Rural North Dakota communities often struggle to strengthen their economy.
To assist them, the NDSU Extension Service partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program on the Stronger Economies Together (SET) program. Through SET, communities work collaboratively on an economic development plan that builds on the region’s current and emerging economic strengths.
Community and business leaders in Logan, McIntosh and Emmons counties were the first to take advantage of SET. Their goals were to increase tourism, improve access to local foods and health care, and get more youth involved in leadership roles.
SET is one of several ways NDSU Extension helps create vital communities. Extension provides the research-based information and connections to experts and resources that allow communities to make informed decisions and build on opportunities to meet citizens’ needs now and in the future.
Visit the Center for Community Vitality for more information about NDSU Extension’s community vitality efforts.
For the fourth consecutive year, the NDSU Extension Service will host a series of forums to help families care for their gardens and landscapes. The Spring Fever Garden Forums will be held on Monday nights beginning on March 20 and going to April 10. Sessions run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. CDT.
“This is a great opportunity for gardeners to learn about trends and see the latest research from NDSU,” says Tom Kalb, NDSU Extension horticulturist.
Presentations on selecting trees and shrubs, caring for lawns in the spring, building raised beds, attracting butterflies, growing berries and landscaping shaded areas are made before a live audience in Fargo and delivered to more than 30 NDSU Extension Service sites across the state. Gardeners also have the option of viewing the live presentations on their home computer.
Eating together as a family has many benefits.
Meals eaten as a family tend to be more healthful. They also give families an opportunity to communicate and strengthen relationships. Plus, teens who eat with their family regularly are less likely to get involved in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking and taking drugs.
On Jan. 1, 2017, the North Dakota State University Extension Service is launching “The Family Table: Eat, Savor, Connect,” a program to provide families with tips, meal plans, recipes and conversation starters to help make family meals happen. The team who developed this program includes Extension food and nutrition and family science specialists.
“The Family Table: Eat, Savor, Connect” website will provide information on monthly topics, such as meal planning, making mealtime fun, cooking basics, buying nutritious food on a limited budget, getting kids involved in meal preparation, and family fitness. The site also will have links to related events in counties throughout the state.
You’ll be able to sign up for an electronic newsletter with recipes and tips, and follow the program on Facebook for more tips, meal plans and ideas for getting conversations going during family meals.
Visit The Family Table website to learn more.
Health and wellness are among the biggest challenges facing North Dakota, as well as the rest of the nation.
North Dakotans’ obesity rates doubled from 12 percent in 1990 to 25 percent in 2005 and rose to more than 27 percent in 2012 (the latest statistics available). More than one-third of North Dakotans have high cholesterol and 29 percent have high blood pressure. Also, more than 72 percent of North Dakotans do not eat fruits and vegetables at the levels health experts recommend, and nearly half don’t get enough physical activity.
The North Dakota State University Extension Service is working to reverse those trends with its family and consumer science (FCS) programs. Extension provides educational FCS programming in three areas - family economics, human development and family science, and nutrition, food safety and health - through Extension FCS agents in 32 counties across the state.
Statistics show Extension’s educational efforts such as the Family Nutrition Program (FNP) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) are making a difference. These programs help low-resource families and youth make healthful food choices, increase their physical activity, get the most nutritious food for the money they spend on groceries and become savvier about food safety.
North Dakota State University Extension Service agronomist Hans Kandel, traveled to Ethiopia for 2 1/2 weeks in July to share his technical skills and expertise with local farmers.
“Local farmers are hardworking but lack knowledge about some of the essential principles of farming, for instance the utilization of nitrogen-fixing bacteria, recycling of nutrients and proper plant distribution,” Kandel says.
He represented the NDSU Plant Sciences Department and NDSU Extension Service during his teaching assignment, which was part of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Farmer-to-Farmer (FTF) program that promotes economic growth, food security and agricultural development in East Africa. This is the first time CRS has been involved in the 28-year-old FTF program.
Kandel was able to help up to 140 producers in seven villages. Farmers received training from Kandel on how to utilize manure and compost, and how to use legume inoculation with appropriate bacteria to increase dry bean production and quality.
Kandel also trained 15 agricultural development workers, who will follow up with the farmers who participated in the local training sessions.
To read more about Kandel's work, visit our Ag News site.
Grain can be stored in many types of containers, but all storage options should keep the grain dry and provide adequate aeration to control grain temperature.
“Grain must be dry and cool (near the average outdoor temperature) when placed in alternative storage facilities because providing adequate, uniform airflow to dry grain or cool grain coming from a dryer is not feasible in these facilities,” says Ken Hellevang, an NDSU Extension Service agricultural engineer.
With harvest in full swing across North Dakota, many producers should look carefully at the advantages and disadvantages of the nontraditional storage methods they are considering.
If your garden is producing a bountiful crop of vegetables, you may be thinking about canning some to eat later, such as this winter. You've probably found lots of recipes on the internet and in old cookbooks, and friends and family have offered you tons of advice on how to preserve those vegetables.
Did you know that canning guidelines have changed through the years as scientists learn what is and isn't safe? Visit our NDSU Extension Service Food and Nutrition - Food Preservation page for FREE canning information!
He’d worked with a farm transfer professional in Bismarck and an attorney in Minot, but their recommendations didn’t quite fit with what he had in mind. Then two years ago, he attended one of the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Design Your Succession Plan (DYSP) workshops.
“I felt this was what I really needed,” he says. “It gave me a road map to do what I want to do.”
North Dakotans enjoy many positive aspects of living and working here, but opportunities may exist to make the state even better. To hear those ideas, the NDSU Extension Service invited more than 300 North Dakotans to share their issues and challenges at community forums this fall. Their input on agriculture, energy, natural resources and the economy, and children, families and communities will help shape NDSU Extension’s strategic planning efforts for the next three to five years. See the 2015 Community Forums Statewide Report to learn how the NDSU Extension Service is extending knowledge and changing lives through economic prosperity, community engagement and healthy citizens.