As a new extension agent in Highlands County, I was able to create a Needs Assessment and distribute it to the majority of Highlands County cattle producers. Based upon their needs, one of my programming areas focuses on “livestock management”. “Livestock management” encompasses techniques and technologies that can improve cattle reproduction, bettering animal nutrition, and improving pasture/weed management. Starting off the new year of 2018, I was able to host a “Beef Cattle Reproduction Workshop” with the help of Jonael Bosques-Mendez, of Hardee County UF/IFAS Extension, Francisco Rivera Melendez, of Hillsborough County UF/IFAS Extension, and Matt Warren, Environmental Manager for FDACS. Originally we planned for the workshop to last two and a half hours covering five topics. Unfortunately we ran out of time and were not able to cover Francisco’s topic of “Rectal Palpation”.
The overall objective of this educational workshop was to teach the importance of cattle reproduction, structure and function of the biological tract, how to improve calving season through management, and how artificial insemination can add potential benefits to an operation.
We were able to measure the amount of learning by the participants completing a pre/posttest. This test consists of ten questions to evaluate their base line of knowledge. Topics discussed in the workshop included “Anatomy and Physiology”, “Advantages of Establishing a Calving Season”, “Artificial Insemination and Estrus Synchronization”, and “Wet Lab- Dissection of a Female Reproductive Tract”.
At the end of the session, the participants completed a posttest answering the same questions to evaluate knowledge gained. Data from the pre/posttest disclosed a 19% increase in knowledge gained evaluating twenty-three participants. 91% stated they will consider implementing some of the technologies and management tools discussed in the workshop within the reproductive management of their operations, and to improve their bottom line. The overall demographics of the members at the workshop consisted of 32% youth, 64% producers, and 4% local citizens.
Upon reviewing the objectives and results from this workshop, the participants achieved 19% knowledge gained from the goal of 40%, and exceeded the goal of 40% potential behavior change with 91%. After the workshop, I contacted the attendees and asked that they complete a Qualtrics survey to help better the UF/IFAS Extension program in their county. Based on their responses, they thoroughly enjoyed the information provided and look forward to attending many other UF/IFAS educational programs!
Taylor and Jonael teaching the “Wet Lab- Dissection of a Female Reproductive Tract”. The attendees were intrigued to get hands-on experience in touching and feeling a tract!