Alabama Bermudagrass Hay Growers Summit Targets Advanced Producers
Associate Extension Professor/Extension Specialist
The Bermudagrass Hay Growers Summit is an in-state Extension workshop that began in 2017 and is based on a grassroots need to educate advanced hay producers seeking more than basic hay production instruction. The original objective was to provide current information and timely updates for bermudagrass hay producers in northern Alabama. Typically held in February, the timing allows for immediate implementation of certain practices prior to spring green up. It has evolved into a statewide event after proven success as a regional offering. The workshop utilizes a traditional lecture format with varying educational components, based primarily on past participant evaluations. Educational topics have covered insect pests, weed control, fertilizer requirements and application timing, nutrient management, industry perspectives, nutrient availability, cash flow budgeting and hay storage techniques. Average attendance for the target audience is 18 people, with a total of 11,266 acres under their management each year. Due to university restrictions for in-person programming, the 2021 meeting was conducted virtually and open to anyone (95 in state; 33 out-of-state attendees). Extension news articles, email blasts, social media posts, word of mouth and local advertising are utilized each year to promote the workshop. A mix of PowerPoint presentations, speaker panels and round table discussions throughout the day encourage group interaction. Evaluation results over six years (2017-2022) indicate 98.2% of participants found the information useful to their operation and 98.8% reported the program met their expectations. The average rating (1-5 scale) of all topics delivered was a 4.63 across all years, indicating satisfaction with selected topics. Evaluation results show a 29.4% average increase in knowledge and the average, annual economic impact from implementing the information presented of $17,704.60 per person. While it is important to reach new and beginning farmers and ranchers, progressive producers need continued education designed to meet their production needs in an ever-changing enterprise.
Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC
This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.
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Authors: Kent Stanford, Landon Marks, Gerry Thompson, Leanne Dillard, Kim Mullenix
Stanford, K. Associate Extension Professor/Extension Specialist, , Alabama, 35962
Marks, L. Regional Extension Agent - Animal Science & Forages, Alabama Extension, Alabama, 35960
Thompson, G. Regional Extension Agent - Animal Science & Forages, Alabama Extension, Alabama, 35615
Dillard, L. Extension Forage Specialist, Alabama Extension, Alabama, 36849
Mullenix, K. Extension Beef Systems Specialist, Alabama Extension, Alabama, 36849