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2021 Agriculture Educational Webinar Series

Snow covered cattle in field.

Each winter, WVU Extension brings education, know-how and research right to your community through a series of educational dinner meetings. Though we couldn’t gather in person this year, those across West Virginia joined us virtually for the 2021 agriculture webinar series!

Participants had the same opportunity to learn from WVU Extension specialists and industry experts about relevant topics to help you improve your own agricultural operations.

A new farm-focused weekly webinar session was presented via Zoom every Thursday, from Jan. 14 through March 25.

Below is an overview of each course. Recordings for each session are in the process of being completed so those who couldn't participate can still take part in this educational series.

Grazing Management

January 14, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m. 

Presenter: Jeff Lehmkuhler

Managing grazing livestock can provide benefits to the forage system through improved forage utilization, increased stocking rates and better manure nutrient distribution. Additionally, winter feeding can be challenging under current climate conditions. Alternative feeding approaches have the potential to reduce soil damage and provide fertility to fields. This discussion will highlight applied grazing management approaches and alternative winter feeding strategies.

Jeff Lehmkuhler was the Beef Extension Specialist at the University of Wisconsin from 2001 to 2008. He has been Extension Beef Cattle Specialist at the University of Kentucky since 2008, where he is a co-chair of the Master Grazer program committee, which delivers the Kentucky Grazing School, Advanced Grazing School, Lengthening the Grazing Season sessions and on-farm pasture management demonstrations. 

Small-scale Poultry Production

January 21, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Joe Moritz

Joe Moritz will discuss small-scale poultry production, including supplies, rearing, processing, housing, nutrition, health and troubleshooting problems.

Moritz was trained at Ohio State and Kansas State universities. He joined the faculty at West Virginia University in 2002. Moritz maintains a 45% research, 30% teaching and 25% E xtension appointment.  Moritz enjoys helping commercial integrators as well as backyard poultry enthusiasts produce safe, affordable and nutritious poultry products. 

Fertilization in High Tunnels

January 28, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Lewis Jett

High tunnel crops must be fertilized properly to receive the highest yield and profit. This presentation will discuss conventional and organic fertilization of popular high tunnel crops for maximum yield.

Lewis Jett is an Associate Professor and Extension Horticulture Crops Specialist at West Virginia University.  Lewis is a native of West Virginia and serves as project leader for specialty crop extension and outreach programs in West Virginia. His research and extension projects focus on evaluating high tunnels (low cost, solar greenhouses) for extended production and marketing of high-value, vegetables and small fruits in West Virginia. 

Pond Management

February 4, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Bryan Swistock

Bryan Swistock will discuss all aspects of pond management, including inspection, leaks, water quality, pond ecology, algae, aquatic plants, nutrient reduction, fish and wildlife issues.

Since 1988, Swistock has served as a water resources Extension Associate with Penn State Extension. He conducts applied research and Extension programs on emerging water topics, including private water supply management, pond/lake management, emerging contaminants, acid deposition, watershed hydrology and water treatment.

Matching Livestock Production to Consumer Demands

February 11, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Davey Griffin

Davey Griffin is a professor and Extension meat specialist at Texas A&M University. He serves as a liaison between industry, commodity groups, medical and dietary professionals, and Extension personnel to provide research information and technology. His key program and interest areas include cutability and composition of carcasses associated with value-based marketing, current consumer issues concerning meat and meat products, youth development and cooperative research projects.

Grazing for Soil Health

February 18, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Gabe Brown

Gabe Brown will discuss grazing management strategies to restore soil health for improved water retention, reduced runoff, increased land productivity, and enhanced plant and wildlife biodiversity.

Gabe, along with his wife Shelly, and son Paul, own and operate Brown's Ranch, a diversified 5,000 acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, North Dakota. The ranch consists of several thousand acres of native perennial rangeland along with perennial pastureland and cropland. The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include a wide variety of cash crops, multi-species cover crops along with all natural grass finished beef and lamb.

Weeds in the Woods

February 25, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m. 

Presenter: Dave McGill

Weeds in the woods come in all shapes and sizes: trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, and forbs.  Woodland weeds can decrease productivity and diminish the aesthetic values of the wooded stands they infest.  Landowners should recognize these invasive plants so they can make informed decisions on how to best achieve their “ideal woodlands.”  This presentation will feature some of the weeds that threaten woodland productivity in West Virginia and outline some ways to manage these green pests.

Dave McGill is Professor and Extension Specialist for the West Virginia University Davis College, School of Natural Resources. Since 2001, he has developed programs in forestry outreach education for private forestland owners in West Virginia and conducts a broad range of applied forestry research. 

Are you calving at the right time?

March 4, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Burke Teichert

Burke Teichert will cover management and economic considerations for determining the appropriate time of year to calve within a given environment.

Teichert was born and raised on a family ranch in western Wyoming and earned a B.S. in ag business from Brigham Young University and M.S. in ag economics from University of Wyoming. His work history includes serving as a university faculty member, cattle reproduction specialist, and manager of seven cattle ranches for Deseret Land and Cattle.

Weed Management for Pastures and Hayfields

March 11, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: JD Green

Basic reasons why weed problems develop and progress in grazed pastures and hay fields will be discussed along with some of the more common weeds found in these forage production systems.  Integrated control strategies, including nonchemical and chemical control methods, will be emphasized to tackle some examples of the more troublesome weeds. 

JD Green began his professional career at the University of Kentucky, where he has over 34 years of experience as an Extension Weed Scientist. His major job responsibilities include developing and disseminating weed control strategies that impact Kentucky’s major field and forage crops. Green’s research has focused on weed control strategies to deal with troublesome weeds that affect these agricultural land uses. 

The Three Secrets to Increasing Profits

March 18, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Dallas Mount

There are only three things any business can do to increase profit. Understanding which of these three is the weak link for your business will focus management attention. In this presentation, we will start a livestock business from scratch to develop an understanding of the “three secrets.”

Dallas Mount has worked with hundreds of ranchers across the U.S., Canada and Australia to help them improve the profitability and overall health of their businesses. He has hands-on experience working in cow-calf, yearling, feedlot and hay enterprises. Mount cut his teeth working with the University of Wyoming Extension service beginning in 2001. He started teaching the Ranching For Profit School in 2012 and quickly established himself as an elite instructor. In 2019, he purchased Ranch Management Consultants and currently serves as CEO of RMC, leading the Ranching For Profit School and the Executive Link Program creating profitable businesses.

2021 Market Outlook and the Continued Impact of COVID-19

March 25, 2021 - 7 to 8 p.m.

Presenter: Derrell Peel

Derrell Peel will provide an analysis of market conditions and discuss the long- and short-term effects of COVID-19 on cattle and beef markets.

Peel is the Charles Breedlove Professor of Agribusiness in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University. He has served as the Extension Livestock Marketing Specialist since 1989. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Montana State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. His main program areas at Oklahoma State University include livestock market outlook and marketing/risk management education for livestock producers.