Cross Timbers Land Management Symposium May 11, 2018

This event will highlight land management practices, opportunities that are available, and present a trade show, having vendors that are relative to land management in the Cross Timbers Area.

May 11, 2018
9:00am – 3:30pm
Registration @ 8:30am
City Hall
1907 E Washington
Stephenville, TX
$30 per person
Lunch will be provided

Contact your local County Extension Office for more information and to pre-register.

Bringing the latest information in the science and practices of brush management on rangelands to the Cross Timbers Area



Rain Barrel Harvesting Workshop – April 19, 2018

The Erath Texas AgriLife Extension Office and Erath County Master Gardener Interns will be hosting a

Rain Barrel Water Harvesting Workshop

Thursday, April 19, 2018

from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

The workshop will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center-

Corner of Highway 281 & Highway 8 in Stephenville.

Our guest speaker will be Dottie Woodson, Texas AgriLife Water Specialist.

The program will help participants learn about the benefits of rainwater harvesting. Building your own rainwater harvesting system to collect and utilize water.

The cost of the program will be $50.00 (includes barrel and supplies).

Please RSVP at the Erath County Extension Office.

254-965-1460 or

Water Well Owners Educational Event – April 24, 2018

Water Well Owners Educational Event

April 24, 2018

Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center

1229 N US Hwy 281 (corner of Hwy 281 & Lingleville Hwy)

Stephenville, TX

Pre-register for the workshop at  or call 979-845-1461

The training, which is free and open to the public, will be from 1-5 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 1229 N. US Highway 281. It is being offered to area private water well owners through collaboration with the Middle Trinity Groundwater Conservation District.

“The Texas Well Owner Network, or TWON, program is for Texas residents who depend on household wells for their water needs, so they can learn more about how to improve and protect their community water resources,” said Dr. Drew Gholson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist and TWON coordinator, College Station. “The program was established to help well owners become familiar with Texas groundwater resources, septic system maintenance, well maintenance and construction, and water quality and treatment.”

He said participants may bring well-water samples to the training for screening. The cost is $10 per sample, due when samples are turned in.

“Water samples will be screened for nitrates, total dissolved solids and bacteria,” Gholson said.

Well owners who would like to have their well water sampled can pick up two sample containers from the AgriLife Extension offices in Erath, Comanche, Bosque or Coryell counties.

Bringing water samples to the training is not required, Gholson said, but those wanting to have water samples analyzed must attend.

Gholson said space is limited, so attendees are requested to register at or by calling 979-845-1461 as soon as possible.

The training is one of several being conducted statewide through the Texas Well Owner Network project.

“The core content of this program is the same as other trainings, but the information is tailored to local water quality issues and aquifers,” Gholson said.

More than a million private water wells in Texas provide water to citizens in rural areas and increasingly to those living on small acreages at the growing rural-urban interface. Private well owners are independently responsible for monitoring the quality of their wells.

Texas Well Owner Network:

Instructions for Collecting and Submitting

Water Samples

Visit to view a video on how to take a sample.

  • Wash your hands.
  • Use a faucet as close to the well as possible for making the collection. If an inside faucet is used, remove the aerator on the end of the faucet before making the collection.
  • Rinse and dry the exterior of the faucet to prevent exterior contamination of your water sample. If possible, wipe off with a Chlorox-type towelette or paper towel wetted with a light bleach solution to kill any bacteria present on the faucet. Allow the solution to dry before sampling.
  • Turn on the water full force and let it run at full force for two minutes.
  • Reduce the water flow to a small stream.

 *** Fill both the bag AND the bottle***


  • This container has a line for 100 mL. Please fill the water slightly above 100 mL line and do not rinse the powder out of the container. It is there to neutralize chlorine. Unless your sample is collected in a sterile container and every precaution taken to avoid contamination, the results of the analysis may be without value.


  • Tear off the perforated strip above the yellow twist ties from the top of the bag. Grasp the small white tabs on the side of the water-sampling bag and pull the bag open (be careful not to touch the inside of the bag with your fingers).
  • Holding the bag by the yellow twist ties, fill the sampling bag three-fourths full and then twirl the bag top over bottom to close it. Some water may leak out, but don’t worry.  Tie the twist ties together.
  • Cost per sample is $10.00. *** Fill both the bag AND the bottle*** This is one sample

Submitting the Samples:

Refrigerate the sample and transport it to the workshop (in an ice chest) as soon after collection as possible (6 hours is best, but up to 24 hours).

Please Note: Samples should be collected within 24 hours before the training to ensure accurate results.

 Visit to register and for more information. 

Spring DOPA Training – April 10, 2018

On April 10, 2018, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Erath, Comanche and Hamilton Counties will host a Spring DOPA meeting. It will be held at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center on N. Hwy 281 in Stephenville.


5 DOPA Credits offered!

2 DOPA credits – Morning Session

3 DOPA credits – Afternoon Session

Agenda – Morning Session

9:30AM Registration
10:00 Weed Control, Herbicides & Potential Herbicide Residuals in Manure by James Jackson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Range Specialist
11:00 Liability Issues from Herbicide Residuals; Working with Neighbors by James D. Bradberry, PLLC
12:00 – Lunch

Agenda – Afternoon Session

1:00 Trucking Laws & Regulations Associated with Manure Hauling by Texas Department of Transportation
2:00 Air Emissions & Potential Reporting Rules & Requirements by Dr. Kenneth D. Casey, Air Quality Engineer, Texas A&M Research & Extension
3:00 Lagoon Treatment & Management Technology by Dr. Zong Liu, Assistant Professor & Extension Biological & Agricultural Engineering

Lunch & program provided for you
at no cost by our sponsors.
Please register by April 9th
254-965-1460 or

Dinner Tonight Cooking School – April 10, 2018

Save the Date for:

7th Annual Dinner Tonight Healthy Cooking School

AgriLife Extension, Erath, Comanche, Eastland, Hamilton, Hood, Parker & Stephens Counties presents:

WHEN: April 10 at 5:45 – 8 PM


WHERE: Cowboy Church of Erath County
4945 US 67
Stephenville, TX 76401

COST: $25

  • Gift Bags for each attendee containing Dinner Tonight cookbook, goodies from The Home Place, Texas Beef Council and more
  • Great doorprizes from The Home Place!
  • Last year was a hit, so we will have, again this year:
    • 15+ Food Vendors
    • lots of taste samples
    • healthy handouts
    • items available for purchase

5:45 PM – Doors Open!
Browse vendor booths and sample food items

7:00 PM – Cooking Demos by Extension Agents

Come again for a fun and exciting evening showcasing cooking tips, recipes, and ideas for families on the go!

Vendor samples and tasting begins at 5:45 with cooking demonstrations from 7:00-8:00 p.m.  There will be lots of door prizes and the coveted gift bags. Registration is limited to 200 participants.



or via phone at:
1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355)

If you are interested in being a vendor, contact Ellen Wells at

Download Vendor Application HERE.

Leadership Advisory Board Overview

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Erath County LAB Chair, Gary Sult gives a great overview of the purpose and mission of Leadership Advisory Boards in connection with local County Extension Agents.

4-H Food Challenge 2017

See District 8 4-H website for District contest info and complete Rules & Guidelines, scorecards, worksheets, and more helpful resources.

Erath County Food Show/Food Challenge Information

 Registration Deadline:  Thursday, November 9, 2017 by 5:00 p.m. – call or email –

254-965-1460 or


Food Challenge Food Show
·         Name of team and team member names/age group ·         Name of individual participant and age group
· $25 entry fee

Make sure you have enrolled for this

4-H year.


·         Category chosen: (Protein, Fruit & Vegetables, Grains, or Dairy)

·         Make sure you have enrolled for this

4-H year.


November 18 (Saturday) at Texas A&M Research and Extension Center – 1229 N US 281, Stephenville.


8:15-8:30                     Registration and Check-In – $25/team registration due

8:30-9:00                     Food Challenge Orientation for participants

 9:00                            Food Challenge Contest begins

 9:45                            Food Challenge Judging Begins

11:30 -12:00                Tentative Awards


FOOD SHOW – Theme – “Fresh from the Farm”

            9:00                             Registration and Check-In for Food Show participants

            9:30                             Food Show orientation for participants

            9:45                             Food Show Judging

            11:30-12:00                 Tentative Awards


Bonus Information

  1. Don’t forget the registration fee of $25.00 per team for COUNTY 4-H Food Challenge. 4-H Food Show has no registration fee – because no kit is required or food purchased ahead of time.  4-H Food Challenge contestants are provided a kit and food for the contest.
  2. Food Challenge: Check your kit and be sure you have all supplies as listed in the lid of the kit BEFORE you get to contest.
  3. Aprons are not a requirement, but very useful!
  4. If you are competing in both contests (Food Show and Food Challenge), be sure and ask for order of judging for Food Show at the beginning of contest. There will be a separate set of judges for Food Show and Food Challenge.
  5. Time table for each contest:
    1. Food Show4 minute presentation – youth introduces themselves and their dish. Describe inspiration in choosing the recipe and how it relates to the theme, “Fresh From the Farm.”  4 minute interview from judges asking questions applicable to the scorecard – basic nutrition, food safety, preparation, as well as project experiences.  It always helps to review the scorecard.  You will have 1 minute to serve the judges a portion of your dish.  You don’t have to bring the whole dish – a smaller portion is actually recommended.
    2. Food Challenge – 5 minutes for the presentation; 3 minutes for judge’s questions. Review the scorecard ahead of time.
  6. Parents can help kids into the county contest with kits, etc. but there is really no place to wait. Parents not allowed in competition room.  Feel free to come back around 11:30 for the awards.  😉
  7. Who advances to the District Contest in Belton on December 13 ????
    1. Food Challenge – the 1st and 2nd place teams from each age group– JR/INT/SR
    2. Food Show – the 1st place winner from each Food Show category (Protein, Fruits & Vegetable, Grains, and Dairy) from each age division – JR/INT/SR
  8. For complete set of rules for each contest:
    1. Food Challenge –
    2. Food Show –
  9. Practice recipes:
    1. Jr-Int practice recipes
    2. Sr practice recipes
    3. Powerpoint of 2014 Practice recipes
  10. Food Resource Guides
    1. Cooking in the Kitchen
    2. Explore Food Challenge
  11. See District 8 4-H website for District contest info and complete Rules & Guidelines, scorecards, worksheets, and more helpful resources.


Central Texas QuickBooks Pro Shortcourse – October 5, 2017

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QuickBooks Pro computer short-courses are taught in a single-day format, beginning at 9:00 A.M. and ending at 4:00 P.M.

The class registration fee is $50 which covers computer lease payments and teaching materials.  Couples are encouraged to attend and will be charged only one registration fee if they share a computer.  Class size for each course is limited to 15 so that individualized attention can be provided to all participants.


QuickBooks Pro is a double entry business accounting program often utilized by agricultural lenders and producers, as well as small business owners.  In this one-day course, participants use a case study to apply QuickBooks in a hands-on setting.  They learn how to develop cost and profit centers, enter transactions and create meaningful reports. Program tips are discussed throughout the workshop.  No prior computer experience is necessary.


For more information on this workshop, please contact Erath County Extension Office at 254-965-1460 or

To enroll, DOWNLOAD the registration form and send it to the address below.

Payment is due upon arrival.


Texas AgriLife Extension Office

Erath County

112 W. College Street – Room 109

Courthouse Annex

Stephenville, TX 76401

Youth Fair 2018

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It’s time to begin working on your projects for Youth Fair 2018.
Please read the rules carefully, as there are quite a few changes this year.

View the new Rules and Guidelines HERE.

Download the 2018 Youth Fair Entry Form HERE.


Youth Fair 2018


Friday, December 1, 2017 – ENTRIES and FEES DUE by 5:00 p.m.


Friday, December 1, 2017 – DEADLINE to submit digital photos (for all Photography entries)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 – Online JUDGING of photography entries


Friday, December 15, 2017Top 6 Photography winners in each age group and category contacted via email


Tuesday, January 2, 2018 QUALIFYING EVENT

  • 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.  –  Check-in for Arts & Crafts, and Shop Art
  • 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon  –  Judging
  • 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m.  –  Ribbons placed on 1st – 6th place items
  • 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.  –  Public viewing of items
  • 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. – All items must be picked up. Qualifying items (1st – 6th place) must be returned to the Fair on Friday, January 5th



  • 7:30 – 8:30 a.m.  –  Check-in of qualified items in Arts & Crafts, Shop Art, and Photography (1st – 6th place items)
  • 7:30-8:30 a.m. – Check in of all Foods category prior to judging
  • 8:30-10:00 – Judging of Foods Category with top 6 advancing to Silent Auction
  • 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  –  Silent Auction
  • 4:00 – 4:30 p.m. – Area closed to prepare for auction check out
  • 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. – Buyers must pay for and pick up items won in auction.
  • 6:00 p.m. – Any auction item NOT picked up will be taken to Extension Office and may be picked up Monday, January 8th.



Clover Kids: K-2 (non-competitive basis – participation ribbon only!)

Junior: 3rd – 5th grade

Intermediate: 6th – 8th grade

Senior: 9th – 12th grade



    • Entry fees are $5 per item.
    • Entry forms and fees due in the Extension Office on Friday, December 1st by 5:00 p.m.  No late entries accepted!
      • All photography entries must be submitted digitally by 5 pm on Friday, December 1st.
    • Entry fees must be paid at the County Extension Office via cash or check (payable to Erath 4-H.)
    • Only one entry per subcategory per exhibitor allowed.
    • All entries must be the original work of the exhibitor.
    • All entries must have been made within the past year by the 4-H member.
    • Entries can not have been entered in a previous Erath 4-H Youth Fair.
    • Entries must adhere to size requirements specified in each category.
    • During judging, names will not be displayed. Each entry will be given a number. Names will be displayed after judging is over.
    • ITEM INFO CARD must accompany  ALL items at check-in. (ITEM INFO CARDS must be filled out prior to Check-In!)
    • It  is your responsibility to read the new rules to this contest.
    • This is a 4-H Youth Fair open to 4-H members only.  There will be a standard academic eligibility check as in any 4-H competitive event.
    • All Youth Fair exhibitors are required to do at least one of the following:
      • Help set up on December 12 @ 3:00 p.m.
      • Help clean up on January 11 @ 3:00 p.m.
      • Sell raffle tickets on Friday, January 5 (all day)


  • Sign-in sheets will be checked to confirm participation in at least one of the activities listed above before prize money is distributed.




  • Monetary prizes will be awarded to 1st – 3rd place in each category.  
  • Ribbons will be awarded to the top 6 places.
  • Best of Show will be awarded in each Division (Foods, Arts & Crafts, Photography & Shop Art). Best of Show winners will receive a rosette based on overall best appearance and most unique presentation.
  • Monetary prize amounts will be dependent on number of entries and sponsors.
  • Youth prize money will NOT be available the day of the event.  Money can be picked up at the Extension office between January 12 and February 6.  Any prize money left at the office after Feb. 6 reverts to the 4-H Youth Fair account.


  • ONLY 1st – 6th place items qualify to participate in the Silent Auction.
  • Lower placing items (beginning with 7th place) may get bumped up to qualify for Silent Auction if any 1st – 6th place exhibitors choose not to participate in the Silent Auction.
  • Silent Auction will be held on Friday, January 5th from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Buyers must pay for and pick up items between 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. on Friday.
  • Proceeds from silent auction will go to the youth who entered the item.
  • Youth must write a thank you note to their buyer and bring it, or a copy, (or email a pic) to the Extension Office prior to receiving their proceeds from the auction.
  • Any silent auction money left at the office after Feb. 6 reverts to the 4-H Youth Fair account.


The following volunteered to serve as superintendents:

  • General Superintendent – DeAnna Powell
    • Responsible for overseeing placement of items, security, check-in, silent auction check out, etc.
  • Arts & Crafts – Emily McLemore
  • Foods – Kristi Adams
  • Photography – Elizabeth Starnes
  • Shop Art – Amber Parks

Category Superintendents are responsible for:

  • Overseeing check-in, placement and display of items in their category
  • Reviewing items at check-in to confirm proper category/sub-category/age group placement, adherence to rules & guidelines, including size limitations, etc.
  • Overseeing placement of ribbons in their category
  • Coordinating silent auction pick ups
  • Working with General Superintendent to secure judges for their category




  • All Arts & Crafts items will be judged on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.
  • Items must be checked in between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2nd.
  • All items must be picked up between 4:00 – 6:00 p.m on Tuesday.
  • ONLY 1st – 6th place items qualify to participate in the Silent Auction.
  • Lower placing items (beginning with 7th place) may get bumped up to qualify for Silent Auction if any 1st – 6th place exhibitors choose not to participate in the Silent Auction.
  • 1st – 6th place items must be checked in on Friday between 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. for Public Viewing and optional Silent Auction.
  • All Silent Auction items that did not sell must be picked up on Friday between 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.




  • Drawings – all hand created with pencil or paint brush art work. Work created with charcoal or pencil need to be sprayed with a fixative so that the pieces don’t smear. Paintings MUST be completely dry. All artwork needs to be matted or on stretched canvas. Size limitations: no work larger than 18 inches x 24 inches, including the mat.
  • Fashion Storyboards – storyboards contain an original design illustration, design flats and additional materials such as design inspirations, fabric swatches, trims and other design details. Storyboards should be no larger than 20” x 30” and should be displayed on foam or mat board. Do not use poster board. Please follow the Texas 4-H Storyboard guidelines.
  • Textiles – includes any item made from cloth, fiber, leather, etc. Please state on your entry card if you created your item from a pattern or if this was a freeform creation.
  • Open – for any arts and craft items that are created but do not  fit in the above categories. This could include, but is not limited to, recycled projects, floral arrangements, 3-D art, candles, paper crafts, or items made from household materials like Legos, popsicle sticks, straws, clay, mason jars, soap, etc. Open items are divided into 2 categories:
    • Open Smallitems that are up to 24 inches in total measurements. Meaning you add length plus depth plus width. For example, a recycled project from spoons might be 10 length plus 8 width plus 2 depth for a total of 20 inches.
    • Open Largeitems that are up to 48 inches in total measurements. For example: a decorative scarecrow might be 30 inches tall plus 10 inches wide plus 8 inches in depth. This would total 48 inches.



  • All Food items will be judged on Friday, Jan. 5th.
  • Items must be checked in from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. on Friday.  
  • Judging from 8:30-10:00.  
  • Top 6 placings from each age group will be placed in silent auction unless otherwise instructed or unless item is perishable.
  • All food items must be made from scratch. No mixes allowed!
  • All food items must include the recipe used to make the item.
  • All food entries must include a judge’s sample on a separate plate covered with plastic wrap.
  • Due to space, all food basket entries, (including judge’s sample) must fit in a 14” x 18” space.  (Height not an issue) Those larger than that will be disqualified. Please plan accordingly.
  • For food safety reasons, perishable food items will NOT be permitted in the silent auction and must be picked up by participant immediately following judging.
  • See definition of perishable + other food safety FAQs at:
  • All Silent Auction items that did not sell must be picked up on Friday between 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.


  • Desserts (brownies, drop cookies, bar cookies, cakes, pies, candy, etc.)
  • Decorated Cakes – can use fondant, frosting tips, etc.
  • Snacks – trail mix, granola, fruit leather, jerky, etc.
  • Food Baskets (creative container with at least one homemade item such as bread, salsa, etc).  Due to space, all baskets must fit in a 14” x 18” square.  (Height not an issue) Those larger than that will be disqualified.  This area will also include sample for judges.  Please plan accordingly.



  • All photography entries must be submitted digitally by 5 pm on Friday, December 1st. They will be judged prior to Youth Fair.
  • To submit your photos, email them (one photo per email) to Be sure to include
    • Name of youth
    • Age group
    • Photography category
  • 1st – 6th place winners will be notified via email by Friday, December 15th.
  • 1st – 6th place winners must bring their photos (printed at 8”x 10” size) for Public Viewing and (optional) Silent Auction on Friday, January 5th.
  • 1st – 6th place items must be checked in on Friday between 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. for Public Viewing and optional Silent Auction.
  • All Silent Auction items that did not sell must be picked up on Friday between 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.




    • Animals – photos with an animal emphasis
    • Details & Macro – extremely close-up photos; small details that suggest a larger story
    • Nature and Landscapes – landscapes, outdoor scenic, nature images, sunsets, urban landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and farms. Images focus on the beauty of the outdoors.
    • People – focus of photo is one or more persons  (Must include release from featured person(s))
    • Catch All – photos that don’t fit into any other category, such as night photography, marine, food, elements of design, dominant color, plant/flora, storyboard, etc.


  • Western Heritage of Texas – Represents and/or expresses the spirit and semblance of North American Western Culture.




  • All Shop Art items will be judged on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018.
  • Items must be checked in between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2nd.
  • All items must be picked up between 4:00 – 6:00 p.m on Tuesday.
  • 1st – 6th place items must be checked in on Friday between 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. for Public Viewing and optional Silent Auction.
  • All Silent Auction items that did not sell must be picked up on Friday between 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.


  • Woodworking – items made from wood (bookends, shelves, birdhouses, wood carving, etc.)
  • Plasma Metal Art – items made from metal using a plasma cutter/welder
  • Traditional Metal Art – items made from metal using a mig, or stick/arc welder
  • Open – items made using other materials, (pvc pipe, wire, rubber, etc.), or a combination of materials

Erath Pasture to Packer Program 2017 – 2018

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We are now accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Pasture to Packer Program.

Applications (including loan applications) need to be completed and in the Extension office by August 26, 2017.

Download P2P Application.   Download Loan Application.

The program, offered through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Erath County and Erath 4-H, is designed to teach youth:

  • the economic and production facets of an agricultural project
  • valuable leadership skills.
  • loan application process
  • marketing strategies

After acceptance to the program, the participants begin working with Lone Star Ag Credit, to request their loan for their animal cost and feed.  They will learn

  • the proper way to fill out a loan application
  • how to work thru a projected cash flow
  • record book requirements

In September, participants select steers from a pre-sorted group of commercial calves weighing between   700 – 750 pounds.  After selection, they participate in processing their calf, while learning

  • chute-side manner
  • vaccination protocols
  • animal health and diseases

The participants will have their calves on feed for 150 days.  They will have to keep records on feed performance and cost associated with the project.  Each participant will have a check-in and weigh-in on the project at various times throughout the feeding period.

During the feeding period, the group will participate in educational seminars focusing on

  • marketing
  • nutrition
  • animal husbandry
  • meat science

Erath Pasture to Packer Program has partnered with Tarleton State University Meat Department to harvest the cattle in February 2018.

Youth will bring their animals together for a live evaluation at the conclusion of the feeding program.  After the cattle are harvested, the participants will learn about carcass quality, grading and cuts of meat.  They will then be responsible for marketing their carcass. The proceeds of the carcass sales will be used to pay back the loan.

In April, the awards banquet is held to

  • recognize the youth, sponsors, and volunteers
  • present awards to the winners of each category in each age group
  • present trophy buckles to the Champion and Reserve Champion winners in each age group
  • celebrate while sharing a beef dinner

This program gives the participants full responsibility from the purchasing decision to the marketing.

If you are someone you know is interested in participating in this year’s Pasture to Pasture Program, contact the Erath Extension Office for more information at 254-965-1460 or

Download P2P Application.   Download Loan Application.

Applications (including loan applications) need to be completed and in the Extension office by August 26, 2017.

This program is not designed to profit the child a great deal in a monetary sense.  It is designed to give them a very valuable hands-on, learning experience—from bank visits, to daily care of their cattle, combined with the marketing side and industry knowledge of where and how our food is processed.