Thursday, May 29, 2014

Teacher Workshop

Join us for our 4th annual Teacher Workshop hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension office! This year the workshop will be held on July 23rd & 24th from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m at the Weatherford College Campus in Wise County (located in between Decatur and Bridgeport). Early bird registration is $40 and is due June 20th. Registration after June 20th is $50 and all registration fees include lunch and materials.
Please note of the early bird registration its new this year.
The workshop is open to all teachers and child care providers that work with youth in Kindergarten through 8th grade. The workshops will be filled with FUN and NEW hands-on activities that are lessons out of the various curriculum offered by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the 4-H program. The workshop will focus on soil and plant science, bullying, life cycles, wildlife, water conservation, entomology, mobile classrooms, health and nutrition and everything in between! CEU credits will be provided for teachers that attend the workshop.
To register, contact the Extension office, 940.627.3341, or email Andrea at  and please provide your name, email address, address, school and the grade you teach! Please make sure to send contact information that is good for the summer months!  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

External Parasites a Nuisance and Cost Money

If your pastures are like mine and the pastures that I have seen with cattle then you have witnessed plenty of flies.  We usually think that a cold winter will take care of weeds and insects and the numbers we face should be small in compared to years with mild winters.  This year seems to be the exception; we have had plenty of weeds and insects.  
 External parasites cost cattle producers millions of dollars each year in lost revenue due to the constant irritation they cause to beef cattle.  Cattle will use a great deal of energy in an attempt to get relief from the constant pestering.Two of the more common problems this time of year are the horn fly and heel fly.  Horn flies will take up to 30 blood meals each day causing nervousness, annoyance and weight loss since they interfere with the feeding and resting routine of a cow. 
 Treatment is said to be justified when populations reach 250 flies per head.  Control can be applied as self-treatment insecticides or you can use sprays, pour-ons, dusts, feed additives or boluses.Cattle grubs are the larvae stage of the heel fly which lay eggs on the hairs of the lower legs of cattle in the spring.  Grubs appear in the backs of cattle in the winter. 
 Their migrating damage causes weight loss and reduces milk production.To control grubs, administer systemic insecticides like IVOMEC, EPRINEX, DECTOMAX or CYDECTIN at least 3 months before grubs appear in the back.  It is best to use pour-on, spot-on, spray or injection type products to kill the migrating grubs before they reach the esophagus.  If used too late, these products can cause reactions in the esophagus if grubs are present.

Face flies can also cause problems for the cattlemen by spreading pinkeye.  They can be controlled with the same products you use for horn flies.Most fly control products have no withdrawal time, so be sure to read and follow the label directions. Fly control is important to the health and performance of cattle.  Some control methods may seem expensive, but it is a practice that will more than pay for itself.

For more information please call Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Wise County at 940-627-3341.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

4-H Validation Dates and Events

The Wise County Validation Committee has set a date for the state steer validation. 4-H and FFA members planning to enter a steer in a major livestock show in Texas must have them validated.  Steer validation will be held on Thursday, June 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and again from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Wise County Fair Grounds. Please note that this is a change from previous years validation.
Thursday, June 26th is the date set for all Wise County 4-H and FFA members to validate State Fair sheep, goats and swine.  We will validate from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Wise County Fair Grounds.  Anyone who plans to enter a sheep, goat, or hog at the State Fair of Texas is required to have them validated on that date.
            If you have questions regarding any of the upcoming 4-H deadlines and events, please call the Extension office at 627-3341.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

It’s Grilling Season

As the weather gets warmer and summer approaches, people spend more time on outdoor activities including cooking. This is a great time to think about fun and tasty ways to grill foods safely.

If your grill has been undercover, take time to make sure it is clean and ready for use before throwing on your favorite foods. Clean your grill by scrubbing it with hot, soapy water before every use. Many gas grills have removable components that can be cleaned in the dishwasher. When you are ready to cook, allow the grill to heat up sufficiently to eliminate potential bacterial problems. If using a gas grill, check the burners to make sure they are clear of any deposits to ensure a safe ignition and even flame.

Once the grill is prepped for use, it is time to decide what to cook. Many foods lend themselves well to grilling; all it takes is a little creativity. Try a few of these non-traditional ideas:

·         Cook vegetables right on the grill. Cut thick slices of vegetables such as peppers, eggplant, summer squash or onions, lightly baste with oil, season with your favorite herbs and place on a hot grill until tender and brown.
·         Grill a pizza. Add a delicious grilled flavor to your favorite pizza by cooking directly on the barbecue. Roll out the pizza dough to the desired size and place on the grill until lightly browned on both sides. Add sauce, cheese and favorite toppings to the crust and grill until cheese is melted and bubbly.
·         Don’t forget dessert. Grill fruit kabobs, pineapple slices or peach halves low heat until the fruit is hot and slightly golden. Serve with a scoop of low-fat ice cream or angel food cake for healthful and delicious dessert.

·         A necessary accessory.  When grilling all types of meats it is very important to use a meat thermometer. It takes the guesswork out of cooking and helps prevent food borne illness by insuring food is cooked to the proper temperature. Properly use by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without being sure the end of the thermometer does not rest on the cooking surface. Use the chart below to be sure that whatever you are cooking reaches the right internal temperature.

Meat type
Safe minimal internal temperature
Beef, veal and lamb steaks, roasts, chops
145 degrees F
Hamburgers, beef
160 degrees F
Pork, all cuts
160 degrees F
Poultry, all cuts
165 degrees F

For more information about food safety and summer grilling, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Service - Wise County office at 940-627-3341.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

AgriLife Extension Honors Wise County Commissioner’s Court

This May, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service joins other Cooperative Extension services around the United States in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the federal Smith-Lever Act on May 8, 1914. This act provides for cooperative agricultural extension work at the nation’s land-grant colleges – and county governments who are vital partners in that work. As part of the statewide celebration, Extension’s Building a Better Texas Award was presented to Wise County Commissioners Court last week for decades of cooperation and support.
We want our county government to know how much we appreciate the partnership we have developed over the years. Without their support, we would not have been able to serve the people of Wise County as well as we have, and many residents would have missed opportunities to benefit from the practical, university-based information that Extension offers.
AgriLife Extension provides dozens of popular programs, including Texas 4-H and Youth Development, Walk Across Texas, Do Well Be Well with Diabetes, Better Living for Texans, the Passenger Safety Project and many more. It also works one on one with local farmers, ranchers and landowners; provides wildlife services; diagnoses plant diseases; tests soil, water and forage; trains food handlers and pesticide applicators; and even trains county officials in the basics of serving their communities.
Headquartered at Texas A&M University in College Station, AgriLife Extension is a member of The Texas A&M University System. It is linked in a unique partnership with the nationwide Cooperative Extension System through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and through Texas county governments. County governments help provide locations and funding for county Extension office facilities, oversee budgets and appropriations, and help AgriLife Extension staff identify program goals.
Our AgriLife Extension director, Dr. Douglas Steele said it best, “By building coalitions with county governments and collaborating with other public and private groups and organizations – and with the help of our more than 100,000 volunteers – AgriLife Extension conducts educational programs that address the diverse range of contemporary and emerging issues affecting the residents of our state. By presenting this award, we hope to show just how much the spirit of cooperation within each county means to us, and to all Texans, as we celebrate a century of success in Extension education and look forward to extending knowledge and providing solutions in the future.”
For additional information on how the Wise County Extension office can serve as a resource for you, contact us at 940/627-3341.