If you are planning on hosting a holiday party or family gathering, be sure to keep food safety in mind. Handling food safely is critical to preventing foodborne illness from being an uninvited guest at your event. Below are a few tips from the USDA and Iowa State University Extension to help keep holiday parties safe.

Stress and depression can occur at any time in our lives. For many people, they occur during the winter months and around the holidays. There are many causes, including too many expectations, too many responsibilities, and commercialization of the season.

Are you looking for that perfect holiday gift? Some of the best presents don’t come from a store but rather from the heart.

Flowering Rue

Herbs, ancient plants that have come down through the ages, are filled with legend and lore. Think about using these symbolic plants when decorating this season.

Steve as a delegate at national Conference in Washington, D.C. in 2011

The 4-H National Headquarters, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce that the following 6 youth have been selected out of all applicants to participate in the National 4-H Conference Youth Leadership Team: Brittany Avant-Florida, Sergio Martinez-Beltran-Puerto Rico, Kelsey Kannenberg-Wisconsin, Haley Lundeby-Idaho, Stephen McFall-Pennsylvania, and Rachel Wise-Florida. The Youth Leadership Team will be responsible for hosting meetings, leading group activities, providing training, along with many other leadership opportunities.

Growing a garden, eating organic and being techy are all the rage these days, so why not combine these three by getting some good apps for your “smart phone”?

The members of the Delaware Valley High School Teens Against Tobacco Use (T.A.T.U.) club encouraged smokers at the high school to use the Great American Smokeout to make a plan to quit.

Thank you for your help with this fundraiser!

Autumn olive investation. Photo: Chris Evans, River to River CWMA,

Invasive species have been identified by the Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service as one of the four significant threats to our Nation’s forest and rangeland ecosystems. In response to this identified threat, a multidisciplinary team of specialists, managers, and researchers has worked together to produce a National Strategy and Implementation Plan for Invasive Species Management. The U.S. Forest Service announces the publication of its first-ever national-level direction on the management of invasive species across aquatic and terrestrial areas of the National Forest System.

Lancaster County youth learn about measuring water transparency while participating in 4-H Stream Teams activities

In 2010, youth in Pennsylvania’s Dauphin, Lebanon, and Lancaster Counties were invited to be part of a unique opportunity: a chance to learn, hands-on, about the water in their own community and how their daily lives impact that water.

Julianne Schieffer, Extension Urban Forester for the Penn State School of Forest Resources teaches Tree Tenders in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.

If you haven't had a chance to check out the Pennsylvania Wine & Wineries Website, now is the time to do it. It's been updated and looks fantastic! Here's a valuable resource to send out to all of your customers to learn more about Pennsylvania wine.

While the slaughter of horses in the U.S. has been an emotional issue, some argue these law have grown a long way in promoting humane treatment and proper disposal of horse that are beyond their usefulness. Current economic and harsh weather conditions have placed the humane treatment of horses at risk; making it harder for some owners to properly care for the unwanted horses.

The Keystone International Exposition (KILE) that was held Oct 1-9, 2011 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA was a wonderful opportunity for youth and adults to show case their prize livestock, including both light and draft horses.

The 52nd annual Pennsylvania State 4-H Horse Show was held October 28, 29 and 30 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Over 900 youth with 996 horses participated in 48 performance and 100 production classes and special events throughout the weekend.

Why not a gift horse? The obvious reply is: Where will the horse be stabled? Whether you have your own place or will have to board there is enormous financial cost and responsibility in owning a horse. My advice to anyone that is contemplating giving a “gift horse,” is to think deeply of the commitment it will take.