Weekly News Releases and Columns

June 17, 2019


Upcoming 4-H Clover Colleges

Summer is almost here and there are several great opportunities open to 4-H members this summer. Mark the upcoming dates and deadlines on your calendar to make sure you catch the exciting workshops for the following weeks!  A detailed pamphlet with prices can be found at cuming.unl.edu or in the Extension office. 

  •  Career Exploratory Welding – June 25.  Pre-registration June 18.  Class will be at the Donald Nielsen Career & Technical Center, West Point beginning at 9:00 a.m. and going to 4:00 p.m. Cost of the class is $10.  The instructor will be teaching youth the welding process using GMAW/MIG. Youth will complete the welding joints exhibit for the fair; displaying one butt, one lap, and one fillet weld.  Youth must wear boots, jeans, and 100% cotton clothing. Please bring safety glasses, along with PPE including helmet, jacket, and gloves.  If you do not have safety equipment, please indicate that when you sign up.  Bring a sack lunch and have an adult accompany you to this event.
  • Design Your Own T-Shirt - July 1.  Pre-registration is June 24.  Class will be in the Courthouse Meeting Room from 10:00-Noon.  Cost of the class is $10.  Maximum people for the class is 8.  Design a tie-dye shirt with cool patterns, then design t-shirts, you will learn simple ironing techniques and new design ideas to take home and try yourself.  Please bring two plain white t-shirts or one whil and one black t-shirt.
  •  “Fill Your Cookie Jar” – July 2.  Pre-registration is June 25. Class will be at Wisner Pilger High Home Ec Room running from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Cost of the class is $20. Learn about different types of cookies and simple baking techniques! You will need to bring a sack lunch, cookie pans, container for cookies, hand mixer, spoons, and mixing bowls.
  •  NEXT Chapter Event – July 26. Pre-registration is July 12. The class will be in the Courthouse Meeting Room and will go from8:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. for 9th graders. 12:15-4:00 p.m. for 10th graders. NEXT Chapter is a collage readiness program offered to students enrolled in 4-H beginning in 8th grade.  Throughout high school, NEXT Chapter scholars engage in events, activities, and curriculum where they will participate in career exploration, develop research skills and experiences a variety of learning methods that will help them transition to and succeed in college.


Source: Melissa Nordboe, Extension Assistant

Release Date: June 17,  2019

Cuming County Extension Board to Meet

Members of the Cuming County Extension Board will meet on Monday, June 24, in the Courthouse Meeting Room beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Topics of discussion will include 2019-2020 budget and monthly reports and setting for the July meeting date.  Budget Committee will meet at 6:3- p.m. in the Courthouse Meeting Room.

Extension board members include: Mary Meister, Eric Brockmann, Justin Sindelar, Terry Jahnke, Kay Raabe, Wahneeta Norton, Melanie Thompson, Sherry Roeber, Amber Buhrman and Karina Hasenkamp.


Source: Larry Howard, Extension Educator

Release Date: June 17, 2019


Cuming County 4-H Members Participate in District 4-H Horse Shows

The 2019 District 4-H Horse Shows were held recently in five locations across the state with a total of 374 exhibitors with 1242 entries.  These competitions ere an opportunity for youth to showcase what they have learned through their 4-H horse project area and practice good sportsmanship.

The 4-H Horst Program is an education program designed for 4-H members to learn about equine science, care, and career opportunities related to horses.  Youth have learned basic riding and horsemanship skills and build their knowledge about the care and science of horses.  Youth learn about care and management as well as safety practices while working with their nutrition to be able to apply that knowledge for their horse to exercise so that the horse is in good condition.  A key component of learning in the horse project is studying the science of animal behavior which is used while working with horses in training strategies.  Youth learn about different careers and explore career opportunities they select after high school.

Cuming County had four 4-H members participate in the District 4-H Horse Shows that were held in Bloomfield on June 10, Elkhorn on June 11 and in Ord on June 12. According to Larry Howard, Nebraska Extension Educator in Cuming County they did well and three will advance on to the State Competition.  Landon Hasenkamp of Beemer was the Champion in Junior Western Pleasure.

Complete district results for the Cuming County 4-H members are as follows:

Sr. Hunter Under Saddle, 15 & Up

Blue: Payton Schiller, Scribner

Sr. Hunt Seat Equitation, 15 & Up

Blue: Payton Schiller, Scribner

Jr. Western Pleasure Horses, 12-14

Purple: Landon Hasenkamp, Beemer

Jr. Western Horsemanship, 12-14

Blue: Landon Hasenkamp, Beemer

Jr. Reining, 10-14

Purple: Landon Hasenkamp, Beemer

Sr. Barrel Racing, 15 & Up

Purple: Jessi Brester, Howells

Red:  Shelby Gaunt, Wisner

Youth who enter and earn purple or blue ribbons at district are then qualified to enter the State 4-H Horse Expo to be held at Fonner Park in Grand Island July 14-18.


Source: Larry Howard, Extension Educator

Release Date: June 17, 2019

Beef Breakdown Workshop

In honor of May being Beef Month, Cuming County Feeders Association, ASC Lockers, and Nebraska Extension in Cuming County provided area students with an amazing opportunity to learn more about beef. Students were invited to ASC Lockers on Wednesday, May 29th to observe the processing of a beef animal to identify the various cuts of meat and to prepare it for sale. In this pilot educational program, 15 Cuming County students participated in this opportunity with the goal being for students to learn about where the beef they eat comes from so that they can better educate others about the industry as they go out into other parts of the state and country. With so much misinformation surfacing, it is important to educate youth about the truth behind the industry that feeds so many.  Evelyn Wooldrik commented that, “Even though I’m from a rural community I have not been exposed to where the cuts come from and the whole meat process. I felt that it was a very humane process and I learned a lot!” Participants started the day with hamburgers provided by ASC lockers and grilled up by the Cuming County Feeders. The tour began by walking through the facility and cooler. Students were then able to witness the breaking down of a corn fed Black Angus steer as well as a Holstein. Many stated that the comparison was eye opening! Chad Nelson, a USDA inspector, was also in attendance to go over grading and marbling in beef. The questions asked by students was feedback enough in terms of success of the day but efforts were re-affirmed when Evelyn also said, “I’m happy that I jumped at the opportunity and learned so much. I thought it gave me a real life look at anatomy and ultimately made me realize how fascinating life and creation is!” Karina Hasenkamp also shared that after picking up son, Landon, he requested steaks for dinner so he could share with his family what he had learned from the day.

We are now planning to extend this learning opportunity to adults. Stay tuned for more information about our Adult Beef Breakdown Workshop.


Source: Hannah Guenther, Extension Educator

Release Date: June 17, 2019


Larry Howard

Extension Educator

Nebraska Extension

Serving Cuming County

Ten Things to Consider When Evaluating Moving Calving Date

The severe weather of this last winter and spring has prompted many cow-calf producers to evaluate the potential of moving their calving date to a different time of year.  The following are a list of ten things producers may want to think through as they evaluate moving of a calving date. This list was compiled by Aaron Berger, Extension Educator who shares more details on each point in an article at beef.unl.edu

1. How would the proposed move match cow nutrient requirements with the quantity and quality of available feed resources? Grazed feed is most often less expensive than harvested feed to get into the cow.  Moving time of calving to a time of year that allows for greater use of grazed versus harvested feed can be an advantage economically for feeding the cow herd.  But there could also be some disadvantages.

 2. How would the move impact the quality of feed that is grazed or fed specifically in the window of time from calving through breeding? Cow-calf producers considering a move to calving in later spring, which will result in cows breeding on pasture or range in late summer, will want to evaluate the potential impact of this change on reproduction.  The change in forage quality when higher nutrient requirements are required can impact reproduction.

 3. What is the expected impact of the change in timing of calving to when weaning occurs and calf weaning weight? Nutritional needs of weaned calves and how they are managed after weaning may need to be adjusted significantly based on the age of calf at weaning and available feed resources.

4. How will the move impact marketing of calves and market timing? Changing time of calving may impact the value and weight of calves at weaning based on market seasonality and demands as well as when non-pregnant animals are sold.

 5. What will be the impact of a change in calving to selection and development of replacement heifers? The genetics that performed well under an early spring calving season with harvested feed may not perform reproductively the same in a later calving season.  A change in genetics may be needed to have cows that are adapted to a more limited input production system that can successfully breed in late summer on pasture that is declining in quality.

 6. How would the change in calving date impact the need for labor and equipment? Labor and equipment needs can vary significantly based on the season of the year when calving occurs.

7. What will changing calving date do to cowherd value? There tends to be differences in value for bred cows based on the time of year in which they calve, so moving to a different time of year may reduce their market value.

8. What opportunities would change in calving season provide to collaborate with other producers? Calving at a time outside the normal spring calving window may allow for the opportunity to source later calving females from other herds that could be used in a terminal sire system and simplify the operation.

9. How will a change in calving impact logistics for the overall operation? For diversified crop and livestock operations, changing calving date to a time of year when farming enterprises require focused time may present challenges to getting work done.

  10.Who do you know that has made the move you are considering?  Visiting with someone who can bring perspective and help identify issues or challenges can be helpful.

 Changing calving date is a significant decision that can have many effects for the entire operation.  There is no “perfect” time of year to calve in Nebraska, so understanding the potential positives and negatives of making a change is important when making the decision.  For more information on how different calving times and systems compare, please visit beef.unl.edu. The articles and Beef Cattle Reports provide research that can be helpful in evaluating calving season options.

  Food, Nutrition and Health
Hannah Guenther
Extension Educator
Nebraska Extension
Serving Cuming County

What Difference Does It Make?

 So I feel like at this point everyone knows that I am pretty obsessed with food. If you didn’t know that already, I will tell you this – the first question I ask people who I just met is what is their favorite food, the first thing I think of when I wake up is what I get to eat first, and all of my science projects growing up involved food. Yep, you read that last one right. My first science fair project in the 4th grade was entitled “What Difference Does It Make?” where I made 10 separate batches of chocolate chip cookies taking out a single ingredient each time and recording what difference that ingredient had on the cookies. So to answer your question, yes, I did make a batch of cookies without flour and yes it did look like a brown, liquid, hot mess. We have all made a batch of cookies, but few of us truly know the impact of each ingredient. So today, I am going to share with you the individual role behind each ingredient and the part it plays to make a delicious chocolate chip cookie.

 1 cup Butter

The first ingredient in almost every cookie recipe is butter or fat. This plays a big part in the flavor and texture of the overall cookie so butter, in my opinion, is always the best choice for flavor and texture.  The fat present in a cookie plays a major role in the cookies by making them tender because the butter will coat some of the flour present in the recipe and protect it from combining with the liquid ingredients which ultimately creates a tender soft cookie.

 ¾ cup White Sugar

Sugar most obviously makes our cookies sweet, but depending on the kind of sugar you are adding it plays a different kind of role. White sugar helps your cookies brown due to the Maillard Browning reaction. Once the cookie dough reaches a certain temperature in the oven, the white sugar in the dough will begin to caramelize which creates the beautiful brown color we so desire in a cookie. This caramelization is also a great way to know your cookies are done baking. When you can smell them, they are done! White sugar also creates a crisper cookie as it will absorb water in the dough and promotes the spreading of the cookie as the sugar melts during the baking process.

 ¾ cup Brown Sugar

Most cookies have a ratio of white to brown sugar for optimal qualities of both kinds of sugars. Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses and make cookies chewy and moist. Brown sugar is also slightly acidic which reacts with our baking soda to leaven the cookies.

 2 Eggs

Eggs are the main source of liquid and protein in a cookie recipe. The liquid allows for the proteins in the flour to come together and the protein found in the eggs helps provide structure to the cookies.

2 ¼ cup Flour

I will say that although all of the ingredients had an effect on the outcome of the cookies, removing the flour from the cookies was definitely the batch most altered. Flour is definitely the glue that held the ingredients. When flour is combined with a liquid, gluten (the protein found in wheat) combines together to form the structure of baked goods. It is what allows the cookie to support and sustain the chocolate chips throughout the dough. Chewier cookies will have less flour, while cakier cookies will have more flour.

 1 tsp Baking Soda

Baking soda and Baking Powder are not created equal. Both are leaveners which are rising agents for baked goods, they also promote browning. Baking soda is only to be used when an acid is present like buttermilk, yogurt, or brown sugar. Baking powder on the other hand is used when no acid is present and contains a little bit of acid and as well as a neutralizing agent. If you use baking soda in place of baking powder it can cause an acidic, metallic taste to your cookies so make sure you check your recipe!

 1 tsp Salt

The unsung hero of my cookie recipe is without a doubt the salt. I feel like many people are afraid to add it or do not add enough and it is absolutely vital for flavor and as well as aiding in the protein development of the dough. I use 1 full tsp of salt in my cookies and salted butter. I swear it is what makes them so memorable for everyone who tries them.

 ½ bag of Chocolate Chips

I thought about not including this section in this article, but I think it bears noting. I truly believe there is only one choice in terms of chocolate chips and that is semi-sweet chocolate chips. If you really want to take your cookies to the next level, use a combination of semi sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate chunks. They are the perfect bitter addition to complete a well rounded cookie.

So there you have it, a complete breakdown of every ingredient and plays an important role in a recipe. After this article, I’d say you’re one smart cookie!


Peach Leaf Curl

By Kathleen Cue, Nebraska Extension Horticulture Educator

Peach leaf curl is prevalent this spring.  The fungal pathogen, Taphrina deformans, causes puckering of leaves and unusual coloration, with bright red, yellow, lime green, or a combination of all three colors on one leaf.  Infection occurs at bud swell and bud break, when spores, overwintering on twigs and buds, infect emerging leaves. The distortion of leaves inhibits photosynthesis and early defoliation occurs, all of which affects the tree’s ability to produce peaches. If infection is severe and occurs over several growing seasons, the disease weakens the tree.

Cool, wet springs are highly conducive to the development of peach leaf curl on peaches and nectarines.  While the disease tends not to infect the fruits, fungal infection of the fruit is possible when temperatures and precipitation levels continue to favor the pathogen. As the disease matures, leaves become thickened and covered in powdery spores. Affected leaves may drop from the tree or continue to hang on branches.

Once the fungus is present on leaves, fungicide applications do not provide much in the way of protection or control. The key to keeping disease incidence low is to target overwintering spores. Dormant oil is a heavy, viscous oil that works by suffocating fungal spores on twigs and buds. Applications are best applied twice, once in late November and the second in late March when temperatures are above freezing. Other fungicide options include chlorothalonil and copper-containing fungicides.

 Nebraska Extension Master Gardeners can answer your gardening and plant questions!  The horticulture helpline is available for questions from the public at these dates and times:

Mondays, 9 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Washington County Extension, 402.426.9455

Tuesdays, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., Cuming County Extension, 402.372.6006

Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Dodge County Extension, 402.727.2775






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