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New classes to be offered for beef farmers

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By David Kessler
Marion County Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources

Members of the Marion County Cattlemen’s Association took time off from their busy schedules to go on their annual bus tour last week. On Thursday, they visited a Virginia Tech research farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. This farm was interesting because it combines research and history. The farm was the home of Cyrus McCormick, the inventor of the original grain reaper. Many of the original buildings have been restored and they have an interesting display of old farm equipment. At the farm Virginia Tech conducts research on forages, cattle and sheep. One of their major focuses is on rotational grazing of cattle. Cattle graze a small area of pasture for a short period of time and are moved to fresh pasture on a regular basis. While extra fencing and labor are used in this system they have found that they can stock more animals per acre and take better care of the land.
On Friday, the group visited the New Holland factory in New Holland, PA and saw Hay Balers, Mowers and Manure Spreaders being built. It was interesting to see how all the various parts come together to make an operating piece of equipment. The group took a tour of the Amish Countryside and attended a dinner theater. On Saturday the group visited two farms with cattle feeding facilities, as well as a facility where chicks are raised from a day old to seventeen weeks when they are transferred to an egg laying facility. The facility had 242,000 chicks! It was interesting to see how farmers in another region of the country go about their business.
The extension office will be offering a series of classes this fall for beef farmers called Master Marketer. This is a five part course focused on the buying and selling of cattle for backgrounding and feeding. The class will explain how to maximize the profitability of feeding cattle through the purchase and sale process, how to budget for profitability and how to manage price risk through the use of futures, options and livestock risk management insurance. This is a series of five classes which will be held Oct. 1, Oct. 15 and Oct. 28, and Nov. 12 and Nov. 26. Classes will be taught by specialists from the University of Kentucky. Cost for the series of classes will be $50, which includes class materials and meals. Marion County Cattlemen’s Association has again committed to paying the fee for its members who take the classes. The first class on Oct. 1, will be held at the Marion County Extension Office. For more information or to sign up for the course call the extension office.
UK will be offering its EweProfit II School on Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is part of a series of three classes for new producers on managing a flock of sheep. Producers can start at any class in the series. The other classes are usually held in January and June. The class will be held at UK’s C. Oran Little Research Farm in Woodford County and there is no charge.
The Marion County Cattlemen’s Association will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. Burkman Feeds is sponsoring the meeting. Call the extension office if you plan to attend.
The second session of the Kentucky Beef Network’s weed identification and control series entitled “Treating Your Weeds” will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eden Shale Farm in Owen County. Topics will include sprayer technology, what type of herbicides to use for various weeds and when to use them. There is no charge for attending the session. Call the extension office for more information.
The Lebanon Farmers Market will be open the Saturday of Ham Days at the pavilion on M. L. King Avenue in downtown Lebanon. They expect to have pumpkins, gourds, sweet potatoes, watermelon, potatoes, zucchini squash, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, peppers, baked and canned goods, homemade soap, honey, maple syrup and homemade crafts. This will be the last day the market will be open for this season.
Any Marion County resident with produce, homemade crafts, etc. can pay the single day price of $5 to set up at the Farmers Market. Call Farmers Market President Terry Williams or the Extension Office to reserve a spot. Spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.