A&M and OSU County Ag Extension Services:  Not Just for Farmers and Ranchers




The federal nationwide Cooperative Extension System works with State Agriculture Commissions, which in turn, work with University Agriculture Departments, who establish offices with County Agriculture Departments. It is a vast network of educational wealth for anyone who grows anything in soil or something that hangs from a tree, and more.

For instance, I have never grown a peach tree. They grow well where I live. I have used up all the space on my friend’s property to grow my veggies that receive enough sun for peach trees. I do not know the species of the peach trees my other friend is giving me. I have heard that you should have at least two peach trees for peaches to grow abundantly.

That is all I know about peach trees. In Texas, gardeners can contact their county Texas A&M Agrilife Extension online, or by email, call, or visit. In Oklahoma, it is the county Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Sometimes, people can’t find what they need online, and a call or email is necessary. 

I took a picture of a weed growing in my lawn that I had no clue of what it was or how to murder it, so it never came back to haunt me. It was curly dock. I believe most of us feel like murdering out-of-control yard criminals that steal precious nutrients from our bushes, flowering plants, grasses, and trees.              

You can email your pictures of your diseased leaves, flowers, fruit, pests, plants, weeds to Texas ag extension offices, and the Agrilife staff will identify it for you. I went to the Grayson County Agrilife website and searched for peach trees. Seven peach tree publications, one Texas Fruit and Nut Production: Peaches, and one Native Trees of Texas popped up. Six of the peach publications inform about disease and insect issues.

I usually call or email. First, I clicked the Path to the Plate: Peaches article, and the first thing I learned was that peaches are the leading deciduous fruit crop in Texas, take three to four years to reach full production, and a single peach tree can yield 50 to 100 pounds of peaches annually. Then, I clicked the “View on Agrilife Learn” button. I had to click on the article, and it was free. 

I assume some articles are fee-based because there is a dollar amount cell. To view the article, I had to create an account with Agrilife, and A&M requires information some people may not feel comfortable giving out. I quickly received a welcome email thanking me for creating an account with “AgriLife Learn!”, and it continued:

“You have taken the first step toward investing in your career, developing your skills, and exploring your passion. Now, research-based knowledge is at your fingertips or a click away 24 hours a day. We are so excited you are here to learn with us.” There is a button to click that says, “Start Learning Now”, and contact information:

ACCOUNT QUESTIONS? Customer Support is available at (979) 803-1372 between Monday-Friday, 8 am–5 pm, CST. Email us at: [email protected].” 

When you click on the “Start learning now” button, it takes you to a website with all the current online training courses, lots of articles relevant to the spring season, excellent information, and on growing everything. You can click on the programs tab, and it will show all courses and programs.

 

U.S. CES and NIFA

The Cooperative Extension System (CES), in partnership with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) umbrella, comes together to provide universities with support. This culminates in county ag extension offices in U.S. States (and complex bureaucratic processes on so many levels). 

 

CES Mission Statement:

“Cooperative Extension System (CES) empowers farmers, ranchers, and communities of all sizes to meet the challenges they face, adapt to changing technology, improve nutrition and food safety, prepare for and respond to emergencies, and protect our environment.”

 

NIFA Mission Statement:

“NIFA provides funding and leadership for programs that advance agriculture-related sciences and also supports initiatives that ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA's mission is to ‘invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges’ is translating research into action: bringing cutting-edge discoveries from research laboratories to those who can put knowledge into practice.”

 

Trickle Down System from Federal to Local Ag Extentsion

 

USDA + NIFA >

 

State > Land Grant Universities > Academic Departments

      +

Experiment Solutions 

=

Cooperative Extension >

 

County > Regional and/or County Extension Offices 

=

  Professional Staff 

+

  Local Government Agencies

+

    Businesses

    &

    Volunteers 

+

    Local Organizations 

+

    Associations 

&

    Citizen Groups

 

What Do County Ag Extension Offices Actually Do?

The programs, classes, and university level courses that Ag Extension offices offer are seemingly endless. No matter what your issue, if it is agricultural education, you can increase your knowledge, skills, and even learn skills that look great on a resume. Many of the programs are free. Take a look and see if you can take advantage of them and then check out their home pages. The list for OK and TX Ag Extension Programs:

 

Oklahoma State University Ag Extension Programs

About OSU Ag Extension Programs

“With educators stationed across the state, we can tailor programs and offerings to solve problems Oklahomans are facing right now, with information backed by the latest scientific research.

“Our work is geared toward solving practical, everyday problems for residents. Topics touch the home, family, personal finances, self-run businesses, and more, offering something for everyone.

“Whether it's an expert set of eyes to identify what's eating your vegetables or a speaker program customized for your community group, we're here to help with what's important to you.

“Get to know us! Meet our OSU Extension administrative team and district directors who lead all 77 counties. OSU Extension is dedicated to improving lives and communities by offering educational programs, services and resources to all Oklahomans.”

Programs

  • 4-H Youth Development
  • Active Parenting, Ag Policy & Law, Agribusiness and Cooperative Management, Animal Waste Management, Annie's Project
  • Back to School Resources, Backyard Poultry, Beef Extension, Beginning Farmer and Rancher, Biobased Products and Energy Center, Botanic Garden
  • Budgets
  • Capacity for Change, Caregiving Education, Check and Balance, Community and Economic Development, Community Nutrition Education Programs, Co-Parenting for Resilience, County Government Training, Cotton, Cowculator, Create Bridges in Oklahoma, Crop Marketing and Risk Management
  • Digital Diagnostics, Direct to Consumer Meat Sales and Small Scale Slaughter, Drought Resources
  • E-Farm Management, Earthquakes, Emergency & Disaster Preparedness, Engineering Assistance
  • Family & Consumer Sciences, Farm & Ranch Account Book, Farm Financial Planning Assistance & Benchmarking, Farm Labor, Farm Management & Finance, Farm Stress, Farm to You, Farm Transitions, Fire Ecology, Fire Service Training, Flooding, Food and Agricultural Products Center, Forage and Pasture Management, Forestry
  • Healthy Homes Solutions Grab'n Go Toolkit, Holidays and Special Occasions, Home Food Preservation, Home Landscape & Gardening, Home Lawn Care, Honeybees, Horses
  • Insect Adventure, Institute for Biosecurity and Microbial Forensics, Integrated Pest Management, Internships
  • Live Well, Eat Well, Be Active with Diabetes (LEAD), Livestock Economics, Livestock Entomology, Local Food Systems
  • Master Cattleman, Master Gardener, Master Irrigator, Meat Goat Production, Mesonet Ag Program, Mobile Applications
  • Natural Disaster Recovery, New Product Development Center, Nutrient Management
  • OK-FIRE, OK-First, Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program, Oklahoma Foundation Seed Stocks, Oklahoma Gardening, Oklahoma Home and Community Education, Oklahoma Land Values, Oklahoma Mesonet, Oklahoma Pecan Management, Oklahoma Proven, Oklahoma Quality Beef Network (OQBN), Online Courses
  • Pathways to Success, Pest E-Alerts, Pest and Hazard Management, Pesticide Safety Education, Plant Disease and Insect Diagnostics, Plant ID, Pond Management, Poultry Waste Management Education, Poverty Simulation, Precision Ag & Soil Fertility, Prescribed Fire, Private Applicator Training, Professional Development
  • Quicken for Farm Financial Records
  • Rural Library Hotspot Lending Program
  • Small Fruit and Nuts, Soil Testing, Solid Waste Management, Spring Resources, Stream Trailer, Strong Dads Fatherhood Program, SUNUP TV
  • Tax Schools, Tornado Preparedness, Turfgrass Science
  • United We Can
  • Viticulture & Enology
  • Water Conservation and Management, Weed Science, Wheat Research & Extension, Winter Resources
  • Youth Livestock

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension

From Texas A&M Agrilife Extension

“We’re an education agency with a statewide network of experts dedicated to finding solutions for agriculture, natural resources, youth and health. We use research-backed knowledge and scientifically proven practices to create programs that improve the lives of Texans. How can we help you and your community?”

  • 10-10,000 Change Challenge
  • A Matter of Balance, Aggie Horticulture, AgriLife Extension Military Program, Agricultural Pest Management News from the Field, Agricultural Safety and Health, Agricultural and Environmental Safety, Agricultural and Food Policy Center, Aquaculture, Fisheries and Pond Management
  • Balancing Food & Play, Battleground to Breaking Ground, Beef 101, Beef 706, Beef Cattle Short Course, Beef Quality Assurance Program, Bennett Trust Land Stewardship. Better Living for Texans, Birding with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Brazos Valley Injury Prevention Coalition and Statewide Initiatives
  • CEU Vector Education Workshop, Community Fire Ant Management, Cotton Insect Scouting School, David McKnight ’73 Ranch Management University, Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes
  • Early Childhood Education Program, Earth-Kind® Garden & Landscape Series, Entomology, Equine Reproductive Management Short Course, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)
  • Feedyard Technician Program, Feral Hog Management, Food Safety Education Program, Food Technology & Processing
  • Generation Next: Our Turn to Ranch
  • HORT IPM, Health Talk Express, Healthy South Texas,
  • Insects in the City, Irrigation Technology Program, Junior Master Gardener
  • Learn, Grow, Eat & Go, Livestock Veterinary Entomology, Low Impact Development and Ecological Engineering Program,
  • Master Marketer Program
  • National Clean Plant Network – Roses
  • Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project, Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Reuse
  • Path to the Plate, Pecan Orchard Management Short Course, Phillip J. Hamman Termite Control Training School, Plant Pathology, Preserving the Harvest, Pullorum-Typhoid Testing
  • RWFM Stewardship Webinar Series, Rainwater Harvesting, RanchTV, Reuse Water Quality Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduate (RWQ-REEU), Rural Student Success Initiative
  • Scrub Up, Tune Up, Small Acreage – Big Opportunity, Step Up Scale Down, Stiles Farm Foundation, Summer Horsemanship School
  • Texas 4-H, Texas 4-H Agriculture & Livestock Program, Texas 4-H Family & Community Health Program, Texas 4-H Leadership & Citizenship Program, Texas 4-H Natural Resources Program, Texas 4-H STEM Program, Texas 4-H Veterinary Science Project, Texas 4-H Youth Ambassador Programs, Texas A&M AgriLife Foundation Seed, Texas A&M School of Irrigation, Texas A&M University Urban Pest Management Conference & Workshop, Texas AgrAbility, Texas Agricultural Lifetime Leadership program, Texas Friendly Hospitality, Texas IPM Program, Texas Master Beekeeper Program, Texas Master Gardener, Texas Master Naturalist Program, Texas Rural Leadership Program, Texas Sea Grant College Program, Texas Superstar Plants, Texas Well Owner Network, Texas Wildlife Services, The IPM Experience House, Turfgrass and Ecology Short Course
  • Urban and Municipal Parks
  • V.G. Young Institute of County Government, Viticulture & Enology
  • Walk Across Texas!, Watch UR BAC Alcohol and Drug Awareness, Watershed Steward Program, Well Church Initiative




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Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jul. 10)

GOOD. Water stained; 75 degrees; 1.96 feet above pool. Striped bass fishing is great using live bait, slabs or topwaters on the right day. The weather should fire them up this week, watch for birds bouncing around the banks and hovering over schooling fish in deep water along river channels and main lake ledges. Bass fishing is slow using top waters early along the bluffs and using electronics to fish brush piles in coves 10-20 feet of water. Slow and shrink your approach to match the hatch and the heat. Crappie fishing is good jigging brush piles using electronics in the little mineral arm of the lake and near docks. 12-15 feet of water finding structure and roaming fish on chartreuse and black jigs. Catfishing is good seeing channels coming off baited holes and punch bait in 15-25 feet of water. Blue catfish are roaming the deep water in 40-50 feet of water eating cut shad. Fish the rocks and deep flats. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Stripers are excellent on topwaters, and the slab bite has really kicked off landing the larger fish. Live bait bite has slowed. Water clarity has improved and the recent flooding has subsided so the summer pattern has resumed. Look for white egrets feeding on fish midlake to direct the way to fish. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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