The Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resources staff promote sustainable agricultural practices and work with agricultural producers to develop sustainable agriculture plans for their farming operations.
The term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site specific application that will, over the long term:
a. satisfy human food and fiber needs
b. enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends
c. make the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on‑farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls
d. sustain the economic viability of farm operations, and
e. enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
Extension agents assist people with growing and producing both cool season and warm season forages. Areas of assistance include maximizing forage growth, fertilizer and herbicide training, species of forages and outlets to sell or buy specific types of hay and management of the soil for optimum production.
Producers receive educational information about producing fish as an alternative enterprise or for recreational purposes. Along with teaching management techniques in the production of fish, pond management and aquatic weed control are also taught.
Cooperative Extension agents help livestock producers manage cattle, goats, sheep and horses. The management areas include reproduction, nutrition, health, selection of animals and new management practices. Agents and specialists also help cut production costs and maximize profits in order to continue raising livestock.
Participants learn gardening techniques, vegetable and fruit tree variety selection, soil management and pest control. Other management techniques such as fruit tree pruning and fertilization are also taught.
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