Merry Christmas from Your Extension Staff

With Christmas being only days away, many families are scurrying around trying to make last minute preparations.  This year, I decided I would NOT attempt to have a spotless house, perfectly wrapped packages, and my meal planned out to the last condiment.  Instead, I want to enjoy my family, even if the kitchen might have a little clutter, or my floors might have a little tracked-in dirt. Another hurdle that many of you might be...

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2014 Optimization of Beef and Forage Production in Hopkins County

Relevance: Beef production is a 2.96 billion dollar industry in the East Region per data in the 2008 production year. The predominant beef producer in the region is a cow/calf producer with less than 100 head. All beef enterprises are affected by climate status as well as market variability. County-based Program Area Committees firmly establish the need for educational programs targeted for beef producers enabling them to increase...

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Giving a Bicycle for Christmas? Don’t Forget the Helmet!
Dec08

Giving a Bicycle for Christmas? Don’t Forget the Helmet!

Bicycles are always a popular gift at Christmas time, and many parents are shopping now for that perfect new bicycle for their child – maybe even their first bicycle.  This is an excellent opportunity to teach children about the importance of wearing a helmet to protect their head.  According to National Safe Kids, helmets can reduce the risk of severe brain injury by up to 88%, but only 45% of children wear bike helmets.  Safe Kids...

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Marriage Education and Master Wellness Volunteer Training Offer Winter Opportunities

With the approaching Christmas season, I’m also getting geared up for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s winter workshops.  Two fabulous opportunities are available for anyone wanting to participate, and I wanted to get the word out in plenty of time for you to write it on your calendar!  Here is a summary of the upcoming events:      Twogether in Texas Marriage Education Workshop – As one of the certified providers in the area, this...

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Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas
Nov25

Thanksgiving Leftover Ideas

What glorious weather we have had this week!  Many families gathered around the Thanksgiving table to celebrate this special time of year.  With that celebration comes wonderful foods, such as turkey or ham, dressing, and an assortment of tasty vegetables, such as green beans, sweet potatoes, and salads.  Most families will have leftover turkey, which can become dry when reheated.  However, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has come to...

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Herd Bull Selection
Nov18

Herd Bull Selection

Recently, I got a producer request for assistance selecting a bull for his herd. He sent me the breeder’s EPD’s related to the bulls they had for sale. After studying the values, I asked the rancher the first basic question during bull selection: What characteristics are you trying to change in your herd? After a short conversation, I determined his needs and was in a better situation to offer sound advice. During our conversation, he...

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Traveling with Children for the Holidays? Remember to Use Car Seats Properly
Nov18

Traveling with Children for the Holidays? Remember to Use Car Seats Properly

With Thanksgiving and Christmas soon approaching, families will be traveling by car and airplane to visit with friends and relatives.  This is a good time to stop and think about having your child in the proper car seat before you begin to plan your trip.  Although parents always want to protect their children, studies show that nationally, 3 out of 4 car seats are not used correctly.  For a car seat to best protect your child, it...

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“Christmas Joys” Program to be Repeated on December 3rd, 2014
Nov17

“Christmas Joys” Program to be Repeated on December 3rd, 2014

Many individuals missed the “Christmas Joys” program held on November 10, or were on the waiting list and were not able to get in. So, I am offering a condensed version of the program on Wednesday, November 10, 1:30 p.m. at the Extension Office. Attendees will receive the full booklet, along with a goody bag, refreshments, and a chance to win a door prize. The demonstrations will be “Everything Old is New Again”.  Seating is limited...

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Infant Botulism and the Honey Connection
Nov13

Infant Botulism and the Honey Connection

Ahh, Thanksgiving and Christmas are rapidly approaching, and gifts of honey seem to be popular.  Honey is a staple food around our house.  My husband enjoys it at breakfast on rolls…and at lunch and dinner, as well!  Honey is a great ingredient in many desserts, and even as a beverage sweetener.  However, there are some cautions for parents of small children when it comes to serving them honey. Tragic stories around infant botulism...

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Plant Care in Cold Weather
Nov12

Plant Care in Cold Weather

The first part of November has brought extreme temperatures to our county. It was really hard to believe having days in the mid 70’s followed by near freezing temperatures the day after. These changes in temperatures create biological responses in plants and insects, with some seeds and eggs hatching or changing due to the temperature swings. As our agricultural field get ready for our winter season, there is plenty to do in gardens...

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