The U of I Extension annual canner testing day will be held on Tuesday, June 6 at the Extension office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Bring only the lid from dial-gauge canners to the office, and we'll test them for accuracy while you wait and at no charge.
A parts list will be available from Presto if you need to order gauges, gaskets, etc.
Another resource you can use this season is at the University of Georgia food preservation website which can be accessed at www.homefoodpreservation.com.
Whether you're a recent grad, a UI graduate of many years, or just a good Illini fan, this tour to the University of Illinois on Thursday, June 8 will surely include some things you'll really enjoy and haven't seen before.
The University of Illinois is one of the original 37 public land-grant institutions created within 10 years of the signing of the Morrill Act by Abraham Lincoln in 1862. Today, the U of I sits on 1,458 acres and includes over 272 major buildings located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana and the surrounding area.
On June 8, we will leave the Extension office parking lot at 7:00 a.m. and travel to Champaign-Urbana by bus, where we will be guided through the new "South Farm" area; tour the new ACES Library, Information and Alumni Center (dedicated in 2001); the brand new Alice CampbellAlumni Center (opened on May 12, 2006); and continue with our campus tour at Christopher Hall (the new Family Resiliency Center which opened December 16, 2005 and was funded by Doris Christopher, an Extension agent in her early years who went on to found "The Pampered Chef"). We will also take a tour of the Ubben Basketball practice facility and a bus tour of the entire campus town area.
The cost of the tour is $32, and reservations will be taken on a first come, first served basis. Checks should be made payable to "Christian County HCEA" and sent to the UI Extension office, located at 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville.
The Dudley Smith Farm in Christian County will be the host site for a Beef Cow-Calf Field Day on Thursday, June 8 beginning with registration at 9:30 a.m., programfrom 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
The field day will place special emphasis on pasturing cattle, rotational grazing with a focus on forage quality, winter through summer grazing for 2005 – 2006, and current research topics: improving pastures, annual cow costs for the herd, winter brassica performance, and managing cool season grasses.
The featured presenter will be Jason Tower, Superintendent of the Southern Indiana-Purdue Ag Center.
Ed Ballard, retired U of I Extension Animal Systems Educator, will update participants on the cattle grazing project.
Ben Tracy, U of I Assistant professor of Agroecology, Crop Sciences Dept. will give an update on Agronomic and Soil Health Issues of the Dudley Smith Project.
Lunch will be provided to all who register by noon on Monday, June 5. A tour of the research facilities will follow lunch.
For additional details on the Dudley Smith Field day to be held on June 8, or to register contact University of Illinois Extension Christian County Unit at 217-287-7246.
In recognition of the contributions agriculture makes in Christian County, the Christian County Agriculture Group, the Christian County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Christian County Fair, and the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office are hosting the 8th Annual Agriculture Appreciation Dinner at the Christian County Fair on Thursday, July 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
A chicken dinner will be served by Nelson's Catering, and Rich Guebert, Vice-President of the Illinois Farm Bureau, will be the featured speaker.
Rich is from Ellis Grove, Illinois in Randolph County and will be discussing the new Farm Bill, energy and renewable fuels, along with a crop report and advisement on specific agricultural issues that Illinois Farm Bureau leaders are working on. Rich will also take questions from Christian County farmers on central Illinois issues.
The meal is free, and tickets are now available at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office, the Christian County Farm Bureau, or the Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District office. Please make your reservation by noon on July 5 as tickets cannot be obtained the day of the event.
Tree and Shrub Insect Pests" is the first session of University of Illinois Extension's Four Seasons Gardening summer series. The program will be offered on July 18 at 1:00 p.m.
Jim Schuster, U of I Extension horticulture educator, will present the program via teleconference. The seminar will cover 18 different insects and mites that attack 14 common shrubs and small trees. Participants will learn about cultural and organic control methods. The program features a color slide presentation accompanied by the voice of the instructor as people from all over the state participate.
These sessions will be held at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office at 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville, IL.
The cost for each session is $1 and advance registration is recommended. Phone or email the local U of I Extension office for more details at, 287-7246 or email@example.com.
The next Safe Sitter class for girls and boys ages 11 to 13 will be held on Wednesday, July 19 and Thursday, July 20, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. at the Christian County Extension Office.
The two-day Safe Sitter program, is sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Christian County, Christian County Home and Community Education Association, and St. Vincent's Memorial Hospital.
The Safe Sitter program is a medically oriented instructional series that teaches youngsters how to handle emergencies when caring for younger children. The cost is $30 per participant. To register your son or daughter or your child's babysitter, call 287-7246. Class size is limited and registration is taken on a first come, first serve basis.
The goal of the Safe Sitter program is to reduce the number of accidental and preventable deaths among children being cared for by babysitters. Thousands of preteens across the country have been trained by Safe Sitter to handle life-threatening emergencies.
During the course, students get hands-on practice in basic life-saving techniques so they are prepared to act in a crisis, with medical information taught by a certified professional.
Safe Sitter participants also receive helpful tips to make them more confident caregivers, learning safety and security precautions, such as what to do if a stranger comes to the door and when and how to call for help. Information on child development and age-appropriate activities, and the business aspects of babysitting are also taught.
To become a certified Safe Sitter, students have to pass a rigorous practical and written test to show they have mastered the key concepts and have the skills necessary to handle an emergency.
For registration information, call the Christian County at 287-7246.
Submitted by Barb Miller, Safe Sitter Coordinator
The Safe Sitter program is looking foradditional instructors. This is a very important program in this county and has always been well attended by the students.
Safe Sitter, based in Indianapolis, is offering an instructor workshop on June 9 in Springfield. If you would like to volunteer two year of your time to instructing the students, please call the Extension Office at 287-7246. The group from this area will plan to car pool for the training.
Do you love the outdoors, but can't find the time to enjoy it? Are you tired of your typical Saturday...errands, laundry, kids, cleaning, chores...the same old rut? Have we got the perfect escape for you! Here's your chance to rekindle old outdoor interests or learn new ones. You don't have to be in tip-top shape or handy with an axe...this is simply your chance to spread your wings and try something new in a beautiful outdoor environment. Join us at the Women in the Outdoors event on Saturday, August 5, 2006 at Sangchris Lake State Park in Rochester, IL. The event is hosted by the Woody's White Oaks Chapter of the National Wild TurkeyFederation.
Through this event, women from all walks of life will be given the chance to experience the thrill of outdoor activities such as outdoor cooking, canoeing, archery, rock wall climbing, recreational shooting, and many more. It will also allow women to develop a greater understanding of wildlife conservation and meet others who share their enthusiasm.
The events are held across the country with experts on hand to teach in a noncompetitive manner. The combination of sponsorship and local chapter support allows the NWTF to offer these programs at a low cost to participants. The cost for the entire day's activities is $50 or $40 for the early bird registration if received
by July 22, 2006; bring a friend and each of you will receive an additional $5 discount. The registration fee includes your choice of classes, lunch, equipment use and supplies, a membership in Women in the Outdoors program and a subscription to Women in the Outdoors magazine, the Federation's full-color, quarterly publication with articles and information on a variety of outdoor adventure and activities.
The Women in the Outdoors program's mission is to provide hands-on, educational outdoor opportunities forwomen. The program is now in its ninth year, and there are nearly 43,000 members. "The Women in the Outdoors" program allows the National Wild Turkey Federation to reach an entirely new audience, one that has been overlooked in the past for outdoor sports and conservation," said Rob Keck, NWTF CEO.
For more information, contact Sue Gibbons at (217) 622-8270, Marsha Lynch at (217) 287-1315, Ext. 3 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, e-mail Cindy Spillman, Women's Regional Coordinator, at email@example.com, call 1-800-THE-NWTF or visit the NWTF web site at www.womenintheoutdoors.org.
Life is good. You have two job offers and they both pay the same great salary. You may think financially it does not matter which job you accept. "Wait," says Kathy Sweedler, Extension Assistant for University of Illinois Extension, "have you considered the financial worth of job benefits?" It may not seem like a big deal, but job benefits can make a significant difference in your financial picture.
What are job benefits? Job benefits are the extra things an employer gives you in addition to your paycheck. Common job benefits include health insurance, retirement savings plans, and life and disability insurance. Not all companies offer job benefits, and benefits are not the same from one company to the next. However, it does pay to compare benefits when comparing jobs. For example, companies annually spend, on average, over $3,000 for health insurance for a single person and over $7,000 per employee for family health insurance coverage according to a recent national survey. Having this type of job benefit can make a difference in your finances.
Ask about benefit choices whenever you start a new job. It is also a good idea to review your choices annually to be sure you are signed up for the benefits that make the most sense for you. New benefits may be available or your family needs may have changed during the year.
Make the most of your job benefits. Are you taking advantage of an employer-sponsored retirement plan? One of the big advantages of employer-sponsored retirement savings plans is that they are usually tax-deferred plans. When you put money into a tax-deferred savings plan, you do not pay taxes on the money until you withdraw funds – usually when you are retired. Because of this tax break, more of your income is invested and your savings can grow faster. For example, if you decide to invest $100 in an employer-sponsored retirement plan that is tax-deferred all of the $100 is invested. In contrast, if you take $100 of your salary home to purchase stocks, first you need to pay taxes on the money. Assuming you pay 28% in federal and state income taxes, about $28 would go towards taxes and you would only have $72 to invest in stocks. Putting more of your money into investments, and less into taxes now, makes good sense.
Would you like to learn more about tax-deferred savings plans? Visit the interactive website, Plan Well, Retire Well: Your how-to guide at www.RetireWell.uiuc.edu. Once you are at the website, go to the section, "Save for Retirement." This area features easy-to-read information that clearly states the advantages and disadvantages of different savings plans, as well as tips on how to maximize your advantages. Under "Maximize Your Savings" you can use an online calculator to see how saving as little as $25-$100 a month until retirement can add up. Use the website's worksheets to design a retirement savings plan that works for you.
Calculate Your Net Worth
Just what are you worth? Your net worth is the difference between your assets (what you own) and your liabilities (what you owe). It's a good idea to stop and think about this once a year. I like to calculate my net worth while I'm working on filing taxes -- I already have all my financial statements in one pile to do my taxes so it's a convenient time. To make calculating your net worth very easy, use the Plan Well, Retire Well worksheet "Personal Balance Sheet." You'll find the worksheet under the Goal Setting section, in Step 2: Where Are You Now?, page 3. And, remember, give yourself a pat on your back as your net worth grows over time!
The University of Illinois Extension Christian County website located at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian is a quick pathway to research-based facts and other information available from the University of Illinois.
New to the website this month is a local link to "Walk in My Shoes", a website to help children understand older people better by sharing their experiences. This 4-H/youth website provides children with many different activities to help them learn that not all older folks are the same. Check it out.