David Dugan is the ANR educator for Adams County. David conducts training and programming primarily in beef production and other livestock, tobacco education and good agricultural practices, pesticide and fertilizer training, and forage production. This part of the state has many other facets of agriculture, including wine-grape production, corn, soybeans, forestry, and more.
Adams County has 1,351 farms with an average of 128 acres that totaled $38,906,000 in income in 2012, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service. This is generated from nearly 24,000 acres producing more than $11 million from soybeans, nearly $7.9 million from 16,500 acres of corn, and more than $2.8 million from tobacco production. On the livestock side, Adams County has 25,500 head of cattle that produced more than $7.8 million and more than $3 million from milk.
In 2014, David helped plan and teach at the Small Farm Colleges that were attended by 63 persons. Surveys indicated 45% of the participants represented female, minority, or socially disadvantaged farmers, and 78% were new clientele to Extension programming. The average farm size was 76 acres with average ownership of 12 years. Post-program surveys indicated 63% of the participants developed or changed their farm use plan after attending these colleges.
David provides education and training for tobacco producers in southern Ohio. Various local producers have cooperated with OSU Extension, in cooperation with tobacco specialists from the University of Kentucky, to do some on-farm field demonstrations and field nights. In 2014, tobacco producers are required to be GAP (Good Agricultural Practices)-certified as part of their marketing contract. David conducted multiple sessions in which 313 growers were certified.
Improving crop and forage profitability is a (now graduated) signature program of OSU Extension. Local programs help producers improve their yields and adopt management strategies to improve profitability. David provided information on forage utilization, hay quality, and matching forage resources to animal needs. David also initiated an herbicide research plot to control spiny amaranth in pastures. Emphasis within the Ohio Valley Extension Education and Research Area has focused on forage production and management. A field night at Jackson OARDC was attended by 138 persons. According to pre/post surveys, participants indicated they increased their knowledge 14% on 10 topics relative to weed control in forages, fence construction, and low stress beef cattle handling taught by David.