Writer: Steve Byrns, 325-653-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contacts: Pasquale Swaner, 254-865-2414, email@example.com
Chelsea Dorward, 254-386-3919, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heath Lusty, 512-556-8271, email@example.com
Mike Marshall, 254-865-2061, firstname.lastname@example.org
COPPERAS COVE – Two state agencies and one federal agency will conduct a multi-county Private Land Stewardship Field Day Nov. 5 at two sites in Coryell County.
The collaborating agencies are the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
“The field day will target area landowners interested in managing their ranches for multiple uses, particularly for wildlife and cattle,” said Mike Marshall AgriLife Extension associate for the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources at Gatesville.
Marshall said the first part of the field day will be from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Harmon School, which is about 10 miles northwest of Copperas Cove off Harmon Road. The afternoon portion is set for 1:30-4 p.m. at the Hanna Ranch, a few miles north of Pidcoke off Farm-to-Market Road 116.
Individual registration is $15 and includes lunch and two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units–one general and one integrated pest management.
After lunch, attendees will tour the Hanna Ranch for field components, including rangeland demonstrations.
“Many landowners in Texas are beginning to see the value of proper land stewardship,” said Brian Hays, associate director, Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources. “Whether you are managing for cattle, wildlife or both, challenges such as drought, invasive species and water quality issues have made it imperative to diversify the potential of your land, and the only way to do this is to practice good land stewardship.”
Pasquale Swaner, AgriLife Extension agent for Coryell County, said his agency’s staff will discuss basic stewardship principles, the link between the land and drinking water, and the benefits of prescribed burning.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department experts will discuss proper wildlife population management, Marshall said. USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service experts will speak on rangeland evaluation, basic principles of soil health and proper brush management techniques such as dozing, prescribed fire and herbicide application.
“A particular focus will be given to Aldo Leopold’s five land management tools: the axe, cow, plow, fire and gun,” Marshall said. “Landowners now implement these tools to mimic natural processes that occurred prior to European settlement in Texas.”
Marshall said the MJ Hanna Foundation has offered access to the Hanna Ranch for the afternoon field portion.
“The Hanna Ranch is an excellent example of a property that implements proper land stewardship tools that result in a thriving cattle operation and good quality habitat for wildlife species, such as white-tailed deer and northern bobwhite quail,” he said.
The field component will allow attendees to observe demonstrations on calculating stocking rates, plant identification, habitat assessment, riparian discussion and the proper use of corral traps as part of an abatement strategy for controlling feral hogs.
Those planning to attend must preregister by Oct. 28 by contacting the AgriLife Extension office in Coryell County at 254-865-2414; Lampasas County at 512-556-8271; or Hamilton County at 254-386-3919. Checks should be made payable to: Ag Industries Committee and mailed to P.O. Box 149 Gatesville, Texas, 76528.