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Agriculture Today

East Texas school for novice ranchers

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March 21, 2012 | 4,254 views | Post a comment

OVERTON -- Though usually billed as being for novices, this year’s three-day Pasture and Livestock Management Workshop will have information that all ranchers, both beginners and experienced, can use to cut costs and raise profits, according to the faculty at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Overton.

Set for Tuesday through Thursday, March 27-29, at the center, the workshop is now accepting students. As in previous years, registration is limited to 60 to allow plenty of one-on-one time between the instructors and students.

Most of the instructors hold doctorates in their fields and are either with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service or AgriLife Research. They have expertise in forage breeding and production, soil fertility, wildlife management, beef cattle nutrition, and marketing. Having knowledge in these areas can mean the difference between profiting from the cattle business or having it become a huge money pit, said Dr. Monte Rouquette, Texas AgriLife Research forage scientist.

Registration for the three-day school is $350, which includes meals and educational materials.

The school is split between the classroom and instruction in the field. In-field demonstrations cover all aspects of running a beef operation, from establishing and maintaining high-quality forages to calibrating sprayers, taking soil samples, castrating and vaccinating cattle, and de-horning calves, said Dr. Vanessa Corriher, AgriLife Extension forage specialist and workshop instructor at Overton.

Also included will be training on writing a business plan for a ranch, keeping proper records, choosing the appropriate forage species for different soils, understanding soil fertility, establishing forage systems that minimize winter feeding costs, setting correct stocking rates, choosing the right cattle breeds, promoting good animal health, and marketing cattle.

There will be extensive instruction on trapping and other types of control of feral hogs by Dr. Billy Higginbotham, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist.

A full program agenda can be found at

Participants may also reserve an opening by phone or email by contacting Jennifer Lloyd at 903-834-6191 or

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