Forestry Hurricane Recovery Workshop  – February 12

Forestry Hurricane Recovery Workshop – February 12

Taking the Next Steps to Salvage and Restore Forests and Natural Resources Impacted by Hurricane Michael

Date: February 12, 2019

Sign in at 9:00 am CST – Concludes at 5:00 pm CST – Lunch provided
Rivertown Community Church
19359 Highway 71
Blountstown, Florida 32424

Timber Hurricane DamageOctober 2018 lingers on for many in West Florida. Hurricane Michael exploded onto shore in the Central Florida Panhandle and barreled its way north, leaving behind an 80-mile wide path of destruction. Approximately three million acres of forestland was hit, with economic damages conservatively estimated to be $1.3 billion.

You are not alone. Many, if not most, forest landowners in this region are still looking for answers to difficult questions. What assistance is available? What do I do with trees still on the ground? Can I get reimbursed for losses? Can I get assistance with replanting? What are the tax implications? What is the status of forest product markets?

Join us in Blountstown for a free hurricane recovery workshop for forest landowners, provided by the Florida Tree Farm Program. A panel of experts from a wide array of expertise will lead the discussion and help answer your questions. Representatives from the Florida Forest Service, University of Florida IFAS Extension, Florida Tree Farm Program, Florida Forestry Association, Florida Farm Bureau, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, forest and natural resource professionals, forest products industry, tax professionals, and fellow Tree Farmers and forest landowners will be there.

Register: This event is free and includes lunch. Register in advance so we can plan accordingly. Contact UF/IFAS Calhoun Extension (850) 674-8323 to register. Please share this announcement with others who need this information.

Download the event flyer:  Timber Hurricane Recovery Workshop – Blountstown

Support for this event is provided by the Florida Tree Farm Program, USDA Forest Service via the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s Florida Forest Service, and the Florida Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee.

Utilizing Performance Data for Improved Bull Selection – January 15

Utilizing Performance Data for Improved Bull Selection – January 15

Selecting the right bull(s) is a key component to the success of any cattle operation. Effectively utilizing performance data is an essential part of the bull selection process.  Photo Credit: Mark Mauldin, UF/IFAS

Bull selection is one of the fastest and most effective methods cattleman can use to change the quality of their calf crop from one year to the next. It is difficult to overstate the importance of the bull. In a small herd, half of the genetic potential of the entire calf crop is determined by a single individual, the bull. Even in larger herds with multiple bulls, the impact of each individual bull can be wide spread, especially if he sires heifers that are returned to the herd. All that said, it is easy to understand why bull selection is an important management decision that should be taken seriously.

When it is time to purchase a new bull, many cattlemen can find themselves overwhelmed with the amount of data that is available to “help” them select the most appropriate bull(s) for their operation. Most cattlemen enjoy picking out the best looking bull in a group. While looks (phenotype) can be important, the traits the bull will pass on to his calves will have more effect on the ranch’s bottom line. These traits are dictated by the bull’s genetic makeup (genotype). To help inform bull buyers about the genetic merit of individual bulls the cattle industry has developed a plethora of ways to quantify and represent genotypes. These representations (EPDs, Indexes, etc.) are collectively referred to as performance data, and they constitute all of those numbers that fill sale catalogs. While all of the data may seem overwhelming, it is very valuable and should be utilized, not ignored.

On Tuesday, January 15th Understanding and Applying Performance Data will be presented at the Washington County Agricultural Center. The primary goal of this class is to help commercial cattlemen decipher all of the performance data available and develop a practical plan for utilizing these resources when selecting bulls for their own operations.The catalog form the Florida Bull Test Sale (January 19, 2019) will be reviewed in detail.

If you are interested in the class, but attending in person is not a viable option, it will also be offered online. If you are interested in watching the presentation via Zoom, please contact Mark Mauldin for participation details.

Event details are in the flyer below. If you have questions contact Mark Mauldin, 850-638-6180 or via email:

Escambia-Santa Rosa Private Applicator Pesticide License Class – January 17

Escambia-Santa Rosa Private Applicator Pesticide License Class – January 17

It is important to learn the basics of applying pesticides correctly to be able to pass the exams (Private Applicator and Core) necessary to become certified private applicators by FDACS.

Join us on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at the Walnut Hill Community Center (7850 Highway 97 Walnut Hill, FL 32568) for the annual Escambia-Santa Rosa Private Applicator class.  The class will take place from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m and will cost $10 per person.  Attendees will learn the basics of applying pesticides correctly and will be able to take the exams (Private Applicator and Core) necessary to become certified private applicators by FDACS.

Attendees must pre-register to ensure the correct number of exams will be available. For those who need to take exams in other categories, please let Libbie or Bethany know when registering.  To pre-register, contact: Libbie Johnson at (850) 475-5230, or Bethany Diamond at (850) 675-6654  CEU’s  will be available.


Anyone using or supervising the use of restricted use pesticides on agricultural or related sites in Florida needs a restricted use pesticide license. Agricultural and related sites include but are not limited to the following areas: farms, plant nurseries, livestock, forests, ornamentals and turf not associated with structures.  A “private applicator” is an individual who has reached the age of majority (generally 18 years old) and is licensed by FDACS to use or supervise the use of any restricted use pesticide for purposes of producing any agricultural commodity on property owned or rented by the licensed person or that person’s employer. This license is for
farm, ranch, grove, nursery, sod farm applications, etc. The core portion will be taught before lunch & the private applicator portion will be after lunch.


Farm Food Safety Certification Training – January 23

Farm Food Safety Certification Training – January 23

A Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) Grower Training is scheduled for Wednesday, January 23 at the Escambia County Extension Office in Cantonment, FL.  The PSA Grower Training curriculum is approved by the FDA to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.

Who Should Attend? – Fruit and vegetable growers with farms that have an annual value of produce sold (based on a three year average) of $25,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more.

Benefits to Attending – The course will cover the requirements of the FSMA produce safety rule.  It will also cover key Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that are necessary in a farm food safety plan.

Cost to Attend – The fee for the training is $25 for farmers and government/university employees ($125 for all others).  For general registration questions contact Jessica Lepper at  Participation for the entire training is required for the certificate.  Training materials and certificate are funded through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FAIN #U18FD005909).


Registration Deadline is January 17, 2019


  • 8:30 Registration and Refreshments
  • 9:00 Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:15 Module 1: Introduction to Produce Safety
  • 10:00 Module 2: Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • 11:00 Break
  • 11:15 Module 3: Soil Amendments
  • 12:00 Module 4: Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • 12:45 Lunch
  • 1:30 Module 5: Agricultural Water Part 1: Production Water
  • 2:15 Part 2: Postharvest Water
  • 3:15 Break
  • 3:30 Module 6: Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • 4:30 Module 7: How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
  • 5:00 Final Questions and Evaluations

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 13

Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show – February 13

Cattle ranchers, employees, and family members from the Tri-state Region (FL, AL, GA) are invited to attend the 34th annual Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show, to be held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 in Marianna, Florida.  The Conference will be held at the Jackson County Extension Office, located at 2741 Penn Avenue, Marianna, Florida. There will be a $5 per person registration fee, payable at the door.  Registration and the Trade Show open at 7:30 AM central time, the program starts at 8:15 AM, and concludes with a steak lunch.


 Beef Confernce Crowd

2018 Northwest Florida Beef Conference & Trade Show. Credit: Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS

2019 Focus:  Rebuilding for a Better Future

The Tri-state area was hammered by Hurricane Michael, so cattle producers in this region survived a very challenging year in 2018.  Because of this, the 2019 Beef Conference educational program will focus on Rebuilding for a Better Future. Dr. Jared Decker, Beef Genetics Extension Specialist, University of Missouri, will be the keynote speaker. He will discuss genomic-enhanced EPDs and EPD Indexes to help producers make effective choices to improve the genetics of their herd. Michael Archibald, Deseret Cattle and Timber will share diversification options to consider.  Ken Kelley, Alabama Regional Farm management Agent, will discuss improving income through cattle marketing options.   Other topics will focus on potential supplemental income from pastures, and controlling trees and brush in rebuilt fence lines.

Schedule of Events (all Central Time)
  •  7:30 – Trade Show & Registration Opens
  •  8:15 – Welcome & Program Introduction
  •  8:30 – Diversification to Add Income to Your Cattle Operation
                Michael Archibald, General Manager Deseret Cattle & Timber
  •  9:00 – Using Genomic-Enhanced EPDs and EPD Indexes to Build a Better Herd
                Jared Decker, Beef Genetics Extension Specialist, University of Missouri
  •  9:45 – Trade Show & Snack Break
  • 10:30 – Marketing Options to Improve Income
                 Ken Kelley, Alabama Regional Farm and Agribusiness Management Agent
  • 11:00 – Income Potential from Pastures
                 Doug Mayo, County Director, UF/IFAS Extension Jackson County
  • 11:30 – Killing Trees and Brush in Your Fence Lines
                 Mark Mauldin, Ag Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Washington County
  • 12:00 – Grilled Steak Lunch (thanks to JCCA Cooking Crew)
  • 12:30 – 1:30 Trade Show Open

Trade Show

18 Beef Conference Trade Show

The Beef Conference will also feature a Trade Show of businesses and agencies that offer goods and services to cattle producers. Credit Doug Mayo, UF/IFAS

In addition to the educational program, the Beef Conference will also feature a Trade Show of businesses and agencies that offer goods and services to cattle producers. There will be time allotted on the schedule to visit with the company representatives to learn about specific products and services they offer for cattle producers in this region. The program will have designated times for ranchers to visit with the Trade Show Exhibitors:  45 minutes during registration, 45 minutes in the middle of the program, and 1 hour immediately after lunch is served.

If you are interested in participating in the as an exhibitor/sponsor, utilize the Trade Show Eventbrite Registration website .  You will be entering the required information online and paying in one simple step.  No other action required. Registration deadline is Friday, February 8.

Trade Show booth at the Northwest Florida Beef Conference.

The Northwest Florida Beef Conference and Trade Show is an educational program provided by the UF/IFAS Panhandle Agriculture Extension Team. For more information on the Beef Conference, or participating in the Trade Show as an exhibitor, contact Doug Mayo, at 850-482-9620.

Pesticide CEUs and Exams – Central Panhandle Pesticide Series – February 18-21

Pesticide CEUs and Exams – Central Panhandle Pesticide Series – February 18-21

The Central Panhandle Pesticide Training Series is a multi-county collaboration between Holmes, Washington, and Jefferson County Extension agents. The series is scheduled for February 18-21st and will take place this year in Chipley, at the Washington County Extension Office.

This series offers a wide variety of pesticide CEUs, including categories that are harder to find such as natural areas and aquatics. If you are interested in obtaining a new license, adding a category or are still in need of CEUs for renewal, don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Registration is $10/session and refreshments will be provided. The different sessions serve as a review for the titled exam session or can be used to obtain CEUs. For more information or pre-registration, you can contact the Washington County Extension Office: 850-638-6180.

Central Standard Time:
February 18th: 7:45am-11:30am – Core session followed by Exam (4 487 & 2 482 CEUs)
February 19th: 7:45am-11:30am – Private/Row Crop session followed by Exam (3 CEUs)
February 20th: 7:45am-11:30am – Right-of-Way session followed by Exam (4 CEUs)
——————–Natural Areas (2 CEUs)
——————–Demonstration and Research (2 CEUs)
——————–Private (2 CEUs)
February 21st: 7:45am-11:30am – Aquatic session followed by Exam (4 CEUs)
——————–Natural Areas (2 CEUs)
——————–Private (2 CEUs)

Download the event flyer:  Central Panhandle Pesticide Training Series 2019
Pre-registration can be done online through Eventbrite.

For more information or pre-registration, call the Washington County Extension Office: 850-638-6180