Search for Excellence in Livestock Production

Henry Bignell, Jr.
Sr. Program Coordinator
Rutgers Cooperative Extension NJAES

Bamka, W.J.*1, , Komar, S.J.*2, , Westendorf, M. L.*3, , Williams, C.A.*4, , Bignell, Jr., H.*5,
1 County Agent II, Rutgers University, Mount Holly, NJ, 08060
2 Agricultural Agent, Rutgers University, Newton, NJ, 07860
3 Specialist in Animal Science, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
4 Specialist in Equine Management, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901
5 Sr. Program Coordinator, Rutgers Cooperative Extension NJAES, Belvidere, NJ, 07823

New Jersey is ranked number 46 in the USA for livestock and poultry production which is comprised of about 10% of the total amount of agricultural products produced and sold in the state (2017 Census of Agriculture). There is a lot of potential for livestock production in the state of NJ. The livestock industry in NJ consists of producers raising beef and dairy cattle, poultry, eggs, sheep and goats. These farms vary in acreage, size of herd, level of management expertise, and resources. The livestock industry also helps and supports the demand of the state’s field crop production. In response to Covid 19, our in person workshops switched to virtual web based programs which reached producers throughout the state of NJ. The objective of this livestock production program was to increase knowledge of pasture production, manure management, and animal husbandry practices to livestock producers in NJ. The program activities included nine, one and half hour webinars on Webex. The online presentations were presented by the team members of the Rutgers Animal Ag/ Field and Forages working group. There were a total of 290 producers who attended the webinars. Participants were sent a post survey 6- 9 months after to determine if producers adopted practices taught in these classes. 75% of the attendees that answered the survey noted increased knowledge gain from the webinars. 64 % stated they changed production practices based off the programs. 100% said they incorporate information from the series into their farm production plan. The impact of this program was to reach more livestock producers throughout the state of NJ while also promoting the awareness and benefits of best management practices for livestock production.