Last fall, Exmark donated a Lazer Z HP 28hp EFI 60-inch deck zero-turn riding mower to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for the National Future Farmers of America Convention, which was held in Louisville. More than 55,000 students attended the annual FFA Convention.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture also uses the Lazer Z to teach farm safety, both on the local and national levels. Dobson travels to various high schools throughout Kentucky, teaching the proper way to use heavy equipment, and he attends more than 110 shows per year.
The Lazer Z is preferred 2 to 1 by landscape professionals as the commercial, zero-turn, riding mower of choice. In recent years, many homeowners with larger properties are choosing the professional grade Exmark Lazer Z to cut their mowing time in half.
"Safety is our top priority at Exmark, and we want to ensure that everyone who uses one of our mowers is properly trained to use it," said Mark Stinson, President and General Manager at Exmark. "We're happy to play a part in such a vital training program from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture."
Beekeeping meetings coming to Kentucky
Beginning beekeepers can pick up valuable troubleshooting tips in a class April 22 in Frankfort.
The class is one of three educational opportunities for beekeepers coming up in Kentucky in the next three months.
The April 22 session will begin at 1 p.m. EDT at the Kentucky State University farm. Beginners will be instructed on how to deal with bee diseases, mites, swarming and other beekeeping problems.
The class is free, and registration is not required.
Participants are advised to bring their own bee veils and be prepared to observe beekeeping techniques.
Beginning and intermediate classes will be offered at the Allen County Beekeepers Association's spring field day May 13 at the home of Gordon and Bobbie Vernon near Scottsville. The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants are advised to bring bee suits, veils, smokers and a bag lunch. The Allen County Beekeepers Association will provide chips and soft drinks.
Dr. James Ellis of the University of Georgia will be the keynote speaker at the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association's summer conference June 16-17 at the KSU farm near Frankfort. The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. both days.
For more information on these educational opportunities and other beekeeping subjects, contact State Apiarist Phil Craft at (502) 564-3956 or email@example.com.
Simple steps can help
avoid tent caterpillar infestation
Now that April's here, Kentucky homeowners can look forward to budding trees, blooming flowers - and the arrival of thousands of hungry Eastern tent caterpillars taking residence on their lawn plants.
"The first insect people are going to notice in their yards this year is the tent caterpillar," said University of Kentucky entomologist Dan Potter.
These are the bugs that build silky nests in ornamental plants like crab apple, cherry, peach and plum trees.
"When these trees are flowering, they?re the hosts tent caterpillars like," Potter said.
The Eastern tent caterpillars can munch away the leaves and buds fairly quickly, he said.
"Tent caterpillars will rarely kill a tree, but they will defoliate one. The trees usually can recover," he said.
Still, the damage they inflict can reduce the attractive appearance of yard trees, so homeowners may want to take a few steps.
"There are a couple of easy things to do. One is to take a garden hose and spray the nests with high pressure. Do this two or three nights in a row, and that should take care of the problem," Potter said.
"Another thing is to take a plastic grocery bag, put your hand in it like a mitten, then scoop the silky tent off the tree and throw it away. Use it the same way you'd use a bag to pick up dog feces," he said.
"You should do either of these actions just after sunset, when the caterpillars have returned to their tent nests from feeding," he said.
Potter cautioned against using bare hands to pick up tent caterpillars.
"Their bodies are covered with tiny quills that will come off on your hands and fingers. If you rub your eyes, these quills can cause real irritation," Potter said.