Agriculture

David Workman David Workman

WVU Extension Agent –
Agriculture & Natural Resources, Hardy County

In the state’s largest agricultural county, the variety and volume of work is keeping one West Virginia University Extension Agent on his toes serving large scale farmers and the “average Joe” alike.

In his day-to-day work as an agricultural and natural resources agent for Hardy County’s
WVU Extension Service, David Workman can do anything from finding production solutions for a large scale chicken farmer, to helping an aspiring backyard gardener having mole issues.

On any given day, phone calls and walk-in meetings can cover a broad range of topics, which Workman said is a “challenging, but high-reward, opportunity to be a positive influence in people’s lives.”

“The WVU Extension office is one of the few places left where people can have face-to-face meetings to help them work through whatever agricultural issue they’re having,” said Workman. “I’ve been well-versed through necessity, and I love the connection to the rest of WVU Extension Service and the University, it allows me to get people the answers they need, quickly.”

In addition to these scenarios, Workman also focuses on research and providing quality programming, training and guidance in the areas of animal science, crops and forages, horticulture and gardening.

His most recent project, the Bovine Emergency Response Plan (BERP), stemmed from Workman’s research and education work combined with the power of observation.

Seeing truckloads of cattle transported in and out of Hardy County’s stockyards during the spring and fall months inspired Workman to collaborate with WVU Reymann Memorial Farm Manager Jerry Yates and North Dakota State University Professor Lisa Pederson to create the BERP, a framework to help emergency personnel responding to an accident involving a truck transporting cattle.

The plan addresses several aspects to ensure safety of people and animals alike in an accident, everything from scene assessment to containing, extraction and relocation of animals from the scene.

Workman said that the plan had been wildly popular across the country because it addresses a need that hadn’t been satisfactorily dealt with to date. The program is useful for a variety of people, including law enforcement, emergency responders, veterinarians and cattle industry employees.

Due to the need for and usefulness of the program, Workman said calls about BERP have been coming in from across the country, even from the U.S. Department of Defense and Canadian government inquiring about the plan.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for professionals across the country to come together and address a problem in their communities for the benefit of animal care and comfort.” said Workman.

He received his bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in education from WVU.

To learn more about his work, call 304-530-0273 or email djworkman@mail.wvu.edu.