UNL Extension: Morrill County

January / February 2022

Meet an Extension Educator: Jamie Bright

Jamie is the new Rural Prosperity Nebraska Educator for the southern Panhandle. She recently completed her Master's Degree in Applied Science through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with a specialization in Community Development. She has professional experience in customer service, research, editing, marketing, training, technology support, and grant writing from her varied background working in insurance, the library field, the nonprofit sector, education, and owning her own business. She has roots in Sheridan County, but has lived in Kimball County since 2010. Her primary office is in Sidney, though she occasionally works out of the Kimball office.

Morrill County Extension

Keep up-to-date with the most recent news and events by checking out our Extension website. Click on the button below to see what other information is available!


Nebraska historically has been known as the Beef State. Beef production is foundational to the agricultural economy of Nebraska.

Beef.unl.edu focuses on providing research based information and resources to beef producers to help them provide an economical, safe, quality product to consumers while protecting and preserving Nebraska's vast natural resources.

The site is organized to allow you to find information specific to your area of interest. The unbiased, research-based information is designed to provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions related to beef production.

A faculty and staff expertise directory provides you a list of UNL faculty and staff working on Beef Cattle Production issues.

Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options

The next session of “Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options,” Nebraska Extension’s four-part record-keeping course, will be held virtually from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. central time on January 18, 20, 25, and 27.

Participants should plan on attending each of the four workshop dates. The course requires participants to have an internet connection.

This course is designed to help farmers and ranchers understand their current financial position and how big decisions like large purchases, new leases or changes in production will affect their bottom line. Participants will work through the financial statements of a case study farm, watching pre-recorded videos, completing assignments, and participating in video chats. Upon completion of this program, participants will have a better understanding of how financial records can be used to make decisions and confidently discuss their financial position with their family, business partners, and lenders.

The course fee is $20 per participant and class size is limited to 20 people. Register online at https://wia.unl.edu/know. Registration closes January 11.

Crops & Water Systems

CropWatch is a central resource for University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension information on crop production and pest management. It is written by Extension Educators and Specialists and produced by IANR Media in the UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Hay Probes

The Morrill County Extension Office has hay probes to use for free! Give us a call if you would like to use this resource!

Private Pesticide Applicator Training 2022

Date: February 10, 2022

Time: 1:00 PM (MST)

Location: Prairie Winds Community Center, Bridgeport, NE

The 2022 private pesticide applicator training dates, times, and locations have been set, with sessions beginning in early January and continuing through early April at sites throughout the Nebraska Panhandle and Sandhills.

Notification letters will be sent out by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture to applicators whose license will expire in 2022. The cost of the training is $50, payable the day of the training. Private pesticide licenses also can be obtained by completing an online course. Pesticide applicators can purchase access to the online course after Jan. 1 via a link that will be posted on the Pesticide Safety Education Program site. Cost of the course is $50. Call 402-472-1632 with any questions about this training. To register for the Bridgeport training date, call the office at (308) 262-1022.

There will be changes in the process year, both for first-time license applicants and those applying for recertification. First, applicators’ new licenses will be tan in color and have the words “General Agriculture” and the code 00 printed on them. Second, applicators who use soil fumigants must pass the commercial Soil Fumigation (category 01A) exam to receive this certification. Also, applicators who use non-soil, structural or rodent burrow fumigants will be required to pass the commercial Non-Soil/Structural Fumigation (category 11) exam to receive this certification. These additional categories are not required for applicators who use rodent burrow baits or smoke cartridges.

For more information and other training dates, click on the button below.

Snow for Alfalfa

There hasn’t been much snow yet this year across the state or at least any that has stuck around. For alfalfa, snow is a winter gift.

Snow helps alfalfa survive the winter. Plain and simple. A warm fall has allowed some alfalfa to winterize very well and prepare for consistent cold temperatures. They do this by putting high concentrations of nutrients in the roots and crown to withstand temperatures down to 5 degrees.

Air temperature is colder than soil temperature. So even if the air is well below zero degrees, the soil will not be. With a layer of snow acting as insulation on the soil surface, the soil and roots of the alfalfa will be much warmer than bare soil and the air temperature. This layer of snow also protects the moisture in the roots and soil from being lost to evaporation. This is especially important with new seedings of alfalfa or alfalfa and grass mixtures which need to maintain root moisture. If the soil does dry out, desiccation, frost heaving and greater swings in soil temperature can result in higher levels of winterkill across a stand.

Having some stubble at the end of the growing season is a great way to catch this much-needed snow. If a late season harvest is unavoidable, cut high to ensure snow trapping stubble can still function. In an ideal situation, this snow insulation, winter hardy variety selection, and — this is so important — alfalfa given the chance to properly winterize in the fall, will keep winter kill to a minimum.

Snow is a great insulator and can help alfalfa and grasses survive winters. Even if you aren’t dreaming of a white Christmas, your alfalfa probably dreams for it every year.

Women in Agriculture

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Circles of Support: Building Resilience Together

Focusing on your resilience right now can help you get through tough times. There are several things that contribute to your resilience and connecting with other people can improve them all. That’s why we should work on Building Resilience Together.

Start by reaching out to a group of 5 to 10 people and talking about what you are going through. Getting together virtually with small circle of people can help you foster hope, make a plan, take care of yourself and find meaning. It can help you cope now and get ready not just to bounce back, but to bounce forward.

We’ve created a Women in Agriculture Learning Circle Guide: Building Resilience Together to help you and provide structure for your circle’s conversations and activities.

Food, Nutrition, & Health

In August 2010, Nebraska Extension launched a statewide Food website with the goal of developing Internet-based content that reached and was relevant to the general public as well as multiplier groups such as educators, health professionals, and media outlets. It was a pioneer in connecting all the Extension food-related areas of a university on one "umbrella" website.

The Food website houses information on food, fitness and recipes, educational resources, food safety and preservation, local foods, and youth/4-H as well as links to the Nutrition Education Program, Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, Meat Products, and the Food Processing Center.

Website information is personally developed by Extension staff or provided predominately by links to government agencies and other Extension websites nationwide.

ServSafe Training: February 15-16

Date: February 15-16, 2022

Location: Panhandle Research & Extension Center, Scottsbluff, NE

Cost: $130 per person

Providing safe food to customers is an ultimate goal of restaurants and food services. The ServSafe® Manager Training is the industry leader for food service training and is part of the National Restaurant Association Management Certification Program. Over 1 million food service managers and employees have been certified through ServSafe®.

Instructor: Tammie Ostdiek

(308) 262-1022

(308) 632-1480


Divide & Chill

Information on the safe handling of leftovers and reducing the risk of foodborne illness. Go to: https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/food-safety-basics/leftovers-and-food-safety
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Rural Prosperity Nebraska

From the family-owned bakery on Main St., to the local farmers market, to the sprawling cattle ranch, rural communities make Nebraska thrive. At Rural Prosperity Nebraska, students, faculty and community leaders harness boots-on-the-ground efforts to bring that prosperity to your front door. Through six areas of focus, we roll up our sleeves, get our hands dirty, and work together with you to live better in Nebraska.


Morrill County 4-H Newsletter

To find out about all of the latest 4-H news, check out our county's 4-H newsletter by clicking on the button below!

Learning Child

The Learning Child team with Nebraska Extension supports adults who play a role in young children’s lives providing information and resources about early child development. Adults play a significant role in setting the stage for young children's lifelong learning, discovery, and success. The Learning Child team is committed to working with you to support the development of young children in your care.

Morrill County Extension Office

The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based upon any protected status. Please see go.unl.edu/nondiscrimination. © 2021

Katlyn Rosas

4-H Assistant / Office Manager

Sarah Paisley

Lead Educator - Garden County

4-H Educator - Morrill/Garden Counties

Tammie Ostdiek

Lead Educator - Morrill County

Extension Educator - Food, Nutrition, & Health