PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
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  • People have been asking me, as of late, “Where are your Extension newsletters I haven’t gotten one for a while.”

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  • People have been asking me, as of late, “Where are your Extension newsletters I haven’t gotten one for a while.”
    The short answer would be “because we had to stop sending them out.” The long answer is in the explanation that follows:
    Three years ago, the University cut both our postage allotment and our publication allowance due to budget constraints.
    We absorbed these cuts into our local budget, but soon found out that this wasn’t going to work.
    We had to come up with an alternative. It turned out that the answer was at our fingertips.
    We realized that our society was becoming more and more “high tech.”
    The Internet, Facebook and Twitter were becoming the “norm” for a lot of our constituents (not all, but a big majority).
    We also discovered that, by the time we could get a newsletter out to our local people, they had already seen it or heard about it through the social media.
    Two years ago, we began the task of switching from the way we had done things in the past.
    We decided to get on a level playing field with the rest of the world around us.
    We already had a K-State Extension website, so we thought we should begin utilizing it with our local programs and news of interest to our county.
    We converted our 4-H family newsletters to an online version and also put information about upcoming 4-H events and registrations in a user-friendly format.
    It is taking awhile, but our 4-H’ers have become accustomed to it.
    Now if we could get you, the public, to start using it so that you can get the very latest information possible as soon as it becomes available.
    I know it’s going to take awhile because I’ve already heard some “rumblings.”
    Before Christmas, I sent out my “last” printed newsletter. I included the option for our Pratt county cooperators to start receiving it by e-mail.
    All one needed to do was to send me their e-mail address or call and tell us that you still wanted a ‘hard copy.”
    We had about five percent of our mailing list respond. This pretty much tells me that people aren’t reading them after we send them.
    Just to start off, try connecting to our Extension website. You can find it at www.pratt.ksu.edu.
    Navigate around on the site to see if you like it (if you have trouble, just call the Extension Office at 620-672-6121.)
    Check out our featured programs from agriculture, family and consumer sciences, 4-H, and community development.
    Page 2 of 2 - If you feel comfortable with this, just call and give us your e-mail address. We’ll set you up to get the information as soon as it becomes available.
    Just think. You can get all the latest information before you hear it from your friends and neighbors at the coffee shop.
    Pratt County Extension Master Gardener “Tip of the Week”
    Old Garden Seed
    It seems that seed catalogs come earlier each year. They have many new and different varieties of seed.
    These seeds can be very expensive to purchase. To reduce expenses it is possible to use older seeds that are viable.
    The problem is how to you determine the viability of these older seeds. Most seed will stay viable for about three years if they are kept in a cold, dark, dry location.
    Members of the carrot family are short lived and are usually good for only one to two years. A simple germination percentage test can be conducted to determine any seeds viability.
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