First Care Clinic has been awarded nearly $3,700 through the Kansas Health Foundation's recognition grants program. This funding will help support Healthy Cooking Options in Rural Kansas -- What to do when resources are limited?

"We have established the trust of our patients attending the peer classes, and they know that we are interested in their well-being and want them to truly take charge of their own health. This cooking class will be a wonderful extension and hands-on opportunity to healthier living," said Deanna, patient care coordinator at First Care Clinic. "When people have limited funds, healthy eating can be a challenge. Our goal is to help patients identify healthy food options, price and budget for these options, and gain preparation ideas for a healthier lifestyle. Hands on education, where you can answer questions face-to-face in a conversation, engages the patient creating a lasting impression."

Recognition grants expand the Kansas Health Foundation's support to a broad range of health-related organizations throughout the state. The program is targeted for organizations and agencies proposing meaningful and charitable projects or initiatives that fit within the Foundation's mission of improving the health of all Kansans. In addition to supporting projects, the foundation also seeks to support initiatives that focus on promoting policy, systems and environmental transformations that support health.

"Each year, we are amazed at the incredible projects being done by organizations across Kansas," said Steve Coen, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. "This grant program allows us to support these innovative and impactful community initiatives and recognize the groups and individuals making them a reality."

This fall, the Kansas Health Foundation provided more than $750,000 through the program to help organizations accomplish 41 different projects intended to improve the health and wellness of Kansans. Using a competitive application process, the foundation allocates up to $2 million each year for the recognition grants program. Application deadlines for the two cycles are March 15 and Sept. 15 each year. Any tax-exempt, nonprofit organization using the money for charitable purposes and proposing a project meeting the foundation's mission to improve the health of all Kansans is eligible.

For more information about the healthy cooking classes First Care Clinic will offer, contact Deanna at (785) 621-4990.

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TOPEKA -- Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Kansas Department of Agriculture have entered into a joint agreement to increase the state's efforts to combat cattle theft, the agencies announced.

Schmidt's office has formed a new Livestock/Brand Investigation Unit within the office's consumer protection division and hired longtime Kansas lawman Kendal Lothman to lead the unit. Lothman has been a law enforcement officer for 22 years, including six years as Kiowa County sheriff.

"This agreement is a great example of finding efficient ways for government to better serve the people of Kansas," Schmidt said. "Combining the law enforcement authority of the attorney general's office with the livestock investigations authority of the Department of Agriculture allows us to better protect Kansas ranchers from cattle theft."

Dr. Bill Brown, Kansas Animal Health Commissioner, also welcomed the new collaborative effort.

"This is a good day for Kansans," Brown said. "Livestock are a valuable asset, and it is important that we remain diligent and assist in any way possible to protect those investments. Having an investigator in the field will provide expertise to local law officials to help support our Brand Program."

Record cattle prices have led to increases in cattle thefts, as has been reported in several recent media stories. The new unit will respond to requests from local law enforcement agencies for help in investigations. Producers or others involved in the livestock industry who suspect thefts or improper cattle sales should contact their local sheriff or police department, which will request assistance if needed.