Multiple Livestock Species Integrated Parasite Management Train-the-Trainer Programs with On-Farm, Computer-based and Traditional Training Sessions
Livestock parasite control has focused primarily on sheep and goats, but all livestock have parasites, and cattle and horses have increasing parasite dewormer resistance issues. Improper parasite control causes farmer production/profit losses and increases chemical dewormers released into our environment. Based on needs assessments and phone calls from producers and livestock agents, this project was designed to develop and evaluate Agricultural professional training sessions and tools in integrated parasite management (IPM) for a variety of grazing/outdoor livestock. Collaborators with experience in a variety of livestock species will assist with developing training materials, updating existing materials, designing on-farm experiential training and providing expertise as speakers at training workshops. Evaluation will include train-the-trainer programs and follow-up evaluations designed for the trainers to use at their resultant events. So far, 30+ agents and agricultural professionals (vets, farm managers) have been trained in NC and SC. Train-the-trainer evaluations indicated that participants would use the information with their clientele, and then did start to offer trainings in SC (11 producers trained) and three regions in NC. On-farm experiential training has occurred on one horse farm and is scheduled for other horse farms, cattle farms and sheep/goat farms in NC and a goat farm in SC. Training for pasture pigs has been conducted by Dr. Morgan Morrow in the Eastern Region and on-farm work has been conducted in this region as well. Some on-farm work has been planned with an agent in the Western region and is being planned for the Central region as well.
1) Focusing on a variety of livestock species, train agents in how to assess parasite management and control issues and provide them with tools to help the farmers with those issues, resulting in farmers understanding and controlling parasites in their animals with more efficient/less chemical dewormer use (to reduce chemicals in our environment and increase farmer profitability).
2) Teach agents about how to assess the impact of trainings they provide to farmers and give them the tools to begin the process, resulting in agents assisting with tracking the impact of the proposed project and participating in reporting of those impacts well into the future.
Ultimately, the goal is to help agents and other agricultural professionals to provide information to farmers with pasture raised pigs, poultry, cattle, horses, sheep and/or goats that will help them make more money and have greater lifestyle satisfaction while reducing chemicals released into the environment.
Livestock Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) training materials were developed based on existing Small Ruminant train-the-trainer manual materials; the materials were updated prior to each use. In addition, meetings with the Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (www.scsrpc.com) have resulted in a committee to update the current train-the-trainer manual for sheep and goats. The Livestock materials – a notebook with included electronic materials including a Powerpoint presentation and evaluations for trainers to use – were utilized during train-the-trainer sessions for over 30 livestock agents and other agricultural professionals (vets, technicians, community college/ag education instructors and research farm managers and workers) in North and South Carolina.
Livestock kits were offered to livestock agents in NC. An unexpected number of agents were interested in learning about fecal egg counting and obtaining a kit so that agents could come to their office to run their own samples. Therefore, alternative funding was used to provide additional kits above the funding in this grant and less expensive microscopes have been ordered so that more kits can be provided to increase impact.
Work with agents in the eastern region has been conducted on pasture pork farms to evaluate (and help producers solve) parasite issues; Dr. Morgan Morrow with NCSU presented information to a group of pasture pork producers about the results of the on-farm work. Additional work/on-farm training will be conducted this Spring with northeastern, central and western region agents and their producers. Training with farm managers and agents on horse, cattle and sheep/goat farms are currently started and/or being scheduled, including a goat farm in SC with a collaborating Clemson University Extension veterinarian, Dr. Patty Scharko.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Results from train-the-trainer sessions indicated that participants felt the information was relevant to their needs and that they would use the information with their clientele. This was proven when agents provided related information to producers in workshops in NC (at least 2 agents) and SC (1 workshop held so far) and others (6 agents) scheduled upcoming Livestock IPM and/or fecal egg counting training for the next couple of months. Additional agents (5+) are currently scheduling on-farm experiential training for themselves which will allow them to then provide information to their producers.
Ten agents have received fecal egg counting kits for their offices. An additional twenty kits were requested for county offices. Sign-up forms for leaving near the microscopes were provided so that impact information can be obtained (what type of samples were they analyzing and how they will use the information for example).
At least 3 pasture pork producers have changed deworming protocols based on information obtained through work with the agents in order to better control internal parasites on their farms. This will help them raise a higher quality product and use less feed to market, improving overall farm profitability. Horse owners at a stable have expressed interest in learning to monitor fecal egg counts for their horses after unexpected high fecal egg counts were noted and some of their friends have also requested training , so agents in their counties are now planning to provide that training.
Professor, Animal Science
NC State University
201 Polk Hall, Box 7621
Raleigh, NC 27695
Office Phone: 9195154001
Clinical Asst Professor
NC State University
CVM Main Building D249A, Box 8401
Raleigh, NC 27695
Office Phone: 9195136015
5890 DW Brooks Drive
Athens, GA 30602
Office Phone: 7065425670