A Training Program for Agriculture Educators Targeting Integrated Cow/calf Operation Management Systems

1997 Annual Report for ES97-027

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 1997: $342,389.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1999
Region: Southern
State: Oklahoma
Principal Investigator:
Steven Smith
Oklahoma State University

A Training Program for Agriculture Educators Targeting Integrated Cow/calf Operation Management Systems


1.) Training and professional development opportunities will be provided Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Agents, Natural Resource Conservation Service personnel and Farm Credit Services officials to enhance their understanding of techniques of sustainable agriculture as related to the beef industry.
2.) Project participants, herein referred to as “Trainers”, will be exposed to the differing segments of the beef industry, the role these segments serve in the industry, and how they may be melded into an integrated package at the cow/calf level.
3.) Trainers will experience the characteristics of beef industry segments through hands-on participation in two case studies of sustainable and integrated ranches as cattle are followed though different production segments of the industry.
4.) Trainer experience and knowledge will be used to model case study ranches into integrated operations in terms of animal and forage production, economics and environmental nutrient balance.
4.) Trainers will be exposed to sustainable agriculture techniques through educational tours and study of ongoing, funded field research and demonstration projects involving nutrient balance of intensive grazing operations, best management practices of using poultry litter as a fertilizer or as a feed for beef cattle, and environmentally sound methods of controlling undesirable weed and brush infestations, especially broomsedge.
5.) A forage base evaluation model and computer software will be developed to assist trainers as a decision-making tool for producer recommendations.
6.) Trainers will receive equipment and supplies to enhance educational activities directed towardtheir target audiences; the commercial cow/calf producer in southeastern Oklahoma.
7.) Trainers will conduct educational activities in their individual communities utilizing professionally designed displays, brochures, professional educational slide sets and narratives and computer software.
8.) A narrative of experiences and observations gained through this project, including major points covered, will be maintained and provided to project participants.
9.) An evaluation of the understanding of sustainable beef and forage production by Cooperative Extension Agents will be conducted at the conclusion of the project.

Activities to date
Most objectives of the grant have been met. Grant activities to date include educational tours; a case study of a vertically integrated ranch; the development of research and teaching skills by extension educators; the acquisition of quality display boards and subsequent development of eleven different sets of educational display materials to be used on those boards; the conduct of research and educational programming; the determination of factors influencing price and profit in cattle marketed in public auction facilities; the development and reproduction of educational slide sets for each grant participant; educational tours including stops at facilities from a pharmaceutical plant to feedlot facilities