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 training materials, designing on-farm experiential training ideas and providing expertise as speakers at training workshops. Meetings have been held with the American (formerly Southern) Constoritum for Small Ruminant Parasite Control and plans for updating existing training materials for small ruminants developed through previous SARE funded grants have been made. Train-the-trainer sessions have been held – Seventy-three 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 23 Extension field staff or other agricultural professionals trained or hosted trainings for producers with over 381 producers or livestock owners in mostly NC, but some from SC and VA.
- 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.
Seventy-three (73) 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 23 Extension field staff or other agricultural professionals trained or hosted trainings for producers with over 381 producers or livestock owners (for those trained that were reported to the Project Director by agents). These participants represented primarily NC, but some were from SC and VA. An additional 28 University or Community College students were trained. Youth interested in livestock were also trained by some Extension field staff.
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. Niki Whitley (PD, NC A&T State University) served as a speaker.
A total of 487 horses on 11 NC farms, 5 SC farms and 9 VA farms were used in fecal egg count reduction test training for agents or by agents for farm managers/owners. The Extension agent in VA who was trained through the project conducted the parasite management and on-farm fecal egg count reduction training in VA. She also trained 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 on three farms and has provided input and resources to use for educational materials development. Three additional cattle farms were used for training (one in SC). 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 to help farm owners develop parasite management practices on their farm.
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. Materials include one notebook with sections of information for sheep/goats, cattle, horses and pigs/poultry. Individual powerpoints, evaluations and other materials are available for sheep/goats, cattle and horses. Official materials that have gone through the University approved developmental process are still in development, with at least two reviewers agreeing to assist. In addition, meetings with the American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite control (ACRSPC; www.wormx.org) have resulted in a committee to update the current train-the-trainer manual for sheep and goats. We met and planned some updates, but ideas need to be presented to the group and discussed at the Fall 2012 ACSRPC meeting.
Notebooks or folders with materials, which (for the notebooks) included electronic materials such as a Powerpoint presentation and evaluations for trainers to use, were provided during train-the-trainer sessions for the livestock agents and other agricultural professionals (vets, technicians, community college/ag education instructors and research farm managers and workers) trained. Microscope and fecal egg counting kits were offered to livestock agents in NC who also received training (31 agents received kits; due to the popularity of the trainings, less expensive microscopes were ordered to allow for more agents than planned to receive kits). An additional agent received a fecal egg counting kit but already had a microscope.
- Whitley, N., K. Moulton, R. Franco, A. Cooper, R. Jackson and T. Conrad-Acuna. 2012. Livestock Integrated Parasite Management in North Carolina. Proceedings, Association of Extension Administrators National Meeting, June 24-28. Poster presentation.
Whitley N.C., R.M. Kaplan, R.A. Franco, K. Moulton, and A.E. Cooper. 2012. Anthelmintic resistance testing and agricultural professional training on horse farms in North Carolina. J. Anim. Sci. 90 E-Suppl. 1:32.
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 have made or intend to make changes on their farm to reduce deworming, one farm boarding/owning over 100 horses has reduced deworming from every two months for all horses to every four months for all but approximately 26 horses (that are still dewormed every two months because they were high shedders), reducing her costs and reducing the amount of chemical dewormers being released into the environment. Three 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