Monday, June 19, 2017
Spanish versions of the following CES publications are now available online in PDF format. Guía E-132: Porciones y medidas de ingredientes Traducido por Sylvia Gabriela Phillips y revisado por Cassandra Vanderpool http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/E132_sp.pdf Guía E-134: Tips para alimentar niños en edad prescolar Traducido por Sylvia Gabriela Phillips y revisado por Cassandra Vanderpool http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/E134_sp.pdf
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Pecan Nut Case bearer Spray Time Is Earlier than the past years Carlsbad, NM,— It is that time of the year again to be thinking about spraying for Pecan Nut Case bearer (PNC). Population projections are not very reliable this year because of the strange weather. We have not had a drop in minimum daily temperature since bud break in Pecans like those that we did last year. I estimated bud break to be March 30 this year but it varies up and down the valley. Some reported as early as March 26 and other as late as 10 April. Using a Heat unit model developed by Texas A & M Cooperative Extension Service, the Eddy County Cooperative Extension Service predicts the Pecan Nut Case bearer would be earlier this year. Based on the adapted PNC heat unity model, crop protection chemicals may be necessary around May 22-May 29. However, this may need to be revised aw weather may change as we progress. Also reported moth counts in pheromone traps will bring this to a more accurate prediction. Computer predictions are best used to plan when to set out pheromone traps, look for eggs and to plan insecticide application but are not reliable enough to be the only source of information to make application decisions. This year may prove this. Orchard scouting for eggs should begin two weeks before the predicted spray date as unusual weather conditions near the spray date, can either accelerate or delay egg-laying activity. I am getting reports of third generation larva in the shoots of new growth; these are from crop years 2014 and have managed to over winter to this spring. This is usual for this valley. Most Case bearer eggs are found at the tip of the nutlet, either on the top or hidden just under the tiny leaves at the tip of the nut let. A good hand lens is necessary to determine their development, (hatched, white, or pink). Also, look for bud feeding just below the nut cluster to detect the presence of newly hatched larvae. You should examine 10 nut clusters per tree. A cluster infested if it has a Case bearer egg or nut entry. If two or more clusters that are infested, insecticide applications may be necessary. Application should be two days after the eggs hatch. If no infested clusters are found, you should check again two days later. Keep checking until June 15. If by this date an infestation is not found insecticide application should not be required, for the first generation. Scouting for the seconded generation should start June 30 as currently predicted by the heat unit model. Caution is required when selection of a pesticide for backyard trees because of the great potential for spray drift onto nearby garden, pets, and living areas. Homeowner can only use products containing Carbaryl, and Malathion. Refer to label instructions for mixing and application rates and precautions. It is in violation of federal law to apply any chemical in any manner except what is on the label. Commercial orchards may use the above products or Interpid, Chlorpyrifos (Lordsban) (Cobalt), Confirm 2F, Pyrethroid or Spintor insecticide. Interpid is the product has a very good residual and is very effective and much safer than Oregano Phosphates and is the current product of choice. It does not harm predatory insects. This product is very safe for use around people. The fact it is not labeled for homeowner is a disappointment, because it is safer than some products, which is labeled for non-restricted use. Pecan nut Case bearer is one of the most important nut infesting insect pests of pecans. It is found in most the pecan growing areas from the east coast to Eddy County New Mexico. The Case bearer larva tunnels into nut lets shortly after pollination, often destroying all of the nut lets in the cluster. The most effective and reliable method of control is a well-timed insecticide application(s) made in the spring to kill hatching larvae before they tunnel into the nut lets. However, insecticides should only be applied if an infestations and nut load justify treatment. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: http://nmsueddyag.blogspot.com/ Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Prescribed burn targets 4K acres in Lincoln Forest The Solider Prescribed Fire project is scheduled to be from April 24 to May 5 and located about 40 miles southwest of Carlsbad. Lincoln National Forest is planning to treat up to 4,300 acres in the Guadalupe Ranger District with a prescribed fire, according to a news release from the U.S. Forest Service. The "Soldier Prescribed Fire" project is scheduled between April 24 to May 5 and will treat an area of the park located about 40 miles southwest of Carlsbad and five miles south of Queen. "Fire plays an extremely important role in the ecological health of the Guadalupe Ranger District, and the intent of the Soldier Prescribed Fire is to reintroduce fire into the specified landscape with heightened ability to provide fire controllability and achievement of resource objectives," said Tom Barta, Guadalupe Ranger District fire management officer, via email.
For Immediate Release: Contact: Shelby Herrera 575-646-3007 office (LAS CRUCES, N.M.) – A recent trade mission has revived New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s (NMDA) efforts to help ranchers in the Land of Enchantment develop markets in foreign lands. Deputy Director Anthony Parra and Juan Sanchez of NMDA’s Marketing and Development Division, hosted 10 cattlemen from Sonora, Mexico. These cattlemen were introduced to local seed stock producers in the eastern part of the state. The Sonoran Cattlemen were able to see firsthand the quality of New Mexico’s livestock genetics and how those genetics will work on their ranches. The inbound mission included ranch tours and a visit to a bull sale at the Roswell Livestock Auction. “The buyers not only had the opportunity to view live animals, but also got to experience how cattle ranches and livestock auctions operate in New Mexico,” Sanchez said. Parra also added that during the mission 10 bulls were exported to Sonora, and contracts signed for over 70 heifers to be exported to Mexican producers. The trade mission was an action item set forth by the New Mexico-Sonora Commission in the 2016 plenary meeting. The commission’s purpose is to provide a forum for discussions and resolutions for issues of mutual concern to the governments of New Mexico and Sonora. “The program is extremely beneficial to producers on both the sides of the US / Mexico border,” Parra said. “It provides ranchers from Mexico, access to high quality genetics to sustain the quality of the programs and ensure diversity. The producers on the US side gain access to new markets and new partnerships to achieve future growth,” he added. Due to a shortage of genetics in Sonora, the inbound mission was created to provide opportunity for the Sonoran producers to improve their operations by investing in New Mexico genetics. On May 1-3, 2017, NMDA will be participating in an outbound mission hosted by the Sonora State Department of Agriculture (SAGARPHA) and the Union Ganadera Regional de Sonora (UGRS) in Hermosillo, Sonora. Seed stock producers are invited to participate in the mission which will include visits to the international import/export facilities, ranch tours, and attendance to the famous ExpoGan (state’s livestock expo). “The outbound mission will afford producers the opportunity to grow relationships while granting the US producers the opportunity to visit Mexican operations and understand how they operate,” Parra said. NMDA will also be attending the Confederación Nacional de Organizaciones Ganaderas (CNOG) Trade show in Durango, Mexico on May 14-17, 2017. Sanchez invites producers from across New Mexico to send him their brochures and catalogs so they can be shared at the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export booth. For more information about these opportunities, contact Juan Sanchez at 575-646-4929 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Managing Risk and Thinking Ahead’ drought workshop set for April 26 in Clovis DATE: 04/19/2017 WRITER: Kristie Garcia, 575-646-4211, email@example.com CONTACT: Caiti Steele, 575-646-4144, firstname.lastname@example.org If you’re a farmer, dairy owner or rancher in Eastern New Mexico or West Texas, you may want to attend the “Managing Risk and Thinking Ahead” workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, in Clovis, New Mexico. The workshop is at the Curry County Events Center Indoor Pavilion, located on the Curry County Fairgrounds at 900 E. Brady Ave. Experts from the New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences will speak at the workshop. State climatologist Dave DuBois, assistant professor in the NMSU Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, will speak about recent weather events and impacts. From the NMSU Agricultural Science Center at Clovis, agronomist Rajan Ghimire, agricultural research scientist Sultan Begna and superintendent and weed specialist Abdel Mesbah will discuss alternative cropping and crop management with limited water. Attendees will discuss challenges related to weather and climate, as well as the resources and research needed to support farm-level decision making. Topics for the workshop include: - Historical climate trends - Short- and medium-range weather forecasts - Drought tools and early warning resources - Forage nutrition and alternative cropping with limited water - U.S. Department of Agriculture programs Experts from the National Drought Mitigation Center, National Weather Service, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Dairy Nutrition and Management Consulting LLC and Farm Service Agency will also give presentations. Presentations will highlight the potential impact of drought and limited water conditions on agriculture in the Southern High Plains in New Mexico and West Texas. Information will also be provided about local and regional resources that are available to help manage and monitor impacts from drought and other severe weather events. The workshop is supported by the National Integrated Drought Information System and the USDA Southwest Climate Hub. “We are very pleased to be able to offer a workshop that covers some important issues facing agricultural producers in the Southern High Plains,” said Caiti Steele, USDA Southwest Climate Hub Deputy Director. “Drought, extreme weather and limited water resources present very real challenges to profitable agricultural production. We want to hear from crop, dairy and livestock producers about what kinds of information and technical support they think will help in their decision-making and risk management.” Registration is free. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided. To register, go to http://swclimatehub.info. For more information contact Caiti Steele at 575-646-4144 or email@example.com. - 30 - Follow NMSU News on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nmsunews Follow NMSU News on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NMSUNews
Monday, April 17, 2017
Release No. 0045.17 Contact: Isabel Benemelis (202)720-7809 WASHINGTON, April 17, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the 2017-crop loan rate differentials for upland and extra-long staple cotton. The differentials, also referred to as loan rate premiums and discounts, have been calculated based on market valuations of various cotton quality factors for the prior three years. This calculation procedure is identical to that used in past years. The Commodity Credit Corporation adjusts cotton loan rates by these differentials so that cotton loan values reflect the differences in market prices for color, staple length, leaf, extraneous matter, micronaire, length uniformity, and strength. The 2017-crop differential schedules are applied to the 2017-crop loan rate of 49.49 cents per pound for the base grade of upland cotton and 79.77 cents per pound for extra-long staple cotton. The 2014 Farm Bill stipulates that the upland cotton loan rate ranges between 45 to 52 cents per pound, based on the simple average of the adjusted world price for the two marketing years preceding sowing of the ensuing year’s crop. The loan rate provided to an individual cotton bale is based on the quality of each individual bale as determined by Agricultural Marketing Service classing measurements. The tables of these loan rate differentials are available on the FSA website at http://go.usa.gov/3W8tV. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Erik Dohlman at (202) 720-4284 or by email at Erik.Dohlman@wdc.usda.gov. USDA is an equal opportunity lender, provider and employer.
Strength-based tip sheets on specific parenting topics that can be used in discussions or visits with caregivers, and calendars of activities to help programs, parents, and community partners celebrate Child Abuse
Information about why child abuse occurs, risk factors, consequences, identifying and reporting maltreatment, and supporting parents and children with a history of trauma.
Detailed information about six protective factors for preventing child maltreatment and tips for infusing them into programs and direct practice with families and children.
Information about protective factors that help reduce child abuse and neglect, some established protective factors approaches, and how some State and local agencies are implementing protective factors approaches to create lasting change in how communities support families.
Monday, April 3, 2017
BUGS My master’s degree is in medical and veterinary entomology, so when I get a chance to write about an odd happening in this field. I recently had a citizen who had a bat get into their house and roosted above her bed unfortunately and it took her a couple of day to get this unwanted houseguest removed and released to a place where both were much happier. After a few days, she had bites on her. She captured a few insects on tape that resembled bed bugs, brought these insect in for identification, and related her story about the bat. Breaking out the microscope and key to the cimex genera, I identified these as bat bugs, which to a Medical Veterinary Entomologist is extremely interesting, having been in NM my entire life and Eddy County for about 27 years I have never come across these before. The family Cimicidiae are blood-sucking insects that feed on birds and/or mammals. There are five member of this family present in New Mexico the notorious bed bug (Cimex lectularius) along with a close cousin the Bat bug (Cimex pilosellus), Swallow bug (Oeciacus vicarious), Poultry bug (Hamatoisphon inodorus) and Wood pecker bug (Hesperocimex coloradensis) which is mostly on the Colorado border on wood peckers and owls. In this article I am only talking about the bat bug (Cimex pilosellus), but some of this information can be applied to all. Prior to increase in bed bug, the bat bug was the most common bug found in homes in Colorado, according to Extension Entomologist with CSU. Bat bugs develop in colonies of roosting bats, which sometime occur in attics or behind walls of buildings. Bat bugs may move into human living areas and incidentally bite people. This happen more often after the bats either migrate or are removed from a roosting area. However, these insects are host specific and in the absences of a bat host, they cannot sustain and reproduce. They usually die out within a few weeks without the bat host, unlike its cousin the bed bug that does quite well on humans. The bites are however itchy and unpleasant but there are no known pathogens that are transmitted or vectored by the bed bugs or bat bug. Control of bat bugs focus on management on the roosting bats that are the original source of the insect. Removal and exclusion of the bats will prevent future infestations as the bat bugs will ultimately die –out in the absence of their bat hosts. However, like this citizen the problem may temporarily increase as the existing bat bugs migrate in search of new hosts. Any method of sealing off the area of bat roosting and human leaving space is useful to prevent these insects quest. If all ready in the human living space, the same treatment for bed bugs will help eliminate this temporary problem. Subscribe to Eddy County Ag news at: http://nmsueddyag.blogspot.com/ Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page. You are subscribed to USDA Office of Communications. Release No. 0027.17 Contact: USDA Office of Communications firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 720-4623 USDA Expands Meat and Poultry Hotline Hours to Further Provide Food Safety Information to Consumers WASHINGTON, April 3, 2017 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced that it is increasing the delivery of safe food handling and preparation information by expanding the hours of its Meat and Poultry Hotline and Ask Karen chat services. As detailed in the Agency’s 2017-2021 Strategic Plan, FSIS is focusing on the reduction of foodborne illness, and one way to contribute to that reduction is to increase public awareness of safe food handling information. FSIS’ Meat and Poultry Hotline has been educating consumers since 1985. The toll-free telephone service assists in the prevention of foodborne illnesses by answering consumers’ questions about the safe storage, handling and preparation of meat, poultry and egg products. Beginning today, the hotline will be open for two additional hours, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. “Our hotline provides a valuable service in educating consumers about how to safely prepare food,” said FSIS Administrator Al Almanza. “By keeping the hotline open an additional two hours, we are expanding our reach to allow more consumers, including those on the West Coast, to have their food safety questions answered.” The hotline is accompanied by Ask Karen, a 24-hour online service that provides answers to thousands of frequently asked questions and also allows consumers to email or live-chat with a food safety specialist during operating hours. For 32 years the Meat and Poultry Hotline has answered questions about food manufacturer recalls, food poisoning, food safety during power outages, and the inspection of meat, poultry and egg products. From novice cooks roasting their first turkey to experienced food handlers asking about foodborne bacteria, the Meat and Poultry Hotline has answered more than 3 million calls since its inception. “Our hotline staff are experts in their field and have backgrounds in nutrition, food technology and public health,” said Almanza. “Experts are available to talk with people in English and Spanish, so we are able to help address the food safety needs of diverse communities.” Consumers can contact the Meat and Poultry Hotline to speak to a live food expert at 1-888-674-6854, or visit Ask Karen to chat or email (in English or Spanish), Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time/7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific Time. # ________________________________________ Contact Us STAY CONNECTED: SUBSCRIBER SERVICES: Manage Preferences | Delete profile | Help ________________________________________ This email was sent to email@example.com using GovDelivery, on behalf of: USDA Office of Communications · 1400 Independence Ave SW · Washington DC 20250 If you have questions about USDA activities, please visit our Ask the Expert page. This feature is designed to assist you in obtaining the information you are seeking. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
Wildlife water project draws partners together Ruidoso News By Dianne L Stallings …The project involved a partnership of multiple agencies, a working rancher with a science background and volunteers willing to invest their muscle and sweat to finish the on-ground installation. The result will benefit wildlife and livestock in a self-sustaining network of a productive well, storage, pumps, a float box, overflow pipes, tough and dirt tank…"We’ve done a lot of improvements on the ranch that have helped the wildlife tremendously and that’s where the idea for this came from. Everything we do for wildlife obviously helps livestock as well. We’ve added a lot of small little ponds for surface water and in doing so, we’ve seen a tremendous increase in wildlife populations during the drought, everything from quail and rabbits all the way up to antelope and deer."
State Land Commissioner and Agriculture Industry Agree to New Grazing Fee State Land Office Press Release State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn this week met with members of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, and the Northern New Mexico Stockmen’s Association who agreed to support a 3.38% increase in grazing fees for livestock on State Trust Lands. The current fee of $5.99 per Animal Unit Month (AUM) is effective until September 30, 2017 and the new fee of $6.19 will take effect October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018.The factors adjust agricultural lease rental fees up or down depending on the value of forage and economic conditions in the livestock industry. Industry leaders who support the increase include Craig Ogden, President of the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau, who said, “The grazing fee formula works in its present form.”
New Mexico Sheepman Elected to Industry’s Top Position Barn Media Press Release The 2017 American Sheep Industry Association Convention wrapped up on Saturday, Jan. 28, with the election of New Mexico sheep producer Mike Corn as the organization’s new president…Corn said he is humbled to lead the organization and that “It is an honor to be selected to lead the industry that my family has worked in for four generations. We have a great opportunity in the coming year to make some changes for this industry. I feel that there are positive things ahead for us and we have a great executive team in place that is up to the challenge.” The Corn family has been raising sheep in the Roswell area since the 1880s. He owns and operates his own ranch and raises white-faced, fine-wool sheep, mainly a merino cross. Corn is also the majority owner of the Roswell Wool Warehouse.
FMD Concerns Growing in South Korea South Korea last week raised the nation’s foot-and-mouth disease alert status to its highest level, as a second strain of the disease was confirmed at a dairy farm. South Korea also announced plans to vaccinate all cattle in the nation against FMD. The first confirmed FMD case in South Korea in more than a year was confirmed last week, and two other FMD confirmations followed, prompting the alert status and vaccination announcement. South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, last raised the country’s foot-and-mouth disease alert status to the highest level in 2010 when the country grappled with its worst-ever FMD outbreak, according to Reuters.
Friday, February 10, 2017
While recent studies show that today’s fathers are more likely to see parenting as central to their identity than in prior eras, a new study finds that it’s the quality of time, not the quantity, that really matters. This article in Slate also references information from last year’s Journal of Marriage and Family, which looked at the relationship between the amount of parent-child time before the age of 11 and children’s academic achievement. Read more at: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2016/11/29/study_shows_quality_of_time_between_dad_ and_child_is_more_important_than.html
Research shows that people with more social connections are more likely to be "hired, healthy and happy." However, there is less understanding and research around the role of social networks for low-income fathers. This study uses information from the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation to help fill the information gap. - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/opre/pact_secondwave_101216_508.pdf
An individual in the U.S. is most likely to experience homelessness in the first year of life. The Administration for Children & Families examines the increased understanding of the impact homelessness has on families, and especially how it affects young children. - http://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog/2016/11/supporting-young-children-and-families-experiencinghomelessness
Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts: Factsheets for Families Learning to navigate the judicial system can be a necessity for families involved with the child welfare system. The Child Welfare Information Gateway has created fact sheets titled "Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts," which are designed to help explain what families can expect during the various stages of court proceedings. Read more (pdf): https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/cwandcourts.pdf
As part of the Parents and Children Together (PACT) evaluation, researchers from Mathematica interviewed fathers who did not live with their children and discovered the complex challenges fathers face when trying to coparent. Roughly seven in ten reported frequent conflict or lack of communication between parents. Read more at: https://www.mathematica-mpr.com/ourpublications-and-findings/publications/fathers-views-of-co-parenting-relationships-findingsfrom-the-pact-evaluation
Officials in some US schools are introducing mindfulness practices in the classroom as an alternative to traditional discipline. At one Baltimore elementary school that has adopted this approach, officials report fewer trips to the principal's office and no suspensions over the past two years. Full Story: U.S. News & World Report - http://health.usnews.com/wellnes
Children from low-income families who enroll in high-quality prekindergarten programs that serve children from infancy to age 5 may have more positive outcomes later in life than those who enroll in programs that start serving children at age 3, according to a study by Nobel Prize winner James Heckman. Data show zero-to-five programs yield such benefits as better highschool graduation rates - https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/a-nobel-prize-winner- says-public-preschool-programs-should-start-at-birth/2016/12/11/2576a1ee-be91-11e6-94ac- 3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.f4df8921c258&wpisrc=nl_sb_smartbrief .
Children who were helpful and shared in kindergarten had increased odds of finishing their college education and having full-time jobs by age 25, compared with those who had problems cooperating and resolving conflicts. The findings in the American Journal of Public Health, based on teacher evaluations of 800 youths followed for 25 years, also showed every one-point increase in social competency score doubled the odds of obtaining a college degree. DailyRx.com - http://www.dailyrxnews.com/social-skills-kindergarten-linked-success-youngadults-penn-state-and-duke-university-research
Why sleep matters — the economic costs of insufficient sleep: A cross-country comparative analysis Sleep deprivation leads to a higher mortality risk and lower productivity levels among the workforce, putting a significant damper on a nation's economy. Read more » http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1791.htm
Tuesday, February 7, 2017
12 Tips for Carefully Choosing Income Tax Return Preparers 12 Tips for Carefully Choosing Income Tax Return Preparers February 06, 2017 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week warned taxpayers to be on the lookout for unscrupulous return preparers, one of the most common “Dirty Dozen” tax scams seen during tax season. The vast majority of tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service. But there are some dishonest preparers who set up shop each filing season to perpetrate refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt taxpayers. That's why unscrupulous preparers who prey on unsuspecting taxpayers with outlandish promises of overly large refunds make the Dirty Dozen list every year. "Choose your tax return preparer carefully because you entrust them with your private financial information that needs to be protected," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "Most preparers provide high-quality service but we run across cases each year where unscrupulous preparers steal from their clients and misfile their taxes." Return preparers are a vital part of the U.S. tax system. About 60 percent of taxpayers use tax professionals to prepare their returns. Illegal scams can lead to significant penalties and interest and possible criminal prosecution. IRS Criminal Investigation works closely with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to shutdown scams and prosecute the criminals behind them. Choosing Income Tax Return Preparers Carefully It is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare a tax return. Well-intentioned taxpayers can be misled by preparers who don't understand taxes or who mislead people into taking credits or deductions they aren't entitled to in order to increase their fee. Every year, these types of tax preparers face everything from penalties to jail time for defrauding their clients. Here are a few tips when choosing a tax preparer: Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Paid tax return preparers are required to register with the IRS, have a PTIN and include it on tax returns. Inquire whether the tax return preparer has a professional credential (enrolled agent, certified public accountant or attorney), belongs to a professional organization or attends continuing education classes. A number of tax law changes can be complex. A competent tax professional needs to be up-to-date in these matters. Tax return preparers aren't required to have a professional credential. The IRS website has more information regarding the national tax professional organizations. Check the preparer's qualifications. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This tool can help locate a tax return preparer with the preferred qualifications The Directory is a searchable and sortable listing of certain preparers registered with the IRS. It includes the name, city, state and zip code of: Attorneys CPAs Enrolled Agents Enrolled Retirement Plan Agents Enrolled Actuaries Annual Filing Season Program participants Check the preparer's history. Ask the Better Business Bureau about the preparer. Check for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. For CPAs, check with the State Board of Accountancy. For attorneys, check with the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, go to www.IRS.gov and search for “verify enrolled agent status” or check the Directory. Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client's refund or boast bigger refunds than their competition. Don't give your tax documents, SSNs, and other information to a preparer when only inquiring about their services and fees. Unfortunately, some preparers have improperly filed returns without the taxpayer's permission once the records were obtained. Ask to e-file your return. Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically. The IRS has processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed tax returns. It's the safest and most accurate way to file a return. Provide records and receipts. Good preparers will ask to see your records and receipts. They'll ask questions to determine your total income, deductions, tax credits and other items. Do not rely on a preparer who is willing to e-file your return using your last pay stub instead of your Form W-2. This is against IRS e-file rules. Make sure the preparer is available. In the event questions come up about your tax return, you may need to contact your preparer after the return is filed. Avoid fly-by-night preparers. Understand who can represent you. Attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents can represent any client before the IRS in any situation. Annual Filing Season Program participants may represent you in limited situations if they prepared and signed your return. However, non-credentialed preparers who do not participate in the Annual Filing Season Program may only represent clients before the IRS on returns they prepared and signed on or before Dec. 31, 2015. Never sign a blank return. Don't use a tax preparer that asks you to sign an incomplete or blank tax form. Review your return before signing. Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions if something is not clear. Make sure you're comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it and that your refund goes directly to you – not into the preparer's bank account. Reviewing the routing and bank account number on the completed return is always a good idea. Report abusive tax preparers to the IRS. You can report abusive tax return preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If you suspect a return preparer filed or changed the return without your consent, you should also file Form 14157-A, Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit. You can get these forms on www.IRS.gov. To find other tips about choosing a preparer, understanding the differences in credentials and qualifications, researching the IRS preparer directory, and learning how to submit a complaint regarding a tax return preparer, visit www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro. Remember: Taxpayers are legally responsible for what is on their tax return even if someone else prepares it. Make sure the preparer you hire is up to the task.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
NMSU’s provides 4-H Military Partnership program statewide DATE: 01/12/2017 WRITER: Jane Moorman, 505-249-0527, firstname.lastname@example.org CONTACT: Brittney Sonntag, 505-243-1380, email@example.com Paper airplanes and propeller sticks fly around the room as kids chase their flying objects. This is a special day at the Kirtland Air Force Base youth recreation center. It’s National Youth Science Day and the youth are learning about airplane flight and drones. New Mexico State University’s 4-H agents Brittney Sonntag and Nicole Jaynes have brought the national 4-H activity to the youth center. Helping with the activities are volunteers from Sandia Labs. Lockheed Martin, parent company of Sandia Labs, is a national partner for the science day. This is just one activity the 4-H agents provide for the children of military personnel through the 4-H Military Partnership program. Through deployment and other events, military children face multiple stressors, which emphasizes the importance of youth development skills that help them process adversity by positively adapting to situations. “The 4-H club provides youth an opportunity to take on leadership roles, creating the opportunity to communicate and think of other’s interests, and the needs of other age groups of youth,” Sonntag said. “It is critical that military children have the opportunity to develop resiliency skills within their family and community.” Over the last four years, New Mexico 4-H has been working to strengthen its partnership with the military installations in the state. Currently, there are programs at Holloman and Kirtland air force bases, New Mexico Army National Guard in Albuquerque and White Sands Army Base. “Statewide annually we have approximately 215 military youth enrolled in 4-H and another 650 military youth reached through 4-H programing at the various installations,” Sonntag said. “There are four main components in the program, health and nutrition; STEM – science, technology, engineering and math; community service; and integration into traditional 4-H programs off-base,” Jaynes said. Fourteen youth participating in a five-day 4-H cooking camp at Holloman AFB learned about nutritional food choices, menu planning, food preparation, food and kitchen safety and etiquette. At Kirtland AFB, a year-long project combined learning where food comes from with nutritional cooking. “We decided to reconstruct a garden area on the base and asked Home Depot for help,” said Sonntag. “Home Depot donated $500 worth of plants and provided a gardening expert to help design and plan for a successful garden.” With help from military personnel volunteers, the garden was created. An automated drip irrigation system was designed and installed by the youth. “Throughout the summer, the Kirtland AFB youth center had harvest days,” Sonntag said. “The youth harvested the produce then prepared it for consumption and served it with lunch that day.” Twenty-four youths, grades kindergarten through fifth grade, attended a week-long STEM camp at White Sands Army Base where they experienced science through hands-on activities. They had fun learning about chemical reactions and what happens when different ingredients are mixed together making Play-Doh, bubbles, Silly Putty and goo. Eleven youths, ages 9 to 14, participated in a three-day rocketry camp at Kirtland AFB youth center. “They build three rockets – a construction paper model, a water rocket and a model rocket,” Sonntag said. “At the conclusion, the model rockets were launched.” Community service projects at the various installations included participating in the Read Across America Celebration and making no-sew blankets for Animal Humane of New Mexico. “An important aspect of the 4-H Military Partnership is to have the military youth participate in traditional 4-H programs so they become involved in the community where their installation is located,” said Sonntag. “One way to do this is to have the military youth enter their projects in their respective county fairs. The New Mexico military youth entered over 400 projects.” Future plans are being made for a leadership building activity of rafting on the Rio Grande south of Taos. The activity is being offered to all military pre-teens and teens. They will be joining the Bernalillo County 4-H Council members in this activity. “This will be a big event, getting everybody together for a leadership day,” Sonntag said. “It will be interesting seeing what other activities evolve from this gathering of the youth.” The 4-H Military Partnership between Bernalillo County Urban 4-H and Kirtland AFB has already established a working relationship that the youth enjoy. “The kids really look forward to 4-H day,” said Lucy Burbach, recreational specialist at Kirtland AFB youth recreation center. “I really appreciate Brittany and Nicole. They have vast knowledge for various activities such as cooking, jewelry making and sewing. They have helped me a lot with our photography club.”
USDA Announces Farm Service Agency Cooperative Agreements 01/12/2017 02:00 PM EST WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced cooperative agreements with 46 partners to educate producers, including those who have been historically underserved by USDA programs, about Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs that provide financial, disaster or technical support. Nearly $2.5 million will go to nonprofits and universities that will provide training and access to FSA programs, financial resources and other information.
Monday, January 16, 2017
EPA Finalizes Steps to Better Protect Bees from Pesticides EPA’s is releasing a final policy which describes methods for addressing acute risks to bees from pesticides. Applications of acutely toxic pesticides would be prohibited under certain conditions when bees are most likely to be present. While the restrictions focus on managed bees, EPA believes that these measures will also protect native bees and other pollinators that are in and around treatment areas. New label language will protect managed bees under contract to provide crop pollination services. The final Policy to Mitigate the Acute Risk to Bees from Pesticide Products is more flexible and practical than the proposed policy. For example, a product that retains its toxicity to bees for a shorter time might be allowed to be applied under certain circumstances. Also, in some cases, pesticide application would be allowed when it is unlikely that pollinators will be foraging for crops that have extended bloom periods. The EPA will begin implementing this policy in 2017 by sending letters to registrants describing steps that must be taken to incorporate the new labeling. EPA continues to encourage efforts by states and tribes to reduce pesticide exposure to bees and other insect pollinators through locally-based measures, such as through Managed Pollinator Protection Plans (MP3s). EPA will continue to assist the American Association of Pest Control Officials in developing performance measures for MP3s and will continue to monitor the progress and effectiveness of pollinator protection plans in reducing bee exposure to pesticides. EPA has also engaged the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee in examining the best ways to measure the effectiveness of MP3s. For more information on the proposal, its supporting documents, and comments received, please see regulatory docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0818. EPA’s Actions to Protect Pollinators Pollinator Protection at EPA
View it as a Web page. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USFSA/bulletins/1803fd3 USDA Expands Grasslands Conservation Program to Small-Scale Livestock Producers 01/13/2017 12:00 PM EST WASHINGTON, Jan.13, 2017 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Val Dolcini today announced that USDA will accept over 300,000 acres in 43 states that were offered by producers during the recent ranking period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands enrollment with emphasis placed on small-scale livestock operations. Through the voluntary CRP Grasslands program, grasslands threatened by development or conversion to row crops are maintained as livestock grazing areas, while providing important conservation benefits. Approximately 200,000 of the accepted acres were offered by small-scale livestock operations.
Friday, January 13, 2017
We’re already deep into cold and flu season – but it’s never too late to start protecting yourself. Easy step? Keep your hands clean. Consider this: 65% of U.S. parents of children ages 5 and under don’t always wash their hands for at least 20 seconds, according to a new survey by Wakefield Research for the American Cleaning Institute. Any less than that and you could be leaving gross flu germs behind and spreading them to others.
And learning hand hygiene begins long before children can read and write. ACI offers parents five finger tips to help prevent their young ones from getting sick, spreading illness and missing school.
Set a good example by washing your own hands often and properly.
Teach kids to soap up for at least 20 seconds, rinsing and drying completely.
Explain to kids the reasons they should wash up, to keep from getting sick and spreading germs.
Tell kids when to wash, such as after using the bathroom, while cooking and after touching animals, blowing your nose, coughing and sneezing.
Keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers or gels or antibacterial wipes on hand for when soap and water are unavailable.
The holidays can do a number on your home! Between houseguests, holiday feasts, and kids on school breaks, your house probably need some TLC. ACI offers tips for cleaning up after houseguests, storing holiday decorations, and more.
Holiday stains are no match for ACI’s Stain Removal Chart. Whether gravy, candle wax, wine, or chocolate, this handy guide will help get those stains out in no time. Caution: check to see if the stain has been removed before adding to the dryer. If the stain remains, wash again since dryer heat can permanently set some stains.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
The start of a new year offers an opportunity to reflect on and consider what you can do to make your life happier and healthier. Put food safety at the top of your resolution list and commit to safely handling food all year long.
"While many focus resolutions on health goals like weight loss or training for a marathon, it's also important to consider food safety," said registered dietitian and past Academy Spokesperson Joy Dubost (2011-2016). "By following a few simple steps to safely handle food at home, you can keep food safe and dramatically reduce your risk of food poisoning."
One in 6 Americans is sickened by food poisoning each year, and while it may involve flu-like symptoms, foodborne illness can cause severe and even life-threatening illnesses.
"Food safety is an important investment in your entire family's health," said Dubost. Young children and infants, pregnant women, older adults and people with chronic diseases such as diabetes are at an increased risk of food poisoning.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 85 percent of all foodborne illness could be prevented if people just handled food properly.
Ensure your kitchen is equipped for food safety this coming year, and follow these simple steps to properly handle food and reduce your risk of food poisoning:
- Wash your hands. Hand washing has the potential to save more lives than any single vaccine or medical intervention, according to the CDC. Wash hands thoroughly in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Buy and use a food thermometer. The only way to determine if harmful bacteria has been eliminated is to cook food to a safe minimum internal temperature. Always use a food thermometer to ensure food is fully cooked. Don't rely upon sight, smell or taste.
- Keep it clean. Use hot, soapy water to wash countertops and surfaces, cutting boards, refrigerator door handles and utensils. After cleaning, keep it clean by avoiding cross-contamination. Start by washing hands thoroughly after handling raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs. And use a separate cutting board for raw meat and poultry from the cutting board you use for ready-to-eat foods such as bread and produce. Wrap raw meat and poultry in sealed containers or plastic bags and place on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to prevent the raw meat juices from dripping onto other foods and surfaces.
- Safely store leftovers. Perishable food should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of serving or throw them out. In hot weather, when 90°F or above, toss within one hour of serving. Use an appliance thermometer to check that the refrigerator is cooling to 40°F or below and the freezer is 0°F or below.