Better Kansas – Ideas for Living, Growing and Succeeding

Tag: Kansas Forest Service

Better Kansas – Jan. 30, 2020

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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 mlpeter@ksu.edu

Better Living, Better Communities

SOME YOUNG CHILDREN SEEM ARTICULATE BEYOND THEIR YEARS …. SURELY THAT WAS OUR CHILDREN, RIGHT?! We know it’s important to read to kiddos from the beginning, plus talking with them and playing with them as they grow helps them learn new words and important skills to interact with others. It may seem like so much extra effort, but such activities stimulate a child’s imagination and help them develop language and listening skills. For a quick reminder about how and why it’s important for all children from babies to toddlers to preschoolers, take a look at Talk, Read, Play.

HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT TURNING THAT FAVORITE RECIPE into a business? Maybe the famous salsa you make that has the special secret ingredient? Or that amazing bread that your friends and family are always asking for? The Kansas Value Added Foods Lab can help walk you through the process of developing your product safely and stay in the lines when it comes to current regulations. You’ll find helpful resources and even questions everyone should ask themselves when making decisions along the way including screening, feasibility, test marketing and commercialization.

Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening

ORDERS ARE NOW BEING TAKEN BY THE KANSAS FOREST SERVICE FOR LOW-COST TREE SEEDLINGS to be planted for conservation purposes, according to a recent Horticulture Newsletter. Orders will be taken until May 1. Shipping starts in mid-March. Though not to be used for home landscapes, these trees can be used for wind breaks, wood lots, wildlife habitat, riparian areas along streambanks and more. We know how windy it can get in Kansas! Take a look at the newsletter or order here.

WHEN WE THINK OF GROWING CROPS THAT FEED THE WORLD, MANY STILL THINK of basic tractors and tilled fields – not really inaccurate but SO much more is happening on today’s farms. Growers know that taking care of the land and being efficient mean understanding how incredible new technologies can help pinpoint where part of a corn field is receiving too little moisture for instance, or which area of a soybean field has pests happily feasting on plants. Listen to this Agriculture Today radio segment to learn how new technology can help farmers sort wheat by protein — important because the amount of protein in wheat helps determine what food or feed product it’s best suited for. The radio segment also includes commentary on the grain market and other helpful information. A separate Agriculture Today podcast delves into the economic feasibility of autonomous farming systems. Listen in.

FROM THE EARLY DAYS OF DODGE CITY TO THE STOCKYARDS IN KANSAS CITY (okay, the stockyards were just over the border in Missouri 🙂 Kansas has been known for its cattle. But there are also a surprising number of sheep and goats across our state. We’re talking about 43,000 goats raised for meat and 6,000 for dairy, plus 74,000 head of sheep.  If you raise sheep or goats or are just interested in knowing more about them, check out the Sheep and Meat Goat Research and Extension Page. I used to work for a woman who was a force of nature from Scotland. Rosemary made the very best roast leg of lamb, plus grew her own mint for mint sauce. Soo good!

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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/

Better Kansas – Dec. 12, 2019

Header image for the Better Kansas BlogWelcome 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 mlpeter@ksu.edu

Better Living, Better Communities

WHETHER IT’S A HOT DOG AT A DAUGHTER’S BASKETBALL GAME or a birthday dinner at a favorite restaurant, many of us are eating meals away from home OR food in our homes that was prepared by others. Think DoorDash and other meal delivery services. Sixty percent of suppers served at home in 2014 were actually cooked at home, down from 75% in 1984, according to an interesting report by the USDA’s Economic Research Service released last year. That’s a lot of food that we’re trusting others to prepare for us. One of the less visible, but incredibly important programs that works behind the scenes to keep that food safe is the ServSafe program for food handlers and foodservice managers offered by K-State Research and Extension. We do this in partnership with the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association.

LET’S KEEP GOING WITH THAT FOOD THEME since after all, it’s the “season of feasting!” For our office just yesterday, it was a cookie exchange and a holiday party. I don’t know about you but it’s nearly impossible for me to stop at just one cookie or a couple of crackers and cheese and whatever else is being served. And never mind the cookies I bought from the youth group fundraiser last weekend. It’s philanthropy … sort of … right?! Listen in to a Sound Living radio program for tips to reduce fat and calories while still enjoying the foods of the season. Or take a look at this news article on the subject.

THIS ALSO SEEMS TO BE THE SEASON FOR EVERY CHARITY AND NON-PROFIT WE’VE EVER THOUGHT ABOUT GIVING TO (plus some we’ve never heard of), to send requests for donations. It’s so easy to be caught up in the spirit of giving and that’s often a good thing. Check this article for tips to help keep all of that good will from completely blowing your budget at this time of year. Wait, did I say budget? What budget? 😊

Better Farming, Ranching and Gardening

KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR BY LEARNING SOMETHING NEW in the Farm Financial Skills for Kansas Women in Agriculture workshop sessions planned for four consecutive Wednesday evenings starting Jan. 15. The workshops will be held in 32 locations across the state, so there’s likely one near you. The training delves into recordkeeping, balance sheets, income statements, cash flow, goal setting, plus managing living expenses, coping with mental stress and developing a whole-farm financial management plan. Plus, there will be time to network with others. The deadline to register is Dec. 31. The cost is $40. Whether you’re running your own farm or play a role in your family’s or someone else’s farm business, what better way to start the new year than by sharpening your skills, having an evening meal and setting goals specific to your operation? Oh, by the way, the training has been approved to satisfy Farm Service Agency Borrower Training Financial requirements. Check the website for specific locations and more information or contact Robin Reid at 785-532-0964 or LaVell Winsor at 785-220-5451.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR WHEN ROW CROP PLANTING, GROWING AND (HOPEFULLY) HARVESTING IS FINISHED and that means many educational opportunities happening during these off-season winter months. They include the 2020 Soybean, Corn and Sorghum schools starting in early January at locations around the state. If you plant any of these crops or are even thinking about it, this is a great way to get updates on what the latest research shows and information on production practices. The schools are free to attend and designed for growers and industry partners, plus a complimentary lunch will be served at all locations, thanks to industry sponsors.

WHEN WE THINK OF KANSAS, WE MAY THINK OF WIDE-OPEN PRAIRIES AND BEAUTIFUL SUNSETS, but trees are not always top of mind. Yet there are 5.2 million acres of forests, woodlands and trees in Kansas that occupy 10% of the state’s total land area. The Kansas Forest Service, housed as an independent agency within K-State Research and Extension, works to improve water quality and quantity in Kansas, offers low-cost tree and shrub seedling for conservation planting, assists with fire management and supports community vitality in small towns and large cities across the state, plus a lot more. Read more about the KFS and for a look at recent projects, check here.

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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/

 

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