Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Goat Education Day Nov. 7 in Red Bluff, Calif.

The 6th Annual Goat Education Day will be held on Saturday, November 7, at the Tehama District Fairgrounds in Red Bluff, Calif. This day-long symposium provides something for every goat owner. Attendees from all goat industries will enjoy classes on dairy management, meat goat production, reproduction/kidding, livestock guardian dogs, novice and advanced health issues, ranch management and youth classes. Rounding out the rich selection are artisan classes on soap, lotion and cheese making.

There will be presenters from California Animal Health and Food Safety, UC Davis, Chico State University as well as local veterinarians and industry professionals. On-site will be vendors, raffle items, breakfast and lunch offerings and displays.

All day during the event, the Northern California Meat Goat Association will host a Special Reserve Meat and Milker Pen Sale. This private treaty style sale is a rare opportunity to purchase some of the best Boer and Dairy goat genetics in the West.

While similar events can cost hundreds of dollars for the instructors and educational opportunities offered, Goat Education Day is only $20 per adult or $5 per youth (9-18). Age 8 and under is free. Early registration is encouraged through or forms can be downloaded at Register early to avoid same day late fee!  Those who pre-register will be put into a drawing for a gift basket!

For further information, contact Beth Nicholson at 530-347-7376.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Nov. 6 workshop in Arkansas to address feral hog problems

LITTLE ROCK – Feral hogs are smart, omnivorous and highly adaptable, three characteristics that underlie their successful expansion into northern Arkansas, said Becky McPeake, professor and extension wildlife specialist for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Feral hogs have been part of Arkansas’ landscape for more than a century, she said, and while they were generally apt to stick around in the bottomlands of south Arkansas, they’re expanding.

“Their expansion faster than what we would expect normally from a naturally dispersing population,” she said. “Many experts guess that sports hunters have released domestic hogs in other areas of the state to expand their hunting opportunities, which is an illegal practice today.”

While some may enjoy hunting these hogs, farmers and homeowners whose land has been overrun are less than thrilled.

A 2013 study done by Texas A&M estimated the cost of feral-hog damage to Texas agriculture alone to be $52 million plus another $7 million for repairs and control methods. ( )

Arkansas provides an ideal place for the highly adaptable hog to thrive, with plenty of water, food and shelter. McPeake said a pregnant feral sow can produce an average litter of six, and with rapid maturity rates, “you could potentially have 31 pigs on your property from just one sow in a little over a year.”

A survey conducted a year ago found that most agents were receiving reports of feral hog damage to livestock pastures.  

Nov. 6 hog workshop
Because of growing interest in controlling feral hogs, the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the Arkansas Forest Resources Center have teamed up with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to provide materials and workshops for landowners interested in alleviating damage to their property.  
The next workshop is set for Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Livestock and Forestry Research Station just outside Batesville.  

"Removing feral hogs isn't easy,” McPeake said. “It takes planning and developing a strategy; in other words, preparing a course of action based on what we've learned from science and research, adapting it to your circumstance, and sticking to it."  

Although shooting and hunting can remove a few hogs, the primary strategy discussed at the conference is corral trapping.  Representatives from the Division of Agriculture and Arkansas Game and Fish Commission will give presentations and set up trapping demonstrations. 

Registration is $5 to cover lunch. Seating is limited, so attendees are encouraged to register early. Contact your local county Extension office or the state office at 501-671-2329 to register, or register online at

A miscellaneous publication titled "Feral Hog Control in Arkansas" can be found on our website by searching for "feral hogs” or by downloading from:  Other publications about feral swine brucellosis, and feral hog laws and regulations, are also available.

Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

2016 National Ag Day coming March 15, 2016

Agriculture Council of America Announces 

2016 Poster and Essay Contests  

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) will host National Agriculture Day on March 15, 2016. This will mark the 43rd anniversary of National Ag Day which is celebrated in classrooms and communities across the country. 
In preparation for 2016 National Ag Day, the ACA is again hosting a poster art contest and the essay contest. The theme for both contests is Agriculture: Stewards of a Healthy Planet

The National Ag Day Poster Art contest is designed to showcase the talents of young artist who share a passion for modern agriculture.  A winning original piece of art will be chosen as the Official National Ag Day poster.  The contest is open to all amateur artists enrolled in high school or college. The deadline for the National Ag Day Poster Art Contest is October 30, 2015.

The winning entry will be published as the official National Ag Day Poster and the winning artist will receive $1,000 scholarship sponsored by Meredith Agrimedia. Artwork and profile of the artist will be prominently featured in Successful Farming magazine and Ag Day correspondence.

The ACA is once again seeking submissions for the 2016 Ag Day Essay Contest. The essay contest is divided into two categories of competition: written essay and video essay. Both are national competitions. 

The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12 in the 2015-2016 school year. Contestants must be a U.S. citizen and attending school in the U.S.  Contestants must meet all requirements to compete.

The National Video Essay Winner will receive $1,000. The National Written Essay Winner will receive $1,000 and trip to Washington, D.C., to be recognized at the Celebration of Ag Dinner held at the Whitten Patio March 15, 2016. The deadline for submitting entries in the essay contest is January 29, 2016.

National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America. ACA is a nonprofit organization composed of leaders in the agricultural, food and fiber community, dedicating its efforts to increasing the public's awareness of agriculture's role in modern society. 

The National Ag Day program encourages every American to:

·         Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
·         Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

Visit for more information on contest rules and entry forms and for information on National Ag Day in 2016.