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Organizations Provide Useful Resources for Farmers, Ranchers

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I recently returned from the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) annual meeting down in Lafayette, La. Obvious benefits of the meeting location are great people, good food and beautiful countryside. This meeting once again impressed upon me the importance of staying current with agricultural technology and research, networking with others in the field of agriculture and rediscovering the resources out there for farmers and ranchers. When I say resources, I am not only referring to organizations dedicated to helping land-users, but also to the people who make these organizations great.

This meeting had very good attendance by livestock producers, personnel from Extension, USDA-NRCS, the Noble Research Institute, Experiment Station, universities and various trade representatives. What is most impressive about these meetings is that if you visit with the people behind these organizations, you will find out that they are all dedicated to helping others. As with any organization, you can always find a few people who aren't "riding for the brand" as some would say, but, by and large, those who attend these meetings are there for the purpose of sharing information and learning new things that they can use to assist caretakers of this country's natural resources the farmer and rancher. Many of these people are also part-time producers themselves, and have a first-hand knowledge of the trials and tribulations that many of you experience.

I know that time is a valuable commodity for anyone. But I encourage you to take time to learn about the wealth of information and resources that are out there. You will find that there is a great benefit in attending meetings such as AFGC and allowing the good people who work for these organizations to help you. Or maybe you could even discover and join a professional organization, like AFGC, with which you have a common interest. I would bet that you would find your time is well spent. AFGC meetings in particular are recognized as "farmer friendly" and regularly attract a good amount of farmers and ranchers.

Below is a short list of organizations that you should take a look at if you haven't already. This list is by no means inclusive, but represents some of the best resources that I can think of. These organizations offer everything from educational events, tours, publications, financially assisted conservation programs, research and demonstration, one-on-one and group consultation. Find out more about these organizations and visit with the people who make them great I think you'll be happy that you did.

Don't forget, if you are an agricultural producer within a 100-mile radius of Ardmore, you can contact the Noble Research Institute for information about how we might be able to help you. Call (580) 223-5810 or go to www.noble.org on the Web.

American Forage & Grassland Council
www.afgc.org
1-800-944-2342

Ducks Unlimited
www.ducks.org
1-800-45-DUCKS

Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association
www.okcattlemen.org
(405)235-4391

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service
www.dasnr.okstate.edu
(405)744-5398

Society for Range Management
www.rangelands.org/srm.shtml
(303)986-3309

Soil & Water Conservation Society
www.swcs.org
(515)289-2331

TSCRA-Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association
www.texascattleraisers.org
(817)332-7064

The Texas AgriLife Extension Service
http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/
(979)845-7800

USDA-NRCS
Texas:
www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov
(254)742-9800
Oklahoma:
www.ok.nrcs.usda.gov
(405)742-1204

Wildlife Society
www.wildlife.org

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