WVU Extension is hosting four workshops in February for folks interested in positive steps to dealing with stress, forages for livestock, soil health and small orchard management. One program will be “in-person” the other three are webinars. All of the workshops require pre-registration to attend or watch.
The in-person workshop is an educational dinner meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 15 at the Quiet Dell United Methodist Church. Dinner will be at 6:30 pm, with the program to begin at 7:15 p.m. The Quiet Dell United Methodist Church is located at 96 Trinity Rd., Mt. Clare; just off I-79 (the church you can see from northbound I-79 at Exit 115).
Farm families are used to physical labor and working long hours. Farm debt, weather, rising expense and animal health concerns add to mental stress that can contribute to chronic illness and depression. The last decade has been particularly difficult on farmers with increasing pressures resulting in high levels of stress, mental health issues, and suicide. Extension and other organizations are working to find solutions when families are struggling including financial management, grazing and production strategies and crop risk protection. This training will provide information on the unique challenges farmers face that can lead to stress, depression and suicide. We believe that quality education empowers all people, regardless of their background, to make a positive difference in the life of someone they know. Your neighbor or family member might be struggling; this training could provide the information and resources you need to recognize it and get them help.
In addition to the above workshop, three webinars are planned for February. The webinars will be broadcast at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings.
On February 2, Fred Provenza will outline his decades worth of research regarding the inherent nutritional wisdom of livestock species and their ability to select the most appropriate forage species for their needs at a given time. Dr. Provenza is professor emeritus of Behavioral Ecology in the Department of Wildland Resources at Utah State University where he worked for 35 years, directing an award-winning research group that pioneered an understanding of how learning influences foraging behavior and how behavior links soil, plants, herbivores, and humans.
On February 9, Doug Peterson will discuss the simultaneous application of grazing and soil health principles and their impact on livestock enterprises environmentally and economically. An NRCS employee for more than 32 years, Doug Peterson started his career as a soil scientist. Most recently, he served as a regional soil health specialist, helping row crop and livestock producers around the country understand soil health and regenerative agriculture, how it impacts virtually all-natural resource processes and how to effectively regenerate the health, function and productivity of our soil.
Having an orchard is a challenge, but it is fun too…it is more fun if we manage to avoid common pitfalls by doing a bit of a homework and planning before each season. On February 16, Mira Danilovich with share an overview of tasks that need to be accomplished before each season starts. We will start with pruning to manage crop potential and improve overall tree health, touch on nutrient management and talk about the most common insect and disease problems and their management. Dr. Danilovich is a consumer horticulture Extension specialist and associate professor with the WVU Extension Service. She serves as the state coordinator for the West Virginia Extension Master Gardener Program.
Anyone having questions, would like more information or would like to register for the educational dinner meeting on February 15, please call WVU-Braxton County Extension at 304-765-2809.
Those who would like to register for any of the webinars, visit: bit.ly/2023WVU AgWebinars (the website URL is case-sensitive) to register. If you are interested in viewing the webinars, but do not have internet to view them, please call WVU-Braxton County Extension at 304-765-2809 and you can view the webinar at the Extension Office in Sutton.