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Judy with her class motto “Eat Smart, Play Hard, Drink Water…Not Soda”

By Judy Halterman and Joy Paterson

“Eat Smart, Play Hard, Drink Water, Not Soda” is a motto that most K and 1st graders who attended Yerington Elementary School or 2nd and 3rd graders at Smith Valley Elementary School last year know by heart. Veggies for Kids is a funded State of Nevada SNAP-ed program designed to teach kids about proper nutrition and exercise. Judy Halterman has been working with Yerington and Smith Valley youth teaching them how to grow and eat veggies and fruit using demonstration gardens, twelve weeks of in-school instruction and hosts a healthy lifestyle summer institute. Kids learn through direct instruction (lecture), food tastings, worksheets, games, problem solving, questioning techniques, and vegetable growing experiences.

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Judy picks her golden beets from the hoop house







The Veggies for Kids program was created and piloted by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension in 2005 by Mineral County Cooperative Extension, and has been implemented at Hawthorne Elementary School and Schurz Elementary School in Mineral County, Natchez Elementary School in Washoe County, and Owyhee Elementary School in Elko County. Last year the program was expanded to include Smith Valley Elementary School and Yerington Elementary School in Lyon County.

Last years classes increased their ability to identify and name the five food groups and six vegetables. Kids learned the importance of playing hard for at least 60 minutes everyday to increase physical well-being. Drinking water to stay hydrated was emphasized with lessons comparing water to sugary drinks. Eating fun new fruits and vegetables was an exciting part, with kids declaring “What are we going to have for snack today Mrs. Halterman?” This led to an increased

Judy's garden favorite, red noodle beans

Judy’s garden favorite, red noodle beans

willingness to try and consume more fruits and vegetables. Vick Williams assisted Judy in educating the youth about Native American culture including food, building materials and clothing while using story-telling to engage them. The students were also able to sample buck berries, pine nuts, and asparagus.  Hispanic foods lesson was also incorporated with tasting of corn tortillas, beans and cheese. The program is anticipated to continue in the 2015-2016 school year for Yerington and Smith Valley Elementary Schools.


By Kate Schnoor

We are pleased to announce our first ever “Lyon County 4-H Leader of the Month” to be Shannon Thompson, the Mason Valley Community Club Leader. Shannon has volunteered as a Leader with 4-H for two years and is a huge component to the success of her club. Shannon and her 4-H club members work extremely hard to ensure a strong foundation in providing community service to Yerington.

Shannon with the Mason Valley 4-H Community Club

Shannon says “our goal as a club is to make sure we help our community in any way possible, from giving our time or to go pick up trash at the parks. We are here to make our community strive to be the best it can be.” Shannon, Club Members and Co-Leader Debbie McDonald are involved in: Thanksgiving baskets for the families in need, Christmas Tree Angel, visiting long term care facilities and going to local parks to pick trash. The club hosts multiple fund raisers throughout the year to help cover the costs of baskets and presents.

Recently, the Mason Valley Community Club hosted the 2015 Lyon County Fair and Rodeo Appreciation Dinner and the Silver State Youth Livestock Show Buyer’s Luncheon lending valued support to the Lyon County Fair and Rodeo and the sister Lyon County Livestock Clubs.

We are pleased to have such a wonderful Leader, Co-Leader, parents and 4-H Members in our community. Thank you Shannon for your hard work and dedication to your 4-H Club, and your community. Please nominate your leader for next months leader of the month by submitting 3 paragraphs detailing your leaders achievements and submitting 2-3 high quality photos of your leader in action!

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer or become a leader please email Kate Schnoor. Enrollment for the 2016 4-H starts in October, if you would like to enroll your children, please contact the Lyon County Extension office or speak to any of our wonderful leaders!

USDA canning book coverTwo hours of classroom instruction in food preservation safety and home food preservation on Thursday August 27th from 6-8 p.m. We will discuss the latest food safety recommendations. Bring your equipment for safety checks or to learn what it does. The entire class can learn from the equipment or questions you bring. You do not need to have any equipment to attend the class. You will learn what items you might need to purchase for the type of canning that you want to do during the course.

Canning Green Beans and Carrots

Canning Green Beans and Carrots

Hands-on learning for beginning canners will be on Saturday August 29th with two time blocks 8 a.m.- Noon and 1-5 p.m. Space is limited and reservations are on a first come, first serve basis. You can bring your own produce, but will have to pick up canned food after the seals have set. Each group will get to choose what to can.
We will be using the book “Complete Guide to Home Canning” from the USDA. The contents of the book are available for download to any device that reads .pdf files. I prefer to have a paper copy of the book to have as a reference in the kitchen and to save my electronics from the sometimes sticky or wet canning process. Other handouts will be provided. We will have limited copies available for $15 each. First come, first served.

Raw Pack Whole Tomatoes

Raw Pack Whole Tomatoes

The course is $10 per participant.
Sign Up Today! Email me, call 775-463-6541, or stop by the office.
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Bolted Scotch Thistle Plant Prior Flowering

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Scotch Thistle Head Prior to Flowering

Invasive weeds are an issue anywhere people travel or transport things. Every month, I will highlight a weed that is either not established or is in low abundance in Lyon County. Verified records of these weeds are very helpful to weed managers and Nevada Department of Agriculture. If you see these plants, you can report them directly to Nevada Department of Agriculture, using the app EDDmaps, or email me photos and a location. Invasive weeds are everyone’s problem, so help keep them from invading your neighborhood and report them.

Scotch thistle, Onopordum acanthium, is a large spiny plant with pink to purple flowers. Thistles are difficult to identify, so confirm your identification before destroying thistles. Native thistle plants are declining for many reasons and need to be protected. Like most thistles, Scotch thistle is biennial and is a rosette of leaves the first year and bolts into a tall plant with flowers the second year. The rosette stage is difficult to identify. The bolted plant can be very tall, up to 6 feet. Characteristics of the leaves, flowers or seeds can distinguish it from other thistles.

Current distribution maps (EDDmaps or USDA Plant Database)of scotch thistle is broad across the United States. EDDmaps reports Scotch Thistle in Lyon county. I observed it while hiking in southern Lyon county. It is listed as a category B weed by Nevada Department of Agriculture. Scotch thistle can be controlled by pulling up the plant or removing the flower heads by cutting or mowing before it goes to seed. Nevada Department of Agriculture has recommendations for chemical control of Scotch thistle.