Monday, November 28, 2016

Walking Safely After Dark

- Ashley Svaty- Nutrition, Food Safety, and Health Agent

   Daylight savings time usually means coming home at dusk or even dark. Does this mean we should
skip out on our evening walk? No way, the weather has been cooperating so why not take advantage of cool weather before winter hits? Follow these strategies to stay safe while walking after dark.

1. Wear reflective gear. Being seen is important while walking in dim light to ensure safety. Some fitness pants and jackets have reflectors built in but if not, a reflective vest, belt, or straps can do the trick.

2. Light the way. Use a headlamp or flashlight to clearly see your route.

3. Be cautious of traffic. Always walk or run on a sidewalk if possible. If no sidewalk is available, face oncoming traffic so you can see upcoming headlights and move out of the way. Hearing traffic is important so skip the headphones at night.

4. Bring a friend. Not only for company to make the walk more enjoyable but drivers are more likely to see two people rather than if you ventured out alone.

5. Stay warm. Temperatures can drop quickly once the sun goes down. Remember you can always take off layers and tie a jacket around your waist.

Monday, November 21, 2016


Aliesa Woods, 4-H Youth Development Agent

    4‑H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs are proven to engage youth in
fun, hands-on activities and get them excited about careers in science. Focus areas for 4‑H science programs include robotics, rocketry, environmental science, agri-science, biotechnology and veterinary science. 4‑H programs engage and excite young people in agricultural science topics such as veterinary science, biotechnology, raising and training animals and forestry. 4‑H programs use hands-on activities in robotics, rocketry, computer science and electrical engineering to teach problem solving, creative and critical thinking, and build excitement for engineering and technology.

Check out the following infographic on the top ways to attract youth to STEM.
Ready to join or just looking to learn more about 4‑H programs in your area visit

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Nora Rhoades - Family and Youth Development Agent

Saving energy and money go hand-in-hand. The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has identified 12 simple ways consumers can save both. For more energy saving information, visit or

1)        Air Dry – Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.

2)        Turn It Off – Use timers and motion detectors to turn off lights. Unplug TV entertainment systems when travelling (use power strips for easy on/off switching), and don’t leave your computer and monitor on needlessly.

3)        Don’t Get Burned with Hot Water – Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120F. Water heaters are the second highest source of home energy use.

4)        Fill It Up, Please – Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.

5)        Keep ‘Em Clean – Check furnace, heat pump, and AC filters once a month, replace regularly. Dirty filters can increase energy costs and damage equipment.

6)        Get a Check Up – Get your heating system checked once a year. A licensed professional will make sure that your system is operating efficiently and safely.

7)        Stop the Breeze – Caulk and weather-strip around drafty doors and windows.

8)        Get an Audit – Your utility company may offer free energy audits that can identify expensive energy losses in your basement, unfinished rooms, attics and leaky ductwork. Sealing your ducts can give big savings on energy bills.

9)        Take a Walk – Circle your home with an easy-to-use spray foam insulation. Look for openings and gaps around pipes, chimneys, lights, windows, and brick and cement work.

10)     Get with the Program – Install a programmable thermostat which automatically adjusts the temperature during the day or at night, keeping you from forgetting as you dash off to work. This can save you up to $100 a year.

11)     Stay Bright – As “old-school” incandescent light bulbs burn out, replace them with new, light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs) and save about $90 a year in electricity costs. You pay more up-front, but shop around, prices are dropping. They use up to 25% less energy and can last up to twelve times longer.

12)     Be a Star – Look for products and appliances that have earned the ENERGY STAR label. They meet strict new energy efficiency criteria that will reduce your utility bills and help the environment. For example, an ENERGY STAR clothes washer uses about 40% less water and 25% less energy than standard models.