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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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Vegetable and Fruit Growers Shortcourse Set for January 21

South Central Texas vegetable and fruit growers won’t want to miss the upcoming Vegetable and Fruit Growers Shortcourse sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension Service set for January 21 at the Taylor City Hall Building in Taylor, Texas. South Central Texas is home to many different kinds of fresh fruit and vegetable growers from very small, backyard types to large scale shipper-growers but all are interested in the latest and best technology possible. The Shortcourse will feature the three most well known vegetable and fruit Extension specialists in Texas and the Southwest. There will be lots of new technology and resources with time for idea sharing among specialists and growers. The Shortcourse registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the program beginning at 9:00 a.m. and continuing through 2:30 p.m. It will include lunch and educational materials and two continuing education credits in general for licensed private, non-commercial and commercial applicators. Cost of the program is $10 per person.
The first speaker for the Shortcourse will be Dr. Larry Stein, Extension Horticulturalist in Uvalde. Dr. Stein has responsibility for all horticulture crops in the south part of Texas and is a recognized expert in many areas of vegetable crops. He will address nutrient requirements of vegetable crops and vegetable irrigation in his talk.
Next on the agenda is Dr. Joe Masabni, Extension Vegetable Specialist at College Station. Dr. Masabni travels across the state doing research in vegetable crops and giving programs in vegetable production. Dr. Masabni specializes in weed control including use of mulches, both organic and plastics and will address this critical area in vegetable production.
After lunch the program will shift to fruit production with Jim Kamas. Mr. Kamas is the regional Extension fruit specialist with a particular interest in grapes. He is based in Fredericksburg but travels throughout the state to talk about fruit production. Jim will discuss the crops adapted to this area, requirements for growing them and potential for any new crops.
To reserve a seat at the Vegetable and Fruit Growers Shortcourse call the Williamson County Extension Office at 512/943-3300 or email rwhitney@ag.tamu.edu.

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