Don’t wait til Family Health and Fitness Day to be active with your family!

September 28th, 2015

Couple Walking on the Beach with Their Three Daughters and DogWhat is Family Health & Fitness Day USA®?

Family Health & Fitness Day USA is a nationwide health and fitness event for families, always held the last Saturday in September. The purpose of this unique national program — with the participation of localorganizations throughout the U.S.— is to increase good health awareness and promotefamily involvement in physical activity.

But you don’t need to wait for a National Fitness Day to get active with your family!  Here are some easy, fun ideas to keep your family healthy and entertained!


Compete in an Obstacle Course:

On your mark, get set, go! Obstacle courses are pure fun and can easily be set up in your backyard or your local park using items found around the home. You can use just about anything to create a fun obstacle course in the yard: hula-hoops, tires, ladders, pool noodles, string, rope, buckets, cones, boards…. you name it! Who says physical activity has to feel like a chore?

Visit an Indoor Rock Climbing Gym:

Kids are always jumping on furniture and climbing trees, so why not put that energy into a family-fun activity? Rock climbing will teach kids concentration skills, build confidence and give your family a great workout!

Go Apple Picking:

Visit the apple orchard for a perfect fall day family outing. Apple picking may not seem like a typical workout, but you’d be surprised how many steps you take while walking around an orchard. Plus, it’s surprisingly strenuous, especially for little arms and legs. And even better – the health benefits continue after you go home! Fresh picked apples make a great snack and there’s tons of healthy treats you and your little ones can make together.

Play a Game:

Instead of sitting home and watching football, go outside and play your own! Get all the family together and organize a touch football game. This is a really fun way to fight the lazy weekend slump and get in some physical activity too!

Organize an Outdoor Scavenger Hunt:

Every child (even adults) love the thrill of finding hidden treasures, and what better way to get the family moving than with a scavenger hunt! Turn the activity into an educational experience by hosting it at a zoo or local nature park. Compose a list of challenges, such as finding an oak leaf, split your family into teams, then head off and see who can complete the most tasks. That’s family fitness at its finest!

Get Lost in a Corn Maze:

Another great family fitness activity is navigation your ways through a corn maze! What could be more fun than getting lost in the middle of a cornfield and working together, as a family, to find your way out? With a little problem solving, you’ll walk across the finish line with a sense of accomplishment—and walk quite a few miles in the process.

Ride a Bicycle:

There’s a special bond between kids and bicycles that can never be broken. Bicycles represent fun, freedom, and fresh air — everything that’s good about being a kid. Spend the day biking around town or head to the nearest bike path. It’s a fun and healthy activity that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Pumpkin Picking:

Take a trip to the pumpkin patch and enjoy a day of family fitness and fun! With petting zoos, playgrounds, bounce houses and other activities, there is something for every member of the family to enjoy. When you’re done petting farm animals, hitch a hayride to the pumpkin patch, or better yet walk, and have fun hunting for the perfect pumpkin to carve. While it may seem like all fun and games, there’s actually quite a bit of heavy lifting involved.

Play Laser Tag:

We all know how much kids love playing video games, but what if they could actually participate in real life? One afternoon of laser tag can help exercise both the mind and body, not to mention you and your kids will have a blast. Now that’s what we call a win-win!

Visit a Park:

Weather permitting, hiking and scenic walks in local parks are fantastic and inexpensive ways to exercise with your kids and teach them to appreciate Mother Nature up close and personal. Get outside and get your blood pumping together — you may create some lasting memories as well as a lifelong habit of staying in shape.

See more at:

Canning Class to be offered in July 2014

June 11th, 2014

Planning on making your own delicious sauce or salsa from all of those beautiful tomatoes that you will harvest from your garden this summer?

Learn how to safely preserve those special recipes at the Preserve Your Harvest Class taught by Deb Botzek University of Minnesota Extension scheduled for

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 6-8 pm

at the McLeod County Fairgrounds.

Cost: $3.00 for handouts

Please call Karen at 320-583-4419 to register.

Southwest Food Network Gathering Event

April 15th, 2014

Southwest Food Network Gathering

April 28 in Lamberton

Featuring: “Regional Food Networks: Applying Lessons to our Region”

Presentation and discussion with Abby Gold and Noelle Harden (U of M Extension) about Cass-Clay Food Systems Initiative and other food networks. Q & A to follow.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear about regional food networks in Minnesota, lessons learned, and how these experiences can be applied in the Southwest region.

Please help spread the word to those who might be interested (download the flyer here: SW Food Network 4-28-14 flyer).

Date: Monday, April 28, 2014

Time: 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Location: Southwest Research & Outreach Center, Lamberton (map)

RSVP: Please register at

There is no cost to attend. Transportation costs should not be a barrier to attendance: inquire about mileage reimbursement options: [email protected]

Agenda includes:

12:30 Registration, networking, idea exchange

1:00 Welcome, introductions, headlines from the region

1:30 Food Charter SW regional input report & discussion

2:15 Regional food networks presentation

3:00 Discussion: moving forward in SW Minnesota

3:30 Adjourn (Open networking until 4:00 pm)


More information: Anne Dybsetter, Extension Educator, 320-235-0726 x 2012, [email protected]

Gaylord Library Events

March 13th, 2014

The Gaylord Library is holding a gardening series beginning April 21, 2014.  Please see the brochure below for more information on the dates and content of this series!

Eat Fresh brochure 2-page-0

Eat Fresh brochure 2-page-1


Prefer to download this brochure for your home or office?  Please find it here: Eat Fresh brochure 2

Attention Gibbon Local Growers!

March 2nd, 2014

Are you a local grower interested in selling your produce at a farmer’s market in Gibbon? The City of Gibbon is currently exploring interest from local growers to host a farmer’s market, but wants your input. If you think you might be interested, please contact Sue Bentz at (507) 381-3685 or[email protected] . Interested growers will have an opportunity to provide input on when the market would be held. Please share this with anyone you know who you think might be interested.