Educating the public about Zika is now AgriLife Extension’s ‘priority-one’

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

Educating the public to protect themselves from Zika has become “priority one” for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, a state leader said. 

AgriLife Extension is tasked with educating the public on a great number of topics for all ages, but in a bold unprecedented move, the agency has harnessed its statewide presence to prepare the public against this ever-increasing threat, said Dr. Susan Ballabina, executive associate director, College Station.

“As I expect most Texans are aware, the Zika virus — spread mainly by the A. aegypti and A. albopictus mosquitoes — is a very real threat to the health of unborn babies,” Ballabina said. “With recent cases in Florida almost certainly stemming from local mosquitoes, our experts warn it’s only a matter of time before the same occurs in our state.” Continue reading

Positions Available at NIFA-Biological Science Specialists

The following announcement for the Biological Science Specialist, GS-0401-09/11 located in Washington DC has been posted to USAJOBS. The announcement is scheduled to open Wednesday, August 10, 2016  and close Wednesday, August 24, 2016. You can view the announcement utilizing the link below. 

NIFA-S16N-0045 Continue reading

Farmers share their perspectives on cover crops in SARE video series

“If somebody posed the question—would I farm without cover crops—I would say no,” insists Kirk Brock, who grows corn, soybeans and peanuts on 1,000 acres in Monticello, Fla. His cover crop of choice, cereal rye, protects his hilly ground from erosion, and helps with weed control and moisture retention.

Brock is one of nearly two dozen farmers featured in SARE’s Cover Crop Innovators video series. From row crops to diversified vegetables, these farmers explain how and why cover crops are an indispensable part of their rotations. Cover crops improve yields, protect the soil, retain moisture, increase organic matter and provide many other benefits, and acreage planted to cover crops is increasing across the country, according to a four-year national survey.

Go to the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education website to find cover crop stories in your region.