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.