Monday, April 14, 2014

NACAA First Timers Webinar

2014 NACAA AMPIC “First Timers” Webinar

Presented by NACAA – Early Career Development Committee
Friday, April 25, 2014
3:00 PM Eastern Time

Have you ever wondered about some of the opportunities at an Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement? Have you ever wondered exactly what do I get for attending these conferences? If you answered yes to either question or just want to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your trip, then this webinar is for you! Information will be shared about the NACAA AMPIC to be held in Mobile, Alabama from July 20-24th, the registration process, and tips and tricks from seasoned attendees to help you get the most out of the conference.

The Alabama Association of County Agricultural Agents and Specialists (AACAAS) and the NACAA Early Career Development Committee would like to extend an invitation and encourage you to attend the 2014 NACAA AMPIC. We are very excited about this year’s event and confident that the program offers opportunities for program sharing, motivational speakers, and meeting agents from across the U.S. Plus, the registration fee for any first timer with less than 10 years of experience is FREE!

The first step you need to take is getting registered. For someone new to the NACAA AMPIC, this can be somewhat of a daunting task. There is a very comprehensive schedule to navigate through and numerous decisions that need to be made on what to attend. Well, we’re here to help. The NACAA Early Career Development Committee is offering a free webinar that will hopefully make your decision to attend the NACAA AMPIC process much easier.

An hour-long webinar will be held on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. We plan to highlight the benefits of attending the NACAA AMPIC, what events and activities first timers and others can and should attend throughout the week and finally we will take you through the steps of the registration process. This will be a live webinar, so if you have any questions, the presenters will be glad to help you out.

Login instructions for participants:
Please run the following test to make sure that your computer and Internet speed are compatible:  Consider utilizing Internet Explorer Browser versus Google Chrome. I have been told to stay away from utilizing Chrome for this application. For those of you that have never been on a webinar it is important to make sure that your computer has been setup correctly.

Participants will need the following to participate:
  • An Internet connection
  • A supported operating system and web browser
  • Adobe Macromedia Flash Player 8 or higher
  • Adobe Macromedia Flash Player 9 or higher for Linux and Solaris
  • A sound card and either headphones or external speakers to receive audio

To broadcast audio and video or use screen and application sharing during an UMConnect meeting, you need the following:
  • Adobe Macromedia Flash Player 8 or higher
  • Adobe Acrobat Connect Meeting Add-in for Mac or PC
  •  Minimum 1 GHz processor is recommended when screen sharing
  •  Equipment for broadcasting audio and video, such as a web camera, headset with microphone, or external microphone and speakers

Please contact your university or institutional Tech Support office if you have any difficulties connecting to the Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro Meeting.

On the day of the webinar (April 25, 2014) you can enter the room 20 minutes before the scheduled start time of 3:00 PM Eastern Time. For questions beforehand, please contact Nathan Winter at 320-484-4303 or

Thursday, April 3, 2014

DAIReXNET Upcoming Webinar


 Roger Thomson, DVM  
 April 7th, 12:00 PM Central Time 
 The milking system is the heart of any dairy operation, and requires a lot of consideration! Dr. Thomson will talk about the design and analysis of a milking system, including some reasons a producer might consider changing the milking system, frequency of evaluation, and basic system design. He will also cover regular maintenance concerns and will discuss the National Mastitis Council's analysis fundamentals and goals.  

 Forage Evaluation: Wading Through a Sea of Numbers

Forage analysis reports from commercial feed testing laboratory often can contain more than 70 potential lab analyses. All those numbers have value in specific situations, but rarely, if ever, would one want or need all 70 results for a single sample. Some of the numbers are needed mainly for routine ration formulation (e.g., mineral concentrations) and some of the measurements might be needed to help solve specific problems (e.g., mycotoxin concentrations). A core set of analyses should be conducted routinely all forage samples. 


Monday, March 31, 2014

AM/PIC On-line Registration Now Open

The April, 2014 registration edition of The County Agent magazine has been mailed (just in the last couple of expect a copy in the mail soon...please keep in mind it sometimes takes a week or two to get across the country).   An electronic copy of the magazine is also available online at
Online registration is NOW online as well and can be found on the home page under the Alabama Logo - listed as :  2014 AM/PIC Registration - ONLINE

Early Bird registration (to avoid a late fee) runs through May 15, 2014.
By clicking on the above link - it will take you to the site.  The official link is:
There are hard copy registration forms in the magazine - but the preferred method is online.
Please remember that the online registration form is set up to handle one person at a time.  If you are planning to attend with a spouse/guest/family member - you will need to complete a separate registration for each person.  Why?   Many of you will want to pay for your family members on a personal credit card, and your registration on a different card.  This is the only way to separate payment options.
Credit card payments are once again being handled through the NACAA merchant account handled by PayPal.  Your credit card statement will show payment to "NACAA" not Paypal (in case your University has issues using PayPal).  You DO NOT have to have a Paypal account to pay via credit card.  There is an option to use a PayPal account if you have one - or simply select the option to use any credit card you wish.
Please let me know as you are registering online if you find "glitches" or issues with the registration.  I will do my best to assist with getting it corrected/updated as soon as I am made aware of potential issues.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Mobile, Alabama - July 20-24, 2014!
Scott Hawbaker
NACAA Executive Director
6584 W. Duroc Road
Maroa, IL 61756
217-794-3700 phone
217-794-5901 fax

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

NACAA/SARE Fellows Program Application Deadline Extended - March 31st

 The NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Committee SARE Fellows Program application date has been extended to March 31st, 2014.  The purpose of this program is designed to provide hands-on experience and materials for Four Individuals (one from each Region) to study and become familiar with the basics of sustainable agriculture and alternative farm systems.
The online application can be found at

Monday, January 27, 2014

NACAA Communication Award Program Rules Clarification

The Communications Award program committee would like to clarify a few rules for each member to consider prior to submitting award applications/abstracts this year.
Our rules in the County Agent Magazine say, "Entries must have been used by the member between March 15, 2013 and March 15, 2014." This rule is straightforward for most of the categories. 
It is important to note that we want to know when the piece was USED FIRST WITH AN AUDIENCE, not necessarily when it  was WRITTEN or PUBLISHED.  Therefore the published date is not necessarily within the time frame of March 15, 2013 to March 15, 2014.  Often times it is impossible to write, publish, and  introduce a piece to an audience plus determine impact in a 12 month period.   We ask people in the abstract how it was used, what the impact was, etc. That speaks to the USE of the piece not the PUBLICATION of the piece. 
What does this mean?
If the publication date falls outside the program year dates in the County Agent, but the piece was first used in programming within the program year, please provide an explanation addressing this in your abstract.  If it is not addressed in the abstract, the judge(s ) might not give you the benefit of doubt when he/she sees the publication date on the item. 
Additionally, the score sheets have changed this year to reflect the importance of the abstract.  Please follow the rules and the sample format for all NACAA abstracts on page 13 of the County Agent magazine.  It is imperative that your abstract is done this way. The score sheets are available on the NACAA website for your convenience.
Extension editors and/or other paraprofessional Extension Communication specialists are not eligible.  Communications Committee State, Regional and National Chairs are not eligible to participate in this program unless they are one member of a team entry with another person as the primary entrant.    (We receive this question quite frequently)
Class 2 Published Photo, Class 5 personal column and Class 7 - Individual newsletter,  are open to individual entries only.  All other classes are open to entries from one or more NACAA members.
As always, the Communications Committee members are  willing to answer any questions you have.  Please don't hesitate to give us a call or an email with your particular situation. 
It is our pleasure to showcase the talents of our colleagues from across the country through this prestigious competition.  You all do good work and we want to show it off!

Sherri Sanders
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
White County
Office: 501-268-5394
Cell: 501-230-9972

Friday, January 10, 2014

February 18 - Crops and Soil Health Forums to Take Place This Winter at Hundreds of Locations Nationwide

You are invited to attend a free, live broadcast of the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health and discuss how to build soil health, improve yields, curb erosion, manage pests and build resilience in your farming system. On Feb. 18, locations in every state across the country will host Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums where farmers will have the opportunity to learn from one another while exploring local and national perspectives on cover crops.

Facilitated discussions on local issues pertaining to cover crops will follow a live-streamed broadcast of opening sessions from the national conference, including a dialogue with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (invited) and Howard G. Buffett, plus a panel discussion with expert farmers. Because the national conference attendance is limited, the local forums represent a way to include farmers, educators and researchers across the country in the emerging conversation about the use and benefits of cover crops.

"This will be a great opportunity for farmers interested in cover crops and soil health to meet up with like-minded individuals from their local area to discuss both local and national issues related to cover crops," said Dr. Rob Myers, conference chairman and Regional Director of Extension Programs, North Central Region SARE. "We hope that farmers will come prepared with questions and ideas that they can feed back to USDA about programs and assistance needed for cover crops and soil health."
Attendees of the local forums will also have the opportunity to contribute ideas and comments on cover crops and soil health back to the leadership group at the national conference. These comments will be collected by staff at the local sites as part of the local discussion process.

The Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums will be held on Feb. 18 at over 200 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Extension offices nationwide, and are being organized in conjunction with the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health in Omaha, Neb. Both the national conference and the local forums are jointly funded by SARE and the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, with planning support from NRCS, the Midwest Cover Crops Council and the Soil and Water Conservation Society. The Omaha conference is invitation only; the local forums are open to the public.

For more information about the Cover Crops and Soil Health Forums and a list of forum locations, visit

North Central SARE funded a national survey of farmers who have grown cover crops, and found that during the 2012 drought, corn and soybean fields that had been cover cropped yielded 9.6 percent to 14.3 percent better than fields that had not been cover cropped. And with an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million acres of cover crops planted in 2012, the practice is increasingly recognized as key to sustainability, productivity and profitability.

Please RSVP to ensure adequate seating and to get specific details about the forum as programs will vary by location. Live streaming from the national conference will begin at forum locations at 9 am Central Standard Time, except at Pacific Standard Time locations, where the broadcast will begin at 10 am.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Webinar - Basic Vaccinology: Why Vaccines Work or Don’t Work

Dan Grooms, Michigan State University

January 13, 2014 12:00 PM Central

Vaccines are a vital part of maintaining the health and well-being of a dairy herd, but have you ever wondered about what makes them work? Dr. Grooms will cover some of the basics of vaccinology, including basic immunology and how vaccines work, as well as the different types of vaccines and important considerations for designing and implementing a vaccine program for your farm. 

Other Upcoming Webinars

February Forage Fermentation: How to Make Good Silage– Dr. Limin Kung


March Dairy Reproduction: Identifying Problems and Solutions for Your Herd– Ray Nebel

Subclinical Hypocalcemia, or Milk Fever, in Dairy Cows — Why All the Fuss?

With the initiation of lactation and continued milk production by the dairy cow, tremendous adaptations occur to support the increased need for nutrients to support milk synthesis. Besides the increased need for energy and amino acids for colostrum and afterward for milk synthesis, the requirement for calcium increases two- to three-fold over those required by the dairy cow before calving.  

Please contact Nancy McGill at with questions and concerns.