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SCHMIDT: Upcoming NDSU Extension Service programs

By Staff | Nov 24, 2017

If you love gardening and sharing your knowledge with others, consider becoming an Extension Master Gardener volunteer in collaboration with the North Dakota State University Extension Service.

The NDSU Extension Master Gardener Program is a volunteer service program that beautifies our communities, educates the public about gardening, works with youth and encourages conservation of natural resources.

This year’s Master Gardener online training program will run for 10 weeks beginning Jan. 19 and ending March 23, 2018.

“Online students can login on their computers and participate in the live Friday classes from 1 to 4 p.m. (CDT),” says Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension horticulturist and North Dakota Master Gardener director. “Alternatively, students can watch the recorded lectures at a more convenient time.”

Course topics include annual and perennial flowers, tree selection and maintenance, soil health, composting, plant diseases and insects, vegetable and fruit production and lawn maintenance. NDSU faculty and Extension personnel teach the classes.

Once participants complete the training, they are known as Master Gardener interns. They must volunteer 48 hours of time during a two-year period on horticultural projects in cooperation with the NDSU Extension Service. After that, they will be certified as Master Gardeners.

Projects include planting and designing pollinator gardens, organizing horticultural workshops, managing school and community gardens, working with youth and growing fresh produce for local food pantries.

Tuition for the 2017 class is $195 for those wishing to become a certified master gardener or $400 for those just interested in taking the class. Computer knowledge, Internet access and an email account are required.

Thirty-one North Dakota counties will be accepting a limited number of Master Gardener applications including Pierce County. The application deadline is Dec. 1.

Online registration is available at www.ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener/ .

For more information, contact the Pierce County Extension office at 776-6234 ext. 5.

Northcentral Livestock Update

NDSU Extension Agents from the northcentral region will be holding their 3rd Annual NC Region Livestock Update on December 4, at the Sky Dancer Casino & Hotel, Belcourt beginning at 6 p.m. Topics include:

* Livestock Market Outlook

* Nutritional Needs to Increase Reproduction

* Vaccine Handling and Storage

* Pasture Recovery

* Backgrounding Calf Budgets

* 2016 National Beef Quality Audit Update

* Beef Quality Assurance certification will also be available for $15.

This event rotates among Pierce, Rolette, and Towner Counties and was held in Bisbee last year.

Cropping Decisions for 2018

NDSU Extension Agents from northwestern and northcentral North Dakota have put together their annual series of producer Crop Outlook meetings to be held at eight locations across the region December 11-14.

The NDSU Extension Service in Pierce County will be hosting one of these meetings at Dakota Farms in Rugby on Monday, December 11 at 1:00pm. The “Cropping Decisions” meeting series is designed to cover a variety of agronomic, management, and market issues that could be of concern to producers in the 2018 growing season.

Local Extension Agents will kick off each program with updates and issues of local concern. Other topics include:

* Crop Marketing Update

* Alternative Crops and Crop Rotations

* Weed Resistance

Dakota Cattle Conference in Minot

Cattle producers still have time to register for the Dakota Cattle Conference, which the North Dakota State University Extension Service is holding Wednesday, Dec. 6, and Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Holiday Inn Riverside in Minot.

A cattle breeding workshop will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Topics that will be covered are tools for selection, genomics and building a specific cow herd. A social and supper will follow at 7 p.m.

Thursday’s program will begin with registration at 9 a.m. Educational sessions will run from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Presenters will discuss topics including late-season grazing and supplementation, refining stockmanship, why beef is good for you, marketing trends and the outlook for the coming year.

Some of the speakers include Bart Lardner from the Western Beef Development Center in Saskatchewan, Curt Pate a stockmanship expert and rancher from Montana, Jim Robb from Livestock Marketing Information Center in Colorado, and Bob Weaber of Kansas State University Extension.

Registration for the conference is $40, which includes lunch on Thursday.

For more information, contact John Dhuyvetter, NDSU Extension area livestock systems specialist at the North Central Research Extension Center near Minot, at 701-857-7682 or john.dhuyvetter@ndsu.edu, or Paige Brummund, agriculture and natural resources agent in NDSU Extension’s Ward County office, at 701-857-6444 or paige.f.brummund@ndsu.edu.

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