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Welcome to the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture

News and Recent Publications


Events/Training

Jul
21
Fri
Selman Bat Watch @ Alabaster Caverns State Park (Freedom)
Jul 21 all-day
Selman Bat Watch @ Alabaster Caverns State Park (Freedom) | Freedom | Oklahoma | United States

Register by June 9

Each summer, hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats pour from the Selman Bat Cave to feed on insects, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program offers the public the chance to watch.

Due to limited spacing, all Selman Bat Watch visitors must pre-register.  (The area is closed to the public except during official events.) Each night’s viewing activities are limited to 75 visitors drawn from the pool of mailed-in registration forms. Admission to the Selman Bat Watch is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 8-12. Children must be 8 years of age or older to attend.

Eight viewing opportunities are offered each year. Watches in 2017 will be held each Friday and Saturday night in the month of July. (July 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.)

How to Register:  REGISTRATION FORMS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE MAY 30, 2017.

Hopeful Selman Bat Watch participants must print, complete and mail their registration form to Selman Bat Watch c/o Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152 between May 30 and June 9, 2017. Please read the registration form carefully before completing.

Registration forms must be postmarked between May 30 and on or before June 9, 2017 to be accepted.

Only one registration form is needed for families or groups. Group members should not register individually. Group size is limited to 10 on Saturday evenings.

What to Expect if Selected for a Selman Bat Watch:
Before being bused to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area, visitors will be introduced to the Mexican free-tailed bat and other wildlife that may be encountered at the area. On site, group leaders will explain how the bats travel up to 1,400 miles each spring to give birth and raise their young in Oklahoma and take visitors on an optional ¼ mile nature walk. For your safety and to protect the bats, the cave will not be toured.

·         There are no flush toilets on site, but port-a-potties will be available.

·         There is no running water, but drinking water will be provided.

·         The nature trail is level, but not paved.

·         Rattlesnake encounters are possible.

Things to Consider if Selected for a Selman Bat Watch:
Safety of visitors and protection of the bats are of the utmost importance. State laws protect the bats, the cave and its environs.

·         Visitors are welcome to bring collapsible lawn chairs, insect repellent, binoculars and cameras.

·         Visitors are asked to leave glass containers, water bottles, non-registered people and pets at home.

·         Visitors are asked to dress for the outdoors (sturdy shoes – no sandals) and for the heat. Please consider wearing long pants to protect your legs from brush.

·         Adults must accompany children at all times and make sure they follow the rules.

·         Visitors must remain inside the mowed viewing area boundaries

·         NO SMOKING. The cave is located in a prairie.

About Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area:
This 340-acre tract of land contains one of four known maternity colonies for Mexican free-tailed bats in Oklahoma. The cave is situated among gypsum bluffs surrounded by a mixed-grass prairie community.

The property was purchased by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1996 with funds donated to the Wildlife Diversity Program and from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

Jul
22
Sat
Selman Bat Watch @ Alabaster Caverns State Park (Freedom)
Jul 22 all-day
Selman Bat Watch @ Alabaster Caverns State Park (Freedom) | Freedom | Oklahoma | United States

Register by June 9

Each summer, hundreds of thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats pour from the Selman Bat Cave to feed on insects, and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program offers the public the chance to watch.

Due to limited spacing, all Selman Bat Watch visitors must pre-register.  (The area is closed to the public except during official events.) Each night’s viewing activities are limited to 75 visitors drawn from the pool of mailed-in registration forms. Admission to the Selman Bat Watch is $12 for adults and $6 for children ages 8-12. Children must be 8 years of age or older to attend.

Eight viewing opportunities are offered each year. Watches in 2017 will be held each Friday and Saturday night in the month of July. (July 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29.)

How to Register:  REGISTRATION FORMS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE MAY 30, 2017.

Hopeful Selman Bat Watch participants must print, complete and mail their registration form to Selman Bat Watch c/o Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152 between May 30 and June 9, 2017. Please read the registration form carefully before completing.

Registration forms must be postmarked between May 30 and on or before June 9, 2017 to be accepted.

Only one registration form is needed for families or groups. Group members should not register individually. Group size is limited to 10 on Saturday evenings.

What to Expect if Selected for a Selman Bat Watch:
Before being bused to the Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area, visitors will be introduced to the Mexican free-tailed bat and other wildlife that may be encountered at the area. On site, group leaders will explain how the bats travel up to 1,400 miles each spring to give birth and raise their young in Oklahoma and take visitors on an optional ¼ mile nature walk. For your safety and to protect the bats, the cave will not be toured.

·         There are no flush toilets on site, but port-a-potties will be available.

·         There is no running water, but drinking water will be provided.

·         The nature trail is level, but not paved.

·         Rattlesnake encounters are possible.

Things to Consider if Selected for a Selman Bat Watch:
Safety of visitors and protection of the bats are of the utmost importance. State laws protect the bats, the cave and its environs.

·         Visitors are welcome to bring collapsible lawn chairs, insect repellent, binoculars and cameras.

·         Visitors are asked to leave glass containers, water bottles, non-registered people and pets at home.

·         Visitors are asked to dress for the outdoors (sturdy shoes – no sandals) and for the heat. Please consider wearing long pants to protect your legs from brush.

·         Adults must accompany children at all times and make sure they follow the rules.

·         Visitors must remain inside the mowed viewing area boundaries

·         NO SMOKING. The cave is located in a prairie.

About Selman Bat Cave Wildlife Management Area:
This 340-acre tract of land contains one of four known maternity colonies for Mexican free-tailed bats in Oklahoma. The cave is situated among gypsum bluffs surrounded by a mixed-grass prairie community.

The property was purchased by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1996 with funds donated to the Wildlife Diversity Program and from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

Jul
23
Sun
5th Annual Agroforestry Academy
Jul 23 – Jul 28 all-day
5th Annual Agroforestry Academy @ Columbia | Missouri | United States

Register by June 30

The academy is designed to train natural resource professionals, extension agents, and other agricultural educators who work with landowners. Advanced training will be provided on the five recognized temperate zone agroforestry practices integrated with options for bioenergy, marketing, economic, social dimensions, and environmental services. The cornerstone of the academy will be an applied planning and design exercise. Academy trainees will work in small groups to gain hands on practice in agroforestry design based on the needs of a working farm. For more information and registration, visit www.centerforagroforestry.org/academy/.

Jul
25
Tue
Inter-Tribal Environmental Council Conference @ Catoosa (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino)
Jul 25 – Jul 27 all-day
Inter-Tribal Environmental Council Conference @ Catoosa (Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) | Catoosa | Oklahoma | United States

The Inter-Tribal Environmental Council will host the 22nd Annual ITEC conference on July 25-27, 2017, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 777 West Cherokee St, Catoosa, OK 74015.

ITEC has provided this opportunity for Tribal representatives and other environmental professionals to obtain a first hand view of various products and training materials that are necessary to enhance environmental programs. The plenary session of the conference will begin on Tuesday, July 25,
2017 at 9:00 am., with concurrent sessions beginning at 1:30 pm and ending Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm.

For more information or to register, contact Karen Dye by email or phone (918-453-5109).

Download draft agenda (PDF, 100 KB)

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course @ Shawnee (Gordon Cooper Technology Center)
Jul 25 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course @ Shawnee (Gordon Cooper Technology Center) | Shawnee | Oklahoma | United States

Who Should Attend

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Benefits of Attending the Course

The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:

  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
  • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.


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