Orders for spring major show goat tags closed on August 31st. We ordered 17 for Cass County.
Orders for heifer UIN codes are open until September 15th. I placed an order or 11 today, and will continue taking them until the deadline. This code will ensure that you are able to show your calf at the spring major shows. If you have already validated your calf, you don't need to order an additional UIN or validate again.
Orders for Swine Validation for Spring Major shows is now open until September 30th. The cost of the tag is $16 and must be paid for when they are ordered.
To show you calf at the Cass County Cattleman's Association Shows in the spring, you need to attend validation on September 26th. If you have not validated your calf, you will not be able to show.
September 15th is the ownership deadline for all animals to be shown at the Cass County Junior Livestock Show in November. We have hog tags for this show available in the office for $1 each.
Please don't forget to complete quality counts as soon as you can!
In an effort to encourage the connection between consumers and the agricultural products that they use daily, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is show casing the "Path to the Plate." The Path to the Plate is a program that works to educate consumers on the fidelity of the food system of our country and the efforts made by agricultural producers daily to ensure that we have a safe and secure food source.
To make this educational method more appealing to youth, several agents from Cass, Harrison, Marion, and Camp counties are working to develop an educational program for youth. For more information on the youth oriented Path to Plate Media Contest, please attend the workshop advertised above.
In light of our recent issues with the lack of rain fall and the rising cost of hay, producers are looking for ways to feed their herds through winter without having to spend over $100 per roll for hay. One of the recommendations to prevent the need for hay use to establishing a great winter pasture to utilize grazing.
Before planting for cool season grasses, you need to prepare your pasture adequately. The first step that we recommend is usually a soil test. This test helps us to establish a base line as to what amendments that your soil will need in order to maximize production. Following your soil test you need to disk you pasture to eliminate the already established plants. This will give your newly planted grasses the best chance to get established. Once you have disked you can re roll your pasture to allow for optimal moisture retention. You will want to plant your choice of cool season grasses in the early fall, from September to October. You want your target planting date to fall 4-6 weeks prior to the first killing frost of the season. This is also when you would want to add your phosphorus and potassium based fertilizers if your soil test deemed it necessary. Once the grasses have been established you can amend your soil with nitrogen based fertilizers. You want to use nitrogen based fertilizers at a rate of 50-60 pounds per acre.
When selecting the type of winter grass to work to get established, you will want to determine what will best suit your needs. Ryegrass is highly recommended because it has shallow planting requirements or 0-.5 inches. You want to plant rye grass seed at a rate of 25-30 pounds per acre. Ryegrass will produce viable grazing from February until May. The next option would be planting a small grain variety, such as wheat. Wheat has a little more planting depth required, needing 1-1.5 inches of planting depth, so a drill may be required for successful planting. Small grains should be planted at 80-120 pounds per acre. Once this is established, you should have adequate grazing from December until April. When choosing which winter forage to provide there are many factors to consider. Rye grass tends to be more cost effective, however wheat will give you a longer grazing period.
Many ranchers have success with a ryegrass/ small grain mixture, or even a rye grass legume mixture that can ultimately benefit your summer pastures due to the nitrogen fixation provided by the cool season legumes. Adding a legume to the mix will not extend your growing season however, as they are prolific from February until May.
Each year about 2.5 million animals houses in shelters are euthanized because there is simply not enough homes for them. 6.5 million animals enter shelters every year, and this number is finally on the decline thanks to the rising availability of affordable spay and neuter programs. Even though this number is on the decline, we must continue to educate communities about the importance of spaying and neutering their pets to prevent unwanted litters of puppies and kittens.
Did you know that is 6 years one female dog on her offspring can have produced as many as 67,000 puppies? A female cat can have produced 370,000 kittens!
Spaying and neutering your pet has been linked in extended life span, due to the decrease risk of specific types of cancer. The benefits of these procedures are evident, but the cost of these procedures can be an issue for many families, especially if they have multiple pets.
The Cass County 4-H Youth Council has decided to work with Dark Horse Coffee, of Linden, Texas in order to help reduce the financial burden of having pets spayed or neutered. Your 4-H club has the opportunity to participate too! Dark Horse Coffee will provide your club with ceramic planters and paint. Your club and decorate the planters and once plants are established in them, they will be for sale in the coffee shop. The proceeds from the sale of these planters will go into an account to pay for spay and neuter procedures of animals in Cass County.
If you club is interested in participating, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
4-H contests, including livestock shows fall under the same restrictions that UIL activities do! This means that if you are not passing your classes at school, you are unable to participate in activities.
To ensure that all of our 4-H members are taking care of their academic business, any student who is going to be participating in a contest of any type, needs to submit and eligibility form to the 4-H office at the end of each grading period. If you don’t have the form, please email Jessica.Rymel@ag.tamu.edu to have one sent to you.
If you are ineligible due to grades, your eligibility will not be renewed until the next progress check. You will need to submit a form stating this at this time be able to participate. This is especially important for our livestock exhibitors, because if you don’t submit the form, you will not be allowed to show.
The livestock industry is always under scruitany so as producers of the safest and most affordable food system in the world, we are working to educate our youth to continue these practices. One of the many ways that we teach our youth how to continue our tradition is through our Youth Livestock program.
To ensure that our youth are being taught the safest and most effective practices of producing our world's food supply, Texas Youth Livestock Exhibitors are required to complete the Quality Counts program. This program has been in place for several years, however this year it is getting a face lift. Along with a new look, the curriculum will also require a self paced course that requires mandatory completion prior to taking the test.
In addition to Quality Counts verification, the Texas Livestock Validation group also requires each exhibitor and their parents to complete an Ethics Form. You definitely need to read this form before you sign it to ensure that you fully understand the standards our exhibitors are being held to because if you do not concede to the policy, your validation could be cancelled. The ethics policy ensures the following-
1. All livestock projects must be under the supervision of an Agricultural Science Teacher or a County Extension Agent. This means that you need to make sure to schedule your project visits.
2. The livestock project must remain in the exhibitors care. The youth should be responsible for the primary care of the animal. This also means that if the animal leaves your care, you need to get your AST or CEA's approval. They will need to know when the animal left your care and when you anticipate the return of the animal.
3. You are allowed to show your animal at other shows, however if it sells at a show, you are not allowed to show it again. This is really important for Cass County since our show is in the Fall, before the spring majors.
4. Exhibitors and their parents need to be honest when showing. This means that you are truthful about the ownership and age of the animal project, no matter what!
5. Livestock Exhibitors are to use only ethical fitting practices. This is outlined in great detail in the ethics policy, but essentially, you should not be artificially modifying the look of your animal project.
6. Exhibitors and their parents are responsible for reading and abiding by the guidelines of each individual show that they enter, so make sure that you take the time to read the rules.
7. Exhibitors must have a quality counts verification number to enter any Texas Major Livestock shows.
The new 4-H year starts on September 1st, and it is such an exciting time! This time of year, extension offices are busy gearing up all of their program plans for the upcoming seasons. This year, we have lots of great oppotunities planned for the young people of our county.
To start the year, our 4-H members are participating in a program to honor our county's veteran's called the "Veteran's Salute." Our 4-H members will have a community service booth where they are going to hand out cold bottles of water to the visitors of this event. We are also going to be hosting a record book work night and a photography project workshop to help our 4-H members to hone their skills in these specific areas. Durign September we will also be validating steers and commercial heifers that will be shown at the Cass County Cattleman's Association Spring Shows. Check your 4-H emails and the 4-H newsletter for more specific information about times and dates.
October brings 4-H week to us, which is a huge cause for celebration. Did you know that the 4-H gives out over $2 million is scholarships annually? During October, we will participate in the 4-H Clover Sale with our local Tractor Supply Company store. The money raised from the clovers that are sold will benefit 4-H members from our county as they work to develop their leadership skills. We are also going to be hosting a Project Party during October, which is designed to help 4-H members, new and old, to learn more about what can be considered a project through the 4-H club.
We will also have many 4-H members participating at stockshows all over the East Texas Region with their animal and FCH projects. This will be a busy but exciting time for our 4-H members as they begin a year of hard work and dedication to their futures.
In an amazing opportunity, a group of Texas Agriculture and Natural Resources agents were able to participate in a fantastically organized Viticulture and Enology Tour while at a conference in Denison, Texas.
The first stop on our tour was the the T.V. Munsun Center at Grayson College. This center offers one of the world's greatest viticulture and enology centers. Viticulture, the study of the cultivation of grapevines, and enology, the study of actually making the good stuff (wine), are quickly growing fields and makes tons of sense from an economic stand point if one realizes the profitability of such a value added product. This realization is quickly leading to more smaller vinyards and winery locations all across the state of Texas, in addition to the consumer's appreciation of locally grown and produced products.
The center at Grayson College, is named for the "Texas Grape Man," T.V. Munsun, who is credited with the salvation of the French Wine industry in the late 1800's. Munsun was able to accomplish this because of his utilization of the native grapevine varieties found in the United States. Munsun traveled the North American Continent collecting and identifying the vast flora he found, more specifically-- grapes. When devestation in the form of a fungus attacked the French grapevines, wiping out 80% of the industry, Munsun was contacted. Munsun was able to send hardy North American root stock (the root system of the plants) and these were grafted together with the better quality grape vines. This essentially gave this new hybridized plant the strong and sustainable root system of the native plants and the finer quality of grape from the European plants. Talk about some positive GMO impact!
So as you enjoy your evening glass of vino, give a quick thanks to the Texas Grape Man, because without his early ingenuity and exploration of genetically modifying weaker organisms, your glass might be empty!
Grayson College Viticulture and Enology Center