Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Explore Tools to Leave a Legacy with Estate Planning

Nora Rhoades, Family and Youth Development Agent

Leaving a legacy is an important goal for many families and individuals. Estate planning can provide valuable tools to help leave a legacy connected to what you are most passionate about. You can fight disease, inspire children, promote the arts, save the environment, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, or strengthen your community. You can stand up for causes you believe in and make an impact forever.

Community members are invited to participate in “Estate Planning ─ Leaving a Legacy” on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 from 6:00-8:00pm at the Veteran’s Building in Osborne.

K-State Research and Extension’s Post Rock District is hosting Doug Beech, Kansas 4-H Foundation Planned Giving Officer, to help community members explore how to leave a legacy! Come explore and understand tools –some familiar, some not– that will allow you to preserve and pass on your values through an estate plan. The program will be valuable for those considering making charitable estate gifts as well as for charities and charity board members interested in learning about these options.

A light meal, sponsored by the Osborne County Community Foundation, will be served at 6:00pm. The Osborne County Community Foundation will share a short program about the foundation and exciting work happening around the county. At 7:00pm, “Estate Planning ─ Leaving a Legacy” will be presented by Beech. The event is free to participate and no registration is necessary.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about the event please contact the Post Rock Extension District – Osborne Office at 346-2521 or visit www.postrock.ksu.edu.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Walk Kansas Begins March 18th!

Ashley Svaty, Nutrition, Food Safety and Health Agent

Walk Kansas, a program that’s open to anyone who’s interested in working toward or maintaining a healthy lifestyle, will begin March 18th and run through May 12th. This program is fun, motivating, and for all fitness levels.

Walk Kansas is an 8-week health initiative that encourages individuals and teams to reach health goals. Participants receive a weekly newsletter which includes articles about health, exercises, tips, and nutritious recipes. This year Walk Kansas is specifically focusing on the importance of stretching and will include an optional pre/post fitness assessment for participants to measure their improvement over the 8-weeks. Participants log minutes of moderate or vigorous activity daily and report online or to a team captain. Activities besides walking such as strengthening exercises, yoga, bike riding, team sports and others count toward Walk Kansas minutes. Teammates do not have to walk or exercise together, but are encouraged to connect and support each other, which is made easy through the online Walk Kansas system.

Each team chooses which challenge best suits their goals and they work toward that challenge throughout the 8-weeks.

  • 8 Wonders Challenge: Each team member has a goal to log 2.5 hours of moderate to vigorous activity per week. Collectively the team would walk 435 miles over the 8-week program. This trail is featured in Marci Penner’s 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook. 
  • Cross Country Challenge: Each team member logs 4 hours of activity per week which would take the team on a 764 mile trail over the span of the program.
  • Little Balkans to Nicodemus Challenge: 1,200 mile Kansas trail, with each team member logging 6 hours of moderate-to-vigorous activity each week.

Walk Kansas addresses critical issues in our state. Less than half of Kansas adults meet the minimum recommendations for physical activity (150 minutes a week of moderate exercise) and only 19 percent eat enough fruits and vegetables. Chronic disease is responsible for more than 70 percent of health care costs. The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease states “If Americans were to stop smoking, exercise regularly and eat well, they could prevent up to 80 percent of heart disease and stroke, 80 percent of type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of cancers.”

For Post Rock District Walk Kansas participants, the program cost begins at $8. T-Shirts can be purchased at an additional cost. Online program registration will begin February 22nd and close on March 12th. Participants can register online at www.walkkansas.org or by visiting any of our offices. This year will have many giveaways including a few 8 Wonders of Kansas books, Walk Kansas ¾ sleeve t-shirts, hoodies, and more! Poker walks will also be happening across the district so be sure to join in on the fun! Join our Post Rock District Walk Kansas group on Facebook to learn more about Walk Kansas. Participants will have the opportunity to earn 4 Health Quest credits upon completion of the program.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Youth Develop Communication Skills

Aliesa Woods, 4-H Youth Development Agent

4-H members have been learning to speak skillfully before an audience for more than 100 years. It is often one of the things 4-H Alumni say they most remember about their 4-H experience. Many will admit before participating in 4-H, they could not speak comfortably in front of an audience.

Recently, 4-H members participated in 4-H Day. This event allows members to give a variety of presentations and receive feedback from a judge. The presentations include demonstrations, project talks, readings, model meetings, skits, dance and vocal, instrumental and piano solos.

Giving presentations in 4-H teaches many members skills that have value later in life such as:

     •  How to organize thoughts in a logical manner
     •  How to express ideas clearly and convincingly
     •  How to listen to the opinions of others and accept feedback
     •  How to prepare visuals and use them to support the presentation
     •  How to teach others
     •  How to manage time
     •  How to manage stress

The real value of the presentation is to the member who prepares and presents it. Poise, confidence and self-assurance grow each time a presentation is given. The video clip below shows the many talents our local Post Rock District youth possess. A big thanks to all our 4-H parents, and volunteer leaders that work with these young youth. I hope watching the video brings a smile to your face and you feel proud that these local 4-H members are living and growing in our local communities.

Ready to join or just looking to learn more about 4 H programs in your area visit http://www.kansas4-h.org/get-involved/clubs.html

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Master Gardener Sweet Pepper Variety Trial

Cassie Homan, Horticulture Agent

2017 marked the second summer that the Master Gardeners conducted a Sweet Pepper Trial in the Post Rock District. This past summer we planted the peppers in the Radish Patch Community Gardens in Lincoln, Kansas. For the summer of 2016 the trial was done in Beloit at the North Campus Community Gardens.

We purchased eleven varieties of peppers from the Beloit Greenhouse and Bonnie Plants. The varieties tested were: Sweet Banana, Revolution, Pimento, Summer Sweet, Vanguard, Camelot, Declaration, Yolo Wonder, Orange, New Ace, and Alliance. Each variety was replicated throughout the plot. The peppers were planted in June and continued to produce into October.

For each plant, the number of peppers and total weight of the peppers harvested were recorded. After the final harvest the averages across the plants for each variety were calculated. Over the summer a total of 69 pounds of peppers were harvested and donated to senior centers, family, and friends in several counties of the Post Rock District.

The Master Gardeners were very happy with the results of the trial. Even with the late planting date of June, the peppers were vigorous and produced large, great quality peppers. The varieties that had the largest yields by weight were the Sweet Banana, Summer Sweet, and Declaration. This was the second summer in a row for the Sweet Banana and Declaration to be top producers for the Master Gardeners. The peppers with the smallest yields were Alliance and Camelot.

Most of the peppers produced were traditional sweet bell peppers, but we mixed in a few fun varieties including Pimento. The peppers produced well and had great pest and disease resistance. Pimento peppers are unique heart shaped with one lobe at the base. You may know of this pepper from its use flavoring cheese and being used in the middle of green olives. The
peppers have very thick flesh and a mild, sweet flavor. We also planted Sweet Banana peppers that were one of our top producing pepper plants. They are the six to seven inch, yellow fruits, that mature to an orange red color. These peppers are popular to eat fresh in salads or are often pickled to bring out their flavor.

The Master Gardeners started the local variety trials to give the community accurate information about which varieties produce well in the soil and environment of North Central Kansas. We hope to continue this project in the future so that home gardeners in the Post Rock District will have access to vegetable variety information and references specific to their home area, instead of state-wide or larger regional area averages.

Thank you to the Lincoln County Radish Patch for the support. The gardeners at the patch harvested 2,128 pounds of fresh produce this year! Also a special thanks to Master Gardeners; Emilie Wacker, Jennifer Huehl, Greg Renter, and Susan Inskeep for their many hours working on the pepper trial and other Master Gardener projects.

If you would like more details about our pepper trial or would be interested in becoming an Extension Master Gardener contact Cassie Homan, Post Rock District Horticulture Agent, at (785)738-3597 or by email at choman@ksu.edu.