Our Agriculture & Natural Resources programs will focus on small urban farming, wetlands development, community aquaculture, and agriculture education. In addition to these programs, conferences will be conducted to educate small farmers on the economic merits and benefits of farm management. These programs conferences will produce Maurada Gardens, Aquaponics, Low Tunnels, and Professional Development to improve agriculture, plant sciences, and economics.
The overall goal of the Aquaponics: The Water-Based Eco Alternative program is to provide outreach, education, and awareness to farmers and producers on aquaponics production. The program will also focus on the important roles that both aquaculture and hydroponics have in the general operation of the system. Aquaponics operations can be operated year-round as opposed to seasonally like with traditional farm fields, and also offer several environmental stewardship incentives including: reducing water consumption, reducing land area requirements, reduced equipment usage, and reduced chemical/effluent usage.
Participants will learn the different materials and methods used in assembling and operating an aquaponics production system, economic benefits of implementing aquaponics into their farm and/or production operations.
Cover crops serve numerous purposes in everyday life, some of which include landscaping (beautification), farming, and overall land stewardship. In agriculture, cover crops can improve soil fertility and soil structure, manage pests, and increase crop yields. Infiltrating with Cover Crops is a training event put on by Central State University Extension and its partners which details the "how, when, what, and why" of cover crops. Program participants will be instructed on how to select, produce, and possibly terminate cover crops according to their needs. They will also learn the economic benefits of implementing cover crops into their farm and or/production operations.
Presented in partnership with the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), this program helps inform participants on a variety of ways to extend the growing season for crops and ornamentals. The program will introduce participants to both the advantages and disadvantages to using methods including cloches, cold frames, and hot beds. When utilizing the methods learned in the program, participants will be able to shelter crops from cold temperatures and harsh elements, allowing for improved crop diversity and a longer, larger harvest.
The foundation for plant health is dependent upon proper soil fertility, and soil sampling and testing is key in any soil nutrient management plan. So What About Your Soils? is a workshop which details the importance of soil sampling and testing for crop-plant production purposes. Individuals in this program will learn different procedures and techniques used in pulling soil samples along with the proper tools used in sampling under different conditions. This program will also instruct participants on what soil nutrients are essential for testing, pesticide and chemical residue testing, and how to read and understand soil test results.
State and county fairs, petting zoos, and even your family’s farm are great places to come and learn about different animals and livestock. Unfortunately, these animals may also carry organisms which could cause you to become ill and develop a zoonotic disease – one transferred between animals and people.
This interactive program will inform participants on common zoonotic diseases and how they are spread, associated symptoms, and practical prevention strategies.
For more information about these programs, including upcoming offerings, contact your local CSU Extension County Educator.