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Extension Update by Jenny Rees

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Upcoming Events:
November Free Farm and Ag Law Clinics

***NOTE: Pre-Registration is REQUIRED at the in-person Extension Events listed to ensure proper distancing in following directed health measures.***
 
CANCELLED Nov. 23: 
Landlord/Tenant Workshop, Auburn 
Nov. 23: Iowa Organic Conference (Virtual), 9 a.m.-1 p.m., https://www.regcytes.extension.iastate.edu/iowaorganic/
CANCELLED Nov. 24: Landlord/Tenant Workshop, Eastern Nebraska Research & Extension Center
Nov. 24: BeefWatch Webinar Series: Chat with the Experts, 8 p.m., Register here
Dec. 1: Cattleman’s College, Reg. 9 a.m. Program 9:30-3:00 p.m., Now Virtual, Register: nebraskacattlemen.org or (402)-475-2333
Dec. 2: Women Managing Ag Land Conference, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Now Virtual Only. Register: https://wia.unl.edu/WMAL
Dec. 3: Project Grow featuring Dr. Jill Clapperton, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Holthus Convention Center in York & via Zoom, Pre-Register: https://www.upperbigblue.org/WinterWorkshop
Dec. 3: Wellness in Tough Times Chat: Strengthening Your Couple Relationship, Noon-1, Call: 346-248-7799 Meeting ID: 97923262259#
Dec. 8, 11, 15, & 18: Leading Farm & Ranch Employees Virtual Seminar, 12:30-2 p.m., Info & Register: https://go.unl.edu/fgw3
Dec. 10: Farmers & Ranchers College Online Watch Program w/ Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Dept. of AAEC, VA TECH & Eric Snodgrass, Principal Atmospheric Scientist for Nutrien Ag Solutions, 9:15-Noon, Online or at Fairgrounds in Geneva. TO WATCH ONLINE, USE THIS REGISTRATION LINK
Dec. 10: Wellness in Tough Times Chat: The Scope of Grandparenting Today, Noon-1, Call: 346-248-7799 Meeting ID: 97923262259#
Dec. 14: Landlord/Tenant Workshop, 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. — Lincoln (Lancaster County Extension Office), (Crop Budgeting workshop to be held at 1:30 p.m.) Registration: 402-441-7180 The 9 a.m. meeting in Lincoln will be live-streamed on YouTube (at lancaster.unl.edu/liveevents). The recording will be available after the workshop.
Dec. 17: Nebraska Soybean Day and Machinery Expo (virtual), 9 a.m.-3 p.m., https://go.unl.edu/w8k9

This article has been on my heart for several months. It’s reflections from a compilation of conversations. Honestly, it’s been a hard year at times for most, if not all people. Interweaving this with Thanksgiving, there’s perhaps a variety of thoughts, perspectives, and feelings as we approach the holiday. It may be tempting to want to skip it and perhaps be easier to complain than find gratitude or feel thankful!

The challenges with COVID, markets, livestock harvesting facilities, trade, weather impacts to crops, online schooling and virtual meetings, societal and family tensions and divisiveness, the election, and many businesses and farm operations hurting financially added much stress to 2020. (Insert a deep breath after reading all that!).

With these above-mentioned challenges come the feelings and realities experienced. I’m so blessed with individuals’ trust through conversations and the vulnerability in sharing…conversations around mental wellness, stress, family and financial struggles…

So many hurting. So many conversations involving hurt, anger, regret. Common threads have included ‘just wanting to be seen’, ‘be heard’, ‘be appreciated’, ‘be useful’.

We often don’t know what’s going on in others’ lives. If you are struggling right now, please know you’re not alone and there is ALWAYS hope and help! Please do reach out to someone. It would be wise for us all to program the following in our cell phones: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 and Rural Response Hotline: 800-464-0258.

This isn’t a direct quote but had recently read something along these lines: Why is it that we often wait till people’s funerals to share gratitude of how a person impacted us? Made me think.

For me, perhaps a blessing this year is a renewed realization of how quickly time passes and each day is not guaranteed. Been processing and praying through all this.

Who are the people who’ve positively impacted my life that I need to tell?
Who are the people in my life I tend to take for granted and don’t thank enough?
Who haven’t I connected with recently?
Who could benefit from intentional encouragement during life’s difficulties right now?

Perhaps questions others wish to consider?

We may never know how greatly a smile, kind words, a visit, a genuine ‘thank you’ can impact another person’s life, especially since we often don’t know the struggles others are experiencing. But these simple acts may just help someone in the midst of a dark or difficult time. They may also save a life.

Last November I mentioned there’s been a lot of research on gratitude. Harvard University shared, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.” Summarizing several studies I read, most would say finding a way to count one’s blessings or focusing on gratitude greatly improved a person’s sleep, health, attitude, focus, and relationships.

A simple way to start is to write out or send a text each day of 3-5 things for which you are grateful. If that’s hard, start with one! For example, what are the ordinary every day things we take for granted (ex. bed, food in pantry, vehicle, etc.)? I’ve found the written account helps me with remembering my blessings and is encouraging to re-read in the difficult times. And, over time, it becomes easier to find gratitude even in the things that go wrong! I’ve also found one of the best ways to help my heart when feeling down is to find a way to encourage someone else. Additional ideas for expressing gratitude, particularly for those with children, can be found at: https://go.unl.edu/q04v

My hope and prayer in writing this is that we seek kindness, seek connection, choose to more intentionally seek gratitude, and share with others how they’ve positively impacted our lives. Also hoping something shared here helps if you find yourself struggling today. Wishing everyone a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Food Resources: For your Thanksgiving meal check out https://food.unl.edu/article/thanksgiving-central for turkey preparation, food safety questions, recipes, and health/wellness topics!

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