Harvey County


Often times during the rush of summer and the county fair people tell me, “It will slow down after this!”. I usually smile and nod, knowing that the 4-H program only seems to get even more busy as the fall season begins. State fair, enrollment, awards, scholarships, and banquet hit our office just as holidays are fast approaching. It is easy to get caught up in the rush of long days of work, late night meetings, and dwindling hours of daylight this time of year. This year I have challenged myself to take a step back from all of the busyness to remember to be thankful.

I am thankful to be able to be busy. Busy with a job that allows me to work with people who believe in the power of young people. Busy with late night meetings with people who volunteer their time to make a difference in their communities.

I’m thankful to work in a community where I run into familiar faces at the grocery store. A few weeks ago I ran into my third grade teacher while picking up groceries. Having not talked to him for years, I assumed he would not recognize me. Instead, he made a point to say hello and tell me he enjoys reading this column. I am thankful for the support our community provides.

I am thankful to have an office that is a mess of papers, sticky notes and boxes of supplies because all of the mess is a sign of positive difference this 4-H program is making. The walls of my messy little office are lined with notes, drawings, and photos that constantly remind me of how thankful I am to serve our community as a 4-H Agent.

Water Landscape Plants

We all know how unpredictable the weather is in Kansas. This week it’s hot, last week it was wet, next week is supposed to be dry, so it goes on. What happens if it gets too dry? Even in the winter moisture is important!  It is important that perennial plants go into the winter with moist soil. Watering now is important if soils are dry to help alleviate moisture stress and lessen the likelihood of winter damage.

Although all perennial plants benefit from moist soils before winter, it is especially important for newly planted trees and shrubs due to limited root systems. Even trees and shrubs planted within the last 2 to 3 years are more sensitive to drought than a well-established plant. Evergreens are also more at risk because moisture is lost from the foliage. Continue reading “Water Landscape Plants”

Post-Harvest Dirt Work

After harvest, many producers might head to the field for deep tillage such as ripping, or to make earthwork repairs around the farm. A few days before you want to start these activities, it’s worth a call to 811 for your safety and to prevent expensive damage to underground utilities.  The website http://call811.com  has easy-to-follow instructions for requesting this free service and detailed information concerning why you need to know what’s below.

Sadly, fatal accidents do happen in soil excavations. If you dig any trenches or soil pits, safety should be considered from the very beginning of the project. Soils with sandy textures are more susceptible to a collapse than soils with a higher clay content. If standing water is present in the pit, the walls are more apt to collapse.

There are Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines on excavation safety, such as when it is necessary to shore the walls of a soil pit or trench. One important consideration is soil should be piled a minimum of 2 feet away from the walls of the trenches for two reasons:

  1. Soil clods or excavating tools could roll back into the trench and cause injury to occupants.
  2. Reduces the risk of a trench collapse by keeping the weight of the soil piles away from the trench edges.

Even if a soil pit is 4 feet deep or less, it is a good idea to angle the edges of the soil pit. This does create more disturbance, but if it prevents an accident, it’s worth it.

For more information on trenching and excavation safety, see the following OSHA publication:“Trenching and Excavation Safety”, https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2226.pdf

Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Have you reviewed your options for Medicare Part D? Do you understand how to navigate the Medicare website? Do you get confused just looking at all the information it gives you? You are in luck! We have trained volunteers here at the Extension Office, and many locations throughout the county, ready to help you!

Open Enrollment has officially started and will last until December 7th this year. All drug plans will then take effect January 1st. Now some people think, “I do not need to review my options, I like my plan and I will stick with it.” What if I could tell you that by making an appointment and reviewing your options you might be able to save anywhere from $25 to $130 dollars or more! (All savings depend on what plan you were on, what plan you switch to and what medication you are taking. Everyone’s savings are different.) Continue reading “Medicare Part D Open Enrollment”

4-H Junior Leaders

What is your definition of a leader? Harvey County 4-H gives youth a unique opportunity to discover what leadership means to them. Youth ages 13-18 have the opportunity to be a part of a teen leadership group in Harvey County, 4-H Junior Leaders.

4-H is a youth development organization for youth ages 5-18 to join. Membership is free to age five and six-year-old Cloverbud members, and $15 annually for 4-H members age seven and up. Waivers are available for anyone with a financial need.

     Jr. Leaders at Spring Fun Night
            Taste of Newton

4-H members ages 13-18 are able to join the Junior Leaders program. Throughout this program youth are challenged to better understand their own leadership style while adding valuable input to a team. Junior Leaders meet once and month and participate in fun activities including Taste of Newton, the Harvey County Fair, and serving as counselors for the Harvey County Day Camp.

Interested youth are invited to attend the 4-H Junior Leader’s Kick Off- Bowling Party event on November 14th at 6:30 PM at Play-Mor lanes in Newton. All youth ages 13 to 18 are invited to come and enjoy leadership games, snacks and fun activities! 4-H membership is not required to attend this event but we do ask that you RSVP by November 13th to Hannah at hannaha@ksu.edu.


How Companies Get Your Money

It’s that time of year when it starts to get cooler and the fall/winter fashions come back in style. I love this time of year. My wallet however does not love this time of year. If you are anything like me, I love to spend money on clothes and shoes for the fall and winter styles. I always want to keep up with the trends and sometimes it gets me in trouble with my husband’s and I’s budget.

Companies know that they can get suckers like me to purchase things by the way they advertise their new fashions. As consumers we are constantly being pestered by outside forces to try and get us to spend money. Have you searched for a certain type of article of clothing and then noticed your Facebook ads all of a sudden match what you searched? For example, I am on the hunt for a winter dress for a wedding in February, and now my Facebook ads are all about dresses. Companies will pay money to know what you have been searching to then in return have that ad show up on your Facebook. Continue reading “How Companies Get Your Money”

Winter Cattle Water

With winter weather slowly approaching we should not forget to make sure all of your cattle have excess to fresh drinking water. Even though with these cold temperatures it might not seem like they need to drink as much water as normal it is vitally important that they can get to water.

The water needs of cattle are influenced by a number of factors such as: rate and composition of gain, pregnancy, lactation, physical activity, type of ration, diet salt content, dry matter intake and environmental temperature. This time of year cattle are trying to stay warm so they won’t be doing a lot of physical activity. A study done by Kansas State University showed that in January on the average water intake with calves weighing 600lbs was 5.0 gallons per day and at 1000lbs it was 8.5 gallons per day. If you fall calved and have cows milking right now they will need to have excess to around 11 gallons of water per day.

A good way to keep the water thawed is putting a water tank heater in the water tank. If you do that you need to make to check it often to make sure it is not shorting out in the water. A good thing to look for if a short does happen is the cows will congregate around the water tank but will not be drinking. Keeping a close watch on your cattle should tip you off fairly quickly.


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