Extension staff to give series of workshop

January 30, 2012

The transferring of information is often called education by the teacher and knowledge by the recipient. The use, application and adaptation of this knowledge is known as wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom are not synonymous; there are many intelligent well-educated people who are far from wise.

Extension by its definition is taking the university to the people. Our motto is “Educating people to help themselves.” In an effort to expand this mission, the staff is offering a series of educational seminars in the coming weeks to transfer this collective knowledge to the folks in and around Washington County.

Today and on Tuesday, Feb. 7, the staff will hold its next installments of poultry basics. The workshop is in its fourth year and has filled up every year. It was so popular in 2010, the Extension office offered it twice. This year, as before,  the staff will take participants through the entire chicken lifecycle and how to care for them from egg to chick to adult.

As I said, this is a series. Later on Feb. 21, the next topic will be dairy genetics. Whether you are thinking about or practicing crossbreeding, out-crossing, or line breeding, the staff will cover it. In today’s dairy industry, farmers are all looking for the elusive perfect cow. While I cannot promise that, I hope you will take home the tools to breed the type of cow that will work for you — instead of the other way around.

On Feb. 28 and March 13, the staff will address crossbreeding in beef cattle with guest speaker Scott Griener from Virginia Tech. The program will outline crossbreeding schemes to take advantage of hybrid vigor, while not sacrificing maternal traits.

All sessions will run from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Extension office, off Sharpsburg Pike  Call to register for each session individually in order to insure adequate handouts.

Then on March 1,  Agronomy Day will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center. Crop updates, disease and weed concerns, cover crops, current TMDL concerns and other related topics will be discussed. Private pesticide applicator recertification and nutrient applicator voucher continuing education credits will be available. Lunch will be served at no charge; however, participants must register by Feb. 27.

For more information or to register, call the Extension office at 301-791-1304.

I hope you are looking forward to exploring some of these topics as I am. I look forward to seeing you at the workshops.

Jeff Semler is an Extension educator, specializing in agriculture and natural resources, for the University of Maryland Extension. He is based in Washington County. He can be reached at 301-791-1404, ext. 25, or by email at

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