Farm Expo schedule of events

Published 4:06 pm Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Eighth Annual Farm, Home and Wildlife Expo will be held Saturday, Aug. 7 at the center from noon until about 5 p.m.

The center is located on County Road 29 near Thorsby.

Some of the topics of interest are fruit growing techniques, hunter safety, drug and gun dog demonstrations, fruit tasting, cooking demonstrations featuring catfish and new value beef cuts, milk and dairy goats.

Admission is free. For more information, call the center at 646-3610.

Activities scheduled to take place are listed below.

At the first location, you can register for door prizes, an Expo booklet and name badges.

Location 2: Milk goat demonstration. Watch Ralph Hayes, owner of R&N Farms in Thorsby, hold a live milking of dairy goats and offer tastes of locally made goat cheese.

Dairy cow milking demonstration will be held by Amanda Griffeth of the Alabama Dairy Association. There will also be a discussion of milking cows as a valuable commodity to farmers.

Location 3: Dessert tasting with Chilton County Master Gardeners and Homemakers. It will feature a variety of fruit desserts for sampling, many of which were grown at the Research Center.

Location 4: Corn shelling and fritter frying demonstrations. Auburn University agronomy and soils professor Brenda Ortiz will assist the hand shelling as onlookers can also taste freshly fried fritters.

Ortiz will also assess the impact of “El Nino” and “La Nina” on weather and crop growth and discuss using internet-based decision support tools.

AU associate professor of horticulture Floyd Woods will lead a team of scientists whose business is to determine the nutritional values of the fruit and vegetables grown in Alabama.

Patrick Cook, of Regional Extension Agent in Chilton and Autauga Counties, will let people view and learn about how to trap unwanted wildlife pests from homes and gardens.

Location 5: Extension Office superintendent Gay West will oversee a competitive water game testing the abilities of contestants to pump an old-fashioned hand-operated water pump.

REA Agent Sharon Golden, of Butler County, will help people learn about energy savings with an innovative approach.

Regional Extension Agent Valerie Conner, of Autauga County, will oversee activities for children that include coloring, jump ropes and puzzles.

REA Kristen Woods, of Clarke County, will offer a visual check of hand washing deficiencies, which the extension center says is a good event for all ages to attend.

Regional Coordinator for Children’s Health Insurance Angela Daniel will round out Location 5 by helping people learn about a low-cost full coverage comprehensive children’s health insurance.

Location 6: Chilton County REA Gary Gray will present more than 200 varieties of peaches grown in the area for people to taste. Apples, figs, grapes and pears will also be available.

Location 7: AU Extension Specialist of agronomy and soils Dave Han and Rick Helms of Montgomery will offer a demonstration of the most popular lawn turns and the effects of cutting heights as well as offer advice on fertility and pest management.

Location 8: Lonnie Funderburg, of the Alabama Beekeepers Association, will help people learn and observe from a master beekeeper the secrets to raising and producing honey. People can see a working beehive and the tools needed to get the job done.

The Chilton County Master Gardeners will offer self-guided walks through a variety of garden themes. Gardeners will also be nearby for discussion.

Load Trailer at 9: Fruit Extension Specialist Arlie Powell, of Jemison, will offer a demonstration of blackberry production practices and trellising philosophies that will include results from recent harvests from these systems.

People can also learn pruning philosophies and goals for maintaining peach trees.

Location 10: Peach grower and professional landscaper Josh Smitherman will introduce and demonstrate application of pools, fountains, rock walls and more to teach people the effective uses of hardscapes in the landscape.

Professional Soap Curator Sydney Spencer will mix and cook out soap products made from goat’s milk.

Location 11: AU entomology and plant pathology research fellow Fudd Graham and research assistant Kelley Ridley will lead a discussion on home fire ant control.

AU extension specialist and professor of horticulture Ken Tilt will teach simple grafting techniques.

Location 13: Local dog trainer Narvel Black and drug dog trainer Sweet Davis, both of Thorsby, will lead a gun and dog demonstration exhibiting labrador retrievers performing hunting retrieval exercises as well as sniffing out illegal drugs.

Location 14: Extension Aquaculturalist Claude Reeves will speak about cage fish culture and help people learn how to grow fish in cages for fun and profit. If you have an existing pond of at least half an acre, you can grow enough fish to feed your family and neighbors with up to 500 pounds in one small cage, according to the extension center.

Location 15: Clay County REA Chip East will help people understand the special needs blueberry plants have and how to address them.

Tony Glover, an REA of the Beaty Hanna Hort and Environment Center in Birmingham, and Lauderdale County REA Chris Becker will teach techniques to effectively harvest and apply rainwater to gardens, lawns and flowers.

Location 16: Robert Spencer, of Alabama A&M, will teach production techniques to be successful in raising and selling meat goats for a profit.

USDA Wildlife Biologist Dana Johnson will demonstrate how to set and place body gripping traps and snares for use in control of wildlife pests. Traps will be available for anyone to practice setting traps. Wild hog traps will also be on the site.

Location 17: Extension Aquaculturalist Greg Whitis, of Greensboro, will lead a blackened catfish cooking demonstration that will help people discover how this state grown fish can liven up their dinner tables.

AU animal science professor Christy Bratcher will explain beef value cuts and demonstrate their versatility for the table.

Location 18: Emcees will announce scheduled events, locations and door prize winners.

Load Trailer at 19: AU assistant professor of horticulture Jay Spiers will lead discussions on satsuma and blackberry production in hoop houses.

AU horticulture professor Bill Dozier will discuss kiwifruit production and help people learn about production practices, problems and opportunities for raising kiwifruit in Central Alabama.

Location 19 for the North Farm and Location 9 for the South Farm: CREC Assistant Director Matthew Price and CREC Area Horticulturist of Fruit Crops Bobby Boozer will lead an overview of the research currently underway on these respective farms.

Load trailer at 20: Local Hunting Expert Lee Brown, of Thorsby, will help experienced and underexperienced shooters with their shotgun skills. He will use clay pigeons to help participants become familiar with flying targets, such as doves, ducks and sporting clays. This will be a live fire session, so only individuals ages 10 and up will be allowed to participate.

Location 21: AU associate professor of horticulture Elina Coneva will discuss effective production practices and problems for muscadine and bunch grapes in Alabama.

Location 22: Chilton Food Innovation Kitchen Director Christy Mendoza will demonstrate a blaster peeler for food processing. People can view innovative technology for peeling all manner of produce, fruit and shelled products.