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Ag Day event receives community support

story by Quenna Terry

Agricultural education programs and field days are common events in rural communities during the spring of the year.

A recent Ag Day program in Aspermont was hosted by the Stonewall Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and multiple conservation partners such as AgriLife Extension and the Farm Service Agency to reach out to local producers, landowners, and county residents to provide current agriculture information and updates to benefit their land and resources.

The SWCD and NRCS collaborated with their partners to provide one of the largest attended agricultural education programs they have had in their community in recent years.

NRCS and the Stonewall SWCD personnel planned and organized the event. Program topics included post fire recovery, hog control, farm bill program update, economic outlook, pesticide licensing, and where have the quail gone. Producers were able to earn up to three continuing education units (CEUs) through the AgriLife Extension Service.

NRCS District Conservationist Jacob Shaffer said, "Being new to the NRCS district conservationist position in the county, this program provided me the opportunity to meet more area producers and local residents."

With drought conditions looming into 2012, almost everyone was interested in the update on wildfire recovery presented by Charlie Morris, retired NRCS District Conservationist in Dickens County.

He explained the process Dickens County officials and emergency management services worked through to address wildlife threats to the cities of Spur, Dickens, and Afton in 2011.

Matt Kraus, NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist for the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) followed Morris' presentation with an overview of post fire recovery and GLCI updates.

NRCS representatives were available following their programs to provide additional details about drought impacts related to planning and management, prescribed burn planning and the success Dickens County had in utilizing technical assistance through NRCS and the local community emergency management services.

Ag Day updates ended with comments from Jay Kingston, extension agent for AgriLife Extension Service in Kent County. Kingston also introduced Cody Myers as the new County Extension Agent for Stonewall County.

"I thought the event went very well," said Jacob Shaffer, NRCS. "We tried to have a diverse set of presentations to give everyone a chance to hear a topic of interest."

Almost 60 people were in attendance for the event. A meal was sponsored by The First National Bank in Aspermont, Dow AgroSciences, and the Stonewall SWCD.

"We hope the community enjoyed the Ag Day, but more importantly, we hope they learned something while they were here," Shaffer said.

For more information about NRCS/SWCD activities in Aspermont contact the USDA Service Center, NRCS field office at 940-989-2627 ext. 3 or visit the office located on 635 S. Broadway, Aspermont, TX.

"Barefoot" Bob Richardson shows Ag Day participants one of his hog trap designs. Retired NRCS Employee Charlie Morris presented a program on post fire recovery and prescribed burning.

"Barefoot" Bob Richardson shows Ag Day participants one of his hog trap designs.

Retired NRCS Employee Charlie Morris presented a program on post fire recovery and prescribed burning.

Casey Summers with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) discusses pesticide laws and regulations. Jay Yates AgriLife Extension Program Specialist presented an agriculture economic outlook for 2012.

Casey Summers with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) discusses pesticide laws and regulations.

Jay Yates AgriLife Extension Program Specialist presented an agriculture economic outlook for 2012.