Women in Agriculture conference set for April 10 at Sidney

"Agriculture: Our Purpose. Our Passion" is the theme of the Women in Agriculture Conference April 10 at Sidney. The conference (8:45 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Country Inn & Suites, 664 Chase Blvd.) is for women involved in farm and ranch business decisions, who want to learn more about farm and ranch management, who are landowners, or who want to broaden their knowledge of agribusiness.

The $35 registration fee covers conference materials, breaks and lunch. Advance registration is due by March 31, after which the fee is $45. Registration forms and more information are available at the Nebraska Extension office at 920 Jackson Street in Sidney. Phone 308-254-4455, email Extension Educator Karen DeBoer at kdeboer1@unl.edu , or browse to the brochure.

Expert presenters include Nebraska Extension personnel, agribusiness representatives, and others. They will share information and advice about topics ranging from the home and hobby to agribusiness and advocacy. Presenters and topics include:

  • Herb Wisdom: Amy Timmerman and Pat Jones, Extension Educators, will share knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight into growing and cooking healthy with herbs. They will cover the various types of herbs that can be grown in Nebraska and how to incorporate these herbs into gardens and outside spaces. They share the healthy benefits of cooking with herbs, such as reducing salt and sugar intake for special diets by adding flavors to dishes. There will be an opportunity to try new herbs and recipes.
  • Field Peas, a Viable Crop for Western Nebraska: Yellow field peas are expanding as a viable cash crop in western Nebraska. Courtney Schuler, Business Development Manager for Stateline Producers Cooperative, will cover the markets and uses for field peas both domestically and globally.
  • All for the Love of FOOD: Lots of people are talking about food and where it comes from. Some of it is accurate, some is not. Cheryl Burkhart-Kriesel and Connie Hancock, Nebraska Extension, will look at why this is occurring and how it impacts the entire agriculture industry on both a domestic and global level.
  • Making Supplementation Decisions: Supplementation is an important decision for cattle producers. Karla Jenkins, UNL Cow/Calf and Range Management Specialist, will talk about how to determine cost per unit of energy or protein, what type of protein supplementation is important, and how nutrient analysis of hays and commodities assists in making those decisions.
  • Capturing Farming and Ranching in Photography: Mia Varra of Dix will focus on capturing the beauty of farming and ranching in lighting, techniques and storytelling. She will share tips and tricks of camera settings, equipment and composition, and will also discuss the importance of representing agriculture in a positive manner, as well as the impact and responsibilities that photography has on the industry.

Conference sponsors are American National Bank at Sidney; Farm Credit Services of America; USDA Farm Service Agency; Great Western Bank of Sidney; USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Points West Community Banks in Kimball, Chappell, Sidney and Kimball; Sidney Federal Savings and Loan; Security First Bank at Sidney; South Platte Natural Resources District; and Nebraska Extension in Cheyenne, Kimball and Banner counties.

UNL Extension Tractor Safety Courses Offered Across Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska Extension Tractor Safety/Hazardous Occupations Courses will be offered at seven locations in Nebraska during May and June.  Any 14 or 15-year-old teen who plans to work on a farm other than his/her parents' should plan to attend.

  Federal law prohibits youth under 16 years of age from working on a farm for anyone other than their parents or guardian.   Certification through the course grants an exemption to the law allowing 14- and 15-year-olds to drive a tractor and to do field work with mechanized equipment.

       The most common cause of death in agriculture accidents in Nebraska is overturn from tractors and all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs), said Sharry Nielsen, Nebraska Extension Educator.  Tractor and ATV overturn prevention are featured in the class work.

       "Instilling an attitude of ‘safety first' is a primary goal of the course," Nielsen said. "where youth have the chance to learn respect for agricultural jobs and the tools involved." 

       Classes consist of two days of instruction plus homework assignments. Classes are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. each day. Dates and locations include:
-- May 27-28, Fairgrounds, Kearney
-- June 1-2, Fairgrounds, Valentine
-- June 5-6, Event Center, Lincoln
-- June 8-9, Farm and Ranch Museum, Gering
-- June 11-12, West Central Research and Extension Center, North Platte
-- June 15-16, Fairgrounds, Wayne
-- June 17-18, College Park, Grand Island

       Pre-registration is strongly encouraged at least one week before a location's start date to the Extension Office at the course site. Cost is $60, which includes educational materials, testing, supplies, lunches and breaks.  For more information, contact the Extension Office or Sharry Nielsen at (308) 832-0645, snielsen1@unl.edu.
The first day of class will consist of intensive classroom instruction with hands-on demonstrations, concluding with a written test that must be completed satisfactorily before students may continue driving tests the next day.   Classroom instruction will cover the required elements of the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program.  Homework will be assigned to turn in the next day.
       The second day will include testing, driving and operating machinery.  Students must demonstrate competence in hitching equipment and driving a tractor and trailer through a standardized course as well as hitching PTO and hydraulic systems.

ServSafe Food Managers Certification training March 30-31 at Scottsbluff

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln will be teaching the ServSafe Food Managers Certification program on March 30 and 31 in Scottsbluff in the Bluestem Room at the UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 4502 Avenue I. Registrations are due by March 16, and class size is limited to the first 30 paid registrations.

This is the last class Extension Educator Jeanne Murray will be teaching, due to her retirement.

At a time when consumer concern about food safety is high, the ServSafe course provides up-to-date information on food microbiology, sanitary food handling and storage, personal health and hygiene, housekeeping, HACCP food safety program, pest control and safety procedures.

ServSafe is considered the industry leader. More than 500 colleges and universities teach ServSafe to food service professionals across the county. This course is part of the National Restaurant Association Management Certification Program. More than 1 million managers and employees have been certified through ServSafe.

Sessions will take place from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day in Room 201D (second floor west, in the former nursing college area) at the Panhandle Center  For more information on how to register, contact the Box Butte County Extension Office, 415 Black Hills, Alliance, at 308-762-5616, email Jeanne Murray at jmurray1@unl.edu, or Carol Kleinsasser at ckleinsasser1@unl.edu .

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