Wednesday, February 26, 2014

District 4-H Members Participate in Citizenship in Action

by Daphne Manning, 4-H Program Coordinator, Mankato Office

Citizenship in Action(CIA) is an opportunity for Kansas youth to learn about how the state legislative process works, how their voice and participation in decision-making can make a difference in their communities, and for legislators to see the positive impacts of 4-H. This year’s CIA was held in Topeka at the Kansas State Capitol on February 16 and 17. The three delegates from Post Rock District who attended were Emily Cox, Jared Long, and Sidney Odle. 

L to R:  Emily Cox, Mankato; Jared Long and Sidney Odle, Beloit.
Upon arrival at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, they were assigned to either the Senate or House committees. An hour was spent in legislative writing sessions to prepare bills to be discussed, debated, and voted on in the Senate and House chambers later that evening at the state capitol building. The legislation under discussion was: a bill to have the elderly tested for safer driving, a bill to require drug testing to receive welfare benefits, a bill to require a doctor’s approval to return to athletic activities following ALL injuries, and a bill to access a fine to owners/farmers if their livestock get out of their confined area.

The 4-H youth were also encouraged to invite their respective legislators to the banquet on Sunday evening, or to meet with them at the capitol building on Monday to discuss their involvement with 4-H and their role with the state government. Emily, Jared and Sidney each met with their respective House members, and the three met with their area Senator. The two days were an excellent learning quest, and one they will not soon forget.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why Am I Tired All The Time?

by Kathy Lupfer Nielsen, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, founder of the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving, says there are four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers those that are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers and those who will need caregivers. According to the article “Emotional Fatigue” in Today’s Caregiver online article, there should be a fifth caregiver type added to the list, those who don’t realize that they have begun their caregiving journey.

This category is where many of us find ourselves when we’re helping Mom with her checkbook or Dad by calling him daily to remind him to take his medicine. Self-identifying as a caregiver can help you understand the emotional weariness you may be experiencing plus help you look for ways to manage it.

What are some of the symptoms of emotional fatigue? Waiting-for-the-other-shoe- to drop tension; Bouts of sadness or the blues; Mental sluggishness; Feelings of frustration, anger or guilt; Feelings of resentment or impatience towards the family member you are “just” helping; Poor sleep and increased aches and pains and blood pressure.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you need to put a name on it. The quicker you self-identify your new role, the easier it will be to deal with the emotional roller-coaster ride as your responsibilities of caregiving increase. Listen to what your emotions are telling you as this will help you deal with what you are going through. It is sad to watch your parents or special neighbor grow older and be a helper for them…so admit you’re sad and then embrace the changes as best you can by self-care.

Let go of what is out of your control, recognize your limitations and find some help through other family members or local agencies. This will help your well-being.

Every situation is different and so your options will be individualized. Another source of information I located, recommended the 4 R principles; Relax, Rest, Reflect and Release. Relax and rest are the first steps to deal with your emotional fatigue…then you can move onto reflecting…remembering the good times with your family member as you then can release the situation and move forward to caregiving for yourself and your loved one. is a wonderful website with a wealth of information about caregiving.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tobacco use: A youth ‘bully’ worth fighting

by Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

Each day more than 3,200 youth under the age of 18 become daily smokers. Without intervention they’ll join the 9 out of every 10 adult smokers who picked up their first cigarette by the age of 18. Peer pressure and social rewards often get blamed for encouraging the first cigarette, but contrary to popular belief there are more teens who don’t smoke than those that do.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new tobacco education campaign is focused on spreading the message to more than 10 million youth in the age range of 12-17 who are open to trying their first cigarette and who have started experimenting. The Real Cost campaign spreads the anti-tobacco message through a reality check about the financial and health costs associated with tobacco use such as tooth decay, premature aging, and stunted growth (and those are just the beginning of negative health effects). After all, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths each year. Financially, tobacco use has an annual impact of approximately $289 billion on healthcare systems, and that doesn’t consider the fees paid to get a ‘fix’ in your hand. Nicotine is an addictive drug, a ‘bully’ that can manipulate and control lives quickly. The Real Cost is focused on youth with hopes of shattering myths that tobacco-use is a popular trend. 

Join the 9 out of 10 high school students who choose not to smoke, and fight to take the ‘cool’ out of tobacco use. Contact your local extension office to gain insight and find resources that can help you communicate with important people in your life about tough issues…like tobacco use.



The Real Cost campaign, by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, <>

FDA launches its first national public education campaign to prevent, reduce youth tobacco use FDA News release, February 4, 2014

The Real Cost Commercials

photo credit:

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Post Rock Extension hosts KSU Sorghum School

by Sandra Wick, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent

Dr. Curtis Thompson, K-State Research and Extension Weed specialist and State Leader, visits with ag producers and agribusinesses on weed control strategies in grain sorghum.

Recently, Post Rock Extension District hosted one of the KSU Sorghum Schools in Beloit. Nine K-State Research and Extension faculty presented information on weed control strategies, disease management, planting management, risk management, web and mobile apps, soil fertility and insect management.

The following is some of the highlights from the meeting:

  • Be on the lookout for weeds early in the season. For season long coverage, a pre-plant and post-emergence herbicide application is recommended.
  • KSU research has determined palmer amaranth (pigweed) has developed some weed resistance in Kansas. Pre-plant herbicides that have shown some control include Callisto, Callisto plus Atrazine, Balance Flexx plus atrazine, and Lumax EZ.
  • DuPont herbicide “Zest” – new herbicide for ALS resistant sorghum for 2014. Similar to Beacon or Accent.
  • Marestail control in grain sorghum has become a challenge. Several combinations of herbicides have shown some control including Atrazine/Dicamba; Split application of Lumax (pre-plant and at planting); or Huskie with Atrazine.
  • Greatest return in nutrient management for grain sorghum is nitrogen and phosphorus, but only if based on SOIL TESTS.
  • Several management strategies can affect nitrogen update including tillage/residue cover; soil type, texture and drainage; application methods and the rate.
  • Remember the 4 R’s of fertility management including the RIGHT rate, place, time and source products.
  • Dribble and knifing are two of the more efficient methods of application for nitrogen.
  • The rate of “tie-up” of nitrogen (N) depends on the kind of residue.
  • Timing of the nitrogen application “at planting” yielded a higher grain sorghum yield in KSU research with Agrotain.
  • Moisture is needed to move the sidedress N fertilizer application down into the soil profile.
  • The use of urease inhibitors should be based on your tillage methods. The use of urease inhibitors in a “conventional” tillage is not needed because of the incorporation of the nitrogen while a “no-till” system will see a response from urease inhibitors.
  • Grain sorghum may see a response to the micro-nutrient, Chloride (CL) with an application, if the soil tests indicate less than 30 lbs. in the soil profile based on a 24” sample.

If you were unable to attend and would like information from the meeting contact any office of the Post Rock Extension District in Beloit, Lincoln, Mankato, Osborne or Smith Center.