MENARD, Texas — Texas A&M AgriLife will conduct their first Livestock Guardian Dog Field Day on May 10 at Menard.
“To my knowledge, this will be the first program devoted strictly to livestock guardian dogs that our sister agencies, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas A&M AgriLife Research, have conducted anywhere,” said Dr. Reid Redden, AgriLife Extension state sheep and goat specialist at San Angelo.
“Both agencies and a number of ranchers have gained quite a bit of experience, along with a good bit of success using these dogs as effective predator deterrents in sheep and goat operations,” Redden said. “It’s now time to showcase some of that work and expertise to the public.”
The day will open with registration from 8-8:30 a.m. at the Murchison/Whitehead Memorial Youth Center located on U.S. Highway 190. From 8:40-10 a.m., the program will move to the Martin Ranch, an AgriLife Research property.
Dr. John Walker, AgriLife Research resident director at San Angelo, will conduct a tour of the ranch and lead the following discussions:
- Increased lamb and kid crops using livestock guardian dogs.
- Livestock guardian dog demonstration.
- GPS tracking devices for livestock guardian dogs.
- Livestock guardian dog insurance.
There also will be a presentation on evaluating the behavior and effectiveness of livestock protection dogs on the Martin Ranch by Dr. John Tomecek, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist at San Angelo.
The group is then scheduled to depart at about 10:30 a.m. for a tour of the Jacoby Ranch livestock guardian dog operation to be conducted by Coby Porter, president of the Menard Livestock Protection Association and ranch operator from Menard.
The field day activities will return to the Murchison/Whitehead center for the remainder of the day’s activities
Following a noon-1 p.m. catered lunch sponsored by Central Farm Credit of Brady, Redden will give a summary of the Texas A&M Livestock Guard Dog Case Study Project.
The program will conclude with a producer panel from 2-3 p.m. Panelists will include Porter and ranchers Bob Buckholz from Eldorado, and Jerry Kidd and Jason Bannowsky, both from Menard.
Two Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units in the general category will be offered.
For more information, contact Lisa Brown, AgriLife Extension agent at Menard County, at 325-396-4787, firstname.lastname@example.org .
–Texas A&M Extension San Angelo
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