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. Recent needs assessments and phone calls received indicate that livestock farmers throughout the South are interested in parasite control and that 70% of NC Cooperative Extension Animal Science agents were interested in training about integrated parasite management for livestock. The proposed project is designed to develop and evaluate Agricultural professional training sessions and tools in integrated parasite management (IPM) for pasture raised pigs and poultry, beef cattle, horses and small ruminants. Collaborators with experience in a variety of livestock species have assisted with designing draft training materials, designing on-farm experiential training ideas and providing expertise as speakers at training workshops. Meetings have been held with the Southern Constoritum for Small Ruminant Parasite Control to start plans for updating existing training materials for small ruminants developed through previous SARE funded grants. Some train-the-trainer sessions have been held – 66 trainers, most in NC but some in SC and VA attended training in different formats with some trainers attending more than one type of training. At least 16 Extension field staff or other agricultural professionals trained or hosted trainings for producers with over 265 producers or livestock owners.
- 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).
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.
Sixty-six (66) Extension field staff and other ag professionals (vets, USDA staff, vet techs) have been trained in NC, SC (14), and VA (1) were trained using classroom lectures and/or through interactive hands-on fecal egg count, FAMACHA training or on-farm fecal egg count reduction test training. At least 16 Extension field staff or other agricultural professionals trained or hosted trainings for producers with over 265 producers or livestock owners (for those trained that were reported to the Project Director by agents). An additional 28 University or Community College students were trained. Work with agents in the eastern region has been conducted on 5 minority-owned pasture pork farms to evaluate (and help producers solve) parasite issues. Two State-owned outdoor swine farms were tested for agent training. Dr. Morgan Morrow with NCSU presented information about pasture swine parasite management to a group of pasture pork producers and came again when the results of the on-farm work was available to discuss those results and how to manage parasites. Training with farm managers and agents was conducted at a goat farm in SC with a collaborating Clemson University Extension veterinarian, Dr. Patty Scharko. She helped pilot, review and update a draft on-farm parasite assessment survey. She also worked with the People’s Cooperative (a minority farmer organization) and Extension staff in SC to organize parasite management training for sheep and goat producers for which Dr. Whitley served as a speaker. The Extension agent in VA who was trained through the project conducted parasite management and on-farm fecal egg count reduction training with horse owners and 4-H Youth in Virginia, expanding the impact of the project. Dr. Mark Alley (NCSU) assisted with on-farm fecal egg count reduction training in cattle and has provided input and resources to use for educational materials development. Dr. Ray Kaplan (UGA) and Dr. Anne Zajac (Virginia Tech; limitedly) have assisted with fecal egg count reduction training by allowing agents/producers to send samples for analysis.
Livestock Integrated Parasite Management (IPM) training materials were drafted based on existing Small Ruminant train-the-trainer manual materials; the materials were updated prior to each use in training agents – official materials are still in development. In addition, meetings with the Southern Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control (www.wormx.org) have resulted in a committee to update the current train-the-trainer manual for sheep and goats. They met at Consortium meetings and planned some updates.
A notebook, which included electronic materials including a Powerpoint presentation and evaluations for trainers to use, were provided 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. Microscope and fecal egg counting kits were offered to livestock agents in NC who also received training (25 agents received kits; less expensive microscopes were ordered to allow for additional agents to receive kits). An additional agent received a fecal egg counting kit but already had a microscope.
- Whitley, N.C., S. Schoenian, J-M. Luginbuhl, M. Worku and R.C. Noble. 2011. Impact of Gastrointestinal parasite management training in North Carolina. ARD proceedings, April, 2011; p. 195.
Whitley, N.C., J-M. Luginbuhl, S. Schoenian, and M. Worku. 2010. Survey of North Carolina sheep and goat producers after gastrointestinal parasite management training. J. Anim. Sci. . Small ruminant producer gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) management survey. J. Anim. Sci. 88 E-Suppl. 3:35.
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 as noted previously. At least 6 pasture/outdoor pork farms have changed deworming protocols based on information obtained through work with their agents in order to better control internal parasites on their farms. Horse farm owners have indicated they intend to make changes on their farm to reduce deworming. Two cattle farms realized they had dewormer resistance on their farm and made changes in their deworming strategies. Making changes on their farm can help them raise a higher quality product and use less feed to market, improving overall farm profitability.
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