What is the WSU Livestock Advisor Program?
WSU Livestock Advisors are trained and certified members of a volunteer program that is sponsored by Washington State University Extension. The program assists WSU Extension in providing information to livestock producers on raising, breeding, and housing livestock using the best farm management practices. The demand for such information has grown rapidly in recent years and the methods of delivery have diversified.
Who can become a Livestock Advisor?
Anyone with an interest in livestock and the desire and enthusiasm to learn, and then share their knowledge with the community, can apply to become a certified WSU Extension Livestock Advisor. The only limitation is the time available to the applicant and space in the class.
The first time commitment is the 60 hours of animal science training. The second requirement is the 50 hours of volunteer time the new Livestock Advisor contributes to the program over two years.
Commitments to continue as a certified Livestock Advisor after the first two years are reduced to 20 hours of volunteer service and 5 hours of advanced training per year. Many Livestock Advisors considerably exceed the minimum.
What training are the Livestock Advisors given?
The training sessions cover a variety of subjects such as poultry, sheep, beef, swine, horse, rabbits, goats, vertebrate pest management, nutrition, water quality, and mud management. Other areas also taught are pasture management and organic farming.
The trainees receive a course outline and free extension publications as well. A take-home quiz is given on each major subject matter area to verify that the new Livestock Advisors are ready to serve as resource people in the community.
Livestock Advisor training is held in the evenings on Wednesdays from 6:00 – 9:00 PM for 12 weeks. Past training locations include the University Train Station in Everett and the WSU Skagit County Extension office in Burlington. Training is held annually, usually in the fall.
Who decides what each Livestock Advisor will do?
Each Livestock Advisor Volunteer must complete a total of 50 hours of volunteer service in the first two years. This includes each new Livestock Advisor spending a minimum of 15 hours at the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe staffing the Livestock Advisor Foundation Petting Farm.
The remaining activity hours during the first year, and in subsequent years, are fairly flexible, as long as they are an accepted part of the WSU Extension Livestock Education Program. Activities for volunteers include writing and editing articles for our web page, giving talks and demonstrations to groups in the community, and staffing booths at fairs and civic events, making presentations at Small Farm Workshops, returning phone queries on livestock issues and making farm visits.
What is in the Livestock Advisor Program for me?
Serving the public through this program is very satisfying to most volunteer Livestock Advisors. Many of them stay with the program year after year providing depth and continuity to the program as well as keeping themselves up-to-date on the latest research and gardening information.
As a WSU Extension Livestock Advisor you will meet many other people who share a mutual interest in livestock, increase your public relations skills, and acquire information and develop abilities that will prove useful to you in a variety of situations. You will develop and increase confidence in your capacity as a livestock raiser and problem-solver. You will learn, and help others learn, practices that are safer for the environment. You will have access to all the latest research-based information pertaining to livestock management, too
How do I apply?