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Become a 4-H volunteer!cartoon image: volunteers make a world of difference

Volunteers are the heart of 4-H. See how you can impact our youth and make a difference! Check out the 4-H Volunteers page.

4-H On-line enrollment(click the Clover)  


Farm bill meeting scheduled in Bates County

University of Missouri Extension and USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), will host an educational meeting on Monday, December 15th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Antique Tractor Village (Kitchen) in Adrian, MO, located at the intersection of Interstate 49 and 18 Highway. 

The meeting is free, but registration is requested.  Individuals who are interested in participating should register by December 12th by calling the Bates County Extension Office, (660) 679-4167. 

The 2014 Farm Bill contains several provisions that enable farmers and landowners to make decisions regarding their involvement in federal farm programs.  Landowners will have the opportunity to reallocate base acres on individual farms as well as update yield information that is used to determine some farm program payments.  Additionally, farmers will have the opportunity to elect to participate in the new commodity programs—Price Loss Coverage (PLC) and Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC). 

We hope this meeting will aid in your decision making process as the choices that you make concerning base and yield updates, as well as ARC and PLC elections, will be in effect through 2018. 

Budgeting tips for holiday spending                                      

  • Carry only small amounts of cash in your wallet so you will not spend it
  • Use credit cards only if you can pay the balance in full before the closing of the 30 day billing cycle              
  • Do not go shopping just for fun
  • Take your written budget plans with you as a reminder of the amount of money you can spend
  • Buy only what is on your list and look for the discounted price
  • Shop around to get the best price
  • Only spend what you can afford.  Remember, it's a holiday and you want to be financially happy when it's over!                     
    picture:  wrapped present with bow and dollar signFor more financial information, contact Dedra Thomas, family financial specialist, at the Johnson County Extension office at 660-747-3193.


Journal your garden

The most challenging aspect of successful gardening just might be the difficulty recalling what worked and what didn't from year to year.  Many gardeners believe the keys to successful gardening are getting your plans on paper first and keeping records.  MU Extension's new publication, MP928, From Seed to Harvest and Beyond: Garden Journal and Calendar, gives you an easy way to record your garden plans, observations and ideas.

The publication also includes year-round resources to guide gardeners at all experience levels.  Written by MU Extension horticulture specialists who teach Master Gardeners, this publication brings your reliable and relevant information.

Order today at


MO PTAC helps Missouri businesses obtain and perform federal, state and local government contacts.  MO PTAC services are available to all Missouri businesses with emphasis on small businesses; veteran-owned small businesses; service disabled veteran-owned-small businesses; 8(a) firms; small disadvantaged businesses; woman-owned small businesses; firms in HUBZones; Minority Busniess Enterprises; Women Business Enterprises; and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises.  For more information, contact Traci Baldwin at 660-747-3193 or

Don’t guess — soil tests save time and money

Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services.

Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements.

“We frequently get questions from customers like, ‘I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?’” Nathan said.

“Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements,” she said. “They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or underapplication, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment.”

Soil testing can be done through the extension office. The cost is $15 per sample. Soil testing publications

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