AUBURN UNIVERSITY – The Alabama Cooperative Extension System Food Safety Team is offering safe food handling training to fruit and vegetable producers who sell their commodities at farmers markets throughout the state, with the ultimate goal of preventing outbreaks of foodborne illness.
The training, titled “Enhancing the Safety of Locally Grown Produce,” is designed to alert sellers at farmers markets to the handling practices most commonly linked with foodborne illness outbreaks.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – An eight-member team of Alabama Cooperative Extension System educators is conducting “Eat Healthy, Be Active” workshops throughout the state to address the poor eating habits and physical inactivity that sets Alabama apart as a state with one of the nation’s highest obesity rates.
Onikia Brown, an Alabama Extension nutrition and health specialist and assistant professor in Auburn University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science who is heading the statewide effort, said the goal is to conduct these workshops in all 67 counties by the end of 2013.
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Coyotes have long inhabited rural areas, but they now are a growing problem near cities and in the suburbs.
As residential developments spread into former pastures and woodlands, coyote sightings are becoming more common for homeowners, according to Jim Armstrong, a professor in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and an Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist. This is especially true in the fall, when parent coyotes force last year’s litter away from the pack to establish their own range.
“Coyotes usually have four to six puppies,” he said. “Both parents will hunt prey to feed their young, and the group stays together until the next breeding season in the fall. Then the parents run their pups away. Most coyote sightings occur this time of year.”
AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Greenhouse tours, a presentation on permeable pavements and hands-on activities will be part of the lineup when the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station’s Plant Science Research Center hosts a free public open house and rainwater-gardening class Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. The center is located on the Auburn University campus at 75 Woodfield Drive.
The tours at the center will be conducted from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and will spotlight several research projects under way in the greenhouses and research field – projects focused on such issues as integrated organic pest management; disease management for ornamentals, field crops and vegetables; and an evaluation of banana varieties.
CLANTON – The Chilton Food Innovation Center, a fully equipped industrial kitchen in Clanton, is helping farmers and other aspiring entrepreneurs turn fruits and vegetables into a variety of products for grocers’ shelves.
And it is being done with revitalized kitchen equipment from Auburn University’s Foy Hall, formerly Foy Student Union.
“We were called by Property Surplus,” said Jean Weese, food scientist with Auburn and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “They were taking all the equipment out of Foy Union … they asked us if we had a need for it. It was right at a time we were planning this facility, so it worked perfectly.”
AUBURN – The Alabama Cooperative Extension System will offer “Retirement Ready?,” a course on retirement planning, Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lee County Extension Office in Opelika, 600 S. 7th St., Suite 4. The course is designed to help participants plan for their financial security, nurture their health and well-being and enhance their engagement with life during their later years.
“Financial security is not the only challenge that retirees face,” said Regional Extension Agent Diana Simpson. “We can’t enjoy our retirement as much without good physical and mental health, and research indicates that people with strong social networks and numerous interests age better,” said Simpson, who holds an MBA and is a Certified Financial Planner.