Brian Creager Crop Production Award Application 2005
Brian Creager Crop Production Award Abstract 2005
Todd Whitney: Conservation Award Application 1999
Todd Whitney: Environment Award Application 1999
Todd Whitney: Conservation Award Application 1999
Sep. 23, 1999
To: Rice County Bankers Conservation Awards Committee
Larry Semmel, Lyons State Bank
Rod Ackerman, Office Manager, FSA
Tom Engelland, Chair, FSA Committee
Ron Klein, District Conservationist
Chris Wilson, Conservation Technician
Don Miller, Chair, NRCS
Roger Griffin, Chair, Extension Council
Kevin Culley, Rural Development
Mary Nielsen, Pres., Farm Bureau
Craig Curtis, Sandhill State Park, Hutchinson
What: 1999 Rice County Awards Selection of Soil Conservation, Wildlife Habitat Improvement, & Windbreak sponsored by Kansas Bankers Association
When: Tuesday, October 26 th , 1999, 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Where: Farm Services Building, meeting room, 1480 West Highway 56, Lyons, KS
Note: Plan to spend until shortly after lunch. We will select farms to visit from
nominations submitted to the committee.
Natural Resource Conservation Service will provide the technical data on
applications and nominees.
Extension Service will organize transportation to view the candidates'
Rice County Bankers Association will provide lunch at Lyons.
** If for any reason you cannot meet at the designated time, please arrange for a
substitute to represent you.
Please submit your nominations to Larry Semmel, Ron Klein, Chris Wilson, or
the NRCS office by Friday, Oct. 15 th , 1999.
A news release will be in the county papers asking for nominations, explaining the
awards program, and indicating the sponsor. And, your input and nominations
will be very appreciated as well. See you on Oct. 26 th .
Todd D. Whitney
County Extension Agent - Ag. / Com.Dev.
Enclosure: Nomination Form
List of Previous Winners
Todd Whitney: Environment Award Application 1999
Educational Objectives :
Environmental protection and natural resources conservation are important to Rice County residents due to erosion potential; inconsistent rainfall; and the aging farm community. Fewer young people are returning to the family farm resulting in a need for increased agricultural and environmental literacy among all county urban and rural youth.
Extension programs during the past three years have also expanded to adults not directly involved in production agriculture.
County-wide environmental awareness has been enhanced as our Rice County Extension programs have networked with other organizations such as the Rice County Conservation District, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Services, Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) committee, Kansas State University, Water PACK (Water Protection Association of Central Kansas), and Agri-business to implement action teams. This Integrated Resource Management (IRM) approach has reduced community program overlap, increased county-wide communication, and expanded program impacts.
Extension environmental education objectives have included:
1) Cooperating with other agencies on agricultural & environmental education programs.
2) Educating farmers and commercial pesticide applicators about pesticide usage.
3) Distributing well-plugging information to reduce groundwater contamination.
4) Assisting with irrigation conservation and safe chemigation educational programs.
5) Coordinating on-farm research demonstrations emphasizing environmental benefits.
Environmental Protection through Responsible Pesticide Use in Rice County
Extension programs have been successful due to the cooperative efforts with area agencies. Rice County youth have learned agricultural & environmental awareness through targeted educational programs. For example, the annual Rice County "Youth Conservation Educational Tour" involves agency personnel from the Natural Resources Conservation Service; Rice County Conservation District; Extension Forestry; Wildlife & Parks; Farm Services Agency; and Farm Bureau in educating all county fifth graders (175-200 per year) about conservation & environmental issues.
In 1998, an annual Extension "chick embryology" training was piloted with 94 Rice County eighth grade science students. This four week Extension/Middle School hands-on classroom training concluded with a tour of the new CalMaine Foods, Inc. egg production business in Rice County where 1.5 million eggs are processed each day. Students learned how area agri-businesses such as Calmaine Food, Inc. are involved in environmental protection.
On April 29 th , 1998 Rice County Extension linked with Farm Bureau to educate 150 county second-graders about agriculture and environmental concerns relating to chemical application. Tour highlights included: an "Enviroscape" exhibit; safe food (grain) production practices; and field applicator pesticide safety.
Extension education of farmers and commercial pesticide applicators began in 1996
with Rice County Extension hosting an "Area Weed Management School" with twenty-one area crop consultants, grain producers, elevator managers, and commercial pesticide applicators in attendance. Highlights of this program included: Integrated Weed Management, Herbicide Mode of Action, and Pesticide Application Technology and Safety Considerations. Following this training school, pesticide safety tips were published in our extension newsletter. Educational programs have been further enhanced through an on-going "Private Pesticide Applicators Licensing Testing" through the county office in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Agriculture; and educational events such as the Extension "Field Sprayer Calibration Clinic" on March 26 th , 1998 in cooperation with the Rice County Weed Department.
On-farm Rice County Research Demonstrations began in March of 1996 with Rice County Extension linking with K-State Engineering; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Veris Technologies; and two county producers in a "Bioremediation of Saline Seeps" or "Alkaline Site Management" study. This research project has introduced county producers to "environmental friendly" methods of locating ground water problems and reducing the problem using high water use vegetation.
Producers have also learned about new technologies through this project. For example, For example, during an August 25, 1998 tour of the study sites, 43 producers learned how "Global Positioning Technology" can be used to locate problem areas in the field and log potential sources for the ground water concerns.
This Global Positioning System research was introduced in county Extension educational programs in October of 1996 as two Rice County Extension cooperators provided an educational site for a county wheat plot demonstration where the field had been soil tested and fertilized using "Site Specific/Global Positioning Technology." During the county wheat plot tours on May 20 th , 1997, thirty eight producers learned through the educational demonstration how wheat yields could be maintained while reducing chemical usage with variable application rates.
"Well-plugging" information packets were compiled through the Rice County Extension office in 1997 as a complement to the new K-State Research & Extension Plugging Abandoned Wells video tape. These information booklets have provided residents with a guide to local and state resources and step-by-step plans on how to properly plug abandoned wells.
Rice County Extension linked with K-State University Extension Engineering and Water PACK (Water Protection Association of Central Kansas) in a five year cooperative irrigation and water management demonstration project beginning in the fall of 1996. The overall goal of this project is to improve irrigation application and water use efficiency for sustainable irrigated crop production in the south central Kansas area. An on-farm Rice County Irrigation Demonstration has been conducted with a county research partner during the past three years. Irrigation application rates have been reduced through improved scheduling; and run-off/ leaching has also been decreased.
Global positioning technology will likely increase in the area since producers have become more aware of the environmental advantages and input cost savings with this management tool. As more research is completed, this satellite-signaling system may also be used to reduce pesticide usage.
Environmental awareness has been increasing through cooperative education programs. During the past three years, county water sampling of private & home drinking water has quadrupled. Also, the Rice County Extension has focused on environmental education through events such as "Water Quality Issues" county tours in 1999.
During the past three years, community support for new technologies such as global positioning has grown. For example, the Rice County Weed Director has shared global positioning technology advantages during county extension updates; such as, rather than spraying entire fields for weed and/or insect control, problem areas may be mapped and target sprayed in site-specific methods. The net result will be reduced pesticide usage which will lower environmental risk.
Also, biotechnology has been incorporated into our county grain sorghum varieties plots.
Insect resistance such as Greenbug Biotype I varieties have been demonstrated in our county plots. During county extension educational meetings, biotechnology applications such as Bt resistance corn hybrids and herbicide resistant corn & soybean hybrids/varieties have been evaluated. And, county commercial pesticide and seed sales representatives have learned how genetic resistance for insect and disease may also reduce pesticide controls.
No-till management has also been expanding in the county as producers have learned new crop technology. Extension educational programs have expanded to alternatives crops, rotations, and management technologies. In 1998-99, county varieties plots have been expanded to include: No-till Sunflowers; Round-up Ready Soybeans; No-till Grain Sorghum; and High Oil Corn.
Extension educational programs have been evaluated through the Rice County Program Development Committee (PDC), Extension Executive Board, county producers, and
cooperating agencies. Extension educational programs have been revised during the past
three years. For example, the term "Saline Seep" was not familiar to local producer, but when the environmental problem was referred to as "alkaline problem areas," producers readily accepted the information. Also, county educational programs have focused more on water quality and environmental issues with reduced emphasis on general production practices.
County on-farm research demonstration sites have been evaluated as highly important by local producers. During the past three years, sixteen extension "partner" education sites have been coordinated with county crop producers related to environmental issues including: Wheat Varieties Plots (7), Grain Sorghum Varieties Plots (3), Alkaline Study Sites (2), No-till Sunflowers (1), Round-up Ready Soybeans (1), Irrigated Corn (1), and Irrigation/Water PACK Research Site (1). On-farm demonstrations have been expanded through a county plots committee organized with commercial seed representatives, area crop consultants, and extension working together on plot arrangements and evaluation. Research summaries from these county demonstrations were shared through plot tours.
Newspaper articles, radio, direct mailings, and extension newsletters have been shared with over 10,000 residents in Rice County.
In-formal evaluations of producers attending extension educational meetings have served as important research feed-back links. Extension program evaluation has resulted in expanded cooperation with other government agencies and private companies during the past three years. Agency linkage with extension has included: Water PACK, Rice County Weed Department, Farm Services, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Emergency Medical Staff, and Kansas Highway Patrol along with private companies (11 local seed companies, 6 crop consultants, 5 local fertilizer/chemical dealers, 10 insurance agencies, equipment dealers, chamber of commerces, and local progressive producers in providing meaningful research-based information for the people of Rice County.