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Below are the most recent news articles from the Stutsman County Extension Office.

News Articles



Income Tax Management for Ag Producers

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country 10-21-2017

As of today, October 21st, there are only 71 days or 10 weeks left of 2017. I thought about doing a countdown to Christmas but felt talking about Christmas before Halloween might be wrong. However, I am sure we all know someone who has already started the countdown to Christmas. I know I have one family member who watches the movie “Elf” all year long without shame. So, why do I bring a countdown to the end of 2017 up? Because as we enter the end of 2017, it is time to start preparing for income tax decisions.

NDSU Extension and the IRS are offering an Income Tax Management for Ag Producers workshop for both producers and tax preparers on November 14th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm through interactive video sites at nine different locations throughout the state. Jamestown will be one of those host sites at the Law Enforcement Center (205 6th St. SE, Jamestown). The other host locations are Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Langdon, Minot and Wahpeton.

There will be updates regarding federal income taxes. The IRS will speak on new legislation, Affordable Care updates, preventing identity theft and data breaches, and estimated payment tips for the taxpayer and practitioner. Deferral of income and replacement periods for livestock sold due to drought will be explained. Defined benefit plans as a tool for tax management upon retirement will be discussed. Exports will explain why transition from a C Corp to a S Corp might be right for your company and how to make the transition. Lastly, there will be an overview of how to manage taxable farm income.

Presenters for the workshop include Judy Gilbertson, AgCountry in Jamestown, Alan Gregerson, IRS, Jess Nehl, Eide Bailly LLP in Bismarck, Kelda Rerick, Haga Kommer in Bismarck, and Brent Roeder, Eide Bailly LLP in Fargo. There will be four question and answer periods with the panel of experts. All participants at each location will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Pre-registration is required. The cost for the program is $20. The program is approved for three IRS continued education provider credits.

For registration or more information, please call the Extension office at 701-252-9030.



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Questions and Answers… Snacks

by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country 10-14-2017

Fall is a busy time with school activities in full swing; the kids arrive home from school and are ready for a snack. Remember to think of snacks as mini-meals that help provide nutrients and energy you need to grow, play and learn.

How Much Should My Kids Get for an After School Snack?

Growing kids need a couple of small snacks in addition to balanced meals to fuel their growth and development. Try to keep snacks in the 100- to 200-calorie range and time them so they aren’t close to the main meal.

Most children (and adults) do not consume enough fruits, vegetables or whole grains. For example, a banana, apple, carrot sticks with hummus, celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, or a few whole-grain crackers with salsa are excellent snacks that help fill nutrition gaps.

Choosing Healthy Snack Bars

There are many different snack bars to choose from. How do I pick one that is a healthful choice for a snack?

Sometimes snack bars are more like "candy bars." Be a label reader to get the most nutrition for your money. Remember the ingredients are listed from "most" to "least" on the ingredient statement. Look for whole grains, dried fruit and nuts (unless you have a nut allergy) as the first ingredients.

Compare products and choose snack bars with less added sugar, less saturated fat and more fiber. Most nutrition experts recommend a bar with less than 200 calories, 6 (or more) grams of protein and at least 2 grams of fiber.

New Ways to Enjoy Pumpkin

My family enjoys pumpkin-flavored foods, but I keep making pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars. I know those recipes are high in calories. Do you have any new ways to enjoy pumpkin?

Pumpkin is very nutritious. It is high in fiber and vitamin A (for healthy skin and eyes). Here are several ways to add pumpkin to your diet:

  • Try canned pumpkin in place of part of the fat (butter or oil) in recipes such as banana bread.
  • Replace part of the fat in brownie or muffin recipes with canned pumpkin.
  • Try making a savory pumpkin soup.
  • Mix pureed pumpkin in your next batch of chili for a fun fall flavor.
  • Create a pumpkin parfait by using canned pumpkin, vanilla yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of walnuts or chocolate chips.
  • Mix up your Saturday morning breakfast routine by making pumpkin pancakes or waffles.

Don't Toss Out the Pumpkin Seeds

Did you know that pumpkin seeds make nutritious snacks? They are rich in fiber and in minerals, such as magnesium. Here's how to roast them:

  • Remove the pulp from a pumpkin, rinse the seeds and blot them with a paper towel.
  • Toss the seeds in a bowl with a small amount of salad oil, such as canola or sunflower oil.
  • Bake at 300°F until light brown and crunchy (40 to 50 minutes), stirring occasionally. If you like, you can salt them lightly or add spices of choice, such as garlic powder or onion powder.

Note: Be aware that nuts and seeds can be choking hazards for children under age 5.

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.



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Don’t Let Your Halloween Spending Terrify You This Year!

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country 10-7-2017

Did you know Halloween is one of the highest grossing holidays in the United States? Between costumes, treats, decorations and parties; consumers can spend close to $100 per person on the holiday according to the National Retail Association.

Ways to Save

Costumes: When you think of Halloween, the first thing that comes to mind for many is what costume they will wear. This can be a huge expense when planning for the holiday. Some ways to find some less expensive alternatives may be to check thrift stores. If you are crafty, you could make your own.

Use last year’s costumes. Have you ever noticed that children’s costumes are sized for a two-year age range? Reuse for a few years and save. Or, if you have more than one child do the hand-me-down system. If you don’t have the option of sibling hand-me-downs, talk to your friends who are parents and set up a costume swap. One more savings tip is to skip the pet costume. Sure they are cute, but is this really a good use of money?

Waiting until the last minute can save you 30% to 40% on costumes. You are taking the risk that the size and costume you want will be available until then, but if you don’t care it can really save you some money. If you have a little extra money at the end of the month, buy next year’s costume. Stores try to clear out inventory quickly so they can start putting out Thanksgiving and Christmas inventory so you will see some great clearance prices.

Decorations: It may seem anti-Halloween, but are Halloween decorations really necessary? Trick-or-treaters are after one thing, TREATS! They really don’t care if your house is decorated as long as you are putting something yummy in their buckets. If you decide to decorate, use items you have on hand. Make a scarecrow out of old clothes or ghosts out of white garbage bags, use your imagination.

Candy: The price of candy is going up, and it may seem unavoidable to spend a lot on candy if you have a lot of children in your neighborhood. Did you know chocolate is more expensive than other candies? Compare prices on types of candy. Consider buying in bulk especially if you give out a lot of candy each year.

You don’t need to buy the candies with Halloween themed wrapping. You can probably buy the same item for less if it is just in its regular wrapper. Buy candy from dollar stores for added savings.

 Party: If you are planning on having a Halloween party for either kids or adults, consider having a potluck. Give your guests a food type and tell them to be creative. This can save a ton of money by not having to provide all of the food.

For more information on this topic, you can visit the North Dakota State University Extension Service Personal & Family Finance website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/money/ or contact the Stutsman County Extension office at 252-9030.



National 4-H Week

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country 9-30-2017

October 1st – 7th is National 4-H week. It is a great time to learn more about 4-H, support 4-H or consider joining 4-H!

Stutsman County 4-H’ers will be hosting a homemade lesfse and baked goods fundraiser at Tractor Supply Company (2319 10th Ave SW, Jamestown) on Sunday, October 8th from 1 to 4 pm. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to support awards for county 4-H contests such as project expo, communication arts, consumer choice judging and clothing review. It also would be a good opportunity to ask current 4-Hers questions if you are thinking about joining a club.  

4-H is a fun, learn-by-doing educational program for young people ages 5-18. It is the youth development program of the North Dakota State University Extension Service and is available in every county in North Dakota. 4-H is a great way for youth to develop communication skills, meet new friends, learn to work with others, work within a community, and so much more!

The purpose of 4-H membership is to give youth an opportunity to learn through hands-on, learn-by doing techniques. 4-H members learn about leadership, community service, and an endless variety of projects areas.  A few of the project areas include: horticulture, rockets, animal science, quilting, baking, welding, 4-H science, woodworking, outdoor skills, crop production, fiber arts, shooting sports, drawing and painting and many more. Our vision for North Dakota is for 4-H members to become positive and productive citizens to meet the needs of a diverse and changing society. In fact, research has shown that youth who participate in 4-H are four times more likely to make contributions to their communities, are two times more likely to be civically active, are two times more likely to make healthier choices and are two times more likely to participate in science, engineering and computer technology programs during out-of-school time.

4-H members can be involved in many different activities and events on local and state levels. Some events include: the county fair, communication arts, consumer choice judging, project expo, clothing review, livestock judging, hippology, archery matches and many more. Parental involvement is important to a 4-H member's success. Support from parents keep youth interested, enthusiastic and active in the 4-H program. The 4-H program is very flexible, meaning that what you put into it is what you will get out of it. 4-H clubs normally meet about once a month. The 4-H meeting is balanced between business, educational programs and recreation. 4-H meetings normally last about 1 to 1 ½ hours, with the time fairly equally divided among the three parts.

For more information about 4-H, check out the Stutsman County 4-H webpage at www.ag.ndsu.edu/stutsmancountyextension/4h-and-youth or contact the Extension office at 701-252-9030. 



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Eat a Rainbow of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country 9-23-2017

Did you know that one simple dietary change can save lives and medical costs? The change: Add more colorful fruits and vegetables to your plate.

According to the American Heart Association, this change could save nearly 40,000 lives and $7.6 billion in medical costs every year in the U.S. Choose from the rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple/blue and white ones.

Fill Half Your Plate with Fruits and Vegetables

We all should try to fill half of our plates with fruits and vegetables. Aim for four to five servings per day (that's about 4 to 5 cups). Try these ideas to add more fruits and vegetables throughout your day.

Breakfast

  • Top your cereal with bananas or fresh or dried berries.
  • Make a smoothie with frozen, canned or fresh fruits. Add yogurt or juice and blend.
  • Make some pumpkin bread or muffins to enjoy.
  • Add chopped veggies (peppers, onions, spinach) to your omelet or scrambled eggs.

Lunch

  • Pack a whole piece of fruit (apple, orange, plum, pear, etc.) to enjoy with your lunch. Rinse it in water at home before you leave.
  • Have vegetable soup for lunch. If you make it at home, store it in a thermos to keep it warm.
  • Add veggies, such as spinach, cucumber slices or tomato slices, to your sandwich.

Snacks

  • Keep a bowl of fresh, whole fruit on your counter so the fruit is easy to grab.
  • Have cut-up fruit such as cantaloupe or watermelon in containers in your fridge where they are easy to see.
  • Keep some dried fruit such as raisins or dried cranberries in a plastic bag for quick snacks.
  • Try freezing red or green grapes as a sweet treat.

Dinner

  • Have steamed vegetables as a side dish.
  • Add extra veggies to soups or casseroles. Add shredded carrots to chili. Try adding some frozen veggies such as peas during the last few minutes of cooking brown rice.
  • Enjoy fresh or canned fruit as your dessert. Try sprinkling apple slices with cinnamon to enhance their natural sweetness.

 

Make Fruits and Vegetables Affordable

Question: I feel like I can't afford lots of fruits and vegetables for my family, even though they like them. Do you have any tips for me?

Remember that any form of fruits and vegetables "counts" toward the daily goal. Compare the prices from fresh, canned and frozen. If you buy canned items, choose fruit canned in 100 percent fruit juice and vegetables with "low sodium" or "no salt added" on the label.

Check your grocery store circular for items "on sale." Plan your fruit and vegetable menu items based on the sales fliers.

Buy "in season." Apples, pears, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and winter squash are among the fruits and vegetables in season in the fall.

If you find yourself throwing away spoiled fresh fruits or vegetables, be sure to buy what you will use within a short amount of time. Some fruit and veggies, such as berries and leafy greens, spoil quickly. Others, such as carrots and apples, can last more than a week if stored properly.

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.

 

 

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Take Steps to Stay on Your Feet

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country 9-16-2017

Did you know that one of every four people 65 and older falls each year? Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for people 65-plus.

In North Dakota, 559 fall-related deaths occurred among adults 65 and older from 2009 through 2014, with an average of 93 deaths per year.

Falls threaten older adults’ safety and independence, and generate enormous economic and personal costs. However, falling is not an inevitable result of aging. Because falls are largely preventable, taking action today is important to reduce your risk of a fall. Here are six easy steps to help you to reduce falls:

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program that builds balance, strength and flexibility.
  2. Talk to your health-care provider and ask for an assessment of your risk of falling.
  3. Review your medications with your pharmacist or doctor. Make sure side effects aren’t increasing your risk of falling.
  4. Get your vision checked annually and update your eyeglasses as needed.
  5. Keep your home safe. Increase lighting, remove tripping hazards, install grab bars and make stairs safe.
  6. Assess your footwear for safety. Look for supportive shoes, a good fit, a sole that grips, and a heel that is stable and grips.

A common myth is that muscle strength and flexibility cannot be regained. While we do lose muscle as we age, and have more problems that result in balance deficits, older people have a great capacity to increase muscle strength and balance, health experts say.

 It is never too late to start an exercise program. Even if you've been physically inactive up to this point in your life, beginning now will help you in maintaining independence, including protection from falls.

For more information about this topic, contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or christina.rittenbach@ndsu.edu or visit NDSU Extension’s Aging Well website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/aging/



Soybean Cyst Nematode Testing Program

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country 9-9-2017

NDSU Extension and the ND Soybean Council will be again coordinating the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) testing program. There will be SCN soil testing bags available at the Extension office on a first come first serve basis. Producers can test up to three fields with the pre-marked soil testing bags. Results of the soil tests will be sent directly to the producer and the laboratory fees are covered by North Dakota Soybean Council checkoff dollars. NDSU does not have access to any personal information, just the reported egg levels and geospatial data which is used to generate a map of detected SCN levels in the state. Below is the map generated from the 2013-2016 SCN surveys. It should be noted that very low levels (50-200) could be false positives and the green triangle in Ward County was not confirmed. 

 SCN Map 2017

SCN is the most destructive soybean disease in the United States. It is a very small, microscopic worm-like nematode that penetrates soybean roots, robbing the plant of nutrients and water. SCN can even reduce nodulation which is vital for nitrogen fixation of the plant, resulting in the soybean plant producing fewer pods and reducing yield.

Above ground symptoms of SCN are very variable and are difficult to distinguish between other production issues. The symptoms can vary from no symptoms to yellowing and stunting to plant death. In cases where no above ground symptoms were visible, as much as a 15-30% yield loss has been reported. Therefore, it is important to sample fields for SCN to monitor its presence. If SCN is detected when the population is still low, there are management options available to help keep the population low. However, if SCN is not detected early and the SCN population becomes very high, it can become nearly impossible to grow soybeans in that field ever again.

The best time to sample for SCN is this time of year either right before or right after soybean harvest because the SCN population is highest at the end of the season. Sample in areas of the field where SCN is most likely to establish first such as the field entrance, along fence lines, areas that have been flooded and areas where the soybean yield has been low.

SCN and soil fertility soil samples should be taken as separate soil samples. To take a SCN sample, take 10 to 20 soil cores in the root zone about 6 to 8 inches deep in a zig-zag pattern across the sample area. Place the soil cores in a container and mix. Place about one pint of soil into the soil testing bag and label the bag with a permanent marker. Since SCN are living organisms, it is important to store SCN soil samples away from sunlight and in a cool area until they can be sent into a lab. SCN soil samples should be sent into the lab immediately following sampling. For more information, contact the Stutsman County Extension office at 701-252-9030 or e-mail Alicia at alicia.harstad@ndsu.edu.



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Mix Up Your Breakfast Menu

by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country 9-2-2017

Do you eat breakfast on most days? If you do, you might notice that when you miss breakfast, you feel less energetic. Maybe concentrating on what you are doing gets difficult around midmorning. You might feel the need to rush to the cupboard or vending machine for a snack about 10 a.m.

Some research has linked eating breakfast to helping people manage the total amount of food (and calories) they eat. Sometimes, breakfast skippers eat more later in the day.

Researchers at Cornell University asked people on a national weight registry what they commonly ate for breakfast. They found that people who are at a healthy weight commonly tended to eat fruits and vegetables (51 percent), dairy (41 percent), cold cereal (33 percent), bread (32 percent), eggs (31 percent) or hot cereal (29 percent).

Making breakfast at home is much less expensive, and usually more healthful, than stopping on your way to work at a drive-through window. You can find recipes on our website, www.ag.ndsu.edu/food (click on "recipes," then "breakfast").

Mix up your breakfast menu now and then with these tasty ideas:

  • Try making scrambled eggs in a mug.
  • How about a waffle sandwich with nut butter? Toast frozen waffles and add your favorite filling.
  • Have a smoothie with milk and fruit. For a protein boost, add some nonfat dry milk.
  • Have a minute? Assemble a breakfast burrito with flour or corn tortilla, shredded cheese and your favorite salsa. Place in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until cheese melts. If you prefer, add a scrambled egg to boost the protein.
  • Make an apple sandwich. Hollow out an apple and fill with your favorite nut butter, grab a cup of milk and off you go!
  • Make homemade oatmeal in your microwave oven. The recipe is on the box. Add some dried fruit and nuts for flavor and crunch.
  • Make your favorite muffins and freeze individually in small freezer bags. Try muffin recipes with fruit to add nutrition.
  • Try making fruit and yogurt parfaits. Sprinkle with crunch cereal right before serving.
  • For a heartier breakfast, make some pancakes. To save time, mix the dry ingredients for pancakes in the evening. Add the wet ingredients (eggs, buttermilk) in the morning.

Question: I like to have yogurt for breakfast, so I buy many containers when it is on sale. How long can I keep yogurt in my refrigerator?

Most yogurt packages have a "sell by" date on the container. The "sell by" date is the last date that yogurt can be sold from grocery store shelves. The yogurt will be safe to eat longer than the date on the package. As long as the yogurt has been refrigerated at 40°F or below, it should be safe to eat for up to 10 days beyond the date.

Yogurt often will separate into a liquid and a solid, but you can stir it to mix it. If you notice any signs of mold or an unusual "clumpy" texture, then discard it. You can also freeze yogurt for about two months at 0°F, but the texture might change.

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.



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Extending Support for Farmers, Ranchers in Times of Stress

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country 8-26-2017

Many farmers, agricultural professionals and family members are facing increased stresses linked with uncertain market conditions. The hours they must spend in checking on market prospects, reviewing financial needs, and making farming decisions can be long, stressful and tiring.

The emotional and physical needs of those who are undergoing stress from conditions in agriculture are sometimes forgotten during planning efforts. Individual farmers and ranchers may not consider their own needs or they may feel too occupied with other responsibilities to handle personal or family needs.

Farmers, their family members and other agricultural workers need to take care of themselves to have the emotional and physical resources to deal with stresses.

Here are a few tips to consider for addressing emotional and physical well-being:

  • Get sufficient sleep.
  • Eat well-balanced meals as much as possible. Avoid junk food or unhealthy snacks.
  • Set up and maintain a structured routine if possible.
  • Learn to say no without feeling guilty during times of demand. Conserve your energy for where it is most needed.  
  • Take time for breaks to rest and renew your energy (5-10 minutes every hour).
  • Get up, stretch, walk, or exercise briefly.   
  • Realize when a situation or problem requires help from others. Be willing to engage some support.
  • Delegate tasks to others or call for additional support if needed.
  • Be aware of your energy limits and stop when these limits have been reached.
  • Communicate with people who understand your tasks and challenges.
  • Practice optimism and humor. Laughter is a great source of stress relief.  

The NDSU Extension Service has resources on its website designed to assist individuals, families and community professionals in managing stresses in agriculture at: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/cff/resources-for-emotional-and-mental-health

For more information about managing stress, contact the Stutsman County Extension office at 252-9030 or email christina.rittenbach@ndsu.edu
Source: Sean Brotherson, Extension family science specialist, NDSU Extension Service

 


Herbicide Considerations for Cover Crops

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country 8-19-2017

Cover crops have become more popular lately and for good reason. They have soil health benefits, can act as a cultural control method for weeds and can be great option for livestock grazing or feed. They can be a good option this time of year following small grains harvest. However, before cover crops are planted, a plan of how those cover crops will be used should be determined to avoid problems.

First question that should be addressed is what is the goal of planting cover crops? Is the goal to utilize the cover crop as livestock feed by grazing or haying it? Or do you plan to harvest as grain? Or is the cover crop planted just strictly as a soil health benefit to utilize excess moisture and/or help prevent soil erosion? Or are you wanting to utilize the ground cover to help with early season weed suppression the next spring? Depending on how this question is answered will determine what some of the options are.

When deciding which cover crops to plant where, the previous herbicides used in the crop rotation should be a consideration. Long residual herbicides are a key component of a herbicide resistance management program but they also can damage cover crop establishment and growth because of herbicide carry-over issues.

If the cover crop goal is to either be grazed, hayed or harvested, the crop rotational restrictions of any herbicides used prior to planting the cover crop must be followed because the cover crop will ultimately end up in the food chain. The crop rotational restrictions are listed on the herbicide label. All herbicide labels must be followed as the label is the law and failure to follow herbicide labels is illegal.

If cover crops are being planted strictly for the soil health benefits or for weed suppression, then a producer has a little bit more flexibility since the cover crops will not be entering the food chain. However, any herbicide injury incurred to cover crops due to herbicide carryover issues is the assumed risk of the producer. As a general guideline, it is recommended to follow the crop rotation restrictions of a field crop in the same family of the desired cover crop. For example, use alfalfa crop rotation restrictions as a guideline for other legumes and pulse species, use canola crop rotation restrictions for other Cruciferae species (radishes and turnips) and use wheat, barley and oat crop rotation restrictions for other grass species. The crop rotation restrictions can be found on pages 100 to 104 in the North Dakota Weed Control Guide (NDSU publication W-253). The “Herbicide Residue and Fall Cover Crop Establishment” page in the North Dakota Weed Control guide (page 105) is also a good resource.

Finally, there also should be a good plan of how to terminate cover crops in the spring that are being utilized for early season weed suppression. If there is a not adequate termination of a cover crop, it can turn into a bad weed problem. For more information contact Alicia Harstad, Stutsman County Extension Agent, at 701-252-9030 or .



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Encourage Kids to Become Good Veggie Eaters

by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country  8-12-2017

Have you tried any vegetables from a garden or farmers market this month? There are a lot of great fresh vegetables available this time of year, but many kids usually avoid them.

Here are some strategies to help kids become good vegetable eaters, but be patient. Getting kids to try new foods, especially vegetables, may take ten or more tries.

  • Have your kid’s help you harvest the vegetables, or shop at a farmers market or grocery store.
  • At home, invite them to help you prepare the food. Let them help create and name the recipe, such as “Sally’s Super Salad.” Teach them how to tear lettuce.
  • Offer the food in different forms, such as raw and cooked, and cut into interesting shapes.
  • Try serving raw veggies with a dip such as salsa or hummus (chickpea dip).
  • Be sure to eat together with most members of the family present as often as you can. Make mealtimes fun. Family mealtimes encourage good nutrition.
  • Be sure your children see you eating (and enjoying) vegetables. Share the adventure of trying new vegetables together. How about trying some roasted parsnips and sweet potatoes? How about grilling some veggie kabobs?

 

Grill Fruits and Veggies This Summer

Grilling delicious and colorful fruit or vegetables is easy with these ideas. Watch the grilled food carefully because the temperature of grills can vary.

Cut vegetables into large, flat pieces of even thickness throughout each slice. You can cut them into smaller pieces after cooking.

Brush fruit and vegetables with oil to reduce sticking. Lay pieces in a single layer cookie sheet, brush with oil and season. Turn them over and repeat on the other side.

Use marinades or seasonings to add flavor. Be aware that sugar-based marinades cause the exterior of the vegetables to blacken.

Use dry and moist heat to cook vegetables. Grill until both sides have grill marks. Remove from grill and place in a bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap to steam the vegetables for five to 10 minutes. This will finish the cooking without drying them.

Here's a handy chart for grilling some fruits and vegetables this summer.

Vegetable/Fruit

How to Prepare

Grilling Time

Asparagus

Snap off tough end of spears. Roll spears in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5-10  Minutes; turn every few minutes until tender

Corn

Leave the stem and husk on. Pull back the husk, remove the "silk" and soak for 15 minutes in cold water. Carefully pull the husk back over the corn.

10-20 minutes; turn several times

Peppers

Cut off top and bottom. Remove core and seeds and cut in half from top to bottom. Brush with oil.

6-10 skin side down, then 3-4 minutes on the other side

Squash/Zucchini

Cut into 2 to 3 slices of even thickness. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt.

5-8 minutes per side

Apples, pears

Sprinkle wedges with cinnamon and brown sugar.

5 minutes per side

Bananas (whole)

Brush with oil

5 minutes per side (until golden)

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.



Soybean Aphids

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country 8-5-2017

Soybean aphids are moving into our area. Scouting to determine if soybean aphids are at economic threshold is important to avoid unnecessary insecticide applications for several reasons. The economic threshold is 250 aphids per plant with 80% incidence and an increasing population. There is a temptation to make earlier insecticide applications as “cheap insurance” but often times this results in the need for a second insecticide application, adding to the input costs. Early insecticide applications kill beneficial insects that serve as natural enemies against soybean aphids and allows for soybean aphids to re-establish and/or allow secondary pests such as spider mites to move in.

Insecticide resistance is also another major concern when multiple insecticide applications are used repeatedly from the same group. Minnesota has confirmed pyrethroid resistant aphids to a 4X rate of bifenthrin and 10-20X rates of lambda-cyhalothrin. There are also reports from northeastern North Dakota with reduce pyrethroid effectiveness. To slow insecticide resistance, follow these recommendations:

  • Do not use reduced insecticide rates
  • Use appropriate spray pressure and spray nozzle to treat aphids
  • Do not skimp on water. Spray at least 15-20 GPA in ground applications and 2-5 GPA in air applications
  • Insecticide applications applied during windy conditions, a temperature inversion or very hot weather could reduce control
  • Scout fields 3-5 days after application to check insecticide performance
  • Do not retreat a field with the same insecticide group for consecutive applications

Insecticide premixes or tank mixes of insecticides usually are not recommended from a resistance management standpoint because they usually contain a reduced rate of at least one insecticide. However, mixes might need to be used in situations where a second insecticide application is needed. Always read of follow the pesticide label and test any potential tank mixes for compatibility. For more information, contact the Extension office at 701-252-9030 or e-mail Alicia at .    



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Stutsman County Extension Offers Babysitting Clinic

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country 7-29-2017

If you have a child, chances are at some point you’ve needed a babysitter. Parents need babysitters for many different reasons: to have a date night with their significant other, to go to work, or perhaps to run some errands. Unfortunately, many parents across the state are struggling with finding good-quality child care, and if you’re new to the area, it can be hard to know who to trust. To help fill this need and fill our community with trained babysitters, a babysitting clinic will be held in August to train area youth in babysitting and child care.

The NDSU Extension Service in Stutsman County is teaming up with Jamestown Area Ambulance to offer a Babysitting Clinic for youth ages 11 to 17. During this clinic, youth will be trained to have skills in infant and child care, safety, child development, and more in order to become effective, competent babysitters. They will also learn how to manage a babysitting business of their own. Jamestown Area Ambulance will be there to teach the participants First Aid and CPR. Youth who attend will be eligible to receive their certification in First Aid and CPR through the American Heart Association.

The babysitting clinic will be held on Friday, August 11 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Pre-registration is required to attend this event. There will be a cost of $15 to attend, which covers the certification fee and materials provided at the clinic.

For parents interested in signing up their son or daughter, please contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or email at christina.rittenbach@ndsu.edu. Youth must be between the ages of 11 and 17 to participate. There is limited space, so please call or email to reserve your spot!

For more information on this event, or other events offered by the NDSU Extension Service in Stutsman County, visit our webpage at www.ag.ndsu.edu/stutsmancountyextension or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/stutsmancountyextension



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10 Tips for Smart Snacking

 by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country 7-22-2017

Whether you are a child or an adult, most of us enjoy snacks. Well-chosen snacks can boost your nutrition and keep you energetic at home, work or school. Many nutrition experts recommend three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and two small snacks during the day. Visit www.choosemyplate.gov for more tips.

  1. Save time by slicing veggies. Store sliced vegetables in the refrigerator and serve with dips such as hummus or low-calorie dressing. Top half of a whole-wheat English muffin with spaghetti sauce, chopped vegetables and low-fat shredded mozzarella, and melt in the microwave.
  2. Mix it up. For older school-age kids, mix dried fruit, unsalted nuts and popcorn in a snack-sized bag for a quick trial mix. Blend plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt with 100 percent fruit juice and frozen peaches for a tasty smoothie.
  3. Grab a glass of milk. A cup of low-fat or fat-free milk or milk alternative (soy milk) is an easy way to drink a healthy snack. 
  4. Go for great whole grains. Enjoy whole-wheat breads, popcorn and whole grain cereals that are high in fiber and low in added sugars, saturated fat and sodium. Limit refined-grain products such as snack-bars, cakes and sweetened cereals. 
  5. Nibble on lean protein. Choose lean protein foods such as low-sodium deli meats or unsalted nuts. Wrap sliced, low-sodium deli turkey around an apple wedge. Store hard-cooked (boiled) eggs in the refrigerator for kids to enjoy any time. 
  6. Keep an eye on size.  Snacks shouldn't replace a meal, so look for ways to help your kids understand how much is enough. Store snack-sized bags in the cupboard and use them to control serving sizes. 
  7. Grab and go with whole fruit. Fresh, frozen, dried, or canned fruits are options that need little preparation. Offer whole fruit and limit the amount of 100 percent juice (because it is higher in calories).
  8. Consider convenience. A single-serving container of low-fat or fat-free yogurt or individually wrapped string cheese can be just enough for a quick snack. 
  9. Swap out the sugar. Keep healthier foods handy. Avoid cookies, pastries or candies between meals. Have cut-up fruits and veggies ready to grab from the refrigerator. 
  10. Prepare homemade goodies. For homemade sweets, add dried fruits such as apricots or raisins and reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Adjust recipes that include fats such as butter or shortening by using unsweetened applesauce or prune puree for half the amount of fat.

Foodwi$e Tip

Dried fruit and fruit leather are tasty snacks that you can make at home at a much lower cost. Although using a home food dehydrator is the easiest way to do this, you can also try using your oven to dry fruit. See www.ag.ndsu.edu/food/food-preservation/dry for details about drying fruits and vegetables, and making fruit leathers.

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.

 


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The Fruit with a Fiber Punch

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country 7-15-2017

Do you know which fruit is a great source of fiber?

Most fruits are a good source of fiber, but raspberries top the list on fiber content. One cup of raspberries provides about 8 grams of fiber, which is about one-third of a person’s average daily fiber needs.

Fiber serves many purposes in a healthful diet. Fiber can help lower blood cholesterol, aid in weight loss, help control blood sugar levels and maintain regularity.

Remember to increase your fluid intake if you are adding more fiber to your diet. Be sure to increase fiber intake gradually during a period of a few weeks to avoid symptoms such as intestinal gas and abdominal bloating.

One cup of raspberries also provides about one-half of the recommended daily value for vitamin C. Plus, they’re a good source of disease-fighting natural antioxidants.

Raspberries are a popular fruit in North Dakota because they are fairly easy to grow in our climate. Two main types of raspberry plants are available: summer-bearing and ever-bearing. Planting a combination of the two types can extend your harvest.

Summer-bearers produce one crop per season in the summer months. Ever-bearers bear two crops, one in the summer and one in the fall. All varieties will begin to produce fruit during their second season.

Raspberries often are enjoyed in their fresh form. However, they also can be preserved by freezing or making jam, wine or sorbet. In addition, raspberry leaves can be used to make tea.

Store raspberries in the refrigerator for two to three days. Discard any bruised or moldy raspberries before refrigerating.

To extend the shelf life of raspberries, wait to rinse them under cool, running water until just before eating them.

Raspberries are one of the specialty crops that can be grown in North Dakota. Visit the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Field to Fork website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/fieldtofork for more information about growing and using a variety of specialty crops, including raspberries.

For more information on this topic, contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or



Harvest or Hay?

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country 7-8-2017

Dry conditions might have some wondering if they should harvest their small grains crop or hay it for livestock feed. Small grains can make good livestock feed, however, there are a few items that should be considered when haying small grains during dry conditions. The following recommendations are from Dr. Joel Ransom, NDSU Extension Cereal Crops Agronomist and Ryan Buetow, NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center Area Agronomist.

Before haying or grazing small grains, make sure you have sorted out the issues regarding crop insurance, and have the adjuster make a yield estimate. Yield can be estimated by measuring out number of spikes in a given area and number of kernels per spike. The general yield estimate formula for small grains seeded in seven inch rows are:

Wheat: grain yield (bu/acre) = (kernels per spike x spikes per 3 ft of row) x 0.0319

Barley: grain yield (bu/acre) = (kernels per spike x spikes per 3 ft of row) x 0.0389

Oats: grain yield (bu/acre) = (kernels per spike x spikes per 3 ft of row) x 0.0504

This formula can be adjusted for different row spacing. For six inch rows, multiply the grain yield estimate by 1.17; for seven and half inch rows, multiply the grain yield estimate by 0.93 and for 10 inch rows, multiply grain yield estimate by 0.58. Remember, this is an estimate and will be valid only if the remainder of the season is favorable for grain filling.

Drought stressed crops can accumulate nitrates to levels that may be toxic to livestock. Have a sample of your crop tested for nitrate levels. Nitrate levels above 1,000 ppm need special consideration when feeding. Follow published guidelines for feeding high nitrate hay and avoid using these hays for lactating or pregnant cows. Nitrate levels will not change much after it has been dried and bailed. Ensiling high nitrate materials, on the other hand, has the potential for reducing nitrate levels over time through the fermentation process. More information on nitrate poisoning can be found in the NDSU Extension Publication Nitrate Poisoning of Livestock (V839).

Nitrate levels can be tested at the NDSU Vet Diagnostic lab. Please follow instruction on the web site (www.vdl.ndsu.edu). Payment needs to be submitted with the sample. A gallon plastic bag full of representative plant material is needed for this test. The plant material can be dried or green.

The optimum time for haying small grains for both amount and quality is when they reach the milk stage. However, if plants are so severely stressed that they are losing leaves and are no longer growing, haying prior to the milk stage will result in a better outcome than waiting.

Weeds can also be a source of high nitrates. Some species accumulate nitrates more than others. Weed species such as kochia, lambsquarters, pigweeds, quackgrass, and Russian thistle have the potential to accumulate high nitrate levels. If there is a large patch of weeds, it may be wise to hay around the weed patch.

For more information, contact Alicia at the Stutsman County Extension office at 701-252-9030 or alicia.harstad@ndsu.edu.



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July is National Picnic Month

by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country 7-1-2017

Summer is a fun time to move cooking and eating outdoors for memorable times with friends and family. Yes, mosquitoes, flies and ants can be annoying pests at picnics. However, the “bugs” we cannot see (bacteria) are more dangerous.

Try this quiz if you are ready to keep your family and friends safe from foodborne illness during hot summer months. “Perishable” means a food will “go bad” if it is kept out too long at room temperature. We need to keep perishable foods out of the temperature danger zone (40 to 140 F) to keep them safe.

1. Which of these foods are not perishable? (choose all that apply)

a. meat and fish; b. trail mix (nuts, dried fruit, cereal mixtures); c. hard-cooked eggs; d. cooked pasta; e. cooked rice; f. peanut butter sandwiches; g. peeled and cut fruits; h. peeled and cut vegetables

2. How long can perishable food be kept on a picnic table (without ice) when the temperature is 90 F?

a. 30 minutes; b. 60 minutes; c. 90 minutes; d. 120 minutes

3. Where should you keep your coolers before you serve food at your picnic?

a. in trunk of a vehicle; b. in the passenger section of a vehicle without air; c. on the picnic table; d. under a shady tree

4. Bring your food thermometer if you plan to cook at your picnic. To what minimum temperature should you cook each of the following foods, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture? (choose from these options: 145 F, 160 F, 165F)

a. chicken breasts; b. ground beef; c. fish; d. beef steak

Answers: 1. b and f; 2. b; 3. d; 4. a. 165 F, b. 160 F, c. 145 F, d. 145 F

Enjoy a variety of foods from the food groups at your picnic. Don’t forget to bring the bug spray, but keep it away from food. Always carefully extinguish campfires when you leave, too!

Food Wi$e tip of the month: Save your food!

Do you ever end up tossing out fresh fruits and vegetables before you have a chance to use them? Most fruits and vegetables freeze very well. Some vegetables need to be “blanched” (boiled in water for a short time) before freezing to maintain good color. Be sure to use freezer bags or containers. You can find free directions about freezing and other ways to preserve foods on the North Dakota State University Extension Service website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/food and clicking on “Food Preservation.”

Excerpted from http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletterpostings. For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program and Family Nutrition Program education assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Ave. SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella. morehouse@ndsu.edu.



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Are You Having ‘The Talk’ About Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs?

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country 6-24-17

The last couple of months have been filled with exciting events for high school-age students. Prom and graduation top the list for many as “rites of passage.”

This season of celebrations also is the time parents are thinking about how they will talk to their high school students about alcohol and other drugs.

Many parents have been using tools to teach their children to make healthy choices since they were toddlers. Parents know that having a good relationship with their children is like money in the bank; a reserve of good feelings will carry them through the rough times.

As a result, children know they always are able to talk to their parents about anything. Family dinnertime discussions are lively. The children also know how to identify and resist peer pressure through conversations and practice with each other and their parents.

One important note for parents: We do not raise children in a vacuum, and children find their way to potentially destructive substances such as alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for many reasons, even with positive parenting.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service recommends starting early when raising kids to resist alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Two resources to look at now, no matter the age of your child - birth to young adult - are Parents LEAD (Listen, Educate, Ask, Discuss) at www.Parentslead.org and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)  at www.samhsa.gov/talk-they-hear-you/parent-resources/five-conversation-goals.

Here are five strategies from SAMHSA to discourage underage drinking:

  • Show you disapprove of underage drinking. More than 80 percent of young people ages 10 to 18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink.
  • Show you care about your child’s happiness and well-being. Try to reinforce why you don’t want your child to drink, not just because you say so, but because you want your child to be happy and safe.
  • Show you are a good source of information about alcohol. You don’t want your child to be learning about alcohol from friends, the internet or the media. You want to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.
  • Show you are paying attention and you will notice if your child drinks. You want to show you’re keeping an eye on
    • your child because young people are more likely to drink if they think no one will notice.
    • Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding underage drinking. Even if your child doesn’t want to drink, peer pressure is a powerful thing. Build skills and practice them with your kids.

    Even though parents have raised their children to make healthy decisions, they still make a point of reiterating the faith they have in their children’s ability to follow the rules. They’re also helping their children practice how to say “no” in likely peer pressure situations in preparation for the upcoming graduation parties, prom and summer nights around the campfire.

    For more information on this topic, contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or .


Flag the Technology

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country - 6.17.2017

This year is the first year that dicamba tolerant soybeans will be able to be commercial grown in North Dakota. This means there potentially could be conventional, Round-Up Ready (glyphosate tolerant), Liberty Link (glufosinate tolerant) and Xtend (dicamba tolerant) soybeans all being grown in fields neighboring each other. In corn, we currently have conventional, Round-Up Ready and Liberty Link varieties available. With all these different herbicide traits available, it is important to use flags to mark what herbicide traits are in a field so that commercial applicators, crop scouts, neighboring farmers or farm employees can all have the peace of mind of knowing for sure what herbicides can be used in a field.

This concept was started in Arkansas in 2011 and the movement has been called “flag the technology”. Below is a picture from the University of Arkansas Extension publication FSA2162 which explains the flag the technology concept. A red flag marks a conventional field, a white flag marks a Round-up Ready field, a green flag marks a Liberty Link field and a black and white checker flag marks an Xtend field. Flags should be about 12 x 18 inch triangular shaped on a six-foot fiberglass pole for best visibility. Flags are available through your seed company or are available from a few vendors that can be found through a Google search. One such vendor is Parker Flags (www.parkerflags.com).

flag

For more information, contact Alicia at the Stutsman County Extension office at 701-252-9030 or .


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June is Dairy Month

by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country - 6.10.2017

School is out, so daytime milk breaks have ended for kids. Keep dairy on your menu this summer, but not just for kids. We all need calcium and vitamin D to keep our bones strong, and potassium and protein to keep our heart and muscles working properly.

Milk is a convenient "nutrition package" with nine essential nutrients. We should aim for three servings of dairy every day, according to the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Milk, yogurt, and cheese are included in the dairy group, and the guidelines recommend consuming low-fat or fat-free milk.

Some recent research featured on the news suggests that higher-fat milk products may have a protective effect against heart disease and diabetes. As research is published, recommendations are updated, so stay tuned. For now, remember that all types of milk contain about the same amount of calcium and vitamin D.

How Much Calcium Do I Need?

Find your age, gender and daily calcium recommendations in milligrams (mg) on the chart.

Age

Male

Female

0-6 months

200 mg

200mg

7-12 months

260 mg

260 mg

1-3 years

700 mg

700 mg

4-8 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg 

9-13 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

14-18 years

1,300 mg

1,300 mg

19-50 years

1,000 mg

1,000 mg

51-70 years

1,000 mg

1,200 mg

71+ years

1,200 mg

1,200 mg

Quick Tip: Calcium is listed as a percentage daily value on Nutrition Facts labels. To convert to milligrams, add a zero. For example, 1 cup of milk provides 30 percent of the daily value or 300 milligrams calcium. (This conversion only works with calcium.) See www.choosemyplate.gov/dairy-calcium-sources for more calcium options.

What if members of my family cannot drink milk due to allergies or lactose intolerance?

Someone who is allergic to milk cannot consume milk because he or she may have life-threatening reactions. Be sure to look for the milk allergen statement ("Contains milk") right under the ingredient list on Nutrition Facts labels. Calcium-fortified soy beverages and other fortified foods and beverages would be an option for those allergic to milk.

People with lactose intolerance do not have enough of an enzyme (natural chemical that breaks down the sugar). When they drink milk, they might get gas, diarrhea, and stomachaches. Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate yogurt or cheese better than fluid milk, or they can have milk with meals. Lactose-free dairy products are another option.

Local Dairy Day Event

Check out Dairy Day at Dr. Dawn’s on Thursday, June 15th from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Baby calves, dairy-themed carnival games and prizes, dairy trivia, dairy treats, milking cow and more at Dr. Dawn’s Pet Shop located at 1202 12th Avenue SE, Jamestown.

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.

 

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The ABCs of Successful Fathering

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country - 6.3.2017

“A father’s work is child’s play.” This observation actually captures a unique truth, the reality that the most important work a man will ever do is within the walls of his own home. How can fathers connect at home in the important work of fathering a child?

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and we will be celebrating the father and father figures in our lives. Here are a few building blocks to think about this Father’s Day that are the ABCs of successful fathering.

A is for Available. Being around is the first step to being available to your kids. To a child, love is spelled T-I-M-E. This may require some effort on the part of a father. Examine your work schedule. Come home a little earlier. Take more time together in the evenings. Children want parents to be available for time with them.

A is for Attentiveness. Attentiveness to your children means paying focused attention to their feelings and activities. Do you know your child’s favorite color? Do you know what activity your child would most like to do with you? Attentiveness is crucial to seeing and following a child’s invitations to be involved.

A is for Activities. According to recent research, the most significant way for fathers to connect with their children is through participating in shared activities. Men feel close to their children when they are doing things together that are fun, engaging, or focused on learning. The key is doing something together, not just talking, and this can range from reading to playing checkers to going fishing. Just do something—together.

B is for Big Moments. Be there in the Big Moments of your child’s life. Be there at birth, on birthdays, at school performances. If you want to be a big influence in your child’s life, be there for the big moments.

B is for Be Playful. Play together! Dads excel at this, the most under-rated but important aspect of parenting. It builds great relationships and fosters learning. Fathers can challenge a child’s abilities, provide opportunities for growth, and build bonds of connection through play.

B is for Be a Model. Fathers are role models, whether they want to be or not, and children learn by observing and imitating. Discuss personal values that you wish to instill in your children. Be a model of good behavior.

C is for Connection. Connection for fathers occurs through involvement in activities with children, talking, and providing support. Research shows connection is among the most important aspects of parenting.

C is for Coaching. A good coach will give counsel, and a father is a good coach. He will give time and listen. He will create teaching opportunities and share stories. He will introduce new skills. He will be gentle in discipline, firm in his guidance, and clear in his message of support.

The ABCs of successful fathering provide a foundation point for fathers as they seek to build healthy and caring relationships with the children they love. If you begin with the ABCs, you are laying the foundation for success.

For more information on this topic, contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or .

 

Gardening Morning – June 3rd

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country - 5.27.2017

The first annual Gardening Morning event will be held on June 3rd from 9 am to 1 pm at the Stutsman County Extension office (502 10th Ave SE, Jamestown). This event is being organized by the Stutsman County Master Gardeners.

Garden Morning will consist of keynote speakers, vendors, kid crafts and food will be served all morning. The keynote speakers include: Theresa Podoll will talk about growing garlic at 9:30 am, Kara Kramin will talk about hostas at 10:30 am and Gerry D’Amour will talk about pollinator gardens at 11:30 am. There are several vendors present that will be selling various gardening supplies and décor. Master Gardeners will be teaching kid crafts where kids will be able to make their very own garden decorations. So, bring the kids! The Prairie Pals 4-H club of Stutsman County and the Sew & Sow 4-H club of LaMoure County will be serving food throughout the whole event. They will be taking free-will donations to raise money for the Wildfire Relief Fund which supports farmers and ranchers in the southern plains that were effected by massive wildfires this spring.

Garden Morning will be a great event for gardeners to take in free seminars, browse vendor booths, entertainment for the kids and an opportunity to support the Wildfire Relief Fund. The event is free and there will be prizes given away that have been donated by the vendors. For more information, contact the Extension office at 701-252-9030, e-mail Alicia at or checkout our Facebook page or website (www.ag.ndsu.edu/stutsmancountyextension).


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Power Up for Summer Fun with Summer Meals

by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country - 5.20.2017

Learning and good nutrition does not end when school lets out. The USDA Summer Food Service Program helps provide free nutritious meals to children in low-income areas so they are better fueled with healthy food to learn and grow.

Children need healthy food all year long. During the school year, many children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Program. When school lets out many of these children are at risk of hunger. Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process.

Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again and make children more prone to illness and other health issues. The Summer Food Service Program is designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children get the nutritious meals they need.

FREE summer meals are offered to all children 18 and younger; there is no enrollment, no cost.  Youth may come and eat at the Jamestown summer feeding site located at Washington Elementary, 700 4th Avenue NW.

Breakfast is served from 8:00 am – 9:00 am and lunch is served from 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm. Jamestown Summer Meals will be offered Monday through Friday – June 5th through July 28th, please use the north doors to enter the building.

Power Up for Summer Fun! Summer Meals Kickoff Event for Jamestown Summer Meals is scheduled for June 6th between 11:30 am to 12:30 pm at Washington Elementary.  This will be a great time for the Jamestown Community to learn about the importance and availability of Summer Meals to ensure we can reach as many children in need of healthy meals.

As part of my summer work and collaboration with the Summer Food Service Program feeding site, I will be holding several nutrition education events during the lunch hour to get kids and families excited about healthy eating and physical activity during the summer months.

The activities are designed to motivate kids and families to choose more fruits and vegetables, choose water instead of sugary drinks, get enough physical activity every day, and to limit screen time.

Source: USDA: Summer Food Service Program. For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.


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Preschoolers Can Help in the Kitchen

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country - 5.13.2017

Imagine never cooking your own food. Consider a world where you are served every meal at your table. Then, when you are finished eating, you get up and leave to do what your day requires of you.

This is the life many of our children experience, at least to age 3 or 4. Beyond that, most children can help some way in food preparation, serving and cleanup.

“The Family Table,” an initiative of The North Dakota State University Extension Service has resources at www.ag.ndsu.edu/familytable to help you get your kids involved in family meals.

The expectations for young children might be to wash their hands and set some parts of the table. Or children might be required to carry the cold salad or ketchup to the table and, after the meal, carry their own dirty dishes to the sink or dishwasher. This is all under the watchful eye of the head chef, of course.

As parents, our job is to teach our children how to become respectful, self-sufficient adults and responsible citizens. The kitchen is the perfect place for these and many more lessons. Plus, we all have to eat, so why not make meal preparation a special time to talk, laugh, enjoy each other’s company and learn valuable lessons, too?

Young children likely want to be near their favorite adults, especially around mealtime. Three-year-olds who know how to tear paper will be great with the salad greens. They are also in love with stirring.

Perhaps healthful appetizers are your preschooler’s specialty. Your child can arrange and serve wheat crackers, cheese, fruit, cottage cheese, fresh vegetables and dips with pride.

Serving this type of appetizer helps keep all family members from digging into high-carbohydrate and high-calorie foods while they wait for the oven timer to sound. Healthful appetizers can become the first course in a nutritious meal.

Even young children can learn to share the jobs and tools required in cooking. They quickly realize that putting together a meal takes ingredients and time, and people have to work to make that happen. Kids who grow up in the kitchen will begin to see connections between their food and its origin, including the importance of taking care of the Earth and its resources. They also will learn math skills and experience science first hand, right there near the kitchen sink.

Preschoolers who have the opportunity to practice working in the kitchen will learn to appreciate those times when someone does serve them their dinner. It can be a “first course” in learning to be a needed family member and a respectful, self-sufficient, responsible citizen.

Eat, connect and savor at the family table (www.ag.ndsu.edu/familytable).  Join the challenges and sign up for an electronic newsletter with recipes and tips. Follow the program on Facebook for more tips, meal plans and ideas for getting conversations going during family meals.

For more information on this topic, contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or christina.rittenbach@ndsu.edu

 

Understand Dicamba Tolerant Soybean Labels Before Using

by Alicia Harstad

Published in the Sun Country - 5.6.2017

Dicamba tolerant soybeans are going to be a new tool for farmers this growing season. It is exciting that we will have new technology to help control weeds. However, the herbicide label for new dicamba products is different than any other label we have seen. There are some important points to know if you plan on using the new dicamba tolerant soybean technology. The labels have several “DO NOT” statements that the applicator should be aware of. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  1. XtendiMax, from Monsanto, Engenia from BASF and FeXapan from DuPont are the only low volatile dicamaba products currently labeled for use Xtend soybeans (dicamba tolerant soybeans). Generic dicamba products CAN NOT be applied on Xtend soybeans.
  2. XtendiMax, Engenia, FeXapan are low volatile formulations of dicamba. Basically, the molecules are bigger and heavier then generic dicamba formulations. However, just because these products are low volatile formulations, this does not completely eliminate the vapor or particle drift potential.
  3. For the first time ever, the labels specify the labeled rate. This means the applicator must apply the application rate specified in the label – a lower rate would be considered off label.
  4. Another new part of these labels is there is a website extension of the label that states all approved tank-mix and nozzle combinations. An applicator must check the website no more than seven days prior to application to ensure the tank-mix and nozzle combination is still listed on the website. The website is being updated daily, thus applicators should check back often. For XtendiMax the website is: www.xtendimaxapplicationrequirements.com , for Engenia the website is www.engeniatankmix.com and for FeXapan the website is: fexapanapplicationrequirements.dupont.com.   
  5. Do not add AMS or UAN in the tank mix. Ammonium additives cause the new dicamba products to become very volatile. 
  6. Wind speed is specified on the label. If wind speed is less than 3 MPH or over 15 MPH the product cannot be applied. There is also specific language about buffer zones when sensitive areas or susceptible crops are downwind. It is very important to understand and read this portion of the label.
  7. Application volume, ground speed and boom height are also specified on the label. Minimum application volume is 10 gallons per acre, ground speed cannot exceed 15 MPH and boom height cannot be more than 24 inches above target.
  8. Sprayer cleanout is going to be extremely important. Soybeans without the dicamba tolerance gene are extremely sensitive to dicamba and very little dicamba left in the tank can cause injury. 
  9. The new dicamba product labels have temporary approval from the EPA. In a couple years, the EPA will re-evaluate the products to determine if the products should be continued to be labeled.
  10. Don’t forget about weed resistance management. Dicamba tolerant soybeans should be looked as a weed resistance tool rather than a cure. Over use of dicamba over time will cause weeds to become resistant. Even the labels have weed resistance management information written in them.

Again, reading and understanding the new dicamba product labels is going to be very important before applying them. If we want to keep dicamba tolerant soybeans a viable option, we need to know and understand the label to be good stewards of the products. For more information, contact Alicia at the Extension office at 701-252-9030 or alicia.harstad@ndsu.edu.

 

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Three Tips to Healthier Spring and Summer Celebrations

 by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun Country - 4.29.2017

Celebrations often are exciting and memorable times filled with family, friends and food. Nourish your body every time you eat, whether you are celebrating a birthday, graduation, wedding shower, holiday or every day.  Try these three tips:

1. Incorporate at least three different food groups into celebration foods.

MyPlate, the current dietary guidelines for Americans, includes five food groups: grains, vegetables, fruits, protein and dairy. When deciding on the menu, think how you can incorporate at least three of these food groups. Here are some ways to add nutrition and variety to your menu:

  • Make sandwiches with whole-grain breads or use whole-grain pasta in salads.
  • Include a colorful vegetable tray on the menu.
  • Try fruit parfaits instead of cake as a sweet treat.
  • Use lean or extra-lean beef and poultry in sandwiches and casseroles, or serve hummus (made from protein-rich chickpeas) as a tasty dip with pita chips.
  • Replace higher-fat sour cream with plain yogurt in dips.

2. Explore ingredient substitutions.

Trim calories and/or add fiber, vitamins and minerals with these more healthful swaps. See the NDSU Extension Service publication "Now Serving: Recipe Makeovers" for many ideas.

Ingredient

  Healthier Swap

1 cup sour cream

  1 cup nonfat yogurt

1 cup mayonnaise

  1 cup nonfat yogurt

1 cup all-purpose flour

  1/2 cup flour plus 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup oil

  1/4 cup oil plus 1/4 cup applesauce

3. Make food fun.

Get kids (and adults) involved in food preparation. Have a food activity, such as making "bugs on a log" (celery, nut butter and raisins). Or create a picture on your plate with healthful foods.

Question: My kids try to avoid vegetables, but I'm working on encouraging them to try some new vegetables. We have a community garden near us. When can we start planting?

Gardening with children is an excellent way to promote good health in many ways. Your children (and you) will get exercise as they weed and water the garden, and your family will have delicious vegetables to eat throughout the season.

The first couple weeks of May are a good time to plant leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, and potatoes. The last weeks in May are best for beans, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Lettuce will be the first "crop" you will harvest.

Through gardening, children learn many skills beyond nutrition and fitness. They learn about cooperation and working with others.

For more tips, see "Gardening with Children" at www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/hortcrop/fn1372.pdf

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.

 

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Save for Emergencies

by Christina Rittenbach

Published in the Sun Country - 4.22.2017

Make a pledge to save money for emergencies.

A lot of Americans aren’t in the habit of saving. Only 54 percent say they have a savings plan with specific goals, 43 percent have a spending plan that allows them to save enough money to achieve the goals for which they are saving, and 66 percent have sufficient emergency funds.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service’s personal and family finance website (www.ag.ndsu.edu/money/) offers tips on how to set financial goals and save for them, and can help you get started. It’s an opportunity for you to assess your saving status.

An emergency savings fund is money that can be accessed easily in case of an emergency. A lot of experts suggest having enough money in an emergency fund to cover three to six months of expenses. However, just having something is better than nothing. Start with $500 to $1,000 in an account for unexpected expenses such as a car repair, doctor visit, dental expenses or broken appliance that needs to be replaced.

An emergency fund not only provides you with money to pay for unexpected expenses, but it also gives you peace of mind because you know you can afford these types of financial emergencies. Not having an emergency fund is one reason many individuals borrow too much money at high interest rates by charging expenses to a credit card or using an alternative borrowing method (payday loans, car title loans, pawn shops, etc.).

Make sure you can get to your money in case of an emergency; find a safe place to put your money. It should be some place that’s easily accessible and will not cost you extra if you need to make a withdrawal. For example, a savings account at a bank or credit union would be a better choice than a certificate of deposit (CD). CDs need to be held for a specific amount of time (months or years), and early withdrawals are subject to penalties.

Automate your savings. Have a certain amount of your check, perhaps $100 a month, put into a savings account instead of your checking account. If the money never is in an account to which you have daily access, you will be less likely to spend it. Or if you are expecting a tax refund in the next few months, split your refund and put some away for a rainy day.

For more information on this topic, you can contact Christina Rittenbach, Stutsman County Extension agent, at 252-9030 or christina.rittenbach@ndsu.edu

 

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Shaping Up for Spring

 by Luella Morehouse

Published in the Sun County - 4.8.2017

During the spring, we may feel like refreshing our home by cleaning and organizing closets. Maybe we should do a diet and physical activity checkup to find out if our lifestyle needs to be refreshed.

Eating a healthful diet and being more active can help lower your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. You can have fun and feel more energetic in the process!

Track Your Eating Habits

For a couple of days as a starting point, write down what and how much you eat and drink. Use a journal, log your intake on your calendar, or use an online tool such as SuperTracker at www.choosemyplate.gov. Don't forget to include beverages, sauces, spreads, and sides. It all counts.

Diet Checkup: Are you missing any food groups? Many people are short of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Adults should aim for 4½ cups of colorful fruits and vegetables each day.

Try These Tips to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables.

  • Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a stir-fry or soup.
  • Include a green salad with your dinner every night.
  • Make a fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack.
  • Pack a clementine, banana, or grapes in your lunch.

Track Your Activity

For one week, write down the physical activities you do. Log each activity that you do for at least ten minutes at a time. Use SuperTracker, a phone app or a journal, or make a calendar.

Physical Activity Checkup: Are you getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity on five or more days of the week?

Try These Tips to Stay Active.

  • Set some "exercise dates" and write your plans on a calendar. Check off the activity after you do it.
  • Plant a garden in your backyard or in a community garden. Raking, planting, pulling weeds and harvesting all count as physical activity.
  • Check out community classes. Does your community have a "fun walk" or "fun run"? Pull together a team and train together.
  • Take regular breaks from technology. Turn off the TV and computer, and put away phones and other devices. Go outside and enjoy a park or walking path.

For more tips to increase fruits, vegetables or other food groups and more ideas to be active, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Foodwi$e Tip of the Month

Enjoy produce in season for best quality and best price.

Here are some of the fresh fruits and vegetables in season in the spring: asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, lettuce, mangos, onions, pineapple, rhubarb, snap peas, spinach, strawberries, and turnips.

Excerpted from “http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise/newsletter-postings.”  For more information on this topic, contact Luella Morehouse, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and Family Nutrition Program (FNP) Education Assistant, NDSU Extension Service Stutsman County, 502 10th Avenue SE, Jamestown, ND. You can reach me at 252-9030 or luella.morehouse@ndsu.edu.

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