Regional hay school comes to Cassville

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Registration deadline for event is Friday

The Cassville High School agricultural education department has partnered with the Barry County Extension Center in offering a two-day regional school for area hay producers from 5:30 to 9 p.m on Tuesday and Dec. 11.

"What we normally do in the winter months in the high school is offer adult ag evening classes once a month on a variety of topics," said Kelin Kruse, agricultural education teacher at the high school.

The ag department offers the classes as a service to the community, Kruse said. Tim Schnakenberg, a regional agronomy specialist with the University of Missouri Extension, is coordinating the hay school. The ag department will facilitate discussion during the non-credit course.

"[Schnakenberg] came up with the idea to do this Hay School because he's done it at some other places around southwest Missouri," Kruse said.

The school is specifically designed for livestock producers who already own hay equipment or have hay custom harvested on their land, according to a MU Extension release. All aspects of hay and round bale silage production will be covered.

"There is a lot at stake when making hay and many things to consider to make it worth the effort and to be profitable," said Schnakenberg, who serves Barry, Christian, Greene, Lawrence, Stone and Taney counties. "Attending a hay school is an important management tool to insure that you are getting the most out of your land, time and hay equipment."

The program will focus on topics like economics of hay production, forage options, hay quality issues and testing, fertility management, round bale silage management, hay storage, feeding to keep losses low and nutritional needs of cattle.

Tuesday's speakers are Schnakenberg; Reagan Bluel, regional dairy specialist with the MU Extension of Barry County; and Jill Scheidt, regional agronomy specialist with the MU Extension for Barton, Dade, Jasper, McDonald and Newton counties.

The Dec. 11 speakers are Schnakenberg; Bob Schultheis, regional natural resource engineering specialist with the MU Extension for 23 counties that include Barry; and Gordon Carriker, regional ag business specialist with the MU Extension for eight southwestern counties that include Barry.

The speakers are experts in their fields, Kruse said.

"There's a big difference in having an expert in front of you to ask questions and bounce ideas off of," he said. "You can get more off of one-on-one contact than just reading on the Internet.

"I just feel that you get more out of it, and you can ask questions, and you are also with a group of like minded people that have similar experiences."

The hay school will be in the Cassville High School ag department, located in the rear of the building. The registration fee is $35 per person or $60 per couple from the same household or farm operation.

Participants can register at the Barry County Extension Center in the courthouse at 700 Main St. The registration deadline is Friday.

For more information, contact the extension center at or 417-847-3161.

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