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Sound Living is a weekly public affairs program, hosted by Jeff Wichman, and distributed to radio stations throughout the area.  It addresses issues related to families and consumers.

The program is now available as a podcast. You can subscribe and listen to the program in its entirety on our podcast page at soundlivingksu.libsyn.com

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Send comments, questions or requests for copies of past programs to ksrenews@ksu.edu.

Program Date

Segment Title
and Description

Listen and Download

03-22-19INVESTING IN RURAL CHILD CARE– Access to affordable, quality child care in rural areas is often difficult to find. However, studies show access to child care is vital for long-term viability of rural communities. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles, Pottawatomie County Extension family and consumer sciences agent Erin Tynon and Pottawatomie County Economic Development Corporation executive director Jack Allston are working with a local task force to identify barriers and find solutions that will improve child care options for rural communities.SL 03-22 
03-15-19THE IMPORTANCE OF READING– March is National Reading Awareness Month and a K-State Research and Extension child development specialist says spending at least 15 minutes a day reading with – not to – young children helps them succeed later in life. Bradford Wiles says reading with a young child can boost school readiness, helps them become better readers, increases their vocabulary and enables them to learn about world.SL 03-15 
03-08-19SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS– Spring officially arrives March 20th, and with it comes an increased risk for severe thunderstorms, lightning, flash floods and tornadoes. Those severe weather events can cause widespread damage – and, in the worst case – loss of life. Kansas State University climatologist Mary Knapp says having a severe weather plan, practicing that plan and putting it into action when the weather turns bad is the best way to stay safe. SL 03-08
03-01-19REDUCING FOOD WASTE– Walk Kansas, which begins March 17th and runs through May 11th, is not just about being physically active. It also includes information on nutrition, recipes, eating in season, food safety and food waste. K-State Research and Extension northeast area family and consumer sciences specialist and state coordinator for Walk Kansas, Sharolyn Jackson, along with Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter, discuss one of this year’s educational components: reducing food waste.SL 03-01
02-22-19NAVIGATING THE GROCERY STORE– Avoiding the center aisles as much as possible and sticking to the outside of the grocery store generally provides the biggest bang for your buck. However, K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says the grocery shopping process really starts at home with planning meals and snacks, seeing what food items we already have and making a list of the things we need.SL 02-22
02-15-19TIPS TO STAY HEART-HEALTHY– Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The good news? It’s also one of the most preventable. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland says Extension has several heart-healthy programs that can help improve an older adult’s endurance, strength, balance and overall health.SL 02-15
02-08-19SAVING FOR THE UNEXPECTED– America Saves Week, February 25th through March 2nd, is about more than helping Americans understand the importance of saving – it’s about getting them to save automatically. K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) says saving for the unexpected – an unanticipated expense or an opportunity – is highlighted in this year’s campaign.SL 02-08
02-01-19KANSAS 4-H SERVES YOUTH– Kansas 4-H offers a variety of programs and projects that are helping over 74,000 youth develop the skills necessary to be successful now – and in the future. State 4-H program leader and 4-H youth development department head, Wade Weber, and Kansas 4-H culture and communication skills specialist Aliah Mestrovich Seay, discuss how 4-H is continually changing to meet the needs of youth.SL 02-01
01-25-19IT’S TIME TO GET UP AND MOVE– Walk Kansas is an eight week K-State Research and Extension health initiative designed to get people up and moving. This year’s program begins on March 17th and runs through May 11th. Northeast Area family and consumer sciences specialist and the state coordinator of Walk Kansas, Sharolyn Jackson, discusses the benefits of participating in the program.SL 01-25 
01-18-19A SAFE AND ORGANIZED KITCHEN– While cleaning the refrigerator, oven, freezer, cabinets and drawers is typically a spring project, now is a good time to tackle those kitchen projects. At the same time, you can take an inventory of things that might be creating clutter, are no longer being used or are now well beyond their expiration date. K-State Research and Extension food scientist Karen Blakeslee has tips for organizing, and in some cases, totally reorganizing the kitchen.SL 01-18
01-11-19NEW PHYSICAL ACTIVITY GUIDELINES– The updated Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends moving more, sitting less and getting kids as young as three to be active. The new federal guidelines, according to K-State Research and Extension northeast area family and consumer sciences specialist Sharolyn Jackson, put an emphasis on getting people to move more throughout the day.SL 01-11 
12-21-18SETTING FINANCIAL GOALS– With one year ending and a new one beginning, it’s a good time to reflect on where we stand – both personally and professionally. K-State Research and Extension specialist in financial management, Elizabeth Kiss, (kish) says it’s also a good time to assess where we stand financially and to set some short and long-term financial goals.SL 12-21
12-14-18CREATING HOLIDAY MEMORIES – While Christmas is understandably an exciting time for children, it’s also an opportunity for adults to share family traditions and help them understand the importance of giving and receiving gifts. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles says Christmas is a time when families can strengthen relationships and create memories that will last a lifetime.SL 12-14
12-07-18EMBRACE THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT – A holiday family gathering should involve more than eating, engaging in small talk and exchanging gifts. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland says it should be a time for building memories, strengthening relationships, honoring family traditions, and setting the foundation for new traditions.SL 12-07
11-30-18EXPANDING EXTENSION’S REACH– The role of Extension is to conduct research and then to share that research-based information with the public. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles is developing a program with Kansas public libraries that would make it easier for people to access Extension information and interact with local specialists and agents through targeted programming.SL 11-30
11-23-18REDUCING ADDED SUGAR INTAKE – Studies show Americans are consuming too much added sugar – often three or four times more each day than the recommended amount. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eating and drinking too much added sugar can lead to health problems such as weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says there are several small, incremental steps we can take to reduce the amount of added sugar we consume each day.SL 11-23 
11-16-18REDUCING GENERATIONAL POVERTY– Kansas, with a population of just over 2.8 million, has 342,000 people living in poverty. K-State Research and Extension is working with several groups across the state to reduce poverty by building skills and relationships that strengthen families and individuals. K-State associate professor and Extension specialist, Elaine Johannes, and Tana Warner, a coach for the THRIVE program in northeast Kansas, discuss how a “walk with me” approach is being used to break the cycle of poverty.SL 11-16
11-09-18THANKSGIVING FOOD SAFETY– Food handling errors and inadequate cooking are the most common problems that lead to poultry-associated foodborne disease outbreaks in the United States. Considering an estimated 88 percent of Americans eat turkey at Thanksgiving and more than 44 million turkeys will be sold for the holiday, Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee says now is a good time to review the steps we can take to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.SL 11-09 
11-02-18NAVIGATING HEALTH INSURANCE– The Affordable Care Act open enrollment for 2019 coverage continues through December 15th. K-State Research and Extension has three experts – known as Navigators – who are trained to help people better understand their health care options in the federal marketplace. During last year’s open enrollment period, Joy Miller, Susie Latta and Erin Petersilie helped approximately 200 people and identified tax credits that – when they were all added up – saved those Kansans roughly one million dollars over the course of 2018. SL 11-02
10-26-18EATING IN A FAST FOOD WORLD– A survey published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in early October shows that between 2013 and 2016, more than 36 percent of adults – or more than one in three – consume fast food on a given day. While several fast food chains have increased the number of healthier choices on their menus, they still have a reputation of serving meals and snacks both high in calories and lacking in fruits and vegetables. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter offers tips for eating healthier in today’s fast food world.SL 10-26 
10-19-18ADDRESSING THE OPIOID CRISIS – Opioids are a class of drugs that include powerful prescription pain relievers that bind to opioid receptors in the body to relieve pain. These drugs also carry significant risks for addiction and overdose. The Opioid Crisis: What You Need to Know is an eight-page fact sheet authored by K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland to help educate people about opioids and the associated risks.SL 10-19 
10-12-18CYBER SECURITY PRECAUTIONS– As the line between our online and offline lives become more indistinguishable, our private information – often stored on computers, tablets and smartphones – becomes more susceptible to cyber security attacks. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) says we should constantly be taking steps to reduce the risk of falling victim to potential cyber security attacks.SL 10-12
10-05-18GETTING THE JUMP ON WINTER– Because Kansas is located smack dab in the middle of the country, winter can be unpredictable. As a result, Kansas State University climatologist Mary Knapp says Kansans need to be prepared for rapidly changing conditions. That includes winterizing your home and vehicles, and making sure there’s a winter weather safety kit in all vehicles.SL 10-05
09-28-18COOKING WITH A SLOW COOKER – Some planning, preparation and a slow cooker are all that’s needed to have an inexpensive, healthy dinner ready when you walk through the door after a hard day at work. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter has advice for getting the most out of your slow cooker. SL 09-28
09-21-18MANAGING THE USE OF CREDIT – Credit is just one of the tools available for managing finances. When managed successfully, there can be benefits, such as a new car, home ownership, or a college education. However, poor management can result in higher costs to borrow money, lost opportunities, and added stress. K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss discusses the reasons to be careful when using credit.SL 09-21 
09-14-18MAKING SALADS THE MAIN MEAL– From expanded offerings at restaurants to increased consumer demand, salad is no longer a side dish – it’s taking center stage as a main meal. As a result, K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says consumers want salads that are filling, healthy and delicious.SL 09-14
09-07-18FOOD SAFETY MONTH– Every year, an estimated one in six Americans – or about 48 million people – get sick from eating contaminated food. September is National Food Safety Month and Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee says following four simple steps – clean, separate, cook and chill – can help prevent food poisoning at home. SL 09-07
08-31-18STAYING PHYSICALLY ACTIVE – Go4Life is an exercise and physical activity campaign from the National Institute on Aging to motivate older adults to be more active throughout their lifespan. September is Go4Life Month and K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland says older adults can perform a variety of simple exercises to improve their endurance, strength, balance and flexibility.SL 08-31
08-24-18TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME– Doing any kind of activity in front of a screen, including watching TV, playing video games, or working on a computer, tablet or smartphone is screen time. According to the National Institutes of Health, many children in the U.S. spend five to seven hours a day in front of all types of screens – far above the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles says the research shows human interaction is what’s essential for infants and toddlers. SL 08-24
08-17-18A SAFE SACK LUNCH– A SAFE SACK LUNCH– Millions of Americans pack a lunch for school or work. However, when the proper food safety precautions aren’t followed, that lunch could be a health hazard. To reduce the risk of illness, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says food should first be properly handled and cooked and then kept out of the “danger zone” – that’s the temperature between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit where harmful bacteria can rapidly multiply. K-State Research and Extension food scientist Karen Blakeslee says making sack lunches safe and healthy isn’t difficult, it just takes good planning.SL 08-17 
08-10-18ONLINE GROCERY SHOPPING– The Food Marketing Institute estimates online grocery sales will reach some $100 billion by 2025. That’s about 20% of the grocery retail market, which today only accounts for about 2 to 4%. While online grocery shopping is definitely a growth market, opportunities also exist for brick-and-mortar stores to make the in-store grocery shopping experience better. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter says consumers may ultimately want a blend of online and in-person grocery shopping options.SL 08-10
08-03-18THE RISK OF FOODBORNE ILLNESS– According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chicken ranked as the most dangerous food with the highest rates of foodborne illness. The CDC reports that chicken was responsible for 10 percent of the 5,760 outbreaks analyzed between 2009 and 2015. With foodborne-related recalls becoming more common, people wonder how these outbreaks occur and what can be done to lower the risk of illness. Kansas State University food scientist Karen Blakeslee provides food safety tips that can help lower your risk of exposure to foodborne illness. SL 08-03
07-27-18BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING– Americans’ spending on back-to-school items for kids in grades K-12 and college students is projected to reach $82.8 billion this year, down from last year’s estimated spending of $83.6 billion. According to new survey results published by the National Retail Federation, families plan to spend the most on clothing, followed by electronics, shoes and other supplies such as backpacks and lunchboxes. K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) suggests families make a prioritized list of the “must-have” items and purchase those first.SL 07-27
07-20-18FOSTERING AN INTEREST IN SCIENCE– Johnson County 4-H was awarded one of five community-based grants through Science Matters, a national program created by Bayer and National 4-H, to foster an interest in science. Johnson County Extension director Tara Markley and 4-H volunteer Nancy Bergdall discuss how this grant helped 15 local teenagers identify three science-based challenges and develop solutions that addressed those issues. SL 07-20
07-13-18QUALITY, AFFORDABLE CHILD CARE– A lack of options can make securing child care in rural areas difficult. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles is working on a joint project in rural Kansas and Nebraska to identify barriers and solutions to improve child care in rural communities. He discusses what they’ve learned from focus groups and anonymous surveys of more than 400 adults who are either seeking child care or who currently have child care.SL 07-13 
07-06-18BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR EMPATHY– As a parent, you want your child to understand and respect that other people have thoughts and feelings. It makes for healthier children who develop into happier adults. Bradford Wiles, an assistant professor and Extension specialist at Kansas State University, says it’s a much easier existence for children if they see value in everyone.SL 07-06 
06-29-18FOOD SAFETY AND PRESERVATION– Consumers have a number of reasons for shopping at farmers markets. However, being able to purchase produce that’s fresh from the garden typically tops the list. Despite its freshness, food safety practices should remain the same as for produce purchased at the grocery store. K-State Research and Extension food scientist Karen Blakeslee discusses the safe handling of produce and offers tips for preserving fresh fruits and vegetables.SL 06-29
06-22-18RESPECT FARM EQUIPMENT– While summer may be slower paced for some, it’s an extremely busy time for farmers – tending to their fields, harvesting crops and moving livestock between pastures. The end result is a lot of heavy farm equipment on major highways and rural roads. K-State Research and Extension farm safety specialist Kerri (Kair-ee) Ebert (EE-burt) says farmers should be mindful of fatigue that may increase the risk of farm-related accidents and motorists should be aware that they’re sharing the roadway with heavy, slow-moving machinery.SL 06-22 
06-15-18HEALTHY SUMMER FOODS– The summer months are a perfect time to try new fruits and vegetables. They’re fresh, abundantly available, and typically less expensive than at any other time of the year. K-State Research and Extension nutrition specialist Sandy Procter looks at eight healthy summer fruits, vegetables and drinks that taste great and offer a variety of health benefits.SL 06-15
06-08-18SUSTAINING RURAL GROCERY STORES– Millions of rural residents face limited choices and low quality in their retail food options. An important source of healthy rural food access is the retail grocery store. Unfortunately, these rural businesses are struggling and many are closing their doors. David Procter, Director for Engagement and Community Development; Rural Grocery Initiative at Kansas State University, says the Sixth National Rural Grocery Summit being held later this month in Manhattan will focus on how best to sustain rural grocery stores and improve the health of those living in rural communities.SL 06-08
06-01-18ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT – Every year an estimated five million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. However, experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect that is reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland discusses the various forms of elder abuse and neglect, the warning signs to look for and how to prevent it.SL 06-01
05-25-18SWIMMING SAFETY FOR CHILDREN– According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States. As swimming pools open for the summer, K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles reminds parents and caregivers that children require constant supervision and that getting distracted – even for a few seconds – can have tragic consequences.SL 05-25 
05-18-18HEALTH AND WEALTH CONNECTIONS– Research indicates four factors strongly predict happiness and well-being: health, economic stability, work or productive interests, and family relationships. As part of its “Culture of Health” initiative, K-State Research and Extension family resource management specialist Elizabeth Kiss (kish) says they’re looking to use behavior-change strategies to simultaneously improve a person’s health and finances.SL 05-18
05-11-18FOOD SAFETY CONCERNS FOR GRILLING – May is National Barbecue Month and a Kansas State University food scientist says that while there are a number of food safety concerns with outdoor grilling and eating, a meat thermometer is the best defense against foodborne illness and checking for doneness. Karen Blakeslee also has tips for cleaning the grill, practicing basic warm-weather food safety and remembering the three temperatures for grilling poultry, ground meat or steaks and chops. SL 05-11
05-04-18SPRING LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE– With spring finally arriving, the home landscape and garden are starting to take center stage. In addition to routine lawn care, many homeowners will be adding plants and shrubs to their landscape and deciding what goes into this year’s garden. K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent for Johnson County, Dennis Patton, offers advice for tackling all of those projects.SL 05-04
04-27-18SEVERE WEATHER SEASON– Whether it’s lightning, thunderstorms, flash floods or tornadoes, Kansas sees its share of severe weather during the spring and summer. Unfortunately, not everyone knows what to do when watches and warnings are issued because they haven’t taken the time to develop a plan. Although there hasn’t been much severe weather to this point, Kansas State University climatologist Mary Knapp says it’s just a matter of time.SL 04-27 
04-20-18SUMMER PLANNING SHOULD BEGIN NOW– According to the calendar, there’s more than 90 days between the beginning of spring and the beginning of summer. However, for those with children, it’s actually closer to 60 days because school gets out in late May. That’s why Kansas 4-H family and consumer science program liaison Andrea Feldkamp recommends deciding which activities the kids will be involved in this summer and getting them registered for those activities as soon as possible.SL 04-20 
04-13-18ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVES – If you worry about the medical care you’d receive if you became ill and were unable to speak for yourself, a K-State Research and Extension publication, Advance Health Care Planning in Kansas, has the necessary forms to allow you to state your health care preferences before a health crisis occurs. K-State Research and Extension adult development and aging specialist Erin Yelland, author of the publication, says more than 75% of American adults don’t have advance directives in place.SL 04-13 
04-06-18CHILDREN CAN HAVE FUN AND LEARN – The Week of the Young Child, April 16th through the 20th, is an annual event hosted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Daily themes, such as Music Monday, Tasty Tuesday or Work Together Wednesday, provide children an opportunity to learn through everyday activities. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles says children can learn math, science, language and literacy, as well as develop creativity, social skills and fine motor skills.SL 04-06


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