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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

NDSU Extension Service

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Eat Smart, Play Hard

Nutrition Facts LabelEating right is important if you want to perform your best and keep yourself from being injured during practice or a game. One of the biggest roadblocks to good nutrition is lack of planning. So make sure you have a game plan for eating a balanced diet, and read Nutrition Facts labels to help you select foods and beverages that let you power up while avoiding empty calories.

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What You Drink Matters

glass of waterWith the increase in obesity in the U.S., making smart beverage choices is vital. Health experts recommend making milk and water your beverages of choice and limiting the amount of beverages with added sugars that you drink. Here are some tips for making smart beverage choices: Carry a bottle of water and keep it filled throughout the day. Add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or watermelon to make your water more flavorful. When you opt for a sugar-sweetened beverage, go for the small size. (Photo courtesy of Greg Riegler Photography)

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Give Container Gardening a Try

container gardeningIf you don't have a lot of space for gardening, try growing vegetables in containers. Old barrels, bushel baskets and 3- or 5-gallon buckets work well. Just make sure the containers have drainage holes so water doesn't pool in the bottom and damage the roots. Also make sure you use potting soil, not soil from your yard. You can start your own seeds or buy plants. Remember, plants in containers need to be watered and fertilized more often than those planted in the ground. One major advantage of container gardening is that you can move the container to a spot with more sun or shade when necessary. (NDSU photo)

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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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