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To Grow Alabama's Agriculture, Agribusiness, Forestry,
& Forest Products Industry
4-H & Youth Program Impacts
4-Hinnovators - 80% of the fastest growing occupations depend on mathematics and scientific knowledge. Alabama 4-H developed a web-based STEM curriculum that is now offered nationally. More than 8,000 students have participated in the first two years of the program. 50% of the students that completed the program understood basic engineering design processes, and 25% would consider careers in engineering.
4-H Science School - More than 3,000 students each year participate in experiential environmental education on more than 200 acres of forests, trails, and waterfront. In 2016, urban student participation increased by 42%, female participation by 25%, and African American student participation by 22%.
AG & Natural Resources Impacts
Avian Influenza - More than a year in advance of the 2017 avian influenza outbreak, Alabama Extension led the development of a unified state response plan. When the crisis emerged, the plan was already in place. All groups offered a unified, science-based message of transparency that continues to shape public understanding of the incident. Response plan news coverage topped 55 million viewers.
Families and Communities Impacts
Alabama Drought - Extension implemented the coordinated website www.AlabamaDrought.com. It includes information from a recently published iBook titled Climate and Crops and features management options for the state's five major crops based on proven weather patterns. Alabama Extension material quickly became the central point of information for state agencies and organizations.
Oyster Farming - The 2016 oyster harvest exceeded $1 million, thanks to Extension programs that helped start 13 commercial oyster operations in the past 8 years. The Return on Investment is 12 to 1.
Storm Water Mitigation - More than 33.5 trillion gallons of water move through Alabama's 14 river basins and coastal drainage areas. Of that, 19.5 trillion gallons are surface water runoff. Alabama Extension created for communities a storm water mitigation plan packaged in an iBook. In its first year, the iBook has been used by 41% of the Alabama regulated storm water communities.
Return on Investment
Beef Basics - Alabama Extension designed a digital learning experience for beginning beef producers that included online courses and an iBook. In the first year, 430 beef producers participated with an average herd size of 30 cows. Graduates reported an average savings of $93 per head for a total of $321,408. With just $6,007 in staff costs and travel, the program has a Return on Investment of 53 to 1.
Forage Production and Management - Regional Extension agents hosted more than 80 workshops for livestock producers across the state. The information was critical during a year of escalating drought. Thanks to timely management information, participants reported $116.9 million in additional income and savings. With just $30,817 in staff costs and travel, the program has a Return on Investment of 5,415 to 1.
2016 Armyworm Scouting - Armyworms will annihilate pastures in a matter of hours. Early control, especially during a drought, can help preserve precious forage. Thanks to Extension, ranchers used sweep nets to scout for armyworms, saving more than $6 million in livestock feed. With staff and travel costs of $3,560, the Return on Investment is 1,713 to 1.
Women in Ag - 31 female cattle producers participated in a beef farm management program. With an average farm size of 122 acres and 93 head of cattle, the group reported $214,144 savings in production costs. Extension staff time and travel for this program totaled $2,280. The Return on Investment is 94 to 1.
Subsurface Drip Irrigation - The Wiregrass Research and Extension Center documented the promise of 1 ton per acre of additional peanut production. If just 10 producers implement the technology, the value of additional peanut production would top $11 million. Return on Investment is 210 to 1.
Beef Cattle Improvement Association Feeder Calf Sales-44 beef producers added value to their livestock by collaborative marketing. Earning $126.12 over market value per steer and $143.47 per heifer, the program helped earn $826,269.85 in additional income. With $33,967 in staff and travel costs, the program has a Return on Investment of 24 to 1.