Being new to any field or occupation is challenging. Being a first-time farmer, rancher or land steward is no different.
From leases to legumes, from seeding to stocking rates, new agricultural producers and land stewards often feel overwhelmed and isolated because of the crush of countless questions. For more than five decades, the Noble Research Institute has provided no-cost consultation to agricultural producers in 47 counties in Oklahoma and Texas, changing lives by helping provide valuable answers.
In 2010, as an extension of the consultation program, the Noble Research Institute is providing a new educational effort to producers who are just entering agriculture. Many new producers have had successful careers outside of agriculture, but are investing in agricultural land. Others have inherited land from family members and wish to make wise use of it. Still others are seeking a healthier, relaxed lifestyle removed from the chaos of urban life. Whatever the reason, they all have some basic variables in common they are new to agriculture with a minimal amount of knowledge and experience, and they want to have a successful operation relative to their personal goals.
To assist these producers, the Noble Research Institute is collaborating with common interest partners to initiate a new educational program called Basic AG. Basic AG will provide practical, foundational knowledge that can be used in a new producer's day-to-day operation. The events offer relevant information and occasional hands-on experiences to give participants understanding and new tools to achieve their specific agriculture-related goals.
Basic AG will bring together regional experts to deliver timely and practical information. The Noble Research Institute's partners will include extension educators in Oklahoma and Texas, National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel and numerous other agricultural associates and agencies across the region and country.
Whether through seminars, workshops or field days, Basic AG events will emphasize a relaxed atmosphere to allow for productive interaction between producers and agricultural experts. This will allow new producers to become comfortable with unfamiliar topics. By designing appropriate forums, farmers, ranchers and land managers can receive relevant agricultural basics that can be immediately applied.
A few examples of topics that will be addressed at planned Basic AG events are proper land stewardship and management; large and small ruminant production; animal husbandry; pasture production and management; horticultural crops; wildlife and fisheries opportunities; and agricultural economics and marketing.
There are no land size requirements for Basic AG participants. Whether a producer owns a few acres or a few thousand acres, all are welcome to take advantage of these invaluable educational events. While the program is designed for producers within the Noble Research Institute's service area, the fundamental information will be made available to any producer through the Basic AG Web page, which can be found at www.noble.org/BasicAg.