St. Clair County Extension Office Offers Farming 201 Course
Last year we offered a Farming 101 course for those of you who were interested in making your hobby farm profitable. Due to its overwhelming success, this year we are offering a more advanced course, Farming 201. The 4-week course will be held from 6-8:30 p.m. at the St. Clair County Farmers Federation Auditorium, ALFA Building, 32775 U.S. Hwy 231, Ashville, AL 35953.
Class times, topics to be covered, and presenters are as follows:
- Tuesday, October 9th: Advanced Forage Management for Livestock Producers, Joshua Elmore, Regional Extension Agent
- Tuesday, October 16th: Plasticulture Vegetables and Irrigation/Fertilization Program, Dan Porch, Blount County Extension Coordinator
- Tuesday, October 23rd: Sustainable Insect Pest Management Using Trap Crops and Pest Exclusion Tactics, Ayanava Majumdar, Extension Entomologist
- Tuesday, October 30th: Bio-Insecticide Application Methods, Tank Mixes & Pre-Mixes for Vegetable Production, Ayanava Majumdar, Extension Entomologist
Cost is $25/per person for all 4 classes or $10/per person, per class. Dinner will be provided. To register or for more information, please call the St. Clair County Extension Office at (205) 338-9416. Registration deadline is Tuesday, September 25th.
A special thank you to ALFA Farmers—St. Clair County and Alabama Farm Credit for their sponsorship and support.
Summer is in full swing which means we are seeing an abundance of tasty seasonal fruits and vegetables that we all love! If you are planning to take advantage of these summer favorites by canning, it is important to make sure your pressure canner is in good working condition.
Low acid vegetables, meat products, and some tomato products must be canned in a pressure canner for the correct time and pressure to ensure their safety. If not processed correctly, these low acid foods may contain the deadly botulism toxin.
The St. Clair County Extension Office will be testing dial gauges throughout the canning season for free. Dial gauges should be tested annually. Weighted gauges do not require testing.
Simply call our office at 205-338-9416 to set up an appointment for this free service. You may also contact Regional Extension Agent, Angela Treadaway, by calling our office or by emailing to ask any home food preservation questions you may have.
Free publications are also available by visiting our website or by visiting our office which is located on the lower level of the St. Clair County Courthouse in Pell City, in Basement Office #4.
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Dr. Jeremey Pickens, Alabama Extension Specialist, conducted a workshop on July 12th in Pell City on aquaponics which combines the practice of raising aquatic animals in tanks with the cultivation of plants in water without soil. An aquaponics system utilizes waste to nourish the plants, while the plants, in turn, help clean the water.
Over 60 people registered to attend, coming from as far as Huntsville, Thorsby, Montevallo, and Pickens County, to hear more about one of the hottest topics in agriculture right now.
Dr. Pickens is an Alabama Extension Specialist in nursery greenhouse horticulture. He did a great job & we greatly appreciate him coming to St. Clair County to share his knowledge with us about aquaponics! Also, a special thanks to Commercial Horticulture Regional Extension Agent, Gary Gray, for all his help with this program too!
For more information about what’s going on at the St. Clair County Extension Office please visit our Facebook page, St. Clair County, Alabama Extension Office or one of our Extension Kiosks located at the Moody & Springville libraries & in the Courthouse in Pell City.
If you are interested in the art of beekeeping and have 100 hives of bees or just one, the St. Clair County Beekeepers Association invites you to come and be a part of their association. Dues are only $10/person and are used to fund local activities such as special speakers and other various community events open to the public.
The St. Clair County Beekeepers Association was founded on October 12, 2012 to educate and organize local beekeepers all the way from hobbyist to the professional level. They meet at 7 p.m. on the 4th Thursday of the month at the St. Clair county Farmers Federation (ALFA) building located at 32775 US Hwy 231, Ashville, Alabama.
The Extension Newsletter is published bi-monthly. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please email Lee Ann Clark, County Extension Coordinator, or call our the St. Clair County Extension Office at (205) 338-9416.
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Outreach Support for St. Clair County Veteran Community
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s St. Clair County office has received continued funding to support a grassroots outreach program for the county’s veterans.
Lee Ann Clark, St. Clair County Extension coordinator, says the funding, which was secured through the St. Clair County Commission, has enabled her office to continue providing outreach support to the veteran community.
“For more than a century, Cooperative Extension has been about providing effective, face-to-face outreach to people where they live and work,” Clark says. “And for this reason, we think we are especially well-suited to serve our county’s veterans, especially those in critical need of assistance.”
Clark’s sentiments are shared by St. Clair County Commission Chairman Paul Manning, a strong supporter of the program.
“The partnership between St. Clair County, the state of Alabama, and Alabama Extension, which is directed to assisting active military, National Guard and veteran families, reflects our combined commitment to those who provided our nation’s defense,” Lemme said. “Helping the families of these heroes access Veterans Affairs benefits that they have earned and providing resources to help them cope with the unique stresses of deployment and returning to home life will benefit not only those directly involved but also the entire community.
Veterans Outreach for St. Clair County will be the duties of Wayne Johnson, newly hired to lead these efforts.
“There is a critical need to connect veterans within communities, especially in small communities, to resources that can improve their financial well-being and their employment prospects. In many cases, it can be as simple as putting money in their pockets to tie them over as they make their transition back to civilian life,” Johnson said.
The challenges of transitioning to civilian life often prove even more daunting, if not insurmountable, for those veterans suffering from serious combat-related conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Among those veterans, timely effective outreach can mean the difference between successful transition to civilian life and one plagued by chronic unemployment, debt and, in many cases, substance abuse.
One of the main goals of the St. Clair Extension outreach effort is to reach these veterans with critical assistance before these patterns of behavior become self-destructive.
“My vision is to get out into the community and find veterans and widows of veterans that we don’t know about. I want to make them aware of the benefits that are available to them and hopes to make all veterans more aware of the numerous services and benefits available to them,” Johnson said.
“I plan to visit all the nursing homes,” he said. “Also, I not only want to talk to the elderly and middle-age veterans, but I also want to reach out to younger veterans.”
Considering the number of veterans in St. Clair County alone — some 7300 — an outreach program that presents veterans with viable treatment options potentially could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This unclaimed assistance not only would benefit the returning veterans but also the local economies where they live and work.
Any questions concerning this program or if you are a Veteran in need of assistance, please contact Wayne Johnson, Veterans Outreach Agent Assistant. He can be reached at the St. Clair County Extension Office by calling (205) 338-9416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Agri-tourism can take many forms. Roadside stands and farmers’ markets offer farm-fresh produce and interaction with growers. Farms may open to the public for wildlife watching and hunting. Ag tours, on farm bed-and-breakfasts, and dude ranches give tourists the fresh air, open space, and relaxation of country life.
U-pick operations, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, hay mazes, farm-animal petting zoos, wine tasting, ag heritage museums, festivals, and fairs all attract visitors.
Find your Agri-Tourism destination today!
Need a soil test? Want to test your forage? We help everyone from Homeowners to Farmers improve the quality of what they grow!
The Alabama Master Naturalist program is a new statewide program whose goal is to help promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Alabama’s natural world among Alabama’s citizens and visitors. In addition, the AMN program will also develop a statewide corps of well-informed volunteers providing education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities.