County Extension Agent, 4-H & Youth Development

In order to increase safety awareness at grain elevators, feed mills and other grain processing facilities, Kansas State University's Department of Grain Science and Industry is offering workshops in English and Spanish to address combustible dust hazards.

Project leader Kingsly Ambrose, assistant professor in grain science and industry, said the interactive workshops will create awareness regarding grain dust explosion hazards among workers and supervisors.

The workshops, handouts and lecture materials are free.

Workshops will be held at the following Kansas locations in conjunction with the Kansas Grain and Feed Association:

* Aug. 13 in Garden City at the Southwest Research-Extension Office. The course in English will be offered from 8 a.m. to noon and the Spanish course will be offered from 1 to 5 p.m.

* Aug. 14 in Colby at the Colby Convention Center from 8 a.m. to noon.

"It is important to educate supervisors and managers on training their employees using best practices to curtail the risk of dust explosions," said Dirk Maier, head of the Department of Grain Science and Industry at K-State. "This workshop will communicate practical risk information on dust hazards to mitigate fatalities and loss in grain handling and processing facilities."

Ambrose noted that grain dust explosions are caused by five factors: powder-fine grain dust, confinement of dust in an enclosed space, dust dispersion, an ignition source and oxygen. Reducing combustible dust, keeping it out of the air and controlling ignition sources significantly reduce the probability of a grain dust explosion occurring.

Through delivery by faculty from K-State, hands-on activities and an explosion demonstration, the four-hour workshop will provide the awareness, understanding and motivation to reduce the number of explosions and their impact.

"The long term goal of this team is to continue this effort of raising awareness about grain dust explosion hazards through training activities," Ambrose said. "We are collaborating with GEAPS (Grain Elevator and Processing Society) to offer a distance education course on grain dust explosions starting Fall, 2013."

To register for any of the workshops, go to Combustible Grain Workshops and select the link under "Upcoming Short Courses."

Local 4-H member is state winner

4-H members who earned the top award in their project were honored Thursday at the 4-H Emerald Circle Banquet in Manhattan.

The festive occasion marks success, but also opens the door for new opportunities.

State 4-H project winners earn an award medallion, an invitation to National 4-H Congress (from the Kansas 4-H Foundation) for Congress, which this year will be held in November in Atlanta.

Top project award winners are selected through a statewide application and review process, and designation as a state project winner typically reflects years of effort in setting goals to grow in project subject matter.

Finney County is honored to have the State 4-H Sheep Project winner, Jacob Norquest from the Kourageous Kids 4-H Club.

Kansas 4-H to award scholarships

The Kansas 4-H Foundation has selected four Finney County 4-H'ers to receive 4-H scholarships, rewarding them for their dedication and leadership as Kansas 4-H members.

The scholarships were awarded Thursday at the 2013 Emerald Circle Banquet in Manhattan.

Scholarship recipients are 4-H members selected through an annual application and review process. Applications are judged with emphasis on 4-H leadership, citizenship and involvement.

The 2013-14 Kansas 4-H Foundation scholarship recipients from the Finney County 4-H program are: Steven Buchele, Allan and Carolyn Harms Family Scholarship; Charla Norquest, William G. and Marita Jean (Spiers) Willis Scholarship; Kathryn Clawson, Orscheln Farm and Home 4-H Scholarship; Kurtis Clawson, Gary and Lorraine Kilgore 4-H Scholarship.

Kids' summer jobs

A summer job can provide opportunities for youth and their parents.

A first paycheck can be viewed as a milestone, yet youth earning $8 an hour for a 40-hour work week can be surprised when their paycheck falls short of simple math: $8 x 40 = $320, said Elizabeth Kiss, K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist.

Many youth are unaware of payroll, Social Security and other taxes or deductions, and don't know the difference between gross and net pay. Parents are urged to use these first-time experiences to help their children grow in their understanding of financial management.

Youth workers also may not have considered the cost of working.

If a young person has a food service job, he or she might earn a fixed hourly wage working in the kitchen. If waiting tables, he or she may earn a lower fixed wage, but be allowed to earn tips.

While it might seem that youth waiting tables would have the opportunity for greater earnings, business and tipping can be unpredictable, and he or she may earn less than anticipated.

Food service workers also may be required to pay for meals during working hours, and may be required to rent or buy a uniform, Kiss said.

A sales or customer service position might require khaki slacks, while farm, ranch or factory work might require steel-toed boots, leather work gloves, etc. The cost of getting to and from work also can add up.

Parents are encouraged to talk to children about their financial needs and goals.

Ask questions such as:

* What is your goal in landing a summer job?

* How much do you expect to earn this summer?

* What do you hope to accomplish with your summer earnings?

* Will you be using the money to meet regular financial responsibilities? Or, pay for extras?

* Do you have money in savings to cover your short-term goals?

* Have you thought about establishing an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, such as a car repair or replacing a computer?

Garden conference

A new Kansas Community Garden Conference is all about growing in the garden and the community.

The conference is scheduled July 8 and 9 on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan.

This is a chance to learn from experts and share ideas with community gardeners from other parts of the state. The conference is being planned to answer everyday questions about gardening; provide practical tips for planning and managing community gardens successfully; encourage gardening as an educational opportunity about the relationship between food, nutrition and health; and to improve community health.

Sessions are scheduled in the air-conditioned K-State Student Union and also will include a morning tour of local community gardens.

The educational opportunity is sponsored by Kansas State University and K-State Research and Extension, and registration ($30) includes sessions, conference materials, refreshment breaks and a noon meal (July 9) with a panel discussion about community garden management.

Conference participants will have four opportunities to choose concurrent sessions: Pest Management, Garden Soils/Fertilizer, School Gardens, Organic or Not?, Raised Beds, Water Wise Water Conservation, Weed Control, Fruit in the Community Garden, Donation Gardens, and Education and Mentoring.

Deadline for registration is June 24. For registration and more information, go to Kansas Community Gardens or contact Christy Dipman at (785) 532-6173 or

For more information about the conference and whether it might be a good fit for you and your community in establishing or managing a community garden successfully, contact Evelyn Neier at (785) 410-3760 or