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Agricultural News

OSU Workshops Teach Participants Composting Techniques, Water Harvesting

Thu, 05 Apr 2012 11:39:28 CDT

OSU Workshops Teach Participants Composting Techniques, Water Harvesting
Improving soil quality and finding ways to increase water supply will be the subject of four workshops being held in western Oklahoma this spring. The workshops, organized by Oklahoma State University in conjunction with the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, Langston University, Anichini-Moore Ranch and Farm and Trail Creek Ranch will provide participants information on a variety of techniques for composting and rainwater harvesting. In addition the workshops will help participants develop a risk management plan.

"The workshops are designed for a diverse audience from backyard gardeners to municipalities," said Jeri Fleming, OSU program manager. "We want people who are interested in learning more about the techniques we will be discussing, both on a large scale and those who want to incorporate these practices in their yards."

The first workshop will be held at the Dewey County Fairgrounds in Taloga, Okla. on Saturday April 14. Additional workshops will be held in Okeene on April 28, Woodward on May 12, and Clinton on June 2. Workshops will begin at 8:30 a.m. and include lunch. In the afternoon participants will travel to two demonstration sites, Trail Creek Ranch and Anichini-Moore Ranch and Farm to see the composting and rainwater harvesting techniques discussed in the workshop in use.

"These workshops are funded through a grant from the Southern Risk Management Education Center with the purpose of not only educating farmers, ranchers, market gardeners and homeowners about these techniques but also working with them to implement these ideas on their land to help minimize their risk," said Jason Vogel, OSU professor in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

The demonstration sites include a cattle shade structure that serves as a water source, and a large scale rainwater collection system that will be used to water a market garden and several fruit trees. The compost demonstrations include a carcass composting demonstration at each location and the use of tumble and enclosed bins for small scale composting. A vermicomposting (using worms) system will also be demonstrated. Food and yard waste will be shown using a windrower for larger scale composting. The landowners will also share their experience with the different techniques they are using and the difference it has made on their farms.

The workshop presenters come from several OSU departments and have expertise in a wide variety of areas including plant and soil science, water quality, water supply, storm water management and landscape architecture. The demonstration site landowners are excited about sharing their knowledge and experience with the attendees and look forward to learning what others have found successful.

"Education is the key and this is an exciting opportunity for western Oklahoma farmers and homeowners to learn from each other and those with expertise." said Kathy Moore, owner Anichini- Moore Ranch and Farm. "I have been using compost for several years and am seeing a marked improvement in my soil and in the types and amount of crops I can grow."

The workshops are free but OSU is asking that you register by the Wednesday prior to the workshop you want to attend. To register or for more information email Jeri Fleming at jeri.fleming@okstate.edu or call 405-744-8395. For a copy of the workshop flyer and a draft agenda, click here.



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