Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY Mondays

It's just around the corner! Make sure to get signed up while there is still room!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ranch Estate Planning Seminar

          Keeping the ranch in the family seems to be the primary goal of many ranching families in Texas.  To assist ranchers in accomplishing that goal, AgriLife Extension and Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers have teamed up to offer a ranch estate planning seminar August 8-9 at the College Station Conference Center. 

            This seminar is being offered to provide participants enough information on tax and estate planning matters to help them make difficult estate planning decisions.  Dr. Wayne Hayenga, Extension Specialist, Ag. economist and attorney, will give a thorough analysis of relevant income and estate tax rules as they affect families and agricultural businesses.  The seminar will address estate administration and tax reporting for the surviving spouse.  It will also be useful for potential executors and trustees and is helpful to anyone wanting to make estate settlement less burdensome to their loved ones.
            The seminar will go from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the 8th and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the 9th.

            The registration fee is $150.00 per person and includes refreshments, all seminar information and lunch on Thursday.  Enrollment is limited.  Registration forms are available at the Wise County Extension office or visit for registration details.

            Also, join the Animal Science Department at the Beef Cattle Short Course August 6-8.  Check out short course details at 

4-H Validation Dates and Events

The Wise County Validation Committee has set a date for the state steer validation. 4-H and FFA members planning to enter a steer in a major livestock show in Texas must have them validated.  Steer validation will be held on Thursday, June 21st from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Decatur Livestock Auction on Highway 51 North. Please note that this is a change from previous years validation.
Tuesday, June 26th is the date set for all Wise County 4-H and FFA members to validate State Fair sheep and goats.  We will validate from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Decatur High School Ag Facility.  Anyone who plans to enter a sheep or goat at the State Fair of Texas is required to have them validated on that date.
State Fair swine validation will be held on June 28th on location. The validation committee will validate that day on each families premise.  Anyone who plans to enter the market swine show at the State Fair of Texas is required to have them validated at the times listed above.
            If you have questions regarding any of the upcoming 4-H deadlines and events, please call the Extension office at 627-3341.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grilling Season

As the weather gets warmer and summer approaches, people spend more time on outdoor activities including cooking. This is a great time to think about fun and tasty ways to grill foods safely.

If your grill has been undercover, take time to make sure it is clean and ready for use before throwing on your favorite foods. Clean your grill by scrubbing it with hot, soapy water before every use. Many gas grills have removable components that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. When you are ready to cook, allow the grill to heat up sufficiently to eliminate potential bacterial problems. If using a gas grill, check the burners to make sure they are clear of any deposits to ensure a safe ignition and even flame.

Once the grill is prepped for use, it is time to decide what to cook. Many foods lend themselves well to grilling; all it takes is a little creativity. Try a few of these non-traditional ideas:

·         Cook vegetables right on the grill. Cut thick slices of vegetables such as peppers, eggplant, summer squash or onions, lightly baste with oil, season with your favorite herbs and place on a hot grill until tender and brown.
·         Grill a pizza. Add a delicious grilled flavor to your favorite pizza by cooking directly on the barbecue. Roll out the pizza dough to the desired size and place on the grill until lightly browned on both sides. Add sauce, cheese and favorite toppings to the crust and grill until cheese is melted and bubbly.
·         Don’t forget dessert. Grill fruit kabobs, pineapple slices or peach halves low heat until the fruit is hot and slightly golden. Serve with a scoop of low-fat ice cream or angel food cake for healthful and delicious dessert. 

·         A necessary accessory. When grilling all types of meats it is very important to use a meat thermometer. It takes the guesswork out of cooking and helps prevent food borne illness by insuring food is cooked to the proper temperature. Properly use by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without being sure the end of the thermometer does not rest on the cooking surface. Use the chart below to be sure that whatever you are cooking reaches the right internal temperature.

Meat type
Safe minimal internal temperature
Beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts, chops
145 degrees F
Hamburgers, beef
160 degrees F
Pork, all cuts
160 degrees F
Poultry, all cuts
165 degrees F

            For more information about food safety and summer grilling, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Service- Wise County office at 940-627-3341.