NEWBERRY — Backyard biosecurity — keeping outside out and inside in — is one of the best ways to protect livestock birds from disease, a Clemson Extension agent told guests at the Newberry Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual banquet.
“That means having designated clothing and equipment for the bird house,” said Julie Helm of Clemson Livestock Poultry Health.
Keeping everything separated will help prevent anything carrying disease — like poop — from getting to the birds.
Helm suggested not bringing any personal vehicles to the bird house and not bringing anything that touches the ground inside. She also suggested having dedicated clothing and boots for the bird house.
“Also try and keep your poultry flock away from other flocks,” she said. “Make sure you buy new birds from reputable sources and keep any new birds separated for 30 days.”
Wild birds should also be kept away from flocks. Wild birds could carry poop on their feet, which could infect the flocks. Helm suggested knocking down nests, when they are empty, to help prevent that from happening.
Keeping everything clean is another way to protect flocks from disease. Helm suggested disinfecting all equipment used, scrubbing shoes with disinfectant and always wearing clean clothes. Bird cages and coops should also be cleaned daily.
“If you suspect a serious disease in your birds, call your local veterinarian or the USDA,” she said.
Also during the banquet, the NSWCD gave out their annual awards. These awards represented both NSWCD and Keep Newberry County Beautiful, which goes through NSWCD.
Larry and Rita Cromer of Cromer Farms were awarded the Willie B. Piester Award. They were given the award for the work they do for conservation on their land.
“When it comes to conservation on the land, they are in the process of taking measures to prevent soil erosion and to prevent pathogens from entering surface water by installing fencing and planting eroded areas,” said Wayne Satterwhite, vice chairman of the NSWCD board. “They have also installed wells and watering facilities and will be over seeding pastures with legumes where he can improve forage quality and maximize grazing efforts.”
Wilson Tractor was awarded the Business Affiliate Award r for their work partnering with the NSWCD. Eddie and Steve Wilson have been members of the district and have donated their time, property, equipment and resources to aid in Camp Conservation.
“They allowed us to use their tract of land for Camp Conservation, three Kubotas and trailers to haul kids around. Eddie came out throughout the week and assist with anything he could,” Satterwhite said. “The months leading up to Camp Conservation, Wilson Tractor would check periodically on us to see if we needed anything and took us around the property and allowed us to access even before camp to set up and manage how the event would take place.”
The NSWCD Scholarship award was given to Mark Sikora, a graduate of Mid-Carolina High School. Sikora was a volunteer with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for two years, he was involved with Future Farmers Association in high school and helped with KNCB as well as the District with programs.
Sikora is currently a student at Mississippi State University to study Agronomy.
For the KNCB, the city of Newberry was awarded the Community Clean-Up Award for their work with the Great American Clean Up and for the work Mayor Foster Senn did to recruit local businesses to pick up trash. Newberry Electric was given the Business Leadership Award for their help with Grinding of the Greens.
Marley Long and Jordan Lusk were given the Student Leadership Award. According to NSWCD District Commissioner Doug Heydt both are active with District programs.
“Marley helped out with Camp Conservation by being a group leader and helping to set up and clean up every day. She also assisted with the Movie Night,” he said. “Jordan has helped with several District programs, such as our Movie Night, and goes above and beyond in her internship.”
Ginny Hold was named Volunteer of the Year. Heydt said she has been an inspiration and such a big help with Camp Conservation. Coming out everyday to assist them from start to finish. She took on multiple tasks at a time, never complaining about any of the requests.
The final award, the Appreciation Award, was given to Sherri Scott and Ron Abrams with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Department.
“These two deputies are indispensable and are appreciated for all of their dedication and partnerships with our programs, not only with KNCB, but with the District as well,” Heydt said. “They have always helped with just about every program we have, whenever they are available.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.