Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Our Extension Agent Paid Us a Visit on the Farm

One of the pastures where we plan to put the cattle
My husband is a former county extension agent and I have been a state extension specialist for over 20 years.  In all that time we have never had an extension agent visit our own farm.  Mostly that was because we didn't ever need one since we grow vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals and both of us are horticulturists.  But in recent years, mostly in response to hubby's physical limitations, we have been expanding into animal husbandry and neither of us is trained in that discipline.  We have a horse, a donkey, and six chickens and now we want to add beef cattle.  All our neighbors who raise cattle say how easy it is, but neither of us knows ANYTHING about raising cattle!  We've read books, consulted websites and blogs, and talked to friends and neighbors, but we still have many questions.  Also, we are cooperating with a conservation group to use the cattle for management of some of their property which is adjacent to ours and it is not all in pasture.  We have questions about what the cattle would forage on there and how much we would have to supplement their feed and with what.

So yesterday, the local county extension agent who handles cattle, pastures, and such came out to the farm and spent quite a bit of time with my husband and someone from the conservation group.  He advised them on what kind of cattle management system to use, breeds, marketing, pasture management, supplemental feed, shelter, and resources.  He was very helpful and friendly and my husband said it was kind of fun to be on the receiving end.

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