Train the Trainer: a holistic approach to Integrated Resource Management and Grassland Revitalization

2005 Annual Report for ES04-073

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2004: $93,908.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Charles Flowers
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Jane Parish
Mississippi State University Extension Service

Train the Trainer: a holistic approach to Integrated Resource Management and Grassland Revitalization


The trainer the trainer concept has exceeded expectations in its first full year of the Mississippi beef and forage focused project. Livestock/ forage specialists, area agents, and county directors from the Mississippi State University Extension Service, staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, veterinarians, and numberous other leaders and educators in the Mississippi beef and forage industries have gained valuable information via the train the trainer program. Program efforts included educational information via face-to-face training sessions, field days, short courses, Extension and popular press articles, PowerPoint presentations, interactive video-based distance education, radio, news releases, e-mail, and the Internet: ttp:// Topics addressed included cattle reproduction, end product, marketing, nutrition, forage production and utilization, NRCS programs, herd health, and genetics. Multi-county local groups or sustainable beef teams continued to thrive throughout Mississippi as “Cattlemen’s Exchange groups”. These groups interactive locally and across groups on a regular (usually monthly) basis and share research and production information. Program awareness is increasing in Mississipi and attracting new participants. Program evaluations have been very positive and continue to provide good input for future program planning.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Project Objectives
1) Continue active participation in sustainable beef teams.
2) Continue conducting seminars, workshops, and short courses on a variety of relevant beef cattle and forage production and marketing topics for sustainable beef teams.
3) Continue Development of training materials specific to training program to enhance trainers’ and producers’ knowledge base.
4) Continue to support local training team efforts to educate local producers on beef cattle and forage topics.


Major educational events for state, area, and local trainers:

January 11-12, 2005 – Beef and dairy cattle reproduction short course addressing reproductive diseases, calving management, estrous cycle, estrus synchronization, heat detection, artificial insemination, heifer development, bull fertility and management, fall versus spring calving, and developing a controlled breeding season conducted over distance education system to eleven sites in Mississippi and three sites in Louisiana attending by over 150 participants

April 12, 2005 – Live beef carcass fabrication demonstration and discussion at the Mississippi State University meats laboratory under the Cattlemen’s Exchange program broadcast live over interactive video to 24 sites in Mississippi, three sites in Alabama, and one site in Louisiana to over 200 participants

April 22-23, 2005 – Cattlemen’s Exchange statewide beef tour of over 50 participants toured model beef cattle and forage production operations over a two-day period. Lasting interactions across local Cattlemen’s Exchange groups were formed as a result of this statewide tour.

August 8, 2005 – Stocker cattle/ heifer development short course addressing health programs for growing cattle, nutrition and management considerations for the transition from weaning to grass, forage systems for growing cattle, stocker cattle marketing options, working with feedlots, heifer breeding management, electronic ID demonstration, identifying sick cattle, hospital pen considerations, and injection site and necropsy demonstration to over 200 participants from Mississippi and Louisiana. The broadcast can be viewed on the Internet at

November 1, 8, and 15, 2005 – Beef cattle genetics short course utilizing presenters from six states covering beef cattle genetics and measurement basics, expected progeny differences and indexes, selecting cattle for the environment, heterosis and crossbreeding systems, custom sire ranking programs, and technology in beef cattle breeding broadcast live over interactive video to 27 sites and 103 participants in Mississippi, 10 sites and 129 participants in Alabama, and three sites and 30 participants in Louisiana.

Trainers produced detailed educational materials for each educational event as well as educational materials on additional topics for reference purposes.

Multi-county sustainable beef teams (Cattlemen’s Exchange groups) continued operation across the state. These groups met regularly (monthly to bi-monthly) and grew in attendance. Cattlemen’s Exchange educational efforts continued to be endorsed by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi Beef Cattle Improvement Association, and the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The educational success of sustainable beef cattle and forage training efforts continues to be apparent to stakeholders throughout Mississippi and surrounding states. The cooperative educational efforts across state lines are gaining the positive attention of major industry organizations and leaders. Participation in programs continues to increase. Information transfer to beef cattle and forage producers as a result of training efforts is widespread. Additional training needs continue to be identified based on trainee and producer evaluations and input. As a result, a variety of training programs are scheduled for 2006 to continue to build upon the educational foundation established by recent training efforts.


Richard Watson
Assistant Extension/Research Professor
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Box 9555
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Office Phone: 6623255463
Blair McKinley
Extension Professor
Mississippi State University Extension Service
Box 9815
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Office Phone: 6623253691