As we move in the February, we have so many opportunities for 4-H members and volunteers taking place! Make sure you are up to date on all of the goings on by checking out our February 2019 4-H Newsletter.
The images in the gallery above are only some of the great things that the Cass County 4-H has taking place.
ADULTS and CLUB MANAGERS: We are currently actively recruiting for our Texas Community Futures Forum, a group that meets one time for two hours every five years to help the extension service identify community issues in the areas that we serve. If you would like to participate by voicing your opinion, please register here.
The Cass 4-H Agriculture and Natural Resources Coalition is piloting a Goat Kid Give Away program for Cass County 4-H members. If you are interested in participating in this program, you can access the application here.
We are lucky to have a Shooting Sports Coach Training in Texarkana coming up. Check out the flyer above if this is an area that interests you! Registration is currently open for this event on 4-H Connect.
The Cooperative Extension Program Youth Advisory Board is holding a chance drawing for a customized key hole garden. A $5 donation earns one ticket in the drawing. Contact John Ferguson for more information. email@example.com or 903.756.5391
On February 16th the 2019 Trashion Show will take place at the Fairview Community Center. To register click here.
The Linden Lions club has reached out in search of 4-H members who would like to present at their weekly meetings. If this is something that interests you, please let me know so that we can get you on the list.
If you would like to attend Texas 4-H Round Up, you need to start making plans with your club. The hotel block is currently open and will fill up quickly.
Don't hesitate to reach out to our office if you have any questions or need more information about any of the upcoming activities.
In an effort to educate Cass County residents on the importance of water conservation, our office challenges YOU to participate in the 40 Gallon Challenge. We are sending out this information in January to get participating homes started on this project. We will also be sending out water saving tips and tricks monthly.
The population in Texas is steadily rising. We are currently the second most populated state, however with 1500 people moving to Texas everyday, our population is expected to grow 70% between 2020 and 2070.
More people means we have a huge need for more resources. Sadly, we only have a finite amount of water. This makes the task of conserving water more important than ever. Take the 40 gallon challenge and lets all do our parts to help conserve our most precious resources and possibly save you some money on your water utility bill.
If you are interested in trying out the 40 gallon challenge, reach out to our office so that we can provide your with resources.
The number of goats being raised in East Texas is rising. Many people buy a few goats while they are still under the impression that goats are hardy animals that will eat almost anything. The problem occurs whenever reality hits, and new goat owners quickly realize that those hardy goats are mostly mythological creatures.
The misconception of goats eating everything comes from their exploratory nature; they identify things by taste and will mouth and lick items. They won't eat them, however and are incredibly picky animals generally. Goats prefer to forage on the same types of plants that our native white tailed deer prefer, and will only eat grass or graze as a last resort. If you are wanting to clear brush goats can be quite helpful, but they are not suitable as lawn mowers.
The primary issue we face with goat production in East Texas is caused by our high levels of humidity. Goats were designed to live in dry, arid climates which is a far cry from the rainforest like spring, summer, and fall that we encounter in a normal year. Our winters are also often too mild to freeze long enough to be detrimental to the population of nematodes and bacteria present in the soil. The humidity and lack of cold temperatures creates a great environment for intestinal parasites that are a goat farmers greatest enemy. Goats are far more sensitive to the infestations of intestinal parasites than cattle and horses, which is a lesson that new goat owners will learn very quickly in East Texas. There are varieties of intestinal parasites who can cause death due to extreme dehydration and anemia in less than a week of not managed adequately.
Goats can experience a rapid decline in health when they have a moderate to high worm or intestinal bacteria load and monthly worming schedules can be ineffective as different types of wormers are effective against different classes of parasites. This is the primary reason why goat owners should develop a strong relationship with a veterinarian who can conduct fecal samples to identify the types of parasite that is impacting the goat. Once the culprit has been identified, the correct and effective anthelmintic can be administered to correct the problem. Goat owners also need to pay close attention to the products being used on animals that are used for meat or milk. Many products on the market are not designed for goats or haven't been tested on goats to determine withdrawal periods and should only be administered following veterinary supervision.
The old saying "An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure" is certainly true when it comes of goat herd management. Goat owners in East Texas must stay a head of the potential issues that can and will arise if given the opportunity. Goats should be vaccinated with a CD&T vaccine annually in addition to receiving the regionally recommended immunizations.
Goats must be handled to maintain their health and condition. This time of year many goats will develop lice which are visible on the coat of the goats if you brush your hand against the grain of the hair. There are both topical and internal treatments to rid your goats of lice. Visit with your veterinarian to determine what best meets your needs. Goats also need to have their hooves trimmed on a monthly or bi monthly basis depending on how quickly they grow. With the humid conditions in East Texas, hoof rot and foot infections can pose a great problem to goat herds if hoof health isn't maintained. It is recommended that goat owners handle their goats weekly to check the "Fa Macha" scale which is indicative of parasite levels in most cases and also to ensure that goats hooves are in trimmed and in good condition.
While goats are a little high maintenance, they can be profitable for producers who get herd management down. Does who are managed well can kid up to 3 times in 2 years and are ready to breed at 7 months old in most cases. Does are also more prolific than cattle, often safely having 2-4 kids per kidding. There is a growing market for goat meat in Texas due to our ever changing population. The market trend for goats shows them averaging $2.50 per pound across ages, sizes, and types.
I know that many of our producers were ecstatic to see the first freeze come our way in November. The struggle with fall army worms has been tremendous and paired with the drought conditions in the early and mid summer, producers had their hands full ensuring hay was cut to feed livestock this winter.
Allen Knutson, an entomology specialist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service has sent out a survey to county agents to help us to determine the overall economic impact of the fall army worm out breaks.
If you are a land owner who manages pasture or hay meadow, please contact our office. We would like to find out what percent of your acreages were impacted by the fall army worm outbreak and what the consequences of the outbreak mean to our county economically.
When we show evidence of our a heavy economic impact from the army worm outbreak, we have a greater chance of justifying the needed research to develop methods to combat our fall army worm epidemic.
You can call me at the office at 903.756.5391 if you would like to contribute to this survey.
Good morning. The Calf Scramble Entry System is now open for 2019 Scramble applicants. It is located in the Junior Show entry system at https://secure.rodeohouston.com/juniorshowentry/
Please get your entries in no later than December 1st. The sooner you get your entries in, the more likely it is your kids will be participants. Remember, you can enter your Scramble entries now and can come back to submit your livestock entries later.
See you in 2019!
Senior Coordinator, Calf Scramble
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™
Feb. 25 – March 17, 2019
O: 832.667.1138 | F: 832.667.1140
Texas A&M AgriLife has a new program that is focusing on educating consumers about the safety of the American food supply. In today's social media driven world, there is information readily available at our finger tips, however, some of the information is less than dependable. Often times scare tactics are used to discourage consumer support of farmers and agriculture as a whole. These tactics aren't based on dependable research.
In extension we work to connect the people in our counties with the most up to date, research based information, especially when it is concerning the safety of our food supply.
The disconnect between consumers and our industry has demonstrated the need for the "Path to the Plate" program. More information about this program can be found at pathtotheplate.tamu.edu. The goal of this program is to present an unbiased examination of agriculture, the food that we eat, and the connection to our health.
To get more individuals involved in the Path to the Plate movement, each county has been encouraged to host some type of educational event that emphasizes a commodities path to the plate. While presenting information to individuals can be meaningful, 4-H is all about creating experiences where youth can develop their own understanding of complex principles. Because of our believe in experiential learning we have decided to encourage youth to pursue their own "Path to the Plate" interest.
4-H members have the opportunity to participate in the youth Path to the Plate Media Contest. This contest is designed so that 4-H members can find an agricultural interest area that appeals directly to the youth. This industry may even be connected to the 4-H members project area. Once the 4-H members has chosen an area of interest, they will then perform research to strengthen their understanding of aspects of the industry. Ultimately their research will be complied with videography and photography to create a 3-5 minute video showcasing the importance of one of our commodities. We also want the videos to target the commodities impact on public health and the economy.
We want for youth, who will eventually be the consumers of our nation, to have an educated understanding of the agricultural industry. This industry has ensured that the United States has the most secure food supply in the world. Through this youth oriented program, we hope to enlighten and engage young people, creating and facilitating agricultural advocacy.
Path to the Plate Media Contest Packet