About Me

My photo
As an Agriculture Extension Agent for Texas AgriLife Extension Service I have had an opportunity to be involved in just about every aspect of agriculture. From the 5,000 cow dairy to the types of trees to use in a home landscape I have had a chance to learn how the different parts of an agriculture systems work together. Seedless watermelons, drip irrigation, pecan orchard management, fruit crop development, dairy nutrient management, environmental issues confronting agriculture, producer tours, field days, research projects and more have been a part of my life for over 30 years as I lived and breathed agriculture. Since 2004 I have been actively involved in consulting internationally working in Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, India, and China. I have worked with missionaries and other groups dedicated to alleviating poverty among third world farmers. I lived in the Middle East in 2007-2008 working on a project for the Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture at Texas A&M University. In this project I was the Chief of Party and Team Leader for a $5.7 Million dollar effort to train Iraqi Extension agents and specialists in all aspects of agriculture.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Native and Improved Pasture Seminar Set

The Extension Livestock and Range Committee in Williamson County has planned an excellent seminar for native range and improved grass producers in the area. There is not a single livestock producer that doesn’t want to be able to graze more animal units on their pastures without hurting long term forage growth. Knowing how to properly manage native rangeland or better utilizing improved pasture grasses is the goal of every livestock producer and this seminar will answer many the questions producers have. The goal of the committee is to answer producers questions like, should I plant range grasses or bermudagrass?, should I rotate my pastures and when?, what is the best grass to plant?, should I fertilize?, and more.

The Native and Improved Pasture Seminar is to be held Thursday, February 18 at the St. Cyril & Methodious Hall in Granger. Registration and Meal will start at 5:30 PM and the program at 6:00 PM. There will be two (2) General Pesticide CEU's offered. Speakers will include Dr. Bob Lyons on Native Pasture Management, Dr. Larry Redmon on Improved Pasture Management and Ron Leps on Pasture Management in Williamson County. Cost is $5 at the door and participants must preregister by email rwhitney@ag.tamu.edu or by phone 512/943-3300.

The program will begin with Dr. Robert Lyons, Extension Range Specialist - Uvalde, an expert in native range grasses and grazing systems. Dr. Lyons will discuss rangeland grazing systems, determining your forage base, protecting your forages from overgrazing, and newer selections of range grasses for seeding. Dr. Lyons will focus on properly managing the fragile ecosystem we have on our native ranges while increasing their productivity with livestock and wildlife management.

Following Dr. Lyons will be Dr. Larry Redmon, State Extension Forage Specialist - College Station. Dr. Redmon is an expert in improved forage production, specifically bermudagrasses. Dr. Redmon was formally at the Overton Research and Extension Center where he did work in bermudagrass variety evaluation, grazing management of improved forages, overseeding bermudagrass, and fertility and weed control of improved pastures. Dr. Redmon will focus on improved pasture programs that will help livestock producers improve quality and quantity to maximize livestock return. He will also discuss some brand new weed control options with preemerge chemicals.

Last on the program is Ron Leps, Retired Williamson County Extension Agent. Mr. Leps has extensive experience with managing pastures in this area and he will relate some of his experiences to producers. Ron will help producers know what works in the area but more importantly what doesn’t work.

Make plans to attend the Native and Improved Pasture Seminar, Thursday, February 18 at the Hall in Granger. Sponsors are Williamson County Grain Inc. in Taylor, Dow AgroSciences, BASF Crop Protection, and Capital Farm Credit in Taylor.