A year in review: 2017 Hopkins County Livestock and Forage Education
Is this time of the year when Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services at Hopkins County Extension Office interprets with Hopkins County residents the different activities conducted by their agents and support volunteers. I would like to share with you the specific plan related to Livestock Production today.
2017 Hopkins County Livestock and Forage Education (Tours, Trainings and Field Days)
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 cattle with 27,000 head of dairy cattle. Due to environmental requirements of federal and state authorities, Hopkins Count y dairy operators must maintain environmental requirement s for operation. This plan will collaborate 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. Hopkins County livestock and forage producers and related agribusinesses effectively evaluated and adopted research-based technology applications and best management practices for sustainable and profitable livestock management systems presented in this plan. Livestock producers improved their knowledge of production and management systems to improve quality, profitability, and sustainability. This plan had the goal of providing educational experiences to 350 beef / hay producers, 150 private applicators, 60 dairy producers and 60 landowners/ranchers seeking private applicator accreditation.
- Hay Clinic (with Holt)(4/6/2017-65 participants).
- 4 Private Applicator Trainings (New Applicants)(2/15, 5/17, 8/16, 11/29).
- 2 Result Demonstration (Use of bio-solids in forage/hay production).
- Hopkins County Hay Show (with Professional Ag Workers, 10/5/2017).
- Beef Day NETBIO (10/6/2017)(220 educational session, 160 cooking team members, 2,600 concert attendees).
- 2017 Diary Outreach Training (10/25/2017, 35 participants).
- 2017 Private Applicator CEU (11/1/2017, 93 participants) (Partially supported by NETBIO).
- 3 Newsletters (5/6, 9/15, 11/6) (270 each).
- 12 forage/beef related newspaper articles.
- 4 Program Area Committee Planning Meetings (NETBIO)(Quarterly).
- 8 Taskforce meetings (Beef Day).
- Plan interpretation (Volunteers 11/9, Commissioner’s Court 11/27, and mass media 12/5).
Results: The Beef Program Area Committee (NETBIO) indicated the need of addressing consumer awareness of benefits of the beef industry as a priority for 2017. As a result, a program plan was created to provide forage and beef production (Hay Clinic, Hay Show, Newsletters, Private Applicator Trainings) and consumer awareness (Beef Day) that included a beef production awareness program (hosted at the Hopkins County Court House with 210 participants), 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) by Stoney Larue. The planning committee vision during 2017 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 electronic post evaluations) were conducted according to each event.
- My first time to this event. Had an awesome time! (Beef Day) (2,115 likes in Facebook).
- The steaks were delicious, friendly people. Everyone did a great job (Beef Day) (Facebook).
- Understanding of laws and regulations was excellent (21%) and good (62.75%) (PAT CEU, 51 participants).
- Understanding of weed management was excellent (54%) and good (40%) (PAT CEU, 51 participants).
- 53% (29/54) of the attendees indicated the information related to weed management of hay was excellent (PAT CEU).
- 63% (45/71) of attendees considered the information related to pollinators was excellent (PAT CEU).
- 37% (20/54) of attendees considered the information related to pond weed control was excellent (PAT CEU).
- 60% (38/63) of the attendees indicated the program overall was excellent (PAT CEU).
- 90% (59/65) of attendees will benefit economically of the learned topics (PAT CEU).
- 93% (59/63) of the attendees considered the information provided by Extension to be good or excellent (PAT CEU).