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Its a new year already
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You’ve got to be kidding me, a new year already! 2011 will be here in just a few days and there will be a lot going on. Read on for some great educational opportunities.

Those of us at the Barton County Extension Office would like to wish you a safe and prosperous Happy New Year.


Soybean Expo And Farm Show bus trip

Are you ready for a road trip? Are you ready for a fun, but informative trip? On Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan.11 and 12, the Golden Belt Residue Management Alliance will be sponsoring a bus trip to Topeka. I would like to encourage all farmers in our area to attend. You can even bring your spouse if you would like. What will you do? What will you see?

On Tuesday afternoon, the group will leave early from Great Bend and travel to Topeka for the Kansas Soybean Association Expo and Convention. We would listen to speakers on timely topics related to your agricultural business. Then later that day, we visit the Topeka Farm Show which is all indoors at the Expo Center. You will have time to look at the exhibits and visit with vendors. That evening we will stay overnight in Topeka and possibly do various things on our own.

On Thursday, we would have breakfast at the Hotel, which is included in the package price. Someone told me a Casino may be involved.

The cost for the bus tour is $100 per person based on single occupancy. If you need a double room, it is only slightly more. Let us know if you have someone you want to room with or if you want to be assigned. The price includes transportation, breakfast and hotel. Space is limited, so we need your reservation by Thursday, Dec. 30.

You can contact me at the Barton County Extension Office at 620-793-1910 for more information or call Kent Romine at 793-7829. Checks and registration can be sent to Golden Belt Residue Management Alliance, in care of the Barton County Extension Office, 1800 12th Street, Great Bend, KS 67530.


Master gardener training

I know we have some aspiring Master Gardeners out there. This year the training is in close proximity. Master Gardener training for Northwest Kansas (which we are part of in extension) begins on Feb.y 1 and goes through March 22, 2011. It will be held from 9 -4 every Tuesday for eight consecutive weeks. The training location is planned for the Russell Co. 4-H Building, 702 Fairway, Russell.

Those of us in Barton County would car-pool most of the weeks.

Anyone age 18 or over who has an interest in horticulture can apply. If you want to improve your skills and knowledge and like to work with people, the Extension Master Gardener program may be for you.

Applications must be submitted to your local Extension Office. Applications are due no later than December 31, 2010. A minimum of 10 people must be pre-registered to hold the program. Upon review of the application, all applicants will be contacted.

The cost is $90 per person and that includes a comprehensive notebook of materials as well as snacks.

The Extension Master Gardener Program is an educational volunteer training program sponsored by K-State Research and Extension. Through this

program, individuals are trained and certified in horticulture and related areas. These individuals, in turn, volunteer their expertise and services to help others through horticulture projects that benefit the community.

Once trained, Extension Master Gardeners provide researched based information to the public on many topics including, water conservation, yard waste management, regional plant adaptability, yard waste management and the environment.

The Master Gardeners work with their local Extension agent to develop educational programs that meet the horticultural needs of their local citizens. Projects may include school programs, demonstration gardens, speaker’s bureau and answering questions on a horticulture hot line.

So, in exchange for more than 40 hours of training, you give back 40 hours of volunteer work.

Courses are taught by horticulture specialists from Kansas State University and County Extension Agents.

Stop by the corner of 12th and Baker to sign-up.


Did you know

A workshop for farmers who do their own spraying will be conducted on Wednesday, Jan. 5. It will be held from 10:30 until 3 at the 4-H Building on Highway 281, 5 miles south of Hoisington or 5 miles north of Great Bend. Bob Wolf from K-State will be here, as well as a farmer panel discussing their mistakes and successes. Lunch will be served. Registration fee is $10 and we would like you to sign-up in advance. ... The Four State Beef Conference will be held at Holton, on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at the Fairbuilding. Registration fee of $25 is due Jan. 7. ... A farm land leasing & Excel workshop for farmers, landowners and lenders will be held at the Front Door Building in Great Bend on Jan. 20. It begins at 9 a.m and will adjourn around 3. Registration cost is $10 if registered by Jan. 12. ... On Jan. 11, a Winter Ranch Management Seminar will be held at Manhattan and will be video conferenced to three other locations, including: Ashland, El Dorado and Phillipsburg. The cost is $25 for the first person and $15 additional from each additional person from the same cattle operation.