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.
Did you know? While 88 percent of farm families hope to pass the farm on to the next generation, studies indicate that only 30 percent of farms survive the second generation, and only 12 percent survive the third generation.
Succession planning for farm and ranch families can be complex. The NDSU Extension Service is helping families understand the process, get started on a plan, communicate with family and work with professionals to create a succession plan that accomplishes the owner's vision for their business and family. This fall and winter, 16 different workshop locations are available to help your family begin the succession process. Register online today!
If you love gardening and sharing your knowledge with others, consider becoming a North Dakota Master Gardener volunteer in collaboration with the North Dakota State University Extension Service. This year’s Master Gardener training program will run for 10 weeks beginning Oct. 2 and ending Dec. 11. The course will be offered online and in a traditional classroom setting. For those who prefer traditional learning, classroom training will be conducted in Bismarck, Cooperstown, Ellendale, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot, Rugby, Steele, Watford City and Williston.
No matter how you classify your business - most small businesses at some time need help so they can achieve their goals. Our task is to provide some of the help you need. This help includes providing working knowledge and information through education, developing resource provider networks to support small business owners, networking business owners and engaging business owners and other professionals in on-going discussions of issues, solutions and ideas.
Our focus is to help North Dakota small business owners and entrepreneurs get started and grow. Support will be provided to all kinds of businesses with an emphasis on rural businesses and value-added agricultural enterprises. Achieving all this will mean building partnerships and networks throughout the university, including Extension, research or teaching, North Dakota and the U.S.
(Photo by Mark Moz)