2015 Phelps County Extension Annual Family Picnic & Honors Night

The Phelps County Farm Family was introduced and two Century Farms were announced on Monday, September 14, 2015 at the University of Missouri Extension Picnic held at Rolla Lions Club Park.

Adam and Kelly Housewright and their children, Brody, 8; Brooke, 6; Cooper, 3; and Parker, 2; were introduced as the Farm Family of the Year.

Announced as Century Farms were the Bacon farm, across the river from the Sugar Tree Resort, and the Hunt farm, Vida.

Extension County Program Director Chantae Alfred introduced the Extension staff, advisory council members and county and state officials, including state Rep. Dr. Keith Frederick, who attended.

2015 Phelps County Extension Council Banquet - outgoing, new & current council members

L-R: Payton Varner, Sara Farmer, Laura Lackey, Windle Lloyd , Fred Mussig, Michael Collins, Jon Hartley, Bill Lindgren, Sheri Senne, Larry Stratman, and Leah Isakson - not pictured are Josh Meyer, Josh Ratliff and Barry White.

Career Opportunities with MU Extension - 4-H Youth Development Educator / Phelps County

Small Steps to Health and Wealth (PDF)

The Small Steps to Health and Wealth program motivates participants to improve both their health and their finances. Participants are encouraged to set a health goal and/or wealth goal, then take action to achieve their goals by identifying small progress steps.  Participants discuss similarities between health and personal finance issues and learn suggested behavior change strategies that can be applied to either area of life.

The impact of health on finances and finances on health is also explored. The program concludes with a discussion of seven key health and wealth success factors: attitude, automation, awareness/knowledge, control, environment, goals, and time.  Participants are encouraged to share their successes. The program includes a PowerPoint presentation, a Wellness Wheel handout, and a Small Steps to Health and Wealth Planning Worksheet.

All Attendees will receive a $5 Gift Card.

The program will be held Wednesday, September 30th from 5:30-8:30 at the First United Methodist Church, 803 North Main Street, Rolla, Mo 65401.

To sign up for this training, please call the Phelps County Extension Center at 573-458-6260 or send us an email at:  phelpsco@missouri.edu.  Deadline to register is September 28, 2015.

Fall 2015 Nature Workshops

Time to get the pressure gauge on your canner checked

When you plant your garden, it’s so easy to imagine all of the great-tasting, healthy food that will come from those tiny seeds and plants. You may be one of the people that grow not only enough to eat during the summer but extra so it can be preserved for cold winter nights. Now is a great time to make sure your canning gear is ready for production when your garden starts producing more than you can eat.

The dial gauge on your canner should be tested every year to assure it is processing foods at the correct temperature. The dial gauge registers the pressure in the canner. The pressure is an indicator of the temperature of the inside of the canner. It is important for low acid foods to be processed at 240 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the spores of Clostridium Botulinum, the bacteria that causes botulism.

Phelps County University of Missouri Extension can check your pressure gauge in just a few minutes. This service is provided for a fee of $1.

If you are looking for information on how to preserve your fresh vegetables, University of Missouri Extension has up to date information on how to safely can foods. You can download them at http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/hesguide/foodnut. The Quality for Keeps series is all about home food preservation.  

Soil testing

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 under application, 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 and mailed to the lab every Friday with a turn around time of about two weeks. Soil testing publications

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