Cattle are an important piece in the agricultural puzzle of Etowah County. In 2012, Etowah County producers raised more than 18,000 head of cattle, and the county was ranked 34th in the state for overall production.

The Etowah County Extension Office strives to serve the area’s cattle producers with timely educational programming that will help enable them to be the most efficient and productive cattle producer that they can. There are two such programs coming up soon:

• Marketing: There will be a cattle marketing workshop from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the ALFA office, 125 Broad St.

At the workshop, producers will be sitting down with Auburn University professionals and looking at the current status of the industry, and will be looking at cattle and feed outlooks, as well as marketing options in the area.

• Development: The Sand Mountain Elite Heifer Development Program is accepting nominations for the 2017-2018 program year. Nominations are due Nov. 20. This program is designed to develop top quality replacement females by utilizing winter annuals and limited supplemental feed. Animals will be developed at the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center in Crossville.

For questions regarding either program, contact Landon Marks, Regional Extension Agent for Animal Science and Forages, at 256-706-0032 or the Etowah County Extension Office.

• If you have a young person interested in any 4-H animal science project (poultry, beef, dairy, goat, sheep, rabbits, pig, etc.) and you would like more information, consider attending this year’s animal science open house from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Extension Office.

For more information on this topic and many others, contact the Etowah County Extension Office, 256-547-7936 or 3200 A W. Meighan Blvd., Gadsden. Amy Burgess is extension coordinator for the Etowah County Extension Office.