The following is from Tyler Lane, Chouteau County Extension Agent:   

            Have you ever been left home alone to manage the farm and ranch for a few days or hours? Have you been left to “watch” the cows during calving?  How about being left at home during fire season to watch the place although all the equipment for firefighting went to the local fire?   Do you know where the breaker boxes are, how to start the generator and where the propane/fuel shut off valves are if things should go wrong?  Could you handle issues with your water system?  Ever have a skunk in the window well or other varmints around the home and not have a clue as to how to get rid of them? 

            These and other issues farm/ranch women face will be the topic of a daylong, hands on workshop sponsored by the MSU Extension Chouteau County. The event will take place from 9:00-4:00 on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at the Ag Museum in Fort Benton, Montana.  Many times the one who knows the most about correcting farm/ranch operation dilemmas is the one who is gone when those dilemmas happen!  This event is designed to help those who are left home alone with skills, tools, and techniques for dealing with those problems.

            Beginning with Livestock 101, the workshop will cover working with cattle, cattle flight zones, recognizing calving stages and when intervention is needed and basic livestock care.  Firefighting 101 will address supplies to have on hand, safety and techniques for fighting grass fires, first step measures for structure fires, and developing a fire safety plan.  Power 101 will provide information related to breaker boxes, generator hook-up, and propane/fuel control.  Water 101 will deal with water shut off valves, water in winter, and water problem diagnosis.  Varmint Control 101 will give techniques to control and/or manage varmints from the littlest mouse to the wandering bear.  Farming 101 will teach safe handling and laundering of clothes contaminated with spray, safe chemical handling, and a brief overview of farm safety.  Rounding out all the technical aspects will be a short session on massage techniques, a panel discussion where farm and ranch wives will share their top three recommendations, and recipes for when you are the hired hand as well as the chief cook!!

            Presenters will be Jim Knight (MSU Wildlife Specialist), Mike Vogel ( MSU Housing and Environmental Quality Specialist), Travis Standley (MSU Extension Teton County), Linda Williams and Tyler Lane (MSU Extension Chouteau County).

PREREGISTRATION IS REQUESTED. More information is available through the Chouteau County Extension Office at 406-622-3751.

Montana State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.