How Extension can help you all as producers in an educational and impactful way

Beef Cattle Mythbuster

Dr. Don Llewellyn, Director, Lincoln County WSU Extension, Davenport, WA

This month’s column isn’t so much about busting a myth, but rather letting you know how Extension can help you all as producers in an educational and impactful way and how you as producers can assist in determining what is valuable for you to learn.

 Over the last couple of months, I’ve been settling into my new office in Davenport.  It’s really special to be back working in the county where I grew up.  In the transition into my new responsibilities, I’ve been reflecting on where Extension beef cattle programming at the state and local level has been over the last several years and contemplating where this programming is headed in the future.

My philosophy for Extension is to listen to the beef producers to assess what their needs are.  Associated with that perspective is the reality that the action in the cattle industry is moving at a rapid pace and we need to keep up.  There are really two components to this: the need for 1) programs that address ongoing issues in the industry; and 2) programs that address emerging issues.

With that in mind I’m asking each of you for your help in determining what your needs are, as well as your input for the type of programs that you would like to see in your areas.  In my world of Extension, this is called an informal ‘needs assessment’.  In a practical sense, I would love to hear from you regarding the kinds of educational programs (seminars, workshops, and youth livestock education) that you all would like to see in your area for this coming fall and winter.  No, this is not Zoom!!!!!  I personally had my fill of Zoom meetings by May of 2020.  What I’m talking about here are real traditional meetings with education, fellowship, and food!

Please take a look at the following and provide me with your thoughts about how I can best serve all of my friends and neighbors in the cattle industry in Washington.

The first two questions are the priority:

  1. What educational programs for beef cattle producers would you like to see in your area?
  2. What applied beef cattle and/or feed research would you like to see instituted soon?

If you aren’t ready to answer questions 1 and 2 yet, maybe the following list of topics might help (there’s probably many more topics that I haven’t thought of), This is a chance for YOU to let me know what you really need or topics of interest that you would like to investigate.

  • Nutrition and feeding
  • Forage quality
  • Alternative feeds
  • Cover crop utilization
  • Youth beef projects and fun programs
  • Beef cattle health
  • Meat science
  • Beef Quality Assurance
  • Beef Quality Assurance Transportation
  • Range and pasture management
  • Hay and forage production
  • Niche markets
  • Direct marketing
  • Applied technologies
  • Reproductive technologies
  • Breeding and genetics
  • Biotechnology
  • Financial and marketing
  • Estate planning and succession
  • Risk management
  • Producer health and wellbeing
  • Weather
  • Wildfire

My mission is to bring you useful and impactful programs.  It is an honor to share my thoughts and current research on a variety of topics. I have many colleagues at WSU and other institutions, as well as across the state and region, that possess the expertise for each of the topics. Please provide your input so that we can start planning for a season of meaningful education and fun for the producers and industry.

Send your ideas to me at and please put “Extension program ideas” in the subject line.

You can also call me at 509-492-8380, and we will discuss your ideas.

I’m really looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you all at meetings and workshops across Washington State.