MINERAL WELLS - Speakers for the West Virginia Extension Service dinner meetings have been scheduled.
The meetings, which are at the Wood County 4-H Campground on Butcher Bend Road, are free, open to the public and intended to provide progressive education on improving management or marketing strategies for farmers and landowners. Dinners are at 6:30 p.m. and the programs will begin at 7 p.m.
"It's a great time to be a farmer in West Virginia." said Tom McConnell, program leader of the WVU Extension Small Farm Center. "There is more support and opportunities than ever before for small farmers."
The meetings are a great place for farmers and landowners to come together to share ideas, said J.J. Barrett, WVU Extension agriculture agent for Wood County.
"These dinner meetings provide an excellent learning opportunity for local farmers,'' he said. ''This educational opportunity is provided in different areas throughout West Virginia by WVU Extension to aid farmers in improving management and profitability on the farm."
This year's schedule includes "Cattle Selection" with Bill Tucker on Jan. 30; "Amazing Grazing" with Matt Poore on Feb. 28; and "Farm Transitioning" with Jesse Richardson on March 21.
During the "Cattle Selection" meeting, Bill Tucker, from Tucker Family Farms in Amherst, Va., will be discussing economic variables in making decisions concerning real world selection in beef production, applying appropriate pressure in using crossbreeding. Tucker Family Farms is a seventh-generation, family-run cattle farm.
During the "Amazing Grazing" meeting, Poore, who is the Extension livestock specialist for North Carolina State University and also serves as the beef unit coordinator at the Center for Environmental Systems (CEFS) Research Farm in Goldsboro, N.C., will discuss extending the grazing season to reduce dependence on harvested feed and other inputs, such as fertilizer. Poore will also talk about beginning and advanced grazing techniques, such as successful use of temporary fencing and troubleshooting electric fences.
During the "Farm Transitioning" meeting, Richardson, who is the lead land use attorney at the Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at the West Virginia University College of Law, will discuss the basics of farm succession planning and identify common pitfalls.
The meetings are being sponsored by Farm Credit, The Little Kanawha Conservation District and the Farm Service Agency.
Registration is encouraged at 304-424-1960.