Halloween Safety for Motorists and Pedestrians

Halloween Makes It More Than Spooky on the Road

Halloween is coming soon, and children will be out in their neighborhoods to enjoy treats, fun, and games. Motorists and pedestrians can take steps to make this year’s Halloween a safe one! Although Halloween comes before the change back to standard time this year, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer. With shorter days comes more night driving.  Because nighttime driving is more dangerous, it requires extra attention from motorists as well as pedestrians. Sadly, Halloween also increases the number of drunk drivers on the road at night. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 42 percent of those killed in traffic crashes on Halloween night from 2013 to 2017 died in crashes involving a drunk driver.

NHTSA also reports that nearly two-thirds of all fatal pedestrian crashes occur in low-light conditions.  The large number of young pedestrians out on Halloween evening makes this an especially dangerous time. Here is a scary fact from the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Bosque County reminds motorists, parents and children of the following safety tips to keep in mind during Halloween and all year long.

Tips for Motorists

  • Avoid using handheld electronic devices or performing other activities that take your attention away from the road.
  • Be especially alert for all road users, including pedestrians, at night.
  • Slowdown in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited. Keep your windshield clean. Watch for children walking on roads, medians, and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully
  • Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they may not be paying attention.
  • Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
  • If you see a drunk driver or impaired pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement.

Tips for Parents

  • Adults should always accompany children and supervise their “trick or treat” activities.
  • Teach children to “stop, look left-right-left, and listen” before they cross the street.
  • Use a flashlight, and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
  • Be certain that any costume mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
  • Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

Tips for Pedestrians (children and adults)

  • Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right, and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
  • Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.
  • Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
  • When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

By taking some extra time to make sure drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists obey the rules, Halloween can be a safe time for all.

For more information on traffic and pedestrian safety, please call Family and Community Health Agent Chris Coon at 254-435-2331 or email to chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu.

Nominate a Volunteer

Each year, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bosque County and the Commissioner’s Court host a Volunteer Recognition Banquet to recognize outstanding volunteers who serve the residents of Bosque County.  These volunteers give their time and energy to serve in civic and community organizations and to improve our communities.  The Volunteer Recognition Banquet is a special time to honor these extraordinary volunteers.

We reach out to all the county civic organizations to invite them to nominate volunteers, but we know this doesn’t cover everyone.  We would like to invite you all to nominate outstanding volunteers in your communities that deserve a little recognition.  Nominations for volunteers can be submitted in the following categories:

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources: Volunteers in this category work to promote agriculture awareness and agribusiness in Bosque County.
  • Civic Organizations & Community Service: Volunteers in this category work to improve their community through service.  These volunteers may serve through a civic organization or contribute their time individually.
  • Community Festivals & Events: Volunteers work to organize and promote festivals and events in Bosque County to promote tourism, raise money, or provide opportunities for family fun.
  • Fire Department & First Responders: Volunteers serve as a fire fighter or first responder, or they might work to help raise funds and support for the Volunteer Fire Departments in Bosque County.
  • Family & Health Services: Volunteers in this category work to provide family and health education or to meet the physical needs of community members.
  • Youth Services: These volunteers serve Bosque County youth by leading youth organizations, raising support or funds for youth activities and scholarships, or mentoring youth.

People don’t volunteer to get recognition.  They do it because they see a need and want to help.  However, we think it’s important to take the time to say ‘Thank You!’ to all those who do give so much of themselves to support others in our community.  This is our opportunity to give them a little pat on the back for a much-appreciated job well done.

Please take just a few minutes of your time to nominate a volunteer.  You can complete the online form at the bottom of this page or you can get a nomination form by clicking this link:  2019 Volunteer Category Descriptions and Form, or call the office at 254-435-2331 to have us send you one, or go without the form and just send us a letter with your contact information, your nominee’s contact information, what category you’re nominating them in and why.  You may nominate more than one person in each category and the same person in multiple categories if it applies.  If a person you have nominated in the past hasn’t won, feel free to nominate them again if they are still active volunteers.  Please return nomination forms to the AgriLife Extension Office by November 15, 2019.   Forms can be mailed in to:  AgriLife Extension, 104 S. Fuller, Meridian, TX 76665; or email to: bosque-tx@tamu.edu; or fax 254-435-6231.

The Leadership Advisory Board of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will review each nomination and select the awardees to be recognized at the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Banquet.  The Volunteer Recognition Banquet will be held at 6:00pm on Monday, December 9, at the Meridian Civic Center.

For more information about volunteer nominations or the banquet, please contact the Bosque County Extension Office.  We hope to see you at the Volunteer Recognition Banquet on December 9th as we honor these special community leaders.

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Nominating a volunteer is as easy as completing the form below!


 

41st Annual Bosque County Hay Show & Scholarship Auction

The 2019 Bosque County Hay Show will be held at the Meridian Civic Center, located at 309 W River Street, in Meridian on Monday, October 21, 2019.  We have 118 hay bale samples entered into this year’s contest.

Please make plans to come out and participate in the 41st Annual Bosque County Hay Show beginning with the BBQ meal at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets for the BBQ meal are available at the Bosque County Extension Office (104 S Fuller, Meridian) or may be purchased onsite for $10/each.

This year’s program will be presented by Tyler Mays, Texas AgriLife Extension Service IPM Agent.  Mays will speak on “Insect Management for Hay Producers.” One IPM CEU will be offered for those with a pesticide applicator’s license.

Prior to the educational program, the 41st Annual Bosque County Hay Show winners will be recognized.  At 7PM the Kenneth Shrank Memorial Scholarship Auction, which supports the youth of Bosque County, will be held.  To date, 346 scholarships for $208,850 have been awarded to Bosque County High School Seniors.  If you are an individual who would like to help contribute to this scholarship auction please let the Extension Office know.

If you would like more information on this year’s event, contact Chelsea Dorward at the Bosque County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Meridian at 254-435-2331 or Charley Aars, Hay Show Representative.

28th Annual Holiday Classic

Are you thinking about showing an animal this next year? Are you not sure what is all involved? If so, then mark your calendars to be at the Bell County Expo Center November 2-3 for the 28th annual Holiday Classic. What makes this show unique? The Holiday Classic is completely free to families to attend with all expenses being paid through local sponsorship. In addition to being free, each exhibitor leaves with an item (neck rope, bucket, gift certificates) and can enjoy a free steak supper at the end of day one.

The Holiday Classic is open to all 4-H and FFA youth and specifically marketed to the 21 counties in District 8:  Bell, Bosque, Comanche, Coryell, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Johnson, Leon, Limestone, McLennan, Milam, Navarro, Robertson, Somervell and Williamson.  However, youth outside of District 8 are welcome and also attend annually. Youth attendance in 2018 was 829 participants; we average feeding 1200 people dinner on night one.

4-H and FFA families bring their cattle, lambs, swine, and goats to learn more about the responsibilities that are attributed to exhibiting livestock. During the two-day program, experts in livestock and youth development provide educational, hands-on training for attendees in both group and individual settings.  After the educational program, youth have the opportunity to exhibit their projects for practice and receive advice on how to manage their animals.  Youth are provided the opportunity to practice what they have learned the day before, and it is in a “show setting.”  The target audience is youth and families that are in their first three years of participation in showing animals.  However, many families come back each year to learn the latest information from our panel of expert speakers.

If interested, this year’s event will be held November 2-3, 2019 at the Bell County Expo Center. Barns open at 6AM, workshops start at 1PM on Saturday. Contact the Bosque County Extension Office for more information https://bosque.agrilife.org/.

Helping Your Children Handle Teasing and Bullying

Do you remember the school bully who went around teasing and threatening you or your classmates? Remember how you felt? Remember how you wished he would just go away? Ever wondered what happened to someone who was teased or bullied or what became of the bully himself?

Teasing and bullying is an ongoing problem for many of our children. Research reports that as many as 24 percent of middle school students reported bullying others at least once in the past year. It is estimated that almost 30 percent of students were involved in some type of moderate or frequent bullying, either as the target of the bully, as the bully, or both.

Those who are the victims of teasing and bullying can experience long-term consequences. Victims of bullying may suffer from anxiety, fear, and low self-esteem. They may avoid peers, school, and social activities where they may be exposed to teasing or bullying. In some cases, children may drop out of school to avoid being harassed or attacked. “Negative consequences for those who bully have been demonstrated as well,” says Dr. Rick Peterson, Assistant Professor and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Parenting Specialist. “Childhood bullies have school attendance and performance problems. Those who bully tend to become aggressive adults and are more likely to become involved in criminal activities.”

Parents and adults should not expect children to deal with bullies on their own. Children need to be taught that bullying is an unacceptable behavior. Children must be taught useful strategies to help them cope with teasing and bullying. Teasing and bullying cannot be totally prevented, but children can be taught to control their own reactions. Parents can teach their children some simple strategies to empower them and help them cope with their feelings and sometimes helplessness. Here are some strategies parents and caregivers can teach their children:

  • Self-talk. Give children things they can say to themselves when they are being teased or bullied, which can counteract the negative remarks or behaviors. A child can say to herself, “Even though I don’t like being teased, I can handle it.” Oftentimes, the teasing is not a true reflection of the child, and the child should question himself by asking, “Is the teasing true?” In addition, the child should remind himself that his opinion of himself is more important than the teaser’s opinion.
  • Ignore the teasing. Children should practice ignoring the teaser since reacting with anger or tears may invite more teasing. Parents should monitor the teasing, particularly if it turns into bullying and/or harassment, and be willing to intervene.
  • “I messages” are a way for children to express their feelings and ask to be treated differently. For example, a child could say, “I feel upset when you make fun of my clothes. I would like you to stop.” This strategy may work best in a classroom or daycare setting, where adult supervision is present.
  • Using humor is another way to cope with teasing. By the child laughing at the hurtful comments or put-downs, it shows that the teasing has little effect on them. Another way to show indifference is for the child to respond to the teasing with, “So.” By responding with “so” indicates that the teasing doesn’t matter. Children find this simple reply to be an effective response to teasing.
  • Asking for help at times is necessary if the child is having trouble with the above strategies or if the teasing turns to bullying. Children can handle most types of teasing. However, if the teasing is repeated or occurs for a prolonged period of time, it becomes bullying and may call for an intervention by parents, teachers, and caregivers.

For more information on how to address bullying, please contact the Extension Office at 254-435-2331.

Exciting 4-H Projects Beginning

The 2019-2020 4-H Year is off and running this September and so are a number of Family and Community Health 4-H projects. Consumer Decision Making, Fashion & Interior Design, Food Challenge/Food Show (Food and Nutrition), and Photography will begin soon and stretch into the spring!

Consumer Decision Making, a project designed to teach youth the importance of financial management, price comparison, and making informed decisions, will kick off on October 10th at 5pm at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office (104 S Fuller St, Meridian). Participants can expect to hone their financial and presentation skills as they compete in judging contests at the county, district and state levels. Major shows like San Antonio and Houston also hold invitational contests for those interested.  Project meetings will be the second Thursday of every month at 5pm at the Extension office.

If you are interested in sewing, knitting, garment design, or even just gaining some basic life skills like sewing on a button, the Fashion and Interior Design project is back this fall! With a wide scope of topics to choose from, there is something for everyone. 4-H Fashion contests include Duds to Dazzles, an “Iron Chef”-style even where a team is given a special textile and has one hour to create something entirely new, a fashion show with several categories, and a storyboard design contest.  Fashion and Interior Design Project meetings are held on the 1st Monday of the month at the Meridian Civic Center, and 3rd Mondays of the month at the Clifton Civic Center, both start at 5:30pm.

The Food and Nutrition project starts on September 17th with a Food Challenge practice. This competition is a team-based, “Iron Chef”-like food contest in which a team of 3-4 kids are given a single item, a pantry, and 40 minutes to create a dish. The team will then give a presentation about how they made their dish and its nutrition. Food Show is an individual effort in a similar vein; however the participant brings in a chosen dish already prepared. This year’s Food Show theme is “Food Around the World”, where contestants are encouraged to explore cuisines from outside the United States. Food Challenge practices will be held on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month, with the last one being November 5th. Practices and the county contest will be held at Meridian Elementary School.

Bosque 4-H Photography is slated to start on October 7th, with practices following on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month. Locations and topics will vary from meeting to meeting as we have a variety of volunteers willing and ready to teach an assortment of techniques. Fancy cameras aren’t necessary, so come with whatever you have! This project will focus on techniques, concepts, and skills necessary to shoot, select, and edit photographs.

If you are interested in learning more about some of these projects, please contact either County Extension Agent Chris Coon at chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu or the 4-H Program Assistant Marc Arnold at marc.arnold@ag.tamu.edu, or by calling the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Bosque County Office at 254-435-2331.

2019 CenTex Beef Cattle Symposium

The nine county Extension Beef Cattle Program will be held at the Gatesville Civic Center, 301 Veterans Memorial Loop – Gatesville, TX 76528 on Friday, September 27th. This year’s program will include current issues facing cattle producers and the annual steak dinner.

Topics and speakers: Chute Side Cattle Manners with Jarred Ranly DVM, Ranly Veterinary Services and Jamie Smith, Boehringer-Ingelheim; Electronic ID Requirements for Cattle with Dr. Tom Hairgrove, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Veterinary Specialist; Land, Wire, and Water Laws by Brandon Belt, Coryell County Attorney; Innovative Research and Options on Feral Hogs with Josh Helcel, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Wildlife Associate; New Rangeland Product Update with Dillon DeMuth of Corteva Agriscience; Beef Cattle Economic Update by Paul Burrough of National Finance Credit Corporation. One TDA General CEU hour will be offered to attendees.

Producers wanting to register can call the McLennan County Extension Office at (254)757-5180 or any of the participating County Extension Offices. Ag businesses that would like to set up an exhibitor booth should also contact the McLennan County Office.

Registration cost is $25 and opens at 7:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 8 a.m. and concluding at 4 p.m.

This program is offered courtesy of Extension Livestock Committees in Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Hamilton, Hill, Johnson, Limestone and McLennan Counties.

Feral Hog Management Seminar

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Offices of Hill, Johnson, Bosque, McLennan, Ellis and Limestone Counties will jointly host a Feral Hog Management Seminar on Friday, September 20, 2019 from 8:00am to noon, at the Hill County Fairgrounds.   John Tomecek, Assistant Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist and Michael Bodenchuk, Director, Texas Wildlife Services will speak on the following topics: Feral Hog Biology; Feral Hog Laws & Regulations; Toxicant Research Update.  There will also be Hands-on Feral Hog Control Options to include:  Making & Using Snares and Setting and Using Corral & Box Traps

Registration is $10 and includes lunch.  1 CEU (L&R) will be offered.   Please call (254)582-4022 to RSVP by September 17th.

 

Working on Wellness is Back!

The “Working on Wellness” program is back for another great year! This free educational program is open to adults who are interested in learning and adopting behaviors that can positively impact their health and wellness.  This year’s program will run from September 1st to October 12th.

“Working on Wellness” is a six week educational program that focuses on five simple wellness activities that even the busiest people can find time to do:  getting in more physical activity, increasing vegetable intake, consuming more water, incorporating strength exercises into your daily routine, and stimulating your brain!  Completing weekly challenges will also enter you in the weekly giveaway.

The best part about this program is that it is entirely online, at your fingertips wherever you want it, when you want it.  It offers live videos, friendly tips, and the opportunity to connect with county agents and other participators on the official Facebook group “2019 Working on Wellness – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.” Registration for “Working on Wellness” is done by joining this Facebook group and answering a few short questions.

This program is sure to have something for everyone.  So check it out!

To join, visit the official Facebook page here: https://tinyurl.com/wowfall2019

For questions about the program, or if you would like more information, please contact Family and Community Health agent Chris Coon by calling 254-435-2331 or email chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu

Bosque County Hay Show Collection Event

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – Bosque County will be collecting hay samples for the 41st Annual Bosque County Hay Show & Scholarship Auction. If you are interested in submitting hay sample(s) into this year’s contest, entries may be dropped off at the Bosque County Extension Office (located at 104 S Fuller in Meridian) between 9AM and 11AM on Friday, September 13, 2019.  Sampling will close on September 13, but you may also drop samples at your local FFA Chapter by Thursday, September 12th.  Samples will be taken from the conventional bales and/or round bales on the 13th so that the protein analysis can be made. Total cost to enter is only $10 with no limit to the number of bales submitted for analysis. Only hay grown in Bosque County and/or adjoining counties will be eligible for the show and awards. Each entry fee will come with two complimentary tickets to the Barbeque Dinner (sponsored by the Bosque County “Go-Texan” Committee), Hay Show, Awards Program and Scholarship Auction that will be held on October 21st at the Meridian Civic Center in Meridian.  If you have any questions about the Hay Show, how to enter or sponsor the event, feel free to call the Extension Office at 254-435-2331 or email bosque-tx@tamu.edu