Beef producers weekend workshop to be held in June
A beef producers’ shortcourse series workshop will be offered for regional livestock operators on June 8 and 9, through the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development and the University of Maryland Extension.
The workshop to be held at the St. Mary’s County Extension Office, located at 26737 Radio Station Way in Leonardtown, is a statewide program, developed in cooperation with the University of Maryland’s Department of Animal Science, and focuses on educating current producers as well as farmers researching potential to raise beef. The June workshop will be the first time the series has been hosted in Southern Maryland and will address the key areas of modern beef production, including economics, genetics, reproduction, herd health, nutrition, pasture management, grazing and facility development.
The short course is a two-day training that is both classroom style and hands-on, starting with indoor presentations, interactions, dinner and networking on June 8. Reconvening the following morning, the focus will shift to demonstrations and hands-on training at a nearby farm. Topic areas that will be covered include the economics of production, determining daily operating costs, EPD’s (Expected Progeny Differences), a veterinary feed directive, body condition scoring, forage sampling and storage, nutrient management, and pasture and paddock development. Educational resources include a body condition score guide, budget work books on cow herd systems and purchases, an estrus sync planner, and grazing and hay record spreadsheets.
The workshop is presented by Racheal Slattery, the university’s beef and dairy coordinator. Speakers will also include other university and industry experts. Southern Maryland beef producers who enrolled in the commission’s artificial insemination estrus synchronization workshop, as well as producers interested in enhanced production and herd genetics, are encouraged to attend.
To register, producers are requested to submit a completed application by June 1. Enrollment is limited to 30 participants. Applicants will be notified of their status no later than June 4. A registration fee includes all educational materials and meals.
To download an application form, go online to www.smadc.com and click the links for “what’s new” and “news and announcements,” or contact Racheal Slattery by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 301405-1392.
In addition, the commission recently announced that a Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund has expanded eligible loan uses to include shellfish aquaculture.
The commission’s objective is supporting and maintaining a robust farm-raised seafood production industry in Southern Maryland. Eligible loan uses are limited to the purchase of oyster seed/larvae, substrate/shell, cages and harvesting equipment. Boats and other motorized vehicles are ineligible. The new loan opportunity may also offer options for existing commercial watermen, who currently are tidal fish license holders, but not aquaculture lease-holders, to partner or create a joint venture with established oyster aquaculture businesses.
In addition to shellfish aquaculture, the Southern Maryland Revolving Loan Fund may be used for the purchase of livestock, the production of small fruits, and safety upgrades for growing, harvesting, packing and holding food in conformance with Good Agricultural Practices and the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Loan amounts range between $10,000 to $20,000, with no collateral security pledge required. Only the personal guarantees of all the borrowers will be needed. The loan terms also incorporate an incentive for borrowers in good standing, by forgiving about 20 to 25 percent of the loan amount due at the end of the loan term.
For more information, go online to www.MARBIDCO.org and www. smadc.com.