Developed by Dr. Mario A. Villarino, County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources Hopkins County, Texas
Relevance: Livestock and forage production is a 3.96 billion-dollar industry in the Central Region. Livestock and forage enterprises are affected by climate and market variability. Hopkins County currently has more than 100,000 head of beef cattle with 27,000 of those being dairy cattle. Due to environmental requirements of federal and state authorities, Hopkins County dairy operators must maintain environment al requirements for operation. This plan collaborated with diary (Dairy Farmers of America, Southwest Dairy Museum) and beef organizations (NETBIO) to determine and conduct educational efforts needed for the successful operation of livestock farms and ranches. Texas livestock and forage producers and related agribusinesses effectively evaluate and adopt research-based technology applications and best management practices for sustainable and profitable livestock management systems. Livestock producers improve knowledge of production and management systems to improve quality, profitability, and sustainability. This plan had the goal of providing educational experiences to 350 beef producers, 150 private applicators, 60 dairy producers and 60 landowner seeking private applicator accreditation.
- 4 Private Applicator Trainings (50 applicants).
- 36 Newspaper articles.
- Private Applicator Newsletters (spring and fall).
- Beef UP Program (May).
- Rib-Eye Round UP (1200 attendees).
- Grassland Tour (Oct).
- Northeast Texas Dairy Producers Conference (DOPA) Training (4 CEU)
- Pesticide Private Applicators Conference CEU (Nov) (110 Attendees).
- Plan interpretation at Commissioner’s Court and Volunteers Banquet (Nov).
Results: The Beef Program Area Committee (NETBIO) indicated the need to continue consumer awareness of benefits of the beef industry to the local economy during 2018. As a result, a program plan was created to provide forage and beef production (Newsletters, Private Applicator Trainings) and consumer awareness (Beef Day) that included a beef production program (May 2018), a meat quality awareness component (Ribeye cook-off at the square with 160 cooking team members) and a public musical concert (2,600 attendees, 4 major sponsors). The planning committee vision during 2018 was to provide an educational-entertaining model to promote beef, demonstrate attributes of beef as a culinary resource and to indicate the importance of local beef markets in the county economy. A series of evaluations (anecdotal-Facebook), direct interviews and retrospective post evaluations were conducted according to each event.
- 73% (36/49) indicated strong intentions (probably or definitely) to adopt technology related to pesticide laws and regulations (PAT Nov).
- 70% ((33/47) indicated strong intentions (probably or definitely) to adopt technology related to bermuda grass management (PAT Nov).
- 72% (36/50) indicated increase in learning related to pesticide laws and regulations (PAT Nov).
- 80% (40/50) expressed learning related to pond weed control (PAT Nov).
- 67% (36/54) indicated increase understanding of management of native grasslands after the trainings (PAT Nov).
- 61% (28/46) expressed learning experience in IPM for small grains for forage production (PAT Nov).
- 69% (29/42) indicated learning related to Bermuda grass management after the training (PAT Nov).