Information You Can Trust
From the Desk of the Director
Reflecting on a Year that Called Us to Greater Service

K-State Research and Extension – Douglas County is an organization that says ‘Yes!’ That call has come more often in 2020 than perhaps any year prior. While there is much to be proud of, this year has also presented numerous challenges. You are likely aware of those because you, too, have had to adapt to the consequences of a global pandemic. We've found plenty of reasons to celebrate despite the difficulty and losses of a peculiar year. Read more.
Help Us Welcome A New Face
Marty Scott is the first Executive Director of LiveWell Douglas County
Eighteen months after prioritizing the pursuit of the position, LiveWell Douglas County secured the funding to hire their first Executive Director. Marty Scott started in the role in November after a successful career in the public health system in Kansas City, MO. The Extension Office is serving as the administrative home to Scott's position as a continuation of its commitment to supporting the coalition and its goal of "leading a movement to build communities that support the health and well-being of all." Learn more about LiveWell Douglas County at their website livewelldgks.org.
Health-Nutrition-Food Safety
Local Food Pantries Navigate Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity in Douglas County, making the need for food pantries more crucial than ever. Food pantries have continued their efforts throughout the pandemic, gone above and beyond in providing healthy food, and have connected for the first county-wide food pantry meeting.  Click here to learn more about our efforts to strengthen their efforts and increase the proportion of healthy foods available at local pantries - or volunteer at a local pantry!
The BASICS of Mindful Eating

Food is a wonderful part of our lives, to be enjoyed and savored. Take time to choose food you really like and food that satisfies you. Become a conscious consumer of food so that what you eat and how you eat honors your body and your taste buds. Consider these BASIC steps:

  • Breathe and belly check before you eat to assess hunger and satiety
  • Assess your food
  • Slow down while you are eating
  • Investigate your hunger throughout the meal
  • Chew your food thoroughly
  • Savor your food

Lawn and Garden
Winter Learning
This winter offers more online learning opportunities than we've typically seen. These events are great ways to help you make your dreams about what to grow a reality by getting you the practical knowledge to grow it well. Whether you're a backyard gardener or a market farmer, there are regional and statewide opportunities to plug into to get you off on the right foot.
The Great Plains Growers Conference is moving online in 2021 and changing its dates from early January to February 12 and 13.
To learn about this and other virtual skill building for fruit and vegetable production, click here.
Tis the Season to Consider a Live Christmas Tree
Learn all about caring for your live Christmas tree with Dr. Charles Barden from the K-State Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources and K-State Research and Extension in the video below. Find a local farm to visit to source your tree at the Growing Lawrence online directory. Read a recent K-State article about the Christmas Tree industry in Kansas here.
  • One acre of Christmas trees provides enough oxygen for 18 people every day.
  • One tree absorbs 1 ton of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
  • At any given time, more than 350 million trees are growing in the U.S.
  • Used trees are recyclable. There are about 4000 programs that recycle Christmas trees.
  • Christmas trees are able to grow on soil that is unfit for other crops.
  • During its lifetime, only ¼ of an ounce of pesticide is used on a non-organic tree.
In short, "an investment in local Christmas tree farms is an investment in local communities."
Crops and Livestock
Terminating a Verbal Ag Lease? Don't miss the Deadline!

For all leases, except written leases signed by the parties that provide otherwise, Kansas Agriculture Lease Law states that notice to terminate farm and pastureland leases must be given in writing, at least 30 days prior to March 1, and must fix March 1 as the termination date of the tenancy. Continue.
Facial Recognition for Cattle Disease Traceability

In today's world, we use our face to unlock our cell phones and constantly hear about traceability efforts surrounding the pandemic. Thanks to modern technology, the cattle industry uses similar technology to increase traceability efforts. Click here to read more and see the video!
4-H Youth In Action
Mindful Moments
The word mindfulness is a buzz word that we see and hear frequently. During a stressful time, a moment of mindfulness can pay off in dividends. Let’s be real, who isn’t stressed right now? Whether it’s parenting a child who is remote learning, challenges with work-life balance or the uncertainty of navigating a global pandemic, stress seems to be continually lurking around the corner. We all manage stress in different ways. Being physically active, spending time enjoying a hobby and sharing time with loved ones are all healthy options to relieve stress. Intentionally practicing everyday mindfulness is a practice to consider including in your daily routine. Read more...
Bookmark This Page for a Daily Mindful Moment Video
County Program Aimed at Historic Barn Preservation
Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council
The Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council has identified over 200 barns in Douglas County that are eligible for the National Register. After a successful pilot year of working with barn owners, the program looks to build a list of resources and is looking for new applicants into the system. Participants in the program receive assessment reports that includes a prioritized list of recommended repairs. Contact Jan Shupert-Arick, DCHCC Program Coordinator if you have information about available materials or recommended contractors, or if you are interested in learning more about this – 785-766-8433 or jshupertarick@douglascountyks.org.
Local 4-H Foundation Annual Meeting
Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service
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