Updated: August 2, 2022
Vitamin D: Deficiency, Relevant Health Issues and Major Sources (FS-1146)
Vitamin D is an important nutrient that helps keep bones healthy and allows muscles and nerves to work properly. It also supports immune system function. Vitamin D can be sourced through foods and supplements, as well as sun exposure. Of late, there has been a lot of attention to the role and function of vitamin D in the context of obesity, prevention of cancer, hypertension, and type II diabetes. Vitamin D is also involved in a variety of cells within our body. The amount of vitamin D that people need each day varies depending on age, lifestyle, and certain health conditions. Dietary sources and vitamin D supplements can meet this requirement, though dietary sources are more commonly preferred. This fact sheet will help you understand how much vitamin D you need, how it affects overall health conditions, and the major vitamin D sources. Authors: Hee-Jung Song, Mona Habibi, Dhruti Patel, and Harley Kappey; Title: Vitamin D: Deficiency, Relevant Health Issues and Major Sources (FS-1146)
Updated: June 28, 2021
Metamorphosis: The Life Stages of a Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed in North East, Maryland
The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population in North America has been in decline over the last two decades. The absence of the monarch butterfly in our landscape in the state of Maryland has been quite eerie. Despite the efforts of several organizations, the monarch butterfly is still in need of assistance.
Updated: April 22, 2021
Learn to Earn: Establishing and Creating 4-H Project Marketing Opportunities
In 2020, the pandemic brought much upheaval to life as we previously experienced. Cancellation of events, such as county fairs and shows presented unique challenges to 4-H members. The youth did not have the usual opportunities to interact with and educate the public about their 4-H projects. Communication skills that are the hallmark of 4-H and county fairs as a forum to develop those abilities by interacting with the public fell by the wayside. Youngsters no longer had the usual earning potential for the hard work they invested on their projects. Without 4-H fairs and shows, premiums and monies generated from the sale of products were severely limited or not possible at all. The 4-H program, like basically all of life, had to be done in unique ways in learning to market 4-H projects.
Updated: July 27, 2022
Managing Anger (FS-1152)
This fact sheet explores anger related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides strategies that readers can use to manage anger alone and in relation to others. Author: Alexandar E. Chan, Ph.d., LMFT; Title: Managing Anger (FS-1152)
Updated: January 21, 2021
Meat Marketing Planner: Strategic Marketing for Farm-to-Table Meat Enterprises (EB-403)
Meat Marketing Planner: Strategic Marketing for Farm-to-Table Meat Enterprises addresses marketing beef, pork, lamb, and goat, but not poultry processing since it falls under different USDA, FSIS, and state regulations. While many of the key strategies discussed here can be applied to direct farm-to-consumer sales, this publication focuses on marketing farm-raised meats.
Updated: January 15, 2021
Health Insurance Protects and Provides for You and Your Family
Being physically and financially healthy is important for you and your family. Health insurance is a way to manage and reduce the risk of getting sick and becoming injured as well as provide greater income security. Health insurance gives you access to preventive services like screenings and check-ups that are helpful if you develop a chronic condition or become injured. If a health problem happens, the results can be costly. Health insurance helps reduce and manage risks, especially the financial one.
Updated: January 5, 2021
Mid-Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations
The recommendations are intended for the commercial vegetable grower who has to make numerous managerial decisions. Although the proper choices of variety, pesticides, equipment, irrigation, fertilizer, and cultural practices are the individual vegetable grower’s responsibility, it is intended that these recommendations will facilitate decision-making. Recommended planting dates will vary across the six-state region. Local weather conditions, grower experience, and variety may facilitate successful harvest on crops planted outside the planting dates listed in this guide. This can be evaluated in consultation with the local agents and state specialists. Government agencies and other organizations administrating crop insurance programs or other support programs should contact local Extension agents and/or vegetable specialists for guidance.
Updated: January 13, 2021
Animal Welfare is Essential to the Sustainability of the Poultry Industry Program
Animal welfare is oftentimes housed under the same umbrella as sustainability because improvements in both are viewed as progress towards the future. In other words, any improvement in animal welfare also improves the sustainability of production or potentially has less impact on the surrounding environment. However, the relationships between poultry production and welfare and the impact of production on the environment are complex and difficult to balance
Updated: June 21, 2022
Understanding Farm Energy (FS-1138)
How much energy is used on Maryland farms? The energy used to perform many routine crop and livestock operations may cost your farm several hundred or thousands of dollars each month. On average, 15% of agricultural production costs in the United States are spent on the fuels and electricity used for equipment operation (see Figure 1) as modern agricultural equipment uses a significant amount of fuel and energy. Additional costs arise from the energy used indirectly through petroleum-based products (i.e., fertilizer and pesticides) and through transportation which becomes a concern for more rural farms with products traveling further to markets. The cost of this energy comes amidst growing concerns over low farm profits, rising energy prices in the ag sector (EIA, 2019), and Maryland’s rapidly changing energy environment which requires 50% of the state’s electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2030. The greatest impact of the changing energy market is expected on those farms using a lot of machinery due to their elevated fuel use, and smaller farms that are unable to distribute their energy costs. Author: Drew Schiavone; Title: Understanding Farm Energy (FS-1138)
Updated: March 30, 2021
Thriving Naturally in 4-H
Nature Deficit Disorder is a term coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 book, “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.” It refers to the psychological, physical and cognitive consequences stemming from a lack of time in nature. The disconnect between indoors and outdoors may not be at fault for every psychological and physical ill, but it definitely correlates with modern increases in attention deficit disorder, depression, obesity, and stress. The solution to Nature Deficit Disorder is simple…spend time outside in natural settings. The great news about this, is that we don’t have to be biologists or ecologists to develop nature based programs. We just have to serve as enthusiastic guides navigating the countless exploration opportunities that nature provides. Natural exploration can provide a critical spark, helping youth find a sense of belonging with others who care about the natural world while experiencing the healing powers of nature. Youth are often inspired to develop hope filled solutions for issues or concerns they see in the natural settings they explore. Thus, nature based programming can be a powerful tool for helping 4-H youth to thrive. Interactions with nature enhance positive life skill development; increasing attention span, developing positive social, gross motor, teamwork, and problem solving skills. The research is compelling. As educators we can communicate the powerful benefits of natural exploration to parents and youth in our communities as we launch 4-H programs aimed to use nature as a healer of Nature Deficit Disorder.