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Celebrating 100 Years

Celebrating 100 NDSU Extension green goldIn 2014, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act. It created the Cooperative Extension Service, a state-by-state network of educators to extend university-based research and knowledge to the people. Although times and technologies have changed, NDSU Extension still is committed to extending knowledge and changing lives now and in the future.

More on the NDSU Extension Centennial

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Be Safe in the Sun

sun safetyKeep sun protection in mind when you're outdoors. A few serious sunburns can increase your risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen and clothing are among the best ways to protect yourself from the sun's rays. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both types of ultraviolet rays and has a sun protection factor of at least 30. Reapply it every two hours. Also, cover up with clothing, and wear a hat and sunglasses. (Photo from NDSU Extension Service)

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Repairing Last Year’s Flooded Landscapes

Flooded Farm

It is a new year and spring is here, so it’s time to get flooded landscapes back into shape. Bare spots in the lawn can be reseeded or resodded when the ground is dry enough to work. Thin lawns will benefit from fertilization, especially if you did not fertilize last fall. Trees and shrubs can be planted in early spring as soon as the ground is dry. The lack of snow this winter will allow people to establish these plants earlier than in most years. However, it’s too early to plant vegetable seeds in the garden because most of the state is susceptible to frost damage at least until mid to late May.

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Think Spring!

Jack Frost Perennial

The forecast calls for higher temperatures coming our way, so thoughts are turning to what to plant in the landscape this year.

Annuals and perennials are an excellent source of color and accent to North Dakota landscapes. They come in different colors and sizes and varieties can be chosen for shady, sunny, dry or wet locations.

For good advice on what to plant, read “Annual and Perennial Flower Selections for North Dakota” by Ron Smith and Barb Laschkewitsch.

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Consider Both Costs of New Appliances

Energy Guide labelWhen buying an appliance or electronic device, remember that it has two costs: the cost of buying it and the cost of running it. New heating systems must disclose how much energy they deliver from their fuel source. The EnergyGuide label provides the average amount of energy that home appliances will use in a year and the average cost for that energy. Look for the ENERGY STAR label to find the most energy-efficient home electronics.

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Myth or Fact?

house of cardsDon't build your business on a house of cards. Anyone wanting to start a business can find lots of advice, but some claims are too good to be true. You need to sort out the myths from the realities before deciding whether starting a business is the right decision for you. (Photo courtesy o5com

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Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

tax refund checkBefore you receive your tax refund this year, make a plan for how you will spend it. Without a plan, you may spend it on the first important thing that comes to mind, then realize something else was more important. Here are some recommendations for using your tax refund wisely: Pay off bills and save enough to cover a couple of months of expenses in case you have an emergency. Then save for long-term goals, such as a home, retirement or dream vacation. Finally, consider buying that new TV, refrigerator or sofa. (Photo courtesy of Tim Faracy of Bklyn)

 

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Reduce Home Moisture Problems

window condensationMold growth and damage from window condensation could be worse in homes this winter because of moisture that still remains in buildings and moisture vapor transfer into basements. The best remedy for home moisture problems is to maintain the home's relative at 30 to 40 percent. Ways to limit window condensation include adding storm windows or covering windows with plastic. Exchanging inside air with outside air is another way to reduce moisture problems.

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Keep Holiday Spending Under Control

Christmas shoppingDon't let your holiday spending put your budget in the red. Before you go shopping, decide how much you will spend and stick to it. Make a list of what you plan to buy and check it often to make sure you don't buy more than you intended. Pay for gifts with cash instead of a credit card. And consider making gifts or giving a gift of service, such as baby-sitting or lawn mowing. (Photo courtesy of Flipsy)

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Cut Your Heating Bills

programmable thermostatYou have some simple ways to reduce your heating costs  this winter. They include turning down the heat at night or when you plan to be out of the house for several hours, sealing air leaks and using energy-saving window treatments. Installing heat-shrink film over windows can reduce drafts, and using a programmable themostat will let you turn down the heat without having to remember to adjust the temperature setting.

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Easing Farm/Ranch Transition Worries

Farm Transition Meeting

Many North Dakota farmers and ranchers want to retire one day and leave their farm to the next generation. However, they don’t know how they are going to pass the farm on to their sons or daughters. The lack of transition plans prompted the NDSU Extension Service to develop a project called the Farm/Ranch Transition and Estate Planning program.

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