Co-Parenting for Resilience:  Divorce or separation is not an easy or favorable decision, especially when minor children are in the home.  A class is available for divorcing or separating parents with minor children living in the home.  My next class is scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, September 17, 2018. Pre-registration is required. Call Jefferson County OSU Extension Office at 580-228-2332 for registration information.  This class is mandatory by law in Oklahoma and is also valuable for Grandparents and other relatives of minor children going through a divorce or separation.

Jefferson County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service through Oklahoma State University offers researched-based programs and information.  We assist with mailing and interpreting Soil Samples, Forage Samples, and some Water Samples.  If you have questions about plant diseases or why are your trees’ foliage falling off, or any other Agriculture, 4-H or Family and Consumer Sciences questions, call 580-228-2332 or come to 802 East D’ Street (Jefferson County Fairgrounds) and visit with Leland McDaniel, Extension Educator, Agriculture/ 4/H Youth Development and Tara Brown, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development. 

Online 4-H Enrollment 2018-2019 began September 1, 2018.  If you know of a student age 8 and in the 3rd grade or older who is interested in joining 4-H, contact our office for instructions how to enroll online.  All students who are planning to show livestock in the Spring Livestock show must be actively enrolled in 4-H or FFA (By the way, a member may enroll in 4-H and also be a FFA member).

Tackle tailgates with Food Safety

Football season is here, and many fans are holding tailgates to cheer on their favorite teams. Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center wants to keep your food safe and recommends food safety tips for those participating in tailgating activities. 

“Roughly one out of six people get sick from foodborne illness,” said Ravi Jadeja, FAPC food safety specialist. “Following simple food safety procedures and reducing foodborne illness can keep many people from getting sick. With tailgating season upon us, it is important to remember proper food handling and cooking techniques so your tailgate does not sideline your guests.” 

Follow these tailgating food safety tips to ensure you have a fun and safe football season. 

Storing Perishable Foods

• Pack cooler with ice or frozen gel packs.

• Raw meats, pre-made dishes and leftovers need to go in the cooler.

• Store meats near the bottom of the cooler.

• Separate and securely wrap all cooler items.

Food Preparation 

• Use separate plates and cutting boards for raw and cooked proteins.

• Prevent cross-contamination by using separate utensils for each item.

• Use color-coded knives to help keep you organized.

• Wash utensils between uses.

Preparing the Grill

• Pre-heat gas or electric grills for 10-15 minutes before cooking.

• Pre-heat charcoals for 20-30 minutes before cooking.

• Pre-heating allows food to cook evenly.

• Never partially grill foods and then finish later.

Grilling Safety

• A food thermometer is the only reliable way to ensure food is safe to eat.

• Hamburgers and brats need to be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Steaks and chops need to be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

• If re-heating an item, such as pre-cooked hot dogs, cook to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Chicken breasts need to be cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Safety During and After Tailgating

• Keep hot foods hot, at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Keep cold foods cold, at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Throw away or put perishable foods in the cooler before heading to the game.

• Foods should not be left out for more than 1 hour if it is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside. 

• Place leftovers in shallow containers to prevent bacteria growth.

For more information about food safety, text FAPC to 80802 to download the free FAPC Connect app or visit

FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop, and deliver technical and business information that stimulates and supports the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma. 

Story by Mandy Gross

Jefferson County Free Fair was a success thanks to those who volunteered to help make it a success!  Lots of work is needed for County Free Fairs and it is worth it when citizens come up to you and say “this fair is the best I’ve seen in a long time!”  Go ahead, plan and prepare items to enter into next year’s fair!  

This year, 14 Jefferson County 4-H members will have a total of 22 items selected to be entered into the Oklahoma City State Fair held September 13-23.

If you have a chance to go to the State fair, make sure you visit the  Oklahoma Expo Hall and look at all the 4-H exhibits; in the same building will be the FFA exhibits.  Show your support by congratulating these members!

4-H Members having state-bound Indoor exhibits:

Abby Davis, Waurika

Alicen Williams, Ryan

Allie Thomas, Waurika

Caitlyn Ramsey, Waurika

Haley Poage, Ryan

Hannah Williams, Ryan

Heather Poage, Ryan

Kane Rapier, Ringling

Karleigh Ficklin, Ringling

Kaylee Morris, Waurika

Koble Lewis, Ryan

Kylee Charmasson, Ryan

Riley Ross, Ryan

Sarah Tyus, Ryan

Next week I will have the results for these exhibitors’ entries!  

September 1 began the 4-H enrollment year 2018-2019.  Go to to update your family profile page.  If you have not been previously enrolled online, you will need to create your family profile page.  If you need assistance, call us at 580-228-2332.  4-H members must be active before they can show in the spring Livestock Show.

Here’s a question about 4-H:  On the 4-H Clover, what do the 4 “H”s represent?

Answer: “They represent the equal training of the head, heart, hands and health of every member”.

There are several reasons why joining 4-H is a good choice; there are events which help development leadership, self-confidence and there are scholarship opportunities.

Contact our OSU Extension office at 580-228-2332 if you have questions!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here