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A Year In Review: 2021 Livestock And Forage

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Mario Villarino, Hopkins County Extension Agent

By Dr. Mario Villarino, CEA-Ag/NR, [email protected]

Relevance

Livestock and forage production are a 3.96 billion dollars 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 cattle with 27,000 head of dairy cattle. Due to environmental requirements of federal and state authorities, Hopkins County dairy operators must maintain environmental requirements for operation.

Response

This plan collaborated with dairy (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. 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.

The plan included the following activities:

  • Hopkins-Rains Hay Show (with Soil Conservation Board).
  • Saltillo Hay Show (with Saltillo FFA).
  • Field Day for Producers and Grasslands Managers (20 Participants).
  • 4 New Pesticide Applicators Trainings (quarterly).
  • Cattle Trail in Beef Day (76 Participants).
  • Dairy Outreach Fall Conference (13 Participants).
  • Pesticide Private Applicator CEU (82 Participants).
  • 34 Press releases (digital and printed media).
  • Result Demonstration in pre-conditioning of beef cattle.
  • 1,255 Telephone consultations.
  • 357 Site visits.

Evaluation Strategy

Retrospective post evaluation surveys were utilized to measure knowledge gain and adoptions of best practices for the evaluated programs.

  • 100% (13/13) participants completed the evaluation for the Dairy Outreach Fall Conference.
  • 95% (19/20) participants completed the evaluation survey for Field Day for Producers and Grasslands Managers.
  • 85% (70/82) participants completed the evaluation survey for Pesticide Private Applicator CEU.

Results

  1. 2021 Field Day for Producers and Grasslands Managers
    • 95% (18/19) indicated an economic benefit of managing grasslands.
    • 90% (17/19) learned the role of pastures for upland birds.
    • 79% (15/19) indicated an environmental benefit for managing grasslands.
    • 74% (14/19) Indicated increase learning in rotational grazing.
    • 72% (13/19) learned proper water management in grasslands.
    • 72% (13/19) learned new methods of grass utilization.
  2. 2021 Cattle Trail
    • 99% (75/76) have a better understanding of the value of beef ranchers in their daily life.
    • 97% (74/76) have a better understanding of the path beef takes to get to the consumer’s plate.
  3. 2021 Dairy Outreach Fall Conference
    • 92% (12/13) indicated an increase in understanding on at least one program item.
    • 85% (11/13) indicated an increase in understanding of fly control in manure.
    • 85% (11/13) indicated an increased in understanding the importance of beef on dairy to improve value of calves.
    • 69% (9/13) indicated an increase in understanding of manure management technology.
    • 78% (7/9) indicated intention to adopt fly control strategies in dairy systems.
    • 73% (8/11) indicated intention to adopt practices to improve the value of calves.
    • 67% (6/9) indicated intention to adopt environmental stewardship practices.
    • 62% (8/11) indicated intention to adopt manure management strategies.
  4. 2021 Pesticide Private Applicator CEU
    • 87% (52/70) learned the biology and control of armyworms (38% knowledge increase).
    • 85% (51/70) learned better ways to calibrate a sprayer (40% knowledge increase).
    • 82% (50/70) learned the impact of soil fertility in herbicide treatment programs (38% knowledge increase).
    • 80% (49/70) learned the history of integrated pest management (36% knowledge increase).
    • 70% (42/70) learned new laws and regulations (28% knowledge increase).

For more information, contact Dr. Mario Villarino, CEA Ag/NR, Hopkins County, at 903-885-3443 or [email protected].


Extension programs of Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other classification protected by federal, state or local law The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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