Thursday, October 27, 2016

FAWN Sixth Graders Write Thank You Notes

Click this link to see all the FAWN thank you letters.

Winston County Designated as Extreme Drought County, Livestock Producers to get Assistance

Winston County has been designated as suffering from an extreme drought also known as (D3) by the U. S. Drought Monitor.  This means that livestock producers will be eligible for the Livestock Forage Disaster Program through the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  This program is to compensate livestock producers for grazing losses during the drought.  This compensation can be used to purchase hay and feed to substitute for lost grazing.

The FSA will begin accepting applications on November 1 and continue until January 30, 2017.  Producers will need to have their livestock inventory on hand as of August 26, 2016.  Specifically, they will need the number of adult cows, bulls, and bred heifers, and the number of heifers and young bulls over 500 pounds.  Goats and sheep, and some other kinds of grazing livestock are also eligible.  Horses used for breeding and for sale may be eligible, however, those used for recreation, pleasure, or show are not.  The producer should have any sales tickets for livestock that were sold after August 26, 2016.

Leased acreage must have a signed written lease agreement, even if no rent is charged on the pasture.  The FSA has a sample lease form that may be used for this purpose.  The grazing acreage should be identified on an aerial photograph.  If the grazing acreage was not certified by November, 2015, then there will be a $46 late filing fee per farm.

If the producer has not previously signed up on other FSA programs, he or she will need their Social Security number, mailing address, phone number, email address, and a blank voided check to sign up for direct deposit.  The FSA recommends that producers call the office before visiting in person, so that they can pull some of the required documents prior to the visit.

For more information on the Livestock Forage Disaster Program, please call the Farm Service Agency at (205) 921-3103, ext 2.

Estate Planning Seminar to be held in Double Springs

Alabama Cooperative Extension System is currently offering free seminars on estate planning. Many people may not know what estate planning is or why it is important.  Estate planning is important for individuals who wish to have some control over transferring property before and after his/her death.  With proper planning, families can avoid many of the problems associated with dividing a family member’s assets.

If you are interested in learning more about 1)  How to Make an Informed Decision by Avoiding Investment Fraud;  2)  Alabama’s Plan for Your Estate,  3)  Documents in An Estate Plan, and  4)  Should I make a Will or Trust.  Please plan to attend this free seminar on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the Traders and Farmers Bank Bernice Hilton Walker Building, upstairs room, located at 64 Main Street, in Double Springs.

Dr. Robert Tufts, Estate Planning Attorney and Auburn University Professor, will present information and answer questions relating to estate planning topics.  Call the Winston County Extension Office at (205) 489-5376 to pre-register for this free seminar no later than noon on October 31st, due to limited seating.  Refreshments will be provided for all participants.  This program is being sponsored by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Traders and Farmers Bank.  For more information, contact Pat W. Smith, Regional Extension Agent at 256-710-7706 or e-mail:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Camp McDowell Tour

Maggie Johnston hosted the Winston County Natural Resources Council on a tour of the Camp McDowell at our last council meeting.  Here's a few photos from the tour, but there are more at this link.  Thanks to Maggie for taking time to show us around, updating us on the new programs such as the Magnolia Nature School and the McDowell Farm School, and for providing our lunch.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October Council Meeting

The October meeting of the Council will be a field trip to Camp McDowell.  Our plan is to meet at the U. S. Forest Service office and carpool to the camp.  We will depart from the Forest Service office at 9:30 a.m., on Thursday, October 20.  If you would prefer, you can drive directly to Camp McDowell and meet us at the welcome center at 10:00 a.m.

At present, I have the following individuals signed up to attend:
Mike Henshaw, Kerri Roberts, Wade Hill, Blake Addison, Johnna Franks, Andy Baril, John Creed, Travis McDonald, Matt Brock, Jeremy McDonald, and Casey Hammack.

After the tour, we will eat lunch at the camp, and we need to let them know how many folks we will have.  If you would like to attend and are not listed, please let me know as soon as possible.

Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday.

Mike Henshaw, Secretary

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Game Check Seminar

A Game Check Seminar was held in Double Springs on October 11, 2016.  21 hunters and several other Department of Conservation and Natural Resources officials.  Matt Brock, North AL Private Lands Technical Assistance Biologist, with the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, taught the seminar about the new mandatory Game Check.

To see more photos, click on this link: