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Thursday, September 24, 2015

AgriLife Extension supports National Preparedness Month efforts

By: Paul Schattenberg

COLLEGE STATION — The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is supporting National Preparedness Month efforts by offering tips for Texans to help them get ready for and recover from a disaster or emergency.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has a variety of publications, many of them free, about emergency and disaster preparation and recovery. (Thxas A&M AgriLife extension Service)
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has 
a variety of publications on disaster and emergency
 preparation and recovery. 
(Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

“FEMA has designated September as National Preparedness Month,” said Dr. Joyce Cavanagh, AgriLife Extension family development and resource management specialist in College Station. “We hope Texans will take this opportunity to take  action to protect themselves and their families. In particular, we want them to understand the importance of knowing how to prepare and execute a disaster plan that also accounts for any specific needs that may arise, such as taking care of children, the disabled, older adults and pets.”
Cavanagh said the Texas Extension Disaster Education Network at has information and materials on specific disasters, plus tips on disaster preparation and recovery. Materials are also available at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Bookstore, in both English and Spanish versions.

Additional disaster preparedness information on current topics can be found by connecting with the AgriLife Extension on Facebook,, Twitter,, and Pinterest,
Cavanagh said one of the best things Texans can do is map out a family evacuation plan ahead of time and practice it. She said the plan should include establishing escape routes, drawing up a floor plan and including all members of the household in a practice session.

“To establish escape routes from your house or apartment, draw up a floor plan and make sure that all family members understand the plan,” she suggested. “Each room should have two exit points. Include all members of the household when you conduct a practice session. Be sure to select a site outside the home for everyone to meet after they’ve left the house. And prepare a contact card with name, address, phone and email for each family member. Have everyone keep a copy of it in a wallet, purse or backpack for easy reference.”
Cavanagh also noted that for some types of disasters, it may be necessary to disconnect utility services to the home.

“Natural gas leaks are the top cause of fires after a disaster,” she said. “Be sure a responsible family member can turn off the gas, electricity and water supplies. Contact your local utility company for proper shut-off procedures. If there are disabled, elderly, unhealthy or non-English-speaking people in your family, you will have to take additional steps to prepare and protect them.”

She said special assistance may be available in some areas and recommended calling 211.
“If 211 is not available in your area, call the local emergency management office or fire department to ask about any special assistance programs that may be offered,” she said.

A disaster plan should also include how to care for pets, Cavanagh said.
“This might include identifying hotels or motels that accept pets or would waive a no-pets policy in an emergency and listing phone numbers and addresses of veterinarians’ offices. You may also want to identify possible pet-boarding facilities or coordinate with friends outside the area to care for the pets. You may also want to add pet food and comfort items to your emergency supply kit.”

Additional information on emergency and disaster preparedness may be found by going to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website or its Spanish-language counterpart at

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pecan Sale - Agrilife Extension Hunt County


The Hunt County Extension Ag and Livestock Committee along with sponsors of the annual Hunt Co Hay Show are working hard to make this another great event for hay producers this year. Some changes to the show were made last year, and were well received by the majority of participants. We have waited until later in the season this year to collect entries, in hopes that more producers would have hay to enter. Therefore we hope you will enter some samples to receive a free analysis of your hay from the Noble Foundation (a $15 value per sample).

Entries are due by Tuesday, September 29 by 5:00 p.m., to the NET Farmers Coop store or fertilizer plant in Greenville. In addition to a free analysis, each entrant will be entered in a drawing to receive one ton of fertilizer, sponsored by our main supporters, the NET Farmers Coop in Greenville and Potts Feed Store in Emory. Two prizes will be awarded. This drawing, from those who have entered the show, will take place at the Hay Show on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, and you must be present to win.

Following are the guidelines for submitting an entry. We encourage ALL producers enter samples, no matter the quality, to better determine the nutritional value of their hay for livestock feeding purposes. Most of the 2015 spring hay was not to the level most producers would hope to have, and that is all the more reason to submit a sample and find out the true quality of what you were able to produce this year. This will allow you to know what you are feeding (or selling) and make more educated choices for feed supplements. You may enter a sample from each field and each cutting you have produced this year in the county. Samples are not accepted from hay purchased, or grown outside the county.

As for the Hay Show and Educational program to be held October 20, we will again require everyone that attends for the meal to obtain a ticket prior to the Hay Show. These will be available starting October 1, from the Extension Office and Farmers Coop.
Again, we hope you will submit hay for testing and we look forward to seeing you for the program in October. If you have any questions, please contact the Extension office at 903-455-9885