The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the East Texas Plant Materials Center (ETPMC) in Nacogdoches recently hosted a field day which showcased the centerï¿½s plant materials programs and technology.
Upwards of 100 people attended the event which included field tours, educational sessions and a greenhouse dedication that honored the centerï¿½s original board of directors.
ï¿½The field day allows NRCS to highlight new conservation plant research and technology development for east Texas, west Louisiana and southwest Arkansas. Attendees learned about pollinator and wildlife habitat development, why plants are adapted to certain environments and innovative plant selection to reduce plant fungal problems,ï¿½ said Rob Ziehr, USDA-NRCS plant materials specialist. ï¿½State conservationists from Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas were on hand to provide input into plant research to benefit conservation in their respective states, as well as take back newly developed technology to assist their private landowners.ï¿½
Salvador Salinas, NRCS state conservationist for Texas, gave the keynote address during the opening session. Salinas commented on the valuable work being done on new plant releases, collaborative efforts with surrounding states and the active board of directors that have helped move the centerï¿½s research and technology forward.
ETPMC partners include soil and water conservation districts, Pineywoods RC&D, Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches and the U.S. Forest Service.
Worth Whitehead, director of the ETPMC advisory board presented Angus Mims a dedication plaque which honors the original ETPMC advisory board of which Mims was a member. In appreciation of the years of leadership the original board gave to the center, the plaque will hang in the newly constructed greenhouse.
Field tours included presentations on studies underway involving indiangrass, switchgrass, cover crops and plant ecotypes. Attendees also had an opportunity to learn about pollinator plants and wildlife food plots at the wildflower mixes stop.
The afternoon sessions began with Eugean Hinze, Texas Department of Agriculture, who provided information on private pesticide applicator laws and regulations. Kent Ferguson, NRCS rangeland management specialist and Michael Woody, NRCS biological science technician, covered the importance and benefits of calibrating herbicide application equipment, along with providing a hands-on demonstration. Rick Leopold, NRCS conservation agronomists, gave a presentation on integrated pest management.
Salvador Salinas, NRCS state conservationist for Texas, gives the keynote address at the recent ETPMC field day.
(From left to right) Worth Whitehead, director of the ETPMC advisory board presents Angus Mims a dedication plaque honoring the original ETPMC advisory board of which Mims was a member. Salvador Salinas, NRCS state conservationist for Texas, took part in the presentation.
(From left to right) Max McCormack, ETPMC biological science technician, Joel Douglas, plant materials specialist, Central National Technology Support Center and Alan Shadow, ETPMC manager, were instrumental in making the field day a success.
Field tours included presentations on indiangrass, switchgrass, cover crops, plant ecotypes, pollinator plants and wildlife food plots.