landowners and producers consider the factors that affect lease rates, contract terms, and risk exposure.

The Southwind Extension District will host a Land Lease Workshop on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 1pm in the Allen County Courthouse Community Room.

Topics include:

  • Explaining the differences and similarities of various leasing arrangements: crop share, fixed cash rent, flexible leases, AUM pasture leases
  • Active management of the landowner-tenant relationship through effective communication and recognition of incentives
  • Calculating an equitable lease using cost of production budgets, price and yield expectations, and other market-based information

    There is no cost to attend, but please RSVP to one of the Southwind Extension District Offices or online at

More information and registration is available by contacting Carla Nemecek at the Southwind Extension District Iola Office, 620-365-2242 or email

Southwind Judging Teams Earn National Recognition


Left to right: Carla Nemecek, Brody Nemecek, Clay Brillhart, Jillian Keller, Haydon Schaaf, John Emmerson earned Reserve National Champions at the National Western Stock Show, Denver, CO.

The Southwind Extension District 4-H Livestock Judging Team of Jillian Keller (Piqua), Brody Nemecek (Iola), Haydon Schaaf (Uniontown), and Clay Brillhart (Fort Scott) recently participated at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO.  By the narrow margin of only one point, these youth were named Reserve National Champions to a team from Texas. They were selected as the only team to represent Kansas 4-H because they were the State Champion 4-H Livestock Judging Team in August, 2018. With 24 teams and 97 youth in the contest, this group had to work hard to receive national recognition.

In addition to being the second team overall, they were also 3rd in Reasons, 2nd in Sheep and 2nd in Goats. Individually results include: Brody Nemecek – 3rd in Swine and 8th Overall; Clay Brillhart – 4th in Hogs, 8th in Goats and 9th Overall; Jillian Keller – 2nd in Sheep and 2nd in Goats; Haydon Schaaf – 7th in Sheep and 8th in Reasons. The team continues to be coached by Carla Nemecek, Southwind District Director. John Emmerson, a former member of a Southwind team who participated at the National Western, served as Assistant Coach.

As a reward for their talents, the top two teams were awarded an invitation to compete internationally at the Royal Highland Show in Scotland and at the Charleville Show in the Republic of Ireland, June 19 – June 3, 2019. The contests are only a small piece of the international trip that will include agriculture seminars and opportunities to enhance leadership skills through interaction with the citizens of the UK and Ireland. The trip is limited to only nine American teams each year, and this is the first time a combined Southwind District team will participate. In 2005, a Neosho County 4-H team – Ryan Page, Trent Page, Clem Neely and Bailey Shaw were able to participate in the Scotland contest.

Although exciting for Southwind 4-H members, this opportunity comes with a price tag of about $6500 per person to attend. Fundraising efforts will soon be underway to send these youth on an international trip of a lifetime. Should you be interested in investing in this unique 4-H opportunity, please contact the Southwind Extension District at 620.365.2242.


Planning For Smart Food Choices

Kathy S. McEwan Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Foods & Nutrition, SNAP-Ed Coordinator Southwind Extension District – Iola Office P.O. Box 845, Iola KS 66749 620-365-2242

Fast Food or Healthy Food? You Can Do Both with Planning and Smart Choices

Many commit to healthy eating as a New Year’s resolution and halfway into the month of January, they may be finding it a challenge. Time to cook and busy schedules top the list of what make healthy eating hard. In the rush of daily life, eating at fast food restaurants is often the default choice for getting through the to-do list.

The concern, says K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter, is that many fast food choices can lead to unhealthy eating.

In October, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control released results of a study from 2013 to 2016 concluding that more than one in three adults consume fast food on any given day.

“It’s not the fast food that’s the problem,” Procter said. “It’s the net result of portions that are too big and sometimes contain unhealthy ingredients.”

Convenience is the No. 1 reason why most people choose fast food. The relatively inexpensive cost, the fact that we like it and a lack of alternatives are other top reasons.

“I don’t think we are going to change the fact that many adults on many days of the week take fast food as an option, but I think if we look into it a little more deeply, we can all be better in control of what that means to our health and our diets in general,” Procter said.

She added that one key to avoiding unhealthy choices at fast food restaurants is to plan ahead. That could mean packing your lunch – or even part of the meal — the night before to avoid rushing out without food in the morning.

“When I say part of a lunch, that really helps,” Procter said. “If you do have to grab some fast food, you don’t have to accept what they offer as sides. You don’t have to get the full meal deal. You can order a small, single sandwich or wrap…and add those foods that you chose to bring along with you.”

Plus, planning ahead saves money and helps control the amount you eat.

“A lot of times, you can get those less expensive sandwiches,” Procter said. “They may cost less, and the portioning of those is going to be a lot healthier. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with fast food, but it becomes a problem when the portions are so large and the choices we make contain unhealthy aspects. We can do a lot about those just as wise consumers.”

Procter noted that consumers also can check out nutrition information online for many restaurant chains.

“So even if it’s not posted at the point of sale, you can find out about those choices that you automatically make,” she said, adding that knowing nutrition information could help you cut calories and eat more healthfully.

“It’s about taking control of the way I would like things to be, and finding a way to make it work for me. I think that is part of my job as a responsible consumer.”

Additional tips that Procter provided for avoiding unhealthy choices when eating on-the-go include:

  • Split meals with a family member or friend. Portion sizes are often too large for one, but just right for two.
  • Pack snacks or parts of a meal for traveling, especially when flying. You can supplement with small, healthy choices in the airport.
  • Choose water instead of sodas or other high-calorie drinks.
  • Consider purchasing a ‘Kids Meal,’ even if you have to pay a small up-charge.
  • Go light on the add-ons, such as dressing, cheese, macaroni salad, heavy sauces and other toppings.

For more ideas on healthy eating, contact Kathy at or by phone at 620-365-2242. Check out the Southwind Extension District website at

Grass to Cash Jan 24

2019 KOMA Beef Cattle Conference “From Grass To Cash”
Southwind Extension District, Cherokee County Extension and Southeast Area Research and Extension Center are partnering to host this conference
January 24, 2019
Registration is at 10:30 a.m., program starts at 11 am. Located in the Community Building at the SEK Education Center Greenbush
(947 W. 47 Hwy., Girard, KS).
Please RSVP by January 18, 2019 to 620-820-6125 ( or 620-820-6127 ( Lunch provided.
Topics include:
Feeder Cattle Marketing Outlook
Matching Cows to the Environment
Blood-Borne Diseases of Beef Cow Herd
Optimizing Reproductive Performance
Keys to Profitability for Beef Producers

A Ticket to Better Health

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

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy Strength Training Program for Older Adults,

Your Ticket to Better Health

Our bodies are made for activity, but modern conveniences allow us to be increasingly inactive. Building strength promotes quality of life and independence, especially for adults over 50. Here’s the good news, Stay Strong, Stay Healthy strength training program is being offered in your community.

This eight week program can help you get started on the road to better health. Stay Strong, Stay Healthy is built on simple, strength- building exercises that will improve balance and flexibility, too. No one is too inactive to participate. You’ll start at a level that’s right for you. Instruction is provided by Joy Miller, Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent with K-State Research and Extension Southwind District.

The class meets for one hour, two times each week at Buck Run Community Center on Monday and Friday at 8:30 a.m. The fee is $20 for the eight week series. Registration and first session will be held Monday, January 21st. Call Joy Miller at 620-223-3720 for more details.

Eat Smart, Live Strong in the New Year

Kansas State University provides nutrition classes which help with food choices and exercise for Bourbon County residents.

Malynda Payne currently teaches both Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program classes as well as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education for K-State. Mary Daniels also teaches SNAP-Ed programs in the area.

Recently, FortScott.Biz interviewed Malynda Payne about the classes. Her answers are below.


What is the purpose?
“EFNEP- Our program is hands-on and teaches new skills that you can use at home every day—from planning, shopping and cooking tips to simple solutions for healthy eating and daily physical activity.  The program is designed to show families how they can prepare and eat more meals at home, bring more fruits and vegetables into their diets, make healthy drink choices, control portion sizes and many other healthy choices. These classes are provided for free. 
SNAP-Ed programs are nutrition education programs provided at no cost to Kansas families with limited resources.  Our goal is to provide nutrition education to individuals and families who receive food assistance or who are eligible to receive food assistance.”
Malynda Payne

Who is sponsoring it and who is the target population?

“The two classes that I am currently starting up in Fort Scott are an Eat Smart, Move More Class.  This class is geared towards families that are wanting to learn how to cook and prepare healthy meals for their families and do this on a budget.  Also, I am starting a class called Eat Smart, Live Strong.  It is designed to improve fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity for people 55+participating in or eligible for SNAP. 
 These classes are typically targeted for those receiving food assistance.  However, I will never turn anyone away.  As long as 50% of my audience is lower income, I can justify the class.  That means if they are on disability, social security, live in public housing, receive food assistance etc. then I can classify the class as my target. They don’t have to actually be receiving food assistance.  They only have to qualify for it and most older folks on Social Security would qualify.”
Mary Daniels

Where located:

“I have been holding my classes at the Professional Building in Fort Scott.  Most people will know it as the Newman Young Clinic building.  Mary Daniels offers a class the second Thursday of each month at the Scott View apartments at 2 p.m. and the third Thursday of each month at Calvary Crossing also at 2 p.m.”


“Eat Smart, Move More is  Each Wednesday 12:30-2 p.m.and the Eat Smart, Live Strong is each Friday morning 10:30-noon.  Both of these classes are starting fresh so everyone that comes will be new! They will both be at the Professional Building 710 W. 8th Street.”


“We offer these classes to improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy food and lifestyle choices that prevent obesity

These classes are offered FREE of charge to those wishing to participate.”

“From Grass to Cash”

Christopher Petty, M.S. Extension Agent Livestock Production and Forage Management K-State Research and Extension Southwind Extension District 210 S. National Fort Scott, KS 66701 (620) 223-3720 Work (620)224-6031 Cell

KOMA Beef Conference will be coming back to Kansas –

Girard, KS – The KOMA (Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas) Beef Cattle Conference will be coming back to Kansas on January 24, 2019 after a long hiatus. The 4-State area’s premier beef cattle conference is designed to help cow-calf producers make better managerial decisions. Next year’s hosts include The Southeast Area Research and Extension Center of Kansas State University, Southwind Extension District, Wildcat Extension District, and Cherokee County Extension.

The conference will take place at Greenbush Education Service Center in Greenbush, KS (947 W. 47 Hwy. Girard, KS), beginning at 10:30 am with registration, and the chance for producers to visit with sponsoring agricultural businesses. Educational sessions will begin at 11:00 am and end at 3:45 pm, with a free catered lunch included.

The focus of this meeting will “From Grass to Cash”. Precentors from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri will address forage management, cow-calf management, cow herd diseases, and economics of production.

The day will begin with Dr. Glynn Tonsor of Kansas State University. Tonsor is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics. Tonsor’s current research and extension efforts focus on cattle and swine industries. Tonsor’s interests span areas of production supply issues to end-user consumer demand issues in regards to the meat supply chain. The title of Tonsor’s presentation will be “Feeder Cattle Marketing Outlook”. He will address marketing strategies for 500 to 800 pound calves.

Dr. David Lalman of Oklahoma State University will be the next speaker with the presentation titled, “Matching my cows to my environment”. Lalman is a professor and Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at Oklahoma State University. Lalman holds the Harrington Endowed Chair with split extension and research appointment. He works primarily in the beef cattle industry focused on cow/calf and stocker cattle production. His extension and applied research program includes beef cattle nutrition and management with emphasis on beef cattle grazing and genetic by environment interactions in beef production systems. His program goals are to provide producers with information and decision tools to facilitate production system profitability, improve cow herd efficiency and to improve product quality. Lalman will discuss the historical changes in cattle phenotype we have been observing and discuss the benefits and possible pit-falls of this changing herd population.

Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek, DVM of the Kansas State University Veterinary School will provide the health component of the program. Dr. Hanzlicek is the director of Production Animal Field Investigations within the Veterinary College. Hanzlicek works with pathologists and microbiologists within the laboratory to diagnosis bovine health events. Hanzlicek’s research activities include disease surveillance and monitoring systems for beef and dairy health programs and disease surveys. For the KOMA Beef Conference, he will specifically be addressing blood-borne diseases of the cattle herd such as anaplasmosis.

Dr. Jordan Thomas from The University of Missouri will discuss, “Optimizing reproductive performance”. Jordan Thomas is an Assistant Extension Professor and State Beef Reproduction Specialist in the Division of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri. Dr. Thomas is a Missouri native and University of Missouri alumnus, having earned his Ph.D. in Animal Sciences with an emphasis in Reproductive Physiology in 2017. In addition to extension and education programming associated with the National Center for Applied Reproduction and Genomics, Dr. Thomas maintains an active applied research program in reproductive management of beef cattle. The primary research focus of the Thomas lab is control of the bovine estrous cycle, specifically to facilitate use of reproductive technologies such as timed artificial insemination and embryo transfer. 

The final speaker will be economist Wesley Tucker who is a field specialist in agricultural business from the University of Missouri. Tucker’s work currently focuses on farm transactions and productivity and profitability of beef cattle. The title of Tucker’s presentation is “Keys to profitability for beef producers”. He will address forage production with the goal of economically maximizing grazing.

Sponsors of the event include Ag Choice of Hepler, Frontier Farm Credit, Girard Coop, GNBank, MultiMin, and Zoetis. These sponsors will have trade show style booths. Bring your questions and thank them for their sponsorship and support of beef cattle production.

Please register with the Southeast Research and Extension Center by January 18, 2019. To register please contact Karen Walters, 620-820-6127 or or Jaymelynn Farney, 620-820-6125 or You may also RSVP on the Southeast Research and Extension Website,

Gift Ideas for the Farmer/Rancher


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


The hectic shopping season is in full swing and with only one more weekend before Christmas, there isn’t a lot of time to find gifts for those hard to buy for agriculture folks. If you are a practical gift giver like myself, you may be looking for gifts for the farmer or rancher in your family, so here are a few ideas for your Christmas shopping list.


Every farmer needs a few essentials to get through those tough winter chores. Items such as sturdy work gloves, coats and coveralls wear out quickly and are usually worn until they are thread bare. The same is true for a good pair of socks, and a heavy pair of insulated socks will not go unappreciated.


If the person you are shopping for is a do-it-yourselfer, which most farmers are, power tools are always in short supply. Sure they have a power drill – but what about a cordless drill?  Most all power tools are now offered with a cordless option, and that may prove to be handy when equipment needs repaired out in the field.  Speaking of tools, how could anyone (farmer or not) get by without a reliable set of pliers? This is an item that is probably among the array of everyday tools, yet an item that tends to get misplaced often. Better said, one can just never have too many pliers. Pliers can be purchased with a colorful grip that may make them less likely to be lost amongst the other hand tools.


For a simple, easy to find gift, one might consider a new pocket knife. Pocket knives are another item that are a daily necessity. Often used as a screwdriver (another gift idea!), or for cutting twine, scraping mud off boots, and cleaning/trimming fingernails, pocket knives quickly dull.  To add a personal touch, the knife can be engraved. A flashlight is another item that is never where it is supposed to be! This time of year, flashlights are often packaged in sets of multiple sizes, which can be convenient in the case of an emergency. For a unique idea, look for an LED flashlight that does not require batteries. Many of these models only require a good shake or have a crank system, and are advertised as “the last flashlight you will ever need.”


If you want to give a gift from the heart, and not from your wallet, then you could always consider offering to clean the pickup or feed truck. The work bench is another area that could always use a little sprucing up too. But if you choose to offer either of these options, make sure you know where to put the tools you find. Cleaning up is only helpful if you put things in their proper place.


As we round out 2018, the Southwind Extension District would like to say thank you to those individuals who have taken the time to be involved with K-State Research and Extension in Neosho, Woodson, Bourbon and Allen Counties. Maybe you attended a meeting, served on the Program Development Committee, or even volunteered with your local 4-H program – our staff sincerely appreciates those who recognize the importance of the Extension Service. Happy Holidays to you and your families!