Ag Notes: Agri-tourism workshops can help jump start business plans

April 06, 2004|JERRY LITTLE

Agri-tourism is a hot commodity for Kentucky farm families. This is a way to add value to your business as well as diversify the agriculture operation.

The Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and the Small Business Development Corp. are joining forces to sponsor agri-tourism How-to Workshops in Frankfort and Somerset. This is open to anyone interested in starting an agri-tourism business or learning more about expanding an idea. The first series, "Jump Start Your Business Plan," begins April 13 at the Franklin County extension office in Frankfort. The same program will be repeated April 15 at the Pulaski County extension office in Somerset.

The two locations at different parts of the state will allow more people to participate plus make it more convenient. Participants may chose the date and place that best fits their schedule.

The working business plan is one of the most critical tools any small business can use to ensure a successful venture. These workshops will provide participants an opportunity to put together individual business plans. The second most important task of a business is "Tell It and Sell It."


A marketing your agri-tourism business workshop is scheduled April 28 in Somerset.

Presenters for the marketing sessions include: Todd Cassidey, Kentucky Tourism, and Angie Wolf, state Department of Transportation. Tourism marketing assistance will be provided by the West Kentucky Cooperative Kentucky Travel Development, state Department of Agriculture and Kentucky Tourism.

Registration forms with more information, program times, costs and directions to the extension offices in Frankfort and Somerset are available at the Boyle County Extension Office. Give us a call at (859) 236-4484 or stop by the office at 446 North Danville Bypass.

This is a wonderful opportunity to get a lot of information and network with people who are on the cutting edge of Agri-tourism.

Fertilize the lawn with nitrogen

At the first sign of green grass in the spring, it's tempting to dust off the fertilizer spreader to apply nitrogen to the lawn. If you applied nitrogen late last fall or winter there's no need to apply nitrogen this spring because the lawn already should be starting to green up.

Applying nitrogen now also will make grass less heat and drought tolerant and cause more problems with weeds and diseases. Weeds compete with grass for moisture and nutrients.

But if you did not fertilize the lawn last fall, applying nitrogen this spring will be beneficial because it will green the lawn and make it look better for a few weeks.

Spring fertilization causes such fast top growth you have to mow every four to five days in April and May.

Cutting several inches of top growth at one time creates excess clippings that smother the grass below, or must be bagged and added to the landfill.

Frequent mowing may serve as a reminder that a fall nitrogen application is much better for your lawn and you.

Although early spring usually is not the best time to apply nitrogen, it is the right time to apply a pre-emergence herbicide for persistent crabgrass problems. Since a pre-emergence herbicide only is effective before crabgrass germinates be sure to apply it prior to mid-April and before crabgrass germinates and begins to compete with your grass.

Apply a post-emergence herbicide to control broadleaf weeds such as dandelion, chickweed, henbit, wild strawberry and ground ivy. Broadleaf weeds must be actively growing for the herbicide to work.

Don't spray when the wind is blowing or the temperature is 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit because you could damage other plants in the yard or garden.

If it's too hot for a general application, spot treat broadleaf weeds with a ready-mix form or aerosol product.

Church mice

Three pastors met and were talking over conditions at their churches.

The first pastor said, "You know, since summer started, I've been having trouble with mice in my church. I've tried everything - noise, cats, spray - nothing seems to scare them away."

The second pastor said, "Yeah, my church too. There are hundreds of them living in the church basement. I've set traps and even called in an expert exterminator. Nothing has worked so far."

The third pastor said, "I've had the same problem. So I baptized all mine and made them members of the church. Haven't seen one of them since."

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