CSU Extension Tri-River Area 2019 Spring Newsletter Scroll ⬇️ to view Newsletter


CSU Extension is Here For You! And we want to help! Ask us about Gardening, Agronomy (soil), Small Acreage, Agriculture & Business Management, Range & Livestock, Entomology (insects), Health & Nutrition, Food Safety, STEM Education & 4-H Youth Development programs.
Welcome Christine Prins! Christine is our Tri-River Area CSU Extension Horticulture Program Associate/Master Gardener Coordinator who joined us in January of 2019. Read on to get to know a little about Christine, her education, background, experience and interests...

Christine earned her B.S. Biology at Calvin College in 2008 and her M.S. Botany at Colorado State University in 2011. She says... "I am an avid outdoors person, especially skiing and mountain biking. I enjoy hiking and looking at native plants. I also enjoy baking, working on house projects and working in the garden. Before Extension, I coordinated lab courses at CSU for five years, worked one season with the National Park Service, and two years in environmental consulting." We're thrilled to welcome Christine to our Tri-River Area CSU Extension Team!

Welcome Melissa Tabke! Melissa is our new Tri-River Area 4-H Youth Development Agent for Mesa County who joined us in January of 2019. Melissa originally hails from the small town of Marcus, Iowa where she was an active 4-H member for 10 years, participating in everything from equestrian events to photography. Melissa also served on county council all through high school and worked on many community and fairground betterment projects, including raising funds to build a new indoor arena and conference center at the county fairgrounds. Read more below, about her extraordinary experiences in international 4-H and teaching abroad!

After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from Texas Tech University, Melissa spent a few months in Panama interning with an agriculture and community development program. Melissa then went back to Texas Tech to do her Master’s in Ruminant Nutrition. While finishing grad school, Melissa found out about an organization called AgriCorps and applied!

This led to her spending two years in Ghana, teaching agriculture sciences, serving as a 4-H leader, and working in the Northern Region 4-H Ghana office. She then moved to Liberia as AgriCorps’ Country Director to re-open the AgriCorps Fellowship program and work with 4-H Liberia’s national staff. While there, Melissa worked with many different 4-H clubs and led 4-H leader and agent trainings as well as advocating for 4-H to the Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Education. For fun, she taught at the University of Liberia and went to the beach. After 4 years in West Africa, it was time to move back to the U.S. She spent a few months traveling around the U.S. before landing in Mesa County.

Through her personal experiences, work, and travel, Melissa understands first-hand the impact young people can make on their communities and the importance of “Learning by Doing.” 4-H has been a part of her life every step of the way and she is excited to continue to work with the volunteer leaders and young people of Mesa County 4-H. We're thrilled to welcome Melissa to our Tri-River Area CSU Extension Team!


Colorado Master Gardeners are HERE FOR YOU! Contact your local Extension office to speak with a Colorado Master Gardener about your gardening and lawn care questions … get FREE EXPERT ADVICE from qualified Colorado Master Gardeners who are familiar with gardening in your area!

Master Gardener Booth at Montrose Home, Garden & Business Expo - February 2019

What Do Colorado Master Gardeners Do?

They assist Colorado State University Extension staff in delivering research-based gardening information to foster successful gardening in Colorado communities for non-commercial clients. They provide services such as:

  • Plant and insect identification
  • House calls to address specific landscape problems for a nominal fee
  • Advice on plant selection
  • Diagnostics and advice on weeds, insects, disease management & safe pesticide use
  • Proper pruning techniques
  • Water and fertility management in the landscape
  • Organic gardening approaches
  • Lawn care
  • Growing fruits & vegetables
  • Master gardeners are also available for presentations and information booths at events

* * * COMMUNITY CONTEST * * * Enter to win a free soil test!


How to enter....

Show us what you got! Send us your "Cutest Baby Animal" Picture - Submission Deadline: May 19th

You've probably noticed that it's calving/kidding/lambing/bunny season all around us here on the Western Slope! So send us your "Cutest Baby Animal" picture for your chance to win a FREE SOIL TEST! ($19 value) Email your picture along with your contact information to: TRAextension@gmail.com

Here's our example of a "cutest baby animal" picture! We LOVE KIDS! (both kinds) SUBMISSION DEADLINE: May 19, 2019. Email us your picture along with your contact information to: TRAextension@gmail.com Please include your first and last name, county you live in, and your phone number or email address so we can contact the Winner! Good Luck!
Be sure to enter to WIN A FREE SOIL TEST! ***($19 Value)***

CURRENT & UPCOMING EVENTS in the tri-river area you might be interested in...

CHECK OUT OUR SEEDLING PLANT PROGRAM... a great deal for you AND you'll be supporting conservation efforts in Colorado. But HURRY, sale ends soon! See Flyer below...

Time is running out! Sale Ends April 15th. Pick-up day is May 1st and is the ONLY day orders can be picked up. Be sure to pick-up your seedling plants & trees in the same County where you placed your order.

  • Low-cost seedling trees and shrubs are provided each year by the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) for homeowners to use as windbreaks, re-vegetation, wildlife habitat, etc. They cannot be re-sold. Get your order in as soon as possible for the best selection.
  • We are also offering Perennial Wildflowers and Ornamental Grasses. You can mix and match a flat of 30 wildflowers and ornamental grasses (in groups of five) or purchase in large pots.
  • To see current inventory, visit the Forest Service website at https://csfs.colostate.edu/seedling-tree-nursery/seedling-nursery-inventory/
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 ~ 5:30-6:30pm "Ready, Set, Grow" Landscape Workshop for Homeowners - Join the Drought Response Information Project (DRIP) Wednesday, March 27th for a workshop designed to help homeowners reduce outdoor water waste as we enter into the warmer months! Space is limited! Click button below for the link to reserve your spot!

A Trip Through Time... A Tour of the Geology of the Grand Valley!

  • Tuesday, April 2, 2019
  • 10:00 - 11:30am *FREE EVENT*
  • Mesa County Fairgrounds, Community Building, 2785 U.S. Hwy 50, Grand Junction
  • **RSVP is Required in Advance*

Southwest Arbor Fest in Grand Junction

  • Saturday, April 27, 2019 - All Day Event
  • Lincoln Park, 12th St & Gunnison Ave, Grand Junction

We will have a Master Gardener Booth 11am – 2pm to provide information on tree planting, watering and care. There will be many fun activities for all ages throughout the day! Special Events requiring tickets will include Mac & Cheese Cook-Off competition and Colorado Craft Beer Expo. The Southwest Arbor Fest happens at Lincoln Park in Grand Junction (12th Street & Gunnison Avenue).

Montrose County 4-H Council BBQ **Fundraising Fun Open to the public!**

  • Friday, June 14, 2019
  • 4:30pm - 8:00pm
  • Montrose County Fairgrounds, Friendship Hall
  • Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go to the Montrose County 4-H Council and are used to support local 4-H youth and functions


HORTICULTURE & Master Gardener

Susan Carter: TRA Extension Horticulture Agent

Christine Prins: TRA Horticulture Program Associate/Master Gardener Coordinator

SEASONAL TOPIC: Colorado Gardening - Challenge to Newcomers

Almost everyone agrees, gardening in Colorado can be challenging! Newcomers to Colorado often have trouble getting plants to survive, let alone thrive.

Winter cold is not the only factor that determines plant survival. Low humidity, drying winds and physical properties of the soil also influence how well plants perform here. CLICK BELOW for more info! And be sure to enter our Spring "Community Contest" for a chance to WIN a FREE SOIL TEST! Contest details listed above.

"Spring is blooming with possibilities. Focus on doing more things that bring you joy." - Heather Stillufsen

Horticulture & gardening events:

CSU Extension's Seedling Plant Program Pick-Up Day is May 1, 2019!!


If you've placed an order, May 1st is the ONLY pick-up day for our SEEDLING TREE & PLANTS PROGRAM. Please plan on picking up your trees and plants during the pick-up hours for your county. Look for a "Reminder Post Card" coming to your mailbox in April. For planting and care recommendations, contact Susan Carter at Susan.Carter@colostate.edu or call the Extension office at 970-244-1834. You can also find more information on our website at https://tra.extension.colostate.edu/Gardening-Hort/Seedling-Tree-Sales

3rd Annual "Demonstration Day"

  • Saturday, May 18, 2019
  • 9:00am - 1:00pm
  • Mesa County Fairgrounds (behind CSU Extension office) at 2775 Hwy 50, Grand Junction

Colorado State University Extension is hosting the “3rd Annual Demo Day”. Come join the fun! This is a free event & fun for the whole family!

*FREE* Gardening Seminar Series in Montrose

  • Tuesday Evenings 6:30pm - 8:00pm
  • March 12 thru April 30
  • Montrose Library Meeting Room
  • This eight session series covers many important aspects of gardening in the Uncompahgre Valley.
  • Each session will concentrate on a different topic. Topics will include: seed starting inside, seed starting outside, hands-on outdoor planning, early season activities and challenges, growing season activities and challenges, late season activities and fall harvesting, improving soil health and investing in your future, and trees.
  • Time will be available for specific questions and discussion of your situation.
  • Participants may attend the entire series or only those sessions that are of special interest for their gardening situation.

Livestock, RANGE, SMALL Acreage MANAGEMENT, Agronomy

Doug Dean: Area Extension Director / Livestock & Range Management Agent

Seth Urbanowitz: Area Extension Agent, Agronomy

The "2019 Food and Farm Forum Presentations" are now available as documents online. Check out what you missed or review your favorite sessions by clicking here:

SEASONAL TOPIC: Crop Water Use & Growth Stages

No-Till and Cover Crop Tour in Grand and Uncompahgre Valleys

CSU-Extension, area conservation districts and NRCS personnel will be holding a no-till and cover crop tour in the Grand and Uncompahgre 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

Montrose, Mesa, Delta & Ouray Counties · CSU Extension Family and Consumer Science in the Tri-River Area provides research based knowledge in home economics, nutrition, preservation and much more.

SEASONAL TOPIC: 10 Healthy Tips to Increase Energy Levels this Spring

If you've noticed that your energy dips after lunch or you are tired during the day, it may be time to incorporate some healthy habits into your daily routine to increase your energy. Click here for the 10 tips:

Ways to Get Involved:

Keep an eye out for our future Canning Classes, Nutrition/Wellness Classes, Food Safety Classes and Fun Cooking Classes! Check-out our website for class schedules and lots of other great food & health tips at: https://tra.extension.colostate.edu/family-and-consumer-science/fcs-links/

  • Learn about how we are increasing high quality produce availability and consumption through the Community Alliance for Hunger Relief, click here:

Recurring food safety training classes:

ServSafe® Certification Classes

  • Tuesday, October 8, 2019 in Grand Junction
  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 in Montrose

What is ServSafe®? ... ServSafe® is a nationally recognized course developed by the National Restaurant Association as a comprehensive treatment of the subject of food safety.

Who should attend? ... Food Service Managers who are not currently certified by an accredited Food Safety Course. The Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations state that a manager needs to be on hand who has passed a certified food safety program. Class space is limited. Registration is on a first come first serve basis, and closes 30 days in advance of class date in order to allow the recommended amount of time to study the comprehensive information necessary, prior to taking the exam at class.

$140 Registration includes: ServSafe® Coursebook with scan-tron examination sheet included, 7.5 hours of ServSafe® training on class date, followed by a 1.5 hour proctored exam. Catered lunch will also be provided. Advance registration is required at least 30 days in advance of class date. Register by calling the Extension office at (970) 249-3935.

Food Safety Training for Colorado Cottage Food Producers

Bringing Your Food Product to Market
  • September 24th, 2019 Class in Grand Junction
  • Mid-October 2019 Class in Delta (watch for date to be determined)

Learn to safely produce food from home for a Cottage Food Business. This class will have an overview of the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, teach basic food safety, ingredient labeling requirements, and special considerations for food preparation at high altitude. Class is 9:30am-1pm and must meet a minimum enrollment of 10 people. $25/per person and advance registration is required by calling the Extension office at (970) 249-3935.


"Food Safety Works" is a course we offer for food service workers, that covers the basic requirements for safe food handling. We offer this class on an as-needed basis. To schedule a private group training for your business, contact the Tri-River Area Extension office at 970-249-3935.

Agriculture & Business Management

Jenny Beiermann: Regional Extension Specialist - Agriculture & Business Management Economist

SEASONAL TOPIC: Custom Rates Survey and Crop Enterprise Budgets

Here is a link to the 2018 Custom Rates Survey that is now available on the ABM website. http://www.wr.colostate.edu/ABM/custrates.shtml


Meredith Shrader: Area Extension Agent, Entomology

Melissa Franklin: Entomology Research Associate

SEASONAL TOPIC: Nuisance Wasps and Bees

Please don’t hurt the bees! Call Western Colorado Beekeepers Association who can safely remove them. Please call 970-812-0080. To visit their website please click on the following link:

Train-the-Trainer: Respiratory Safety & Fit Testing Workshop

  • Tuesday, April 2, 2019
  • 9:00am to 4:00pm
  • Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction

Individuals can learn about respirators, how to choose one, proper usage and maintenance to comply with OSHA respiratory standards. If anyone is using a pesticide that requires a respirator, they must have a Respirator Safety Program. This program will provide the information they need as well as train attendees on how to conduct a fit test properly.

Watch for future Pesticide Management Workshops

CSU Extension periodically offers pesticide re-certification and training for both private and commercial pesticide applicators. These programs offer continuing education credits. Approximately 12 of these workshops have been offered thus far. Watch our websites and Facebook pages for postings of future events!

Checkout the following attendee survey results from our most recent pesticide management workshop in February 2019:

  • What type of licensing do you hold? 83% Private; 14% Commercial; 3% none
  • Where do you apply? 85% Farm; 15% Rural <10,000 people
  • Did the programming content meet expectations? 97% yes; 3% no
  • Rate the program in terms of content. 34% excellent; 66% very good
  • How useful will this program be in your operation? 37% completely; 63% somewhat
  • Will you make changes in your operation as a result of this program? 66% yes; 12% no; 22% maybe
  • Will you share the information presented with? 91% 1-3 people; 9% more than 3 people
  • How did you hear about this program? 53% newspaper; 29% another person; 9% mail (newsletter?); 4% social media; 5% other


Melissa Tabke: Mesa County Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent

Jackie Shea: Delta County Extension 4-H Youth Development Agent/STEM

Brandon Creamer: Montrose & Ouray Extension 4-H Program Associate

Enrollment is open now through May 1st!

  • Mesa County: (970) 244-1834
  • Delta County: (970) 874-2195
  • Montrose/Ouray County: (970) 249-3935

4-H Enrollment Deadline is May 1, 2019! We'd like to welcome all NEW & RETURNING 4-H members who have enrolled so far this year! 4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults. Our 4-H agents are looking forward to another year full of fun and memorable experiences. Contact your local county TRA 4-H office for more information on the many TRA 4-H programs available. These children are our future! Consider becoming a 4-H Volunteer!

Call your local Extension office for more information about your county’s 4-H Program or visit our web page at www.tra4h.org. We look forward to meeting you in the near future!

Some Thoughts from Melissa Tabke on 4-H Project Work...

The 2019 4-H year is already heating up. 4-H members have already started working on projects. What really defines a good 4-H project? Dena Wise, Professor and Consumer Economics Specialist from University of Tennessee Extension, defines a good project in these ways:

  • It involves real engagement and learning in the project. As a state specialist, I hope I share an interest in and passion for my subject area with the 4-H'ers in the project, and that is what I want to read about in their portfolios. Leadership, citizenship, and community service may be icing on the cake, but good, solid discovery and learning of concepts related to my academic discipline is what I long to find in those portfolio pages.
  • It demonstrates personal initiative. It is good to participate in a project activity that an agent, a 4-H leader, or a parent has organized, but the gold standard in project work is pro-activity on the part of the 4-H'er rather than passive participation in something someone else has planned. Project objectives, conceived and written by the 4-H'er, set up the plan for learning, and participation in research and concrete learning activities solidly related to those objectives should follow.
  • It clearly indicates what learning has taken place. Participation in competitions, activities, and events do not by themselves document learning. "I learned" summary statements that meet the objectives set by the 4-H'er for the project year do, and those statements need to be meaningful and complete.
  • It shows project growth from year to year. Each year's learning objectives - set by the 4-H'er and guided by his or her personal interests - build on what was learned the year before. Each successive year's learning takes the 4-H'er into a deeper and broader understanding of the concepts related to one or more aspects of the project. Ideally, by the fifth or sixth year, a 4-H member should have enough knowledge and preparation in his or her project. to seamlessly move into college research and independent study in a related discipline.

Are we encouraging good project work in 4-H members? Are leaders and parents? Are we encouraging 4-H’ers to do their own projects, guided by parents and leaders? 4-H programs were founded on “Learning by Doing” ideals. Encouraging experiential learning, rather than winning a ribbon at the county fair is really what 4-H is about. Don’t get me wrong, county and state fairs are incredible opportunities that 4-H’ers have to show off what they have learned and accomplished, to be rewarded for their hard work or to say “I can do it better next year.” I encourage you to read the full article and reflect on the 4-H programs in your community, whether you are an agent, a club leader, a mentor, or a 4-H member. ~ Melissa

MQA Training for 4-H Members in Delta, Mesa, Montrose & Ouray Counties

  • Monday, April 15, 2019 in Mesa at 6:30pm
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019 in Delta at 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019 in Montrose at 6:30pm
  • Friday, May 24, 2019 in Montrose at 3:30pm
*FREE* Local MQA Training for 4-H Members **CLICK ON FLYER ABOVE TO VIEW LARGER**

Montrose 4-H Foundation Showcase! (Fundraising event open to the public!)

  • Saturday, April 27, 2019
  • 6:00pm til' Midnight
  • Lock, Stock & Barrel ~ 5328 Hwy 348, Olathe
  • Dinner catered by Stone House, Silent Auction, *Live Auction, Guest Speaker, Music by Neon Sky Band, and lots of fun to be had by all!

STEM & K-12

Barbara Shaw: Regional Extension Specialist- STEM

Hey Kids! Fun explorations in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math await you each month. Check out these activities!

Extension Calendar Re-cap:

(Scroll-up to view complete details for events)

  • Tuesdays, March 12th~April 30th- Gardening Seminar Series (*FREE* Tuesday evenings 6:30pm-8:00pm at Montrose Library )
  • Wednesday, March 27, 2019- Ready, Set, Grow! Landscaping Workshop for Homeowners (*FREE* in Grand Junction)
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2019- Train-the-Trainer: Respiratory Safety & Fit Testing Workshop (in Grand Junction)
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2019- A Trip Through Time - A Tour of the Geology of the Grand Valley (*FREE* at Mesa County Fairgrounds)
  • Monday, April 15, 2019- LAST DAY to order seedling plants through our collaborative sale with the Colorado State Forest Service
  • Monday, April 15, 2019- MQA Training for 4-H Members at 6:30pm in Mesa
  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019- MQA Training for 4-H Members at 6:30pm in Delta
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2019- MQA Training for 4-H Members at 6:30pm in Montrose
  • Saturday, April 27, 2019- Arbor Fest (*FREE in Grand Junction)
  • Saturday, April 27, 2019- 4-H Foundation Showcase (in Olathe)
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2019- LAST DAY to enroll for 4-H!
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2018- Pick up day for seedling trees and plants for all Tri-River Area offices. If you ordered seedlings, look for a postcard reminder with details coming soon to your mailbox!
  • Saturday, May 18, 2019- Demonstration Day (*FREE* at Mesa County Fairgrounds)
  • Friday, May 24, 2019- MQA Training for 4-H Members at 6:30pm in Montrose
  • Friday, June 14, 2019- Montrose County 4-H BBQ (in Montrose)
  • July 17 ~ July 20, 2019- Mesa County Fair
  • July 22 ~ July 27, 2019- Montrose County Fair (4-H'ers= 19th - 28th)
  • August 3 ~ August 11, 2019- Delta County Fair
  • August 29 ~ August 31, 2019- Ouray County Fair
The next time you have questions, remember... We're Here For You!

Tri-River Area Colorado State University Extension

Call your local office to see what we can assist you with today!
  • Mesa County Extension Office: 970-244-1834
  • Delta County Extension Office: 970-874-2195
  • Montrose & Ouray Counties Extension Office: 970-249-3935
Be sure to check out our website and follow us on Social Media! See buttons for links below...

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

Created By
Liz Duncan


Created with images by virginia lackinger - "White daisy grouping" • Hudson Hintze - "CHERRY TREE BLOSSOM" • Holly Mandarich - "untitled image" • Jessica Fadel - "untitled image" • Andrea Reiman - "Pollinating Is Hard Work" • Andrea Reiman - "Say’s Phoebe Bird" • pasja1000 - "spring feeling heart" • Val Vesa - "Jump for Joy" • Andy Chilton - "Baking a Pie" • Nicolai Berntsen - "untitled image" • Umanoide - "Lavorando s’impara" • Auciferz - "wheat field crop" • Parker Amstutz - "untitled image" • summa - "work in the garden garden digging" • jarmoluk - "laboratory analysis chemistry" • Riccardo Chiarini - "In peace with Nature" • Marten Bjork - "Signs At The Beach" • Rana Sawalha - "Travel. Learn. Teach" • Marie Grob - "Mixture of spices" • pixel2013 - "wild flowers meadow nature" • Lisa Walton - "Red enter sign" • caenhillcc - "goat kid farm" • Holly Mandarich - "Never Underestimate Neature" • MemoryCatcher - "forest trees ecology" • Dragne Marius - "Grilled Corn" • Ellie Brown - "untitled image" • Capri23auto - "alpine cornflower cornflowers flowers" • MikeGoad - "butterfly on black-eyed susan black-eyed susan" • SLF - "black eyed susan flowers yellow flowers" • Matt Chen - "untitled image" • Diego Passadori - "untitled image" • Samuel Clara - "Looking down to the valley" • RobynsWorld - "kitchen industrial kitchen commercial" • RitaE - "jam apricots apricot" • Alyson McPhee - "Cilantro" • Jon Moore - "Vineyard View" • Enrique Vidal Flores - "Honeycomb Wasp" • Gellinger - "animal pet goat" • Andi_Graf - "child calf alpine pasture" • Bill Jelen - "Falcon Heavy Debut" • MI PHAM - "untitled image" • Joel Holland - "untitled image"

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