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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.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stiles Farm Field Day scheduled June 15

New cotton systems, row-crop fertility issues and herbicide-tolerant sorghum are a few of the topics that headline the 47th Stiles Farm Field Day scheduled June 15.

The Stiles Farm is located at 5700 Farm-to-Market Road 1063, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 79 and Farm-to-Market Road 1063, 1 mile east of Thrall. The event is free with registration starting at 7:45 a.m. At 8:30 a.m., tours will begin with the following scheduled presentations:

- Herbicide-tolerant sorghum and new weed technology, Dr. Paul Baumann, Texas AgriLife Extension Service weed specialist.

- Row-crop fertility issues-nutrient availability, Dr. Mark McFarland, AgriLife Extension soil fertility weed specialist.

- New cotton systems, Dr. Gaylon Morgan, AgriLife Extension cotton specialist.

- Cotton root rot update, Dr. Tom Isakeit, AgriLife Extension plant pathologist.

- Variety testing in Texas-grains, Dennis Pietsch, research associate specializing in crop testing with Texas AgriLife Research.

- Variety testing in Texas-cotton, Dr. C. Wayne Smith, professor of cotton breeding, Texas A&M University Department of Soil and Crop Science.

At noon, youth scholarships will be presented and the Taylor Agriculturalist of the Year will be named for 2010. A barbecue meal will follow, sponsored by the Taylor Chamber of Commerce.

Afternoon sessions will begin at 1:30 p.m. featuring the following topics:

- Equipment demonstrations featuring strip-till equipment, sprayers, guidance systems and more.

- Seedless watermelon production, Bob Whitney AgriLife Extension agent for Williamson County.

- Strip-till field studies featuring personnel from the Stiles Farm Foundation and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service.

Producers with a Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator license will receive three continuing education units for attending the field day. Three commercial crop advisor units will also be available.

The Stiles Farm is a non-profit, self-supporting institution established by bequest of the late J.V. and H.A. Stiles for the advancement of agriculture to benefit all Texans. A field day is held at the Stiles Farm each year to introduce producers to the latest research and best management practices.

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