Extension agent reports busy year

Thomas Garcia

Quay County Extension agents report a busy and successful year and are now preparing for next year.

Brenda Bishop, extension agent, detailed successes of the program to a year end committee who brainstorm on potential projects for the following year.

Bishop said several of the programs grew from the previous year. She said the second annual fun run/walk was held on Oct. 1 with 200 participants and 50 volunteers.

The Strong Seniors Stay Young program has had so much success they are now offering two classes.

“Mesalands Community College has provided us with a large classroom to hold the program,” Bishop said “This is a great help to out program.”

Bishop said a series of cooking classes has also helped in the education of health and nutritious eating for children and adults.

“The classes have been geared towards diabetes, bereavement and food safety,” Bishop said.

Bishop said the extension service is still seeking funding to continue and expand cooking programs to benefit the public.

Special interest programs have shown success in the education of local students, said John Villalba, county 4-H agent.

Villalba said the students were taught topics including rural/farm safety, about the beef and dairy industry and natural resource awareness.

“The students responded well to the programs,” Villalba said.

Two of the programs Villalba credited were the Kindergarten AgDay, where pre-K and first graders participate in a half day program designed to give an early introduction to agriculture to the students.

“If you see a steer in the local elementary playground don’t panic, it’s probably us,” Villalba said.

Villalba said the competitive events including shooting, archery and 4-H judging have done well this year.

“We have a great bunch of kids eager and excited to participate in these events,” Villalba said.

Villalba said they graduated a strong group of judgers last year but several of the remaining judgers have placed and competed nationally.

“A good core group and a lot of young ones ready to step up,” Villalba said. “It’s always great to see the commitment of these group of young adults.”

Feral hog symposium and drought management workshops were a few of the programs County Extension Agent Tom Dominquez said had success and needed to continue.

“Feral hogs are an increasing problem in Quay County,” Dominguez said. “The damage to crops and livestock is increasing every year.”

Dominguez said the symposium brought in people from out of state and county to Tucumcari to discuss issues surrounding the pest.

“The events covered included history of the animal and potential diseases and dangers from the animal,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said information from USDA wildlife experts also covered the hog’s interaction to wildlife and domestic livestock.

“Following our symposium, similar workshops were held across the state,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said the drought management workshop met with a lot of success. He said over 40 participants attended the program.

“There was standing room only,” Dominguez said. “A wide variety of topics were discussed.”

Dominguez said a representative from the National Weather Service was on hand to explain the effects of El Nino and La Nina on the southwest weather patterns.

“It was nice to have someone there to explain just how our weather is affected by the two systems,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said in addition, specific information was provided to local crops and beef producers on how to deal with the natural disasters of a drought.

For more information about these and other projects contact the Quay County Extension Service at 461-0562.