Alexander County Center Newsletter
January 2022
Green Thumb Gazette Newsletter- January's Edition is out and available.  To read what garden tasks to do in February, what to be on the look out for around your lawn and garden, winter weed management; or just to stay-in-the know with what our horticulture agent, Cari Mitchell, is offering please click on the following link:  January 2022 Newsletter

Also, if you would like to receive this newsletter by email please contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension-Alexander County Center.
4-H Update
Alexander County 4-H has been busy with club meetings and afterschool programming, as well as just wrapping up a year long educational subscription box program.  

Clubs are meeting in person once again and accepting new members.  Last month the WHEP team took a field trip to Rocky Face Park to practice for the state contest that will take place in the spring.  They were able to evaluate wildlife habitats and determine what best management practices could help.

December's after school programming focused on plants and specifically spacing of plants.  Through several hands-on exercises youth were taught the importance of space for plants to grow.  The kids were even given the opportunity to take some plants home in a greenhouse they made.

For December's educational subscription box participants created their own gingerbread cookies for the holidays and learned the history of gingerbread.

Alexander County 4-H will be taking youth to the Eastern 4-H Center located in Columbia, NC the week of June 19-24, 2022.  There are still spots available.  Click on the link below for more information and to view the full newsletter:
Record keeping..... It's the part of farming or ranching that is often dreaded or overlooked.  In reality record keeping should be the core of your operation.   With the cost of production on the rise, it is more important than ever to keep accurate records to assess whether or not your operation is profitable.  Record keeping should be broken down into two categories, production and financial. Accurate production records can help you keep track of your herd's progress over time and help you make business decisions.  Financial record keeping will include labor, marketing, production costs and property expenses.  Tracking your costs will show you where production costs can be reduced, if need be, and will help you be prepared for tax time!

Production records may vary but should include the basics:
  • Animal information: identification, date of birth/age, breed, sire and dam
  • Performance: breeding dates, sire information that the animal was bred to, birth dates, identification of progeny
  • Production records: pounds of milk produced for dairy animals, and dam to calf weight ratios for beef animals. Stockers and those finishing animals on the farm should track weights.
  • Health records: vaccinations, illness and medication, deworming, dental care, hoof trimming, and any other health related items need to be recorded. If medication is being administered you should record the name of the medication, dose, who administered, how much was administered, and the injection location.
  • Feeding records: Even if you keep your feed financials separate, keep a record of the animal’s type of feed intake; hay, silage, grain, and supplements. You can track an animal’s performance yearly. Going back to your feed records will help you determine if feed changes impacted production or performance.
There are many programs available for record keeping. It is important to find one that is easy to use and does what you need it to do.  If you choose to go with an online system make sure they have good customer support to answer your questions.  You will have questions!  However a simple excel program may be all you need to start with.  The most important thing is to just have some form of record keeping.  If you have questions about choosing a record keeping system, feel free to contact me, Allison Brown, at 828-632-4451.
Alexander County Offices will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2022 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.
NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to form a strategic partnership called N.C. Cooperative Extension.

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