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Community News

Learn About the History of Agriculture from Fred Whitford

The Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Purdue Extension in Putnam County would like to invite everyone to a fun, entertaining program about the history of agriculture in Putnam County during their upcoming joint annual dinner.

 

On Thursday, January 27th, Fred Whitford, Professor of Clinical Engagement, Purdue University, will share an entertaining and informative program on the early history of agriculture in Putnam County. Fred has authored many books including Enriching the Hoosier Farm Family. Please join us in recognizing the contributions of thousands of individuals who have contributed their talents to the betterment of agriculture in rural Indiana.

 

Doors for the event will open at 5:30 pm with the dinner starting at 6:00 pm.  The event will take place in the York Auto Family Community Building at the Putnam County Fairgrounds.  Tickets for the event are available for $5 until January 20th at the Putnam County SWCD Office or the Purdue Extension Office.

 

Please consider joining us on January 27th for this fun-filled evening recognizing the accomplishments of both organizations.  For questions, concerns, or tickets, please contact Purdue Extension at 765-653-8411.  Purdue University and the Putnam County SWCD are equal access/equal opportunity institutions.

Healthy and Safe Meals Using a Slow Cooker

Americans' busy lifestyles often show up in their cooking and eating habits. More than 54% of food dollars are spent on food away from home, which is typically higher in calories and fat and lower in calcium, fiber, and iron. When families eat together, meals are likely to be more nutritious. Family meals also provide a great time for children and parents to reconnect. One way to increase meals at home is to use a slow cooker. Check out the following information on slow cooker benefits, food safety, and recipe ideas.

Slow cooker benefits. They use less electricity than an oven and can be used year-round. Because of the long, low-temperature cooking, slow cookers help tenderize less-expensive cuts of meat. They usually allow for one-step preparation; putting all the ingredients in the slow cooker saves time and reduces cleanup. A variety of foods can be cooked in a slow cooker, including soups, stews, side dishes, main dishes, meats, poultry, and desserts.

Know your slow cooker. Most slow cookers have 2-3 settings. Food typically cooks in 6-10 hours on the low setting and 4-6 hours on the high setting. If possible, turn the slow cooker on the high setting for the first hour of cooking time and then use the setting that fits your needs. Read your slow cooker instruction manual and follow manufacturers' directions. Slow cookers are available in different sizes, so instructions will vary.

Slow cookers and food safety. Begin with a clean cooker, utensils and work area. Keep perishable foods refrigerated until preparation time. Store cut-up meat and vegetables separately in the fridge. Always thaw meat or poultry before putting it into a slow cooker. Vegetables cook slower than meat and poultry, so if using them, put vegetables in first. Then add meat and liquid suggested in the recipe, such as broth, water or sauce. Keep the lid in place, removing only to stir the food or check for doneness.

Safely handle leftovers. Do not store leftovers in a deep container, such as the slow cooker. Store leftovers in shallow covered containers and refrigerate within 2 hours after cooking is completed. Reheating leftovers in a slow cooker is not recommended. Cooked food should be reheated on the stove, in a microwave, or in a conventional oven until it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (F).

Recipe conversions. Most recipes can be converted. Because liquids do not boil away in a slow cooker, you can usually reduce liquids by one-third to one-half. This reduction in liquid does not apply to soups. Pasta may become mushy if added too early, so it could be added at the end of the cooking process or cooked separately and added just before serving. Milk, cheese and cream may be added one hour before serving. For more information: UNL Food Calendar.

Recipe – Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup (Source-Eating on a Dime)

Ingredients: 2 pounds ground beef (browned and drained), ½ medium onion (diced), 3 potatoes (peeled and diced into 1” pieces), 16 oz frozen mixed vegetables, 3 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz cans), 4 cups beef broth, 2 tsp Italian Seasoning, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper

Directions: Place all ingredients in a 6-quart crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Serve hot and enjoy!

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

January 13, 20, 27, Feb. 3, 10, 17, 24 – Winter Walking group, 9-10am, Putnam Co. Fairgrounds, register at 765-653-8411

January 20 & 27 – “So You’ve Inherited a Farm, Now What?”, virtual program, 6:30-8:30pm, $25, register at https://cvent.me/a8NVYZ

January 21 – Grow Your Farm Fridays, 9-11:30am, Extension Office, $100, register by Jan. 17th at https://cvent.me/l7RdwB 

January 25 – Garden Conference, 6pm, The Beef House, $50, register by Jan. 18th at https://cvent.me/Wr5GyE 

January 27 – Putnam County Extension & SWCD Annual Dinner, $5, 6pm, Putnam Co. Fairgrounds, register by Jan. 20th

February 1 – Indiana 4-H Day, Indiana Statehouse, contact office for registration info

February 12 – 4-H Grows Knowledge, Cloverdale High School

Purdue Extension and University of Illinois Extension to host Bi-State Garden Conference

Purdue University Extension and University of Illinois Extension are collaborating to offer the annual Bi-State Garden Conference, being held at The Beef House Restaurant at 16501 Indiana State Road 63, Covington, Indiana, on Tuesday, January 25th. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET with the conference starting at 6:00 p.m. ET.

 

The conference program includes:

  • “Invasive Insects on the Horizon in 2022: What to Watch For and How to Handle Them” by Elizabeth Barnes, Purdue University, discussing what invasive insects might be impacting our environment in the near future.
  • “Introduction to Rainscaping Education” by Kara Salazar, Purdue University, will discuss what it is, why you might want to incorporate it into your property, and other basic facts about rainscaping.

The conference includes a Beef House dinner and concludes at approximately 9:00 p.m. ET. The registration fee is $50 (includes dinner) and is payable online. Educational credits for Indiana/Illinois Agriculture Teachers have been approved for no additional fee.

 

Pre-registration is required online at  https://cvent.me/Wr5GyE by January 18th. Social distancing will be encouraged. If you have questions or need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Adam Tyler, Fountain County Extension, at (765) 793 – 6240 or tylerat@purdue.edu ; or Jenna Nees, Putnam County Extension, at (765) 653-8411 or smith535@purdue.edu. Purdue University and the University of Illinois are equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institutions.

4-H Online Enrollment Encouraged by 1/15

Indiana online 4-H enrollment opens for a new program year annually on October 1 and remains open nearly year around until early the following September. It is to everyone’s advantage to enroll in 4-H by January 15 so that one has the most opportunity and don’t miss out on any information. While enrollment is really open more or less year around, it becomes more challenging to receive communications and be informed of the 4-H program with later enrollment. The registration is done once again via typing v2.4honline.com in your internet browser and the fee is again $25 for 4-H. This year second graders may also enroll in mini 4-H online using this website as well and the fee is $10. If financial limitations are barriers for either program, please contact the office at 653-8411 to talk with Mark to arrange for payment assistance. Moreover, for those previously enrolled, you will find the info already rolled over to quickly edit and accept personal information from last year’s enrollment.

4-H is a premier source of enjoyable, educational programs to help youth reach their full potential. There are many pathways to participate in 4-H. Too many limit 4-H to only being the fair or just exhibiting a project at the fair. Putnam County has nearly 75 activities where one may participate. A project simply references a topic that one wants to study or complete associated activities and ultimately show off publicly what was learned through accomplishment. This may be via an exhibit at the county fair or even another venue besides the fair. Every project can be associated with a life skill and/or a career. A common misconception is that one must live on a farm or have animals to be in 4-H. That is certainly not true. One can actually experience 4-H without taking any projects by participating in 4-H career development events, camp, Junior Leaders and workshops.

Indiana 4-H is the state’s largest youth development program for grades 3-12, reaching over 200,000 youth in all 92 counties. 4-H Youth Development Educators in each Purdue Extension county office coordinate local activities.

In Putnam County, approved adult volunteers teach young people specific skills related to a wide variety of subjects through hands-on, experiential learning. Youth also develop leadership and citizenship skills by participating in one or more of Putnam County’s thirty plus organized 4-H Clubs. Subjects include: science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); agriculture; citizenship; healthy living; art; consumer and family sciences; and more. In 2013, a Tufts University study showed that 4-H members also excel in positive youth development areas compared to peers, including:

  • Four times more likely to contribute to their communities (grades 7-12)
  • Two times more likely to make healthier choices (grade 7)
  • Two times more likely to be civically active (grades 8-12)
  • Two times more likely to participate in extracurricular STEM programs (grades 10-12)

 

If you have questions about the 4-H program, the Purdue Extension Putnam County office located at the street address of 152 East Columbia Street is available to help. Archery, dog and horse & pony projects will close on or shortly after January 15 so leaders may continue to progress through activities due to the building of content in the activities.

Extension staff have conducted school visits to all grade three classrooms in the county and plan to visit grade two classrooms soon to conduct school visits with handouts sent home that parents and youth may review. The Purdue Extension homepage has links to enroll in 4-H as well.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

January 10 & 24 – “Where Does Your Money Go?”, 2-3pm, Putnam County Public Library,
                    register at 765-653-8411

January 11 – Last day to apply for the virtual Master Gardener course starting February 1st

January 11 – Local Leadership: Running for Office, Fairgrounds, 6-8 pm, register at
             https://tinyurl.com/run4officePutCo22

January 13, 20, 27 – Winter Walking group, 9-10am, Putnam County Fairgrounds, register
                         at 765-653-8411

January 20 & 27 – So You’ve Inherited a Farm, Now What?, virtual program, 6:30-8:30 pm,
                    $25, register at https://cvent.me/a8NVYZ

January 21 – Grow Your Farm Fridays, 9-11:30 am, Extension Office, $100, register by
            Jan. 17th at https://cvent.me/l7RdwB

January 25 – Garden Conference, 6 pm, The Beef House, $50, register by Jan. 18th at
           https://cvent.me/Wr5GyE

January 27 – Putnam County Extension & SWCD Annual Dinner, $5, 6:00 pm, Putnam Co.
           Fairgrounds, register by 1/20/22

February 1 – Indiana 4-H Day, Indiana Statehouse, contact office for registration info

February 12 – 4-H Grows Knowledge, Cloverdale High School

Meals, food pantries available today with holiday weekend

Senior Citizens Meals and RCC Food Pantry meal pick-up is today, 12:00 - 1:00 pm.

If you are 60 and older, or disabled, meal pick up is at the Community Building.

The Roachdale Christian Church Food Pantry will be today from 5:00 - 7:00 pm instead of on Saturday. They will resume their regular schedule next week.

Purdue Extension to host 'Grow Your Farm' Fridays

            Next-generation farmers and business partners are encouraged to join Purdue Extension this winter for a six-session series “Grow Your Farm Fridays.” The series will be delivered in person at five locations around the state on Friday mornings from 9:00-11:30 a.m. beginning on January 21st and ending February 25th.

 

            Grow Your Farm Fridays is a series dedicated to developing key skills in tomorrow’s farm managers. The six sessions will include programs on: strategic thinking, farm diversification, marketing, carbon credits, sustainability, legal advice, pesticide licensing, corn and soybean production, and more.

 

            Locally, the Grow Your Farm Fridays will be hosted at the Purdue Extension – Putnam County Office (physical address 152 E Columbia St., Greencastle). A virtual option to attend the program series is also available.

 

            Continuing education credits are available at select programs for private applicators (PARP), certified crop advisors (CEUs), and commercial applicators (CCHs).

 

            The registration fee is $100, and can be accomplished here: https://cvent.me/l7RdwB The registration deadline is January 17th. For more information visit https://extension.purdue.edu/county/kosciusko/. For reasonable accommodations, please call 260-636-2111 prior to the program. Registration questions can be directed to the Purdue Education Store: edustore@purdue.edu.  

Purdue Extension Master Gardener Course

Purdue Extension Master Gardeners (EMG) receive training in horticulture to equip them to volunteer to assist Purdue Extension with home horticulture education in local communities.  The requirements for Purdue EMG certification include acceptance into the training through an application and screening process, payment of registration fee, completion of the EMG Basic Training which includes passing the open-book final exam with a score of 70% or higher, and contributing at least 40 hours of volunteer service approved by the local EMG County Coordinator within two years.  Purdue Extension Master Gardeners are also required to complete at least 12 volunteer and 6 continuing education hours every year in order to stay active. 

 

For 2022, there will be a Statewide Virtual Purdue EMG Basic Training from
February 1 – May 3, 2022 (does not includes final exam due date). Many counties have come together to offer this program which includes a local county connection hour. The statewide live webinars will be held on Tuesdays, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. In Putnam County, the local county connection hour will be on Wednesdays, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm each week. Most of the local county connection hours will be held virtual, but a few may be held in-person. To complete the course, we ask that you attend both the statewide virtual sessions and the local county connection hours.

 

Application and Registration Information

Please read the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program Policy Guide and complete, sign, and return the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Application and Agreement (Form EMG-1) to the Putnam County Extension Office (located at 12 Central Square, Greencastle, IN). All applicants are also required to consent to national and state sex and violent offender registry checks and provide evidence of a government issued photo ID to your local EMG County Coordinator or designated Purdue Extension staff. You may download the policy guide here: http://tinyurl.com/MGstateguide or contact Jenna Nees at smith535@purdue.edu or 765-653-8411 to receive a copy.

 

Form EMG-1 & Government Issued Photo ID Due by January 11th.

 

Upon confirmation of acceptance of your application and providing evidence of government issued photo ID, an online registration link will be sent to you. The registration options are listed below:

  • $180.00 for an individual registration with print version of Purdue EMG Manual.
  • $280.00 for two people sharing a print version of the Purdue EMG Manual. (Sharing option works best for two people living in the same household.)

Purdue is committed to making all programs accessible to participants. If you require auxiliary aids or services, or if you have other program-related concerns, please contact Jenna Nees at smith535@purdue.edu or 765-653-8411 at least 2 weeks prior to the program.

 

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local

Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

January 4 – Extension Office reopens

January 4 – African Violets & the Gesneriad Family, virtual program, 7 pm,
         https://tinyurl.com/PutMG22

January 10 & 24 – “Where Does Your Money Go?”, 2-3pm, Putnam County Public Library,
                    register at 765-653-8411

January 11 – Last day to apply for the virtual Master Gardener course starting February 1st

January 11 – Local Leadership: Running for Office, Fairgrounds, 6-8 pm, register at
                     https://tinyurl.com/run4officePutCo22

January 13, 20, 27 – Winter Walking group, 9-10am, Putnam County Fairgrounds, register
                                  at 765-653-8411

January 20 & 27 – So You’ve Inherited a Farm, Now What?, virtual program, 6:30-8:30 pm,
                    $25, register at https://cvent.me/a8NVYZ

January 21 – Grow Your Farm Fridays, 9-11:30 am, Extension Office, $100, register by
            Jan. 17th at https://cvent.me/l7RdwB

January 25 – Garden Conference, 6 pm, The Beef House, $50, register by Jan. 18th at
           https://cvent.me/Wr5GyE

January 27 – Putnam County Extension & SWCD Annual Dinner, $5, 6:00 pm, Putnam Co.
           Fairgrounds

Roachdale Christian Church Food Pantry will be open tonight

The Roachdale Christian Church Food Pantry will be open tonight 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Tonight is in place of Saturday.

Please contact the Roachdale Christian Church office (765) 522-1913 for further information.

Red Cross: Donate blood (or platelets) now to help patients avoid delays in care

As holiday celebrations continue, concern is rising for the nation’s blood supply, which has now dipped to concerninglevels and could force hospitals to hold off on essential blood and platelet transfusions for patients.

 

Historically low blood supply levels not seen in more than a decade persist for the American Red Cross, which supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood.The ongoing decline comes at a time of year when donations typically fall. Holiday get-togethers, school breaks and winter weather often lead to lower donor turnout, potentially further compounding the situation.

 

Potential donors are urged to schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

If there is not an immediate opportunity available to donate, donors are asked to make an appointment in the days and weeks ahead to ensure the Red Cross can replenish and then maintain a sufficient blood supply.

 

In thanks,all who come to give through Jan. 2 will receive an exclusive Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last.

 

Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a getaway to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. As an extra thank-you from the Red Cross, those who come to donate in January will also be automatically entered to win a home theater package and a $500 e-gift card. Terms apply; visit RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl for more information.

 

Blood drive safety 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and?additional precautions?– including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are?asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

 

Save time during donation

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.  

 

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

 

Health insights for donors 

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.    

 

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.  

Rep. Baird invites constituents to complete 2022 issue survey

State Rep. Beau Baird (R-Greencastle) invites constituents to complete the 2022 issue survey to provide feedback ahead of the legislative session starting Jan. 4.

 

Constituents in House District 44, which includes all of Putnam County and portions of Clay, Morgan, Owen and Parke counties, will receive mailed postcards on how to complete the survey. To get started today, constituents can visit in.gov/h44 and then click on the red button labeled "Take My Survey."

 

"Public feedback is important to legislators when considering new laws and the biggest issues that need to be addressed," Baird said. "I hope to hear from Hoosiers in my district on what they want to see accomplished during the next session."
 

To complete the survey, constituents must be a resident of House District 44 and submit it by the Dec. 31 deadline. The survey questions are intended to reflect issues that may come before the Legislature and should not be interpreted as a reflection of their legislator's views.

 

Constituents can determine and confirm who their state representative is online by visiting the Indiana General Assembly's website at iga.in.gov, clicking on the "Find Your Legislator" tab and entering their home address.

 

Baird said the public can participate in the legislative process by completing the survey, testifying in committee and staying connected. Constituents can visit iga.in.gov to watch livestreams of session and committee meetings, view archived meetings, and access meeting calendars and meeting agendas. Hoosiers can also sign up to receive regular email news updates from Baird by visiting in.gov/h44 and entering their email address.

 

For help completing the survey, constituents can contact Baird at h44@iga.in.gov or by calling 1-800-382-9841.

 

The 2022 legislative session begins in January and must conclude by mid-March.

Six Steps to Later Life Financial Security

Retirement is one of few financial goals that people cannot borrow money for. There is no such thing as a “retirement loan.” Therefore, not surprisingly, one of the most frequently-cited goals that people save money for is retirement. Below are six “evergreen” time-tested steps to achieve financial security in later life:

Determine a Post-Career Income Goal
There is no magic number. The amount that people need depends on factors such as financial goals and lifestyle decisions, work plans, availability of employer benefits, health status, and estimated life expectancy. While 70-90% of income earned during full-time working years is often recommended, some older adults may spend 100-110%, especially during their “young old” years (approx. ages 65–74).

Do Some Math
A useful planning tool is the FINRA Retirement Calculator (https://tools.finra.org/retirement_calculator/). It has 12 questions about relevant variables including money already saved, annual income needs, expected income from other sources (e.g., a pension and/or Social Security), current age and tax rate, and assumed average annual return. The calculator provides a retirement analysis in text and chart form and details about asset accumulation over time.

Determine an Asset Allocation
This is the percentage of investments held in different asset classes including stocks, bonds, and cash assets. Having money in different places spreads out investment risk. Key factors in determining personal asset allocation percentage weights for each asset class (e.g., 50% stock, 40% bonds, and 10% cash) are age, investment time frame, and risk tolerance level, which can be determined using this online self-assessment tool (https://pfp.missouri.edu/research/investment-risk-tolerance-assessment/).

Balance Risk and Reward
Data exist on average returns over time of various combinations of asset classes (e.g., 70% stock and 30% bonds). While past returns are no guarantee of future returns, they are instructive. Generally, the more stock in an investor’s asset allocation mix, the greater the potential for high average returns and the more volatility (i.e., the spread between gains and losses) in an investment portfolio.

Set Later Life Goals
One way to set future goals is to answer several key questions about your planned lifestyle as an older adult: Where do you want to live? Will you continue to work? What hobbies and activities will you spend time on? and What activities are on your “bucket list”? Use a goal-setting worksheet to identify a deadline date and dollar amount for each financial goal.

Anticipate Spending Plan Changes
Spending patterns can change quite a bit as people get older and/or step away from the labor force. Expenses that often increase in later life include medical and dental expenses, health insurance premiums, travel and entertainment, and gifts. Those likely to decrease include auto insurance and expenses, clothing, and utilities, property taxes, and home maintenance if people downsize. Income taxes may increase or decrease depending on factors such as changes in income in later life and required minimum distributions.

If you would like to learn more about your finances and budgeting, consider attending the “Where does your Money Go” program this January. Details are in the upcoming events section below. For additional information about planning for retirement, review the Purdue University online course Planning for a Secure Retirement (https://www.purdue.edu/hhs/extension/planning-for-a-secure-retirement/). Source: Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Barbara O’Neill, Ph.D., CFP®.

Upcoming Events

December 22-January 3 – Extension Office closed for Winter Holidays

December 28 – 4-H Junior Leader Kickoff at 3G Bowl, grades 7-12, 6 pm

January 10 & 24 – “Where Does Your Money Go?”, 2-3pm, Putnam County Public Library, register at 765-653-8411

January 11 – Last day to apply for the virtual Master Gardener course starting February 1st

January 11 – Local Leadership: Running for Office, Fairgrounds, 6-8 pm, register at https://tinyurl.com/run4officePutCo22

January 13, 20, 27 – Winter Walking group, 9-10am, Putnam County Fairgrounds, register at 765-653-8411

January 27 – Putnam County Extension & SWCD Annual Dinner, details to come

February 1 – Indiana 4-H Day, Indiana Statehouse

 

Interested in Running for Office in Putnam County

Have you ever considered running for a local government office? Join Purdue Extension and the Putnam County Clerk’s Office to learn more about the process for running for local office, requirements and positions up for election in 2022.  This program is conducted in collaboration with the county clerk and past elected officials to create a community of local political knowledge and participation.

Who Should Attend: Anyone interested in running for a local office

When:  Tuesday, January 11, 2022  

Time:  6-8 pm

Where:  Putnam County Fairgrounds (191 N US HWY 231, Greencastle)

Registration: Register by January 4th at https://tinyurl.com/run4officePutCo22

 

There is no cost for this workshop thanks to the generous sponsorship from the Putnam County Farm Bureau.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, prior to the meeting, contact Purdue Extension Putnam County at 765-653-8411 or smith535@purdue.edu by January 4, 2022. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

Parke County housing concerns to be addressed by Purdue Extension

In Parke County, limited available housing options are constraining people’s ability to live and work in the county. The Purdue Extension Community Development Program is collaborating to provide county-level, housing-related information that will guide county and local leaders as they work to improve housing needed for current and future community success.

 

“Housing represents a key aspect of economic and community development in Parke County. Our in-depth analysis will guide county and local leaders as they seek to improve the mix of housing needed to meet current and future housing demands,” said Michael Wilcox, assistant director and program leader for Purdue Extension’s Community Development Program.

 

In partnership with Parke County leaders, businesses and residents, the Purdue team will provide a comprehensive assessment of housing in Parke County through data analysis, co-host focus-group meetings with local partners and produce a survey to determine the housing demand and needs of employees working in the county.

 

“We have worked with Purdue Extension on multiple projects, including the development of our Business Retention & Expansion (BR&E) program. Lack of quality, obtainable housing was a need identified by our employers during the BR&E interviews. This assessment is necessary to address that need,” said Cyndi Todd, executive director of Partnership Parke County, Economic Development Office.

 

The Purdue team will synthesize the information collected and prepare a summary of major findings and possible strategies for leaders to consider as they address current housing issues.

 

“At Purdue Extension, we are our community’s educational partner for life, and an integral part of that is collecting the data that helps our stakeholders make sound data-based decisions,” said Kurt Lanzone, agriculture and natural resources educator, Purdue Extension – Parke County.

 

The survey is available online for anyone living and/or working in Parke County. Hard copies will be available after Jan. 3 at the Parke County Courthouse (116 W. High Street Room 104 Rockville).

 

Everyone is encouraged to complete the survey by Jan. 28. 

Youth Civic Engagement Opportunities

Three upcoming events will provide youth with the opportunity to gain civic duty knowledge through engaging activities. Civic engagement can take many forms whether running for public office, serving on a board, or helping to involve others in local decision-making processes to be informed.

The upcoming events include the programs Indiana 4-H Day at the State House, Running for Public Office here locally and the 4-H Grows Knowledge Clinic at Cloverdale High School. One can pick and choose from any of these events to attend as they are not linked together. To register for any of these programs, contact the Extension office 765-653-8411 by phone.

The first event, Running for Public Office will be on January 11 from 6-8 pm at the York Automotive Building on the Putnam County Fairgrounds. This program is for anyone with aspirations or curiosity about the requirements to run to elected office. County Clerk, Heather Gilbert will provide the legal details of running for office. A panel of past elected officials including Darrel Thomas and Sue Murray along with Gilbert will receive audience questions. The event will wrap up with an ethics consideration presentation.

A second event is Indiana 4-H Day at the State House on February 1. Registration will be due by Tuesday, January 18th. The event is for youth grades 7-12 where youth will serve as pages, meet legislators and other 4-Hers, and be provided tours of the State House. The cost will be $15 and depending on the number of Putnam County youth attending, transportation may also be provided by local Extension staff.

The third event 4-H Grows Knowledge will be February 12 at the Cloverdale High School where there will be several different sessions. This program is designed for both adult and youth 4-H volunteers. There will be at least one of the sessions devoted to civic engagement as program organizers continue to finalize the program.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

December 15 - Winter PARP, Off The Rails Event Center (Roachdale), 9-11 am, no
                         charge, register at: https://tinyurl.com/PutnamPARP2021

December 22 - Extension Office closes at noon for Christmas/New Year’s holiday

December 28 – 4-H Junior Leader Kickoff at 3G Bowl grades 7-12, 6 pm

January 4 – Extension Office reopens following Christmas/New Year’s holiday

January 11 – Running for Public Office, Putnam County Fairgrounds, 6-8 pm

February 1 – Indiana 4-H Day, Indiana Statehouse

February 12 – 4-H Grows Knowledge, Cloverdale High School

Congratulations to the Putnam County Master Gardeners!

Purdue Extension Master Gardener volunteers contribute significantly to the lives of Indiana residents and local communities each year. In 2021, the Putnam County Master Gardeners volunteered more than 1,110 hours in Putnam County by hosting horticulture related events, working at the Putnam County Fair, and raising funds for two horticulture/agricultural scholarships.  During the December Putnam County Master Gardener Association meeting, several local residents received a new Master Gardener certification.  To earn Purdue Master Gardener certifications, volunteers must complete horticultural training conducted by Purdue Extension county offices and engage in volunteer service that has been approved by Master Gardener county coordinators and performed in Indiana communities.

 

During the 2021 December Putnam County Master Gardener Association meeting, Judi Bundza received her Master Gardener certification (35 cumulative volunteer hours & 35 cumulative education hours). Those receiving their Advanced Master Gardener certification (60 cumulative volunteer hours & 45 cumulative education hours) include John Craney, Anita Johnson, Pat Johnson, and Becky Samsel.

 

Please join Purdue Extension in congratulating all of the Purdue Extension Master Gardeners who received a new certification!

 

The main objective of the Purdue Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Program is to train volunteers to assist Purdue Extension with home horticulture education in local communities.  For Spring 2022, there will be a Statewide Virtual Purdue EMG Basic Training from Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm February 1 to May 3, 2022. The local county connection hour will be on Wednesdays, from 6:00 – 7:00 pm each week. To complete the course, we ask that you attend both the statewide virtual sessions and the local county connection hours. If you would like to know more about the Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program or would like to sign up for the 2022 course, please contact the Putnam County Extension Office at 765-653-8411. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution.

 

Pictured are four of Putnam County Master Gardeners who recently received new certification in 2021.  Individuals include, left to right, Anita Johnson, John Craney, Becky Samsel, and Pat Johnson.  Not pictured is Judi Bundza.

Deer Creek FWA shooting range seeks concessionaire

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is looking for qualified operators for the modern, multi-million dollar shooting range facility at Deer Creek Fish & Wildlife Area (FWA) in Cloverdale. 

Deer Creek FWA comprises 2,175 acres and includes rolling, interspersed agriculture and mature oak-hickory dominated woods. Visitors participate in hunting, fishing, shooting, trapping, and wildlife watching.

Deer Creek’s shooting range offers a rifle and pistol range, and a shotgun range. The building has indoor restrooms, and the host will be responsible for keeping these clean and supplied with basic toiletries. The building also includes space for retail sales.

The shooting range is an excellent opportunity for a public-private partnership to support recreational shooting and conservation. Funding for the Indiana DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife comes in part from the federal Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson programs. These funds are derived from excise taxes levied on firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, and fishing tackle. The shooting range facility directly supports the conservation of fish, wildlife, and their habitats through these programs.

Those interested in learning more about the facility and how to bid should contact Deer Creek FWA at 765-653-0453. The deadline for proposals is Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. ET.

Find the Perfect Christmas Tree

Setting up an artificial tree for Christmas is nice and may give you the perfect tree shape, but nothing can replace the memories made with family when you visit a Christmas tree farm and select a real tree. Setting up a real Christmas tree has been part of the holidays since 1842. That year, Charles Minnegerode set up the first real tree in Williamsburg, VA.

When selecting a real Christmas tree, you need to begin by deciding what type of tree you want. There are several different types of trees you can select from; however, Scotch pine tends to be one of the more popular types grown in Indiana. Scotch pines are long lasting and will remain fresh throughout the holiday season. Their needles are approximately 1 inch in length and remain on the tree even after they become dry.

White pine is another popular tree in Indiana. It has soft, flexible needles that tend to be longer than most other tree species. Their limbs tend to be more pliable than fir trees.

Fir trees tend to have good fragrance, good needle retention, and freshness. They also have strong limbs that will hold ornaments well. This would include the Fraser fir and the concolor (white) fir. 

Douglas fir have similar features to other fir trees; however, it is not a true fir. Douglas fir have soft needles that are dark green to blue green in color. Their needles radiate in all directions from the branch and when crushed, give off a sweet fragrance. 

Once you know what type of tree you would like, you need to select a tree that fits the space available in your house. Remember that you do need to allow height for your tree topper and your tree stand. As you are narrowing down your tree options, look for a tree that is fresh (especially if it is pre-cut). If it is a pre-cut tree, run a branch through your enclosed hand. If needles fall off, then the tree is not considered fresh.

As soon as you have found your ideal tree, you will want to cut it. Cutting the tree is a two-person job. The individual doing the cutting will need to lie on the grown and make the cut. The second individual will want to hold onto the tree and keep the bottom limbs out of the cutters way. Once the tree is cut, have the tree farm staff shake the tree to remove dry and dead needles and wrap the tree in netting to make transport easier.

When you arrive at your house, you need get your tree into cool water. Trees, which have been cut for more than 6 hours, do not absorb water. To help with water absorption, you need to make a fresh cut (removing a half inch of the trunk) before placing your tree in the tree stand. Ideally, you want to utilize a tree stand that holds at least one quart of water for each inch of stem diameter.

Lastly, before you decorate your tree, you will want to place it in an area of your house that keeps it away from direct sources of heat. Therefore, you would want to avoid warm air floor vents, wood stoves and fireplaces, hot lights, etc. Avoiding heat allows your tree to stay cooler and avoids drying it out. Over time, you will have to add water to your tree stand. For example, a 7-foot tree may take two quarts of water a day for the first week after being cut.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

December 9 – Bi-State Crops Conference, Beef House, 9 am – 1:30 pm, $40+ credit fee,
                        register at: https://bit.ly/BiStateCrops2021

December 15 - Winter PARP, Off The Rails Event Center (Roachdale), 9-11 am, no
                         charge, register at: https://tinyurl.com/PutnamPARP2021

December 15 - ServSafe Food Manager 1-Day Class & Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register
                         at: www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

December 22-31 – Extension Office Closed for Winter Holidays

January 11 – Last day to apply for the virtual Master Gardener course starting February 1st

January 11 – Local Leadership: Running for Office, Fairgrounds, 6-8 pm, register at
                     https://tinyurl.com/run4officePutCo22

Breakfast with the Grinch

The WREB Giant FM Christmas tree was nearly stolen yesterday! The Christmas tree at the WREB GiantFM studio may be small, but it still belongs to WREB. We were lucky to have Chrysta Snellenberger on hand to prevent the theft.

 

The Grinch is on vacation from Whoville and decided to visit the studio to announce he will be at the 3 Fat Labs Wedding Barn (2009 South County Road 400 West, Greencastle, IN 46135) on Saturday, December 11, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM and with the help of the Greencastle Parks and Recreation department, is extending an invite to everyone in the county.

 

DePauw University’s Bon Appétit will be catering a buffet style breakfast. The buffet will include eggs and ham (not to worry, they are not green!), fruit, juice, and milk. For added fun, participants can come dressed as either Cindy Lou Who or Max and be entered into the Look Alike contest.

 

If you are interested, simply visit greencastleparks.com to register.

 

Be an Active Family During the Holidays

 

The holiday season can be a busy and stressful time for families.  Along with those hectic schedules, the cold winter weather can make it challenging for squeezing in some physical activity each day.  However, being active as a family can benefit everyone.  Adults need at least 2½ hours of physical activity a week, and children need 60 minutes a day.  Follow these tips to add more activity during the winter months:

  1. Schedule some time for physical activity.  Determine time slots throughout the week when most family members available.  Devote a few of these times to doing something active.  If you put it on your calendar and treat it like an appointment, you will be much more likely to follow through with it.  Anything that gets your heart beating faster and activities that make your muscles work harder than usual counts as physical activity.  If you are short on time, start with just 5 minutes.  Set a reachable goal and work up toward the recommended amount.  Just remember to move more and sit less during the day.
  2. Turn off the screens.  Instead of watching TV or playing video games, create an indoor obstacle course, make a scavenger hunt or play charades.  Being active as a family not only creates special memories but helps to relieve holiday stress.
  3. Bundle up for outdoor play. Create a snowman or “snow family”.  Climb a snow mountain or make paths through the snow.  No snow?  Walk around your neighborhood to view lighting displays rather than taking the car.
  4. Don’t ditch the housework.  We all have experienced the tiring effects of doing chores.  But those chores are a great way to add physical activity and have a clean house – ready for holiday guests.  Kids can help vacuum, dust, sweep the floor and even clean the windows!
  5. Treat the family with fun physical activity.  Enjoyable experiences such as an afternoon of ice skating or an evening of bowling make great gifts.  A membership to the YMCA or recreational club can give your family fun opportunities for physical activity all throughout the year.  Don’t forget to have fun on your local sledding hill as well!
  6. Incorporate easy activities to get moving during the holidays.  Simple tips like parking at the far end of the parking lot, using the stairs instead of escalators, and dancing to your favorite holiday music can make a huge difference!

Source: Nebraska Extension

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events.  Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm.  Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request.  It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs.  While many publications are free, some do have a fee.  All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

December 9 – Bi-State Crops Conference, Beef House, 9 am-1:30 pm, $40 + credit fee, register at: https://bit.ly/BiStateCrops2021  

December 15 - Winter PARP, Off the Rails Event Center (Roachdale), 9-11 am, no charge, register at: https://tinyurl.com/PutnamPARP2021

December 15 - ServSafe Food Manager 1-Day Class & Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register at: www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

December 22-31 – Extension Office Closed for Winter Holidays

Year End Income Tax Deduction Options

End of year is a time that many begin to finalize tax considerations and reflect on the past calendar year. You may receive a return of a 50 percent direct credit to your tax bill when donating up to $200 per individual and $400 for couples filing jointly, given to an Indiana funded university. Because Purdue Extension is part of a state funded university, one can donate to the local Extension Office that would qualify. Therefore a $100 contribution to the Purdue Extension-Putnam County program would cost one only $50. You can also specify in many cases how you would like the money to be used (i.e. 4-H, youth development, agriculture, natural resource, or health and human science educational programming or equipment, etc.). One could even specify the gift be used for a specific educational program or topic (i.e. 4-H robotics, advanced Master Gardener workshop, nutrition education, workforce development workshop, etc.). Some limitations do exist. For example, funds donated for awards or scholarships would not be eligible for the additional direct state tax deduction. Give the Extension office a call and ask about this excellent way you can support community programs for minimal cost to your pocket due to the additional state tax break.

Another option is that local Extension positions may be endowed with a family name or business for example. There are also family scholarships that may be set up to specifically benefit Putnam County or even multiple counties. Land or other assets may also be willed or donated to sponsor larger gifts as well. This can be done through the Purdue Foundation and also can be done over time and there is no percentage fee taken out of the gift like there are at many foundations.

One can also donate to the Putnam County Community Foundation and name the “Putnam County Fairground Endowment” as the recipient. While this option is not eligible for the 50% state tax credit that a state funded university or college provides, it is a great option in that the Putnam County Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 entity which provides opportunity for the general state and federal income tax deduction via a reduction in taxable income. And a donation to Fairgrounds endowment certainly helps Extension programs who often benefit because they use the Putnam Fairgrounds facilities. If you desire to see the fairgrounds maintained for your children and grandchildren, this option will certainly benefit the facility. The goal for the Putnam County Fairgrounds Endowment is one million dollars and this is a very important philanthropic effort to stay abreast in assuring a quality facility for future Putnam County Fairs! Additionally, it could be grain or livestock that is given to fund one of the Putnam County Community Foundation fund options. The Putnam County Community Foundation also manages four previously established scholarships that are set up to benefit Putnam 4-Hers where donations could be made as well.

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

November 22, 29 & Dec. 6, 13 – Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options, 10 am, virtual, $20, register at: https://cvent.me/n24R23

November 25-26 – Extension office closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

December 9 – Bi-State Crops Conference, Beef House, 9 am – 1:30 pm, $40+ credit fee,
                        register at: https://bit.ly/BiStateCrops2021

December 15 - Winter PARP, Off The Rails Event Center (Roachdale), 9-11 am, no
                         charge, register at: https://tinyurl.com/PutnamPARP2021

 

 

Boy Scouts ceremoniously retire American Flag

Braving the moist, chilled weather Thursday evening, Boy Scout Troop 99 ceremoniously retired an American Flag.

There are three ways to properly and respectfully retire a worn American Flag that is beyond repair; burning, burial, or recycling. Burning is the preferred method according to the United States Flag Code, Title 4, Section 8k which states, “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

Boy Scout Troop 99 followed a specific ceremony to not only honor the American Flag, but also the veterans who served this nation under the symbol of the American Flag. The American Flag is considered to be a symbol of democracy, something veterans have fought to maintain. It is considered it a great honor to be asked to perform the Flag Retirement Ceremony.

The Boy Scouts diligently followed the pomp and circumstance, conducting themselves with reverence and respect. Despite the cold, they proudly displayed their uniforms and performed a final Pledge of Allegiance to the flag before reverently placing the flag atop the fire and setting it ablaze. Then, they surrounded the fire pit, watching over the flag as it retired into ash. The Cub Scouts of Pack 99 even surrounded the fire, learning the importance of such a ceremony.

According to Wade Harper, 17, “Retiring an American Flag is a sacred and important tradition that I am proud to be a part of. To retire an American Flag it must be burnt on a fire until there is nothing left. Being part of the color guard, I had the honor of carrying and laying our beautiful flag on the fire. Having mayor Dory and Representative Jim Baird there was really special and added a new layer of importance to the event. I will always remember standing around the fire with my fellow Scouts both young and old and the look of pride on the veteran’s faces as the young generation carried on this sacred tradition.”

With a final salute, the flag was laid to rest in the presence of Mayor Dory, representatives Jim and Beau Baird, and several veterans.

 

 

NUISANCE INSECTS ARE OUT & ABOUT

Last weekend when I was outside, I got reminded that it is time to be on the lookout for a few of those nuisance insects we annually deal with. The insects I am referring to are the Asian lady beetle, boxelder bug, and brown marmorated stink bug.

Asian lady beetles can vary in color, but they all can be identified by looking at their thorax (area between the head and wing covers) for a black “M.” Sometimes the “M” is darker and more obvious, but it is always there. Asian lady beetles will not stay outside for long following a cold snap. Therefore, it is important that you take time and fill any cracks or holes leading into your house. Once inside the house, the beetles essentially remain in a hibernation-like mode for several months. After warm weather hits, the beetles spring back to life and begin crawling around intensifying the nuisance factor.

Purdue publication E-214-W, “Asian Lady Beetles,” list four good control methods to use when handling these beetles. First, seal them out of your home by caulking and repairing openings. Second, use pesticides as a perimeter treatment. Third, use indoor pesticides to provide temporary control. The previous mentioned publication provides a list of pesticide products that can be used. Lastly, vacuum or sweep the beetles up.

In comparison, adult boxelder bugs are dark brown to black in color with red lines on their backs. Their young are wingless and have red bodies with a yellow line down the center of it. They are a nuisance because they invade homes once fall temperatures begin to drop. They squeeze into cracks in the foundation, windows, doors, and under siding and shingles in search of a way into a house. Thus, it is important that you take time to seal off all openings to your house.

Once in the house, you can get rid of boxelder bugs by using household insecticides containing pyrethrins or resmethrin. Please remember to read and follow all labels when using any insecticide. However, it might be easier to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the boxelder bugs instead. For more information look online for Purdue publication E-24-W, “Boxelder Bugs.”

Lastly, brown marmorated stink bugs are mottled brown in color and have bands of light and dark brown on their antennae. They can emit a pungent over when they are disturbed. In the spring and summer, they are found outdoors, but like the Asian lady beetle and boxelder bug, they find their way indoors during the fall. They will enter through cracks and crevices, chimneys, and any other small holes that might exist. Therefore, trying to seal the cracks and crevices, when possible, is the best defense from these insects.

Inside, they don’t do a lot of damage, but are a nuisance and can create an odor. When you spot a brown marmorated stink bug in your house, consider putting it in a container of soapy water. This will kill the insect and lessen the impact of the odor. For more information about brown marmorated stink bugs, check out Purdue publication E-273-W, “Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Homes.”

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

November 17 – Insights From Consumer Research That You Can Take Home To The
                          Farm webinar, 12 pm register at https://tinyurl.com/WIAWebinars21

November 17 – ServSafe 1-Day Class and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register at
                          https://purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

November 18 - Digging Deeper Into Land Leases, 10:00 am, virtual, $25, register at:
                         https://cvent.me/gmRR08

November 22 – Curb the Urge to Splurge on Holiday Spending, 2pm, register at
                          https://tinyurl.com/healthandwealthseries21

November 22, 29 & Dec. 6, 13 – Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options, 10 am, virtual,
                                                    $20, register at: https://cvent.me/n24R23

November 25-26 – Extension office closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

December 9 – Bi-State Crops Conference, Beef House, 9 am – 1:30 pm, $40+ credit fee,
                        register at: https://bit.ly/BiStateCrops2021

December 15 - Winter PARP, Off The Rails Event Center (Roachdale), 9-11 am, no
                         charge, register at: https://tinyurl.com/PutnamPARP2021

NUISANCE INSECTS ARE OUT & ABOUT

Last weekend when I was outside, I got reminded that it is time to be on the lookout for a few of those nuisance insects we annually deal with. The insects I am referring to are the Asian lady beetle, boxelder bug, and brown marmorated stink bug.

Asian lady beetles can vary in color, but they all can be identified by looking at their thorax (area between the head and wing covers) for a black “M.” Sometimes the “M” is darker and more obvious, but it is always there. Asian lady beetles will not stay outside for long following a cold snap. Therefore, it is important that you take time and fill any cracks or holes leading into your house. Once inside the house, the beetles essentially remain in a hibernation-like mode for several months. After warm weather hits, the beetles spring back to life and begin crawling around intensifying the nuisance factor.

Purdue publication E-214-W, “Asian Lady Beetles,” list four good control methods to use when handling these beetles. First, seal them out of your home by caulking and repairing openings. Second, use pesticides as a perimeter treatment. Third, use indoor pesticides to provide temporary control. The previous mentioned publication provides a list of pesticide products that can be used. Lastly, vacuum or sweep the beetles up.

In comparison, adult boxelder bugs are dark brown to black in color with red lines on their backs. Their young are wingless and have red bodies with a yellow line down the center of it. They are a nuisance because they invade homes once fall temperatures begin to drop. They squeeze into cracks in the foundation, windows, doors, and under siding and shingles in search of a way into a house. Thus, it is important that you take time to seal off all openings to your house.

Once in the house, you can get rid of boxelder bugs by using household insecticides containing pyrethrins or resmethrin. Please remember to read and follow all labels when using any insecticide. However, it might be easier to use a vacuum cleaner to get rid of the boxelder bugs instead. For more information look online for Purdue publication E-24-W, “Boxelder Bugs.”

Lastly, brown marmorated stink bugs are mottled brown in color and have bands of light and dark brown on their antennae. They can emit a pungent over when they are disturbed. In the spring and summer, they are found outdoors, but like the Asian lady beetle and boxelder bug, they find their way indoors during the fall. They will enter through cracks and crevices, chimneys, and any other small holes that might exist. Therefore, trying to seal the cracks and crevices, when possible, is the best defense from these insects.

Inside, they don’t do a lot of damage, but are a nuisance and can create an odor. When you spot a brown marmorated stink bug in your house, consider putting it in a container of soapy water. This will kill the insect and lessen the impact of the odor. For more information about brown marmorated stink bugs, check out Purdue publication E-273-W, “Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in Homes.”

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.

Upcoming Events:

November 17 – Insights From Consumer Research That You Can Take Home To The
                          Farm webinar, 12 pm register at https://tinyurl.com/WIAWebinars21

November 17 – ServSafe 1-Day Class and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register at
                          https://purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

November 18 - Digging Deeper Into Land Leases, 10:00 am, virtual, $25, register at:
                         https://cvent.me/gmRR08

November 22 – Curb the Urge to Splurge on Holiday Spending, 2pm, register at
                          https://tinyurl.com/healthandwealthseries21

November 22, 29 & Dec. 6, 13 – Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options, 10 am, virtual,
                                                    $20, register at: https://cvent.me/n24R23

November 25-26 – Extension office closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

December 9 – Bi-State Crops Conference, Beef House, 9 am – 1:30 pm, $40+ credit fee,
                        register at: https://bit.ly/BiStateCrops2021

December 15 - Winter PARP, Off The Rails Event Center (Roachdale), 9-11 am, no
                         charge, register at: https://tinyurl.com/PutnamPARP2021

Removing Odors from Refrigerators and Freezers

Refrigerators and freezers are two of the most important pieces of equipment in the kitchen for keeping food safe. We are instantly reminded of their importance when the power goes off, flooding occurs, or the unit fails, causing food to become unsafe and spoil. The odors that develop when food spoils can be difficult to remove. Use this information to learn how to remove odors from units or how to safely discard an affected unit.

If food has spoiled in a refrigerator or freezer and odors from the food remain, they may be difficult to remove. The following procedures may help but may have to be repeated several times.

  • Dispose of any spoiled or questionable food.
  • Remove shelves, crispers, and ice trays. Wash them thoroughly with hot water and detergent. Then rinse with a sanitizing solution (1 tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water).
  • Wash the interior of the refrigerator and freezer, including the door and gasket, with hot water and baking soda. Rinse with sanitizing solution as above.
  • Leave the door open for about 15 minutes to allow free air circulation.

If odors remain, try any or all of the following:

  • Wipe inside of unit with equal parts vinegar and water. Vinegar provides acid which destroys mildew.
  • Leave the door open and allow to air out for several days.
  • Stuff both the refrigerator and freezer with rolled newspapers. Close the door and leave for several days. Remove paper and clean with vinegar and water.
  • Sprinkle fresh coffee grounds or baking soda loosely in a large, shallow container in the bottom of the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Place a cotton swab soaked with vanilla inside the refrigerator and freezer. Close door for 24 hours. Check for odors.
  • Use a commercial product available at hardware and housewares stores. Follow the manufacturer's instructions.

If Odors Cannot Be Removed

If odors cannot be removed, then the refrigerator or freezer may need to be discarded. If you need to discard the refrigerator or freezer, discard it in a safe manner:

  • "Childproof" old refrigerators or freezers so children do not get trapped inside. The surest way is to take the door off.
  • If the door will not come off, chain and padlock the door permanently and close tightly, or remove or disable the latch completely so the door will no longer lock when closed.

It is unlawful in many jurisdictions to discard old refrigerators or freezers without first removing the door.

Depending on where you live, your appliance will be picked up by your solid waste provider, a recycler, a retailer (if you buy a new unit), or program sponsored by local or regional utilities.

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture – Food Safety and Inspection Service

Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday thru Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:00pm. Evening and lunch appointments are available, upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

Upcoming Events

November 11 – Extension Office closed for Veteran’s Day

November 15 – Diabetes & the Holidays, 10:00 am, virtual, register at https://tinyurl.com/healthandwealthseries21

November 16 – Digging Deeper into Land Leases, 6:30 pm, virtual, $25, register at: https://cvent.me/gmRR08

November 17 – Insights from Consumer Research That You Can Take Home to The Farm webinar, 12:00 pm register at https://tinyurl.com/WIAWebinars21

November 17 – ServSafe 1-Day Class and Online Exam, 9am-4pm, register at https://purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops

November 18 - Digging Deeper into Land Leases, 10:00 am, virtual, $25, register at: https://cvent.me/gmRR08

November 22 – Curb the Urge to Splurge on Holiday Spending, 2:00 pm, virtual, register at https://tinyurl.com/healthandwealthseries21

November 22, 29 & Dec. 6, 13 – Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options, 10 am, virtual, $20, register at: https://cvent.me/n24R23   

November 25-26 – Extension office closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Daylight Saving Time coming to end – Don't forget to Turn and Test

It’s time to fall back as daylight saving time ends this Sunday, Nov. 7 at 2 a.m.

 

As people turn their clocks back one hour, the American Red Cross reminds everyone to test their smoke alarms.

 

This weekend is also a good time for everyone to take these lifesaving steps to help prepare households for home fires, the nation’s most frequent disaster:

 

  • Check smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.

 

  • Create and practice your home fire escape plan. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late. This weekend, create a home fire escape plan with your household and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Escape plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room and a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows where to meet.

Home Fire Campaign Saving Lives

Each year, the Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 disasters—the vast majority of which are home fires. Every day, seven people die in home fires, and most tragedies occur in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign with community partners in 2014 to reduce needless deaths and injuries.

 

So far, the Home Fire Campaign has reached more than 1.7 million people and is credited with saving more than 1,000 lives across the country. The Indiana Region has installed more than 400 smoke alarms and made over 220 homes safer so far this year as part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. Since the campaign’s inception, volunteers and partners have also:

 

  • Installed more than 2.2 million free smoke alarms
  • Reached more than 1.6 million children through youth preparedness programs
  • Made more than 948,000 households safer from the threat of home fires

 

People can visit redcross.org/homefires for free resources and to learn more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire, or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community.

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