April—June 2009 COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION – SOUTHEAST AREA
To: Board of County Commissioners
This quarterly report summarizes major educational programming in the second quarter
of 2009 from Southeast Area Extension. We are grateful for the continued support of the
Your front door Counties. If you have any questions, suggestions or would like more specific information
about these or other Extension programs, feel free to meet with any member of our staff.
and expertise of
2009 GLCI Grant Awarded
university. The Kiowa County Extension Office, along with the Eads FFA chapter, Kiowa County
USDA-NRCS, and Kiowa County Economic Development were awarded a $3000 Graz-
ing Lands Conservation Initiative( GLCI ) grant for 2009. The grant is being used to in-
struct Kiowa County 4-H and FFA members on rangeland plant identification. To date,
two field sessions have been held at the Kiowa Creek Natural Area south of Eads. Partici-
pants have gained plant identification and proper collection procedures knowledge from
Extension and NRCS staff. Small sheaves of grass species are being collected for construc-
tion of a display board that will be housed in the new USDA offices to be constructed.
Individual plants, both grasses and forbs, have also been collected, pressed, and will be
mounted as individual plants used for future youth and adult education.
Inside this issue: Upon programming conclusion, the students will present a plant inventory of the ripar-
ian, upland, and sand sage areas located at the Kiowa Creek Natural Area and develop a
managed grazing plan for the area. Currently the students have collect 41 different spe-
Agriculture &Natural 2-5 cies of plants including grasses, forbs, and shrubs.
4-H Youth Develop- 5-8
Family & Consumer 8-10
Director’s Note 10
Area youth work to
identify native plants
Agriculture Bull Sale
and Natural The 35th Annual Southeast Colorado Bull Test concluded with the sale held April 14,
2009, at Winter Livestock in La Junta, Colorado. Twenty-one bulls, consigned by nine
Resources producers, were sold for an average price of $1455.00. Each year Southeast Area Exten-
sion staff coordinates with the Southeast Colorado Bull Test Association to collect and
compile data while the bulls are on test. Physical data collected includes weights, scrotal
diameters, hip height, and pelvic area. Calculated data includes average daily gain, weight
per day of age, pen feed efficiency, frame scores, adjusted 205 day weights, and adjusted
365 day weights. Other data collected includes: ultra-sound carcass measurements and
retinal scan identifications. Reports are compiled four times throughout the test: Receiv-
ing, 35 days, 77 days, and 112 days.
Southeast Colorado Grazing School
Coordinating with Dr. Roy Roath, Extension Range Specialist from the CSU campus,
Floyd Reed, U.S. Forest Service (retired), and Dr. Tim Stephens, USDA – NRCS Spring-
field, Southeast Area staff presented a Grazing School to livestock producers and other
agency personnel. Fourteen producers attended the one day school held at the Kit Car-
son Community Building. Topics during the morning session of the school included a
discussion of how plants grow and their response to grazing, Understanding and Applying
Ecological Site Descriptions, Managing Rangelands for Desired Outcomes/Process based
Management, and Practical Applications of Range Management, Livestock Nutrition, and
Monitoring. The afternoon was spent in the field touring and discussing the managed
grazing principles occurring on the Collins Ranch, south and west of Kit Carson.
Thank you to local producers, Toby Johnson for hosting the afternoon tour and to R.J.
Jolly for presenting the reasons and advantages the Jolly Ranch has seen from the imple-
mentation of managed grazing.
CSU Beef Team Tours
The Colorado State University Beef Team met the end of May for a spring study tour of
ranches in Pueblo and Las Animas Counties. The CSU Beef Team is a group of Exten-
sion Agents who work with livestock producers across the state and professors/researchers
in the Animal Science and Range Management departments on campus. Each year the
group tours a different area of the state to gain a deeper understanding of what beef pro-
ducers are facing.
The tour has three main intended purposes: 1) interact with other Beef Team profession-
als, 2) stay current with Colorado beef industry trends and practices by meeting with local
producers, and 3) plan programmatic goals and projects for the upcoming year. This en-
ables a time for the Beef Team to report, plan, strategize, develop a vision, and interact
with each other on the team to become more effective across the state and nation.
Beef Team members discuss One outcome from the Beef Team spring study tour is the development of a Producer
issues out in a pasture near Field Day to provide a statewide educational opportunity for beef producers. This year’s
Field Day was held near Fort Morgan at Teague Diversified Feedlot on June 18. Carcass
traits, composting and environmental protection were the main topics for the day. Speak-
ers encouraged producers to be proactive in regard to environmental protection and be
aware of legislation that may be proposed impacting producer practices. Participants also
had the opportunity to practice evaluating carcass traits and marketing skills for selling on
the grid. The day concluded with viewing carcasses at a local locker.
Organic Farming Opportunities in the Arkansas Valley
The demand for organically grown produce has been on the rise for the past several years.
Producers interested in meeting this demand and capturing a market premium for their
products must become certified. On May 26, farmers from across the Arkansas Valley
met in Rocky Ford at the CSU Extension office to learn more about transitioning into
Mitch Yergert Colorado Department of Agriculture representative, began by discussing
the requirements for organic certification including rules and regulations as well as the
process for certification in the program. It takes long term planning to transition into
organic production. He informed attendees that a field must be cultivated organically for “A field must be
at least three years prior to becoming certified as organically raised. Detailed records are cultivated organically
important for the certification process.
for at least three years
Marketing your organic produce is a must. Marcy Nameth, a local organic grower, gave prior to becoming
fellow farmers advice about direct marketing. She stressed the importance of building certified as organically
relationships with your buyers. People desiring to know the story behind how their food raised. Detailed records
was raised, even if it isn’t organic, will pay a premium price for their produce if they are important for the
know the farmer personally. certification process.”
Dan Hobbs, the executive director of the Organic Seed Alliance who cosponsored and
organized the event, updated farmers on the opportunities in organic seed production.
Currently the demand for organically produced seed far exceeds the supply. Dan esti-
mates that only 10 percent of organic growers are using strictly certified organic seed.
Seed best suited for organic production is not the same as seed intended for high-input
conventional cropping systems. He believes the demand for organic seed will increase
tremendously in the next several years and farmers should begin planning now to meet
Farmers shouldn’t think they have to travel the course alone. Susann Mikkelson, Rocky
Mountain Farmers Union Cooperative Development Center, encouraged attendees to
evaluate the possibility of joining or forming a cooperative to assist with marketing their
products. She also mentioned grants that are available to help in the development of
The producers in attendance had the opportunity to visit with the speakers following the
meeting and network with other farmers either interested in organic production or al-
ready raising crops organically. A field day on organic seed production is planned for
August at the Arkansas Valley Research Center near Rocky Ford.
Crowley County Russian Knapweed Project
The first year for the Crowley County Russian Knapweed Project is coming to a
close. The County received a High Plains Invasives Weed Grant from the Colorado De-
partment of Agriculture for mapping and treatment of Russian knapweed on previously
irrigated land. Fourteen landowners signed up to have the weed treated, with a total of
300 acres treated in the first year.
Russian Knapweed in Crowley
County Russian knapweed was sprayed during the winter months with Milestone herbicide at a
rate of 7 ounces per acre. Initial transect results show that control was effective. Knap-
weed density decreased by an average of 91 percent and grass cover increased in locations
where grass was present prior to treatment. Follow-up treatment of plots sprayed is
planned for next year, as well as enrolling further acreages into the project. There will
be a field day later this summer to demonstrate the effectiveness of the treatment.
The joint efforts of Natural Resource Conservation District, Baca County Conservation
District, Colorado State University Master Gardener program and CSU Extension in
Baca County have produced yet another pretty picture.
Xeriscaping is a trademarked fancy word for purposefully creating a beautiful outdoor
environment without using thousands of gallons of water. This means landscaping with
plants that are low water using and drought tolerant in the landscape plan. The result is a
plan that is not only water efficient and drought tolerant, but also attractive.
Southeast Area Extension Agent Deborah Lester explains that Denver was one of the first
US large cities to incorporate this type of planning and planting in city streets, parks and
highways in the late eighties. “In the arid west, water became more precious as people
flocked to popular western cities like Denver and Phoenix to live,” she says. “Cities could
see that people moving west from the east or even mid-west were bringing those types of
landscapes west, and western water supplies could simply not keep up.”
People resist change and their ideas were no different about their landscapes in their cit-
ies and homes, adds Lester. So it has taken time and a progressive group of plant growers
to bring different, more attractive, low maintenance landscapes to be part of our lives.
The joint efforts of BCCD Manager, Misty George, NRCS District Conservationist, Joel
Moffett, Master Gardener Linda Gibson and Extension Agent Lester produced a “xeric”
landscape in front of the Springfield Farm Service Agency that is more than just a pretty
The landscape is immature now, adds Lester, “but we will give it a little time to grow and
then we will put on a program on how to do your own xeriscape landscape.
These efforts are one of hundreds of ways that CSU Extension collaborates with commu-
nity partners to bring solid research based information to our communities.
Reforest Ordway Project
April 15, 2008, Crowley County and the Town of Ordway experienced a devastating wild-
fire. This past year has been a time of healing and the community has seen an outpour-
ing of assistance from various entities. One such entity was the formation of the Reforest
Ordway Committee to assist in the planting of trees to help in the recovery process.
The Committee, consisting of people from Colorado State Forest Service, CSU Exten-
sion, Crowley County Commissioners, Ordway Tree Board and West Otero-Timpas Con-
servation District, planned the event with help from a grant through the Colorado Tree
Coalition (CTC). The CTC awarded the Committee $7500 to help fire victims replant
Three hundred fifty trees were planted in Crowley County over the course of two volun-
teer days: March 21 and April 25. Over 80 people volunteered their personal time to
help prepare sites, plant the trees, and install drip systems for water. Other people also
donated money and services to assist with the project.
Most landowners who received trees were humbled and surprised by the large number of
people who came out to help plant trees. They were all very grateful and happy to see
“something green” on their land after the struggles of the past year. Thanks to all who
helped make the project a success!
Top: Kim Baltazar and Natalie
Edmundson receive check from
CTC board. Middle: Rows of
trees were planted. Bottom: The
Brown family happy to receive
trees for their yard.
Area Youth Travel to Fort Collins for State 4-H Conference 4-H
The 2009 Colorado State 4-H Conference, “Go Green, 2009”, inspired youth to be the
change the world needs; to become champions of social justice; to focus their passions and
overcome their fears; and to discover how strong and powerful they can be as they face
adversity. The conference had about 500 participants from across Colorado. The South-
east Area sent 18 youth, 2 leaders and 5 extension agents. Participants stayed on the Colo-
rado State University campus and strengthened their leadership skills through four work-
shops; youth were able to interact and build networks in the off time; and build social
skills throughout the week at various activities. Participants also elected the new State
officer team during the Senate meeting. Once again, State Conference was a learning and
growing opportunity for all that attended.
4-H Members Showcase Creativity and Skills
Area 4-H members competed in the District 6 Creative Cooks, Cake Decorating and
Demonstration contest June 11, 2009 in Bent County. The contest drew double contest-
ant numbers from the 2008 event and each participant voiced their excitement for the
2010 competition. This contest provided experience for 4-H members in interview, skill
demonstration and also provided an opportunity to meet other members in our Area.
The contest serves as the Colorado State Fair qualifier for each category first blue ribbon
winner in each county.
The demonstration contestant began the evening with proper livestock handling and
showing techniques. The cake decorators followed and wowed the judge with their swirls,
swipes, toppings and candies. The contest time allotment varied by unit with higher unit
numbers receiving more time to complete their artwork, time ranged from 30 minutes to
one hour. The evening wrapped up with a variety of creative cooks and a taste of the
world. Audience members were introduced to cowboy etiquette, afternoon tea and pie,
Ethiopian dinner, Japanese flavor and Santa Fe Trail stew. Each cook set displayed and
acted out their presented flavor. The contest judge, Linda Senor, said, “all projects are
Members present their Cake State Fair quality” and she truly appreciated the effort and work each person set forth to
be involved in the contest.
Decorating and Creative
Cooks project to judge, As the 2009 County and State Fair close in on 4-H members, leaders and volunteers
we all look forward to the creativity and lessons learned from the projects and work
Linda Senor. toward making next year grow even more.
Cheyenne County Extension Hosts Shooting Sports
On May 22 and 23, four trainers from across the state came to Cheyenne Wells to train
shooting sports leaders from Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Kit Carson, and Prowers Counties.
This special training was put together due to a cancellation in Burlington. It was a con-
densed and somewhat intense program which involved a lot of classroom time, hands-on
application of the curriculum, and a little shooting. There were a total of eight partici-
pants that received the training and are now certified to be 4-H shooting sports leaders.
A big thank you goes out to Jim Hamilton, Perry Brewer, Mick Livingston, and Rick Ro-
manin for taking time out of their busy schedules to help make this training a reality.
Each year our respective counties weigh in and tag the market sheep, goats and swine.
This is done approximately 90 days before the county fair, so youth can calculate the daily
gain needed and then have their animals at the optimal market weight by fair. In the
Southeast Area, there were 245 sheep tagged in by 116 4-H and FFA youth; there were
303 goats tagged in by 154 4-H and FFA youth; and 342 swine tagged in by 167 4-H and
2009 Southeast Area Fun Festival
On Friday, May 8, Kiowa County was host to the Southeast Area 4-H Fun Festival.
4-H’ers from Baca, Kiowa, and Otero counties were among the participants of this year’s
competition. The winners amongst the various divisions from each county who received
first place and a blue ribbon are then eligible to compete in the performing arts competi-
tion held at the Colorado State Fair on Saturday, September 5.
Intermediate Vocal Ashley Wacker Baca County 1st place, White Rib-
Intermediate Vocal Alicia James Kiowa County 1st place, Blue Ribbon
Intermediate Piano Alicia James Kiowa County 1st Place, Blue Ribbon
Senior Woodwind Jennifer Negley Kiowa County 1st Place, Blue Ribbon
Senior String Solo Jayce Negley Kiowa County 1st Place, Blue Ribbon
Theatrical Division Katelin Reed, Alyssa Mueller, Otero County 2nd Place, Red Ribbon
Kelsey Larsen, Katie Davis,
Senior Skits Group
Nichelle Grabow, Cara Larsen,
Kelsea Shannon, Jamie Walter,
Annie Davis, Ambria Paul
Senior Skits Group Rhett Larsen, Anthony Men- Otero County 1st Place, Blue Ribbon
doza, Travis Sherwood, Kolby
Shannon, Curtis Sherwood
A big thank you to Mrs. Rayetta Palmer from Cheyenne Wells, CO for being our judge at
this year’s festival. Congratulations to all of those that are eligible for this year’s state fair. Top to bottom: Intermedi-
ate Piano Solo, Senior
Woodwind Solo, Senior
String Solo, and Senior
On June 11 the Otero Extension Office was filled with laughter and excitement. Six Clo-
verbuds took advantage of attending the 4-H Cloverbud day camp offered by Brooke Mat-
thew. The Cloverbuds participated in a variety of get to know you games and leadership
activities. The favorite activity of the day was the glow germ activity. Before snack time
each kid was given a small amount of glow germ on their hands and then asked to go
wash their hands. A black light was then used to show where they had not washed very
well. After many attempts their hands were clean and they were ready for ice cream. The
exciting event of the day was making their own ice cream and chex mix for a snack. They
learned about vegetables like what part of the plant that they eat. Is it the root, leaf, stem,
or flower? They also made mini greenhouses and planted blue corn, green beans, and
pumpkins to take home and plant in their gardens. They learned and practiced saying
the 4-H pledge. Three junior leaders helped during the day and lead activities. It was a
day full of excitement and energy.
Cheyenne County Show Camp
On Tuesday, June 9, 2009, at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds in Cheyenne Wells,
CO, Cheyenne Feed & Supply in conjunction with Show-Rite Feeds sponsored a hands-
on Show Camp from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. The camp covered a variety of topics including:
nutrition, clipping, grooming, judging pointers, show day preparation, and showmanship.
Live animals were present to help teach attendees. The camp was presented by Mr. Ryan
Sites – Show-Rite Manager. Mr. Sites grew up in Southwestern Oklahoma and was on
Cloverbuds enjoy time learn-
the Eastern Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma State University judging teams.
ing about germs (top), vege-
He taught Ag Ed for nine years in Elgin, Okla. where his students were very successful,
tables (middle), and plants
winning a state livestock judging contest and placed fourth at the 2002 nationals. He has
also judged many state and national swine shows across the country. Everyone in atten-
dance learned a great a lot and had fun. The Cheyenne County Extension Office would
like to offer many thanks to Mr. Sites, Show-Rite Fees, and Cheyenne Feed & Supply for
sponsoring this event.
High School Financial Literacy Classes
Seniors at Cheyenne Wells and Kit Carson got a brief lesson in financial literacy from
Kaye Kasza, thanks to the arrangements of Jeramy McNeely. The students learned the
difference between wants and needs, learned basic budgeting, and resource management.
We hope this helps them make the adjustment to being financially independent during
the next few years.
Bent County’s Biggest Loser Contest
Bent County lost 488 pounds and walked 20,000 miles during the Biggest Loser contest
held this spring. Thirty-two teams with four members each competed in four categories,
including weight loss, inches lost, number of steps logged, and nutrition lessons com-
pleted. Research shows people are much more likely to sustain a weight loss if they make
lifestyle changes through nutrition and exercise. Kaye Kasza was responsible for the nu-
trition lessons during the 12 week program. Collaboration with the Bent County Nurs-
ing Service and Bent County Health Care Center made the program a success. Plans are
already underway for a 2010 contest!
Las Animas School Lunch Program
Agents, Kaye Kasza and Jean Justice are part of a grant with the Las Animas Schools and
Nursing Service which is looking at improving their school lunches. At the request of Su-
perintendent Scott Cuckow, agents did a nutritional analysis of the breakfast and lunch
menus being used in the school district. Results were shared with Superintendent
Cuckow and the lunch program manager, with recommendations for making the meals
lower in fat, salt and sugar while increasing the nutritional content.
The second phase of this grant is 12 hours of education in nutrition and meal planning
for all kitchen personnel. This training is scheduled to be given the first week of August
by agents Kasza and Justice.
Better Kid Care
During the second quarter, four classes of Better Kid Care were presented by Jean Justice
in both Otero and Bent Counties with a total of 75 participants for the four classes. The
June class included 15 day care providers from Lamar and 5 from Springfield who trav-
eled to Las Animas for the classes.
In April and May the topic was “Fighting Children’s Obesity Through Active Play”.
Childhood obesity is a hot topic right now. Research is showing that we have become a
more sedentary society. This workshop focused on decreasing the risk of childhood obe-
sity by increasing children’s activity levels.
In June the topic was “Sparking Kids’ Curiosity”. Children are born curious. Curiosity is
sometimes described as the beginning of a “cycle of learning”, which leads to exploration,
discovery and eventually mastery of learning as the cycle repeats itself with new curiosities
and discoveries. Participants were shown materials they could use to introduce and in-
spire children’s curiosity at little or no cost; which is great news for stretched budgets!
The Better Kid Care program allows area Day Care Providers to earn needed continuing
education hours in order to keep their license current.
A note from the Area Director—Jean E. Justice
It is hard to believe that another year is half over. The Southeast Area
Agents are so busy providing educational programs for clientele and
working with our county 4-H programs that the time just flies by before
we know it and before we know the year will probably be over.
I hope that all of you are as happy with these Quarterly Reports, as our
COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY Extension Communication Department at CSU seems to be. In June
EXTENSION – SOUTHEAST AREA
while attending a workshop on campus I was given a surprise gift from
the Communications Director. It seems that she selected one county
411 North 10th Street
P. O. Box 190 and /or area in each of the three regions that she thought had done an
Rocky Ford, CO 81067 outstanding job with a communications piece. Our Quarterly Reports
Phone: 719-254-7608 to Commissioners was chosen as the recipient from the Southern Re-
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org gion. It was a pleasant and unexpected surprise, but I believe all the SE
Area Agents have done a great job in putting this report together and it
We’re on the Web:
is well deserved.
As we begin the annual fair season, we want to thank you once again
for your continued support which allows us to provide this valuable
Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agricul- community service.
ture and Colorado counties cooperating. Extension
programs are available to all without discrimination.
The information given herein is supplied with the un-
derstanding that no discrimination is intended and no
endorsement by Colorado State University is implied.
Dining with Diabetes
During May and June, two more series of “Dining With Diabetes” were offered to the
residents of Otero County. There were 16 participants who learned about eating prop-
erly to control their diabetes. This class is especially helpful for those who are newly diag-
nosed with diabetes or for those having trouble putting their dietary recommendations to
work. Participants have a chance to taste appropriately modified foods that will help them
control their glucose levels. They learn simple changes they can make to improve their
Dining with diet.
After four weeks of classes, most of the participants had already made behavioral changes
in their eating habits and lost weight which is also important in keeping diabetes under
control. A six month reunion is scheduled to follow up on those behavioral changes.
Because there is such a high incidence of Diabetes in the Arkansas Valley, and because
the Center for Disease control now considers diabetes an epidemic, we feel this program
is very pertinent to our community.