TRA CSU Extension Winter Seasonal Newsletter

In This Edition!

  • Rain Gauge Give Away!
  • A Lasting Legacy - Estate Planning Workshop
  • 2019 Seedling Tree Sales
  • 2019 Food Farm Forum
  • 4-H Enrollment Open
  • Agent Spotlight Topics & Programs

Rain Gauge Give Away!

Colorado Department of Education has adopted new science standards this year, and given schools until 2020 to meet them. We are here to help! We have a CoCoRaHS rain gauge to give to a school in each county to support real-world science that will engage your students! By incorporating the CoCoRaHS program into your classroom, you will make significant progress in meeting the newly adopted science standards!

Leaving a Lasting Legacy - for Farm and Ranch Families
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Colorado State Forest Service Seedling Nursery

Seedling Trees, Perennial Wildflowers, and Ornamental Grasses

Winter is upon us, but spring will follow closely behind, and with spring comes the desire to start planting. What better way to prepare for spring then by pre-ordering your seedling trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and ornamental grasses!

CSU Tri River Area Extension, in cooperation with the Colorado State Forest Service, is taking pre-orders for seedlings. Seedlings are best suited for conservation purposes such as wind screens, attracting wildlife, attracting pollinators and re-vegetation. There is not an acreage restriction to purchase the seedling trees, however seedlings cannot be purchased for re-sell. Perennial wildflowers and grasses are also popular choices with homeowners.

The state wide program offers over 50 varieties of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses. Low cost seedling pre-orders can be placed through your local CSU Extension Office from November through April, 2019. Delivery of seedlings is scheduled for early May; just in time for spring planting!

Seedlings can be ordered in several different sizes and quantities including Bareroot, Large Tubes, and Extra Large Potted. Wildflowers/Grasses are ordered by the flat (30 ~ Can mix & match!) or by individual large potted. Sales are distributed statewide, so order early as inventories will run out as the program progresses through the year. For specific species questions, contact your local Colorado State Forest Service office or CSU Horticulture Agent Susan Carter at 970-244-1834, Susan.Carter@colostate.edu

Top Photo - Elderberry, Purple Flower - Aspen Fleabane
2019 Western Slope Food & Farm Forum
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4-H Enrollment OPEN!

The 2018-2019 4-H enrollment continues to May 1st, 2019 for new enrollments! Take a look at the list of 4-H projects you can enroll in!

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Program Areas: Seasonal Topics

STEM & K-12

Barbara Shaw: Regional Extension Specialist – STEM
Nicole Goza: 4-H Program Associate

The 4-H School Enrichment and Outreach projects are designed to enhance classroom education with experience based learning "Learn By Doing”. Classroom-ready projects teach life skills as well as specific subject matter with the help of 4-H Curriculum.

We have a variety of different topics and curriculum we can cover or provide to you! Many of our programs are aligned to CDOE Standards for easy classroom or after school implementation.

This months activity is focused on the changing weather! Click the below link for access to this activity.

Please visit our site to view this or other activities that you can enjoy from school or home.

Master Gardener & Horticulture

Susan Carter: Area Extension Agent, Horticulture

Winter watering essential to certain plants

With irrigation now off, it can be easy to forget that plants still need water in the winter. Evergreen trees and foliage as well as newly planted plants of any kind need water about once a month, depending on what moisture Mother Nature is providing and what micro-climate the plants are located in. Plants continue to respire and moisture evaporates even in the winter. It takes a deep snow or heavy rain to make a difference in winter soil moisture. When we only get an inch or two of snow, it can simply evaporate. Often we do not notice the damage from desiccation until late spring and early summer.

Winter watering goals: Water early in the day on a day that is at least 40 degrees so the water can soak in. Remember that most root systems are in the top 8" of soil, with tree roots usually in the top 12-18". Tree roots, once established, also spread out at least 2 times the width of the height of the tree. So if you have a 20' tall tree, those roots are a minimum of 40' in spread. http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/healthy-roots-and-healthy-trees-2-926/

With trees, watering from the drip line (edge of the branches) and out is important. If using the hose, just make sure to drain it prior to the evening so it does not freeze. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM2VD7uZLvY

Preventing Sunscald

Newly planted trees and trees with thin bark can have an issue we refer to as South West disease or Sunscald. This occurs when the southwest side of the tree heats up more in the winter sun and then freezes at night. This extreme temperature difference often causes the cells right under the bark of the tree to burst and die. This produces a crack or injury on the southwest side of the tree leaving it open to insects and disease to invade. This is one reason why orchards paint their trees white. However, most homeowners do not want to have trees with white trunks.

To prevent Sunscald, a great option is to buy tree wrap; it looks like a roll of brown crepe paper. Wrap your tree around Halloween and take if off around Easter. Leaving it on year round leaves an area for insects to hide and could girdle the tree. Here is a video on how to wrap your tree. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_KOaHXETb4 and a plant talk write up: http://planttalk.colostate.edu/topics/weeds-cultural-problems/2111-sunscald-trees/

Visit the Colorado State University Extension Horticulture Blog for biweekly articles on landscape and gardening.

2019 Gardening and Landscape Classes Applications Available

CSU Extension Tri River Area is taking applications for our Master Gardener/Colorado Garden Certificate classes. Classes are held on Thursdays starting in mid January, running 11 weeks with each week covering a different topic. Topics range includes: botany, soils, entomology, plant pathology, xeriscape and irrigation, native plants, herbaceous plants, vegetables, small and large fruits and woody plants. CSU Extension experts teach the classes. 4 will be online this year, giving us time for more hands on learning.

The class can be taken as a professional, earning a Colorado Garden Certificate which can be used on resumes and advertising. More commonly, local citizens can take the class and then volunteer to become Colorado Master Gardeners by volunteering at the office and CSU Events. A third option is to take a single day of a specific topic.

Applications are due by November 15th. Contact Susan Carter for more information and application. 970-244-1834 susan.carter@colostate.edu

Livestock, Acreage, Agronomy

Doug Dean: Area Extension Director – TRA
John Rizza: Ext Specialist – Small Acreage Management Specialist/NRCS
Seth Urbanowitz: Area Extension Agent, Agronomy

Western Colorado Soil Health Conference

The Western Colorado Soil Health Conference will take place February 21st and 22nd in a location that is yet to be determined (Delta, Grand Junction, or Montrose). The conference will showcase local producers implementing innovative production techniques that improve soil health and their bottom line. In addition, there will be scientists and agency personnel discussing various aspects of the science behind soil health.

Produce Safety and FSMA On-Farm Readiness Review

The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is influencing how fresh produce is grown. Compliance dates, for the majority of the rule, went into effect in 2018 for larger farms and will go into effect in 2019 for small farms and 2020 for very small farms.

CSU is partnering with Colorado Department of Agriculture - CDA (The local regulatory authority) to conduct non-regulatory “on-farm readiness reviews” to discuss the rule and general produce safety on farms in all of Colorado. If you would like to schedule a free review contact Cristy Dice at CDA at 303-869-9282/cristy.dice@state.co.us or Seth Urbanowitz 970-874-2195/seth.urbanowitz@colostate.edu with the Delta Extension office.

The Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, CSU Extension and Colorado Department of Agriculture will be hosting a FSMA Training Course on January 9th, 2019 at the Mesa County Fairgrounds in Grand Junction. The training is scheduled from 7:30 am -5:00 pm. The registration fee is $50 which includes a light breakfast, lunch, PSA materials, and a certificate of completion as required under FSMA. Note that attendees must be present for the entire course to receive a certificate. A produce safety plan (Which is not required under FSMA) writing workshop will be held January 10th at the same location. For more information contact Seth Urbanowitz in the Delta Extension office or register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jan-9-fsma-produce-safety-rule-psa-grower-training-course-registration50086780910

Onion Trials

Tri River Area Agronomist Seth Urbanowitz will be partnering with seed companies and a local farm to conduct an onion variety trial. If you would like to recommend onion varieties that can be planted on a commercial scale or talk about the trial, please contact the Delta Extension office at 970-874-2195.

No-till and Cover Crop Tour in Grand and Uncompaghre Valleys

CSU-Extension, area conservation districts and NRCS personnel will be holding a no-till and cover crop tour in the Grand and Uncompaghre valleys in early to mid-spring. We will visit local farms and the experiment station to discuss research and practices being implemented by farmers in the area. Stay tuned for more information.

Food & Health

Ann Duncan: Area Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Science

Waste Not, Want Not!

Did you know that American families waste ~25% of food and beverages that they buy? This holiday season explore ways to keep the food you are buying on your plate and out of your trash.

2019 Food Code Changes

The new Food Code will come into effect on January 1, 2019. This means all retail food establishments will need a Certified Food Protection Manager. Approved food certification manager courses can be found at the link below. ServSafe is one of the five ways to meet the certification requirements. Our last class for 2018 is on December 4th, but is closed to registrations. The 2019 ServSafe classes will be released mid-December and can be found on our website or by joining our mailing list. Contact FCS Agent - Ann Duncan to be added to the mailing list: Ann.Duncan@colostate.edu or 970-249-3935.

2018 Family and Consumer Science Facts:

  • Certified 108 individuals, including 38 youth in Food Safety Works (basic food safety class)
  • Certified 38 individuals for Cottage Foods Act food safety certification
  • Certified 148 individuals for ServSafe (advanced food safety class), including 34 Spanish
  • Taught 91 hours of nutrition, health, and wellness topics
  • Collaborated to donate 173,507 pounds of produce along with nutrition education materials to hunger relief efforts on the Western Slope (Combined over past 2 years)


Meredith Shrader: Area Extension Agent, Entomology
Melissa Franklin: Research associate, Entomology

Two Rivers Convention Center

159 Main St. Grand Junction, CO

Fees: Commercial Applicators-$110

Private Applicators-$55

You must register as a commercial applicator to receive credit in any numbered category. Continuing education credits are also available for commercial pesticide applicators licensed in UT, NM, WY and OH. If other state credits are needed please contact us, and we will try to make arrangements.

ASA/SSSA Certified Crop Advisors can receive continuing education credits for selected presentations.

This workshop also qualifies for 6 International Society of Arbor-culture continuing education units.

Please contact the Mesa County CSU Extension Office at 970-244-1834 to register.

TRA 4-H Program

Jackie Shea: Delta County Extension 4-H Program Associate
Brandon Creamer: Montrose & Ouray Extension 4-H Program Associate
Nicole Goza: Montrose & Ouray Extension 4-H Program Associate

TRA 4-H Program – Looking to the Future!

In the Youth Department of CSU Extension, one of our goals is to encourage and support the next generation of youth as they step into leadership positions for the future; you might call them the future’s future?! We do this by offering quality educational programming like 4-H.

In the Tri-River Area, we are proud to have over 1100 active members involved in more than 40 project areas. 4-H traditionally was known to be livestock and crop oriented with projects such as Crop Production, Market Animals, Breeding Animals, and Horses. However, 4-H has always sought to serve many diversified interests and has expanded into many STEM related areas of education. 4-H truly has something for everyone – from Cake Decorating to Shooting Sports and it is always expanding!

Furthermore, 4-H has always encouraged student run leadership. Each county’s program is governed by a County 4-H Council that usually has approx. 10 elected 4-H member officers. These officer teams oversee the business of each county 4-H program and work with the 4-H membership in their clubs to promote 4-H, put on district leadership workshops, attend or sponsor 4-H members toward State and National 4-H events, and coordinate 4-H County Fair involvement.

The overall goal of the 4-H program is to enable our youth to learn real-world skills and prepare them for the challenges of today and careers of tomorrow! It really does serve to ‘prepare the future’s Future’.

As 2018 closes and 2019 begins, we encourage you to check out local 4-H programming in your area and see if it might be just the right fit for you and your family. Enrollment is open now through May 1st. Contact Delta: 874-2195, Mesa: 244-1834, or Montrose/Ouray: 249-3935 for more information about your county’s 4-H Program or visit us at our webpage www.tra4h.org. We look forward to meeting you in the near future!

Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Delta, Mesa, Montrose, & Ouray Counties cooperating. Cooperative Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

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