Kimmel Education & Research Center

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

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Code Camp

Elementary youth in Nebraska City have the opportunity to learn introductory computer science!  This after school class is designed for anyone interested in coding…if you can read, you can code in this game environment! Participating youth will learn critical thinking, logic, persistence, and creativity to help them excel at problem solving in all subject areas!

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Nebraska Extension Partnering with USDA to Conduct Grant Workshops to Support Local Foods

Grant-writing workshops designed to help potential applicants understand, develop, and submit their Federal grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program are being offered in every US state this spring through a unique collaboration between federal, state, and regional partners. Nebraska Extension, in collaboration with the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development is partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to conduct workshops in Nebraska. This effort is known as the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance (AMSTA) Project.


March 31, 2015 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agricultural Research and Development Center
1071 County Road G, Ithaca, NE 68033-2234

April 8, 2015 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Kearney Holiday Inn 110 South 2nd Avenue, Kearney, NE

April 16, 2015
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Lifelong Learning Center, 601 East Benjamin, Suite 104, Norfolk, NE

There is no cost for these workshops, but pre-registration is required. Participants can pre-register by contacting Gary Lesoing via email or by calling Nebraska Extension in Nemaha County at (402) 274-4755. Lunch will be provided. Register early because space may be limited.

Please contact Gary Lesoing for questions concerning this workshop, or (402) 274-4755.

According to AMS Administrator Anne Alonzo, “the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program is a key to USDA’s efforts to revitalize rural economies by supporting local and regional food systems. The grant workshops will ensure that more communities and businesses across the country can participate in the competitive grant process with proposals that create real economic opportunities and help meet the growing demand for locally and regionally produced food.”

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is coordinating the workshops through the Regional Rural Development Centers and Cooperative Extension System educators will provide training in all regions of the country. NIFA and all partners will conduct outreach to raise awareness of AMS grant opportunities and increase participation in the programs.
A list of upcoming grant workshop dates and locations can be found at:

With $30 million authorized annually by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) through fiscal year 2018, AMS’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program awards competitive grants to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local and regional markets. The Farmers Market Promotion Program supports farmers markets and other direct producer-to-consumer activities, while the Local Food Promotion Program supports enterprises that aggregate, store, distribute and process local and regional food.

These investments are part of USDA’s commitment to strengthening local and regional food systems through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, and increase access to healthy foods. USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative (KYF2) coordinates USDA’s support for local and regional food systems. Projects aligned with these efforts can be found on the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass. For more information on AMS visit, and for more on NIFA visit

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How Couples Can Ensure a Meaningful and Happy Life Together – Getting Connected, Staying Connected

lorene at gamAuthor: Maureen Burson

N_4H.EXT.4cWhat is the truth about couples and families today? How are families doing? Even though the news might indicate otherwise, the best information available indicates, in general, couples and families are doing reasonably well.

What makes a successful family? The answer is in the strength of the relationship rather than the structure of the family. Dr. John DeFrain, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Family and Community Development Specialist Emeriti and colleagues have conducted research over the past 35 years involving 28,000 family members in 38 countries. Their research accentuates the positive to show clearly and simply how happy couple and family relationships are created and maintained over time. The findings indicate six key family strengths:

  • Appreciation and affection for each other. Genuinely felt, and expressed regularly.
  • Commitment to the family. Work and other priorities are not allowed to take too much time away from family interaction. The family is highly valued by its members, and individuals are faithful to each other.
  • Positive communication. Family members enjoy talking with each other and listening to each other. The interactions are open, honest, straightforward and pleasant.
  • Enjoyable time together. Similarly, family members like to be with each other and spend a considerable amount of time enjoying each other’s company. They are good friends.
  • Spiritual well-being and shared values. Family members share a sense of hope, optimism, faith, safety and happiness together. Their home is a sanctuary and their relationships bring them comfort. Spiritual well-being can be seen as the caring center within each individual that promotes sharing, love and compassion.
  • The ability to manage stress and crisis effectively. Strong families are not immune to troubles in life, but they know how to work through hard times together rather than exploding and blaming each other when difficulties arise. The question is not, “Who’s responsible for this happening?” The question is: “Where do we go from here?”

Nebraska Extension has developed several resources which include ways to apply these strengths.

  • 20 NebGuides – Getting Connected, Staying Connected – available free online at
  • Book — Getting Connected, Staying Connected — Loving Each Other Day by Day (EB4), is a practical guide for couples and their families. The 244-page book is available on UNL Marketplace at Cost is $18.95 for paperback and $28.95 for hardcover.
  • The book is a sequel to the 2006 Family Treasures — Creating Strong Families (EB1), which is available at Cost is $17.95 for paperback and $6 for e-book. • NebGuides — “Getting Connected, Staying Connected,” explores the attributes and experiences of strong families.

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What makes a strong family?

ParentsOutdoorhikingwith11moAll families function differently and all families have some strengths.

Retired UNL Family Life specialist, Doc. John DeFrain has done research for more than 20 years in several countries. Through research on families he found that there are six general qualities to help strengthen families. Pick out your families strengths as you look at these qualities.

  1. Appreciation and affection – People in strong families deeply care for one another, and they let each other know this on a regular basis. This could be just sitting by a person’s side or giving them a quick hug and words of endearment such as I love you, I appreciate you.
  2. Commitment – Members of strong families show a strong commitment to one another, investing time and energy in family activities. This doesn’t mean that you have to attend every activity – it might be a neighbor that fills in sometimes.
  3. Positive communication – Strong families are often task-oriented but they also need to spend time talking with and listening to one another just to stay connected. Again, this can be just a quick e-mail or phone call to say Hi and how is your day? You need to communicate about end of life issues before the time comes to actually use them.
  4. Enjoyable time together – When children were asked what is a happy family they most often would say it is one that does things together. This might be having a day to clean the house or having a picnic inside.
  5. Spiritual well-being – Spiritual well-being can be seen as the caring center within each individual that promotes sharing, love and compassion. This might be a faith in God, hope or a sense of optimism in life; some say they feel a oneness with the world.
  6. Successful management of stress and crisis – Strong families are not immune to stress and crisis, but they know how to work together to meet challenges when they inevitably occur in life.

Research also shows that if family members are not in the best situation it takes one hour a week of a positive example for children to become resilient to the situations around them.


Getting Connected, Staying Connected: The World Couples and Families Live In Today, G2123,

Getting Connected, Staying Connected: What Are Our Strengths as a Couple? How Can We Build on Them?, G2126

Getting Connected, Staying Connected: How Couples Can Ensure a Meaningful and Happy Life Together, G2143

Author: Eileen Krumbach, Extension Educator

The Learning Child Team


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Raising Nebraska Celebrates National Ag Week


In celebration of National Ag Week, Raising Nebraska is hosting an Ag Day Open House on Saturday, March 21, 2015 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. This is a free event open for the public. Guests will enjoy interactive engagement stations that allow participants to learn more about agriculture through an activity, getting their questions answered, and feeling excited about Nebraska agriculture.

Raising Nebraska is an interactive experience like no other. From science and innovation, to community and culture, and even the global economy, Nebraska’s agricultural experience touches everyone. Through this incredible 25,000-foot interactive exhibit, you actually become part of it – in ways you never imagined and that you’ll never forget.

Raising Nebraska is located in the Nebraska Building on the Nebraska State Fairgrounds at 501 E Fonner Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68801. For more information on Raising Nebraska, visit

This event is open to the public.





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