Explore Local Programs
- 2017 Stewardship Week
Register by April 1, 2017
- Illini Fighting Hunger - Hamilton Co Food Packaging Event
Register by April 1, 2017
- 2017 Farm and Community Safety Day
Register by May 1, 2017
Read the Latest News
- » Buckets, Bales, & Bushels Blog
Connecting You with Your Food, Farmers, and Community
- » Healthy on a Budget Blog
Find out how to save a bundle and stay healthy with affordable meal recipes, food shopping tips, and much more.
- » In The Backyard Blog
Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
- » Lifestyle Choices for Wellness Blog
Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.
- » Our Illinois 4-H Story Blog
The stories of lives changed by Illinois 4-H
- » Plan Well, Retire Well Blog
Saving and investing your money
- » Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious Blog
Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
- » Small Farms Blog
Fruit and vegetable updates for local producers
- Crop, Stock and Ledger
Crop, Stock and Ledger covers a variety of agricultural and natural resources issues.
- Recipe of the Month
Recipes from the University of Illinois INEP (Illinois Nutrition Education Programs) website.
- The Homeowners Column
Sandy Mason's Homeowners Column discusses hot topics in the home landscape each week.
- Diabetes Life Lines
Current diabetes research.
Marketing & Outlook
- Gallatin County 4-H Update
- Get Up and Move!
4-H activities that encourage physical activity to help create healthy individuals, families and communities.
- Hamilton County 4-H News
News from the Hamilton County 4-H program.
- Home Yard and Garden Pest
Provides timely information on insect, weed, and plant disease pests for landscapers, arborists, lawn care professionals, golf course personnel, and garden center operators.
- Illinois Leader
Leader news from the State 4-H Office.
- Illinois Pesticide Review
The Illinois Pesticide Review provides concise information on legislation, regulations, and other developments directly impacting pesticide use in Illinois.
Ideas for coping with the challenges of parenting and preparing your children for success.
- Parenting Again
A newsletter focused on grandparents raising their grandchildren.
- Pet Columns
General information for animal owners from the College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Pope-Hardin 4-H News
Check out the up & coming 4-H activities in Pope and Hardin Counties.
- Saline County 4-H Connection
See the latest, up to date news from the Saline County 4-H program. Our clubs and Federation have lots of events & activities planned.
- The Bulletin
Weekly bulletins during the growing season, letting you know what problem pests to look for before they reach your field.
- White County 4-H News
News from the White County 4-H program.
- Jr Chef - White Co
- Hamilton Co 4-H Shows 2015
- Hardin Co GIFT Garden
- Hamilton County Community Safety Day
- Hamilton Co 4-H Achievement Night
- Hamilton Co. 4-H
- Gallatin Co. 4-H
University of Illinois Extension serving Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Pope, Saline and White Counties
Main Office (Saline County)
912 S Commercial Street
Harrisburg, IL 62946
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm
Branch Office (Gallatin County)
216 S. Murphy
Ridgway, IL 62979
Branch Office (Hamilton County)
100 S. Jackson
McLeansboro, IL 62859
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)
Branch Office (Hardin & Pope County)
Dixon Springs Agricultural Center
354 State Hwy 145 North
Simpson, IL 62985
Main Office (White County)
1715 College Avenue
Carmi, IL 62821
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm (Closed 12 - 1pm)
Thank you for visiting our website! The University of Illinois Extension Gallatin/Hamilton/Hardin/Pope/Saline/White County Unit is the link between University of Illinois and all of our friends and neighbors in the six county area. The Extension Office offers practical, research-based information to improve lives and communities through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work. Please contact us at 618-252-8391, 618-382-2662, 618-272-3022, 618-643-3416, or 618-695-6060, with questions or to learn more about these educational or leadership opportunities. We also encourage you to add our site to your favorites list. Have a great day!
Consumer & Economic Development
When Things Get a Little Heated
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 2,000 people lose their lives in residential fires every year in the U.S. A majority of fatal fires happen when families are asleep, so having a properly installed and maintained smoke alarm standing guard for you around the clock is considered to be one of the best and least expensive ways of providing an early warning of a potentially deadly fire. When the alarm first senses smoke, it sounds a shrill alarm, allowing precious, but limited, time to escape (www.cpsc.gov). Once you and your family are safely outside the structure, the local fire department is called into action.
Upon their arrival, they may be able to quickly identify the source of the fire and extinguish it without any serious damage to your home, or perhaps their role may be to contain the fire to your residence while saving your vehicle, your exterior structures, or the neighborhood from damage. In addition to residential fires, local departments also respond to incidents on our roadways, and to fire events at commercial structures, farm buildings, and in our fields and forests.
Sadly, the news and social media are full of heartbreaking stories, like the massive wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee in late November 2016. Most of us have either experienced a fire event or know someone who has – perhaps, a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker, or another family member. A fire destroyed the residence of two of my family members. Due to the conviction of a 4-year old who understood the importance of getting out of the house and calling the fire department when he smells smoke, learned during a fire safety program provided to his Head Start class by one of our local fire departments, he is now 8 and his big sister is 12.
I recently read a Facebook post by a friend who outlined that a fire broke out in her roof during the night while she was sleeping. Her post offered a huge THANK YOU to the local fire department for their promptness and professionalism while identifying the source of the fire. Her post closed with "We feel very blessed to be part of our community."
Whether your local fire department has volunteer or paid staff, funding to support the department comes from a variety of sources, including local, state, and federal. Many of our rural communities throughout the state also seek out grant funding in an effort to keep their departments operating. Despite the specific funding source, the harsh reality is that funding is required to keep the fire trucks rolling, keep the staff at the ready, and to keep the equipment in good working order.
When faced with a shrill alarm awakening us from our sleep at 2 in the morning, we expect the fire truck to come rolling in. Therefore, there is no better time to remind the residents of Illinois that Spending Locally First ensures the department will be there if things get a little heated.
The State of Illinois, and many or our municipalities and counties, especially those in the rural regions of the State, are experiencing unprecedented fiscal challenges. Stagnant or declining revenue streams as a result of buying patterns that no longer support local businesses, which generate tax revenues and provide local jobs, are plaguing our rural regions. This new reality is placing increased pressure on local governments and other taxing districts to provide essential services, such as fire protection. The resulting dilemma for local governments is to identify new ways to balance the budget. This can mean increasing revenues (i.e. raising taxes), cutting expenses, or a combination of the two. Either way, rural residents lose, as they either pay higher taxes and/or have fewer services available.
Therefore, in the simplest of terms, the more money we spend locally and within our State, the more tax dollars we will generate to support our state, county, and municipal budgets, resulting in more resources to fund the fire departments that provide fire safety education and respond to our emergency calls.
Certainly, there may be "perceived" lower cost alternatives available online, or perhaps, just across the border in a neighboring state, but the reality is when you purchase items and pay sales taxes out of state, you are supporting their state, county, and municipal budgets, not ours.
University of Illinois Extension Educator Susan Odum says, "In a nut shell, if essential public services, such as fire protection, are important to you, then shopping local SHOULD be important to you, because it provides the resources needed for emergency response efforts to occur."
Questions? Contact Susan Odum, Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development at email@example.com
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