MSU Extension in Flathead County offers educational opportunities
Emily Glunk, MSU Extension forage specialist at Montana State University, demonstrated best management practices for maintaining superior pastures for livestock production. The workshop was hosted by a Flathead County horse owner in their pasture and attended by over 30 residents. Attendees learned how to identify grasses and weeds, how to use a measuring stick to know when to move animals on and off a pasture, and how to design fences that maximize forage use. Evaluations demonstrated that attendees learned information that they would put to use immediately to remedy problems on their own land.
A beginner beekeeping workshop was offered to residents wanting to learn how to start a hobby beehive. Speakers from Western Bee, the Montana Department of Agriculture and the University of Montana Master Beekeeping program presented an all-day class on a number of topics ranging from bee biology, to a year in the hive, how to assemble a beehive and how to diagnose diseases in the colony. Over 50 people attended this February workshop. This was the second workshop in the series and with over 150 people total participating, the risk of disease spreading to commercial apiaries is greatly reduced.
Montana State University Extension Flathead County agent Pat McGlynn, along with master gardeners, answered gardening questions at the third annual “Free the Seeds” event at the Flathead Valley Community College. Over 1,600 participants attended workshops, swapped seeds and gathered information from the master gardeners. The attendees felt more comfortable saving seed, transplanting, selecting varieties and testing for germination rates after the event.
McGlynn continued to teach about proper pasture management at a yak camp in May and at a backcountry horsemen meeting in April. McGlynn taught basic plant physiology to schoolteachers at Cayuse Prairie and Bigfork Middle School. McGlynn gave a research update at the Annual Flathead Cherry Grower meeting and the Annual Montana Grape and Winery Association meetings in April. Acting as a guide at the annual Forestry Expo in Columbia Falls, McGlynn taught tree identification to area fifth graders.
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