2014-02-05 / Living

Extension Notes

EXTENSION TURNS 100

In North Carolina and across the country, 2014 will mark the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension programs. Extension’s centennial is linked to the signing of the federal Smith-Lever Act, which provided funds for life-changing educational programs. Today, Cooperative Extension programs in North Carolina are based in all the state’s 100 counties and on the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

These programs draw on research-based knowledge from the state’s land-grant universities — N.C. State University and N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University – to provide education to citizens. N.C. Cooperative Extension’s centennial website provides many resources that tell the 100-year history of this organization.

Visit ncce100years.ces.ncsu.edu to see a timeline of Extension milestones, historic photos, examples of Extension programs “Then and Now,” the history of the Smith-Lever Act and much more. Throughout the past 100 years and earlier, the organization now called North Carolina Cooperative Extension has served the state well – helping farmers overcome pests like the boll weevil and learn ways to increase crop yields, educating rural families and helping bring electricity to the state, assisting during times of war and disaster, helping families to provide safe, healthy meals and encouraging youth to develop skills that made them better citizens.

Today, Cooperative Extension continues this important role, serving communities and families, supporting agriculture and empowering youth to be leaders.

Today, Extension agents help connect consumers with food produced in their communities, help families to embrace a healthy lifestyle and engage youth in science, technology, engineering and math studies.

For more information about the Person County Cooperative Extension Service, check us out online at http://person.ces. ncsu.edu

WHY PEOPLE OVEREAT

One of the questions that researchers at Cornell University wanted to know was “Why Do People Overeat?”

We believe that people overeat because food tastes really good or because we’re really hungry. In reality, those are two of the last things that influence how much people eat. We’re a nation of mindless eaters.

If there’s nothing to stop us from grabbing something to eat, we keep doing it until something tells us to stop.

Serving and package sizes also affect how much we eat. If you want to be skinny, you have to think skinny, not wide. We’re not used to looking at width the same way we’re used to looking at height. We pay more attention to height.

So you’re in greater danger of overeating from a wide bowl than from a taller, skinnier bowl or glass. This is because, in nature, something that is tall is more of a threat than something that is wide.

Most animals look at height as an indication of how threatening a predator is. We don’t see wide things as a threat. Subsequently, we don’t notice that something that’s twice as wide holds twice as much.

If you let children choose something in a tall and skinny container versus a wide and fat container—even if the wide container holds a lot more candy or potato chips—they always go for the tall, skinny container because they think it’s got more.

People underestimate how much more a package holds when all three of its dimensions— its height, width, and depth—increase.

It would be much more obvious if a package only increased in one dimension, but that rarely happens. If a large popcorn were, say, twice as tall as a small, we’d see it. But if it’s a little bigger top to bottom, side to side, and front to back, you may not see that it holds twice as much.

FREE RADON KITS

During January’s National Radon Action Month, the U.S. Surgeon General and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urge all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes for radon.

Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation.

Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem.

This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. Radon from soil gas is the main cause of radon problems.

Sometimes radon enters the home through well water. In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, too. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.

You can find out if your home has an elevated radon level by conducting a simple test. We still have a few kits left so stop by Room 161 of the Person County Office Building to get your kit while they last.

For more information about what you can do to protect your health and take action against radon during National Radon Action Month, please visit www.epa.gov/radon/nram/public. html.

WORKING ARTS

We still have a few spots available for some of our Working Arts workshops that will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 19 and 20 in Roxboro at the Person County Office Building. On Feb. 19, we have a basketmaking, cake decorating or a mesh wreath class that you can sign up for. On Feb. 20, we have another mesh wreath class or a Bob Ross Oil Painting class that you can participate in. And if you want a class that is both days, you can sign up for the Chair Caning class or the Intermediate Knitting: Making Lace class. If you are interested in receiving a registration brochure with detailed workshop information, please contact us at 336-599-1195. The cost to attend the workshops includes a non-refundable registration fee of $15 that covers both days, plus the instructor fee for the workshop(s) you select.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Feb. 6 - Beekeepers Class

Feb. 7 - ECA Pinto Bean Fundraiser

Feb. 7 - 4-H Achievement Night

Feb. 11 - Farmers Market Meeting

Feb. 12 - VAD Meeting

Feb. 13 - Beekeepers Class

Feb. 14 - Blueberry Plant Sale Deadline

Feb. 19, 20 - Working Arts

Feb. 20 - Beekeepers Class

Feb. 27 - Piedmont Regional Beef Conference

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