Friday, August 29, 2014

Post Rock Cattlemen’s Day a Great Success

by Neil Cates, Livestock Production Agent

The Post Rock Cattlemen’s Day took place on Saturday, August 23 in Sylvan Grove. It was a great success! The day consisted of the Cow/Calf Classic Show, various vendors on display, and a presentation from Dr. Dave Rethorst.

The Cow/Calf Classic Show had a total of 38 entries. The cattle were scored out of a total of 300 points. The points were divided into 100 possible points for the cow, 100 possible points for the calf, and 100 possible points from the computer index. The cows were judged based on: structure, balance, movement, muscle, size and scale, udder and teat quality, and femininity. The calves were judged on: muscling, structure, balance, and size for their age.

Dr. Rethorst delivered a message about the importance and mission of Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training. Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that provides guidelines for beef cattle production. The programs objective is to raise consumer confidence through offering proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry. Dr. Rethorst is the director of outreach for Kansas State Universities’ Beef Cattle Institute. He is in charge of delivering BQA trainings across the state.


There was a total of $1500 prize money paid out to the top eight places at the show with additional contributions from Key Feeds and Smart Lic Supplements, Midway Coop Golden Feeds and J&R Feeds. The top eight places were as followed: 8th-Bar C Ranch, 7th-Mike Rosebrook, 6th-Janet Hiitter, 5th-Erica Rahmeier, 4th-Kent Rahmeier, 3rd-Justin Ringler, 2nd-Emily Carney, and 1st-Gerald Hiitter.

Post Rock Cattlemen’s Day is more than a cattle show. It is a day to bring people together. Our local sponsors get to set up displays to promote their businesses to the public. It also brings cattlemen from across the district together to interact through friendly competition. We hope to see you there next year!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Online ‘Prepare Kansas’ Challenge Can Help Individuals, Families Get Disaster Ready

by Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

Sometimes, life in the heartland is not for the faint of heart. At least that’s the way it seems when homes and communities experience tornadoes, flooding, drought and other disasters like Kansas communities can.

For every disaster that makes the news, there are many more fires, storms and others that we don’t hear about. Each disaster can be just as devastating to an individual, a family, or a neighborhood and recovering from any disaster is difficult.

Take the #PrepareKS Challenge!
Prepare Kansas is a new K-State Research and Extension online challenge designed to help individuals, families and businesses become better prepared ahead of disasters, in order to make recovery easier. The free program focuses on a few activities every week during September, coinciding with September’s designation as National Preparedness Month by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A little work now can make recovering from a disaster less difficult. The Prepare Kansas challenge is broken down into a few activities to do every week, which makes the tasks easier than if you are trying to complete them from a long list. Weekly tasks include: Developing a Household Inventory, Checking for Adequate Insurance Coverage, Putting Together a Grab and Go Box, and Recovery Tips for After a Disaster.

Each week, K-State Research and Extension will be sharing disaster preparedness resources with registered participants directly via email. You can also stay connected to the challenge at the Post Rock Extension Facebook Page or by following Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent, on Twitter.

Register for the Prepare Kansas online financial challenge!

Take the challenge on as a family or worksite; don’t put the pressure on just one person to do the work. Working on each activity (inventory, insurance, grab and go, recovery) gives families an opportunity to not only work together on becoming better prepared, but can spark discussions about preparedness in general and the best ways to handle future emergencies.

For more information or to register for Prepare Kansas, contact your local Post Rock District Office in Mankato 378-3174, Beloit 738-3597, Lincoln 524-4432, Osborne 346-2521, or Smith Center 282-6823. You can also email Nora Rhoades at

Disaster Preparedness Resources:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Family First

by Nora Rhoades, Family & Youth Development Agent

Our communities are beginning to transition into the new school year. Whether or not you have children, you are sure to notice the shift to a different routine. Did you miss the opportunity to successfully review and revise habits and priorities when we rang in the New Year? Fortunately, the start of the school year brings cooler days and learner-friendly schedules that provide another opportunity to refocus and recommit to relationships.

Work, school and other priorities should complement not compensate for a lack of family interaction. Those that protect and value the family are more likely to experience a dependable foundation of trust, honesty, faithfulness, and sharing… qualities that ensure sustainability and strength. Having a ‘family first’ mentality does not imply you should omit all extra-curricular involvement. Rather, this mentality provides a constant reminder to carefully evaluate how each activity aligns with the values and goals of your family as a unit and as individuals.

To prepare for the transition into the school year, outline what you want to do, what you ought to do, and what you must do. Then, determine what you can eliminate, modify, substitute, combine, or exchange in order to stay committed to your family. Answer the question ‘Why?’ as you analyze your day. You may discover some activities that align with your values and interests are getting covered by rubbish. Recognizing ‘why’ gives you permission to make a change for the better.

Balancing Activities with Family

K-State Radio Network Interview with Charlotte Shoup Olsen, K-State Research and Extension Family Systems Specialist

As a new school year starts, there is typically a mix of anxiety, excitement and stress for students and parents as they consider all the opportunities available for outside activities. It’s natural for parents to want to provide opportunities for their children, while at the same time, protecting time for family activities. However, maintaining that balance is often difficult.

On Sound Living: Charlotte gives some excellent suggestions that can help families balance the time children spend on outside activities and the time they spend with each other. Audio Link:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Post Rock Extension Position Announcement

Post Rock Extension District, Beloit Office, is now accepting applications for a full time Office Professional. For an application and complete job description stop by the office located in the Mitchell County Courthouse or call 785-738-3597.

Applications will be accepted until September 4th. K-State Research & Extension, Post Rock District is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Feeling Stretched as a Caregiver?

by Kathy Lupfer Nielsen, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent


Are you helping a parent, spouse, friend, special needs child or sibling, or someone in the nursing home or across the country? Plan to attend an upcoming program, “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” designed to benefit family caregivers. The program series will start on September 16th at Smith Center Courthouse meeting room from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. and the same evening at the Stockton Public Library from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

The six series sessions include topics such as taking care of yourself, managing stress, finding and using local and online resources, communicating feelings needs and concerns, communicating effectively in challenging situations learning from emotions and mastering caregiving decisions. This program is designed to help caregivers care for themselves while taking care of a loved one. It is also designed to learn from each other involved in the caregiving process.

Classes will be led by K-State Research and Extension Family and Consumer Science Agents, Anna Muir, Phillips-Rooks District and Kathy Lupfer-Nielsen, Post Rock District. The Public Library will be co-sponsoring this workshop in Stockton. All are welcome to attending either location depending on what works best for your time.

Registration is required to ensure program handouts for each participant, but there is no charge for the classes. However a minimum of 10 participants is necessary to hold the program in each location. A handbook “The Caregivers Helpbook” will be available for optional purchase.

Please register by September 5th with Anna Muir at or Stockton office by calling 425-6851 or with Kathy Lupfer Nielsen at or calling Smith Center office at 282-6823.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sorghum Headworm Traps set in Kansas including Post Rock Extension District

by Sandra Wick, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent

Well, another round of moisture came over the weekend. The weather pattern still holds true with scattered rain around north central Kansas. Amounts ranged from ½ inch to up around 3 inches. I also have heard reports of hail with mixed damage reports.

I wanted to let you know of an insect study being conducted here in north central Kansas including our Post Rock Extension District. You may not think that grain sorghum has many problems with insects once the head emerges; however, there is potential for several different culprits that could feed on the grain in the head. One is the corn earworm or sometimes called the sorghum headworm. Although the larvae of this moth prefer corn, they can infest sorghum heads. The head capsule is light brown, and the body color varies from pink to green to brown with light and dark stripes along the length of the body. Larvae can be 1½ inches long at maturity.

Infestations are more common in southern Kansas, but lately have been seen all over the state of Kansas. Consequently, sorghum headworm is a migratory pest and infestations are reoccurring in Kansas, but infestations are dependent on moth movement from Southern parts of the United States. Grain sorghum is vulnerable to infestation from bloom through milk stages. One to two larvae per head can result in approximately 5 to 10 percent yield loss. The average size of larvae at detection is a key consideration, because less will be gained by treating older, larger larvae. The decision to treat should balance the expected yield and crop value against treatment cost and the amount of damage that can be prevented. It has been a difficult challenge for producers to scout and actually count the headworms to determine if treatment is necessary.

So a K-State Research and Extension research project has been conducted in 2010-13, and evaluated the e (electronic)-Hartstack trap design at several locations in Kansas. The trap is a solar-powered device using an infrared detection system. The moths enter the top cone of the trap which thus triggers an event and is time-stamped and sent back to the data logger for later retrieval. The trap top is filled with sorghum headworm males during a peak flight and collected for further study.


Kelly Roush , Smith County cooperator and producer, along with Kent Hampton, KSU, discuss the operation of the trap.
From this study, the trap consistently predicted trap counts 84% of the time when compared to actual counts. This not only saved time counting male moths, but it provided information about timing of peak adult activity during the night as well as intensity of the infestation (number of events).

The proposed research project goal is to increase producer profitability and enhance the agricultural industry by providing sampling tools and an early warning system to alert sorghum stakeholders of pest activity in sorghum, thus helping protect yields from a major sorghum pest. Consequently, e-Hartstack data, which is electronic, can be easily formatted for web-based decision support systems as well as help answer research-driven hypotheses (e.g., timing insecticide applications, targeting infestation events, scheduling treatments).

A series of traps for 2014 are set in Barton, Finney, Mitchell, Republic, Rush, Saline, Scott, Smith, and Washington counties. Pictured is the complete trap with the solar powered system along with the data collection device along with the trap. Two traps are located in Mitchell and two in Smith counties. If you want the exact location, just give me a call or email.

For additional questions on the Sorghum headworm study, contact Sandra in the Post Rock Extension District Office in Smith Center at

Post Rock Extension District of K-State Research and Extension serves Jewell, Lincoln, Osborne, Mitchell and Smith counties. Sandra may be contacted at or by calling Smith Center, 282-6823, Beloit 738-3597, Lincoln 524-4432, Mankato 378-3174, or Osborne 346-2521. Join us on Facebook now at “Post Rock Extension”.  Also remember our website is