Local highlights

MoTax Initiative/VITA

This program offers a gateway to financial education through taxpayer assistance. MoTax offers preparation of federal and state tax returns to low-income families and uses this opportunity to emphasize the importance of financial planning management. MoTax is supported by University of Missouri Extension along with federal and local partners. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) volunteers provide free tax assistance to low income, disabled, homebound and English as a second language taxpayers. Some VITA sites provide assistance only to those taxpayers who are eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. For More Information Click Here and check out the Free Tax Processing Checklist

Getting Down to Brass Tacks of Farm Leases

Learn more about:Trends in farmland value and their effect on rent values, Items to include in a lease, How to terminate a farm lease, and Developing crop/livestock share arrangements.

For More Information Click Here

 

Moisture, Mold, and Your Home

With all the rain affecting so many Missourians, water damage is unfortunately a reality from leaking roofs to flooding basements. If there are water issues, there may be mold in your home. Now with increased temperatures, humidity levels may also foster mold growth. Please consider these resources if you are affected by water or mold. For questions contact Marsha Alexander, Urban West Region Housing and Environmental Design Specialist at alexanderm@missouri.edu or 816-482-5850.

Resources for Your Flooded Home: http://extension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/miscpubs/mp0904.pdf

EPA information on Mold and Moisture: http://www.epa.gov/mold/

Saving Energy, Saving Money with Free Energy Products for Your Home

As a resident of Jackson County, you are invited to a forthcoming workshop to focus on energy management strategies that can lead to monthly utility cost savings.  Each workshop participant will receive a free kit of energy saving products that can be used in their home to reduce energy loss. Each kit is estimated to be worth approximately $50.00.  During the workshop the products will be explained in detail as to how to best use them.  For example, the kits will include two energy efficient light bulbs that can easily replace more energy wasting lamps.  One of the questions consumers often ask is the anticipated energy savings of incandescent lamps versus compact fluorescents, and LED bulbs? This workshop will answer those questions and more.  

Our energy bills can be a large monthly expense.  Often a significant portion of that energy is wasted due to excessive infiltration, inadequate insulation, and poor product choices.  The good news is there are many strategies that can be implemented inside and outside a home to improve energy efficiency.  Learn more about your options to save home energy and reduce monthly utility costs.  For details on forthcoming workshops contact Marsha Alexander, Urban West Region Housing and Environmental Design Specialist at alexanderm@missouri.edu or 816-482-5850.  

New Services for Area Businesses Now Available

Missouri’s Small Business and Technology Development Centers (SBTDC) are transforming Missouri           businesses by providing the right resources at the right time.  Missouri’s pipeline of entrepreneurs creates different needs as businesses advance through various stage of growth. Therefore, a full range of advisory services and educational programs have been put into place to boost virtually any business to its next level of growth. The Jackson County Center is already working with over 100 local entities through the free individualized counseling/coaching program.

The Jackson County Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is based within MU Extension’s offices at 1600 Coronado Drive in Blue Springs, Missouri.  (www.missouribusiness.net).

The SBTDC is part of a statewide network of service centers known as the Missouri Business Development Program working in conjunction with the US Small Business Administration. For more information including potential scholarships that may be available, call Jeff Samborski at 816-252-5051 or e-mail him at samborskij@missouri.edu.

Family Nutrition Education Programs

The Family Nutrition Education Programs (FNEP) bring the latest nutrition information to low-income Missourians. FNEP helps clients achieve lifelong health and fitness. Paraprofessional nutrition educators work with clients in schools and at agencies. Clients gain skills that pave the way for nutritional well-being and health. Programs include the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and the Family Nutrition Program (FNP). For more information on how to receive these FREE programs for youth, teens, adults, and seniors see our staff directory for contact information. http://extension.missouri.edu/fnep/mapregions/UrbanWest.htm

Health Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise

Tai Chi is a slow motion, low-impact exercise that promotes physical and mental health and relaxation. It is practiced as an effective exercise for health through a series of flowing, graceful and gentle postures and movements. The gentle flowing movements contain inner power that can strengthen the body, improve mental relaxation and mobilize joints and muscles. It is especially suitable as a therapy for arthritis because of the slow and gentle movements. Health Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise Article       New Classes Are Forming

Eating From the Garden

Eating From the Garden's nutrition and gardening program has reached more than 2,500 Jackson County fourth and fifth graders in the past three years. Assisted by 40 adult volunteers, students plant and maintain outdoor vegetable gardens; taste new foods; and participate in nutrition, plant science and environmental awareness lessons. Last year, the program added chef demonstrations in the classroom and developed an EFTG pilot curriculum for second-grade students. Call the extension center for more information on this program and current activities. http://missourifamilies.org/eatfromgarden/

Nutrition Education Resource Center

Jackson County Extension received a $35,000 grant from the Health Care Foundation of Kansas City to develop a nutrition education center in our new offices in the River Market area.  The new center will allow us to provide hands-on nutrition and food preservation classes to encourage the community to eat healthy and be more active.  It will be a great opportunity for us to partner with the City Market to promote the consumption of local, fresh fruits and vegetables.