Thursday, July 31, 2014

Alvord Cares

Alvord Cares was formed three years ago to provide healthy meals and adequate nourishment for Alvord school children during the summer months. As part of the summer nutrition program, a Cooking School is planned each year for the children. There was a wonderful turnout of around 30 children this year who, under adult supervision, completed nine recipes for our lunch-time feast! Here is a favorite recipe from the 2014 Kid’s CafĂ© Cooking School:

Lemon Velvet Supreme

2 cups fat-free vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons instant lemon pudding mix
8 graham cracker squares, crushed
1 (4 oz.) can mandarin oranges

Mixing bowl
Mixing spoon
Measuring cups
Ziploc bag
Can opener
Serving dish

Combine yogurt and pudding mix, stir gently. Layer bottom of a 9x9 inch serving dish with crushed graham crackers. Pour pudding mixture over cracker crumbs. Top with mandarin oranges.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Mark the calendar for our Dinner Tonight program

Space is limited so make sure to sign up early. This is great event and you don't want to miss out.

Monday, July 28, 2014

4-H State Dog Show

Nine youth from Wise County competed in the State 4-H Dog Show in Belton on July 8-10th. Tori Lobdell, Abigail Newbold, Ashley Polson, Brianna McKeever, Kara Munn, Summer Cobb, Saydee Herndon, Angela Blankenship, and Keaton Vawter worked with their dogs all year with the hopes to meet their goal of competing in the State Dog Show in mind.

            Tori and her dog received 2nd in Tricks, 4th in Rally Obedience, and 4th in Conformation. They also participated in the Costume contest and the Agility class. Tori was also awarded overall High-Point Senior.

            Abigail and her dog received 3rd in Rally, 6th in Conformation, 4th in Showmanship, 10th in Costume, and 1st in obedience.

            Ashley and her dog received 5th in Rally, and 3rd in Drill Team.

Brianna and her dog received 9th in Rally, 5th in Showmanship, 9th in Obedience, and 3rd in Drill Team. They also participated in Conformation.

            Kara and her dog received 4th in Costume, 8th in Rally, 2nd in Conformation, 3rd in Showmanship, and 3rd in Drill Team.

            Summer and her dog received 1st in Obedience, 2nd in Rally, 2nd in Conformation, 1st in Showmanship, and 3rd in Drill Team.

            Saydee and her dog received 5th in Costume, 1st in Obedience, 4th in Rally, 5th in Conformation, and 4th in Showmanship.

Keaton and his dog, Sandy, received 1st in Rally, 1st in Conformation, 4th in Showmanship. They also participated in obedience.

            A huge thank you to the project leaders, Janie Vawter and Laura Jeanne, and parent volunteers that help to make this project successful. Practices will start back up again this fall and all 4-H members are welcome to attend!           

Excellent job Wise County 4-Her’s!

District Record Book Results
            In our hurry to get the record book results out, there were a few 4-H members left out of the article.


Cale Laaser                             Poultry                                                Second Place
Jacob Lowrie                           Poultry                                                Fourth Place


Mariah Martinets                     Poultry                                                First Place
Kooper Martin                                    Poultry                                                Second Place

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Prussic Acid Poisoning

 What a way to start your weekend, coming off the rainfall we received.   This time of year we always receive calls regarding the safety of johnson grass for cattle and horses.  Actually, it’s not just johnson grass producers who need to be concerned with.  Many sorghum and sudan type plants including johnsongrass can release a poisonous substance known as prussic acid or hydrocyanic acid.  This year even though we have had rain, we are still experience drought  symptoms and the stress put on these plants can increase your chances, depending on when and how you turn in your cattle.  There are some losses of cattle almost every year due to grazing on the green plants.  Silage and hay can usually be fed without problems.
                The prussic acid content decreases as the plant approaches maturity.  Small plants, young leaves, and tillers are usually the highest in prussic acid.  In other words, the upper leaves will contain more acid than the older lower leaves.

                Following a rain, drought stricken plants will have new growth or second-growth shoots on these plants that can be extremely dangerous because they are small and consist largely of leaves, which are high in prussic acid.  Nitrate poisoning can also be seen at this time.  Poisoning seems to be less likely to occur if animals eat some grain and hay before they are turned into the pasture.  Most importantly, your cattle need to be full.  Having cattle filled with a high quality hay helps eliminate cattle from gorging themselves with a forage that could have prussic acid.

                The remedy for prussic acid poisoning is an intravenous injection of sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate.  However, if cattle are grazing contaminated pastures, death can come quickly.  Therefore, if you have pastures with johnson grass present, it is advisable to have a sample sent to the TAMU diagnostic lab before taking an unnecessary risk.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Six Ideas for Low-Sugar Drinks

We have been hearing it for years and I believe most consumers would agree, that sugary drink portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past 40 years, and children and adults are drinking more soft drinks than ever.  We are starting to understand that sugary drinks increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and gout.  And next comes the challenge, actually cutting back on sugary drinks to help us control our weight and improve our overall health.
Plain water is the best calorie-free beverage—and when it comes from the tap, it costs a fraction of a penny per glass. But for some people, plain old water may be just too plain. The Harvard Law for Public Health presented several great ideas for low and no-sugar beverages that you can prepare at home:
You can easily make your own naturally-infused spa water at home. Try adding any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher of water:
  • Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
  • Crushed fresh mint or other herbs
  • Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber
Black or green, caffeinated or decaf, leaf or herbal, hot or cold, tea is an excellent choice for a calorie free beverage. Adding a teaspoon of sugar or honey only adds about 15 calories to the cup. Some teas taste sweet to the palate even without adding any sugar: Try fruit-flavored herbal teas (mango, blueberry), or teas that feature cinnamon, vanilla, or other “sweet” spices. Black and green teas are also rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and other biologically active substances that may be good for health.
Sparkling juices that are sold ready-made are often heavy on the juice, and may have almost as many calories as sugary soda pop. Instead, make your own sparkling juice at home with 12 ounces of sparkling water and just an ounce or two of juice. For a flavor twist, add sliced citrus or fresh herbs.
Store-bought or cafe smoothies are marketed as “health” foods, but they are often loaded with sugar and high in calories. Try making a refreshing fresh fruit cooler instead. There’s no added sugar, and just a small amount of fruit, so this drink is only about 18 calories for each 12-ounce glass.
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 3/4 cup of sugar-free sparkling water
  • 1/3 cup of melon or berries
  • Chopped mint leaves or citrus slices (optional)
Place ice, sparkling water, and fruit in a blender. Blend until slushy, pour into a glass and garnish with mint or citrus slices. Serves 1.
For additional information on rethinking your drink, contact the Extension office at 940/627-3341.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

District 4-H Record Book Results

Winners in the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Rolling Plains- 3 District 4-H Record Book Judging were selected July 10th, when screening groups met at the Extension Office in Archer City according to Kelli Lehman, Extension Program Specialist 4-H for the twenty-four Rolling Plains counties.

There were 213 books total, 64 Junior records, 82 Intermediate records, and 67 Senior records scored in 39 different project areas. Junior and Intermediate records were placed first through fifth place. First place Senior records will be submitted for State Judging, where they will compete for scholarships and awards.

4-H is the youth development and leadership program of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, a part of the Texas A&M System. Below is a list of placing for the participating Wise County Youth.


Ross Edwards                                     Beef                                        First Place
Allie Tribe                               Clothing & Textiles                 Fifth Place
Angelina Newbold                  Clothing & Textiles                 First Place
Kailee Beth Buyers                 Clothing & Textiles                 Fourth Place
Brianna McKeever                  Companion Animal                 Second Place
Abigail Newbold                    Companion Animal                 First Place
Easton Vanover                      Consumer Education              First Place
Jessi Torres                              Food & Nutrition                    Fourth Place
Maranda Haschke                   Gardening                               First Place
Dustin Meadows                     Goat                                        Fifth Place
Rylee Maggret                        Horse                                       First Place
Clayton Meyers                       Photography                            Second Place
Luke Tribe                               Photography                            First Place
Cale Laaser                             Poultry                                    Second Place
Jacob Lowrie                           Poultry                                    Fourth Place

Johanna Buyers           Beef                                        Participant
Kaylyn Shallene          Beef                                        Participant
Saydee Herndon         Companion Animal                 First Place
Michaela Martin          Dairy                                       First Place
Clint Demmitt             Goat                                        Second Place
Cassady Craddock      Horse                                       Third Place
Autumn Martinets       Horse                                       Participant
Ray Edwards              Personal Development            Second Place
Hannah Buckner         Photography                            Second Place
Brady Vanover           Photography                            First Place
Lauryn Luttrull           Rabbit                                     First Place
Danae Meadows         Swine                                      Participant
Carson Read               Swine                                      Third Place


Seth Byers                   Beef                                        Third Place
Fallon Sachse              Clothing & Textiles                 First Place
Keaton Vawter           Companion Animal                 First Place
Lyndi Luttrull             Consumer Education              First Place
Logan Moore              Foods & Nutrition                  First Place
Olivia Bettesworth      Goat                                        Fourth Place
Morgan Barnes            Health                                     First Place
Sarah Jennings            Horse                                       Fifth Place
Christian Cross            Leadership                              First Place
Caitlin Pruett               Personal Development            First Place
Shelby Vanover          Photography                            Second Place
Haylee Barksdale        Safety                                      First Place
Clayton Egle               Wildlife & Fisheries                Second Place

Record books involve accounting for all of the activities, community service, awards, and most of all anything that has to do with a 4-H’ers major project. With all of these things to keep track of, it becomes a family affair to keep track of all of these records throughout the year. These record books allow students to learn responsibility, creative writing, and effective records keeping that will benefit them as they go through the rest of their lives. Parents appreciate the amount of records that accumulate when it comes time for their seniors to apply for scholarships.

Seniors from Wise County have brought home $72,000 in scholarships and this wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for all that the record books taught them. This year we have had 49 record books turned in! Wise County represented a large portion of the books being judged; all due to the hard work and determination of the 4-H’ers and their families. Great Job Wise County!