This event is sponsored by the Western Conservation District, USDA Farm Service Agency and Farm Credit and Country Mortgages of Ripley and Point Pleasant. Lunch will be provided and prepared by the farm museum’s Country Kitchen.
The program will include a presentation on livestock predation by John Houben, wildlife biologist, USDA Wildlife Services, whose talk will focus on coyotes. Freddie Green, a Mason County beef producer, will share his knowledge of a solar watering system installed on his farm.
Compliance Specialist Philip Smith of the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, READ, will have a talk on pesticide toxicity and give a regulatory update. Ken Semmens, PhD, aquaculture extension specialist from West Virginia University, will discuss farm pond management. Mason County Extension Agent Rodney Wallbrown will speak on the right way to test soil, how to complete the soil questionnaire and what the results indicate. Ed Smolder, agent, Jackson County Extension, along with Tracy Fitzsimmons, marketing specialist with the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, will do a presentation on small ruminant parasites, production and marketing.
Eric Miller of Stay-Tuff Fence Manufacturing will be on hand to educate attendees on fence construction. Conservation planning and a Farm Bill update will be given by Valerie Hannon, District conservationist, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will be of value to local farmers. Charles Lipscomb, Farm Loan manager with the Farm Service Agency, will talk about USDA farm loans to beginning farmers. County Executive Director Josh Lewis of the FSA will speak on the importance of updating farm records.
The workshop is free, but registration is required. Participants may register by contacting the Western Conservation District office at 304-675-3054 from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If calling after hours, people may register by leaving their names and phone numbers. Pesticide applicators attending the workshop are eligible for re-certification credit hours from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture with a license number.
To attend the workshop, registration must be received by Monday, Feb. 23. The public is encouraged to attend, and participants do not have to live in the Western District area of Mason, Jackson and Putnam counties to attend.