New Landowner Education program begins with bees and trees

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The Multi-County New Landowner Education program is a series of eight informational meetings, seminars, and field days designed to make new landowners in Austin, Colorado, Fayette, and Washington counties aware of what types of agricultural enterprises are best for their property.

Participants in the program will hear from experts in a variety of fields in agriculture about best management practices that can be implemented on their own property. This innovative program assists new landowners in understanding the concepts of rural living.

Participants in the program are given exposure to ideas on raising livestock and horses, plant identification, fence building, applying pesticides, soil testing, stock pond management, pond construction, fruit and nut production, rainwater harvesting, turf management, and much more.

The program also serves as a way for new residents of the four counties to network and meet new people in their communities, find out what can be done on their land, what operations can be successful, and possibly what opportunities they have to serve the community.

The programs will be held on the third Friday of the months of February through May and August through November. Each month’s meeting will be held at different locations in one of the four counties. The meetings begin at 1:30 p.m. and will last between four and five hours depending on the topic and possible tour stops. The cost for the program series is $125 per person, $200 per couple for all eight meetings, or $20 per person per meeting. Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) for pesticide applicators will be offered as they are applicable.

A great selection of refreshments will be provided at each session. Participants who sign up for the entire series will receive a notebook at the beginning of the series to fill as they progress through the program with handouts and reference material that will be useful as they move forward with improvements on their property.

Feb. 15 – Introduction (Ag and Wildlife valuations)

March 15 – Pond Management – construction, aquatic weed control, and stocking

April 26 – Weed and Brush Control – plant identification and control recommendations for weeds and brush

May 17 – Forage and/or Livestock Production – options for small acreage operations

Aug. 16 – Bees and Trees for Homeowners

Sept. 20 – Horticulture Production – fruit trees, pecans, and grapes for landowners

Oct. 18 – Wildlife Management, Native Grass Restoration

Nov. 15 – Managing Pests in the County

August program – Bees and Trees – Washington County

The August meeting for the 2019 series will take place on Friday, Aug. 16, at the Washington County Fairgrounds Sales Facility located at 1305 E. Blue Bell Road in Brenham. Beekeeping continues to be a hot topic, especially for medium to small acreage landowners. Before you jump in head-first and order the equipment and a hive of bees, come learn what to expect.

Several area beekeepers will discuss what it takes to raise honeybees, some of the challenges they face, and what they’ve found to be good solutions. In addition to bees leaders will take a portion of the afternoon to talk trees.

In Texas, trees are a valuable commodity that landowners care about and strive to keep them healthy and vigorous. Come learn about tree biology, how to recognize common tree problems, and how to manage for tree health.

For more information, contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office in Austin County at 979-865-2072. Registration materials and more information can also be found at https://agrilife.org/coastalbend/nlo/.

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