Volunteers integral to Extension outreach

9/10/2013

By BARBARA ADDISON, LEHISA de FORNOZA and DAVID COLTRAIN

By BARBARA ADDISON, LEHISA de FORNOZA and DAVID COLTRAIN

The Finney County, Kansas State Research & Extension Office is the community education outreach of Kansas State University.

The subjects of the K-State Research & Extension educational programs are the fabric of life — social development of young people, human nutrition, environmental stewardship, economic and community development. The most well known of the Extension programs are 4-H youth development, agriculture and natural resources, community economic development, and family and consumer sciences programs. All are means of developing a better quality of life for families in the Finney County community.

Extension agents and staff members are networked with partner agencies, organizations and schools in the communities. Extension relies on local volunteers to help deliver educational programs. The effect of this approach offers tremendous impact for a modest public investment in Extension education because of the volunteers and cooperation among of agencies and organizations

4-H leaders are the largest volunteer group in the Extension service, along with the master gardener. Volunteer leaders share their leadership, experience and expertise in a wide range of 4-H subjects that not only impart skills, but also help develop life skills in young people. The Extension office also calls on volunteers for advice on community needs and issues that Extension should address.

Extension news

A variety of newsletters are available to learn about upcoming events, Extension news and more.

You can sign up for the email newsletters by emailing fi@listserv.ksu.edu and including your name and email address. You will be notified by email when the newsletters are available. Individuals also can subscribe for newsletters on our website (www.finney.ksu.edu) by clicking newsletters and subscribe. Newsletters include 4-H news, agriculture news, horticulture news, and family and consumer science news. Patrons can have their name taken off the list by notifying the Extension office.

The public also can find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FinneyCountyKSRE." Individuals also can click the Facebook icon on our website, where you can "Like" us to receive the latest information on upcoming events, news and more.

Local 4-H members exhibit at state fair

This past weekend, more than 60 Finney County 4-H youth exhibited static exhibits, showed livestock or presented demonstrations at the 150th Anniversary of the Kansas State Fair. Static exhibits were judged and will be on display at the 4-H Centennial Hall through Sunday. Results of the 4-H static exhibits will be listed on the 4-H website at www.kansas4-h.org or www.finney.ksu.edu.

4-H Livestock Market and Breeding animals were on display and judged Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the state fair. Final results of the livestock competitive exhibits will be listed on the Kansas State Fair website.

Finney County 4-H members will participate in the 4-H Horse Show, 4-H Fashion Revue, 4-H Demonstration contest and the 4-H Family Consumer Science judging contest Saturday and Sunday.

Planting spring flowering bulbs

Spring flowering bulbs are a great addition to your landscape. A colorful assortment of major bulbs, including tulips, daffodils and hyacinths, will bloom from early spring until late in the spring season. Lesser known minor bulb types can add a variety of colors and shapes.

Spring flowering bulbs should be planted from late September through October so roots become well established before they begin to push up their flower buds next spring.

Spring flowering bulbs look best planted in groupings. The arrangement can be formal, geometric or naturalistic. Space larger bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths and daffodils (narcissus) about four inches apart, and plant about five to six inches deep. A good rule of thumb is to plant bulbs approximately twice as deep as the height of the bulb.

Bulb life varies, but around five years of flowering is average before they may need replacing. Numerous minor bulb types will produce for longer periods. Many people know that crocus and grape hyacinths are popular for being the first sign of spring and can sometimes emerge through snow. The rock iris or reticulated iris will bloom at the same time as many crocus.

Prepare spring flowering bulb beds for planting this fall. Adding organic matter and fertilizer will get bulbs off to a good start. Soil testing is always a good idea to get an accurate assessment of fertilizer needs. However, nitrogen is likely all that will be needed. About one cup of high nitrogen fertilizer per 100 square feet should be adequate.

Bulbs start growing roots in the fall, bloom in the spring time, and go dormant during the hot and dry summer months. Many bulb species can last for years with minimal care. Well-known bulbs like tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and crocus come in many different colors and shapes. Less well-known bulbs can add interesting and unique flowers to your landscape.

For more information about caring for spring flowering bulbs, attend the "Landscape Strategies: Fall Plans for Spring Potential" meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Fairgrounds Grandstand Meeting Room. Pre-register by calling 272-3670.

For questions on spring flowering bulbs, contact David Coltrain, Extension agriculture agent, at 272-3670 or email coltrain@ksu.edu.

Food allergy program Sept. 19

Plan on attending the program, "Food Allergy Facts of Life" at noon Sept. 19 at the Finney County Extension Office, 501 S. Ninth St. Participants are encouraged to bring a sack lunch.

Living with food allergies is challenging and difficult. For adults, it means learning how to identify food triggers and manage your health. As a parent of a child with a food allergy, it means learning to recognize symptoms and finding resources and professionals who can help your child. It also means finding ways to manage you or your child's health and well-being without hardship, stress or illness. Learning how to recognize food allergy or food sensitivity is important. Sheryl Carson, Kearny County Extension agent, will be the program presenter. Please RSVP by noon Sept. 18 by calling the Finney County Extension Office at 272-3670 or email fi@listserv.ksu.edu.

Food safety

September is National Food Safety Education Month. Some foods are more frequently associated with food poisoning or foodborne illness. For food safety success, it is important to:

* Wash hands and food preparation surfaces often. And wash fresh fruits and vegetables carefully. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is about how long it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice.

* Do not cross-contaminate! When handling raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs, keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.

* Cook to the right temperature, especially when cooking meats, poultry, eggs, leftovers and casseroles.

* At room temperature, bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes. The more bacteria there are, the greater the chance you could become sick.

Refrigerate food promptly. Freezing a food stops bacteria from growing in it, but freezing does not kill existing bacteria. The bacteria become active again when a food is thawed. To decrease the risk of foodborne illness, never thaw food at room temperature. Instead, thaw it in a refrigerator, in cold running water or cook it promptly after thawing in a microwave oven.

Reduce your risk of getting a foodborne illness. Perishable foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, dairy products, cooked pasta, rice and fresh, peeled and cut fruits and vegetables should be at room temperature for a total time of only two hours or less.

For more information or resources on food safety, contact Lehisa de Fornoza, family and consumer sciences agent, at lfornoza@ksu.edu.

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