Nebraska Educators News

Beef Update...  Erin Laborie UNL Beef Educator

Available in the March Beef Update... (open here)

  • Drought Management Planning Resources
  • Feedlot Roundtable Webinars
  • Nebraska Land Link Program
  • Ranchers' Input Needed on Grassland Conservation Programs
  • Nebraska Ranch Practicum
  • Nebraska Feedlot Labor and Management Survey
  • Tailgate Talk - Heifr Nutrition in Late Gestation

2021 Tractor Safety Training

All youth aged 14 and 15 who work on a farm or ranch other than their own MUST be certified through a Hazardous Occupations Course to obtain a Farm Husbandry Permit or "farm permit"  without further testing.  Students of any age over 13 may complete the driving course in any of five locations, June 7-11, 2021 after successful online class completion.    Driving courses are scheduled in these sites:  June 7 in O'Neill;  June 8 in Gering;  June 9 in North Platte; June 10 in Grand Island and June 11 in Weeping Water.  

The Tractor Safety Training Team has decided that if a family is having difficulty with the $40 registration fee, there are waivers to cover the fee.  Coordinators on the flier may be contacted regarding the waiver.  Participants should call or email the location contact person regarding where to send a completed form and learn about the next steps. 

Open the 2021 Tractor Safety Training Flyer for more information on sites, dates and further information. 

Vaping - What You Need To Know

     As vaping grows in popularity, it is becoming a problem with young people. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported in 2020 that 19.6% of high school students (3.02 million) and 4.7% of middle school students (550,000) reported current e-cigarette use. Among current e-cigarette users, 38.9% of high school students and 20% of middle school students reported using e-cigarettes on 20 or more of the past 30 days.  Although they may think it is cool to vape, how dangerous is it? Learning about the dangers of vaping and having the right tools to resist temptation are keys to breaking addiction to this dangerous habit.

    What is vaping? Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by an electronic (e-cigarette) or other vaping device. E-cigarettes are battery-powered smoking devices. They have cartridges filled with a liquid that usually contains nicotine, flavorings, and chemicals. The liquid is heated into a vapor, which the person inhales. E-cigarettes are easy for youth to hide as they come in various forms and do not always look like a traditional cigarette. Some look like USB flash drives, pens, or other everyday items.

According to, vaping

  • puts nicotine into the body.
  • is highly addictive and can slow brain development in kids and teens.
  • affects memory, concentration, learning, self-control, attention, and mood.
  • can increase the risk of other types of addiction as adults.
  • irritates the lungs and may cause serious lung damage and even death.

    Vaping causes serious physical and mental health effects. In fact, the health effects from vaping can be more dangerous than smoking cigarettes and cause higher chances of asthma, lung cancer and other lung diseases, according to the American Lung Association.

    Possible signs that your child might be vaping include: Dried out mucus membranes; dried skin around the mouth and nose; nosebleeds; sleep disturbance; emotional problems; passing up caffeine.

    How can young people quit vaping? According to 4-H Health Rocks, a Healthy Living program available online, youth need to set the stage and form reasons for quitting. Forming reasons helps one see the value in quitting. For example, they might consider how they would look, act, and think in a world without vaping.

    Withdrawal from nicotine is not easy and a forming a support group of friends or family with understanding and patience is key to helping a person break the habit. It is important to remember that youth make mistakes and can fall into the trap of vaping. Providing them with knowledge and resources is essential to kicking the vaping habit for good!

 Sources: CDC,, American Lung Association, 4-H Health Rocks

Rhonda Herrick, Extension Educator Kearney/Franklin Counties

 Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at University of Nebraska–Lincoln cooperating with Counties and the United States Department of Agriculture.

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Rural Stress

Susan Harris-Broomfield, Rural Health, Wellness & Safety

  If you or someone you know needs help with stress management or would like to talk to someone confidentially, Nebraska has some great resources:

  • Rural Response Hotline offers no-cost vouchers for confidential mental health services for persons affected by the rural crisis, also offering information about farm mediation clinics - 800-464-0258
  • Farm Mediation is a way to resolve disputes involving farm loans or other issues - 800-446-4071
  • Nebraska Legal Aid –
  • Nebraska Resource and Referral System (NRRS) lists toll-free numbers, websites, and email contacts to help you connect faster to the services you are seeking.  Visit