Category: October 2018

Stay Strong, Stay Healthy coming to Smith Center!

Have you been wanting to make your health a priority?  Now is a great time to do just that!  Registration is now open for the upcoming older adult strength training program Stay Strong, Stay Healthy. Strength training is especially important in older adults and can improve balance, strength, flexibility, and quality of life. We will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays beginning October 22nd-December 19th from 9:30-10:30am. The session will be held at the Srader Center in Smith Center. Cost for this program is $20, but there are financial scholarships available.  Registration is required by October 19th, and you can do so by visiting our office in Smith Center or by calling (785) 282-6823.  A minimum of six participants is required.  Feel free to contact Ashley, the instructor at  with any questions about the program.

By:  Ashley Svaty

Health Insurance Considerations

When choosing a health insurance plan there is much to consider. What benefits do you need? Which health care providers do you prefer to use, and which can you use? What costs are you comfortable paying? Do you have an emergency or “rainy day” fund to cover expenses in case of sickness, job loss, or economic downturn?

Many factors should be considered when deciding which policy best suits your needs. The right plan for you will depend on your health and your financial situation.

  • Determine which benefits beyond the essential health benefits covered by all policies are most important to you and your family.
  • Check the drug formulary for your prescription drugs and the list of network pharmacies when looking at your options.
  • Check to make sure the providers you want to use are in the plan’s provider network.
  • Weigh the costs of not only the premium, but also the deductible, coinsurance, and copayments for the plans you are considering.

The University of Maryland Extension has some great tools to help consumers be smart about buying and using health insurance. Contact Nora Rhoades at or 785-346-2521 to access the resources available from K-State and other extension networks.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Fall Leaves and Your Lawn

With cooler temperatures coming, leaves will soon be falling from deciduous trees. It’s a good time to stop and think about options for handling the litter. Although a scattering of leaves won’t harm the lawn, excessive cover prevents sunlight from reaching turfgrass plants. Turf left in this state for an extended period will be unable to make the carbohydrates needed to carry it through the winter.

There are options for dealing with the fallen leaves other than bagging them up and putting them out for the trash collector. Composting is a great way to handle the excess. Compost can then be used in the vegetable garden and flowerbeds. If you do not compost, you can mow leaves with a mulching mower and let shredded leaves filter into the turf canopy. (A side-discharge mower also will work, but it won’t shred the leaves as thoroughly.) This method will be most effective if you do it often enough that leaf litter doesn’t become too thick. Mow while you can still see grass peeking through the leaves.

You may wonder whether this practice will be detrimental to the lawn in the long run. Research at Michigan State University in which they used a mulching mower to shred up to about one pound of leaves per square yard of lawn (one pound is equal to approximately 6 inches of leaves piled on the grass) for five consecutive years, found no long-term effects of the shredded leaves on turf quality, thatch thickness, organic content of the thatch, or soil test results (pH, nutrients, etc.). If you mow leaves and have a cool-season lawn, it makes sense to be on a fall nitrogen fertilization program and core-aerate in the fall (things you should be doing anyway). If you have a warm-season lawn, you can still use this technique but wait to fertilize and core-aerate until next May or early June.

By: Cassie Homan

Free Dining with Diabetes Workshop

Do you have Diabetes? Do you want to make the best choices for your health?  We can help.

Nutrition and physical activity are keys to managing type 2 diabetes, but where do you start?  Designed especially for people with type 2 diabetes, the Dining with Diabetes program will help you learn the skills needed to promote good health.

This program includes:

  • Planning meals and snacks with delicious and healthy recipes
  • Cooking demonstrations and meals at eat session
  • Motivation and support-connect with others who are living with diabetes
  • Ideas for being more active
  • An understanding of how diabetes affects overall health.

Dining with Diabetes consists of four 2 hour long sessions.  Adults with type 2 diabetes and their family members, caregivers, and support persons are invited to participate.  Individualized meal plans or guidance will not be provided.

This FREE 4 session workshop will be held at the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mankato KS from 5-7pm. Event Dates will be October 23rd & 30th, November 6th & 13th. Registration is required by October 19th or until class is full. Register by calling (785) 378-3174 or at Please contact Ashley Svaty at with any questions about the Dining with Diabetes program.

The Post Rock Extension District Dining with Diabetes (DWD) program fee is $25.00. Due to funds provided by the Dane G. Hansen Community Grant Fund for Jewell County and Post Rock Extension District, the DWD program fee has temporarily been reduced to $0.

By:  Ashley Svaty

Youth Enrichment Offerings

Providing education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. Our supplemental youth enrichment activities will provide hands-on learning for your students and help you meet academic standards. All of our classes will be scheduled on a first come, first serve basis. To schedule a program contact the agent listed in the brochure. You can also contact your local Post Rock District Office.

By:  Nora Rhoades

Planting Bulbs for Spring Color

Late September through October is an excellent time to plant spring-flowering bulbs such as crocus, tulips, and daffodils. These plants need to develop roots in the fall and must meet a chilling requirement over the winter in order to bloom in the spring.

To learn how to plant thriving bulbs check out my blog post:

By: Cassie Homan