Staying involved in the community is an important part my life, sometimes this includes spending a Thursday night shootin to bull with a room full of aging, gray-haired men, swappin stories over a meal of steak and taters. Just want any 23-year-old (23, that’s weird to say) wants to do with his life! Actually, that’s exactly where you would have found me last night.

Agvocacy is all the rage with the online agriculture community these days, but nothing beats a little face-to-face time with your peers. Our local county cattlemen’s meeting took place last night. It’s a bi-monthly meeting, where active producers in the county gather over a good “beefy” meal, listen to that month’s business sponsor share a few thoughts, and talk about the latest ag news affecting the area. The Arkansas Cattlemen’s Association has a pretty active membership, and our county boasts the largest membership in the state!

Some topics of relevance were covered in this meeting.

  • Armyworm invasion. After a good, long dry spell, the rains have come to the area recently, resulting a quick growth of tender grasses. This is prime ground for armyworm invasion and these critters are taking area pastures by storm. We discussed a few methods of control which include sprays that have no application restrictions for cattle grazing. In affected hay crops, extension specialists recommend cutting early to avoid losses of forage matter and restricting spread of the pest. Here is a post with more information.
  • Fall Forage Management. This is the perfect time in our region of the country to start stockpiling fall forages for late grazing. It’s recommended to pull livestock off pastures to be stockpiled, clip mature forage stands, and apply needed nitrogen sources. With ample, well-timed moisture in early Fall months, Arkansas producers can add 30 to 50 days on the grazing season by stockpiling forages. Here is a post with more information.
  • Fall Forage Seed Backlog. Word has it that seed harvest, specifically in the Pac-NW is a bit behind schedule this year, meaning deliveries of ryegrass and seasonal annual grasses may be delayed for our area. Any word from my grass seed connections?
  • County Fair! Our county fair is the week of September 12th. Extension personnel expect the livestock barns to be full and encouraged cattlemen to show up in support of youth livestock exhibitors. Youth work year-round to raise and halter train livestock for fairs around the state and country. I showed a few cattle while in high school. The dedication and work ethic learned from the experience is priceless. However, the money from my market steers was a HUGE help when I started college. I plan to show up in support of these hard-working youth (with dad’s checkbook of course); as does the Cattlemen’s Association, which supports youth whose parents are members.
Many more stories were swapped over the meal and a cold glass of sweet tea. We had a Gallagher sales rep show up to talk about options for electric fence materials in our area, and how portable fences can be useful in rotational grazing management. I love these meetings and catching up with my peers (even though most are decades older).
In what groups/associations are you active in your area?