New to the University of Illinois Extension Christian County website this month is a site entitled, Meat Safety for the Consumer, which provides basic information on foodborne illnesses, shopping and transporting meat, proper meat preparation techniques and ways to handle meats and seafood safely. The site was developed by Susan Brewer, professor of food science, and Karen Chapman-Novakofski, Extension Specialist, Nutrition. You can visit the site at: http://www.extension.uiuc.edu/meatsafety/
According to a recent Gallup poll of 1,013 adults, Americans are using the Internet as follows:
·87 percent of those who described Internet use as frequent or occasional are active users of e-mail.
·73 percent of respondents use the Internet.
·72 percent of frequent or occasional Internet users go to the Internet for news and weather information.
·20 percent of regular Internet users read blogs.
Time on the Internet
·33 percent spend more than one hour a day.
·18 percent spend up to one hour a day.
·13 percent use the Internet a few times a week.
·Nine percent use the Internet a few times a month or less
·27 percent never use the Internet
Former UI Extension Council member Linda Kehias and her husband Av, were recent recipients of the Pana Distinguished Service Award for their volunteer efforts over the years. In addition to other volunteer efforts, both Av and Linda are Christian County Master Gardeners and diligent workers for the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry in Pana.
Congratulations to Av and Linda for a most deserved recognition!!
You know it's going to be hot during fair week, and true to form, over 300 people attending the Ag Appreciation Luncheon Thursday, July 13 at the Christian County Fair were met with temperatures and humidity in the 90's. But, a good meal, great fellowship, and a cool breeze now and then made for an enjoyable outing for all.
Illinois Farm Bureau Vice President, Rich Guebert, addressed the crowd with comments regarding the Farm Bill, the farm economy, the weather, and future concerns of agriculture.
Also attending were special guests State Representative Gary Hannig, Christian County Board Chairman John Curtin, and State Senator Deanna Demuzio.
Many thanks to the following Agri-businesses for sponsoring this annual event:
Assumption Cooperative Grain Co.
BIG R of Taylorville
Christian County Farm Bureau
Christian County Farmers Supply Co.
Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District
Christian County Soil Savers
Christian County Title Company
Farm Credit Services
First National Bank in Taylorville
First National Bank on Spresser
Illinois Farmers Union–Springfield, IL
Kuhns Equipment Co.
Lower Sangamon River RC&D
Maltby Bulldozing & Excavating
Peoples Bank & Trust
Shelby Electric Cooperative
Spurling Title Company
D. R. Stock, Inc.
U of I Extension Christian County
Willeys Farmers Co-op Supply Co.
WTIM 97.3/WMKR 94.3/WRAN 98.3
The annual Ag Literacy Pancake and Sausage Fundraiser was a highlight of Saturday morning's events at the Christian County Fair. Over one hundred people came out to enjoy a delicious breakfast while supporting the local agricultural literacy program. The event was generously sponsored by People's Bank and Trust. The event could not have been held without the gracious hospitality of Dennis Adams, owner of Big Z's Café in the Expo Building, who allowed us to use his facilities. Proceeds from the event will be used to supply agricultural education kits and demonstrations to schools countywide. Thank you for making this event such a success.
Perennials for Special Uses will focus on what plants can offer beyond good looks. Want to attract butterflies or hummingbirds? Have a lot of shade in your garden? Are deer eating you out of house and home? Not every perennial suits every garden. Join Sharon Yiesla, Extension Horticulture Educator, for a new way to look at some of our perennial favorites. Knowing the uses of perennials can help each gardener select the right plants. This program will be held on August 1 at 1:00 p.m.
Incredible Edible Flowers will introduce you to a different menu choice. Have you ever looked at your garden flowers and thought, "These look good enough to eat?" This isn't just a daydream. Edible flowers add color, taste and fragrance to even the most common foods. From appetizers to desserts, edible flowers add a unique quality to meals that will make everyone think you are quite a chef. Let Sandy Mason, Extension Horticulture Educator, show you which flowers are edible, which ones to leave in the garden and even a few recipes to get you started in the incredible edible world of flowers. This program will be held on Tuesday, August 15 at 1:00 p.m.
The Four Seasons Gardening programs 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.
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? Well we've got the perfect escape for you! Join us at the Women in the Outdoors event on Saturday, August 5, 2006 at Sangchris Lake State Park in Rochester, IL. This event is hosted by the Woody's White Oaks Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
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 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.
To register or 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.
Originating from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon", pumpkins as we know them date back many centuries. In fact, American colonists were the first to make what we now refer to as pumpkin pie, originally made by slicing off the pumpkin top, removing the seeds, and filling the inside with milk, spices and honey, and then baking it in hot ashes.
Find out more about the history of the pumpkin, its importance to Illinois agriculture, and how to cook with pumpkin by attending a special program on Thursday, August 24, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office.
This program will provide participants with lots of pumpkin recipes, information on selecting and preparing pumpkin, as well as an opportunity to taste test several recipes using pumpkin as the main ingredient.
The public is invited to attend and there is no charge. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact Linda Smith at 287-7246.
About the time you think you've figured out chat rooms and text messaging, you realize teenagers have already flocked to a new technological and cultural phenomenon, creating their own Web pages for free on sites like myspace.com, xanga.com, facebook.com, and purerave.com. They "blog" (write a running Web log), post artwork, photos and videos, or share links to their favorite sites.
Unfortunately the same computer advances that allow youth to access social networks and new sources of knowledge also make them vulnerable to exploitation and harm. The free blog-type Internet sites may be no more potent than the Internet itself, but with over 51 million users and 2.5 million "groups" to join on the most popular of these sites, parents should at least be aware of these trendy gathering places for teens.
These websites have the potential for content that parents may want to shelter their children from. Cyber bullying has also found its way to these gathering sites. A crucial ingredient to protecting your children from both physical and psychological harm is the presence of a responsible adult. But to learn about other suggestions for protecting your children from negative content visit NetSafeKids at http://www.nap.edu/netsafekids/index.html. This site explains how pornography can reach your children and the various filtering and monitoring tools that may help you protect your children.
Like chat rooms, web blogging sites also have the potential for lurking Internet predators. A site may limit those who can join or "create a profile" to those of a certain age or older, but because the only real limitation may be having an active e-mail address, a child could easily join this type of site and computer predators could easily pose as teenagers. The site's safeguards can help, for example myspace profiles (a) never include a user's last name, home address or phone number and (b) can be set so others must be granted permission to join the user's "friend's list." Without this consent, outsiders can't read the user's blog, post comments or attempt contact.
But savvy predators have figured out ways to identify people. The school T-shirt your child has on in the photo he posts, the date or address of an upcoming activity, etc., can provide clues a predator can piece together. A parent's guide can be found at www.fbi.gov/publications/pguide/pguide.htm with information about protecting your children from computer sex offenders.
Another issue to be aware of is the unique way your kids may be communicating when on-line. "Leetspeak" or "net lingo" are forms of computer slang in which the user replaces regular letters with other keyboard characters to form words phonetically. It was originally used by computer hackers, garners, and people who just wanted a shorter way of typing messages. Once again, it's not inherently bad. But using this slang to hide information from you along with other suspect actions may be a warning signal. P 911 (parent alert), PAW (parents are watching) and PAL (parents are listening) wouldn't be cause for alarm. But what if your child's conversation is filled with TDTM (talk dirty to me), IWSN (I want sex now) and prOn (porn) or NIFOC (nude in front of computer). So learn a little about computer slang; it's sort of like knowing about the friends your child hangs out with. There are numerous on-line translators and dictionaries devoted entirely to net lingo. You may also want to visit the National Institute on Media and the Family www.mediawise.org or Wired Safety www.wiredsafety.org to learn more about keeping your children safe. Here's one additional topic to consider. Young adolescents and teens are more greatly influenced by advertising than other age groups. Business and marketing experts have noticed that huge numbers of young people are gathering every day on these sites. Some advertisers have begun to pay individuals to express support for specific brands or companies within the individual's affinity group. The combination of repeated marketing efforts from a peer could have great impact on your teens' spending.
So what's a parent to do?
*Continue to be involved with your child and learn about his or her interests, including Internet use.
*Keep computers in a public space in your home, such as the family room, instead of a child's bedroom.
*Continue to monitor your children's computer use, especially on the Internet.
*Rationally weigh the benefits of various aspects of Internet use against the pitfalls as you develop rules for its use.
*Keep communications open, sharing your concerns about the dangers existing on the Internet.
*Respect a teen's frustration about your involvement in his or her Web activities.
Source: U of I Extension Working Families, Summer 2006
TIP OF THE MONTH:
As you look for volunteering tasks that are physically active remember the link between physical well-being and emotional well-being. With this in mind, consider some recent research findings:
·Helping others does increase an individual's well-being.
·It's true that happier people volunteer more; but is also true that volunteering makes them even happier–it is a self-reinforcing process.
·People who volunteer frequently are more likely to report higher life satisfaction than non-volunteers.
·People who volunteer for intrinsic reasons (personal growth, relationships and community spirit) gain a greater happiness from volunteering than those who volunteer for extrinsic reasons (material reasons such as to get a better job).