Calendar of Events

Bay County

Food Safety and Quality Program

June 1– Bay County Extension Office

June 22 – Bay County Extension Office

Escambia County

May 3 – Don’t Eat Your Money

May 4 – Don’t Eat Your Money

May 5 – Hurricane Survival Kid’s Kit

Gadsden County

May 10,11,12- First time Homebuyers class

Wakulla County

May 9, 10, 16, 23, 24, 31 and June 6- Computer/Hypertension Classes

May 12 – Jam/Jelly Workshop

May 19 – 4-H Awards Banquet

June 6-9- 4-H Bug Day Camp

June 16 – Salsa Party (Food Preservation Workshop) at Camp Cherry Lake

June 27-30 – 4-H Culinary Day Camp

July 11-14- 4-H Spa Day Camp

July 18-21- 4-H Craft Day Camp

Walton County

May 3 and 10 – Homeownership Class

May 12 – Seafood for Your Health

May 24 – Seafood for Your Health

June 4 – Homeownership Class

June 14 – Managing Picky Eaters

June 16 – Managing Picky Eaters

June 21 – Seafood for Your Health

June 28 – Seafood for Your Health

UF IFAS Needs You

The University of Florida IFAS Extension works towards agricultural, environmental, and economic sustainability in our rapidly growing state and communities. We accomplish this through research-based educational programs, publications, and opportunities provided to you locally. Please consider donating to the UF/IFAS County Extension office in your county. Your monetary gift is greatly appreciated and will be used to continue our efforts at providing information and education you want and need. To find out more about making donations and endowments to University of Florida IFAS Extension, please contact your County Extension office, or Joe Mandernach, IFAS Development Office at 352-392-5457 or Thank you!

New Financial Program Helps Struggling Families

Kendra Zamojski
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
Walton County

University of Florida IFAS Extension is launching the Florida Master Money Mentor Program, a new statewide program to help Floridians get free one-on-one help with their finances.  Funded in part by Bank of America, the goal of the program is to increase financial knowledge and to promote positive financial behaviors.

Volunteers complete an intensive Master Money Mentor training course.  The volunteers are then matched with people in their local communities.  Money Mentors help individuals track spending, create spending and savings plans, understand credit, and plan for the future.  “We’re not calling this the Master Budgeteer Program, but that’s really kind of what we’re doing,” says Dr. Michael Gutter, UF/IFAS Assistant Professor and Family Financial Management Specialist. “We’re thrilled about being able to do this, because so many families need this help.”

Currently, more than 150 volunteers located in approximately 20 counties throughout Florida are helping more than 170 people increase savings and reduce debt.  In the Northwest District, counties with Master Money Mentors include: Bay, Holmes, Okaloosa, Walton, and Washington.

The program targets low- to moderate-income families — especially those behind in mortgage payments or struggling to get beyond living paycheck-to-paycheck.  According to Dr. Gutter, the Master Money Mentor program gives families a one-on-one adviser who will go beyond just doling out conceptual advice.  Volunteer mentors must make a long-term commitment to the families they help.  Mentors will not give investment advice but steer families to information that will help guide them.

While every family’s financial picture will be different, Dr. Gutter says he expects Money Mentors to help in three important areas: assisting families as they make spending and savings plans, helping them analyze their credit behavior and limit debt, and pushing families to be proactive with lenders when problems arise.  “Getting a sense of control is critical for families who don’t have a lot of money,” Gutter explains.  “The harder today is, the more important it is to know tomorrow is going to be better.”

For more information, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Office.

Calibrating Your Oven

Amanda Griffin
Family and Consumer Sciences Agent
Jackson County

Those potatoes should be done by now.  As a matter of fact, it took longer to bake the brownies last night, too.  I need to check to see if the oven is baking at the temperature it says. There is the problem!  It is 20 degrees under what it should be.

Use an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven. Photo Credits: Amanda Griffin, Jackson County

If you have run into this problem before, it is fairly easy to fix.  First, you need to turn on the oven to any temperature.  Once your oven reaches the desired temperature, place an oven thermometer inside.  The thermometer will show you the actual oven temperature. Turn the oven off.  Now you can calibrate (adjust) the settings to achieve an accurate temperature.

Most ovens can be calibrated by removing the temperature knob.  Note the current setting then, depending on whether it is under-cooking or over-cooking, move the directional arrow in either direction to adjust the temperature up or down.  It may be necessary to remove a few screws in order to do this.  One notch usually equals 10 degrees.  Once you have made the adjustment, replace the knob and turn the oven on again.  Use the oven thermometer to check the temperature.  Now you should be on the mark.  If your oven has touchpad controls, refer to the owner’s manual for calibration instructions.  Happy baking!