2015 Year in Review: Hopkins County Livestock and Forage, Developed by Dr. Mario A. Villarino, County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources Hopkins County, Texas
Beef and Dairy Production is a 2.96 billion dollar industry in the East Region. The predominating beef producer in the region is a cow/calf producer with less than 100 head. All beef enterprises are also affected by climate as well as market variability. County-based Program Area Committees (PAC) firmly establish the need for educational programs targeted for beef and dairy producers enabling them to increase knowledge as well as adopt best management practices and new technologies improving product quality and producer sustainability. The goal of the plan is to provide educational experiences to Hopkins County ranchers (150 active beef producers with numerous more not registered) and dairy producers (65 permitted dairies). A preconditioning sale of stocker cattle (NETBIO) has proven to be a successful marketing tool with more than 400,868 head process since its conception. This program cooperated with NETBIO committee and subcommittees to resolve educational issues related to the success of the beef industry in Hopkins County. This plan had the objective of providing educational experiences to more than 250 private pesticide applicators, 60 dairy farmers and more than 350 beef producers. Marketing of the activities included in this plan will be conducted by press releases, flyers and personal communications. Technology based educational events were incorporated seamlessly into already planned educational activities.
To address the educational needs established by the Beef Program Area Committee, this plan conducted the following activities:
- 7 PAC planning meetings (Monthly from April 2015-October 2015).
- 4 Newsletters for private applicators and beef producers (650 mailings)(quarterly).
- 3 New Private Applicators Trainings (February, July and October 2015)(technology based).
- 6 Press releases related to beef science (15,000 reached on each one)(Star telegram).
- 6 Educational planning committee meetings.
- 4 NETBIO Board meetings.
- 8 Cattlemen’s classic cook-off planning meetings.
- 1 Volunteer’s planning dinner.
- Cattlemen’s Classic and Ribeye Cook-off (253 attendance)(October 16, 2015).
- Private Applicator CEU’s (November 4, 2015)(104 attending).
- 73.4 % (58/79) Private Applicators will take actions of make changes because of what they learned during the training and 53.1% (42/79) will benefit economically as a direct result of the training (2015 Private Applicators CEU).
- 91.6% (33/36) Beef Producers will plan to take actions or make changes because of what they learned during the training and 97.2 % will benefit economically as a direct result of the training (2015 Cattlemen’s Classic).
- 97.1% (34/35) Beef producers were mostly or completely satisfied with the training and will recommend educational programs conducted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension (2015 Cattlemen’s Classic).