Blackland Income Growth Conference January 14-15 in Waco

The Blackland Income Growth Program seeks to improve the overall agricultural and agri-business economy of the Blackland area.  This Annual BIG Conference is scheduled for January 14-15, 2020 at the Waco Convention Center.

On Tuesday, January 14, commodity groups will offer educational programs, including a session on Wildlife, Cotton, Beef Cattle, Grain, Horticulture, Rural Land Management and Forage. The first day of the conference starts at 9:00 AM and runs until 4:00PM and registration includes lunch. Registration for the commodity sessions on January 14 is $25 and includes lunch, registration opens at 8:00AM.

This year’s keynote speaker, which will be featured during the lunch on January 14, is Dr. Jeff Hyde the newly named director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. As director of the largest Extension agency in the nation, Hyde oversees agency programming in agriculture and natural resources, Family and Community Health, 4-H and Youth Development, and Community Economic Development. His research and extension education programs focused on factors affecting farm profitability, including new production technologies and business or marketing planning.

On day two of the conference, a 5 Hour Recertification Program will be held for those with a pesticide applicator license. Pre-registration is $60 and includes lunch or $70 at the door. Call 254-757-5180 to pre-register. Also, on January 15, a private applicator training will be held. Registration is $75 and includes lunch. Preregister by calling 254-582-4022.

For more information contact:  Chelsea Dorward, Bosque County Extension Agent (254) 435-2331

Water Conservation

The 40 Gallon Challenge is a nationwide call for residents and business to reduce water use by 40 gallons per person, per day. Drought conditions, increased water demands, and water wasting habits put strains on our region’s water supply and this can have negative impacts on our energy consumption, the local environment, and our wallets.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, water delivery and treatment consumes a considerable amount of energy, about 56 billion kilowatt-hours per year or roughly enough energy to power 5 million homes for a full year. Running a faucet for five minutes uses roughly the same amount of energy as letting a 60-watt lightbulb run for 14 hours.

As our water resources become strained, water levels can lower, therefore increasing the concentration of water pollutants. Higher pollutant concentrations can affect the safety of animals and the safety of the community if these pollutants are passed on during consumption of polluted animals.

The economic strain may not be so apparent when you look at the monthly water bill, but if you take a moment to add up how much you are spending across the year, you might be surprised. The EPA states that, on average, a household will spend $500 a year on water services. However, using water saving habits at home can affect your wallet and the community at large.

A few tips that can save water throughout the day include: running the dishwasher only when it’s full, taking shorter showers, fixing those leaky faucets and toilets, or even installing low-flow toilets and showerheads. We can all help conserve a very precious resource just by taking a few small steps to reduce our consumption.

To make a pledge, or for more helpful tips on how to conserve water, please visit www.40gallonchallenge.org today.

Turkey Day Trouble

“Back in my day our milk was unpasteurized, we thawed our meat right there on the counter, and the Thanksgiving leftovers were left right there on the table until after the Cowboys beat the Redskins.” These are some common sentiments I hear when talking about food safety, and there is some validity to food safety being lax in the past. Grandma most likely knew exactly where and from whom the meat, dairy, and eggs were coming, the conditions they were processed in, and the conditions of how they were delivered. With the advent of modern food production, we do not always have the luxury of knowing exactly how, when, and in what condition our food gets to our table, and that comes with the unknown risk of foodborne illness causing pathogens. Food safety precautions are important in order to keep our family, our friends, and ourselves healthy. A foodborne illness can be as mild as a rough night spent in the restroom or as serious as a hospital ICU visit. The latter case can be more prevalent for those with weaker immune systems: very young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with compromised immunities. With that in mind, let us talk about some ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses this holiday season.

For most of us, Thanksgiving dinner prep begins several days before when we start thawing our turkey. The safest way to thaw anything is in the refrigerator, allowing one day for each 4-5 pounds of weight. Sure, you may have to reorganize a bit, but thawing foods in the fridge is the safest way because it keeps foods out of the “Temperature Danger Zone”: a temperature range of 41oF-135oF in which bacteria multiply most rapidly. Other acceptable methods of thawing include thawing in cold water provided that the food is kept in its original wrapping, the water is kept below 70oF, and changed every 30 minutes (allow 30 minutes per pound), or you can thaw using a microwave’s defrost function with the caveat that you remove the outside wrapping and cook the food immediately after thawing (allow 6 minutes per pound).

Ensure that your food is reaching the proper internal cooking temperature before serving it. You cannot tell if a turkey is done by its color, the internal temperature is the only way to ensure it is safe to consume. Using a metal probe thermometer, check three different places on the bird: the thickest part of the breast, innermost wing, and the innermost thigh. Clean and sanitize your thermometer between each use to reduce the risk of cross contamination. The proper internal cooking temperature of poultry is 165oF.

When the meal is all said and done, and your guests are still in a jolly mood, put everyone to work to make sure that all leftovers are cooled and stored at 40oF or below within two hours of serving. Separate large portions into smaller, shallower sizes in order to speed up the cooling process. Do no place still piping hot portions directly into the fridge as this will just increase the risk of the fridge warming up instead of the food cooling down. If you’ve followed the food safety precautions so far, leftovers should be consumed within the next 6 days.

Reheating those leftovers is much simpler. Whether on the stovetop, oven, or microwave, any and all reheated food must reach an internal temperature of 165oF in order to be food safe.

All that aside, we here at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bosque County would like to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. It is the season of gratitude, and I for one am exceptionally grateful for such a great community. If you have any questions about food safety, please contact County Extension Agent – Family and Community Health Chris Coon at 254-435-2331 or at chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu.

Livestock Antibiotics Will Soon Require Prescriptions

No longer will producers who need injectable antibiotics for their cattle be able to just grab them at their local feed store or order them online.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service wants producers to be aware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is continuing the phasing in of a law that requires a prescription for any antibiotic use in animals raised for human consumption, as well as for all companion animals.

A prescription is already required for most antibiotics delivered to livestock, and the remaining three categories of injectable antibiotics available over-the-counter will soon be joining the list of medically important antimicrobials that require a veterinarian’s prescription.

“It will cause a little bit of difficulty because producers who want and need to use antibiotics are going to have to work with their beef cattle or livestock veterinarians and develop a veterinary client-patient relationship in advance of any disease issues,” said Joe Paschal, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension livestock specialist, Corpus Christi.

Paschal recommends producers should, if they haven’t already, develop a relationship with a local veterinarian to be prepared for these changes. People should also be aware that these laws apply to companion animals like horses.

“This means that your veterinarian knows who you are, knows the kind of livestock you are raising and what you are doing with them, understands your management, and that you agree if they come out to diagnose an illness and use an antimicrobial to treat a disease or illness, you will follow their directions including dosage, duration and withdrawal,” he said.

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine stated a two-year phase-in period would be allowed once the FDA Government Guidance document is finalized. A draft version is currently available online.

The FDA has had a law in place since 2017, which made most antibiotics administered to livestock by prescription only. These new guidelines further extend the need for veterinarian oversight by including the remaining injectable antibiotics.

“The amount of antibiotics used by agriculture has been dropping in recent years,” said Thomas Hairgrove, DVM, AgriLife Extension specialist, College Station. “The producers I’ve spoken with don’t seem concerned that these remaining injectables will now require a prescription too.”

After a peak in 2015, FDA studies show antibiotic use has declined. In 2017 alone, use of medically important antibiotics dropped 33%.

Tylosin, penicillin and tetracyclines are among some of the more popular antibiotics still available over the counter as injectables – for now. In 2018, the FDA published a five-year plan for phasing out all antibiotics without a veterinarian’s prescription. The plan should be fully implemented by 2023, although compliance is expected as soon as 2020.

“In the long run, practicing good biosecurity, correctly diagnosing illnesses and the proper prescription of the right antibiotic may help shorten the incident of the disease, improve the productivity or return of the health of the animal, and reduce overall antibiotic use in livestock, pets and in humans,” said Paschal.

Since some antibiotics are used in both livestock and humans, the FDA’s concern is that antibiotic-resistant bacteria could develop more quickly from the widespread use of certain antibiotics that are medically important to humans – negatively affecting both humans and animals.

“Antibiotic resistance is not new, penicillin was discovered in the late 1920s and widely used in humans by the 1940s,” said Paschal. “By 1950, the first case of resistance was discovered in humans. This is a step in the right direction to protect these valuable compounds to prevent diseases.”

The greater the use of antibiotics, across all species, the greater the number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or “superbugs” that can develop.

“Although the percentage of antibiotics used in agriculture is declining, we want to continue to use them judiciously and intelligently,” said Hairgrove. “Data shows ag is responding in a positive way, and I think our industry is doing a heck of a job.”

Farm and Ranch Seminar

A multi-county Farm and Ranch Seminar for farmers and ranchers conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in District 8 is scheduled December 12, 2019.  The District 8 Farm and Ranch Seminar will be offered at 13 locations across Central Texas.

Private Applicators License holders must obtain 15 hours of CEUs every five years to renew/recertify their license; including two hours of Laws and Regulations, two hours of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and any mix of these and General hours to equal the required 15 hours of CEUs. Licensed commercial and non-commercial applicators are required to recertify every year by obtaining five continuing education credits with one credit each from two of the following categories: laws and regulations, integrated pest management or drift minimization.

The December 12th seminar will provide participants with the opportunity to receive up to seven (7) CEUs.
Of these seven (7) hours, two (2) hour will be in General, two (2) hours in IPM, two (2) hours in Laws and Regulations and one (1) hour in Drift.  Licensed commercial and non-commercial applicators will be able to obtain their required five hours within the first five hours of the program.

Topics and speakers include:

  • General Laws and Regulations, Mark Matocha, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Ag and environmental Safety Specialist.
  • Ticks of Texas and the Disease They Carry, an IPM Approach, Sonja Swiger, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Extension Entomologist.
  • Laws and Regulation Updates and Complaint Process, Perry Cervantes, Texas Department of Agriculture, Coordinator for Pesticide Certification & Compliance. 
  • TDA General Laws and Regulations Compliance, Elizabeth Prokop, Texas Department of Agriculture, Certification Compliance.
  • Pasture Weed and Brush Herbicide Update, Josh McGinty, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Specialist.
  • Pasture Pest Management, David Kerns, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Entomology Department. 
  • Pesticides from the Ground UP, Scott Nolte, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Weed Specialist.

Program registration cost is $50, which includes lunch, breaks and handout materials.  Registration will begin at each of the 13 locations at 7AM with presentations starting at 7:30AM and running till 3:00PM.

Persons interested in attending one of these programs on December 12th can pre-register by contacting the location you plan to attend.  Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county offices hosting meetings are listed below.

Individuals with disabilities requiring an auxiliary aid or special accommodations in order to participate in this program are asked to contact the Extension Office in charge of the location you plan to attend to determine how reasonable accommodations may be met.

                           

RSVP to the location you will be attending.

Participating Counties Physical Locations RSVP
Phone Number
Johnson, Bosque, Somervell Cleburne Senior Center,
1212 Glenwood Dr, Cleburne, TX 76033
817-556-6370
Comanche
Eastland
Cook’s Fish Barn
3669 TX-36, Comanche, TX 76442
325-356-2539
Bell Bell County Expo
301 W Loop 121, Belton, TX 76513
254-933-5305
Williamson Georgetown Annex
100 Wilco Way, Rm 226, Georgetown, TX 78626
512-943-3300
Navarro Navarro County Youth Expo
4021 W Hwy 22, Corsicana, TX 75110
903-654-3075
Coryell Gatesville Civic Center
301 Veteran’s Memorial Dr, Gatesville, TX 76528
254-865-2414
Ellis Ellis County Extension Office
701 S I-35, Waxahachie, TX 75165
972-825-5175
Freestone Fairfield Civic Center
500 Oak St, Fairfield, TX 75840
903-389-3436
Robertson, Milam,
Leon, Falls
Pridgeon Community Center
351 Cooks Ln, Franklin, TX 77856
979-828-4270
McLennan MCC Emergency Services Bldg
7601 Stienbeck Bend Rd, Waco, TX 76401
254-757-5180
Hill Hill County Fairgrounds
1180 South Waco St, Hillsboro, TX 76645
254-582-4022
Limestone Limestone County Courthouse
200 West State St, Groesbeck, TX 76642
254-729-5314
Erath, Hood,
Hamilton
Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center
1229 N US 281, Stephenville, TX 76401
254-965-1460

Deadline Approaching for Volunteer Nominations

Our Bosque County community is amazing because we are filled with people who care about others and who share one of their most precious possessions – their time. Please take just a few minutes of your time to nominate a Volunteer for recognition. Even though it isn’t why they volunteer, they deserve a THANK YOU for their efforts.

Each year, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bosque County and the Commissioner’s Court host a Volunteer Recognition Banquet to recognize outstanding volunteers who serve the residents of Bosque County.

Nominations for volunteers can be submitted in the following categories:

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources: Volunteers in this category work to promote agriculture awareness and agribusiness in Bosque County.
  • Civic Organizations & Community Service: Volunteers in this category work to improve their community through service.  These volunteers may serve through a civic organization or contribute their time individually.
  • Community Festivals & Events: Volunteers work to organize and promote festivals and events in Bosque County to promote tourism, raise money, or provide opportunities for family fun.
  • Fire Department & First Responders: Volunteers serve as a fire fighter or first responder, or they might work to help raise funds and support for the Volunteer Fire Departments in Bosque County.
  • Family & Health Services: Volunteers in this category work to provide family and health education or to meet the physical needs of community members.
  • Youth Services: These volunteers serve Bosque County youth by leading youth organizations, raising support or funds for youth activities and scholarships, or mentoring youth.

It only takes a few minutes of your time to nominate a volunteer.  You can complete the online form at the bottom of this page or you can get a nomination form by clicking this link:  2019 Volunteer Category Descriptions and Form, or call the office at 254-435-2331 to have us send you one, or go without the form and just send us a letter with your contact information, your nominee’s contact information, what category you’re nominating them in and why.

You may nominate more than one person in each category and the same person in multiple categories if it applies.  If a person you have nominated in the past hasn’t won, feel free to nominate them again if they are still active volunteers.  Please return nomination forms to the AgriLife Extension Office by November 15, 2019.   Forms can be mailed in to:  AgriLife Extension, 104 S. Fuller, Meridian, TX 76665; or email to: bosque-tx@tamu.edu; or fax 254-435-6231.

The Leadership Advisory Board of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will review each nomination and select the awardees to be recognized at the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Banquet.  The Volunteer Recognition Banquet will be held at 6:00pm on Monday, December 9, at the Meridian Civic Center.

For more information about volunteer nominations or the banquet, please contact the Bosque County Extension Office.  We hope to see you at the Volunteer Recognition Banquet on December 9th as we honor these special community leaders.

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Nominating a volunteer is as easy as completing the form below!

Food Safety Tips

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year one in six Americans will come down with a preventable foodborne illness and 128,000 will be hospitalized because of it. Now, even these numbers do not give the whole picture, because not everybody goes to the doctor after a bad seafood dinner, and even fewer cases get reported as a foodborne illness to the proper regulatory authorities.

Preventing foodborne illnesses at home is as easy as Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. Before, after and even between food preparation tasks, it is always good to clean, sanitize and dry your work surfaces, equipment, utensils, and your hands. Washing and air drying any and all produce just prior to food preparation will ensure that any dirt, residues, and microorganisms that hitched a ride on them are reduced. Separate your foods based on how much cooking needs to take place before they can be eaten. Food items that are ready-to-eat, such as washed produce and deli meats, should be kept towards the top of the fridge. Since they will not receive any cooking time, if they are contaminated by another food that does, there is no chance for that contamination to be reduced via cooking temperature. Food items that require cooking to 145oF such as whole cuts of meat and seafood should come below our RTE foods.  Next shelf place foods that require an internal cooking temperature of 155oF such as ground meat, and finally at the bottom should be those foods that require an internal temperature of 165oF to be safe; these include any form of poultry and leftovers.

This separation in the fridge follows the required minimum internal cooking temperature of foods which are most accurately measured by a food-grade metal probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the food. The probe should go deep enough into the food to get an accurate reading while avoiding contact with any bones or cooking dishes. Finally, when the meal is over and it is time to clean up, remember that the quicker you can get your leftovers to below 41oF, the better. This can be efficiently done by dividing large portions into several smaller, shallower portions. This allows heat to dissipate more quickly from the dish. Do not put piping hot leftovers directly into the refrigerator or freezer as this is not an efficient way of cooling food. In fact, this method is more dangerous for the other foods in the refrigerator as that hot dish is more likely to heat up the whole unit quicker than it is to cool down itself.

These rules apply to commercial kitchens as well. However, commercial application can be a bit trickier and does require some training. According the Texas Food Establishment Rules, the legislation that governs commercial food safety in the state, “all food employees shall successfully complete an accredited food handler training course, within 60 days of employment.” If you are interested in working in commercial food production (restaurants, or a business that falls under the Texas Cottage Food Law), a Food Handlers Certification is a must. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Bosque County hosts certification courses several times a year. Upcoming course dates include December 14th and March 7th. These courses will begin at 10am and take place at the Extension office found at 104 S Fuller St, Meridian. This in-person course costs $20 per person, cash and checks are acceptable. To sign up or for more information regarding the course or food safety, please contact County Extension Agent Chris Coon at 254-435-2331 or at chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu.

If you are looking for a Food Protection Managers Certification, a step up from the Food Handlers course, two classes in the area will take place soon. McLennan County Extension will be holding a two day FPM course on February 3rd and 10th in Waco. Contact Colleen Foleen at 254-757-5180 for more info or to register. Hill County Extension will be holding an FPM course in Hillsboro on March 2nd and 9th. Please contact Karen Jungman at 254-582-4022 for more information or to register.

Fall Lawncare Can Improve Spring, Summer Turfgrass

Homeowners can prepare their lawns for winter dormancy and set turfgrasses up for a good spring and summer now.  Lawns are about to enter dormancy throughout much of the state, and a few fall maintenance measures will set grass up for a strong spring reemergence next year.  Most years we’d already be behind by this point, but while the timeframe is closing you can still prepare now.

So, what can you do now?  In short – Fertilize, Stop Irrigation and Control Weeds.

By fertilizing now you are providing your turf with sufficient nutrients and resources to prepare for dormancy and reemergence next spring.  Both nitrogen and potassium can be beneficial when applied in the late-summer and early fall.  Generally, AgriLife Extension recommends the absolute latest fall fertilizer application should be made six weeks before the location’s historic first-frost date.  Much of the state does not need to apply any nitrogen-based fertilizers past September.  Keep in mind there can be consequences of applying too much nitrogen too late in the fall, including extended vegetative growth and ultimately winter kill, and it can also promote weeds and disease

Fall is a time when homeowners should put an end to automated irrigation.  Grass needs far less water as it nears dormancy. TAMU Specialists state that if you water at all, just do so based on visible wilt until growth is suspended, then, if there is no active growth or grasses go dormant, you should stop watering completely.  This season has been warmer and drier than usual, so it all depends on your location and conditions.  Suspension of watering is typical between October and April.

 Next is information on weeds.  Fall is when many of our winter weeds such as lawn burweed or annual bluegrass will start to emerge, and it is not too late to take preventative action by making a fall preemergence herbicide application.  Preemergence herbicides to combat winter annuals like lawn burweed can be applied now.  Typically, one wants to apply when soil temperatures reach approximately 70 degrees, which is often around the time when you have four to five consecutive days of 60-65-degree nighttime temperatures consistently.  If you haven’t gotten your preemergent out yet this year, there may still be time as we had one of the hottest and driest Septembers on record.  When selecting an herbicide, chose one exclusively for this purpose; and with all chemicals read and follow the product labels.

Now to insects and diseases.  While most people consider the problems of fall armyworms to be a forage issue in fields, these caterpillars can and will affect lawns as well.  Watch for them until the first frost and call the extension office if you want more information on how to control if you discover an infestation.  As temperatures begin to drop in the fall, select turfgrass diseases will become more active. Many practices already discussed here, including reduced irrigation and nitrogen-based fertilization in the fall, will help prevent disease problems.  Other important cultural practices, including improving drainage as-needed, annual tree pruning to increase filtered light and mowing at an appropriate height, can reduce disease risks.  Diseases will often proliferate in areas where some sort of stress is already occurring either from shade, poor drainage or scalping from mowing too low. Chemical prevention is also an option where homeowners have had historic issues with diseases such as large patch and take-all root rot.

If you have more questions on these subjects, please contact Chelsea Dorward at the Bosque County Extension Office my emailing Chelsea.dorward@ag.tamu.edu or calling 254-435-2331.

Halloween Safety for Motorists and Pedestrians

Halloween Makes It More Than Spooky on the Road

Halloween is coming soon, and children will be out in their neighborhoods to enjoy treats, fun, and games. Motorists and pedestrians can take steps to make this year’s Halloween a safe one! Although Halloween comes before the change back to standard time this year, the days are getting shorter, and the nights are getting longer. With shorter days comes more night driving.  Because nighttime driving is more dangerous, it requires extra attention from motorists as well as pedestrians. Sadly, Halloween also increases the number of drunk drivers on the road at night. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 42 percent of those killed in traffic crashes on Halloween night from 2013 to 2017 died in crashes involving a drunk driver.

NHTSA also reports that nearly two-thirds of all fatal pedestrian crashes occur in low-light conditions.  The large number of young pedestrians out on Halloween evening makes this an especially dangerous time. Here is a scary fact from the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Bosque County reminds motorists, parents and children of the following safety tips to keep in mind during Halloween and all year long.

Tips for Motorists

  • Avoid using handheld electronic devices or performing other activities that take your attention away from the road.
  • Be especially alert for all road users, including pedestrians, at night.
  • Slowdown in areas where pedestrians are likely to be or where sight distances are limited. Keep your windshield clean. Watch for children walking on roads, medians, and curbs. Enter and exit driveways carefully
  • Be especially alert for children darting out from between parked vehicles and from behind bushes and shrubs. They’re excited – and they may not be paying attention.
  • Never drink and drive – tonight or any night. If you are partying, designate a driver.
  • If you see a drunk driver or impaired pedestrian on the road, contact local law enforcement.

Tips for Parents

  • Adults should always accompany children and supervise their “trick or treat” activities.
  • Teach children to “stop, look left-right-left, and listen” before they cross the street.
  • Use a flashlight, and wear retro-reflective strips or patches on your clothing or costume to be more visible to motorists.
  • Be certain that any costume mask does not obstruct vision or hearing.
  • Ensure that costumes do not impede walking or driving ability.

Tips for Pedestrians (children and adults)

  • Before crossing a street, stop at the curb or edge of the road and look left, right, and left again to be sure no cars are coming. Continue to check for traffic while on the street.
  • Walk – never run – from house to house or across the road.
  • Cross the street only at intersections and crosswalks.
  • When crossing at an intersection with a traffic light, be sure to watch for turning cars. Obey all pedestrian signals.
  • Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.

By taking some extra time to make sure drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists obey the rules, Halloween can be a safe time for all.

For more information on traffic and pedestrian safety, please call Family and Community Health Agent Chris Coon at 254-435-2331 or email to chris.coon@ag.tamu.edu.

Nominate a Volunteer

Each year, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Bosque County and the Commissioner’s Court host a Volunteer Recognition Banquet to recognize outstanding volunteers who serve the residents of Bosque County.  These volunteers give their time and energy to serve in civic and community organizations and to improve our communities.  The Volunteer Recognition Banquet is a special time to honor these extraordinary volunteers.

We reach out to all the county civic organizations to invite them to nominate volunteers, but we know this doesn’t cover everyone.  We would like to invite you all to nominate outstanding volunteers in your communities that deserve a little recognition.  Nominations for volunteers can be submitted in the following categories:

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources: Volunteers in this category work to promote agriculture awareness and agribusiness in Bosque County.
  • Civic Organizations & Community Service: Volunteers in this category work to improve their community through service.  These volunteers may serve through a civic organization or contribute their time individually.
  • Community Festivals & Events: Volunteers work to organize and promote festivals and events in Bosque County to promote tourism, raise money, or provide opportunities for family fun.
  • Fire Department & First Responders: Volunteers serve as a fire fighter or first responder, or they might work to help raise funds and support for the Volunteer Fire Departments in Bosque County.
  • Family & Health Services: Volunteers in this category work to provide family and health education or to meet the physical needs of community members.
  • Youth Services: These volunteers serve Bosque County youth by leading youth organizations, raising support or funds for youth activities and scholarships, or mentoring youth.

People don’t volunteer to get recognition.  They do it because they see a need and want to help.  However, we think it’s important to take the time to say ‘Thank You!’ to all those who do give so much of themselves to support others in our community.  This is our opportunity to give them a little pat on the back for a much-appreciated job well done.

Please take just a few minutes of your time to nominate a volunteer.  You can complete the online form at the bottom of this page or you can get a nomination form by clicking this link:  2019 Volunteer Category Descriptions and Form, or call the office at 254-435-2331 to have us send you one, or go without the form and just send us a letter with your contact information, your nominee’s contact information, what category you’re nominating them in and why.  You may nominate more than one person in each category and the same person in multiple categories if it applies.  If a person you have nominated in the past hasn’t won, feel free to nominate them again if they are still active volunteers.  Please return nomination forms to the AgriLife Extension Office by November 15, 2019.   Forms can be mailed in to:  AgriLife Extension, 104 S. Fuller, Meridian, TX 76665; or email to: bosque-tx@tamu.edu; or fax 254-435-6231.

The Leadership Advisory Board of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will review each nomination and select the awardees to be recognized at the 2019 Volunteer Recognition Banquet.  The Volunteer Recognition Banquet will be held at 6:00pm on Monday, December 9, at the Meridian Civic Center.

For more information about volunteer nominations or the banquet, please contact the Bosque County Extension Office.  We hope to see you at the Volunteer Recognition Banquet on December 9th as we honor these special community leaders.

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Nominating a volunteer is as easy as completing the form below!