Welcome to Better Kansas, where every Thursday we shed light on events, resources and other information designed to make your life, businesses, communities and state better. This is a small glimpse of what K-State Research and Extension across the state has to offer. Share on social media and subscribe! – Mary Lou Peter firstname.lastname@example.org
Better Living, Better Communities
FROM BASEHOR TO BAXTER SPRINGS AND LARNED TO NORTON, communities across the state are working to figure out how they can stay vibrant, determine what’s important to their residents, and how they can attract and retain businesses and visitors, not to mention residents. This year, the Kansas PRIDE program is celebrating 50 years of assisting local governments and volunteers through grants, recognition and other means of support as they make their communities better places to live and work. Kansas PRIDE is a partnership between K-State Research and Extension, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Masons and Kansas PRIDE, Inc. It fits right in with extension’s increasing focus on community vitality. Check out the most recent Kansas PRIDE newsletter. Look for more on the PRIDE program as the year unfolds.
FOR THOSE OF US WHO AREN’T SO GOOD AT WHIPPING UP TASTY MEALS ON SHORT NOTICE, or even if you are, this is the kind of resource that speaks to us: Making a Meal from What’s on Hand is a simple guide to putting together ingredients you likely have in your pantry or refrigerator. As a writer, I sometimes have writer’s block. This resource helps what I’ll call cook’s block. It provides ideas for your starch (pasta, rice, etc.), protein (beef, chicken, egg, seafood or beans), vegetable, sauce, flavor and toppings in a handy list. Or listen to an audio report on the topic.
Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening
WHETHER YOU LIVE IN THE COUNTRY, SUBURBS OR CITY, you likely encounter wildlife from time to time. I’m not talking about the birds from the kitchen window …. I’m talking more up close and personal, like a squirrel in the attic or a snake in the basement. My most memorable was a raccoon IN the birdfeeder (see pic). And then there’s that deer that literally ran into the side of my moving car last spring. I love animals and you probably do too, but not in the attic or taking in my garden like they are at the local buffet! Sometimes it’s helpful to have information about coexisting with animals, and in some cases managing the situation. Check out the K-State Extension Wildlife Management page for videos, fact sheets and links to even more resources on everything from bats to possums to voles. Note to self: Never again put a patio chair directly under the bird feeder.
IF YOU HAVE CATTLE ON PASTURE YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF THE ‘TAKE HALF AND LEAVE HALF’ RULE. That involves that point when about 50% of the growing season’s top growth of grass is removed. It’s one of many considerations when you’re managing grazing cattle. Others include rotational versus continuous grazing and overgrazing. Take a look at Evaluating Rules of Thumb for Grazing Management in the Jan. 2 Beef Tips. Plus, there’s good information on genomics considerations when buying bulls, calving management, preparing for winter and nutrition information for feedlot operators.
WINTER ISN’T JUST A TIME TO THINK ABOUT PLANTING SEASON IF YOU’RE A FARMER … it’s time to grow yourself by taking in some professional development. Whether you grow corn, sorghum or other crops, the next few weeks offer opportunities to learn about the latest research, plus challenges and potential solutions for all kinds of crops grown in Kansas. Many of these are happening this month, so take a look now at:
Corn Management Schools – Wichita, Oakley, Salina and Olathe.
Sorghum Production Schools – Scott City, Great Bend and Hutchinson.
Soybean Production Schools – Smith Center, Salina, Mulvane, Emporia, Atchison, and Marysville.
Cover Your Acres Winter Conference – Oberlin
Kansas Agricultural Technologies Conference – Junction City
Midwest Cover Crops Council Annual Conference – Kansas City
For more resources and activities, contact the K-State Research and Extension office in your area. Check out our other blogs and subscribe to our weekly emails here: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/blogs/