Friday, February 26, 2016

Online Managed Grazing Tutorial Available


Free Interactive Lessons Can Help Land and Finances

Strategic livestock management can improve soil health, pastures, and profits.
A new online tutorial, “Managed Grazing Tutorial,” by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) goes in-depth into how changing the way grazing animals are managed can improve both the condition of your land and your bottom line.
It’s free and available on the NCAT ATTRA website at

The interactive tutorial is divided into a series of stand-alone lessons, so participants can progress at their own pace. The lessons include these subjects:
  • Grazing Management: Inventory
  • Managed Grazing Infrastructure: Fencing and Water
  • Managing the Mature Stand
  • Intensifying Managed Grazing
  • Stockpiling Grass
The lessons are taught by NCAT specialists who also are livestock producers with years of experience managing their own pastures. Their detailed presentations along with real-world examples and links to other resources will help producers both refine and build managed grazing systems regardless of their experience.

For more information about the tutorial, contact NCAT Livestock Specialist Dave Scott at 800-346-9140 or
Since 1976, NCAT has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. Find out more at or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Webinar offers instruction on using OSU goat software

On Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 at 12:00 PM Central Standard Time, Mr. Brian Freking will present a webinar entitled "On-Farm Meat Goat Performance Evaluation". 

The webinar will detail the Oklahoma State University Extension computer program that is a simple, straight-forward method to evaluate meat goat kid performance as well as compare sires and dams of the kid crop. The webinar URL is:

Click on the link or copy to your browser which will take you to Adobe Connect for the webinar. There is a short tutorial to help anyone unfamiliar with attending a webinar. There will be an allotted time for questions after the webinar. 

Brian has a Masters Degree in Animal Science from South Dakota State University and is the OSU Extension South East Livestock Specialist headquartered in Ada, OK. 

The webinar has 100 seats available on a first come, first served basis at 1:00 PM Eastern Time, 12:00 PM Central Time, 11:00 AM Mountain Time, and 10:00 AM Pacific time. The webinar will be recorded and will be available after the webinar at:

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Kentucky sheep shearing school March 22-23

The 2016 Sheep Shearing School will be held March 22-23 at the University of Kentucky Sheep Unit, C. Oran Little Animal Research Center, Versailles, KY 
Sponsored by the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association 
in Cooperation with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service 
The shearing school is designed for beginner or experienced shearers. Professional sheep shearers, Steve and Colin Kennedy, will teach the most 
current shearing methods. An important aspect of the school is learning about maintenance and care of shearing equipment. 
This school is not designed for young children; 
participants must be at least senior 4-H (high 
school) or FFA members. The Kentucky Sheep 
and Wool Producers Association and the University of Kentucky do encourage participation by senior 
4-H and FFA’ers and will pay the registration fee 
for the first 6 senior 4-H or FFA registrants. 
Tuesday, March 22 
8:30 a.m. - Registration 
9:00 a.m. - Equipment discussion 
10:30 a.m. - Begin shearing 
12:00 p.m. - Lunch (provided from registration fee) 
1:00 p.m. - Continue shearing 
Wednesday, March 23 
8:30 a.m. - Equipment maintenance, wool care 
9:30 a.m. - Trimming stand shearing 
12:00 p.m. - Lunch (provided from registration fee) 
1:00 p.m. - Continue shearing 
3:00 p.m. - Summary/wrap-up 

Professional shearers Steve and Colin Kennedy will be the primary instructors. They will be assisted by Endre Fink (Manager of the UK Sheep Unit), Frank Berry (Research Coordinator at the UK Sheep Unit), and Warren Adcock (graduate of the UK Sheep Shearing School). 

Tips for participants 
1. Wear “old clothes” 
2. Exercise a few weeks before coming to the school 
3. Bring your own shears, if possible (not required) 
4. Study the steps in shearing a sheep 
5. Must not have been outside the U.S. in the last 7 days 

Facilities will limit participation in the Shearing School to 12 students. Selection of students will be based on the earliest postmarked registrations. A $150 participation fee is required. 
To participate, the registration form and fees must be received by March 18, 2016. 
To register, complete the form and send it, plus $150 fee, to: Dr. Donald G. Ely 
Room 904 Garrigus Bldg. 
University of Kentucky 
Lexington, KY 40546-0215 

2016 University of Kentucky Beginner Sheep Shearing School 
Mailing Address: _________________________________ 
City: ___________________________________________ 
State: __________________________________________ 
Zip: ___________________________________________ 
County: _________________________________________ 
Telephone: _______________________________________ 
E-mail: __________________________________________ 
Are you a senior 4-H or FFA member seeking a scholarship? 
(circle one) Yes No 
Registration Fee Enclosed $__________ 

Facilities will limit participation in the Shearing School to 12 students. Selection of students will be based on the earliest postmarked registrations. A $150 participation fee is required, with check made out to Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Assn. 
This registration form and fee must be received by March 18, 2016. To register, complete the form and send it, plus $150 fee, to: Dr. Donald G. Ely 
Room 904 Garrigus Bldg. 
University of Kentucky 
Lexington, KY 40546-0215 
Make checks payable to: Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Assn. 

Directions to Sheep Unit 

From Bluegrass Parkway—East: 
1. Turn left at the intersection of BG Parkway and US 60 
2. Stay on US 60 past Kroger/K-Mart, 84 Lumber and high school 
3. Turn right on US 62-Midway Road (3.7 miles from end of BG Parkway) 
4. Proceed 1 mile, farm entrance on left 
From I-64 East: 
1. Take Exit 58 
2. Turn right on US 60 
3. Proceed 8 miles 
4. Turn left on US 62-Midway Road 
5. Proceed 1 mile, farm entrance on left 
From I-64 West: 
1. Take Exit 65 
2. Turn left and cross over I-64 
3. Turn right on US 62-West 
4. Proceed 6.2 miles-farm entrance on right 
I-75 North or South: 
1. Go to I-64 West and follow directions above. 

Friday, February 12, 2016

"Successful Facebook Marketing for Your Business" Workshop March 2 in Ozark, Mo.

OZARK, Mo. - Facebook is the world's largest social network and marketing on it has become more effective. It has also become more complicated.

Learn "Successful Facebook Marketing for Your Business" from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., March 2, at the Ozark OC, 1530 W. Jackson Street, Ozark. This class will help attendees understand the difference between organic (non-paid) and paid marketing.

Kimberly Beer, a national speaker and advocate for entrepreneurship and small business marketing, will explore how to use a well-rounded Facebook marketing campaign to successfully promote your products and services, build brand awareness, and connect with customers.

"It has become the norm for businesses to have a presence on Facebook. This workshop will help businesses go beyond just a presence on Facebook and help them to successfully grow their business through Facebook marketing" said Chrystal Irons, a business development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

The cost to attend the workshop is $25 for Ozark Chamber members and $35 for non-members. Advanced registration is requested.

To receive more information and to register, call the Ozark Chamber & Carl G. Hefner Enterprise Center at 417-581-6139, or by email at Online registration is available by visiting the Ozark Chamber website, calendar of events page:

The MO SBTDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. University of Missouri Extension programs focus on the high-priority needs of Missourians. Each county extension center, with oversight by locally elected and appointed citizens, is your local link to practical education on almost anything.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Agriculture/Communication job opening in Southeast

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) seeks a motivated, enthusiastic sustainable agriculture specialist/outreach coordinator to serve our Gulf States and Southeast regions. This is an excellent opportunity for someone who has a combination of education and experience in agriculture, communications, marketing, and food policy. The specialist will provide technical assistance to farmers and growers, conduct NCAT outreach activities, and strengthen relationships with current partners and build new partnerships.

The position may be located in either the Jackson, Miss., office or the Fayetteville, Ark., office. It requires the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, agronomy, soils, sustainable agriculture or environmental studies plus four years experience. Project development and management experience is preferred, and superior communications skills are required.

If you want to join a productive and energetic team working to promote sustainable agriculture, then apply today. Visit the NCAT website for the full job description and to download an application package.

Questions? Contact NCAT’s Human Resource Specialist Jerrid Burk at

Since 1976, NCAT has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. Find out more at or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.

Texas Farmers Tell Legislators to Stop Mining Our Water

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 4, 2016 — The Texas House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing yesterday on the issue of water marketing, which frequently involves transferring water from rural communities to urban centers.  "Not a single person from the agricultural industry was invited to testify, even though water is vital to the future of farms and local foods in Texas," observed Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA).

"Is having green golf courses worth being dependent on food from China and South America?" Ms. McGeary asked in written testimony submitted to the Committee.

One of the witnesses at the hearing referred to rural landowners' water rights as a "gold mine," and several of the legislators repeatedly expressed the view that money could properly compensate landowners for the loss of their water.

Colleen Waring, a landowner in Milam County, countered: "As I testified, maybe I'm sitting on a gold mine, but I don't want to mine it.  I want to be a good steward of the groundwater under my land – I'm willing to share what can be shared without detriment, but not plunder this precious resource that people, animals, and plants rely on for survival."

Many of the legislators and witnesses at the hearing promoted a market-based approach to valuing water without recognizing the problems with economic valuation of this essential resource.

As stated in FARFA's written testimony: "Based on market principles, it's reasonable for someone to pay $1.34 now to use, and often waste, water that will be worth $1 million to our great grandchildren.  This makes economic sense because $1.34 invested at a compound interest rate of 7% would be worth $1 million in 200 years from now. This is simply the way the economy values things: What is something in the future worth 'today' – not what it will be worth in the future.   Is this really a moral or ethical way to value our children and their children's children?"

"The legislators who are pushing expanded water marketing are taking a shortsighted and selfish approach.  They prefer to draw down our aquifers – mining water that has taken hundreds or thousands of years to collect – rather than taking the necessary conservation measures.  This is an egregious violation of our moral obligation to ensure that future generations have reasonable access to this basic necessity for life," contended Ms. McGeary.

Before the hearing, the League of Independent Voters and Representative John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) held a press conference to discuss a new report showing that current marketing projects threaten to lower the level of the Simsboro aquifer below the desired future conditions, drying up residents' wells. 

"I look forward to working with my constituents and concerned citizens from all over the state to develop legislation that would promote the long-term welfare and prosperity of our communities, including exploring opportunities for conservation technologies to reduce demand and lessen our reliance on groundwater," concluded Representative Cyrier.

About Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (FARFA) is a national organization that supports independent family farmers and protects a healthy and productive food supply for American consumers.  FARFA promotes common sense policies for local, diversified agricultural systems.