Thursday, April 20, 2017


Peaches, with their soft skin and sweet flesh, are a spring and summertime staple. One of the largest fruit crops grown in the United States, peaches provide a great deal of nutrients with few calories and no fat. Peaches are a healthy way to fit in one of your daily servings of fruit.
Peaches contain over 15 different vitamins and minerals, with the most abundant being vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium. They are also a source of the antioxidant chlorogenic acid which helps scavenge free radicals. These are compounds that your body acquires through exposure to pollutants, food and the environment. Consuming peaches will assist in reducing the effects of aging and deter chronic diseases.
One large peach, about 2 ¾ inches in diameter, contains just 68 calories and no fat. Eating peaches instead of more fattening, processed snacks, such as chips, baked goods, cereal bars and cookies, can help you manage your weight. Peaches are naturally sweet and can replace some of the added sugars in your diet. Use them to top unsweetened whole-grain cereal, plain yogurt or plain low-fat cottage cheese, instead of choosing versions of these foods sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or cane sugar.
Since the Texas peach season and grilling season coincide during the spring/summer months what better way to encourage our families to eat more fruits. One of the foods featured during the Path to the Plate Grilling Workshop series, scheduled April 27 and May 4, will be grilled peaches. Also featured will be corn, pineapple, turkey, chicken, pork, beef and fish.  The series begins each night at 6pm at the Wise County Fairgrounds. Cost is $15 per person for one night or $25 per person for both nights. Generous samples will be offered to each participant.  Contact the Extension office at 940-627-3341 to register.

Foods to Avoid?

Have you ever seen the website ads that say, “Never eat these foods.”?   If you did click on those ads or did a web search for “never eat these foods,” you might be surprised to find just how many foods different people say we shouldn’t eat. Recently I found information from the Ohio State University Extension program that helped put this question into perspective. The article pointed out that the official position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the professional organization of registered dietitians, is that any food can fit into a healthful diet. Its list of “foods to avoid” is nonexistent, unless you have allergies or other sensitivities to consider.
In fact, the academy states in a 2013 position paper, “Some health and nutrition professionals and many ‘pseudo-experts’ promote specific types of foods to choose or avoid. A more responsible and effective approach is to help consumers understand and apply the principles of healthy diet and lifestyle choices.”
Targeting certain foods as “bad” can be counter-productive. It encourages black-and-white thinking, which only offers a sense of control as long as a person avoids foods on the “bad” list. Too often, people eventually succumb to temptation, leading them to spiral out of control.
Instead of “never eat these foods,” registered dietitians prefer to encourage thoughtful decisions such as “I can occasionally enjoy a small portion,” or “No, I won’t indulge today.” Helping people, especially those trying to lose weight, to make moderate food choices is a more sustainable approach to healthful eating than giving them lists of “good” and “bad” foods.
But, just to satisfy your curiosity, just what foods are on those “do not eat” lists? It really depends on who’s writing them. Some list specific food or restaurant items that are much higher in calories, sugar, sodium or fat than you might realize. Some list foods that can cause spikes in blood sugar -- including fruit juice and, yes, bananas, which can offer health benefits. Others list broad categories of foods such as bread and pasta, processed foods, or foods made with genetically modified crops.
The authors of such lists often cite studies to support their arguments. But is it science or pseudo-science? It’s often difficult for consumers to tell the difference. That’s why it’s important to look for reliable sources to help you evaluate such questions.  The academy is a good place to start. Check its website at .
You can also join us at our upcoming Path to the Plate and Grilling workshops on April 27 and May 4.  One of goals is to alleviate unsubstantiated fears about the food supply in addition to the wonderful opportunity to gain new ideas for the upcoming grilling season. Generous samples of grilled meats, vegetables and fruits will be provided. Contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service- Wise County office at 940/627-3341 for more information.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Path to the Plate: Healthy Grilling Workshops

Grab your friends and join us for our newest program called Path to the Plate-Healthy Grilling Workshops. Hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Wise County Extension’s Leadership Advisory Board, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Ag and Natural Resources planning groups; the two night event is scheduled for Thursday, April 27 and May 4 in the Women’s Building at the Wise County Fairgrounds. The workshops begin at 6 pm each evening and will conclude around 8 pm.
We are targeting busy people who still want to make time for meal preparation with a grilling twist and feel good about what they are feeding themselves and their family. Whether you’re an old hand or a novice at outdoor grilling we think you will benefit from Path to the Plate. Our goals are to promote Texas Agriculture and teach participants about the role agriculture plays in providing proper nutrition, preventing food waste, and alleviate unsubstantiated fears about the food supply.
To get you ready for grilling season, cooking demonstrations will showcase how to use fresh flavors to make healthy and delicious meals for you and your family. Two different type meats (beef, pork, fish, poultry) along with fruits and vegetables will be featured at each workshop session. You will learn to maximize flavor with the mysteries of marinades and rubs, smart grilling techniques and hear the facts of gas vs charcoal grills. Generous samples of each recipe demonstrated are sure to satisfy your appetite.  Agriculture commodities will be featured as we connect agriculture production to health and nutrition. 
The pre-registration fee is $15 per person for one session or $25 per person for both sessions. The fee includes recipes, brochures, recipe samples, goody bags, and door prizes.  Please call the Extension office at 940/627-3341 to reserve your spot. Space is limited.
Sponsors of Path to the Plate include: Texas Beef Council, Cargill, Texas Pork Producers, First Financial Bank, First State Bank, Legend Bank, and The Community Bank.
I hope you will join us to gain tips, tools and tastes that will put you ahead of the pack this grilling season! For additional information, contact the Extension office at 940/627-3341.

Food Handler’s Course

Foodborne illnesses can be prevented by following simple food safety practices. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Wise County provides a Food Protection Management Training Program that seeks to reduce the risk of food borne illness. 
The “Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER)” was revised and updated and became effective October 11, 2015.  A major change in the revision now requires all food employees to complete an accredited food handlers training program within 60 days of employment.  The Texas Cottage Food Law also requires that anyone who operates a cottage food business have a food handler card. 
Food service employees and those who operate a cottage food business can attend a two hour Food Handler’s Class, accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services, on Wednesday, April 12 from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Wise County office located at 206 S. State Street in Decatur. 
This 2 hour course will now be required for all food service employees to help promote the service of safe food.  The certificate is good for 2 years and is valid anywhere in the State of Texas. Participants will learn about good personal hygiene, cross contamination and time and temperature abuse.
Contact the Extension office at 940/627-3341 to sign up.  The registration fee is $20.00 and covers course materials and an official food handler card.  Registration deadline for the Food Handler certification course is Tuesday, April 11, 2016.  Space is limited. 
Individuals with disabilities who require auxiliary aide service or accommodation in order to participate in the event are encouraged to contact our office within 5 working days prior to the program.  Educational programs of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, national origin or genetic information or veteran status.
The class is taught in English, but Spanish handouts are available if requested in advance.
The Food Protection Management (FPM) Training Program is brought to you by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in cooperation with the Texas Department of State Health Services, and the County Commissioners Court Cooperating.

Wise County 4-H Takes Houston By Storm

There are not many words to describe the success our 4-H members had at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo but WOW.  Over 50 Wise County 4-H members competed in the Market Barrow, Market Steer, Market Lamb, Market Goat, Breeding Heifers, Breeding Rabbits, Meat Judging, Horse Judging, Livestock Judging, Public Speaking and Vet Skillathon. 


Market Barrows
Carson Read  -  Breed Champion Poland China
Forrest Fisher  -  Breed Champion Spotted Poland China
Brooklyn Cathey  - 3rd place Lt. Med. Wt. Hampshire
Courtney Cathey   -  7th Place Medium Wt. Hampshire
Danae Meadows  -  8th Place Heavy Wt. Other Crossbreds
Reese Christian  -  9th Place Heavy Wt. Duroc
Riley Christian  -  10th Place Heavy Wt. Yorkshire
Charlotte Hale  - 12th  Place Heavy Wt. Spotted Poland China

Other market barrow participants that competed hard were Lyndi Luttrull, Lauryn Luttrull, Brandon Fraser, Lillian Hale, Addison Elliott, Ainsley Bartlett, Noah Bartlett, Jonathon Newton, Jacob Eaves, and Creed Vineyard.

Market Steers
Ryle Meeks  -  2nd Place Middle Wt. Simmental
Sarah Martin  -  2nd Place Middle Wt. Shorthorn
Carson Read  -  3rd Place Middle Wt. All Other Crossbreeds
Kyle Barnett  -  3rd Place Light Middle Wt.  American Breed Crosses
Hunter Tallon  -  4th Place Heavy Light Wt. All Other Crossbreeds
Blake Morrow  -  4th Place Light Middle Wt. Black Other Crossbreeds
Camryn Craddock  - 5th Place Light Middle Wt. Black Other Crossbreeds
Blake Johnson  -  6th Place Light Wt. Black Other Crossbreeds
Sheridan Shallene  -  7th Place Heavy Wt. All Other Crossbreeds
Bryson Morrow  -  10th Place Middle wt. All Other Crossbreeds
Aliyah Nichols - 11th Place Light Heavy All Other Crossbreeds

Other Market Steer participants were: Cody Barnett, Cassady Craddock, Kyah Shannon, Slade Shannon, Michael Williams, Alexis Allen, Kaylyn Shallene, Max Downe, Maggie Downe, Seth Hakanson, Creed Vineyard, Josh Newton and Nash Lowrance.

Market Goats & Lambs
Clint Demmitt – 9th Place

Other Market Lamb and Goat participants were Dustin Meadows, Danae Meadows, and Rebecca Lambert.

Breeding Heifers
Austin Souther - 1st Place Maine Anjou
Johanna Buyers-  6th Place Chianina
Kailee Beth Buyers - 4th Place Angus
Lillian Hettinger - 5th Place Beefmaster
Kourtney Hood - 13th Place Beefmaster

Breeding Rabbits
Kodie Outlaw- Best in Breed - Flemish Giant
Dalton Outlaw- Best Opposite in breed - Flemish Giants, 2nd place overall intermediate judging contest, 1st place Knowledge test
Jesse Outlaw - 1st in variety - Flemish Giants
McKynlie Horner- New Zealand intermediate buck 3rd & New Zealand intermediate doe 2nd
Ethan Horner- Holland Lop senior buck 16th

Meats Judging
Senior Team – 3rd Place
Regi Lane– 10th place
Sheridan Shallene- 17th place
Cassady Craddock- 18th place
Johanna Buyers - Participant

Horse Judging
Junior Team – 13th place Cassidy Wilson, Austin Stephens,  Brodie Childs
Austin Stephens – 18th place Reasons
Senior Team – 13th Place Emily Stephens, Angeline Newbold, Abigail Newbold
Angelina Newbold – 9th place Individual, 7th place Reasons
Livestock Judging
Junior Team – Emma Tittor, Cody Barnett, Emily Fraser
Senior Individual – Cassady Craddock

Vet Skillathon
Junior Team – 1st Place
1st Place Junior – Rylee Maggret
2nd Place Junior – Angelina Newbold
3rd Place Junior – Abigail Newbold
Senior Team – Ray Edwards, Rebecca Lambert, Emily Stephens

Public Speaking
Camryn Craddock placed 3rd Overall Junior