Friday, January 13, 2017

County Agent Magazine Now Available Online

The latest edition of the County Agent magazine is now available at

For those of you who requested a printed version - they have now officially been mailed and copies will be forthcoming within the next several days from the U.S. Postal Service.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Resources Available on Microbe-containing biostimulants and bioferterlizers (MCBSFs)

In case it interests you and/or people you work with, a team I contribute to is introducing resources on microbe-containing biostimulants and biofertilizers (MCBSFs) and how to use them more successfully, especially in sustainable-organic vegetable production.

As you know, MCBSFs are numerous, available from many companies, and often complex in their composition. Also, many contain a minimal label to guide their use. Worse, independent and reliable information describing product efficacy is rare. Despite this, MCBSF use is very common, particularly among sustainable-organic growers.

We look to help people select, use, and evaluate the performance of and return on investment from MCBSFs more effectively. Our basic approach involves linking people with questions about these products with people who have answers or paths to answers. Like us, you and people you know may fall into the “have questions” and “have answers” categories on a more or less rotating basis. So, there will be ample opportunities for give and take as the work moves forward!

The effort has a website ‘hub’ ( Currently, the website contains information on three upcoming conference calls, a MCBSF listserv, a MCBSF product database, and links to ongoing and upcoming MCBSF research. Stakeholders can also contact the project team directly by email ( or using personal contact information available at the webpage.

We hope these and other anticipated resources are useful to you.

Best regards,

Matthew D. Kleinhenz, PhD
Professor, Extension Specialist
Vegetable Production Systems
Horticulture and Crop ScienceThe Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
122 Gourley Hall, 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, OH 44691-4096
330.263.3810 Office / 330.263.3887 FAX and

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

NACAA Partners with Explorations by Thor to offer Professional Improvement Tours Abroad

NACAA Partners with Explorations by Thor to offer Professional Improvement Tours Abroad

For the past two years - Alex Thor of Explorations by Thor, has attended the NACAA AM/PIC to find out more about NACAA and make his international tour business known to NACAA membership.  What he and the NACAA board have determined - is that there is a "fit" between our two organizations which meets one of the primary objectives of NACAA - to offer Professional Improvement opportunities to NACAA members.  The first of many tour options is now coming to fruition.  Below - please find the first travel opportunity being made available to NACAA members, friends and family.  The agenda is listed below - along with links on how to go about signing up. Additional tour agendas will be forthcoming over the next several months.

NACAA Horticulture & Master Gardeners Tour
 France & Malta
April 25 - May 6, 2017

Day 1 (Tuesday, April 25) - Depart the U.S. for an overnight flight to Paris, France.

Day 2 (Wednesday, April 26) - Morning arrival in Roissy Charles de Gaulle International Airport where you will meet your English speaking guide.  Departure to Giverny (90km) with lunch on the way.  Visit the famous Monet’s gardens in Giverny.  Claude Monet called this place home for forty-three years, from 1883 to 1926.  With a passion for gardening as well as for colors, this founder of Impressionist painting created a number of famous true works of art at this scenic garden.  Transfer and check into your hotel.
Overnight Honfleur

Day 3 (Thursday, April 27) - Departure to Varengeville-sur-Mer (65 km). Visit the fabulous gardens of Bois des Moutiers with one of the family members of the owner.  The 30 acre park is located in a valley facing the sea created on acidic soil, which allows the growth of many rare species, in total contrast to the local vegetation.  The gardens were established at the time Dieppe hosted artists and writers in the late nineteenth century.  Later, depart Moutiers by the shaded path to the old church of Varengeville and its marine cemetery at the top of the cliffs.  Stop for lunch on the way to an apple cider producer’s farm for a visit and tasting.  Next, visit Astredhor, the regional association of horticultural experimentation.  This organization aims to help both producers and community resources work together to improve horticultural production with environmental requirements and techniques in mind. 
Overnight Honfleur

Day 4 (Friday, April 28) - After breakfast, travel to the World War II historic area of Normandy and walk along Omaha Beach and see the memorial monument. Make a short stop to a Military Cemetery where over thousands of soldiers who died in the Normandy campaign are buried.  After lunch, visit an oyster producer.  Enjoy a guided tour to this oyster production park located on the beach and learn how to open an oyster with a tasting!  Afterwards, visit Levavasseur Nursery, a 200 year old family owned nursery that focuses on hedge plants.
(Overnight Le Mans) 

Day 5 (Saturday, April 29) - Departure to the Loire Valley, with a length of 280 km (174 mi) and covering 800 km2 (309 mi2), the area has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its living cultural landscape.  Visit the château and gardens of Villandry which is a Renaissance château located at the heart of three levels of terraced gardens.  It is the last of the great Renaissance châteaux to have been built on the banks of the Loire River.  Although the estate is renowned for the harmony of its architecture, it is especially well-known for its gardens that spread across three terraces combining esthetics, diversity, and harmony.  Lunch and visit the château and gardens of Chenonceau, once a royal residence as property of the crown.  It is a truly exceptional site, being built along the Cher River and is second only to Versailles as the most visited château in France.
(Overnight Tours)

Day 6 (Sunday, April 30) - Visit to Chaumont-sur-Loire’s Park, you will see that from the outside of the castle which overlooks the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Loire Valley, is a fine illustration of both the defensive architecture of the Gothic period and the more leisure-inspired style of the Renaissance.  A natural belvedere overlooking the Loire, offers one of the most beautiful views of this royal river, the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire that extends over an area of 75 acres.  The estate is comprised of the castle (15C-19C), stables and landscaped park designed by Henri Duchêne.  This area is also the venue for the International Garden Festival (late April to mid-October).  The estate is also currently hosting installations by contemporary artists and exhibitions by famous photographers.  Following lunch, travel to Versailles Palace and Gardens. First, you will have a special guided tour of the beautiful gardens designed by Le Notre. Then continue with a tour (audio guides included) of France’s most famous and prestigious castle of Kings that will give you a chance to see the unique Hall of Mirrors and all of the King and Queen’s apartments.
(Overnight Paris) 

Day 7 (Monday, May 1) - Visit Albert Kahn’s gardens, where guests can experience horticulture models from different areas such as Europe, America, Africa and Asia in the 7 variations of gardens in this 4 hectare (10 acre) site.  After lunch, enjoy an extensive 2 hour city tour of Paris.  All of the world famous classics will be on the itinerary from the Champs Elysées, to the Louvre, Notre Dame, Latin Quarter and more!
(Overnight Paris)

Day 8 (Tuesday, May 2) - Departure to the airport and flight to the island of Malta located in the central portion of the Mediterranean Sea.  Meet your guide as you depart the airport and enjoy lunch.  Next, take an afternoon walking tour of the capital city of Valetta which will allow you to discover the Upper Barraka Gardens, which offer a splendid view of the Grand Harbour.  You will then visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral, with its magnificent decorations dating back to the time of the Knights, includes the cathedral museum as well as the oratory to view the famous Caravaggio masterpiece: The Beheading of St. John.  The last stop will be ‘The Malta Experience’, a slideshow on a big screen that traces the history of Malta.
(Overnight Valleta)  

Day 9 (Wednesday, May 3) - Visit the beautiful President’s Kitchen Garden in Malta. The Kitchen Garden is one of the most historical gardens in Malta.  The beautiful garden belongs to the San Anton Palace and has been providing the palace with vegetables since the time of the Knights.  Next, pay a visit to San Anton Gardens.  From 1802 until 1964, San Anton Palace was the official residence of the British Governor, after which it remained a state building and is now the residence of the Maltese President.  Various heads of state have visited the gardens over the years and numerous plaques mark their ceremonial tree planting.  The garden is a botanical delight with mature trees, old stone urns, fountains, ponds and formal flower beds.  The garden also holds a wide variety of plants and flowers, such as Jacaranda trees, Norfolk Pines, Bougainvillea and roses.  Lunch and visit to Villa Bologna: a charming, elegant and welcoming 18th century Maltese country house, still lived in by successors of the family that built it in 1745.  The stunning Villa Bologna Garden is one of the finest examples of a historic Maltese garden.  Split in two sections– the old garden and the new – you can actually see how there were two stages of development here, with some spaces crafted during the baroque era and others later.
(Overnight Valleta)  

Day 10 (Thursday, May 4) - Meet a botanist professor from the University in charge of the Argotti Botanical Gardens and visit one of the botanical gardens.  Situated in Floriana, the Argotti Gardens were laid out in the 18th century as a private garden belonging to Grand Master Pinto.  The gardens became botanical a century later, with a rich collection of trees and shrubs from oaks to oleanders and potted plants, especially cacti.  The gardens also hold a variety of water features – fountains, ponds and water towers.  The private section has a number of both indigenous and foreign plants.  There is a small horticultural museum housed in part of the villa exhibiting seeds, plant pressing equipment, gardening maps and records.  Lunch and a landscape reading activity will take you on a remarkable site that will allow you to understand how, on the scale of a small territory, this landscape allowed people to create communities, agricultural areas and urban development and how it relates to local issues.
(Overnight Valleta) 

Day 11 (Friday, May 5) - The day will begin with a Harbour cruise where you can gaze at the impressive defensive architecture of the Knights of St. John and admire the creeks of the Port of Marsamxett and the Grand Harbour.  This excursion will end with a panoramic tour by coach of the marinas of Ta’ Xbiex and Msida, the bastions of Valletta and the Lower Barrakka Gardens.  Next, visit an apiculture centre to discover the traditional methods of bee breeding and the extraction of local honey.  A 15-minute commentary will be followed by a tasting session of different honeys.  You will then be able to visit the apiary.  The final tour of the day will be to an olive grove where the different methods of the olive culture used throughout the centuries will be explained. This culture dates back to the Phoenician and Roman domination establishing the olive trade of our times, and which eventually an industry boosted by the local farmers became popular.  You will then have the opportunity to witness the olive pressing, the oil separation and bottling (generally in September and October). The sampling of different qualities of olive oil will conclude this highly interesting visit, all this accompanied by dried tomatoes, goat cheese, Maltese bread and local wine.
(Overnight Valleta)  

Day 12 (Saturday, May 6) -  After breakfast, take a flight from Malta to Paris to connect with your return flight home.

“This itinerary  is subject to change without prior approval.  Please note that if a last minute cancellation occurs, a replacement technical visit of equal value will be arranged.”

Included: 20 passengers - Estimated per person $3,650 based on double occupancy, single room supplement upon request
Accommodations (10 nights)
Bi-Lingual Guide/Driver
Tours/Technical Visits
Gratuities for guide
Meals as indicated on itinerary (30 meals)
B= Breakfast
L= Lunch
D= Dinner
Roundtrip airfare France to Malta

Not Included:
International Airfare (Roundtrip estimated $500-$1300 depending on departure city)
Cost of valid U.S. passport or other documents necessary for travel to France/Malta
Upgrades on Travel insurance coverage (optional)
Airline seat upgrades
Excess baggage fees
Leisure activities on free days
Hotel charges for incidentals, including telephone calls, pay per view movies, mini bars, and snack trays, personal laundry, room service, and hotel penalties for smoking in hotel rooms.

Payment Schedule:
January 15, 2017- $650 non refundable deposit
March 1 , 2017- $1,500
April 1, 2017- $1,500

*3% credit card transaction fee

For more information please see the following links:

Travel Information Form

Itinerary with photos

Terms & Conditions

Contact info:
P.O. Box 22332 Lexington, KY 40522
Phone: 859.533.1965 or 859.533.5474

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Journal of the NACAA - New Articles Now Posted

Dear NACAA Members,

Volume 9 Issue 2 of the Journal of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents is now available online at: Titles and authors are shown below.

The next deadline for submission to the Journal is March 15, 2017, for the June 1, 2017 issue. A 2 ½ month turnaround time for peer review and publication is extremely fast. I encourage you to take advantage of that fact to bring the timeliest information to your colleagues and ag/hort professionals. The guidelines for submission can be found here:

Schultz, M.M.; Anderson, M.J.

Mullenix, M.K.; Tucker, J.J.; Anderson, L.K.; Rodning, S.P.; Tigue, A.; Marks, L.

Blair, A.D.; Underwood, K.R.; Zuelly, S.M.S.; Anderson, J.; Johnson, J.E.

Daniels, C. H.; Miller, Megan M.

Doye, D. ; Sahs, R.

Theisen, M.; Schweihofer, J.P.

Neufeld, J. ; Agenbroad, A; Guggenheim, R.; Hirnyck, R.

Lemus, R. ; White, J.A.

Fitzgerald, C.B. ; Hutton, M.

Cantaluppi, C. J.

Flanders, A.

The Journal of the NACAA is a peer reviewed publication that is recognized by the Library of Congress. It accepts articles on original research, applied research, case studies, and commentaries. Practically any successful Extension professional is doing something worthy of publication in our journal. Successfully publishing in a peer reviewed journal is one of the best ways to improve your resume and/or curriculum vitae.

Have a question about submitting an article to the Journal? Send me an email, we’ll talk.

Lee Stivers

Lee Stivers
National Chair and Editor
Journal of the NACAA
Penn State Extension, Washington County
100 West Beau Street, Suite 601
Washington, PA 15301
Phone) 724-228-6881
Fax) 724-228-6883

Thursday, November 17, 2016

NACAA Technology Webinar Recording Available

NACAA Technology Webinar Recording Available

Hello Fellow NACAA Members,

Yesterday’s NACAA Teaching and Educational Technology committee webinar (Sarah Smith presenting “WSU Carcass Calculator App: From Development to Use”) was recorded and is archived at This webinar introduced the WSU Livestock Carcass Grade & Cutability Calculator app, which calculates carcass yield grade, dressing percentages, and cutability of beef, pork, and lamb carcasses from carcass data. It also estimates yield grade or cutability from live animal data. The webinar explains how the app was created and demonstrates how to use it.

We’ll have more webinars in January and February, 2017; details to follow.

This link and other Webinars which have been conducted by NACAA can be found at:  

Susan Kerr, DVM, PhD, PAS
Washington State University
Northwest Regional Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist
Northwestern Research and Extension Center
16650 St. Rt. 536
Mount Vernon, WA 98273

WSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Announcing the “$20 on the 17th” Fundraising Campaign

Announcing the “$20 on the 17th” Fundraising Campaign
Not many organizations or businesses have an opportunity to reach milestones seven years early. In 2017, (hence $20 on the 17th idea).  We are 7 years away from 2025 and closer to our $1 Million goal for the NACAA Educational Foundation.  What if we could reach this goal early? 
That would be great, did I hear you say?  Well here is an opportunity for us to help our NACAA Educational Foundation reach that goal and possibly raise more than $1Million.  This could provide even more scholarships and possibly fund future professional endeavors of our present and future members.

We are excited to announce as part of a special initiative:  The “$20 on the 17th” Fundraising Campaign!  The specific goal in mind:  is to help the NACAA Educational Foundation reach their financial goal of $1 Million before the year 2025.

How can NACAA members become involved?  We would like every member, active and life, to make a gift of $20 on the 17th of a month during 2016-2017.  You can also pick more months than one.  For example, if you decide to do one quarter of the year your donation would be $60 (that will cover your initial investment of $40 and qualify you for a $1,000 Scholarship); if you do half of the year your donation would be $120 (that would cover your total investment of $100 and would qualify you for your maximum of $2,000 in scholarships); for the entire year the payment would be $240.  All of these will also give you a tax deductible donation.   

If a member is not vested in the scholarship program, a contribution of $40 will vest the member for their opportunity to apply for up to $1,000 in scholarships through NACAA.  A contribution of $100 is required to apply for scholarships up to $2,000.  Members who become vested through this campaign may apply for scholarships in 2018.  As another option, you can spilt your donation between 2016 and 2017 to get tax credit in two years.

Our goal is to have all our membership be a part of this effort.  We are asking for participation from both active and life members.  If you can give $20 for one month or up to twelve, please consider some level of giving to honor our NACAA Educational Foundation goal early.

What is the timeframe?  Collections will start immediately, and the $20 on the 17th fund drive will conclude by June 1, 2017.  This will give us an opportunity to reveal our final fund drive totals at our 2017 AM/PIC in Salt Lake City, Utah.

How do I send a donation?  Checks should be made payable to the NACAA Educational Foundation and sent to:
Dwane Miller, NACAA Scholarship Chair
1202 Ag Center Drive
Pottsville, PA 17901
Please include $20 on the 17th on the memo line of your check, so we can accurately track contributions toward this effort.

Contributions can also be made online at - scroll to the bottom and hit the "Donate here" button.  Monthly recurring donation option is available.

Through strong leadership and dedication, NACAA members, active and life, can be proud to say we reached and exceeded out $1 Million goal early!

Another potential the NACAA Educational Foundation is working on is how to make it easier for member to give to the NACAA Educational Foundation is through your Estate Planning Documents…. More to come on this in the near future. 

Remember your cash donations to the NACAA Educational Foundation’s “$20 on the 17th” fund drive are 100% tax deductible.

Thank you!

Cynthia Gregg, NACAA Past President
Rick Gibson, NACAA Educational Foundation
Dwane Miller, NACAA Scholarship Committee

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Teaching and Educational Technologies Webinars

The first two in a series of free webinars sponsored by the NACAA Teaching and Educational Technology committee are listed below. Both can be accessed at this webinar location on their respective dates:

Nov. 16, 2016
11 AM Pacific Time
Sarah Smith
“WSU Carcass Calculator App:  From Development to Use”
The WSU Livestock Carcass Grade & Cutability Calculator app calculates carcass yield grade, dressing percentages, and cutability of beef, pork, and lamb carcasses from carcass data. It also estimates yield grade or cutability from live animal data. This webinar will explain how the app was created and demonstrate how to use it.

Jan. 17, 2017
11 AM Pacific Time
Trevor Lane, Jordan Tampien and Natalie Kinion
“There’s an App for That!”
With so many options and choices for smart phone apps and other technology, many people have a hard time sorting through the best apps.  This webinar is designed to educate Extension professionals how to better use technology, specifically smart phone technology, to enhance their productivity.  The webinar will teach tips and tricks to assist with everything from organization and teamwork to data collection and communication, and even touch on interactive media and graphic design. These skills will launch attendees into the next level -- even those who are “technologically resistant.”

Susan Kerr, DVM, PhD, PAS
Washington State University
Northwest Regional Livestock and Dairy Extension Specialist
Northwestern Research and Extension Center
16650 St. Rt. 536
Mount Vernon, WA 98273