CLAYTON COUNTY EXTENSION SERVICE CALENDAR – May 21, 2015
28 4-H Leader Meeting, 7:00 pm, Freedom Bank Community Room, Elkader
2 4-H & FFA Food Safety Quality Assurance Training, 7:00 pm, Extension Office, Elkader
5 Clayton County Dairy Banquet, 6:30 -8:30 pm, Johnson’s Reception Hall, Elkader
6 Clayton County 4-H Foundation Golf Outing, 2:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Elkader Golf Course, Elkader
Exhibitions of Birds Cancelled for 2015 Due to Avian Influenza
Fairs, livestock auctions, swap meet and exotic sales will not include birds
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today announced an order to cancel all live bird exhibitions at county fairs, the Iowa State Fair, and other gatherings of birds due to avian influenza. The Department’s order begins immediately, is effective through the end of 2015, and also prohibits live birds from being sold at livestock auction markets, swap meets and exotic sales.
Iowa has over 25 million birds and more than 60 farms impacted by H5N2 highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The purpose of the Department’s directive is to minimize the risk of potential further spread of the virus to other poultry. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health consider the risk to the public related to HPAI H5 infections to be very low. No human infections of the virus have ever been detected and there is no food safety risk for consumers.
“We are asking producers and bird owners to increase their biosecurity measures and we feel this is a needed step to further minimize the risk of spreading the virus,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "The scale of this outbreak has been unprecedented, so we think it is important we take every possible step to limit the chance that this disease will spread any further."
Officials with the Department have spoken with leadership from the Iowa State Fair and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach this week to discuss the situation.
“We have been working in conjunction with our state veterinarian to monitor the situation,” said Gary Slater, Iowa State Fair CEO/Manager. “We strive to provide safe and healthy competition for all the animals at our State Fair and know this decision was made in the best interest of our exhibitors and our poultry industry.”
“Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H's priority is youth and their learning experiences," said Mike Anderson, Extension 4-H State Livestock Specialist and State Fair 4-H Livestock Superintendent. "Some 4-H'ers will be disappointed that they won't be able to exhibit their poultry projects at fairs this summer, but we're exploring alternate learning opportunities to offer them at fairs and will share more details as plans develop. This is a great example to the public, fair-goers, and the consumer that the animal health, animal well-being and the safety of the poultry industry is at the forefront of our young people’s practices. Through our annual Food Safety and Quality Assurance curriculum, we have educated youth for many years on these and other topics such as biosecurity and the potential for diseases to spread. The education and learning practices are being put into action in the real world."
The Iowa Turkey Federation and Iowa Poultry Association both recommended that bird exhibitions be cancelled this year due to avian influenza. Iowa leads the nation in egg production and is in the top ten in turkey production.
More information about the avian influenza situation in Iowa can be found at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.
Clayton Dairy Banquet to be Held June 5
The Clayton County Dairy Banquet will be held on Friday, June 5, 2015 at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader. The banquet meal will be served from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The program is scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or at the Clayton County Extension Office in Elkader.
The banquet program includes the presentation of various awards including the county’s distinguished dairy producer, outstanding young dairy producer, and senior dairy producer awards. Blue ribbon rosettes and plaques will be awarded to producers for a variety of herd and individual cow production levels. The Clayton County Dairy Princess, Little Miss Squirt, and Jr. Dairyman will be crowned at the banquet.
4-H Foundation to Hold Golf Tournament
The Clayton County 4-H Foundation is hosting a 2-person Best Shot Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 6 at the Elkader Golf Course & County Club. The tournament will feature two flights, 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm with a dinner served from 4:30-5:30 pm. This is an annual fundraiser for the Clayton County 4-H Endowment Fund. Contact the Clayton County Extension Office for more information and to register for the tournament.
Attend Greenhorn Grazing Workshops to Sharpen Grazing Skills
Livestock producers wanting to maximize benefits from their grazing practices should attend Greenhorn Grazing workshops in northeast Iowa. Producers of all skill levels are welcome to the five-part workshop series, according to Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialist.
“Greenhorn Grazing is designed for graziers interested in a more controlled or management-intensive grazing system,” Schwab said. “Producers who want to optimize forage and livestock production, increase market access and conserve natural resources will find the modules very informative.”
The series content will cover concepts relevant to producers of all grass-based livestock, whether it is beef, dairy, sheep or other animals, she said.
“The Greenhorn Grazing program is designed to help livestock producers evaluate their own pasture management and implement steps to increase their grazing efficiency,” Schwab said. “This training features experienced graziers sharing their knowledge and learning from each other. It’s the best combination of academics with real-world experience.”
Greenhorn Grazing will be held in the Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque county area, but is open to all producers in northeast Iowa. Each workshop will have a classroom component led by experienced instructors and a hands-on field component.
The workshops are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon on the following dates with topics and speakers as described:
June 10. Brian Lang, ISU Extension agronomist - soil conditions, fertility and plant productivity. Pat Schaefers, Clayton County NRCS - pasture condition scoring and CSP opportunities. Schwab - forage planning and species identification. The pasture component will be at the John Schupbach farm near Elgin featuring new seeding establishment, rotational paddocks, above ground waterline system, wildlife protection systems and custom grazing.
July 21. Larry Tranel, ISU Extension dairy specialist - dairy grazing. A fencing demonstration will be part of the pasture portion at the Eric Gaul pasture.
Aug. 24. Dan Morrical, ISU sheep specialist - animal grazing behavior, forage requirements and supplementing on pasture. ISU Extension ag engineer Greg Brenneman - watering systems. The Cameron Schulte pasture segment features buried water lines to tanks and a spring water development.
Sept. 9. ISU Extension field agronomist Meghan Anderson - weed management. Fall and winter forage management practices such as fall interseeding with Jim Welter; hay field grazing, and planning for winter feeding. Dan, Tom and Mark Welter will host this session.
Nov. 10. Cover crop grazing and companionship of cattle to row crops to be held at the Jack Smith farm near Epworth.
Support from the Clayton, Delaware and Dubuque County Extension districts, Theisen’s Home-Farm-Auto, Arrow Cattlequip, Innovative Ag Services and Welter Seed & Honey Co. help offset the cost of the short course. The $75 per person fee is for all five sessions in the series. It includes a resource notebook and lunches, and assists in covering speaker travel.
For more information on specific locations or details contact Schwab by phone at 319-721-9624 or email at email@example.com. To register, contact the Delaware County Extension Office at 563-927-4201.