Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cattle Trails Cow-Calf Conference


Not only are beef producers in Wise County hurting, but cattle producers across the country are feeling the bite of the drought through rising costs.  I received this information concerning the Cattle Trails Cow-Calf Conference that addresses our immediate area of North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.  This conference should be very valuable to those who attend.

A cattle industry recovering from the drought will be the focus of the Cattle Trails Cow-Calf Conference, a joint effort between Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, to be held Jan. 15 in Lawton, Okla.

This annual conference provides cow-calf producers the most up-to-date information on topics that influence cattle profits, said Stan Bevers, AgriLife Extension economist in Vernon, Texas.

The slogan of the conference is “driving your cattle to profits,” although Bevers said the last couple of years have made it tough to generate any profit.

The conference, which alternates between Texas and Oklahoma each year, will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Comanche County Coliseum, 920 South Sheridan, in Lawton. Registration is $25 per person and includes educational materials, a noon meal and refreshments.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Garrett King, agricultural liaison for U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas from Oklahoma. Lucas is the current House Agriculture Committee chairman. King will provide a farm bill and congressional update from Lucas’ office.

Two speakers will address pasture conditions and recovery. Jack LeClair, DuPont Crop Protection range and pasture specialist, Saint Jo, Texas, will cover drought recovery and invasive weeds. Dr. Bob Gillen, Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center department head at Hays, Kan., will cover the impact of drought on the Southern Plains grassland.

Traits and tools for retention and replacement of beef females will be discussed by Dr. Megan Rolf, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension beef cattle management specialist, Stillwater, Okla.

Dr. Dan Hale, AgriLife Extension meat specialist, College Station, Texas, will give participants a virtual packing plant tour to close out the meeting.

Industry sponsors will have products on display during the event. For more information on the event, go to http://agrisk.tamu.edu.

Producers are encouraged to preregister by contacting their local AgriLife Extension county agent, their Oklahoma Cooperative Extension county educator, or the Southwest Oklahoma Area Extension office at 580-255-0546.

Step up to Scale Down


As the time draws closer to setting those New Year’s resolutions (or maybe a better term, ‘goals for the year’) remember that Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Wise County is launching Step Up & Scale Down, a new 12-week weight management program to help with your efforts.
The series will kick off Tuesday, January 8 at the Extension office located at 206 S. State Street in Decatur.  Classes will be held from 12-1 pm for twelve consecutive Tuesdays.  “Step Up & Scale Down is a great program to do with a friend or family member. 
            The program will consist of weekly lessons to help participants move toward a healthier weight. The twelve sessions include: Scale Down by Setting Goals, Step Up to a Healthy Plate, Scale Down by Label Reading, Step Up to Breakfast and Menu Planning, Scale Down with Moves to Lose, Step Up Your Hydration, Scale Down by Finding your Motivational Mojo, Step Up to Healthy Snacking, Scale Down with a Colorful Plate, Step Up to Successful Socializing, Scale Down by Knowing Your Numbers, and Step Up and Celebrate. 
            The Step Up & Scale Down program is based on the USDA 2010 Guidelines, which is intended to help Americans choose a healthful eating plan. 
            Cost for the 12-week program is $25 which includes all course materials.    Pre-registration is available by contacting the Wise County Extension Office at 940-627-3341.

Monday, December 17, 2012

4-H Up coming events


When people call our office to find out more about 4-H, I am always a little stumped on where to start. 4-H families will tell you that 4-H is everywhere and it is apart of everything you do each day. The Texas 4-H Website states “4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H is about having fun, learning, exploring and discovering.” 4-Her’s have the opportunity to discover and learn about projects ranging from Aerospace to Zoology. Below are some of the upcoming dates important for families enrolled in 4-H or if you are thinking that 4-H might have something to offer to your family.

All youth planning to participate in the 2013 Wise County Youth Fair need to be enrolled in either 4-H or FFA by December 31, 2012. To register for 4-H please visit 4-H Connect Online to enroll (https://texas.4honline.com). You will first need to set up a family profile and then register youth and at least one adult. Youth 3rd – 12th grade are $25.00 and adults are free. Please contact the Extension office if you have any questions about enrollment. There is internet access from the Extension office if you need it.

Consumer Decision Making practices will be at 9:30 a.m. on December 27th and 9:00 a.m. on January 2nd at the Extension office. Consumer decision making is a project based on teaching youth about selecting products at the store based on economics and product information. All 4-H members are welcome to attend and please bring a pencil and paper to take notes.

Livestock Judging practices will be at 1:30 p.m. on December 27th, after hoof trimming on December 29th, and at 8:30 a.m. on January 3rd at the Extension office. Livestock Judging teaches youth about market animal characteristics and selection and helps with public speaking skills. All 4-H members are welcome to attend and please bring a pencil and paper to take notes.

Hoof Trimming will be on December 29th at the Wise County Posse Grounds starting at 8:30 a.m. All 4-H and FFA members are invited to attend and the cost is $30 per head. 

There will be a “Crafter-noon” on January 2nd from 1-4:30pm at the Extension Office. We will have supplies to create crafts that can be entered into the ‘4-H Theme/Any Craft’ or Recycle Division categories at the Youth Fair. We will supply various craft supplies – if you have a specific project in mind you should bring the supplies for it. Please call the Extension office at 627-3341 by December 28th to sign up.

On January 5, 2013 from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. is the Wise County Youth Fair tag-in for sheep, goats, hogs, non-registered heifers and dairy sale heifers.  If you miss this tag in date you will not be eligible to show in the WCYF. Just because you tag your animal, does not mean you are entered in the WCYF. Entries open on January 9th and will close on February 9th. Formore information go to http://www.wcyouthfair.org.

The Clothing & Textiles 4-H Club will host a Clothing & Textiles Workshop on January 9th at 5 p.m. at the Extension office. Topics discussed will be Story Boards, Construction & Buying projects, Community Service, and various Youth Fair categories. To participate in the clothing & textiles projects you do not have to know how to sew, for some, the youth LOVE to shop for clothing and accessories!

On January 15, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a Broiler Clinic at the Extension Office. Topics that will be covered include: housing, nutrition, health, daily care, and selection. If you have been showing broilers for years for if this is your first time, this workshop is for you! Please contact the Extension office at 627-3341 to sign up by January 11th! 

Another exciting (scholarship) opportunity for Senior 4-H members is the San Antonio Livestock Show and Rodeo School Tours. This year Wise County 4-Her’s will give tours to school children on Friday, February 15th at the San Antonio Stock Show. We will travel to San Antonio after school on Thursday, February 14th and return home the evening of February 15th. All senior youth that participate in this tour guide experience have the opportunity to apply for a $1,000 scholarship (in either 4-H or FFA) or an add-on to their market animal if it makes the sale at San Antonio. The tour guide training dates are January 22nd and February 12th from 5-6:30pm at the Extension office. For more information contact the Extension office.

Home Preservation of Pecans


America's favorite nut, the pecan, is shaking out of trees all over Texas and the South. The pecan is a traditional southern food and no southern holiday table would be complete without at least one pecan pie. Although pecans are typically associated with the holidays or fancy candy dishes, they are packed with so much nutrition; they should be enjoyed all year long!
Pecans are perishable because of their high oil content and they must be stored properly to maintain good quality. At home, unshelled pecans can be stored in a cool, dry place. Shelled
pecans should be either refrigerated or frozen. Pecan nuts must be stored away from air and light. Pecans will also readily absorb odors from almost any material, including other fruits and vegetables. The best storage conditions can be obtained using vacuum-sealed bags or jars. In the absence of a vacuum sealer, zipper lock bags or airtight containers will work. For flexible packaging be sure and press out all of the air possible before storage. Place sealed bags or vacuum packages in the refrigerator or freezer.
            The length of time you can store pecans depends on storage temperature. Room temperature storage causes nut oils to become rancid quicker. They can maintain quality up to a few months at room temperature, with a shorter time in a warmer environment. Rancid nuts are not unsafe but they have a bitter, unpleasant, oily taste that most people find unpleasant. Rancidity cannot be reversed.
 Pecans retain quality for a year or more at refrigerator temperature (40 degrees F). Extension sources vary on recommendation of freezer storage time with the range being two to five years. To retain optimal flavor in pecans for as long as possible, they should be kept frozen at 0 degrees F or below.  Unshelled pecans can be kept in the freezer for 4 -5years.
When using pecans in your favorite recipes; try toasting them to enhance the nutty flavor. Simply, spread them on a baking sheet in an oven and heat for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. The time varies depending on the size of the pecan half or piece.
             The source for this information came from the Georgia Pecan Commission and Texas Pecan Growers Association.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Feral Hogs in Texas Video Presentation

video

Here is a video from Texas A & M Agrilife Extension on Feral Hogs. It is a little long but it is VERY informational!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Wise County Youth Fair news


All youth planning to participate in the 2013 Wise County Youth Fair need to be enrolled in either 4-H or FFA by December 31, 2012. To register for 4-H please visit 4-H Connect Online to enroll (https://texas.4honline.com). You will first need to set up a family profile and then register youth and at least one adult. Youth 3rd – 12th grade are $25.00 and adults are free. Please contact the Extension office if you have any questions about enrollment. There is internet access from the Extension office if you need it.
On January 5, 2013 from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. is the Wise County Youth Fair tag-in for sheep, goats, hogs, non-registered heifers and dairy sale heifers.  If you miss this tag in date you will not be eligible to show in the WCYF. Just because you tag your animal, does not mean you are entered in the WCYF. Entries open on January 9th and will close on February 9th. For more information go to http://www.wcyouthfair.org.
All rabbits must be validated on February 24, 2013 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Extension office. All rabbits must be tattooed or tattoos checked and checked for breed and sex at this time in order to show at the Wise County Youth Fair.