Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee, and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) application deadline quickly approaching

October 17, 2018

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides emergency assistance to eligible livestock, honeybee, and farm-raised fish producers who have losses due to disease, adverse weather or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, not covered by other agricultural disaster assistance programs.

Eligible livestock losses include grazing losses not covered under the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP), loss of purchased feed and/or mechanically harvested feed due to an eligible adverse weather event, additional cost of transporting water because of an eligible drought and additional cost associated with gathering livestock to treat for cattle tick fever.

Eligible honeybee losses include loss of purchased feed due to an eligible adverse weather event, cost of additional feed purchased above normal quantities due to an eligible adverse weather condition, colony losses in excess of normal mortality due to an eligible weather event or loss condition, including CCD, and hive losses due to eligible adverse weather.

Eligible farm-raised fish losses include death losses in excess of normal mortality and/or loss of purchased feed due to an eligible adverse weather event.
Producers who suffer eligible livestock, honeybee, or farm-raised fish losses from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018 must file:

•A notice of loss the earlier of 30 calendar days of when the loss is apparent or by November 1, 2018

•An application for payment by November 1, 2018

The following ELAP Fact Sheets (by topic) are available on our website at: www.fsa.usda.gov/factsheets.

•ELAP for Farm-Raised Fish Fact Sheet

•ELAP for Livestock Fact Sheet

•ELAP for Honeybees Fact Sheet

For more information about the ELAP program please visit the Johnson County FSA Office at 119 S Murphey Street, Mountain City, TN or call (423) 727-9744.

The benefits of having a pet

October 17, 2018


Pets are great companions and have more benefits than many people know.

Pets have been kept for centuries. Statistics from various sources indicate North Americans own millions of dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, and reptiles.Pets’ affable nature and loving looks are enough for many people to welcome them into their homes, but the benefits of having a pet extends beyond their appearances and temperaments.

Pets can help prevent loneliness.
Loneliness affects people of all ages, but it is particularly problematic among seniors. Older adults who may be isolated can benefit from having a pet around. According to a study published in Aging & Mental Health, older adults who owned pets were 36 percent less likely to say they were lonely compared to those who didn’t have an animal companion.

Pets can save lives.
Pets can be trained to perform various tasks around the house and in the community. Rescue animals assist in finding people after natural disasters. Medical alert pets can help people with debilitating illnesses and assist physically impaired people with everyday tasks.

Pets lower allergy risks.
Keeping pets around can reduce a child’s likelihood of developing allergies by as much as 33 percent, according to a study by pediatrician James E. Gern that was published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. People exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall.

Pets provide socialization opportunities.
A pet can be the common denominator to strike up new friendships and connect with others. Whether walking around the neighborhood or being part of a pet obedience class or interest group, pets can help their owners expand their social circles.

Pets can combat stress.
Talking to or stroking a pet can make stress easier to handle. A study from researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that, when conducting a stressful task, people experienced less stress when their pets were with them. Various other studies and data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found having a pet around can lower blood pressure, ease anxiety and may even help to lessen aches and pains. Pets provide unconditional love, which can be beneficial to someone facing depression or post traumatic stress disorder.

Pets help teach responsibility.
Taking care of a pet can help children and adults become more responsible. According to the American Pet Product Association’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, 58 percent of pet owners say their pets help teach their kids to be responsible through routine care, exercise and feeding of the animal.

Pets are more than mere companions. In fact, pets can offer numerous health and well-being benefits to people of all ages.

This ‘n’ That: A Weary, Rugged Trip to the County Seat Was a Catalyst in Forming Johnson County

October 17, 2018

By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian

As we study the history of our great county and how it came to be, it is important that we in our imagination try to transport ourselves back to the time when there were no hard topped high-ways, modern automobiles or any easy ways to travel to distant destinations.The population was in-creasing in Northeast Carter County and there was more and more need to do business in Elizabethton, the county seat of Carter County.

Folks up in this part of the county became somewhat aggravated, to say the least, about traveling over the mountains and across the rivers and streams that lay between their home and the county seat. No doubt traveling was a grueling feat in those days. Walking and riding horseback were probably the modes of travel for most Northeast Carter County citizens.

It was thought at that time that a person should be able to travel to the county seat and back in the same day. The folks in Northeast Carter County petitioned the legislature for moving the county seat to a more centrally located site. After a number of attempts, the folks turned their attention toward forming a new county. I obtained from the Tennessee Archives a copy of a handwritten petition that was introduced to the Legislature in 1835. The petition has 336 names. Joseph Powell, a senator from Washington and Carter counties, put forth a petition from certain citizens of Carter County requesting a new county be formed in the Northeast part of Carter County.

The Bill was introduced in the Senate in December of 1835. It would be named Johnson County in honor of Thomas Johnson who had been a resident of that section for about 30 years. Johnson was a prominent landowner. Samuel W. Williams introduced the Bill in the House.

I also have a copy of the handwritten bill that was introduced to the Legislature in 1835. It was Private Bill No. 68. The Bill passed and Johnson County became a separate county January 2, 1836. Before the bill passed, there was discussion about the name of the new county. Some wanted it to be named for Colonel James P. Taylor. But ultimately the county was named Johnson County Taylor was honored by calling the new county seat Taylorsville. The name of the town was changed to Mountain City in 1885.

There is much that is unknown about Johnson. Some believe he came from Russell County, Virginia in about 1773. His parents are unknown. He acquired large tracts of land in Washington, Russell, and Carter Counties. He married Fanny Dickinson Scott in about 1787 in Russell County. My column last week was about Fanny and her ordeal of being captured by Indians before she married Johnson. Johnson married again following Fanny’s death in 1796. His second wife was Susanna Wright of Washington County. They were married on March 23, 1797. In 1803, he moved to what is now Johnson County, Tennessee, on the Little Doe Branch of Roan Creek near the present Doe School. According to my research, he was a remark-able man: a good citizen as well as being very enterprising. I’m glad our county was named for him. Taylor County just doesn’t sound right. Does it?

Shoptalk: What to teach journalism students when their field is under attack?

October 17, 2018

By Gayle Golden

Early August is when I usually begin planning for the basic news reporting course I’ve taught for more than 20 years to University of Minnesota journalism students. What was different this summer was the backdrop: harsh, attacking noise from our U.S. president’s resurgent campaign branding journalists the “enemy of the people.” The vitriol has gotten particularly sharp recently,

with angry crowds at Trump rallies shouting obscenities at reporters for merely showing up to do their jobs. The spectacle bothers one former student, who recently posted a photo of a CNN reporter’s ambushed stand-up at a rally showing a man wearing a “F*** the Media” T-shirt, his face twisted in hate. My student posted: “What if your profession were being targeted in this way by scary/angry/violent people?”

As I prepared for the fall s mester, I wondered about my incoming students. How would this bedlam shape their views when they showed up for my “boot-camp” news writing course, which gives them their first real experience with the hard work of journalism? Would it frighten them? Embolden them? Confuse them? For me, it raised the question of what I should be teaching them. Covering a speech is difficult enough, requiring students to not just listen to the speaker but also to understand the context of the event, figure out what’s important, seek balanced views, verify assertions, accurately report quotes.

Did I need to add “steel yourself to nasty crowd insults” to the list of skills? Maybe.
The truth was that none of the summer’s unpleasant sideshow is changing the fundamentals of my syllabus. I still put these newbies through the paces of what they need to know to be reporters: how to write ledes (journalism lingo for the beginning of an article), how to attribute, how to get to the point in a story, how to interview, how to write news clearly on deadline.I still demand they get stuff right, that they care about every inaccuracy and that they understand the critical importance of verifying when a claim is a fact—or not.

We still talk about the core values of the profession: to seek truth and report it, to minimize harm, to act independently and to be accountable and transparent. We still talk about the importance of the First Amendment.
Most of them will no doubt have the usual anxieties about newsroom jobs, which have declined 23 percent in this country within the past decade. I will assure them, as I have for years, that the critical thinking, writing, data analysis and communication skills they gain in the major will apply across a range of careers. Besides, if they love journalism, they’ll find a way to work in it.

But I admit, these new aggressions against journalists don’t lend themselves to glib or rosy lesson plans. These are troubling times for U.S. journalists. To not respond is not an option. It’s my responsibility to help students see what’s happening today and to prepare them. So this semester, I will advise students to cultivate resilience and courage beyond their expectation. Reporters have always needed thick skin to endure criticisms from people who fear scrutiny or who claim they’ve been treated unfairly. Abuse now extends to trolling, from which they can find no refuge. Their digital management skills of that must be savvy, and their skin simply needs to be thicker.

I will prepare them for risk, too. Danger has always come with reporting. Students shouldn’t think they’re immune. Within the past decade, 621 journalists have been killed around the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, including the four shot at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., this June. While that gunman’s attack appeared to come from a personal grudge, and while American reporters have not typically faced the life-threatening conditions of reporting in other countries, the propensity for violence is elevated by the fact that our commander-in-chief openly denigrates the press with vile name-calling that could easily tip an imbalanced mind.

Finally, I will tell them that waffling about their purpose won’t serve them. They’ll have to believe wholeheartedly in the tenets of journalism—that facts don’t have alternative facts, that truth is verifiable, that the powerful must be held accountable and that journalists, if they are doing their job, are champions of the people. These students have a lot to learn. Some come into class not knowing a lede from a logo. But my hope is that they will quickly understand that the louder the abusive clamor against their journalism, the more important their journalism will become for our democracy.

Gayle Golden is a Morse-Alumni Distinguished University Teacher and a senior lecturer at the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.

TN works to improve dementia care

October 10, 2018

Cognitive decline is the type of age-related change that can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life, affecting his or her ability to live independently.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health is working with partner agencies to improve care for those living with dementia. One vital part of this effort is the ongoing work to reduce unnecessary use of antipsychotic medications among residents living with dementia within Tennessee nursing homes. As a result of these efforts, Tennessee nursing homes have successfully reduced antipsychotic medication use to a rate of 15.7 percent of residents, moving Tennessee up from 49th to 29th in the nation for improvement in this area.

“We are proud of the work that has gone into this important milestone in helping improve comprehensive care for Tennesseans living with dementia,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “We value our work with Tennessee’s long-term care facilities and other partners that is enhancing the quality of life for people living with dementia and helping promote person-centered care for all of Tennessee’s nursing home residents.”

In 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in nursing homes. The goal was to reduce unnecessary antipsychotic medication use among long-stay nursing home residents living with dementia by 15 percent by the end of 2013 and seek further reductions in subsequent years. In 2012, Tennessee nursing homes had the highest antipsychotic drug use rate in the Southeast at 30.1 percent of residents, with the national average being 23.8 percent. Tennessee nursing homes have now successfully reduced that rate to 15.7 percent, dropping below the regional average of 15.9 percent.

Culture Change TDH in collaboration with stakeholders including the Tennessee Health Care Association, QSource, TennCare, The Eden Alternative and other culture change advocates partnering as the Tennessee Advancing Excellence Coalition has been instrumental in this effort. In October 2012, the TDH Office of Health Care Facilities, working within the coalition, applied for federal funding for a project titled “Dementia Beyond Drugs” to conduct training symposiums across the state.

This impactful training provided nursing home staff members, health care providers, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, state agency surveyors, legislators and other quality of care/quality of life advocates with tools and knowledge to effectively evaluate residents prescribed anti-psychotic medications and offered facility staff members proven methods for managing behaviors resulting from reduction of these drugs.

“Working together, we’ve improved the quality of life for more than 3,500 elderly Tennesseans,” said Beth Hercher, quality improvement advisor for Qsource, Tennessee’s quality improvement organization. “We’ve worked with 250 nursing facilities in the state to develop self-directed, high-functioning teams to achieve systemic improvement and continue to lower the use of antipsychotic medications in long-term care.”

Vanderbilt University subsequently applied for civil monetary penalty funding from TDH for a project to reduce antipsychotic drug use in skilled nursing facilities through web-based staff training. Vanderbilt partnered with Qsource to identify facilities with low Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Star Ratings to promote quality assessment and performance improvement. The project implemented six webinars in 30 nursing homes across the state and successes were published in The Gerontologist in 2017.

Two additional CMP-funded projects in Tennessee are now underway to address antipsychotic drug use. The Tennessee Eden Alternative Coalition is beginning the third year of their project to reframe dementia through person-centered practices to improve the care and lives of residents living with dementia. Tennessee Technological University is beginning the “Music and Memory” program to assist nursing homes in the Upper Cumberland region in becoming Music and Memory Certified Care Organizations, improving person-centered care and physical, cognitive and emotional functioning of residents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementias.

The Tennessee Department of Health was one of five public health agencies awarded a small grant in 2017 to promote cognitive functioning and address risk reduction factors associated with cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. TDH is working in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to the creation of an “Alzheimer’s Disease and Brain Health” resource and information webpage, TDH developed a cognitive health toolkit to enhance awareness among public health professionals and created a brief titled 2019 Healthy Aging Brain Brief and Strategies for Action: Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias to raise awareness of brain health and potentially modifiable risk factors for reducing cognitive decline and to inform action in public health programming.

Opportunities for improvement still exist within all health care settings. Fortunately for nursing homes in Tennessee, the CMP fund offers additional opportunities to aid these important efforts. TDH is dedicated to ensuring implementation of projects to further reduce antipsychotic medication use and other efforts to enhance health as we age.

For more information on applying for CMP funds to enhance the quality of care and quality of life of nursing home residents in Tennessee, please visit the CMP reinvestment website www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/nursing-home-civil-monetary-penalty–cmp–qualityimprovement-program.html.

Learn more about the CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and efforts to reduce antipsychotic medication use in nursing homes at www.cms.gov/Medicare/ProviderEnrollment-and-Certificatio

/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/National-Partnership-to-ImproveDementia-Care-in-Nursing-Homes.html. Learn more about healthy aging at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/environmental/healthyplaces/healthy-places/health-equity/he/healthy-aging.html.

Fighting off forgetfulness

October 10, 2018

Little bouts of forgetfulness are not uncommon but accelerating age can make remembering more difficult due to chemical and structural changes in the brain.

Forgetfulness can affect anyone. For example, few, if any, adults can say they have not experienced moments when they could not find their keys. And once the keys are found, people move on without giving much thought to why they did not immediately remember where they left their keys.

Isolated incidents where people cannot recall where they placed their car keys or other minor bouts with forgetfulness do not occur by accident. In fact, the Harvard Medical School notes that they are likely byproducts of age-related changes in thinking skills. When people reach their 50s, chemical and structural changes in the brain may begin to occur, and these changes can affect a person’s ability to process memories.

Father Time may be a formidable foe, but people can take steps to give their memories a boost as they get older.

Embrace recognition instead of trusting recall

•Dr. Joel Salinas, a neurologist who specializes in behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, notes that human beings are better at recognition than recall. That means people are more likely to remember something they read, such as a note or a list, than something they’re simply told.

Recognize the value of repetition

• The Harvard Medical School notes that people might be more inclined to remember what they hear if they repeat it out loud. Names and addresses might be more easily remembered after they’re repeated out loud because repetition increases the likelihood that the brain will record the information and be capable of retrieving it later.

When studying for exams, many students repeat important points to themselves time and again, and that same approach can be applied by adults who are trying to improve their memories.

Eat a healthy diet

• A study published in 2015 in the journal Neurology found that people who eat healthy diets with lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish and little alcohol and red meat may be less likely to experience declines in their memory and thinking skills. Authored by Andrew Smyth of McMaster University in Ontario and the National University of Ireland in Galway, the study following more than 27,000 people in 40 countries for an average of roughly five years.

All participants were 55 and older and had diabetes or a history of heart disease, stroke or peripheral artery disease. Those who ate the healthiest diets were 24 percent less likely to experience cognitive decline than people with the least healthy diets.

Break things down

• Breaking things down into small chunks also can help improve memory. If tasked with remembering something extensive, such as a speech, focus on a single sentence at a time, only moving on to the next sentence when you’re confident you have successfully committed the preceding sentence to memory.

Periodic memory lapses are often nothing to worry about. But men and women concerned about maintaining their memories can employ various strategies to do just that.

This & That: Christopher Columbus, The Great Explorer

October 10, 2018

By Jack Swift
Johnson County Historian

Columbus Day was observed Monday, October 8. Having recently studied anew the adventures of Christopher Columbus, I thought it would be appropriate to include in this column some facts about him. Columbus was a very prominent explorer rivaling many other great explorers such as Vasco De Gama, Hernando De Soto, Ferdinand Magellan, and others. He was born near the city of Genoa in Italy, which was a busy seaport. In his youth he dreamed of being a sailor.

His father earned his living by weaving woolen cloth and he tried to get his son to share in that interest. But, Columbus would have no part of that. Instead, he took to the sea when he was about fourteen years old. In that day, pirates plied the ocean and sailing was a dangerous occupation.

Living near a busy seaport, Columbus had heard tales of adventures on the high seas and was drawn to that life. He believed in a Western Route to India and after a period of time began asking for sponsorship and provisions for A Journey to prove it. He appealed for help from Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Spain. He was turned down at first but after several attempts and much disappointment, he finally received aid for a voyage from Isabella, Queen of Spain.

Unlike many folks in that age, who thought the earth was flat, Columbus believed the earth was round he had no qualms about sailing too far and falling off the edge. Queen Isabella consented to fit out a fleet for him, and to make him admiral and Viceroy of all the lands he should discover. On August 3, 1492, Columbus set sail from Palos in Spain with three small ships: the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

Early in the voyage the men wanted to turn back, but Columbus was determined to sail on. After a long period of time, early in the morning of October 12, 1492, land was sighted. Columbus went ashore and kneeled and offered a prayer of thanks. He then claimed the country in the name of the queen who sent him. He in a later voyage reached the island of what is now Haiti. He became sick and sailed to Haiti to rest and recover. He found the colony had become rebellious and blamed him for the problems they were experiencing. He was arrested and sent back to Spain in chains. The queen was very angry and freed Columbus when he arrived back in Spain.

When he returned to Spain the second time, he was sent on a third expedition. On that voyage he discovered the northern coast of what is now known as South America. Columbus was very disappointed throughout his life that he didn’t reach India. He was sent on a fourth voyage but he returned to Spain disappointed that he hadn’t found the large cities he had expected. He died at Valladolid, Spain in 1506, never knowing he had discovered a new world. Many feel that the new world should have been named Columbia in his honor. It came to be called America for the Italian explorer, Americus Vespucius who for some time was thought to have discovered it.

Tennessee Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) bait distribution set for October

October 3, 2018

By Rick Thomason
UT/TSU Ext. Director

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services will be distributing oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits in portions of east and south-central Tennessee to vaccinate raccoons and prevent the spread of rabies in the state. Portions of Johnson County are in the bait zone. Other counties include Bradley, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamilton, Hawkins, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Sequatchie, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties. Residents in these areas will see low-flying fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft distributing rabies vaccine from October 2-20, 2018.

ORV baits are small white plastic packets that are coated in fishmeal crumbles and placed in suitable raccoon habitat. ORV baits should be left alone whenever possible. However, if found where children or pets play, they should be moved into a fencerow, woodlot, ditch or other raccoon habitat with a gloved hand. Damaged baits should be bagged and disposed of in the trash. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after skin contact with any ORV bait.

ORV baits are not harmful to your pets, although eating too many may cause vomiting or diarrhea. Do not risk getting bitten by taking bait away from your pet. Instead, confine your pet and check to see if any other baits are in the vicinity and remove them. If your pet does eat a bait you should avoid your pet’s saliva for 24 hours and wash any skin that your pet may have licked.

If you have any questions about the Oral Rabies Vaccination program or find ORV baits around your home, please call 866-487-3297 for additional information.

Screen out mammogram myths to stay healthy

October 3, 2018

Breast cancer is one of the leading cancers afflicting women worldwide. According to BreastCancer.org, in 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States.

Women want to do whatever possible to avoid breast cancer or detect it early. Mammograms have long been an important tool in women’s fight against breast cancer. But for as long as mammograms have been recommended, myths have prevailed concerning the procedure and its benefits and risks. Learning to distinguish between mammogram myths and facts can help women recognize the importance of these effective screenings.

Myth: I’m too young for a mammogram.
Fact: A yearly mammogram is recommended for women age 40 and older to help detect breast cancer early. This may lead to less aggressive treatment and a higher rate of survival.

Myth: I don’t need an annual mammogram because I have no symptoms or family history.
Fact: The American College of Radiology recommends annual screening mammograms regardless of symptoms or family history. Early-stage breast cancers may not exhibit symptoms. Women whose breast cancer is caught in its earliest stages have a five-year survival rate of 99 percent.

Myth: I have breast implants so I can’t get screened.
Fact: Women with breast implants can still have regular mammograms. Special positioning and additional images may be needed, but the procedure is possible.

Myth: Mammograms are ineffective.
Fact: According to British Columbia Cancer Screening, mammograms are the gold standard for detecting breast cancer early. Mammograms may detect breast cancer two to three years before a woman or a health care provider can feel lumps.

Myth: Mammograms are foolproof.
Fact: Mammogram screenings are not perfect and are just one tool in helping to detect cancer. Age or breast density can influence the appearance of breast tissue on mammograms. It’s important to note that the inherent qualities of the cancer and how it responds to treatment can affect outcome even if the breast cancer is detected earlier, offers Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Myth: Mammograms are the only imaging tools.
Fact: Breast MRI, breast ultrasound, and newer 3-D breast mammography are alternative imaging methods that can help obtain different views of breast tissue, particularly for women with dense breasts.

Myth: I can’t get a mammogram without a prescription.
Fact: In many cases, women do not need a doctor’s order or prescription to get a screening mammogram. Individuals can self-refer for an annual appointment.

Mammograms can detect breast cancer early, dramatically improving women’s chances of beating the disease. Learning the facts about mammograms can help women calm any concerns they may have regarding these valuable screenings.

Everyone needs a flu shot, particularly the elderly

October 3, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC, Sep 28 – Drug stores have had signs heralding the 2018-19 Flu Season for weeks. Meanwhile, if you’ve visited your doctor recently, he or she has most likely reminded you to get your flu shots in a timely fashion this year. However, notes the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC], there continues to be widespread reluctance, based on indifference and fear, among Americans to be immunized against the flu. Most years only about half of those who should seek protection get a flu shot. As a result, too many at risk individuals, including elderly Americans, succumb to influenza and too many of them die.

Last year’s flu season was exceptionally long. It lasted from October 1, 2017 and continued until nearly the end of April 2018 and caused some 30,453 laboratory-confirmed hospitalizations of flu victims, most of whom were 65 years old or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control [CDC].  So, why don’t more of us embrace the flu vaccine as an established preventive measure?

AMAC suggests that the “myths” about the flu shot may have something to do with it. Perhaps the most senseless misconception people might have is that they need not be vaccinated every year to be protected The most important reason for getting a shot every year is the simple fact that in the course of a year the vaccine loses its effectiveness. In addition, the makeup of the flu virus, itself, changes each year so a new vaccine needs to be produced annually. And, that is why the CDC strongly recommends that, ideally, everyone, six months old and older should be immunized at the onset of flu season.

AMAC is particularly focused on encouraging America’s seniors to get a flu shot pointing out that 58% of all those who had to be hospitalized due to influenza last year were over 65 years of age. In fact, the CDC even underscores the need for older Americans to be vaccinated because they are at higher risk of developing serious complications from flu. There’s even a special version of the vaccine especially designed for seniors. It’s a high-dose vaccine that contains four times the amount of antigen contained in a regular shot.

The CDC says that the high-dose vaccine was tested in a massive clinical trial in which there were 30,000 participants. The trial proved the effectiveness of the high-dose version of the vaccine among the 65-plus set. Those seniors who received the high dose vaccine “had 24% fewer influenza infections as compared to those who received the standard dose flu vaccine.”

Most physicians will tell you that if you are among the skeptics when it comes to flu shots, you need to focus on the facts, not the myths. And, if the truth about the flu be told, it will be told by the Centers for Disease Control, which says get a flu shot as early as you can in the season because it is not just the best way to help protect you.

TDH issues public health advisory on cannabis

October 3, 2018

Evidence, Known Harms Increase Concerns about Risks to Health

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Health is issuing a public health and safety advisory to warn Tennesseans about the risks of harm associated with use of products derived from Cannabis, including marijuana and hemp that claim to benefit health.

TDH is partnering with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in urging Tennesseans to be aware of the risks associated with these products.

To see the advisory, go to www.tn.gov/health/health-advisories.html.

Among the risks cited in the new TDH Public Health and Safety Advisory are:

• Marijuana is addictive. Approximately one in 11 adults who use marijuana will become addicted, and the risk of addiction is greater among youth.

• Marijuana now available is more potent with greater levels of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the primary psychoactive substance in Cannabis than marijuana available in previous decades. The long-term health or developmental consequences of exposure to these high concentrations of marijuana are unknown.

• Marijuana use is associated with adverse health outcomes including development of psychoses like schizophrenia and increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.

• Marijuana is particularly harmful to a developing child. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy is associated with being born at low birth weight, a risk factor for death in the child’s first year of life.

• There are a limited number of conditions where there is substantial or conclusive evidence for using Cannabis-derived products as medication, but outside of these conditions, there is not sufficient evidence to show that any form of Cannabis, including marijuana or hemp, are safe and effective as medication.

• Marijuana impairs judgment and can lead to actions that result in death.

Substance abuse is a treatable and preventable disease. Call the Tennessee REDLINE at 1-800-889-9789 for immediate help for anyone suffering from a substance use disorder.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments.

Learn more about TDH services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.

Juggling work and breast cancer treatment

Age is a risk factor for breast cancer, as the organization Susan G. Komen notes that the older a woman is, the more likely she is to get breast cancer. However, data from the National Cancer Institute indicates that breast cancer rates in women begin to increase after age 40, meaning many women diagnosed with breast cancer have to juggle both their disease and their careers.

The nonprofit organization Breastcancer.org says that breast cancer treatments can produce some cognitive side effects that affect thinking and memory. Memory loss and difficulty concentrating are two such side effects that can make it difficult for working women to do their jobs while being treated for breast cancer.

Professional women diagnosed with breast cancer may be able to take advantage of short- and long-term disability programs that provide a percentage of their incomes if they are diagnosed with an illness that prevents them from doing their jobs. In addition, Breastcancer.org notes that, in the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act allows employees to maintain their benefits and keep their jobs while taking up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to heal from serious health conditions.

Despite those options, many women may want to continue working while receiving treatment for breast cancer. Such women can heed the following tips, courtesy of Breastcancer.org, to overcome any cognitive effects of treatment so they can continue to perform their jobs capably.

Start taking notes.

Start taking notes during meetings, important work-related conversations and even doctor’s appointments to counter any issues with memory. Keep such notes on a tablet or smartphone so they can be quickly and easily accessed throughout the day.

Write down deadlines and work schedules.

Accomplished professionals may keep lists of deadlines and work schedules in their heads, but that internal list might not be so reliable while women are being treated for breast cancer. Make use of the calendar function on your smartphone or tablet to note deadlines, even setting alerts so you receive routine reminders when important dates are coming up.

Make and routinely update a to-do list.

Some professional women diagnosed with breast cancer may be juggling work, treatment and their families. Keeping a to-do list and checking items off as they’re completed can help women effectively manage such juggling acts and save time.

Set realistic goals.

Breast cancer treatment can produce a host of side effects, including fatigue. So women who plan to continue working during treatment should be sure to set realistic goals that take into account the effects that treatment may have on their energy levels. If need be, delegate more tasks and ask for more help.

Many women continue working while being treated for breast cancer. A few simple adjustments can help such women overcome many treatment-related obstacles.

Farm reconstitutions

When changes in farm ownership or operation take place, a farm reconstitution is necessary. The reconstitution — or recon — is the process of combining or dividing farms or tracts of land based on the farming operation.

To be effective for the current Fiscal Year (FY), farm combinations and farm divisions must be requested by August 1 of the FY for farms subject to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program.  A reconstitution is considered to be requested when all:

•of the required signatures are on FSA-155
•other applicable documentation, such as proof of ownership, is submitted.

Total Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and non-ARC/PLC farms may be reconstituted at any time.

The following are the different methods used when doing a farm recon:

Estate Method — the division of bases, allotments and quotas for a parent farm among heirs in settling an estate;

Designation of Landowner Method — may be used when (1) part of a farm is sold or ownership is transferred; (2) an entire farm is sold to two or more persons; (3) farm ownership is transferred to two or more persons; (4) part of a tract is sold or ownership is transferred; (5) a tract is sold to two or more persons; or (6) tract ownership is transferred to two or more persons. In order to use this method the land sold must have been owned for at least three years, or a waiver granted, and the buyer and seller must sign a Memorandum of Understanding;

DCP Cropland Method — the division of bases in the same proportion that the DCP cropland for each resulting tract relates to the DCP cropland on the parent tract;

Default Method — the division of bases for a parent farm with each tract maintaining the bases attributed to the tract level when the reconstitution is initiated in the system.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights.

How to make immune system boosting syrup

JCFM Berries

Elderberries are often found in local fields this time of year. Submitted Photo.

By Jana Jones
Farmers Market Manager

Cold and flu season is just around the corner. Now is the time to prepare natural remedies to have in your home that will build your family’s immune system to help fight off these nasty bugs.Elderberry Syrup is a well known remedy that has been used for centuries. Known for its prophylactic (preventing disease) properties and countless therapeutic qualities, elderberries have been described in folklore as a “complete medical chest”, according to The Complete Medicinal Herbal book by Penelope Ody.

The Appalachian Mountains are home to many medicinal herbal plants that grow in abundance. The elderberry bush can be found in fields and roadsides all over these mountains. On Saturday, October 6 at 11:30, the next “How To” class will be taught at the Johnson County Farmers Market (JCFM).

Meet at the breakfast tent to learn how to recognize the elderberry bush, how to harvest the berries, how to extract their juice and prepare elderberry syrup. The class is free and offered as a community service by the JCFM. If you don’t have time to make your own, prepared elderberry syrup will be available to purchase starting this Saturday through the end of October at the manager’s booth at JCFM.

The Johnson County Farmers Market is located at Ralph Stout Park in the parking area near the children’s playground. Come enjoy the live music, farm fresh produce, eggs, meat, dairy, and local handmade baked goods and craft items each Saturday morning from 9 until noon. Swing by the manager’s table to find your “Fresh is Best” t-shirt and other items and information. We offer the Fre$h Savings Program which doubles the dollars for EBT customers. Bring the kids by our GoJoCo Kids tent to make healthy snacks, participate in fun activities and earn tokens to spend at the market. We invite you to like us on Facebook to see all of the current news or visit our webpage at JohnsonCountyFM.org to learn more.

Life after breast cancer

The moment a person receives a breast cancer diagnosis, his or her life changes immeasurably. The roller coaster of emotions begins, and suddenly this person is thrust into a schedule of doctor’s appointments, treatments and visits from friends and family.

The World Cancer Research Fund International says breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women and men and is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among women in 140 of 184 countries worldwide. Despite that prevalence, the five-year relative survival rate for women diagnosed with localized breast cancer (cancer that has not spread to the lymph nodes or outside the breast) is 98.5 percent, says the American Cancer Society.

Survival odds increase as more is learned about breast cancer and more people take preventative measures, including routine screenings. Today, there are nearly three million breast cancer survivors living in the United States.

Breast cancer treatments may last anywhere from six months to a year. Adjusting after treatment may not come so easily at first. But adjustments are easier with time, and many cancer survivors continue to live life to the fullest in much the same way they did prior to their diagnosis.

When treatment ends, patients often still have fears about the cancer, wondering if all of the cancerous cells have been destroyed and worrying about recurrence. But focusing on the present and all of the things you now can do with health on your side is a great way to put your fears behind you.

Many cancer survivors must still visit their doctors after treatments end. Doctors still want to monitor patients closely, so be sure to go to all follow-up appointments and discuss any symptoms or feelings you may be having. Side effects may continue long after radiation or chemotherapy has ended. Your doctor may have suggestions for coping with certain side effects or will be able to prescribe medications to offset these effects. Follow-up appointments should gradually decrease the longer you have been cancer-free.

It’s not uncommon to feel differently after cancer treatment, as your body has been through quite a lot. Many women still experience fatigue, and sleep or normal rest doesn’t seem to make it abate. Realize this is normal, and how long it will last differs from person to person. It can take months or years for you to experience your “new normal.”

Things do not happen overnight. While your hair may grow back quickly, it may take some time for you to feel like yourself again. Exercise routines or other lifestyle changes may help you overcome fatigue or make it more manageable.

Speaking with others who have survived breast cancer can help. Join a support group or reach out to others through social media. Getting a first-hand account of what can be expected the first year after treatment can assuage anxiety.

Northeast Tennessee Beef Expo

By Rick Thomason
UT/TSU Ext. Director

The Northeast Tennessee Beef Expo is scheduled for Thursday, October 11, 2018 at the UT Research and Education Center in Greeneville, TN. At the 2018 Northeast Tennessee Beef Expo you will hear about new methods and techniques that can help you achieve a more efficient and profitable operation and enjoy a delicious lunch!

The educational sessions at this year’s Beef Expo will include a panel discussion on farm infrastructure. Several livestock specialists will be on hand to discuss things to consider and answer producers questions on the most efficient farm layout for livestock handling equipment, working facilities, waterers, mineral feeders, etc. In addition, there will be sessions on Hay Storage and Feeding, Pasture Renovation, AI for Commercial & Small Herds, Pregnancy Checking, Beef Cattle Market Outlook and the TAEP program. In the afternoon, there will be live demonstrations of haying and forage equipment. The Trade Show will offer exhibits from numerous agricultural sponsors and participants will be able to talk to various vendors about their products and services available.

Brochures with all the information about this year’s Beef Expo can be picked up at the Extension office, Tri-State Growers Coop or the Garden Barn. The brochure has a registration form attached. Pre-registration is due by September 28th and the fee is only $15 which covers all of the educational sessions, trade show, breakfast biscuit and lunch. On-site registration is $20 and lunch is not guaranteed.

In conjunction with the Northeast Tennessee Beef Expo, a two-day Advanced Master Beef Producer course has been set up for anyone who needs to be re-certified. The first day participants will attend the Northeast TN Beef Expo. Participants will be required to stay the full day and the Friday classes will be held at the same location in Greeneville, TN. The registration fee is $75. This will cover the registration fee for attending the Northeast Tennessee Beef Expo. This $75 fee will cover all educational materials, snacks and lunch each day. Each participant will receive a Certificate of Completion, which certifies the producer for 3 years to receive the 50% cost share through the TAEP program. For more information or to register for this course, contact Rick Thomason at 727-8161 or e-mail rthomaso@utk.edu.

Friendship is important


The importance of friends cannot be overstated. Maintaining a healthy group of friends can help relieve stress by enabling a person to have a go-to network of close companions with whom to share the ups and downs of life. The Mayo Clinic says that friends can increase one’s sense of belonging and purpose; help one cope with trauma; encourage change, including avoiding unhealthy lifestyle habits; and help one improve his or her self-confidence and self-worth. The medical group also says that people with strong social support systems have a reduced risk of depression, high blood pressure and unhealthy weights.

While friends are important, some people find that making new friends – particularly in adulthood – can be challenging. That’s because making friends may not be too great a priority compared to caring for families or tending to work responsibilities. Those resolving to broaden their social circles can explore these tips for making new friends.

· Start at school. School is often the first place children make friends, but school also can be a great place for adults to meet new people. By attending school functions, you will be thrust into a circle of people similar to you. Parents who get to know their childrens’ friends’ parents may find that they have more in common than just their children.

· Join groups. Kids find it easy to make friends due to consistency. They see the same kids each day at school and through sports teams and clubs. Adults can replicate this consistency by joining groups that spark their interests, finding like-minded people who meet week after week.

· Go on a blind “date.” Have a friend set you up with a mutual friend and see if there is a connection there. You may be able to make new friends simply from an introduction.

· Take the lead. Pursue a new friendship by taking some initiative. Invite someone out for coffee or over to your home for a glass of wine. Follow up afterward to say you had a good time.

· Be positive. Be conscious of what you are adding to a potential friendship. Start off the relationship adding value and joy to the other person’s life, and he or she may be more inclined to do the same. Over time, you can have conversations about rough patches in your lives but wait until the friendship is firmly established to get so serious.

There is no magic number of friends a person should have, but individuals should value quality over quantity. Making friends may seem complicated, but it is actually easier than adults may think when they put themselves out there and shows a willingness to build relationships.

Binge drinking may cause stroke, heart risks

You might want to think before you go out drinking again tonight. Research by Mariann Piano, senior associate dean of research at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, has found that young adults who frequently binge drink were more likely to have specific cardiovascular risk factors such as higher blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar at a younger age than non-binge drinkers.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that binge drinking by young men was associated with higher systolic blood pressure (the force on blood vessels when the heart beats) and that frequent binge drinking had additional effects on cholesterol, both factors in contributing to cardiovascular disease. Female binge drinkers had higher blood glucose levels than abstainers.

In reporting her findings, Piano, PhD, FAAN, the Nancy and Hilliard Travis Professor at Vanderbilt, said that young adults need to be aware that repeated binge drinking may have consequences beyond the immediate. “The risk extends beyond poor school performance and increased risk for accidental injury,” she said. Current evidence suggests that development of high blood pressure before age 45 is associated with significantly higher risks of cardiovascular death later in life.

The study also found differences in how binge drinking affected young men and women. Young men who reported that they repeatedly binge drink had higher systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol while young women who repeatedly binge drink had higher blood sugar levels compared to non-binge drinkers.

Piano and her co-authors examined high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and other cardiovascular risks in 4,710 adults ages 18-45 who responded to the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were classified as non-drinkers, binge drinkers 12 times or less a year, and high-frequency binge drinkers (more than 12 times a year).High frequency binge drinking was reported by 25.1 percent of men and 11.8 percent of women. Binge drinking 12 times a year or less was reported by 29.0 percent of men and 25.1 percent of women.

Binge drinking rates are at an all-time high, Piano said. One in five college-age students reports three or more binge drinking episodes in the prior two weeks. More students drink to get drunk, then black out. They consume six to seven drinks per binge drinking episode. Compared to previous generations, the pervasiveness, regularity and intensity of binge drinking may place today’s youth at greater risk for alcohol-related harm.

The study’s co-authors are Larisa Burke, MPH; Minkyung Kang, PhD; and Shane A. Phillips, PhD, MPT. National Institutes of Health grant #AA024535 funded the study. Journal of the American Heart Association is the Open Access Journal of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Potential hazards of vaping


Staff Note: Tennessee legislators supported by Representative Darren Jernigan filed a bill in January to increase the legal age for vaping from 18 to 19. Some claim that vaping is a gateway to smoking, while others claim that vaping is 95 percent less harmful and a helpful aid to quit smoking. E-cigarettes are not regulated by the FDA and are not taxed. The question remains whether this tobacco substitute is a positive or a negative. More research is required to know.

Teenagers continue to be drawn to e-cigarettes and vaping. Cigarette smoking continues to decline among pre-teens and teenagers according to a survey from Monitoring the Future. But the number of young people who are vaping or smoking e-cigarettes has increased. This underscores the importance of greater education for youngsters and their parents about the potential hazards of vaping.

The popularity of vaping is troubling. A study from researchers at the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine that was published in the journal Pediatrics found the rising frequency of e-cigarette use was a significant risk factor for future conventional cigarette use.

In the study, researchers surveyed 1,408 Connecticut high school students three times, in autumn 2013, spring 2014 and autumn 2015, on their use of e-cigarettes and traditional tobacco cigarettes. Teens who used an e-cigarette within a month of participating in the survey in 2013 had seven times greater odds of smoking tobacco cigarettes in 2014. A year later, e-cigarette users were more than three times more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes.

Perceptions that vaping is less harmful than conventional cigarettes may be a contributing factor to their rising popularity. Also, the widespread availability of these products and their assorted flavors may be appealing to youth.

Vaping ads may be enticing kids, too. Cigarette ads glamorizing smoking have all but vanished. However, vaping ads are becoming more noticeable. According to a National Youth Tobacco Survey, about seven in 10 middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in 2014, when the vaping trend began to explode.

Even though e-cigarettes are marketed to be safer than traditional cigarettes because they purportedly contain fewer chemicals and harmless water vapor, some experts say this isn’t the case. No federal agency oversaw initial development of the e-cigarette industry, so no standards exist – although this may be changing soon. One Food and Drug Administration review of 18 different e-cigarette cartridges found toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in some but not others. Also, some products that were labeled to be nicotine-free actually did have nicotine.

Many vaping juices contain nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerine, and flavorings. No long-term evidence regarding the safety of these chemicals when inhaled exists. The American Lung Association says some e-cigarettes use diacetyl, a buttery-flavored chemical once used in food production like popcorn. When inhaled, diacetyl causes bronchiolitis obliterans – more commonly referred to as “popcorn lung.” This is a scarring of the tiny air sacs in the lungs that results in the thickening and narrowing of the airways.

Some teens also replace the e-juice with marijuana and hash oils. These vaporized oils produce little smell, which makes them hard to detect. Vaping may seem like a harmless trend. But parents and children should be cognizant of the threats that vaping poses to one’s overall health.

Music benefits mental and physical health

Studies have shown that music can have a beneficial impact on both mental and physical health. In a meta-analysis of 400 studies, researchers at McGill University in Montreal found that music can reduce stress and boost the immune system. That’s because listening to music increases the body’s production of immunoglobin A, an antibody that plays an critical role in the function of the immune system and cells that attack viruses.

A 2013 study even found that music can help children during visits to the emergency room. Researchers at the University of Alberta studied 42 children between the ages of 3 and 11, discovering that those who listened to relaxing music while having an IV inserted reported less pain than children who did not listen to music. In addition, children who listened to music during the adminstration of the IV exhibited less anguish than the children who did not listen to music. Healthcare workers even noted the ease of administering IVs to children who were listening to music compared to patients who were not listening to music.