Dinner Tonight – Essentials

Dinner Tonight, a signature healthy cooking and nutrition program of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, has just released its first cookbook.  Essentials features more than 100 recipes in categories such as Starters, Five Ingredients or Less, Salads, One Pot/One Pan, simple Side Vegetables, Slow Cooker, Grilling, and Desserts.

The Essentials Cookbook encompasses everything that the Dinner Tonight program is about; healthy meals that are quick and easy to create, and that your family is sure to love.

All starters, main courses, and desserts include nutrition information along with the recipe; and are held to Dinner Tonight’s nutrition standards which are no more than 13 percent Daily Value of saturated fat per serving, no more than 600 milligram of sodium per serving, and added sugars are kept within reason. To make using this book even easier, it includes a list of items to keep on hand that are commonly used throughout the cookbook.

Also included in Essentials are general guidelines for food safety at home, how to check your slow cooker for accuracy, and guidelines for safe storage times for foods in the fridge and freezer. The cookbook also includes handy references such as safe minimum internal cooking temperatures for meat, and a conversion chart to quickly cut recipes in half.

To purchase a copy of Essentials, or to see more recipes from AgriLife Extension’s Dinner Tonight program, visit dinnertonight.org/cookbook.

39th Annual Bosque County Hay Show & Scholarship Auction

The 2017 Bosque County Hay Show will be held at the Bosque Bottoms Pavilion in Meridian on Monday, October 16, 2017. This year 105 hay bale samples were entered into the contest, which is consistent with previous years’ entries.

Please make plans to come out and participate in the 39th Annual Bosque County Hay Show beginning with the BBQ meal at the Pavilion at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets for the BBQ meal are available at the Bosque County Extension Office (104 S Fuller, Meridian) or maybe purchased onsite for $10/each.

This year’s program will be presented by James Jackson, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Extension Program Specialist. Jackson will speak on “Understanding Weed Management and New Product Update.” One Laws and Regulations (LR) CEU will be offered for those with a pesticide applicator’s license.

Prior to the educational program, the 39th Annual Bosque County Hay Show winners will be recognized and the Kenneth Shrank Memorial Scholarship Auction, which supports the youth of Bosque County, will be held.  To date, 313 scholarships for $187,100.00 have been awarded to Bosque County High School Seniors. If you would like more information on this year’s event, or are an individual or business that would like to help contribute to this scholarship auction, please contact Chelsea Dorward at the Bosque County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Meridian at 254-435-2331 or Bob Viertel, Hay Show Representative.

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 invite organizations or individuals in Bosque County to nominate outstanding volunteers in the following categories:

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • Civic Organizations & Community Service
  • Community Festivals & Events
  • Fire Department & First Responders
  • Family & Health Services
  • Youth Services

Please contact the Bosque County Extension Office at 254-435-2331 for a nomination form or click on the link at the bottom of this page to download.  Nomination forms are due back to the Extension Office by November 13, 2017.  The Leadership Advisory Board of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will review each nomination and select the awardees to be recognized at the 2017 Volunteer Recognition Banquet on Monday, December 11.  Tickets for the event are $10 and are available at the Extension Office.

Click the link below to download a copy of the nomination form:

Volunteer Category Descriptions and Form


A Fresh Start to a Healthier You!

Are you interested in improving your health, but not sure where to start?  Do you struggle to afford healthy food for your family each month?  Come learn how to eat healthy on a budget!

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Bosque County and the Valley Mills Public Library are excited to host a healthy living series in October called, “A Fresh Start to a Healthier You!”  The four-part series will be held at the Valley Mills Public Library on October 5, 12, 19 and 26 from 12:00 – 1:00pm.

A Fresh Start to a Healthier You! includes research-based lessons that integrate the importance of healthy nutrition with an emphasis on increasing fruit and vegetable intake, physical activity, food safety, and food resource management.  Each week, the program will include a healthy cooking demonstration, information about how to eat healthy on a budget, and nutrition tips.

Contact Kate Whitney, County Extension Agent – Bosque County, for more information about the program at 254-435-2331 or email at klwhitney@ag.tamu.edu.

Fall Armyworms Marching Our Way

With the upcoming rain in the forecast, be on the lookout for armyworms. In case you are unaware of what I am talking about, they are invasive little worms eating up yards, pastures, crops and everything in their paths. There are multiple species of armyworms present in Texas:  the fall armyworm, the yellow striped armyworm, the true armyworm (common during April and May), etc. But right now we are being invaded by the fall armyworm. The fall armyworm is most abundant during August through early November and feeds primarily on Bermuda grass, wheat and rye grass, but it is not picky. It will eat almost anything green in sight when their primary food sources are scarce.

Fall armyworms are green, brown and/or black. They have a distinct white line between their eyes that forms an inverted “Y” pattern on their face. When feeding during this stage, the larvae strip foliage and then move to the next available food. High populations appear to march side by side as they move to new food sources, which is how they got their name armyworm.

The pupa stage follows the caterpillar stage. Full grown armyworms tunnel into the soil and transform to the pupae, an inactive non-feeding stage. In a 7-10 day period, a moth will emerge from the pupa and repeat the life cycle. This moth is distinctive in that the front pair of wings is dark gray with an irregular pattern of light and dark areas. These moths are nocturnal and commonly found around lights. A single female moth can deposit up to 2000 eggs in her lifetime. This entire life cycle is less than one month long, so it does not take much time for armyworms to cause massive destruction!

Development will end with the cold weather in November, but that gives little hope right now as they are destroying your property. The key to managing fall armyworms is to detect infestations before they have caused economic damage. Larvae feed primarily during the night and during cloudy weather. Once larvae are greater than ¾ inch, the quantity of leaves they eat increases dramatically. During the final 2-3 days of feeding, armyworms consume 80% of the total foliage consumed during their entire development. This is how extensive damage can be done in a couple of days.

There are a couple of natural enemies – parasitic wasps and flies, ground beetles, and insect viruses help suppress armyworm numbers. However, these natural enemies can be overwhelmed when large numbers of migrating moths move into an area and weather conditions favor high survival of eggs and larvae. Like most things, there is a tipping point where these predators cannot keep up; they can become overwhelmed when large numbers of migrating moths lay thousands of eggs in a field. If natural enemies are not enough to help, there are a number of insecticides labeled for armyworm control in pastures and hay fields. Some insecticides have grazing and/or haying restrictions so please read and follow all label recommendations.

For more information on insecticides for armyworms or more information, please contact Chelsea Dorward at the Texas AgriLife Extension Service – Bosque County Office at 254-435-2331

Extension Beef Cattle Program

The nine county Extension Beef Cattle Program will be held on the beautiful “Swinging B” Ranch, Axtell, Texas on Friday, September 29th. The ranch is located off Kirkland Hill Road,
20 minutes North East of Waco.  This years’ program will include live cattle demonstrations, a ranch tour and a ribeye steak dinner.

Speakers will include Dr. Jason Cleere – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Beef Cattle Specialist; Dr.s Dan Miller and Todd Whitesell, of M&W Cattle Services; Lance Bauer – Beefmaster Breeders United; Hugh Aljoe – Noble Foundation; and Gustavo Toro – Marketing Director from Sexing Technologies.  Discussion topics will include Benefits of a Bull Gain Test, Managing Warm Season Forages to Meet Your Goals, Benefits of Technology in Beef Cattle, Beefmaster Breeders Update, Bull Selection and Management, and Managing a Recip. and Donor Cow Herd.  There will be several live cattle demonstrations including Dr.’s Dan Miller and Todd Whitesell performing a live Embryo Collection and Transfer, Dr. Cleere speaking on Bull Selection and Managing the Cow Herd.

Participants will be able to visit our agriculture business vendors while attending the seminar and be entered into drawings for multiple door prizes from our vendors.

Registration is $25.00 will begin at 7:30 a.m. on September 29th at Swinging B Ranch in Axtell.  Please RSVP by Friday, September 22nd by calling the McLennan County Extension office at (254)757-5180.  1 General TDA CEU credit will be available for licensed applicators.  Two (2) Beef Quality Credits will be offered for persons needing Beef Quality Assurance Credits.

The 2017 CenTex Beef Cattle Symposium is hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension County Beef & Forage Committees in Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Hamilton, Hill, Johnson, Limestone and McLennan Counties.  For more information or to RSVP, contact the Bosque County Extension Office at 254-435-2331 by September 22. If auxiliary service is required, please contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office McLennan County at (254)554-2651 prior to the event.


“Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides equal opportunities in its programs and employment to all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”  

Extension Celebrates Family Mealtime in September

Every September, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension celebrates a Family Mealtime by connecting for better health.  In our busy lives, it can be hard to sit down with your family to share a meal and reconnect with each other.  Family mealtimes are great for kids and adults!

Did you know children who eat with their families are better nourished, have lower rates of obesity, and better vocabularies?  These factors can have a positive impact on classroom behavior and academic performance.

Family meals don’t have to be reserved for holidays or special occasions, they can happen on any day of the week and at any time!  A family can share time together during breakfast as they start their day or at dinnertime.  Single-parent families and couples without children can also carve out mealtime to share stories from the day.

Eating together provides an opportunity for families to talk about and model good nutrition and healthy behaviors.  Kids can learn great life skills by helping to prepare meals and learning table manners.  Kids are more likely to try a new vegetable if they get to help cook it!

Throughout the month of September, take the Family Mealtime Challenge and make it your mission to have meals as a family three times a week or more.  You can follow us on Facebook to get ideas for conversation starters, healthy recipes, and fun family exercise ideas.  Follow us on Facebook @BosqueCountyExtensionService.

For more information about Family Mealtime or healthy eating, contact Kate Whitney, County Extension Agent, at 254-435-2331.

Hay Collection Underway for 39th Annual Bosque County Hay Show

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office – Bosque County will be collecting hay samples for the 39th Annual Bosque County Hay Show & Scholarship Auction. If you are interested in submitting hay sample into this year’s contest, entries maybe dropped off at the Bosque County Extension Office (located at 104 S Fuller in Meridian) or at your local FFA Chapter by Thursday, September 14th .  You may also bring your square bales and/or round bale samples to the Hay Show sampling location, located at the Cranfills Gap Vo-Ag Building between 9:00AM and Noon on Friday, September 15th. Samples will be taken from the conventional bales and/or round bales on the 15th so that the protein analysis can be made.

Cost is $10, with no limit to the number of bales submitted for analysis. Only hay grown in Bosque County will be eligible for the show and awards, but outside county hay may still be submitted for analysis. Each entry fee will qualify for two complimentary meal tickets to the Hay Show, Awards Program and Scholarship Auction that will be held on October 16th at the Bosque Bottoms in Meridian.  If you have any questions call Chelsea Dorward at the Extension Office 254-435-2331.

Child Care Conference 2017

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Tarleton State University are proud to host the 2017 Child Care Conference on September 9.  The theme “Up, Up & Away: Soaring Beyond the Minimum Standards” will focus on fun activities and resources to help child care staff go beyond the minimum standards of child care.

This year, the conference will offer different tracks for child care staff to attend: Infants/Toddlers, Preschool, School Age, and Director/Owner.  Each track will focus on fun activities, guidance and discipline, learning, and developmental needs for the specific age groups.  Conference participants will also get some hands-on experience with activities and fun snack ideas.

The 2017 Child Care Conference will be held Saturday, September 9, 2017, from 7:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. in the Science Building on the campus of Tarleton State University.  The cost of the conference is $30, and registration is due by August 28, 2017.  Six clock hours of in-service training will be given to participants, and six CEUs will be offered for an additional $10 per person.  Click on the picture below to register today!

For more information, please contact Bosque County Extension Agent, Kate Whitney, at 254-435-2331 or klwhitney@ag.tamu.edu.

Private Applicators Pesticide Training

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bosque County, will be hosting a Private Applicators Pesticide training on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 at the Bosque County Extension Office in Meridian. Registration will begin at 8:15 a.m. with the training starting at 8:30 a.m. and continue until noon.

The training is open to the public. The cost of the class is $75.00. A Laws and Regulation Manual and a Private Applicator Study guide is mandatory, and included in the class cost. It is recommended that the manuals and study guide be picked up at the Bosque County Extension Office, 104 S Fuller, Meridian, Texas, prior to the training.

To pre-register, or if you need more information, please call the Bosque County Extension Office at (254) 435-2331 or complete the form below to register today!

Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid, service or other accommodations in order to participate in Extension sponsored events are encouraged to contact the County Extension office a week prior to the class to determine how reasonable accommodations may be made.