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COOPERATIVE EXTENSION AGENTS, BY ORGANIZATION CLASSES
Extension Workers by F \sce! : Fiscal F1 scal Organization Classes Year : Year - Year 1979 : 1980 : 1981 State Workers: i : Directors and Administrative - : : personnel. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; 487 : 493 : 50R Specialists.......... ----- - - - - .......; 3,616 : 3.71. 3.71. Total, state staff......... ........; 4.1% 4.20, . .” County workers: . : Leaders and supervisors..............: 696 : 694 : 675 Area Agents. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .........; or ; * 671 County Extension Agents.............. : 11,342 : 11,450 ; 1",441 total, county sett................ it,” : 12,808 12, as GRAND TOTAL...... ... to ; 1.9ls 17,309a/
a y Estimate based on preliminary data available at the beginning of the fiscal
Current Activities: The major goals of agricultural extension programs are to: a) Assist agricultural producers, processors, suppliers, wholesalers and retailers, and others engaged in agriculture, and related endeavors to meet the food, fiber, and shelter needs of the nation, develop and maintain the U.S. comparative advantage in world trade and receive a fair share of the economic and social benefits. (2) Conserve and develop natural resources with special emphasis on soil, water, and energy. (3) Protect the quality of the envi. roment from pollution by agricultural wastes and chemicals used in food and fiber production. (4) Enhance the ability of farmers and farm families to use available resources to improve their quality of life. (5) Help farmers and others involved in agriculture to understand and adjust to current federal, State, and local government programs and regulations, and to increase public understanding of the importance of a strong and viable agriculture,
Agricultural producers are the primary client group. Extension is particularly effective as a source of production information to commercial farmers, but evidence indicates that the program also is often used by other groups.
Growing demands from small-farmers, home gardeners, and other non-farm people and demand for assistance with marketing and other problems constitute current challenges to the program.
The agricultural programs staff work with and through farm organizations such as the Grange, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, National Farmers Organization, American Agricultural Movement, and various commodity organizations.
Selected Examples of Recent Progress:
Livestock and Veterinary Sciences: The Extension animal science program aims at improving production efficiency and insuring adequate food and fiber through development and transfer of new knowledge and technology that will reduce production costs and provide high quality animal and aquaculture products at the lowest passible consumer costs. Thus, Extension animal scientists provide programs to assist farmers tc understand the economic and social advantages of adopting and incorporating new and improved ideas and technology and assist them to identify, select, and apply the best information, knowledge, skills, techniques, and experiences available for most efficient animal production.
Performance testiny by U.S. beef producers, implemented by the Cooperative
not .05 pounds additional daily gain for slaughter steers and heifers in 1979. Projected nationwide, this amounts to 500 million pounds of additional live weight gain without additional feed resources.
A bibliography of "Horse Visuals and Publications" was published to answer frequent inquiries for information on horses. Similar publications are in production for beef cattle, sheep and swine. "Guidelines for Uniform Swiss Improvement Program" had a lidjor revision, and another "Guideline...", on beef, is being produced.
Sulfa Residue: A program to prevent sulfa residue violations in swine in
Multi-State: A "Pork Industry Handbook". coordinated by Indiana CES, was
Regional: Three regional "Beef Handbooks" were developed in 1980, one for
North Carolina: Extension-organized graded feeder calf sales in North Carolina
Tennessee: The Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service in a demonstration
Idaho: Working with three ranches near Pegram, Idaho, an Extension beef management program helped cut death losses in young calves from a high of 22 percent in 1976 to less than 3 percent in 1979. Management changes and calving techniques applied included improved calving facilities, sanitation and nutrition, treatment of sick calves, closer observation during calving and herd vaccination.
Iowa: An effort by lowa Extension is saving Towa poultry producers $1 million a year through a Mycoplasma meleagridis (MM) eradication pilot program for turkeys. The program, developed during 1979-80, is aimed at eliminating MM, a respiratory disease that is transmitted primarily by eggs. It is also responsible for late embryo mortality, skeletal abnormalities in young poults, poor liveability, and condemnations of fryer-roasters due to air Süw lesions. in cooperation with the lowa turkey hatchery operators and turkey breeder hen operators, the MM eradication program was inaugurated in one hatchery. Poults go from this hatchery to five breeder flocks where they produce more MM-free eggs for other breeder and commercial flocks. Extension monitors all flocks. Knowledge gained from this pilot program will be valuable in making Towa one of the first MM-free States.
Catfish Farming: This high-investment, high-risk enterprise requires a high degree of management. In 1979, SEA-Extension funded a special project designed to provide new fish farmers with in-depth training in many phases of catfish farming. Some 186 Mississippi farmers, representing 16,356 new acres of catfish production, were trained in catfish farming. This new production will produce an estimated 48 million more pounds of catfish annually. Mississippi is the leader in catfish farming with more than 25,000 acres in production. Extension personnel at Prairie View A&M (Texas) established 166 catfish production demonstrations in 27 Texas counties during 1977-80. Approximately 350,000 small private ponds in Texas are owned by low income farmers, the primary audience for this program.
Plant and Pest Management Sciences: This program aims at improving production efficiency, with emphasis on increasing food and fiber production while assuring minimal adverse impact on the environment. These programs are designed to assist farmers and ranchers to increase agricultural productivity through efficient production of field and horticultural crops, forage, and pastures. Commercial agricultural producers are the primary clientele, although not at the expense of small, part-time farmers, urban gardeners and organic producers.
Pesticide Impact Assessment (PIA): The Pesticide Impact Assessment program provides accurate, objective data for evaluating the benefits of selected pesticides having critical agricultural and forestry uses. The selected pesticides are reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine if their continued use poses hazards to human health and the environment. USDA, including SEA-Extension and the cooperating State Extension Services had established assessment teams for 31 pesticides. To date, 20 assessments are complete and il are in process. If use of the first 20 listed pesticides is cancelled by EPA, it would cost U.S. agriculture more than $1 billion in crops lost to insects, weeds, diseases and other pests.
Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT): The PAT program creates an awareness among farmers, Extension personnel, State departments of agriculture, commercial pesticide applicators, and the public of the principles and importance of safe pesticide use and pesticide regulations. During FY 1980, the State Cooperative Extension Services trained some 295,000 commercial pesticide applicators (approximately 95 percent of the total). Another 2,090,000 private applicators, mostly farmers, (approximately 86 percent of the total; have also been trained. About 25 percent of these applicators will be retrained each year.
Intrcrated Pest Management (IPM): Since 1971, SEA-Extension and the State Cooperitive Extension Services have pioneered new approaches to educating rural and urban users in the adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) systens in place of almost sole reliance on a single method of pest control. This has buffered both the costs of food to consumers and tended to protect the profit margins for producers. In addition, the environmental load of certain pesticides has been reduced and, in some instances, environmental quality has been improved.
North Carolina: North Carolina CES conducted a pilot project in 1980 aimed at giving pesticide dealers a better understanding of weed control through integrated pest management. Extension weed specialists held dealer meetings in il areas of the State, developed "Dial-a-Weed" (an 18" by 24" cardboard display that shows control programs for specific weeds) and held on-farm tours.
Mississippi: A high percentage of Mississippi cotton is scouted. There are 389 licensed private consultants who provide IPM services on about 800,000 acres. In additior, county programs sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service provide IPM services on about 70,000 acres. Consultants, Extension specialists, and county agents cooperate on special area programs such as the Optimum Pest Management (OPM) program in Panola County and a 55,000 acre helothis (moth) suppression program in Laflore County. IPM practices have resulted in a large reduction in the use of pesticides on cotton. In 1972, 39,575,957 pounds of insecticide were used in Mississippi cotton. By 1979, insecticide use had decreased to 6 million pounds. IPM practices contributed to this high decrease, During the 1972-80 period, IPM cooperators have consistently used less insecticide to maintain higher yields than non-cooperators.
Georgia: Grower acceptance of IPM in Georgia is demonstrated by the program's growth. From the initial insect management effort on cotton, IPM programs have grown from two counties in 1972 to 57 counties in 1980; from one crop (cotton) to nine crops and home gardens: from insect
oriented programs to multi-discipline efforts involving all pests, plant
Grower contributions have increased from $22,800 in 1972 to over $660,000 in 1980. Perhaps the most significant accomplishment of the Georgia pest management program has been to encourage delivery of pest management services through the private sector. This has been most successful using independent scouts who have been trained and received experience in Extension programs. Independent scouts monitor a significant portion of Georgia's cotton acreage and are making inroards on peanuts, pecans, soybeans, and vegetables
Kentucky: Kentucky's multidisciplinary, multi-crop pest mangement program,
Plant Pathology: Five State Extension Services --California, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota and Wisconsin--are participaing in demonstration projects ir an effort to control Dutch Elm disease. Community demonstrations in these States helped reduce annual tree deaths from epidemic proportions to less than 5 percent of the total elm populations. Diseased elm firewood is being solar dried to prevent the spread of the diseas, and communities are beginning to replace dead elms with other types of locally adaptable trees.
Agricultural Economics: The primary thrust of these programs is to improve the efficiency and profitability of family farms of all sizes. Objectives include improved farm business managment and marketing decisions on the part of farm operators and increased efficiency of the agricultural marketing and tarm supply system. Another major thrust is to improve the understanding by producers and consumers of the important public issues affecting production, marketing and consumption of agricultural products.
Computerized Management for Small Farmers: Minnesota farmers, including