CALS New Year’s Resolutions

Belltower with circles of light

NC State's iconic belltower

Having a hard time coming up with a New Year’s resolution for 2019? Several faculty members from NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences recently shared suggestions from their areas of expertise.

On Appreciation and Gratitude

A gratitude jar full of noted appreciations from a family over the year.

Cultivate a culture of reflection and gratitude within your family by regularly asking these questions around the dinner table: What was the highlight of your day? Who did you help? What did you learn?

Start a family gratitude jar. At the end of every week, write down words of appreciation and place them in the jar. Next New Year’s Eve, each family member can read, reflect and share the experiences — both big and small — that were most meaningful.

Maru Gonzalez
Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences


On Food Safety

Get a digital tip sensitive food thermometer, and use it when cooking to ensure everyone eats safely. Using a thermometer is the only way to ensure foods are cooked to a safe temperature. There’s lots of variation between foods, and it’s important to know exactly what temperatures are needed to reduce the risk of foodborne illness for each food type.

Ben Chapman
Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences


On Personal Finance

Set up a retirement plan, and resolve to contribute a minimum of 10 percent of your take-home pay to the plan.

If you are paying too much for debt, or if you aren’t saving enough, resolve to correct this by making changes to your spending. Resolve to find areas to cut back on like dining out less, carpooling or using public transportation to save on gas. Find what works best for you and your family.

Mike Walden
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics


A dog checks in with his favorite vet for a health checku.On Pet Care

Being a veterinarian is tough, both financially and psychologically, so take a moment in January to appreciate your pet’s vet and the rest of the medical team.

Be a good neighbor and pick up your dog’s poop when you walk it — even at night when no one is watching!

Kimberly Ange-van Heugten
Department of Animal Science


Local seafood laid out in a supermarket for purchase.On Going Local

Buy local seafood. Aquaculture, or fish farming, can become more efficient and allow producers to grow more and higher-quality fish. This will be especially important in the coming years as our population continues to grow and create increased demand for food.

Steven Hall
Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering


On Appreciating Nature

Once a week, take a walk in a natural place for at least 30 minutes. It could be a city park, the woods or a natural space in your neighborhood. Here’s the catch: Stop every 5 to 10 minutes and spend a few minutes looking down. Notice the critters and plants that live on or near the ground, a pretty flower, an ant trail, a slug on a vine … and consider the perspective of those critters that view the world from the ground and that occupy small spaces. They can remind us of our connection to the natural world.

Martha Reiskind
Department of Applied Ecology

A farmer plants seeds in the soil for the upcoming season.


On The Soil

Resolve to appreciate the soil under your feet. … It feeds us, it clothes us, it houses us, and it is the original recycler of pollutants. Protecting this critical and wonderful resource, whether it is in our yards, on our farms, or in our natural habitats, is something we should all do.

Deanna Osmond
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences


Youth learning about gardening through extension programs.

On Gardening

Share the joy of gardening with a child; share their glee when the sprouts emerge; and cultivate a fascination with nature and a curiosity about the world in which we live.

Lucy Bradley
Department of Horticultural Science


Whatever your resolution, we hope you have a fun, healthy and safe new year!

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