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University of Idaho Extension

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St.
Moscow, ID

Mailing Address:
University of Idaho Extension
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2338
Moscow, ID 83844-2338

Phone: 208-885-5883

Fax: 208-885-6654


Google Maps

Barbara Petty

Extension ExPress, December 2020

Director’s Message

With this being the last newsletter for 2020, let’s pause to reflect on the year. In one way or another, 2020 has changed our lives. Many have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, others have lost businesses or jobs, and the educational process has been dramatically affected for all. Parents found themselves home schooling their kids and teachers were suddenly propelled into delivering education electronically. Amid it all, there is a silver lining. We have learned new skills, have spent more time in our homes with our families and hopefully have developed an attitude of gratitude.

We just celebrated Thanksgiving. While being thankful is a very good practice, I am not sure we realize the price we pay when we choose to do the opposite. According to Thomas Bradberry, Ph.D., co-author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, complaining can be bad for you. When you complain, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol sends you into a flight-or-fight mode, raising your blood sugar and your blood pressure (since these could help you defend yourself or escape). Your immune system will be impaired, and you are then more susceptible to life threatening diseases. When you have an attitude of gratitude, you lessen your anxiety and your mood improves.

As we finish out 2020, try creating a “complain free” environment. A new term I learned recently from Dr. Maxine Hayes, the former state health officer for the Washington State Department of Health, is “COVItude” which is a combination of COVID and gratitude. Since we are in the midst of COVID, let’s practice “COVItude” and lower our stress level.

As you read this newsletter, I hope you find many reasons to be grateful for University of Idaho Extension professionals — I know I do.

Barbara Petty

Associate Dean & Director of UI Extension

Ag Science, Room 52


Farm Stress Management

Lance Ellis knows how stressful farm life can be. His experience on family farms taught him how easy it is to feel isolated and alone with anxious thoughts about the family business.

“I know what it’s like to be by yourself on a tractor and get yourself beaten down over challenges your business is facing,” said Ellis, a University of Idaho Extension educator in Fremont County. “Your thoughts can really make you lose hope or feel overwhelmed.”

And, year-to-year, farmers may have much cause to fret. Crops or livestock can thrive or fail based on things outside of their control — weather, livestock sickness, equipment breakdowns and fluctuating commodity prices.

Find out how UI Extension is responding

A man in a tractor cab.

An E. Coli Mystery Solved with DNA

Thousands of recreational enthusiasts descend upon Mink Creek, near Pocatello, every summer. But when someone discovered that the creek and its tributaries contain high levels of E. coli, the U.S. Forest Service Caribou-Targhee National Forest — aided by University of Idaho Extension researchers — were on the hunt to solve a mystery: Who or what is contaminating the water?

Jim Sprinkle handling water samples.

Idaho AgBiz

Idaho AgBiz is your resource for Idaho crop and livestock budgets, regional market information, publications and decision aids to advance your operation. Visit to learn more about the valuable tools provided by UI Extension.


Camas County 4-H Endowment

The UI Extension 4-H Youth Development program in Camas County will benefit from a newly established internship program beginning in May 2021. The internship was made possible by a recent $125,000 endowment established by Camas County residents who wanted to support 4-H programs while also providing hands-on experiences to a deserving student.

“Youth development programs in Camas County are always looking for ways to give youth and students hands-on working experiences,” said UI Extension, Camas County educator Cindy Kinder. “The amazing gift of the Camas County Intern Endowment was established to make this experience a reality, plus it is a reality that will live on forever. Not only does the endowment provide experiences for youth ages 8 to 18, but it also provides working experience for young adults.”

The 4-H intern will assist Kinder and the county 4-H program assistant with a variety of tasks, including volunteer recruitment and the planning and implementation of experiential learning programs. The intern will work closely with the Camas County Youth Advocate Advisory Committee and continue to explore partnership opportunities with other community groups.

The internship is open to any student currently enrolled in an Idaho post-secondary program who is interested in gaining hands-on experience working with diverse audiences and promoting positive youth development programs. The endowment will allow Kinder to provide financial compensation to the intern, including a housing stipend.

“I am humbled by the gift and excited to mentor interns while expanding our learning experiences to the youth of Camas County and surrounding areas,” Kinder said.

Recruitment for the first intern will begin in March 2021. For more information, contact Kinder at

Make a Difference to Idaho Youth

Support 4-H programs in Idaho to benefit youth across the state.

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Interdisciplinary Research

The Aberdeen R&E center provides critical research and improved cultural practices for major crops grown in Idaho.

Faculty Spotlight

Several UI Extension Educators have received national and regional recognition over the past few months, including the following. Congratulations to all individuals and programs that received awards from professional associations this year.

Joey Peutz

Joey Peutz was named the National and Western Region Extension Educator of the Year by the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences. Peutz was recognized for providing program leadership, embracing professional development, and programming innovation. Her commitment to meeting the needs of individuals, families and communities is exemplary. Peutz is an educator for UI Extension, Payette County.

Scott Nash

Scott Nash was named as the new president-elect of the National Association of Extension 4-H Youth Development Professionals. Nash has served UI Extension 4-H Youth Development for 25 years, the past five as a Regional 4-H Youth Development Educator based in Power County. Nash also oversees all 4-H animal science programming in Idaho.

Brad Stokes holds up an award plaque.

Brad Stokes was awarded the 2020 Pollinator Advocate Award for the United States from the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. This award recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to pollinator protection, conservation and issue outreach resulting in increased awareness of the importance of pollinators and pollination.

Chris Schnepf

Chris Schnepf was elected to serve on the National Board for the Society of American Foresters beginning in January 2021. Schnepf is an Area Extension Educator in forestry, based at the UI Extension, Kootenai County office and covering the Panhandle.

UI Extension would also like to wish a fond farewell to Rick Norell and Jim Toomey who are retiring from the University of Idaho.

Rick Norell

Norell joined U of I in 1982 as an extension dairy specialist and spent his career at the Idaho Falls Research and Extension Center. In 2015 he received the Friend of the Industry Award from the United Dairymen of Idaho — he has served as the chair of the Idaho Milk Quality Award Selection Committee for UDI since 1989.

Jim Toomey

Toomey joined U of I in 1988 as a management development specialist for the Center for Business Development and Research. In 2002 he joined the U of I College of Agricultural and Life Sciences as the director of the Agribusiness Incubator located at the U of I Caldwell Research and Extension Center. In this role he served many family-owned artisan ventures and helped launch many startup wineries.

Featured Publication

Making Jerky at Home Safely (PNW 632)

Jerky is a nutritious, nonperishable and lightweight protein source, but making it requires a lot of care. This publication shows you how to make this delicious treat safely at home, including a few recipes.

Get publication (PDF)

Featured Events

Idaho Ag Outlook Seminar — Dec. 15-18, 2020

The 2020 Idaho Ag Outlook Seminar will be offered virtually over the course of four days. Presentations will be recorded and available for viewing following the live presentation.

Idaho Potato Conference — Jan. 19-21, 2021

The annual Idaho Potato Conference will be offered virtually in 2021. The 20-minute pre-recorded presentations will be followed by live Q&A with participants. Topics will include management sessions on varieties, hollow heart and bruise, lenticels, variety susceptibility to zebra chip, irrigation management, soft rot and blackleg, and much more.

Know Your Government — Feb. 13-15, 2021

The UI Extension 4-H Youth Development Know Your Government Conference empowers youth to be well-informed citizens who are actively engaged in their communities. This program is open for youth grades 8-9. The 2021 conference will look different due to COVID-19. Youth delegates and chaperones will join from their homes via Zoom on Feb. 13 and travel to a face-to-face district location on Feb. 14 for committee hearings and mock trials, pending local public health restrictions. Interested youth need to be enrolled in 4-H. Check out the website for more information or contact Donna Gillespie at

Farm and Ranch Succession Planning — Various Dates

This four-class series will help you answer a variety of questions about farm/ranch succession and transfer strategies. Classes will be held in-person in Jerome and Rupert, pending Public Health recommendations. Contact Ashlee Westerhold for more information at

Farm and Ranch Financial Management — Various Dates

Learn about marketing strategies, enterprise budgets, FinPack software and more. Classes will be held in-person in Jerome, Burley and Twin Falls, pending Public Health recommendations. An online option will also be available. Contact Ashlee Westerhold for more information at

Visit the UI Extension calendar for a complete listing of upcoming events offered online and across the state.

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University of Idaho Extension

Physical Address:
E. J. Iddings Agricultural Science Laboratory, Room 52
606 S Rayburn St.
Moscow, ID

Mailing Address:
University of Idaho Extension
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2338
Moscow, ID 83844-2338

Phone: 208-885-5883

Fax: 208-885-6654


Google Maps

Barbara Petty