The U of I Extension staff takes pride in our ability to help answer the hundreds of questions that come into our office every year, whether it's related to lawns, gardens, houseplants, landscapes or crop production. One problem that eventually needs to be solved in most plant related questions is "what does the soil test information look like?" For the answer, we need to have the soil sample analyzed in a certified soil testing lab. The Christian County Extension office is now able to process soil samples you bring in for analysis. This service will provide a convenient way to obtain test data that can be used to help answer agronomic and horticultural soil-related problems. There will be a $10 fee for each Standard Analysis Test #1 sample performed. Sample bags, provided by a reputable local lab, can be picked up at the Extension office, and samples should consist of soil that represents equal portions of the top 6 to 7 inches of the soil profile. The total volume of an individual sample should be no greater than 1½ cups of soil. Extension office staff will assist you in completing a "soil sample information sheet", and a trained agronomist will provide assistance in interpreting the results. Soil sample turn-around time will be approximately two weeks. Payment must accompany each sample at the time of processing. For more information, contact Gary Letterly at 287-7246.
The U of I Extension staff takes pride in our ability to help answer the hundreds of questions that come into our office every year, whether it's related to lawns, gardens, houseplants, landscapes or crop production.
One problem that eventually needs to be solved in most plant related questions is "what does the soil test information look like?" For the answer, we need to have the soil sample analyzed in a certified soil testing lab.
The Christian County Extension office is now able to process soil samples you bring in for analysis. This service will provide a convenient way to obtain test data that can be used to help answer agronomic and horticultural soil-related problems. There will be a $10 fee for each Standard Analysis Test #1 sample performed. Sample bags, provided by a reputable local lab, can be picked up at the Extension office, and samples should consist of soil that represents equal portions of the top 6 to 7 inches of the soil profile. The total volume of an individual sample should be no greater than 1½ cups of soil. Extension office staff will assist you in completing a "soil sample information sheet", and a trained agronomist will provide assistance in interpreting the results. Soil sample turn-around time will be approximately two weeks. Payment must accompany each sample at the time of processing. For more information, contact Gary Letterly at 287-7246.
The Pesticide Safety Education Program (also known as Private Applicator Training) will be provided by U of I Extension Christian County staff to area farmers and others needing a private applicators license to purchase and apply restricted- use products. Registration accompanied with payment must be received by our office no later than Wednesday, November 29. The program will be held at the U of I Extension Christian County office, 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville. To register call 287-7246 or go online at web.extension.uiuc.edu/christian.
Registration fee of $30. Registrations will be confirmed starting at 8:00 a.m. (proof of Christian County residency will qualify you for a partial refund of training costs). Training will start at 8:30 a.m. Testing will begin immediately after training. Testing session should end by 1:00 p.m.
The PSEP "Test Only" session will be held on February 14, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. Advance registration is required no later than February 12. There is no fee to attend the "test only" session.
The 3rd Annual Illinois Organic Production Conference will be held on December 6 and 7, 2006 at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, Illinois. The conference continues to deliver practical, science– and farmer-based information to producers in the Midwest. All levels of organic production experience from "novice to established" have been considered in developing the educational content of this program. Topics related to various types of organic practices and the certification of livestock, grain, and specialty products will be covered. Marketing topics will be the theme for day-2 of the conference. For registration information, contact Crystal Bartanen at 244-8160 or go online at http://www.nres.uiuc.edu/to complete your registration.
Note: A limited number of "A Taste of Organic Dinner/Reception" tickets are available to the public at a nominal fee.
Every family wants to have the perfect vacation, but to be successful it takes planning. Think about the trips you've been on. Have you ever forgotten an important travel item? Do you know all you need to about insurance when traveling?
"Planning the Perfect Getaway", will be the offered on Friday, December 8 at 9:30 a.m. in the U of I Extension Christian County office. Jennifer Hunt, Consumer and Family Economics Educator from University of Illinois Extension East Peoria Center, will present this program.
She will share information on how to help individuals plan their perfect getaway. This program will highlight ten fact sheets to make the process easier, help you become aware of security and safety issues as well as concerns to be aware of when traveling by air inside and outside the United States, and what has changed since 9/11/01.
This lesson will also recommend what to pack to assure you have planned the perfect getaway.
Christian County Master Gardeners will meet on December 14, at 7:00 p.m. at the U of I Extension Christian County office to develop relevant educational and service related programs for Christian County citizens.
Attention current and emerging leaders of Christian County! The Christian County LEADership program is now accepting applications. The 2007 class will begin in January, and is designed to enhance the social and economic well being of Christian County by developing an active group of effective leaders.
The goals of the program are to enhance the leadership skills of participants to improve Christian County's future; familiarize participants with the community's opportunities, needs, problems, and resources; identify and analyze current economic, political and social forces affecting the county's future; establish effective peer relationships among participants; provide a common ground for communications between participants and community leaders; and to educate participants on how to move people and ideas to action.
Sessions will be held each week beginning on January 16 and ending on May 8, 2007 from 1:00–5:00 p.m. with the exceptions of January 16 and March 8, 2007 which will be all day sessions.
Topics to be covered include team building and personal leadership dynamics; history and economic development; government and education; social service and health care resources; and effective meeting management and communication skills.
Class size will be limited to 30 participants and is open to anyone interested in the future of Christian County. Tuition for the program is $199 and includes a one day orientation meeting at Allerton Park near Monticello, IL, class materials and supplies, weekly refreshments and guest speakers. Applications are available by contacting the Greater Taylorville Chamber of Commerce at 824-4919, the University of Illinois Extension in Christian County at
287-7246, or online at http://christian.extension.uiuc.edu .
The application deadline is January 8, 2007.
University of Illinois Extension and Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District will sponsor Agronomy Day 2007 on Friday, January 19th starting at 7:30 a.m. at the U of I Extension office in Taylorville. The program will highlight relevant agronomic research topics for 2007 and serve as the Christian County Soil Savers annual meeting. The program is free and open to the general public. Christian County Soil Savers renewing their annual membership are invited to participate in the breakfast. Please register for this program no later than Friday, January 12th by calling Sue Davis at 287-1315 ext. 3 or Gary Letterly at 287-7246. Soil Saver membership information will be available during registration or by contacting the Soil & Water Conservation District office at 287-1315, ext. 3.
·7:30 a.m.–Breakfast & Soil Savers Annual Meeting
·8:15–10:00 a.m.–Agronomy Day Program (including crop pest update, N-rates for Illinois, and alternative crop research)
If you have diabetes, or live with someone who has diabetes, choosing and preparing foods can be a real challenge. Learn how to cook foods that are low in sugar, fat, and sodium at the "Dining With Diabetes" cooking classes sponsored by University of Illinois Extension.
"Those attending will learn how to cook with artificial sweeteners, low-fat products, herbs and spices," explains Jananne Finck, nutrition educator with the U of I Extension in Springfield. "We'll have cooking demonstrations and taste several different recipes."
Everyone will get recipes to help them plan healthy meals at home," adds Linda Smith, County Extension Director for Christian County.
"Dining With Diabetes" includes three sessions: January 31, February 7 & 14, 2007 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office, located at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville. (There is a new date of February 28 in case of bad weather.)
The $15 registration fee includes class materials, recipe booklets and taste-testing. Checks should be made payable to University of Illinois Extension Christian County. Space is limited and advance registration is required.
For more details about this program or if you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this program, please contact the Christian County Extension office by calling 287-7246.
University of Illinois Extension is once again presenting the Four Seasons Gardening program.
The first session of the winter series is titled Emerald Ash Borer and Other Invasive Species, and Phil Nixon, U of I Extension educator will present the program. The program will be offered on February 13 at 1:00 p.m. and February 15 at 7:00 p.m.
The second session of the winter series continues on February 27 at 1:00 p.m. and March 1 at 7:00 p.m. with a session on Spring Lawn Care.
David Robson, U of I Extension Horticulture educator, will present the program via teleconference.
The winter series concludes with a session on Aggressive Thugs in the Flower Garden.
The program will be held on March 13 at 1 p.m. and March 15 at 7:00 p.m., and will be presented by Martha Smith, U of I Extension horticulture educator.
The Four Seasons Gardening programs are held at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office, located at 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville, IL.
The cost for each session is $1 and advance required by the Friday before each session. Phone the U of I Extension Christian County office at 287-7246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
A new "Local Links" to the University of Illinois Extension Christian County website this month is a site entitled, "The Miracle of Fall" which includes a live foliage camera feature plus dates and locations for fall festivals and events. There are also suggestions for the best places in the Illinois-Indiana-Michigan-Wisconsin area to drive or hike to find the best fall color. At "Pumpkins & More" one can learn about the history of pumpkins plus the plant's varieties. Information about varieties of apples and the nutritional facts such as calories and fiber content can be found at the "Apples & More" site.
IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement plans are great tools for accumulating money for retirement. But what are the rules for getting your money out of them? University of Illinois Extension Educator Karen Chan will be addressing these questions in Who Gets the Money?, a state-wide Extension event on Thursday, January 11, 2007 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
"Retirement accounts are powerful tools. But the rules can be confusing. Many people make simple mistakes," says Chan, who is also a Certified Financial PlannerTM. "Someone might fail to start taking annual distributions at the right time, and face stiff penalties. Mistakes when rolling over money from one financial institution or employer to another could cause taxes to be withheld. Understanding a few of the rules can help you make the best decisions," she added.
The workshop, Who Gets the Money?, will explain the various rules for taking distributions from tax-deferred retirement savings plans for those younger than 591/2 and 701/2, and those who have reached the important age of 701/2. Workshop participants will learn how distributions are taxed and how to avoid additional penalties. Chan will also give tips on rolling over money from one account to another, even if you're already taking annual distributions. She will explain what happens to the money when you're gone and what rules apply if you inherit your spouse's IRA.
Chan will teach you how to calculate minimum required distributions once you reach age 701/2, and to determine exactly when you must take your first distribution.
To register, contact the University of Illinois Extension Christian County at 287-7246 to reserve your space for this program. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.
The FARM RESOURCE CENTER Outreach program celebrates twenty years of serving farm and rural families in Illinois who are experiencing some type of crisis that impacts their emotional comfort level. The FARM RESOURCE CENTER (FRC) uses outreach workers who understand the rural culture to carry out confidential, free services to the consumer. FRC provides crisis intervention, stress management, suicide prevention, information & referral, community workshops & presentations, disaster response assistance, and All Kids Application assistance.
Local Outreach Consultant Abigail Merker-Polston recently joined The Farm Resource Center representing the Christian, Dewitt, Macon, Shelby, and Moultrie counties. Ms. Merker is completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and has a background in working with adolescents and senior citizens. As a wife and mother raising a young family, Abigail has a real understanding of the issues facing families and hopes to bring the necessary information and aid to local rural families when it is needed.
Confidential assistance can be received by calling toll-free 1-877-NeedFRC or 1-877-633-3372.
FRC provides services in the home of the consumer, usually at their kitchen table. This method of service delivery empowers the consumer since it takes place in a location where the consumer feels that they are in control. Delivered in this manner the service can easily serve the entire family.
The types of issues that FRC is able to help with include communication breakdown between parent and children, stress management for families dealing with the loss of employment, loss of a loved one, chronic illness, or simply the stress of raising a family when the cost of everything appears to be going up.