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Educational opportunities abound in February, March

Kansas Digest: Cow-calf schools, an alfalfa school, farm management courses and farm transition help are available.

Jennifer M. Latzke

January 31, 2024

2 Min Read
Cattle in snow covered field
KANSAS DIGEST: There’s plenty of chances to learn in February and March across Kansas. From alfalfa production to farm transition, there’s something for everyone in the farm household. Courtesy of K-State Research and Extension News Service

There are plenty of opportunities to build farming and ranching skills in Kansas through the following educational events in February and March:

Cow-calf workshops

Kansas State University Extension beef specialists and agents will host several cow-calf production meetings across the state through February. Topics will cover risk management tools, cow herd nutrition after a drought, heifer development strategies and bull selection, depending on location. Here are the dates:

Feb. 5. “Rebuilding the Cow Herd,” 6:30 p.m. at Woolsoncroft Events Center, Seneca, meadowlark.ksu.edu.

Feb. 15. “Feeding Your Cattle Through Drought,” 6 p.m. at Smith Center First Christian Church, Smith Center, postrock.k-state.edu.

Feb. 20. “Cow-Calf and Risk Management,” 5:30 p.m., Eureka United Methodist Church, Eureka, greenwood.k-state.edu.

For more information, visit ksubeef.org or call Jason Warner at 785-532-1460, or Sandy Johnson at 785-462-6281.

Alfalfa winter school

K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Grassland and Forage Council will host the 2024 Alfalfa Winter School on Feb. 13 at the Burnside Room in Great Bend, Kan.

Learn about new technologies in alfalfa production, management practices for high yield, fertility management, pests and their control, bale management for high feeding efficiency, and management under both drought and irrigated conditions.

It’s free for Kansas Forage and Grassland Council members, or $45 at the door for nonmembers.

Hone farm management skills

Farmers and ranchers can now enhance their farm management skills via an online, self-paced course offered by K-State Research and Extension. The Risk Management on the Farm online course includes five lessons:

  1. determining cost of production

  2. crop insurance

  3. crop marketing

  4. farm programs (ARC/PLC)

  5. beef cow-calf risk management

This self-paced course, taught by K-State Extension farm economist Robin Reid and K-State farm analyst LaVell Winsor, is available for education only, no college credit. Participants will have six months from registration to complete the course. The registration costs $100, and more information can be found at agmanager.info.

Farm and ranch transition conferences

The Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics’ Office of Farm and Ranch Transition is hosting a slate of three one-day conferences to help farm families prepare to transition their farms to the next generation.

Each meeting will feature Shannon Ferrel, professor and agricultural law specialist at Oklahoma State University.

Other speakers will include representatives from USDA’s Farm Service Agency, K-State, accountants and attorneys, all with insights to share about transition planning.

The three meetings will be March 6 at the Clarion Inn, Garden City; March 7 at the Great Bend Convention Center, Great Bend; and March 8 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Manhattan.

Registration is $60. Find more information at agmanager.info.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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