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UT Extension launches response to drought

UT Extension launches response to drought

Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:00 pm

In response to the public’s need for timely information, the University of Tennessee Extension has collected and cross-linked existing drought- and heat-related informational resources on a public access website. Farmers will have direct access online to information that can help them make the critical and sometimes heart-wrenching decisions necessary to keep their operations and families financially viable. The information available is specific to Tennessee production systems.
The website will be available to the public on a 24-hour basis. There is no charge to access the information online.
Dr. Justin Rhinehart, UT Extension beef cattle specialist, is coordinating the effort, which includes livestock specialists, plant and pest specialists, veterinarians, family science experts, environmental engineers, horticulturists, and forestry and wildlife experts from across the state. Additional links are provided to resources available from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, including a hay directory for producers struggling to provide feed for livestock.
The information collected on the pages is also relevant for everyday citizens and homeowners. “Some of the linked information includes tips on reducing power usage during extreme heat and lawn and garden management during drought,” Rhinehart said.  “There are even links relevant to working with kids and heat stress in the elderly.”
UT Extension is also coordinating a series of livestock producer meetings to assist with the increasing dire situation of the state’s forage and pastures. Two meetings will be held in each of the grand divisions of the state. In West Tennessee, meetings will be held July 27 from 5:30-9 p.m. at the UT Extension Western Region Office in Jackson and July 28 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Brehm Hall at UT Martin.
The drought response website will be an ongoing project and materials and links will be continually updated and added.
UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the UT Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.

Published in The Messenger 7.17.12


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