Stocker Cattle Program

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension of McLennan, Bosque, Hill, Limestone and Bell counties will be hosting the 5th Annual Stocker Cattle Program on Wednesday, July 5th at the West Auction Barn in West, Texas. Registration will start at 7:30AM with program to follow at 8:00AM.

Topics to be discussed include: Beef Cattle Market Update by David Anderson, Economic Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; Mineral Supplementation by Michael Keith, Account Manager for Zinpro Corporation; Veterinary Feed Directive by Dr. Tom Hairgrove, Veterinary Specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; and Establishing a Calves Value off Type and Kind (live cattle demonstration) by Brian Upmore of the West Auction Barn

1 General CEU will be offered for individuals holding a Private Applicator’s Pesticide License. Cost of the program and meal is $10.00 and can be paid at the door. Breakfast is being provided by Capital Farm Credit and there will be a noon steak meal. Please confirm your attendance by contacting the Bosque County Extension Office at 254-435-2331 no later than June 30, or for any other information concerning the workshop.

Texas 4-H Roundup

Texas 4-H Roundup is the pinnacle event for all of Texas 4-H, with more than 4,000 participants competing in approximately 50 diverse competitions throughout the week-long event. The majority of the events require each individual or team to qualify at the county and district level before progressing to State Roundup.

Seven Bosque youth brought home 3 awards from the 71st annual Texas 4-H Roundup held at Texas A&M University last week.  Bosque County took 22 4-H members to State Roundup this year to compete in 8 events:  Ag Product ID, Fashion Storyboard, Archery, Food Challenge, Entomology ID, Wool Judging, Share the Fun, Vet Science Skill-a-thon, and Livestock Judging.

The Savory Sisters – Emma Guillory, Mackenzie Errington, Lia Worley, Darcy Wyatt, and Emily Murphy, placed 2nd in the Food Challenge Competition and have the opportunity to compete in Nationals later this fall.

Maggie Chaffin placed 8th in individual Beef Judging.

Emma Guillory played guitar and sang “Blackbird” to place 2nd with her Share the Fun performance.

Leigh Ann Murphy, one of our adult 4-H volunteers, won the Salute to Excellence Award for her ongoing service as a volunteer in 4-H.

Mackenzie Errington and Lia Worley have proudly represented Bosque County and both were honored with scholarships during Roundup.

4-H is the nation’s largest youth development and empowerment organization, cultivating confident kids who tackle the issues that matter most in their communities right now.  More than 65,000 Texas youth are enrolled members of 4-H community clubs in Texas.  Another 850,000 Texas youth get involved in 4-H through special educational opportunities at school, in after school programs, or at neighborhood or youth centers. The youth who attend 4-H Roundup are able to display the leadership skills, citizenship development, team building and competition skills learned throughout the year.

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Roundup is one of many 4-H activities that the Annual Lucky Clover Golf Tournament raises funds for.  We are short on players this year and are reaching out for more participants to help support 4-H Youth.  If you would like to play in the tournament please call today or sign up by clicking HERE

The tournament will be Saturday, June 17th at the Bosque Valley Golf Club with flights beginning at 8:00am and 2:00pm.  For more information, please contact the Extension Office at 254-435-2331.

Help Keep Your Child Safe – Give Your Child A Boost!

Did you know that seat belts are designed to be worn by adults who are at least 4 feet and 9 inches tall?  Seat belts are made to fit with the lap belt going over the lower hips and the shoulder belt going across the shoulder.  Seat belts aren’t designed fit children.  Instead of fitting properly over the lower hips, the lap belt rides over the soft tissues of the abdomen and can cause severe injury or death. The shoulder portion of the belt hits the child’s neck or face instead of lying flat across the chest. This causes many children to place the shoulder belt behind their back, leaving them with no upper body protection. In a crash, children who are incorrectly restrained by a lap/shoulder belt are likely to sustain serious injuries to internal organs, as well as the head and spinal cord. In fact, these abdominal and spinal injuries are medically referred to as “Seat Belt Syndrome.”

What can a parent do to prevent this kind of terrible injury?  Booster seats!  A booster seat ‘boosts’ the child up so the lap/shoulder belt will fit correctly and provide protection in a crash.  Using a booster seat can protect a child from being thrown around the vehicle or being totally ejected in a collision.

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be one of the leading causes of death and injury for children 14 and under. Car seats, including boosters, are proven to be effective in preventing injuries and deaths, and studies show that booster seats can reduce the risk of injury by 59 percent. But children in this age group are the least likely to be properly restrained. Surveys conducted during 2016 by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that only 31.8% of 5-9 year olds in Texas were correctly restrained. In Texas, fatalities in the 5-9-year-old age group are nearly twice as high as the national rate.

The law in Texas requires children under 8 years old, unless taller than 4 feet 9 inches, to be in a child restraint system according to the manufacturer’s instructions. According to the law, an 8-year-old can legally ride in the seat belt, but only a small percentage of 8 year olds are 4 feet 9 inches tall. The average child reaches 4 feet 9 inches at age 11! Best practice is to keep the child in a booster seat until the lap/shoulder belts fits, which is usually sometime between ages 8-12.

When is your child ready for the seat belt? Take the Five Step Test:

 Does the child sit all the way back against the auto seat?

  1. Do the child’s knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle?
  2. Does the belt cross the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  3. Is the lap belt as low as possible, touching the thighs?
  4. Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, your child needs a booster seat to make both

the shoulder belt and the lap belt fit right for the best crash protection. Your child will be more comfortable, too!

 Contact Kate Whitney at the Extension Office at 254-435-2331 for a free child safety seat inspection.  The Extension Office can help with providing a booster seat if a family cannot afford one.

Committee Members Needed

AgriLife Logo

Are you interested in helping your community?  Do you have ideas and input for programs which you believe would be beneficial to you and/or your neighbors?  If so, we need you!

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service needs members of the community to step up and be a part of a committee that helps brings educational programs to Bosque County.  We are looking for new committee members to be part of either the Livestock and Crops Committee or the Wildlife Committee.

If you are interested in what these committees offer and/or becoming a member, give Chelsea Dorward a call at the Extension office 254-435-2331 to visit about the details, or send an email to Chelsea.Dorward@ag.tamu.edu

The Canning Basics: A Hands-On Workshop

Canning season is here!  I love canning vegetables and making jam from fresh garden produce.  Seeing those rows of home-canned food is so satisfying!  Did you know that there is a lot of science behind canned food?  It’s important to know how to properly preserve food to ensure safety of the product.

Are you interested in canning, but not sure where to start?  Or maybe you’ve heard horror stories about exploding pressure canners?  Join us for the Canning Basics Workshop on June 10, hosted by Kate Whitney with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  The course will cover topics about food safety, water bath canning, and pressure canning.  Participants will get hands-on experience with water-bath and pressure canning, and you get to take home canned products!

The class will be held on Saturday, June 10, from 9:00am to 1:00pm at the Meridian Senior Center.  The cost is $30, which includes canning supplies and lunch.  Space is limited and we need a headcount for canning supplies and lunch, so please register by completing the form below or call the Extension Office at 254-435-2331.

Ag Roadway Safety

As we are in the midst of small grain harvest, spraying and hay baling time here in Bosque County, it is important to stay aware of moving farm equipment.  We have all been stuck behind a tractor, combine or other farm equipment while driving down the road, more often than not, traveling at speeds well under the posted speed limit. This can be frustrating to us as a motorist.  Just this past weekend, I got in a lengthy line of traffic following two combines and headers being driven down a busy highway traveling 25 miles an hour.  The motorist ahead of me were making the conditions unsafe for all of us by passing in no passing zone, passing with oncoming traffic approaching, and pushing on the farm equipment to the point the farm equipment operators were having difficulty staying on the roadways. This was dangerous for everyone on the road.

As a motorist, keep in mind that transporting agriculture machinery from one field to another by way of public roads is a necessity, especially with farm land often being separated by many miles.  So there are things that both the agriculturist and the motorist need to keep in mind so everyone is safe on the roads.

Agriculturalists need to have skilled drivers who will be cognizant of their surroundings and the road’s conditions.  There should be clearly marked ‘slow moving’ signs posted on the equipment.  Windshields and lights should be cleaned and working properly.  Also, make certain safety chains and tow bars are secure.

The same precaution goes to the motorist.  Motorist, slow down; be sure to watch for slow moving vehicles and equipment.  It is easy to miscalculate how fast you are approaching slower moving farm machinery.  Realize they are likely going as fast as they are able to and you can’t force them to go faster.  Also, be cautious of the distance when following agriculture equipment, do not follow too closely.  Follow passing zone descriptions on the roadways and do not try to pass anything in a no passing zone, in a turning lane, or with oncoming traffic coming towards you.  Safety for the motorist and the agriculturalist is the highest priority.  It’s better to be late than to not arrive at all.

Cedars

Some love them, some hate them, but most everyone around has an opinion on cedar trees growing in Bosque County and in Texas. Cedars, or junipers, can have a place in the environment; they provide shelter for wildlife, they can serve as a natural barrier for your property, and help in areas where erosion is an issue.

On the other hand, cedars are water consumers. Oklahoma State University researchers determined in a study, the water use of 30 Red Cedar trees of various diameters and growth habits, the mean daily water use was found to be about 7 gallons of water.  Individual tree water use ranged from one to forty gallons/day.  Water use varied due to the tree size (big trees transpired more water than small trees) soil moisture and daily weather.

This data shows that cedar trees take a great deal of water from more productive range and pasture plants/grasses and forbs. Red Cedar invasion is costly to ranchers as they prevent forage production by shading and utilizing water that could benefit grasses and forbs. Cedar control will benefit both livestock and wildlife production. The principle is that by removing the brush, more water is left to seep into the groundwater or flow into the streams, rivers and lakes. The land also reverts to grassland.

For more information on cedars including control options please contact Chelsea Dorward at the Bosque County Extension Office at 254-435-2331 or chelsea.dorward@ag.tamu.edu.

19th Annual Lucky Clover Golf Tournament – 4-H Fundraiser

Attention all golfers and 4-H supporters!  The Lucky Clover Golf Tournament is coming up on Saturday, June 17th.  This tournament is the annual fundraiser for Bosque County 4-H, and it allows us to send our 4-H youth to leadership camps, state qualifying contests, and State 4-H Congress.  The funds raised at the golf tournament also allow Bosque County 4-H to award scholarships to graduating seniors.

The 19th Annual Lucky Clover Golf Tournament will be held at Bosque Valley Golf Course on June 17th.  The cost is $50/person or $200/team, which includes green fees, soft drinks, sausage wraps, and a steak dinner.  We have a morning flight beginning at 8:00am and an afternoon flight at 2:00pm.  The prizes are:   First – $280, Second -$240, Third – $200, plus 3 random $100 payouts.  Awards will follow each flight. You can register here using the form at the end of this page, or by calling the Extension office (254) 435-2331, or at Bosque Valley Golf Course.

Playing in the tournament is not the only way to contribute.  You can also join many individuals and businesses that see the value in supporting the 4-H youth in Bosque County by sponsoring the tournament with various donations – any contribution is valued.

The 4-H Youth Development Program exists to raise up future leaders, instill character, and teach responsibility to our young.  Come and help make a difference in lives of Bosque County youth!  For more information please call the Extension office at 254-435-2331.

 

Register Below:

Food Safety for Fresh Produce

It’s gardening season, and fresh fruits and vegetables are coming available at roadside stands and farmers markets.  Fruits and vegetables are a great source of fiber, Vitamins A & C, folate, and potassium.  Adults need two cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day, and a variety of colors will help you get the most nutrition.

These tips to select and store your fresh produce will help you keep your produce fresh and safe:

  1. Avoid produce with bruises, mold, or cuts that can result in poor quality or contamination by bacteria.
  2. Store these items at room temperature in a clean, dry, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight: bananas, melons, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
  3. Allow these items to ripen on the counter, then store in the refrigerator: avocados, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, and plums.
  4. Keep fruits and vegetables separate in the refrigerator. Many fruits like bananas and apples produce a ripening hormone called ethylene.  If stored together, the ethylene released by fruit will shorten the life of your vegetables.
  5. Store fruits and vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry, or seafood in the refrigerator. Make sure the juices don’t drip on your produce.
  6. Do not wash produce until you are ready to use it. Fruits and vegetables have a natural coating that helps to keep moisture and freshness.  If you wash produce before storing it, you will remove the natural coating and cause the produce to spoil faster.
  7. Wash all produce with cool, running water, even if you plan to remove the peel. This removes dirt and reduces the exposure of germs that could cause a foodborne illness.  Do not use soap or detergent to wash produce.

The Bosque Farmers Market will open on Saturday, May 6, for the 2017 season.  This year, the market will be held at the Meridian Park near Bosque Bottoms.  Be sure to stop by and support our local growers!

The Bosque County AgriLife Extension Office is hosting a Food Handlers Course on Monday, May 8.  The course will be held at the Meridian Civic Center from 9-11am.  During the two-hour course, participants will learn food safety practices such as personal hygiene, cross contamination, and time and temperature control.  Following completion of the course, participants will receive a Food Handler’s Certificate that is good for two years and valid anywhere in the State of Texas.

To register for the course, contact the Extension Office at 254-435-2331 or visit our website at http://bosque.agrilife.org/.  The cost is $20 per person.  The class is taught in English but Spanish handouts are available, if requested in advance.  For more information, contact Kate Whitney at the Extension Office or by email at klwhitney@ag.tamu.edu.

Home Economics Contests at CTYF

The weather is getting warmer, gardens are growing, and livestock projects are looking good.  That can only mean one thing… it’s nearly time for the Central Texas Youth Fair!  This year, the Central Texas Youth Fair will be held May 30 – June 3 at the Clifton Fairgrounds.  The 4-H and FFA youth have been working hard on their projects for the Livestock Show, Ag Mechanics Contest, and Home Economics Show, and we are excited to see them compete!

Did you know that any Bosque County resident can take part in the Central Texas Youth Fair?  The Home Economics Division has a little something for everyone!  The categories are:  Photography, Crafts, Homegrown Vegetables, Art, Canned Goods, Horticulture, and Baked Goods.   Anyone from four years-old and up can participate!

The Home Economics Contest is a great way to get the whole family involved!  Whether you enjoy taking photos with your kids or baking pies with your grandkids, you can find a category and bring your best items!

The entry forms are due on Monday, May 1.  You bring your items to the Fair on Thursday, June 1, to be judged and displayed.  Entry forms and contest rules can be found online at https://bosque.agrilife.org/4-h/central-texas-youth-fair/.   Contact the Bosque County Extension Office for paper forms or more information at 254-435-2331.