Local Interest

By Tammie Ostdiek
Extension Educator – Food, Nutrition and Health

Preparing for holiday meals this year may look different for many people, as we consider celebrating in smaller family groups due to COVID-19. Some people may be preparing turkey for the first time. Follow these basic turkey recommendations for food safety. 

Things to do ahead of time:

Gary Stone, Nebraska Extension Educator
Crops & Water Team

The wildfires that took place late this summer and early fall in Colorado and Wyoming are almost completely controlled, but they still might affect agriculture throughout Nebraska next growing season, and for years to come.

Why? Both of these fires as a whole or in part affect the Upper North Platte River watershed. Causes are uknown at this time for the Cameron Peak fire, west of Fort Collins, Colo., and the Mullen fire, west of Laramie, Wyo.

Annie’s Project classes for women in agriculture will take place this November and December across Nebraska. This hybrid event will be comprised of virtual and in-person components to bring farm and ranch women together to learn from experts about agricultural risk management.

Dave Ostdiek, Communications Associate UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center

The COVID pandemic of 2020 has contributed to increased food insecurity for many Nebraska families.

In response, communities have pitched in to help. And some of the donated food is produce that has been grown this year at community gardens around Nebraska, which leverage local volunteers with grant funds from Growing Together Nebraska (GTN), part of Nebraska Extension’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) program.

Finding, hiring and retaining quality employees are major challenges for agricultural business in Nebraska. Competition for the available workforce comes from area industries, and the labor market is tight. 

Nebraska Extension will host a virtual seminar series in December (Dec. 8, 11, 15 and 18) designed to help agricultural employers learn techniques and leadership practices to help motivate and empower employees.

Dr. Bob Milligan, Senior Consultant with Dairy Strategies LLC and Professor Emeritus from Cornell University, will lead the seminar. Topics will include:

An upcoming online training for agricultural professionals will teach individuals how to recognize and respond to potential signs of crisis and suicidal behavior.

Farming and ranching can be stressful in the best of times. Financial worries, unpredictable weather, unpredictable commodity prices, plant pests, livestock diseases and isolation all contribute to a producer’s anxiety. And now Nebraska’s rural communities and families are coping with the unpredictability and imposed isolation produced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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