Jeff Fisher serves as the ANR educator for Pike County. He provides agricultural resource assistance to Pike County producers in farm management such as developing farm leases, negotiating cash rents, enterprise analysis and budgeting. Pike County agricultural sales have increased to $23.4 million. Agronomic topics include pesticide training and recertification, planting recommendations, and weed identification. A soybean limitation study helps identify factors such as disease and pests to ultimately help improve yield. Livestock producers receive assistance with ration balancing, developing herd health programs, quality assurance training, and marketing strategies. Many farm visits help horticultural producers resolve crisis situations relative to plant disease, spray drift, and insect control
In 2014, Jeff also planned and taught at two Small Farm Colleges that were attended by 63 people. Surveys indicated 45% of the participants represented female, minority, or socially disadvantaged farmers, and 78% were new clientele to Extension programming. The average farm size was 76 acres, with average ownership of 12 years. Post-program surveys indicated 63% of the participants developed or changed their farm use plan after attending these colleges.
Improving Crop and Forage Profitability is a signature program of OSU Extension. Local programs help producers improve their yields and adopt management strategies to improve profitability. Jeff provided information on forage utilization, hay quality, and matching forage resources to animal needs. Jeff initiated an herbicide research plot to control spiny amaranth in pastures. Emphasis within the Ohio Valley Extension Education and Research Area has focused on forage production and management. A field night at Jackson OARDC was attended by 138 people. According to pre/post surveys, participants indicated they increased their knowledge 14% on 10 topics relative to weed control in forages, fence construction, and low stress beef cattle handling taught by this instructor.
Jeff also worked with community volunteers as Pike Gardeners Unlimited reached 28 participants in its fourth year. The project promotes community gardening as a method to educate people in raising their own food supply. Jeff provided technical expertise to both the volunteers and participants that helped participants learn cultural practices and how to identify and control pests. Promotional efforts target those needing food assistance.