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Family and Personal Relationships

Upcoming K-State Research and Extension Events

K-State Research and Extension is offering these events, available to all interested persons. For more information about these, as well as more localized events, check with your local K-State Research and Extension office.
1/21/2015 8:00:00 AM

Health Insurance Smarts: What Are My Consumer Rights?

Premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, copayments and provider networks are among the many items you might consider before choosing a health insurance policy that best suits you and your family’s needs. Most likely your current state of health and financial situation also will play a role in the decision.
12/22/2014 8:00:00 AM


Holiday gatherings can bring people of all ages together for several hours or several days. As children go through different developmental and life stages, holiday gatherings can become a challenge for the entire family. Children typically want to spend time with friends and social media, while parents and other relatives often want their undivided attention. K-State Research and Extension youth development specialist Elaine Johannes says the job of children is to grow up, and they do that somewhat by pushing against the tradition of what the family has laid out.

12/18/2014 6:00:00 PM

Health Insurance in Kansas: Will I Pay More in 2015?

By Roberta Riportella, Professor of Community Health, K-State Research and Extension

Consumers might read or hear mixed information about premium increases in the Kansas Health Insurance Marketplace. Premiums are the monthly fixed costs you will pay for your health insurance policy.
12/17/2014 8:00:00 AM

Health Insurance Smarts: How Do I Use Health Insurance?

People don’t tend to plan for illness or injury, but the unexpected does happen. Health insurance, like any other type of insurance, covers you for the unexpected. But it also can help improve your health if you use the many free preventive care benefits offered by your health insurance policy, said Roberta Riportella, Kansas Health Foundation professor of community health at Kansas State University.
12/15/2014 8:00:00 AM

Gregg Hadley, Planning a Farm Succession

First of a three-part series on farm succession, K-State Ag Economist Gregg Hadley explains the importance of having a good plan that favors all parties before starting a farm succession. See video
12/12/2014 8:00:00 AM


One of the more widely discussed agricultural topics in Kansas these days concerns how to properly create a farm or ranch succession from one generation to another.  This is a very important venture not only for the agricultural families involved, but also for the communities around those farms and ranches.  After the first of the year, Kansas State will host five workshops around the state on succession planning…they will take place at Allen Community College in Iola, Pratt Community College in Pratt, Kansas Farm Bureau Plaza in Manhattan, Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia, and the Kansas State Agricultural Research Center in Hayes.

12/11/2014 6:00:00 PM


The holiday break provides students an opportunity to catch their breath and spend time with family and friends. However, boredom is bound to set in. Typically that leads to watching television and playing a lot of video games. K-State Research and Extension youth development specialist Elaine Johannes project director of the recently-completed Kansas Adolescent Health Community Input Survey, says the interviews they conducted with nearly 400 Kansas teenagers revealed that boys and girls are not only playing video games at home, they’re also playing them away from home on their cell phones and tablets. Johannes says too much video gaming every day can have negative consequences.

12/11/2014 6:00:00 PM

Health Insurance in Kansas: Are Premiums Increasing?

Recent reports have circulated that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not treated Kansas well. Some point to the rise in premiums, or the fixed monthly costs you pay for health insurance, and that in Kansas, the rise in these premiums is more compared to the rest of the country. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the political nature of evaluating the success of the ACA, there is disagreement by analysts over the accuracy and the relevance of the numbers.
12/10/2014 8:00:00 AM

Deadlines Approaching for Farm Succession Conference Registration

We’ve heard of “century farms” – those that are recognized as continuously owned by a single family for 100 years or more. But the road to keeping a farm or ranch in one family through decades is not always a smooth one.
12/9/2014 8:00:00 AM

Health Insurance Smarts: How Does Health Insurance Work?

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, having health insurance became required by law. A main goal of the ACA is to increase the number of people insured, said Roberta Riportella, Kansas Health Foundation professor of community health at Kansas State University, and those who are uninsured could face a penalty at tax time.
12/8/2014 8:00:00 AM


According to the Step and Blended Family Institute, the holidays can be stressful and challenging under the best of circumstances, but when you add in the complexity of blended families or an extended blended family network, you’re introducing more people, differing ideas and conflicting schedules into an already hectic holiday season. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize potential problems. K-State Research and Extension child development specialist Bradford Wiles says that while blended families do face some unique challenges, especially during the holidays, they also have an opportunity to create new memories and traditions. 

12/7/2014 6:00:00 PM

How has the Affordable Care Act Affected Kansas?

By Roberta Riportella, Professor of Community Health, K-State Research and Extension

Many reports have said the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has not treated Kansas well. In fact, lots of negative things have been said about the ACA. It may be too soon to evaluate the impact of this major legislation, as a lot of the negativity reflects a point of view that doesn’t believe the government should be involved in expanding health insurance. All sides seem to be biased in evaluating the success of the ACA.

12/3/2014 8:00:00 AM

Farm and Ranch Succession Planning - Part Three Play Audio

K-State's Duane Hund, Gregg Hadley and Charlotte Shoup-Olson focus on the importance of including a third-party facilitator in the planning process, and how to go about identifying the individual who can serve that role favorably and effectively.

12/2/2014 6:00:00 PM

Farm and Ranch Succession Planning - Part Two Play Audio

K-State's Charlotte Shoup-Olson, Duane Hund and Gregg Hadley provide input on developing the game plan for passing the operation along from one generation to the next, and who should be involved in the business planning phase.

12/1/2014 6:00:00 PM

Health Insurance Smarts: Why the Need for Health Insurance?

Purchasing insurance is a major financial decision regardless of need—life, home, farm, car and health, as examples. Just like purchasing insurance for the motor vehicles you have out on the roads, securing health insurance for yourself and your family is also required by a law, in this case, by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

12/1/2014 8:00:00 AM

Farm and Ranch Succession Planning - Part One Play Audio

K-State's Gregg Hadley, Charlotte-Shoup Olson and Duane Hund discuss the important first step in developing a succession plan that favors all parties---maintaining good lines of communication.

11/30/2014 6:00:00 PM


More than 21 percent of Kansas children, some 40-thousand, live in poverty.  That’s an increase of 22 percent over the past five years.  And policy changes to programs such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, known as TANF, have made it more difficult for low-income families and their kids to gain access to the assistance they need.  Now, new recommendations from the Annie E. Casey Foundation propose integrating state and federal employment, education and child care programs for parents and children to create a better life for families.  The guest is Shannon Cotsoradis, president and CEO of Kansas Action for Children.

11/25/2014 6:00:00 PM


Eating healthier foods, saving money and building relationships are just a few of the benefits of “dining in” with your family. While today’s active lifestyles don’t always make that possible, there’s an effort to get as many families as possible to “dine in” on December 3rd. It’s all part of the inaugural Family and Consumer Sciences Day. In conjunction with this global event, K-State Research and Extension family and consumer sciences specialist are encouraging families across the state to prepare and eat a healthy meal at home.

11/25/2014 6:00:00 PM


A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation calls for comprehensive efforts to lift kids out of poverty, including delivering high quality early childhood education and providing parents with access to job training and other tools that will enable them to support their families.  The recommendations propose integrating state and federal employment, education and child care programs for parents and children to create better opportunities for families.  The guest is Laura Speer, associate director for policy reform and advocacy with the Annie E. Casey Foundation. 

11/20/2014 6:00:00 PM

Thanksgiving Holiday Shopping: Keep Fun and Budget in Mind

Holiday ShoppingA K-State expert provides insight into why people enjoy shopping over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and how they can make the most of their shopping experience.
11/21/2013 8:00:00 AM

Including Children in Holiday Activities is Best Gift

Oh, the holidays. They can be joyous and warm … or stressful and budget-breaking … or all of the above. Plus they can leave families, particularly children, with unrealistic expectations. To help individuals and families navigate the holidays without breaking the bank and still providing positive experiences, two Kansas State University specialists provided tips.
11/19/2013 8:00:00 AM

Foster Grandparents Reach Out to Military Kids in Kansas

A partnership between Foster Grandparents and Kansas Operation Military Kids provides seniors with information to assist military children, who face many unique challenges and opportunities.
11/18/2013 8:00:00 AM

Farm Transition Workshops Planned in Kansas

MANHATTAN, Kan. – When it comes to devising a plan to transition the family farm to the next generation, communicating may be the hardest part, according to Jeri Albright, who along with her husband, Corky, operates a crop and livestock operation in Jackson County, Kan.
11/15/2013 8:00:00 AM

Push Processed Trans Fats Aside

Trans FatsAs the holiday season approaches, many thoughts run through people’s minds, thoughts that might include food, family, gatherings and gift wish lists. Considering the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent news that it plans to phase out the use of trans fats in foods, perhaps the perfect gift for someone this holiday season is a hot air popcorn popper.
11/13/2013 8:00:00 AM