County News

January 23, 2017

If stepping up your retirement planning is part of your new year’s resolution, one key is to understand the pros and cons of traditional tax-deferred accounts in comparison with Roth accounts.  Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) come in both “flavors,” and many employer accounts have both options as well.

January 19, 2017

In the last ten days I have received year-end statements from all three of my retirement accounts.  The arrival of these financial statements presents great reminder to do a retirement check-up.  Now is the time to do a calculation to see whether your retirement investments are on track to give you a comfortable retirement.

January 19, 2017

Free Tax preparation for low to moderate income (generally, $54,000 and below) tax payers with electronic filing is available for federal and state returns.

January 9, 2017

H appy New Year! The new year is a great time to try new healthy habits. Making
healthy changes can be hard, especially if the changes we want to make
are “big.” Like walking 30 minutes a day, five days a week when we currently lose
our breath walking for 10 minutes. The key it to set small and achievable goals for
a healthier 2017 that can build upon each other!  Click Here to see newsletter.

January 3, 2017

Participants will learn about grain marketing from ISU Extension and Outreach specialists and local ag business experts Participants will engage in hands-on activities, learn through web-based training and discuss how to develop a grain marketing plan.

January 3, 2017

Did you received a gift over the holidays? Is the gift a duplicate or do you want to return it? Restocking fees, often a percentage of the item’s price, may apply to all of a retailer’s goods when they are returned, or just to items that have been opened or aren’t in the original packaging.

December 15, 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report this month designed to help people who are “credit invisible” – meaning they have little or no credit history.  According to a 2015 CFPB report, approximately 26 million Americans fit in that “invisible” category, with no history on file with the major credit reporting agencies.  An additional 19 million Americans have files so thin that they are considered “unscorable;” there is so little information about their credit history that a lender would be unable to evaluate a loan application.  The total, 45 million, equals nearly 20 percent of American adults!

December 15, 2016

Average Iowa farmland value has shown a decline for the third year in a row — the first time this has happened since the 1980s farm crisis — and is now estimated to be $7,183 per acre. The statewide per acre value declined $449, or 5.9 percent, since November 2015. Land values were determined by the 2016 Iowa State University Land Value Survey.

November 29, 2016

"Words on Wellness", a monthly newsletter that promotes a healthy lifestyle for Iowans. In each issue, you’ll gain reliable, research-based information about nutrition, exercise, and food safety, and explore the power of incorporating healthy practices into  daily living for you and your family.

November 29, 2016

The holiday can bring changes in schedules, additional tasks, unrealistic expectations and much more.  It is the season to be jolly but adding this stress to what is already happening can be overwhelming.  What is a person to do?

 

November 21, 2016

The holiday season is almost here, and with it comes Christmas tree season. Having a fresh-cut Christmas tree is a popular tradition, but it can come with some issues regarding proper selection and care.

November 16, 2016

Participants will learn about grain marketing from ISU Extension and Outreach specialists and local ag business experts Participants will engage in hands-on activities, learn through web-based training and discuss how to develop a grain marketing plan.

November 16, 2016

Iowa pond owners have available to them a series of three video lectures designed to provide pond management strategies

November 16, 2016

This weekend I called my immediate family to pin everyone down on a day for Thanksgiving dinner. I can now appreciate how unusual it was for my parents to host the event with all five of us and our families at the table. As we got older we would share the task of bringing dishes to the feast, but Dad would always joke, “I had to sell the farm to pay the grocery bill!”

November 16, 2016

In May of 2013, I talked about the creative way some parents manage chores and allowances, using technology and PayPal.  At that time, there was an age requirement in order to have an account; this eliminated the youngest kids from that kind of reward system.

November 8, 2016

Tuesday, November 22nd from 6:00 pm  to 8:00 PM

Open to any 4-H'er who is a 4-H Officer or who wants to learn about the different offices and Parliamentary Procedure.  We will be serving pizza at 6:00 pm so call the Jasper County Extension & Outreach Office to register at 641-792-6433.

November 8, 2016

As the holidays approach, we are all thinking about spending time with family and enjoying delicious food.  During this time, it is also important to consider the importance of keeping food safe to eat so our family and friends stay healthy during the holidays.

November 2, 2016

Despite record Iowa and U.S corn and soybean production and yield forecasts for 2016, cash flow will likely prove challenging for many farms. Extra bushels should benefit a farm’s total crop revenue, but most of these bushels are unpriced and will have higher fixed costs associated with storage and interest charges.

November 2, 2016

Open Enrollment Period for Health Care Insurance starts this week, November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.

If you bought health insurance in the Marketplace last year, you will automatically be reenrolled for the same coverage if you don’t log in to your account at www.healthcare.gov and make a change.  It is important to verify your estimated 2016 income. That may seem like the easiest route, but it could backfire.  Here are some reasons for avoiding the “automatic pilot” option:

October 24, 2016

The fall season brings with it a lot of yard waste and debris. What should be done with it? Try starting a compost pile, which can then be used to enhance soil, garden and plant growth.

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