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Consultation is the Agricultural Division's Primary Focus

Posted Apr. 15, 2007

The Agricultural Division's consulting program appears to be a well-kept secret. As some of our staff visited with attendees during recent educational events, we became aware that many land managers near Ardmore, as well as those a few counties away, knew very little about the consulting service available from the Agricultural Division. To help spread the word, we hope you will share this article with others.

Those who participate in our consulting program are called cooperators. A survey of our existing cooperators revealed they normally learn about our program from other farmers and ranchers. Occasionally, they attend an educational event and visit with one of our staff or are told about us by someone from a state or federal ag agency, feed dealer, equipment dealer or other ag supplier.

Most of the information that follows is from documents available at www.noble.org/ag. We also can send printed materials that describe all our programs.

Our mission is to assist agricultural producers and other managers of natural resources to achieve their financial, production, stewardship and quality-of-life goals through consultation, education, research and demonstration. The consultation program is the division's primary focus. The consulting staff is composed of four teams, with each team having specialists in forage, livestock, soils and crops, agricultural economics, horticulture and wildlife and fisheries. Team members and discipline members collaborating across teams work together to tailor advice to address each client's unique circumstances. These circumstances commonly include the specific land being managed, the skill set of the producer or land manager and the specific goals to be achieved.

The division serves a 47-county area within a 100-mile radius of the Noble Research Institute's headquarters in Ardmore, Okla. As shown on by Figure 1, this service area includes counties in both Oklahoma and Texas.

Noble Research Institute agriculture specialists advise on forage-based livestock operations, crop production, range management, horticulture, and developing and managing wildlife interests and enterprises.

Our consultation services include mapping and digital imaging of the cooperator's land and other resources, soil and forage testing and analysis, pecan leaf testing and analysis, and farm-mixed feed testing and analysis. Additionally, we offer seminars, workshops and tours to our cooperators as well as the general public. These educational events are often conducted on-site at one of our research and demonstration farms and discuss various topics currently being investigated by the Ag Division's research and consulting staff. Another information source is our HelpLine service. If you call (580) 224-6500 with an ag-related question, a Noble ag specialist will either answer it or refer you to other information sources.

While there may be nominal charges at some educational workshops and seminars, there is no cost to cooperators for the Noble Research Institute's consultation services and operation support. However, participation in the program is contingent upon active participation by the cooperator. The consulting program requires a significant "investment" by both parties, including time, commitment to enhancing the operations in accordance with the agreed upon goals, and providing the required information and data to enable the appropriate delivery of service and informed recommendations. If you have questions about this program, check the Web site at www.noble.org/ag, or call (580) 224-6500.

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