Upcoming Events



Poultry Production

ag

Poultry production continues to be Crenshaw County’s largest agricultural commodity, extension provides many types of educational programs for poultry producers especially in the areas of waste management.

For more information on poultry production, contact the Crenshaw County Extension office, or visit the AU Poultry Ventilation & Housing website home of the National Poultry Technology Center (NPTC).

Help Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

Five Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Prevent Abuse and Neglect……

  1. Reach Out – Anything you can do to support kids and parents can help reduce the stress that often leads to abuse
    and neglect.
  2. Raise the Issue – By educating yourself and others you can help your community prevent child abuse and neglect from
    happening in the first place.
  3. Remember the Risk Factors – Child abuse and neglect occur in all segments of our society, but the risk factors are
    greater in families with economic and personal problems, are isolated from extended family, and who have addictions or
    health issues.
  4. Recognize the Warning Signs – Nervousness around adults, aggression, inability to stay awake or concentrate for
    extended periods of times, dramatic changes inpersonality or activities, frequent or unexplained bruises or injuries, low
    self-esteem, or poor hygiene.
  5. Report Suspected Abuse or Neglect – If you suspect abuse or neglect, contact your local DHR office, if you think a
    child is in immediate danger, call the police.

Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention at a Glance

  • Alabama ranks 48th in the US in the treatment and well being of its children and families. (Kid’s Count – 2003)
  • According to a University of Alabama study, parents who attended Parenting Education programs reported a 50% reduction in repeat offenses.
  • In 2003, there were 19,267 reports of child abuse and neglect involving 27,603 Alabama children.
  • In 2003, 30 children died of either confirmed or suspected child abuse and neglect.
  • Data from the Alabama Child Death Review System for years 2000-2002 reveal that of 690 child deaths reviewed, 118 deaths were classified as abuse.
  • An abused or neglected child stands a 78.6% chance of repeating the abusive behavior.

Food Safety

Auburn — The American food supply is the safest in the world thanks to industry and government efforts, says a food scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new guidelines to enhance the food supply’s safety, in the wake of last autumn’s terrorist attacks. FDA is encouraging companies in all areas of food service to conduct criminal background checks of employees and to restrict access to sensitive areas, among other new guidelines.

Dr. Jean Weese, Extension food scientist, says many of the nation’s largest companies involved in food production and service already have in place many of the practices set forth in the voluntary guidelines.

“Food industries want to be proactive,” says Weese. “They have seen what happens to companies that don’t get things right the first time. They often don’t get a second chance.”

She notes that Jack in the Box, a national fast food chain, has never fully recovered from the aftermath of a deadly outbreak of E. coli at one of its stores.

“No food company wants to be labeled as the one who let terrorists get by,” says Weese.

“However, many of the recent guidelines issued by FDA are already in place at probably three-quarters of the largest food companies, ” she adds. “Many smaller companies have implemented some as well.”

“I think you will see companies of all sizes will implement as many of the guidelines as is feasible for their operations.”

For example, a small company that relies on municipal water may not regularly test its water as the new FDA guidelines suggest. They may instead rely on municipal testing to identify contaminants.

There has only been one known terrorist attack on food in this country. That occurred in the 1980s when an Oregon cult contaminated a salad bar with salmonella bacteria.

Experts say one vulnerable area is fresh produce because it is so often eaten raw and does not receive the same scrutiny as some food products, such as meat and poultry do.

Weese notes that the use of some common sense tips can help consumers reduce their risk of foodborne illness no matter the
cause.

First, she stresses that foods should be cooked at high enough temperatures to kill potential pathogens. For specific temperature information, contact your county Extension office or visit U.S.D.A.’s Food Safety Inspection Service on the Web
(www.fsis.usda.gov/index.htm).

Wash and peel foods that are eaten raw.

Check food packages or cans to ensure they are intact before opening them. Weese notes that more and more foods are packaged with some type of tamper resistant material.

Do not purchase foods that are in damaged containers. Never eat food from a damaged or previously opened container.

Consumers should be alert for abnormal food odors or appearance.

Finally, Weese stresses consumers must be proactive themselves.

“If they have a serious suspicion about a food product, consumers must take the time to alert the appropriate government agency. In the case of meat or poultry, that would be USDA and the FDA for all other food products,” says Weese.

For additional information on safeguarding the American food supply, visit www.foodsafety.gov. FoodSafety.gov is a gateway Web site that provides links to selected government food safety-related information. This Web site is part of the National Food Safety Information Network. It is maintained by FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Agri-Tourism in Alabama

zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, rhubarb, beans in the foreground, people buying and selling under umbrellas in soft focus in the background

Agri-tourism can take many forms. Roadside stands and farmers’ markets offer farm-fresh produce and interaction with growers. Farms may open to the public for wildlife watching and hunting. Ag tours, on farm bed-and-breakfasts, and dude ranches give tourists the fresh air, open space, and relaxation of country life.

U-pick operations, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, hay mazes, farm-animal petting zoos, wine tasting, ag heritage museums, festivals, and fairs all attract visitors.

Find your Agri-Tourism destination today!