By BRETT DUNLAP
The Parkersburg News and Sentinel
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — People involved in local agriculture will be able to take part in a number of presentations dealing with farming issues.
The 43rd annual Wood County Farmer’s Short Course will be every Thursday from Jan. 19 to March 9. Each session starts 7 p.m. in the Fort Boreman Room of the Judge Black Annex next to the Wood County Courthouse.
The 2017 Farmer Short Course will offer nine sessions on various agriculture related topics, held in conjunction with the Wood County Beef Improvement Association and the West Virginia Extension Service along with the Farm Credit of the Virginias, Little Kanawha Conservation District, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Blennerhassett FFA and Ward’s Farm Supply.
“It is agriculture-based and we bring in a variety of speakers,” said Wood County Agricultural Extension Agent J.J. Barrett.
The first meeting was held Thursday, Jan. 19, and covered “Farm Bill, Farm Loan and EQUIP Program Updates” and “Livestock Watering Systems.”
The next meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, will feature Scott Bowdridge, WVU Professor of Animal Science who will talk about “Parasite Control in Livestock.”
Three of the nights — Jan. 26, Feb. 23 and March 22 — are WVU Dinner Nights with speakers from the state dinner circuit. Those also include a meal.
The other meetings will include:
Feb. 2: Farm Taxes — Jeff Depuy of Perry and Associates
Feb. 9: Herd Health Vaccination Programs — Jake Osborne of Boehringer Ingelheim and Minerals For Beef Cattle — Neil Baumgarner of Cargill
Feb. 16: Advantages of Cross-Breeding in Beef Cattle — John Johnson, WVU Extension Agriculture Agent for Jackson County
Feb. 23: Fencing Issues For Livestock — Bill Iams of the Log Cabin Fence Company
March 2: Issues for Pipeline Leases for Farmland — Clif Little, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural Agent for Guernsey County
March 9: Legislative Update from Dwayne O’Dell of the West Virginia Farm Bureau and Protecting Your Identification by Brooke Albright
March 22: (The last meeting will be held at the Jackson County WVU Extension Office in Cottageville) Weed Control in Hay and Pastures by Jeff Clark, pasture specialist from the Dow Corporation.
“We have over 15 speakers coming this year,” Barrett said. “We have people coming in from all over the region, not just Wood County, but from Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Roane, Jackson and Wirt counties.”
Many farmers from Wirt County, which doesn’t have an agriculture extension agent, regularly come in for the Short Course programs. With the variety of farmers in the area, topics can be of interest to a lot of people involved in local agriculture.
“We can have topics of interest to local people,” Barrett said.
In relation to the March 2 program, a lot of farmland has been leased to gas companies and an issue that has come up is getting right of ways to lay gaslines.
“They are drilling and starting to capture natural gas,” Barrett said. “The next step will be property rights as far as negotiating leases for laying pipelines across your farm.”
The programs are free.
“The meetings are usually pretty well attended,” Barrett said. “There will be a lot of discussion from farmer to farmer about things that are going on.
“I am trying to introduce and stress farm management that will improve sustainability and profitability of our local farms.”
For more information on the Wood County Farmer’s Short Course programs, call 304-424-1960.
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