Printed on: September 03, 2013

Agriculture, horticulture courses offered to public

By NATE SUNDERLAND
nsunderland@postregister.com

ST. ANTHONY -- Becoming a better steward -- be it a small garden or 1,000-acre field -- is the goal of new agriculture and horticulture courses taught by the University of Idaho Fremont County Extension Office.

"A lot of people call us for information about specific topics such as weed management ... or property leases," extension instructor Lance Ellis said. "Addressing these issues in a big class is a great way to reach out and help a lot of people with fewer personnel."

The classes, open to farmers and nonfarmers alike, are taught year-round. The extension will hold two courses this month.

Land and Farm Succession Planning will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept 14 at the extension office, 19 W. First North in St. Anthony. The cost to enroll is $35 for the first family member and $10 for each additional family member.

The course deals with estate planning for landowners, and topics include dividing assets, succession and forestry management.

"We want to help farmers be able to plan to pass their estates to their children and keep them viable so (the farm) doesn't collapse in the process," Ellis said.

A second course, Profitable Home Orcharding, is scheduled at 6 p.m. Sept 18 at the Brigham Young University-Idaho fruit orchards next to the Thomas E. Ricks building in Rexburg. The cost of the outdoor course is $15 per person and includes a tour of the orchard and apple-variety taste testing. Ellis and a horticulturist from Twin Falls will teach the course.

"We'll be doing a full walk-through -- insect control, pruning, irrigation, fertilization and pollination -- basically everything you need to know about managing an orchard and varieties of apples," Ellis said.

The Fremont Extension Office also plans to hold a weed management class in October. All class locations are subject to change. For class information, contact Ellis at the Extension Office, (208) 624-3102.

Nate Sunderland can be reached at 542-6763.