“If it wasn’t for 4-H I do not think I would have developed the skills that have helped me take care of my own horse, and I would not have gained the knowledge that is helping me [study pre-veterinary science.]”
– Oldham County 4-H alumni
Supporting Oldham’s #1 Ag Commodity
The 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey reported a total value of Oldham County’s equine and equine-related assets of $163 million. Oldham County ranks 4th in Kentucky in value of equine sold, 5th in equine operation income, 6th in value of equine and equine acres, and 7th in equine population.
Oldham County Extension supports farm managers and horse owners through site visits to help troubleshoot problems and improve pastures and horse health. This includes improving pastures through reseeding, fertility management, weed control, and grazing management; improving horse diets; and hay testing.
The Extension Service also provides equine programs on worming, pasture management, vaccinations, showmanship, and tack care. Between July 2016 and June 2017, the county 4-H and agriculture agents, as well as numerous community equine professionals and veterinarians, taught seven educational sessions to 4-H members and horse owners. Thirty-six repeat attendees learned valuable horse care information that improved health and safety of both horse and rider.
Through monthly educational meetings, 4-H horse club members build social and emotional skills like accountability, empathy, leadership, and confidence.
Beef Field Day
In Oldham County, pasture makes up 32% of available farmland and provides grazing for livestock. Livestock are important to Oldham County’s economy, with cattle alone representing over 2.4 million dollars in sales in 2012, according to the Census of Agriculture.
Because of the importance and prevalence of cattle production in the area, agriculture extension agents in Oldham, Trimble, Henry, and Shelby Counties have organized and held annual Regional Beef Field Days for farmers since 2005. These field days offer farmers an opportunity to see how production practices work on other farms. Field days also promote implementation of new practices that improve production efficiency while protecting natural resources, which are goals outlined in the county plan of work.
In 2016, this event was held at an Oldham County Farm. During the field day, 250 Louisville area producers attended and learned about:
- Heavy Use Feeding Areas and Other Conservation Practices that Protect Soil and Water
- Proper Handling Facilities to Minimize Animal Stress
- Good Herd Health Practices and Update on Antibiotics Use
Farms make up one-half of total land acreage in Oldham County.
“Looking at the handling facilities setup helped me decide on changes needed for my own system.”
– Oldham County farmer
Written by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant; Traci Missun, Oldham County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent; and Kelly Woods, Oldham County 4-H Youth Development Agent.