Farmers and ranchers can benefit from various educational opportunities during the San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show Nov.10-12 in the Freeman Coliseum Expo Hall, 3201 E. Houston St., San Antonio, said event coordinators.

"We'll have many free programs, including hands-on demonstrations relating to sheep, goat and cattle handling and management, and many of the classes provide continuing education units or credits," said Bryan Davis, Texas AgriLife Extension Service agent for agriculture and natural resources in Bexar County and the show's education program coordinator.

Davis said various presentations at last year's show were well attended and that this year there will be more than 25 educational opportunities for attendees.

"We had more than 5,000 people attend the show's programs in 2010 and offered a total of 14 continuing education units, certified crop adviser units and/or beef quality assurance credits,” he said. “We anticipate having even more attend this year's programs."

Davis said this year’s show will offer 15 Texas Department of Agriculture continuing education units—in general, laws and regulations, drift and integrated pest management—for private pesticide applicators, along with credit or units for beef quality assurance and certified crop advisers.

This year, individuals may attend a private applicator training, which will take place from 8:30 a.m.-noon Nov. 12 with a Texas Department of Agriculture representative present to administer a post-training test.

“Those interested in taking this training should call the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County to preregister for that class,” he said. “The cost is $50 and includes the training, materials and test.”

Most educational sessions will be 45 to 90 minutes long, depending on the subject matter, he said.

Additional topics at this year’s show will include brush management, sprayer calibration, forage and weed management, deer nutrition, equine dental and lameness issues, hoof trimming and drenching, feral hog control, cotton yields, weed resistance in Texas corn and grain crops, deep-soil sampling, fencing, farm pond management and more.

Presentations will be ongoing throughout the show and will begin at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 10 with a pre-show continuing education unit program, Davis said. Instruction will be presented by personnel from AgriLife Extension, as well as the Texas Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, San Antonio Steel Company, Texas Deer Association and Texas Animal Health Commission.

“The show is a great opportunity for education as well as to see the latest in farm and ranch equipment, technology and services," said Lyle Larson, the show's originator.

On Nov. 12, the show also will host a Texas Commodity Symposium for various agricultural industry groups, including Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Texas Corn Producers, Texas Wheat Producers, South Texas Cotton and Grain Producers, Cotton and Grain Producers of the Rio Grande Valley, the Southwest Council of AgriBusiness, Texas Rice Growers and Winter Garden Produce.

Larson said the show also will offer family-oriented entertainment, including a Texas Truck Tractor Association tractor pull during the evenings of Nov. 11 and 12 at the Freeman Coliseum.

To preregister for the Nov. 12 private applicator training and for more information on educational opportunities offered at the show, contact the AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County 210-467-6575.

For more information on the 2011 San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show, go to: http://www.farmandranchexpo.com or call 210-226-1177.

paschattenberg@ag.tamu.edu