Tag Archives: UNL

Persons of all ages are invited to attend a “Farm and Ranch Estate Planning Workshop” hosted by UNL Extension.  This workshop will be held on March 2 from 9:30 to 3:00 at the Merrick County Ag Building, Fairgrounds, Central City.

The program is free with the lunch being provided by the Archer Credit Union. Everyone attending is asked to register by calling the Merrick County Extension Office at 308-946-3843 to ensure that there is enough lunch, handouts, and other materials. Please register by February 27, 2020.

One presentation will focus on the decisions and situations which should be addressed when thinking about how your farm or ranch estate will be passed. Topics will include: the need for planning, proper family communications, who makes the decisions, concept of fair versus equal, family negotiations, and much more. The presentation is designed to give some basic information to those that haven’t yet started to think about their succession or transition plan for their assets.

In addition, an attorney will be making his presentation to give Ag Families the basics of what they need to start planning their wills, trusts, and other end of life documents that need to be in order.

The objective is to start the process of having the farm succession or transition planned. Bring your questions, as the session is designed to be interactive answering as many questions as possible.

Allan Vyhnalek, UNL Extension Educator for Farm Succession will present. He was recently assigned to the Ag Economics Department to work on farm and ranch succession and transition. Tom Fehringer, Columbus based attorney with an additional office in Central City, will make the legal presentation. He has worked with farmers for over 16 years will cover the legal aspects of end of life and end of business decision making.

While the workshop will use examples related to Agriculture, the estate planning parts of the workshops will be applicable to all and anyone with interest is invited to attend. Participants at previous events always report that they wished they would have started sooner, when asked about the value of attending the presentation.  The consequences of not having an appropriate plan in place can jeopardize the financial stability of your operation, and the future of the family.  More importantly, we need to have our wishes known to others so the legacy of the farms and ranches can be passed to the individuals or entities intended.

For more information or assistance, please contact _308-946-3843 to register or Allan Vyhnalek, 402-472-1771.

It was a near capacity crowd inside the Babel Barn at Wood River during the 2020 Buffalo-Hall County Corn Growers banquet. The crowd was not only excited for the corn fed Nebraska beef meal, but for the special keynote speaker. John Cook, UNL head volleyball coach, kept the crowd entranced for nearly an hour as he talked about building leaders and learning life lessons through volleyball. Cook at one point discussed commitment using a breakfast analogy, “If you had bacon and eggs this morning know that the chicken was only partially committed to that breakfast, but the pig was fully committed.”  Cook said that he loves coming to small town Nebraska and talking with farmers and ranchers. Cook grew up on a lemon farm in Southern California and knows the hard work and ethics farm life can instill in a youth.

The night wasn’t finished at Cook’s moving speech. The night also recognized long time Buffalo-Hall County Corn Growers President John Willoughby. Willoughby helped start the chapter nearly 19 years ago when KAPPA Ethanol was trying to build support for ethanol plants in the state. He commented that there were times when it seemed like he would never see the end, but looking back on 19 years it went extremely fast. Incoming President Michael Dibbern knows he has big shoes to fill, but is excited for the possibilities that lie ahead for him and the young leadership team. Dibbern just finished the international portion of the Nebraska LEAD Program and realizes that South America will continue to have large production, but is confident in the ability of the American producer to have higher quality commodities.

Listen here for more about the leadership transition within the Buffalo-Hall County Corn Growers and UNL volleyball coach John Cook.

Nebraska Extension’s Master Gardener Program is taking applications for Panhandle residents who enjoy horticulture, want to learn more, and are willing to volunteer to share their knowledge with their community.

      Master Gardener training will begin in early February at several sites in the Panhandle. To sign up for the program, call your local Nebraska Extension County Office, or pick up a brochure from Extension offices in Scottsbluff, Alliance or Sidney.

      The brochure has a registration form that needs to be completed and returned by Jan. 31. The brochure also can be downloaded from the Panhandle Center website, https://panhandle.unl.edu

      For more information contact Extension Educators John Thomas in Alliance (308-762-5616), Gary Stone in Scottsbluff (308-632-1480), or Karen DeBoer in Sidney (308-254-4455).

      The Nebraska Extension Master Gardener program has been part of Nebraska Extension since 1976. Master Gardener volunteers are trained by Extension faculty and staff in many horticulture-related topics. They then contribute time as volunteers, working through their local extension office, to provide horticulture-related information to their community.

      Volunteers might answer phones at a county extension office, make horticulture presentations to community organizations, assist 4-H clubs with garden projects, judge horticulture exhibits at county and state fairs, participate in community garden projects, write a garden column for the local paper, and more.

      Master Gardeners are required to complete training and 40 annual hours of volunteer service. Initial training curriculum covers topics encompassing the whole landscape such as; plant science, botany, insects, weed, wildlife, and turfgrass management, soils and pesticide safety. Volunteers retain their certification through annual training and volunteering.

      Applicants should be at least 19 years old with a strong work ethic and an interest in learning more about horticulture and landscape systems.

      The 2020 training will begin in early February, with weekly training classes running into late February or early March. The training consists of three statewide classes available at Extension Offices in Alliance, Scottsbluff and Sidney, and the four advanced training sessions that will take place in Scottsbluff.

      Participation is $40 for either the three statewide sessions or the four sessions in Scottsbluff, or $55 to attend all sessions. Individual sessions are $15 ($20 for the session at the NRD office, which includes lunch). For an additional $110 fee, Master Gardeners receive a t-shirt, Master Gardener manual, and name badge.

The Fundamentals

      The four statewide sessions will take place Tuesday evenings from 5:30-8 p.m. on Feb. 11, 18, and 25 and March 3. Through the use of Zoom distance conferencing technology, they will be available at the Extension offices in Alliance, Scottsbluff and Sidney. Local Nebraska Extension Educators at each of the sites to help answer questions. Topics include:

      Feb. 11: Landscape Management (Extension Educator Terri James).

      Feb. 18: Rots and Spots – biotic and abiotic issues in landscape systems using integrated pest management practices, (Extension Educator Kyle Broderick).

      Feb. 25: Nebraska Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program (Terri James); and Soils (Becky Young, Assistant Professor of Practice, UNL Department of Agronomy and Horticulture).

      March 3: Bugs (Extension Educator Jody Green).

Advanced classes

      For proficient (as well as beginner) gardeners, the daytime classes run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 3, 10, 17, and 24. They will take place at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center at Scottsbluff, except for the Feb. 3 session, which will take place at the North Platte Natural Resources District Office, 100547 Airport RD, Scottsbluff.

      The topics are designed for advanced Master Gardeners; however, they are open to everyone. Topics include:

      Feb. 3 (NRD office): Review of Nebraska Master Gardener Forms, Record Keeping, Volunteer Opportunities, and Writing Public Service Announcements (Karen DeBoer, Extension Educator; and Laurie Zitterkopf and Elaine Pile, Master Gardeners); Greenhouse Tour (Jenifer Berge Sauter, NPNRD); NRD Tree Planting Program (Todd Filipi, NPNRD); and Pruning Fruit Trees and Shrub Fruits (Chrissy Land, Nebraska Forest Service).

      Feb. 11: Garden Design (Extension Educator David Lott); Plant Propagation – Demonstration and Hands-On, Using Different Methods (David Lott).

      Feb. 18: Garden Diseases (Extension Educator Amy Timmerman); Pesticide Safety – What to Wear, and Reading Labels (Extension Educator Gary Stone).

      Feb. 24: Decorative/Ornamental Grasses and Maintenance (Extension Educator Elizabeth Killinger); Perennial Flower Gardening/Succession Flowering (Extension Educator Kelly Feehan)

University of Nebraska’s TAPS, testing ag performance solutions, is gearing up for the 2020 growing season. Matt Stockton, UNL Extenstion Ag Economist, says “TAPS simply put is a friendly growing competition to see real world results for University research and ag producer knowledge.”

The 2020 TAPS program will offer contestants the ability to manage a sprinkler irrigated corn, sub surface drip irrigated  corn or sprinkler irrigated grain sorghum plot. Contestants also have to market their plot as if it were a 1,000 or 3,000 acre farm. At the end of the year the individual or team that has the most profitable and efficient farm will win not only bragging rights, but a small cash purse.

2019 UNL TAPS Champion Team
A group from Perkins County won the 2019 sprinkler corn irrigated TAPS contest.
Photo Credit: UNL TAPS.

Matt Stockton below describes the opportunity TAPS holds for producers of any age and some of the valuable data the program has provided for UNL Extension research.



If your interested in joining TAPS for the 2020 growing season visit https://taps.unl.edu/