Photography has changed forever with the introduction of digital cameras. The transition from ISO rated film to megapixels and 2GB flash memory cards may have kept you from buying a new camera.
But now, with a little help, you can overcome the barriers of new technology and start using that new digital camera. If you are considering purchasing a digital camera for the first time or just need help understanding basic digital camera functions, then plan on attending. This class will be held on Wednesday, July 11 at U of I Extension Building, 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville. Call 287-7246 to register or go online at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian.
Registration fee of $5. Registration must be made and paid for in advance. The last day to register will be Thursday, July 5. The program will start promptly at 6:30 p.m. If you already have a digital camera, bring it, along with fully charged batteries and the instruction manual.
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 Association, and the University of Illinois Extension Christian County are hosting the 9th Annual Agriculture Appreciation Luncheon at the Christian County Fair on Thursday, July 12 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Eric Cornelius, a market analyst from Archer, Daniels, Midland in Decatur, IL, will address marketing issues and give a presentation entitled "Grains & Oilseeds Outlook."
Kevin Semlow, Director of State Legislation with the Illinois Farm Bureau, will present an update on Illinois legislative issues.
A chicken dinner will be served by Nelson's Catering.
The meal is free, and a limited number of tickets are now available at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office, the Christian County Farm Bureau office, or the Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District office.
Please make your reservation by noon on July 6 as tickets cannot be obtained the day of the event.
The Christian County Ag Literacy Program will once again host a Pancake & Sausage Breakfast at the Christian County Fair on Saturday, July 14, 2007 from 6:30 until 9:30 a.m. in the Exposition Building.
Advanced tickets are $5 and are currently on sale at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office, the Christian County Farm Bureau office, the Christian County Soil & Water Conservation District office. Tickets can be purchased at the door on July 14, the morning of the breakfast.
Proceeds from the breakfast will benefit the Christian County Agricultural Literacy program, which promotes agriculture through hands-on classroom activities and programs.
For more information, please contact Ann Lupton at 824-5988.
Gardening is at its peak this time of year and the University of Illinois Extension summer gardening programs are a great way to learn more! The summer series is the third of four seasonal offerings for gardening enthusiasts! Landscape Maintenance and Rain Gardens, will be presented. Each program will be offered twice for your convenience.
Landscape Maintenance is the first program. Not sure when to fertilize the lawn or how to prune the forsythias? Proper landscape maintenance is a key element in maintaining and enhancing the value of our homes. However, sometimes it can be a bit confusing as to when to do what. Whether you are a new homeowner or been gardening for years, join Sandy Mason, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, as she presents tips on keeping your landscape as low maintenance as possible and techniques and timing of maintenance practices. Included will be a discussion of flower maintenance, lawn fertilizing and seeding and tree and shrub planting and pruning. Landscape Maintenance will be offered Tuesday July 17, at 1:00 pm. or Thursday July 19, 2007 at 7:00 pm.
Rain Gardens have enjoyed a growing interest in the past couple years but what are they and how do you install one? Plan on attending Rain Gardens – A Wise Way to Use Runoff and learn all about these utilitarian gardens. When we receive a rain, a lot of it falls on surfaces that can't soak up water. Instead of allowing all of this water to uselessly drain away, one can create an aesthetically pleasing area that will allow the water to drain back into the ground, away from the house. This is the idea behind a rain garden. Extension Educator Duane Friend will discuss various aspects of developing a rain garden, including benefits, design, and recommended plants. Rain Gardens- A Wise Way to Use Runoff will be offered Tuesday July 31, at 1:00 p.m. and again on August 2, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
All programs offered in this Summer Series will be held at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL.
The cost for each session is $1 and advance registration is required by the Friday before each session.
Phone the U of I Extension Christian County office at 287-7246 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to reserve a seat and packet of information.
The next Safe Sitter class for girls and boys ages 11 to 13 will be held on Wednesday, August 1 and Thursday, August 2, 2007 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 Taylorville Memorial Hospital.
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.
Women in the Outdoors will be presented at Sangchris Lake State Park on Saturday, August 4th. The Women in the Outdoors program's mission is to provide hands-on, educational outdoor opportunities for women. 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, fire building, 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. Woody's White Oaks Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is sponsoring this event. University of Illinois Natural Resources Educator, Gary Letterly, will present information on the "Nesting Structures–Habitat and More!" Other hands-on activities and presentations will be made throughout the day. For more information, contact Marsha Lynch at (217) 820-1770, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
The University of Illinois Extension Christian County office will be providing an approved "Refresher Course for Food Handlers" on Thursday, August 23 from 3:00–8:30 p.m. at the Christian County Extension office located at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville.
Certificates of certified managers expire five (5) years from the original date of issue. In order to have the certificate renewed, the individual must attend an approved five (5) hour training course or pass the Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification test, apply for renewal and pay a $35 fee to the Illinois Department of Public Health. This recertification course is available for only $30.
Contact the Extension office at 287-7246 to register. Checks are to be made payable to "University of Illinois Extension." Registration forms and accompanying checks must be received by August 17, 2007.
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 Tuesday, August 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.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 Planner™. "Mistakes when rolling over money from one financial institution or employer to another could cause taxes to be withheld. Someone might fail to start taking annual distributions at the right time, and face stiff penalties. 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 59½, those between 59½ and 70½, and those who have reached the important age of 70½ . 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 70½, and to determine exactly when you must take your first distribution.
Contact the Christian County Extension Office at 287-7246 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org reserve your space for this program.
Do financial web sites and magazines intimidate you? Does your broker or investment adviser use terms that confuse you? Do you hesitate to ask questions because you might reveal how ignorant you really are?
"Many intelligent people say investment terminology is totally foreign to them," according to Karen Chan, CFP® and Consumer & Family Economics Educator with University of Illinois Extension. "But there may be two issues. Yes, you may not be very familiar with the correct terms. But the fault may also lie with your broker or adviser. They aren't trained as educators, and they may not be very good at explaining concepts in a way that is easy for the lay person to grasp."
But don't let them off the hook, Chan advises. "You are the boss in this situation. Your financial professional works for you. So act like the boss: don't nod in silent agreement when you're confused. Speak up. Ask him/her to explain more or give an example."
"You can't obey the first rule of investing–to invest only in what you understand–when you don't understand what your financial professional is saying," continues Chan. "And this is a high-stakes situation: your money, and, therefore, your future, is riding on it!"
Educating yourself also can be part of the solution. You might try subscribing to a financial magazine that will give you manageable bites of information each month. Or stop at your local library and visit the finance section. Leaf through a few books and see which ones speak in terms you're comfortable with. You can check out a few and try them out.
Chan is part of a team of educators with University of Illinois Extension who have developed a web site that can help. Plan Well, Retire Well (www.RetireWell.uiuc.edu) is an interactive web site that clearly explains how money grows over time, the difference between a stock and a bond, how tax-deferred retirement plans help your money grow faster, and many other financial concepts.
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. Click on the "Local Links" tab on the "home page" for this information.
The Illini Farm Report brings you the latest crop production management and consumer information from the U of I Extension and the College of ACES. Visit the Illini Farm Report at http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/podcasts/ifr/.
The Working Families newsletter developed by educators in the West Central Region is now available on the web, too. This newsletter is designed for dual income families or single working parents (families with no full-time homemaker) in Illinois. You can view the newsletter at: http://web.extension.uiuc.edu/workingfamilies/