Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Save the Date! Annual TDA CEU Training set for February 21 and 22, 2017

We are currently in the process of contacting speakers and working on other details, but we wanted you to know that the date for our annual "last chance" CEU training for TDA pesticide license holders is set.

WHAT:            Last Chance CEU Training
DATE:             February 21 and 22, 2017 (possibly one additional day)
LOCATION:  Travis County East Service Center, 6011 Blue Bluff Rd

Time:                TBA
Fee:                   TBA

15 total CEUs will be offered over the entire program. Depending on scheduling and speaker availability, we may need to add an additional day to get that total of 15 hours. As soon as that information is settled, we'll make the announcement here, so stay tuned!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fall Ag Conference

The Bastrop/Fayette County Ag. Conference will be held November 4 at the American Legion Hall at 145 American Legion Road in Smithville.  A pre-registration fee of $30 must be received at the Extension office in Bastrop County at 901 Pecan Street, Bastrop, Texas or in Fayette County at 255 Svoboda Lane in La Grange by November 1st.  Late registration at the door will be $40 per person.  Checks should be made payable to the Bastrop Ag. Fund (no cash will be accepted). 
Topics of discussion will include: Keeping Accurate Records of Pesticide Applications by Beau Whisenant of Texas Department of Agriculture; Pesticide Laws & Regulations Update by Dr. Don Renchie, Extension Specialist; Preventing Mosquito Borne Diseases and Controlling Flies, Gnats & Ticks on Livestock by Dr. Sonia Swiger, Extension Livestock Entomologist; New Recommendations for Weed and Brush Control by Dr. Bob Lyons, Extension Range Specialist and the Veterinary Feed Directive- How Will It Affect My Operation, by Dr. Whitney Whitworth of Lyssy & Eckel Feeds.
A total of 5 pesticide applicator CEU credits have been approved from the Texas Department of Agriculture for this program (1 General, 2 Laws & Regulations, 2 IPM).
Please call the Bastrop County Extension Office at (512) 581-7186 if you have any questions.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Women in Wildlife Conservation - Resources to Set a Stewardship Path

The Inn on Barons Creek,
308 S. Washington St., Fredericksburg, TX 78624
October 3-4 2016
7:30 – 8:30 am – Registration/Breakfast
8:30 am – Welcome
8:30 a.m. – Land Management and the Story of Hope – Colleen Gardner, Selah Bamberger Ranch Preserve
9:30 a.m. – Habitat Management: Job #1 - – Annaliese Scoggin, TPWD
10:30 a.m. – Break
11:00 a.m. – Rainwater Harvesting to View Wildlife at Home and in the Field – Billy Kniffen
12:00 – LUNCH
1:00: p.m. – Key Points for Developing Hunting Lease Agreements – Jason Johnson
1:30 p.m. – Becoming a Master Naturalist – Mary Pearl Meuth
2:00 p.m. – Deer Management in 1 Hour – The Fundamentals – Annaliese Scoggin
3:00 p.m. – BREAK
3:30 p.m. – What Women Need to Know About Finances and Their Hunting Enterprise – Jae Jones Thompson, Capital Farm Credit
4:30 p.m. – Stewardship in the Edwards Plateau: The Next Generation – Megan Clayton
5:30 p.m. –Panel Discussion – Traveling a Little Further Down the Stewardship Path
6:30 p.m. – Dinner and Music
7:00 a.m. – Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – Load Tour Buses/Vans- for tour of the Texas Hill Country with several stops to visit different enterprises.
8:45-9:45 – Whitney and Wynn Whitworth Ranch, Sisterdale, TX
9:45-10:45 – Plant ID and Track ID AgriLife Extension Specialists
10:45-11:15 – Load Buses and travel to Singing Water Vineyards
11:15-11:45 – Honey Bee Management
12:00 12:30 – Singing Water Vineyard Wine Tasting and Tour
12:30-1:15 – Lunch with Cindy Zoeller
1:15 -1:50 – Hand out Certificates and Survey Instruments
1:50-2:15 – Load buses and travel to Chris Summers Ranch Sheep Farm
2:15-3:00 – Dinosaur tracks – Dinah Zike, Comfort, TX
3:00- 4:00 – Chris Summers discussion of sheep production in the Edwards Plateau 3:30-4:30 – Lamb samples and wine tasting by Lost Draw Cellars
4:30 – Load buses and return to Fredericksburg.

Time: Day 1 - 7:30 am - 6:30 pm, Day 2 - 7 am  - 4:30 pm
Cost: $75 for 2 day conference/onsite
Contact Person: Linda Francis, Soil & Crop Sciences, Ph. 979-845-2425,  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Market Ready Training: Selling to Restaurants for Local Growers

Our upcoming FREE workshop, Market Ready, will discuss some of the best practices involved in marketing and selling your home-grown products locally. It's perfect for small-acreage producers, but even backyard growers who want to explore selling produce, herbs, eggs, honey, etc. locally, will benefit. Please join us! Press release below.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County will present a marketing workshop to help small-scale agricultural producers sell their produce to area restaurants and grocery stores.

The free workshop, “Market Ready Training: Selling to Restaurants for Local Growers,” will be held from 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 26 at the AgriLife Extension office, 1600-B Smith Road in Austin.

“The program is designed for local farmers and small-acreage growers, as well as potential buyers,” explained Dr. Daniel Chavez, AgriLife Extension economist, College Station

Chavez, who will present the program the workshop, said topics will include restaurant sales, product marketing, the Young Farmer Grant Program and the Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program.

“The Market Ready program is value-added, best practices course that covers the nuts and bolts of making your product market ready for sale to local restaurants, smaller grocery stores, small grocery chains and others,” he said.

Chavez said workshop specifics would include relationship building, product packaging, labeling and pricing, delivery and storage, along with invoicing, quality assurance and insurance requirements. There also will be information on the financial assistance programs available to small-scale producers.

“At this workshop, attendees will get to know what the potential buyers want and how to effectively market their produce,” he said.  

For more information, contact Chavez at 979-587-4492 

To RSVP, contact Daphne Richards at

Visit the Central Texas Horticulture website:

Beef Cattle Replacement Selection & Economics of Rebuilding the Cowherd

Beef Cattle Replacement Selection & Economics of Rebuilding the Cowherd
Sacred Heart Catholic Church Parish Hall
4045 FM 535, Rockne, TX
September 23, 2016

8:15 - 8:45 a.m.  Registration
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.  Alternatives for Selecting and Obtaining Replacements- Dr. Steve Hammack, Extension Beef Cattle Specialist (retired)
10:00 - 10:30 a.m.  Economic Value of Management Practices (calf & reproductive)- Mac Young, Extension Program Specialist
10:45 - 11:30 a.m.  Cow Bid or Herd Rebuilding Decision Tools- Dr. Greg Kaase, Extension Program Specialist
11:30 - Noon  Beef Cattle Market and Replacement Cattle Values- Dr. Rob Hogan, Extension Economist
Noon - 1:00 p.m.  Lunch (RSVP by September 19 to ensure an accurate meal count) Sponsored by Capital Farm Credit of Lockhart & La Grange, TX       1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Pesticide Laws & Regulations/Worker Protection Standards Update- Perry Cervantes, Texas Department of Agriculture
2:00 p.m.  Evaluation & Adjourn

Registration is $15 per person if paid by September 19 to Bastrop County Extension Office at 901 Pecan Street in Bastrop. Late registration onsite is $25. Make checks or money orders payable to the Bastrop Ag Fund (no cash will be accepted). This program is sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Bastrop & Caldwell Counties, and Capital Farm Credit. One hour of CEU credit (1 hour in Laws & Regulations) will be offered to commercial, non-commercial and private pesticide applicators. One (1) Texas Beef Quality Assurance Program (BQA) credit will also be offered.

Person with disabilities who plan to attend meetings or functions who may need auxiliary aids or services are requested to contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service of Caldwell County two days prior to the event (512) 581-7186, so that appropriate arrangements can be made. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension provides equal opportunities in its programs and employment to all persons, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Wildlife for Lunch" 2016 Webinar Series

Join the Texas Wildlife Association and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service as they sponsor a series of lunchtime webinars on the third Thursday of every month.  These webinars will provide sound, science-based information about wildlife, habitat and natural resource management. 

This can be viewed with most computers that have an internet connection.  Broadcast during the lunch hour, the goal is to provide educational content without interrupting a normal work day.  To log on, simply go to on the day of the webinar and click the presentation you wish to access.

Each web-based seminar is fully interactive and allows you to engage the experts, make comments and ask questions during the course of the presentation.

If you missed the initial webinar or would like to see what other topics have been offered in the past, each webinar is archived on TWA's website for future viewing.  They can be found at

Questions: contact Clint Faas at 800-839-9453 or

Live Webinars run from noon to 1 PM.

February 18
Understanding Wildlife Leases
Presented by: Craig Bowen, Plateau Land Group

March 17
Identifying Predation on Wildlife & Livestock
Presented by: John Tomecek, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

April 21
Getting to Know your quail
Presented by: Dale Rollins, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

May 19
Pond Management
Presented by: Billy Higginbotham, Ph.D., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

June 16
Comprehensive Range & Wildlife Management
Presented by: Chip Ruthven, Texas Parks and Wildlife 

July 21
Property Evaluation Basics: Read the Land
Presented by: Shane Kiefer, Plateau Land & Wildlife

August 18 
Ecosystem Function in the Texas Rice Belt
Presented by: Dan Keesee, USDA-NRCS

September 15
Disease Ecology in a Changing World: Why Should We Care in Texas?
Presented by:Ivan Castro, Ph.D., Texas State University

October 20
Coffee Shop Quail Talk: Common Myths and Misconceptions 
Presented by: Robert Perez, Texas Parks and Wildlife

November 17
Because Ranching & Wildlife Go Together
Presented by: Tyler Campbell, Ph.D., East Foundation

December 15
Patterns of Supplemental Feed Consumption in White-tailed deer
Presented by: Emily Belser, CKWRI

Thursday, January 28, 2016

CEU Round-up, WPS revisions, Carpet Beetles, & Garden Programs

CEU Round-up!!!

Travis County East Service Center
6011 Blue Bluff Rd., Austin, TX 78724


A)   Wednesday, February 10th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 10AM - 5:30PM
            6 CEUs (3 GEN, 2 IPM, 1 L&R)
            Cost: $60 - includes light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages

            Dr. Bob Lyons, Professor & Extension Range Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
            Brush & Weed Control, Label reading (2 hours)
            Mr. Jacob Hetzel & Mr. Stefan Hunt, Wildlife Biologists, Texas Wildlife Service
            Feral Hog & Coyote Management (2 hours)
            Dr. Sonja Swiger, Livestock/Veterinary Entomologist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
            External Parasites on cattle (1 hour)
            Ms. Wizzie Brown, Extension Program Specialist IPM
            Pest control in storage areas (grain and feed areas) (1 hour)
B) Wednesday, February 10th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 5:30PM - 7:45PM
            2 CEUs (1 GEN & 1 L&R) 
            Cost: $15 - includes snacks and beverages (NO dinner)

            Delivered via video from “Last Chance Series”

C)    Monday, February 29th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 9AM - 4:30PM
             CEUs (2 GEN, 3 IPM, 1 L&R)
             Cost: $60 - includes light breakfast, lunch, snacks, and beverages

             Dr. Todd Sink, Assistant Professor & Fisheries Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
             Livestock tank and pond management (4 of the 6 hours)
             Mr. Jody Stelzig, Inspector, Texas Department of Agriculture
             Laws and regulations (1 hour)              
                  Ms. Daphne Richards, County Extension Agent Horticulture, Travis
             Preventing Pests through Plant Selection (1 hour)

D)   Monday, February 29th at Blue Bluff East Service Center 4:30PM - 6:45PM
            2 CEUs (2 IPM)
            Cost: $15 - includes snacks and beverages (NO dinner)
            Delivered via video from “Last Chance Series”
An opportunity for great speakers, delicious food, CEUs and we guarantee you’ll be entertained and learn something new!  To RSVP - email Sue Carrasco at:  RSVP for A&B by Monday, February 8 at 3PM!  RSVP for C&D by Thursday, February 25 at 3 PM! You MUST PAY WITH CHECK OR MONEY ORDER!!  NO CASH!!  Please make checks payable to: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.  We hope to hear from you soon.  This is a popular course and it fills quickly.  Let Sue know which classes you are interested in attending by class letter: A,B,C,D or any combination of the four. 

Julie Zimmerman
CEA - Agriculture & Natural Resources
Travis County

Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.  The Texas A&M System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas cooperating
A member of the Texas A&M University System and its statewide Agriculture Program

Pulled from:

Monthly Safety Blast                 
Produced by the Southwest Center for Agricultural Health, Injury Prevention and Education

EPA Announces Revisions to WPS
EPA is finalizing updates and revisions to the existing worker protection regulation for pesticides. This final rule will enhance the protections provided to agricultural workers, pesticide handlers, and other persons under the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) by strengthening elements of the existing regulation, such as training, notification, pesticide safety and hazard communication information, use of personal protective equipment, and the provision of supplies for routine washing and emergency decontamination.

EPA expects this final rule to prevent unreasonable adverse effects from exposure to pesticides among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers, vulnerable groups (such as minority and low-income populations, child farmworkers, and farmworker families) and other persons who may be on or near agricultural establishments, and to mitigate exposures that do occur.

In order to reduce compliance burdens for family-owned farms, in the final rule EPA has expanded the existing definition of “immediate family” and continued the existing exemption from many provisions of the WPS for owners and members of their immediate families.

Some major changes to the current WPS will include:
  • First-time ever minimum age requirement: Children under 18 are prohibited from handling pesticides.
  • Changes in personal protective equipment will be consistent with DOL’s standards for ensuring respirators are effective, including fit test, medical evaluation and training.
  • Continue the exemption for farm owners and their immediate families with an expanded definition of immediate family.
  • Mandatory record-keeping to improve states’ ability to follow up on pesticide violations and enforce compliance. Records of application-specific pesticide information, as well as farmworker training, must be kept for two years.
  • Requirement to provide more than one way for farmworkers and their representatives to gain access to pesticide application information and safety data sheets – centrally-posted, or by requesting records.
  • Specific amounts of water to be used for routine washing, emergency eye flushing and other decontamination, including eye wash systems for handlers at pesticide mixing/loading sites.
These changes will begin January 4, 2016. Full enforcement of changes will officially begin on January 4, 2017 (except for the expanded training content and the new exclusion zone requirement which will be enforced after January 4, 2018). The farm owners and employers will have a one year grace period to make all appropriate changes before they are subject to fines/penalties from regulatory agencies if not in compliance come 2017.

 Carpet beetles - by Wizzie Brown, Extension Specialist.
Catch her blog:

Carpet beetles are pests in warehouses, homes, museums and other locations. Adults can be found out-doors on crape myrtles or shrubs or in bird and rodent nests. When carpet beetles move indoors they can become pests.
Carpet beetle adults are small, round to oval shaped and often brightly colored. Larvae are small, tan and ringed with bands of long hairs. Carpet beetles like high protein foods, usually animal based, but they can also feed on plant material. They can be found in a variety of locations throughout the home. In the pantry, you may find them in items such as powdered milk, dried meats (jerky) or pet food. Other areas of the home they can be attracted to items made from wool, fur or feathers, areas where dead insects accumulate (i.e. light fixtures), leather book bindings, hair, silk or dried plant products. Adults do not feed on animal products; they feed on pollen and nectar. A program utilizing sanitation, exclusion and insecticides should be able to get a carpet beetle problem under control. Tips for carpet beetles:
- Clean accumulations of hair, dead insects and bird, rodent or wasp nests
- Regular cleaning of rugs, carpets, upholstery, etc. (make sure to get along edges and under & in furniture)
- Inspect animal based items (mounted trophy animals, leathers, wools, silks, etc.) once a year to avoid infestations
-Store items in sealed, air-tight containers
-Infested items (if possible, depending on the items) can be heated or cooled to kill any beetles- freeze 2 weeks at temperatures below 18°F or heat for at least 30 minutes to temperatures above 120°F
- Insecticides should be used as spot treatments- make sure carpet beetles are listed on the label as well as the area/ item you are treating; make sure the product will not stain


Texas First Detector
Saturday, February 6, 2016
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Zilker Botanical Garden
2220 Barton Springs Road, Austin 78746

“See something, say something”…a program that gardeners can use to improve observation skills detecting invasive pests (insects) and diseases such as the brown marmorated stink bug and rose rosette (see picture) that may appear and cause problems in our gardens and landscapes. Susan Jung and Tommie Clayton, Travis County Master Gardeners, will introduce you to the National Plant Diagnostic Network program, review “wanted posters” so you’ll know what to look for, provide web based resources, and where to report sightings for confirmation.

Seminar is free and open to the public, No RSVP is required
Zilker park entrance fee is $2 per adult, $1 per child (ages 3-12) or seniors (age 62 & over), $3 for non-Austin Residents. Cash or check accepted.
For more information contact: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Travis County, 512-854-9600.


Effects on Insect Ecology: How You Can Help
Thursday, February 11, 2016
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Travis County
1600-B Smith Road, Austin, 78721

The talk covers why insects and other arthropods are important to humans and other animals, how drought impacts various insect groups and how people can help attract and keep insects in their yard even in times of drought. Wizzie Brown serves as Program Specialist – IPM in the Austin metroplex encompassing Travis County and surrounding counties. Visit her blog at

Cost: $10 through 2/1; $15 starting 2/2 and on-site
NO cash accepted - checks and credit cards only.

Space is limited so register on-line early to reserve your seat!
Register by Phone: 979-845-2604
Contact: Sue Carrasco, 512-854-9610 or
Visit the Central Texas Horticulture website: