Everyone in agriculture knows someone whose life has been affected by a farm-related injury or death. The statistics are sobering. Even more tragic is that these incidents could have been prevented if simple safety precautions had been followed. The Christian County Ag Literacy Program is teaming up with the Progressive Agriculture Foundation on Friday, September 18 for 5th grade students to make them more aware of the health and safety risks at home and on the farm.
The event will be held at the Christian County Fairgrounds on September 18, 2009, and will feature safety topics including electrical safety, PTO and grain bin safety, lawn mower safety, disability awareness, underground utility safety and food safety.
We will also be joined by the American Red Cross and the Air Evac Lifeteam. A morning and afternoon session will be offered. Students will also take home a 2009 Progressive Ag Farm Safety Day t-shirt and a bag filled with safety information to share with their family.
Anyone interested in being an adult helper at this event would be greatly appreciated. Please contact the U of I Extension Christian County office at 287-7246 to lead a group of students, help with set-up or tear down, or be a go-fer at the event.
Christian County Master Gardeners will be staffing a "Help Desk" for the public at the U of I Extension Christian County office each Monday afternoon from now through October, between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Anyone with questions or concerns about their flower or vegetable gardens, lawns or trees, may call 287-7246 or drop by the Extension office, located at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville.
The "Help Desk" is being offered by Christian County Master Gardeners to help meet the constant demand for horticultural consumer information by Christian County residents.
"Open Meetings Act"—September 10
Michael Luke, Senior Assistant Attorney General, will discuss the changes to the Opening Meeting Act that will be coming January 1, 2010. Included in Senate Bill 189 is the establishment of a public access counselor in the Attorney General's Office for reviewing complaints and issues regarding electronic communication for meetings. These changes will affect all local government and special district boards and councils.
"Reducing Flood Losses and Protecting Floodplain Resources in Illinois"—September 17
Your community has a flood problem and it isn't getting any better. You're not alone. Flood damage in the United States continues to escalate. This has occurred despite billions of dollars spent on flood control and other structural and non-structural measures. This session will highlight concepts, tools and community success stories to enhance floodplain management in your county.
"Energy Conservation—It's All in the Details"—October 22
We all pay a price to consume energy. That price is both economical and environmental. As energy costs continue to rise, we need to change the way we consume energy to combat rising costs and improve environmental quality for future generations. This program will focus on how local governments can conserve energy, decrease energy costs, and reduce the negative impacts on the environment.
"Legislative Update 2009"—November 19
This Tele-Institute will provide all local government officials with a review of current State and Federal legislative issues. Officials will learn the progress of these State and Federal legislative issues and the impact they have on Illinois local governments and the communities they serve. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss new legislation with professionals who specialize in State and Federal legislative issues.
Each session will be held from 3:00—5:00 p.m. at the University of Illinois Extension Christian County office, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL. Preregister by calling the U of I Extension office at 287-7246.
The topics for the Fall "4 Seasons Gardening" sessions being offered in September & October, 2009 at the U of I Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., in Taylorville are:
Tuesday, September 15, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, September 17, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 29, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, October 1, 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 13, 1:00 p.m. & Thursday, October 15, 7:00 p.m.
Please call 287-7246 one week in advance of the specific presentation you would like to attend. A prepaid registration fee of $5 will be assessed for pre-printed color handout materials.
Family violence affects nearly 1/3 of all women. Children living in abusive families witness violence 70%-85% of the time. Teens in dating relationships and even senior citizens are vulnerable to family violence. In fact, family violence can affect families across the lifespan.
Understanding the dynamics and consequences of family violence can help you know how to support people affected by the problem. The U of I Extension seminar, "Violence Across the Lifespan: Who It Affects and How You Can Help" will inform participants about the complex nature of family violence. The seminar explores the dynamics of intimate partner violence and how that violence affects children, teen dating violence and elder abuse.
Patti Faughn, U of I Extension Family Life Educator, will conduct the seminar on Thursday, September 24 at 9:30 a.m. at U of I Extension Christian County office, located at 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL.
The seminar is provided free of charge, but advance registration is needed by Wednesday, September 23, 2009. To register, call U of I Extension in Christian County, 217-287-7246, or email your name and phone number to email@example.com.
The University of Illinois Extension Christian County will sponsor two "backyard walks" in late September to help homeowners find solutions to lawn and garden problems.
The September 21st "Backyard Walk" will be held at the U of I Extension Office, 1120 N. Webster St in Taylorville, starting at 6:00 p.m. and lasting until about 7:30 p.m.
The home of Mark and Jeanette Gerlach, south of Taylorville, 1261 Wantland Dr. (just east off of the Nokomis blacktop) will be the site of the September 22nd Backyard Walk, also from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Both programs will cover similar topics related to home horticulture that reflect some of the challenges we faced this year in our lawns and gardens.
Plenty of time will be allowed for Q & A during the evening, and Christian County Master Gardeners will also be on hand to lend their expertise.
These evening programs are free, but it would help our planning by calling (287-7246) in advance to let us know that you would like to attend. There is no rain date, and please dress for the weather.
If you would like a "backyard walk" program in your community, contact Gary Letterly, U of I Extension, Natural Resources Educator.
Food safety principles are encouraged when planning menus for the field because safe food handling is important to avoid foodborne illness. Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
To keep foods hot, use vacuum bottles or containers to keep the temperature above 140°F. Preheat the insulated container by filling it with clean hot water. Let it stand a couple minutes before emptying and filling with the hot food. If possible, use a stainless steel or glass-lined vacuum bottle rather than a plastic lined one for hotter and safer food at lunchtime.
For cold foods, use an insulated lunch box or bag rather than a brown paper bag. Include an ice pack or a gel freezer pack. A vacuum bottle will also help keep foods cold, too.
Remember to have soap and water or packaged hand wipes available to make sure hands are clean prior to handling food.
For more information on food safety, contact the Christian County Extension office at
The University of Illinois Extension office has a public use computer site on a high-speed internet line. It is available during regular working hours—between 8:00 a.m.—4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. The U of I Extension office is located at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville.
The Christian County 4-H Foundation is now selling copies of the brand new 2009 Christian County Plat Book published by Rockford Map Co. Copies are available at the U of I Extension Office and the Christian County Soil and Water Conservation District office for a cost of $35.
If you wish to have a plat book mailed and billed directly to your residence or office, please include an additional $5 for postage and handling, and send it to the U of I Extension Christian County, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL 62568. You may also order online at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian on the Home Page, Program Registration section.
Check out the U of I Extension Christian County website at http://christian.extension.uiuc.edu. On the Home page "Today's Feature" section there is a blog on Soybean Production, and in the Podcasts section, check out the Gardeners Corner.
On the "Local Links" tab on the "Home Page," you can scroll down to the Horticulture section and choose "Focus on Plant Problems—Evergreen Trees and Shrubs." This website includes information on diseases and pest problems for evergreen trees and shrubs, deciduous trees and shrubs, and perennial flowers.
Another website "Tracking the Annual Trial Gardens" follows the growing season of 180 annuals being tested at the U of I Extension Annuals Trial Garden at the Midwest Gold House in Lemont, IL. Follow the performance of these various annuals throughout the growing season. The trials are for full-sun locations in a landscape application.
Under the Nutrition and Wellness section, the website "Osteoporosis—What You Need to Know" is a comprehensive discussion of what osteoporosis is, its risk factors, methods to prevent it, and how to establish a bone healthy diet. In addition, the authors include information on how osteoporosis is diagnosed and treated.
The secret ingredient to safely making and canning your own pie filling is the use of Clear Jel@. It is a very, very fine cornstarch mixture that gives the finished product a clear look just like the pie filling you buy in the store. Be sure to buy the regular Clear Jel@ and NOT the instant. We do have a limited supply at the office. The cost is $2.25 for 1 cup (directions included, approximately enough for 4 quart jars of pie filling).