Jeff Casada, Extension Agent for Agriculture/Natural ResourcesJeffrey H. Casada

County Extension Agent for Agricultural/Natural Resources

Email to:

Agriculture and Natural Resources: The Agriculture and Natural Resources program provides non-formal education in the areas of agricultural production, homeowner plantings, and natural resource utilization. Specific programs include information on food production, farm business management, marketing and processing agricultural products, natural resource management and home lawn and garden information. We address issues dealing with environmental stewardship, the rural-urban interface, and value-added enterprises.


(Also, see Upcoming Programs at the top of the page, click the links below or call 598-2789 for more information.)

For the safety of our clientele & staff, the Clay County Extension Office is temporarily limiting public access. We are open by appointment ONLY & for small group meetings and events. You MUST call the office to schedule an appointment or for entry into the office. Appointments with individual agents & staff may also be scheduled via email.
Do you need to take a soil sample? Need to borrow a soil probe? Our large meeting room foyer is open on weekdays from 8am-4pm, to pick up and drop off items, such as soil samples. Please be sure to leave your name, address and phone number on your sample. For any Ag related questions call 598-2789 or email Jeff at the email address above, Monday-Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. Thank you!


Clay County Community Farmers Market at 86 Muddy Gap Rd - EXCEL building parking lot, beside McDonalds. Open every Saturday from 9 am - 1 pm, or until sold out.

Crossing Through This: Managing Farm and Family in 2020 

Thursdays at 7pm EDT/ 6pm CDT 

July 23rd & 30th, August 6th & 13th 

2020 has presented unique challenges in all aspects of life.  Managing a farm business in uncertain times can be difficult.  Join our host Dr. Steve Isaacs, University of Kentucky, Cooperative Extension Service for a weekly webinar series as we invite a series of speakers to discuss how to come through current issues facing farm families.  The 4-week online series will begin on Thursday, July 23rd at 7:00 PM EDT/6:00 PM CDT.  The webinars are for the entire farm family, so we encourage all family members to attend.  Please call us at 598-2789 for more detailed information including speakers and topics.  Mark your calendars!

Crossing Through This - Managing Farm & Family in 2020, Thursdays 7 pm EDT/ 6 pm CDT, , July 23rd - August 13th. Register online at https://bit.ly2020FarmFamily. Registration deadline is July 20th.


Unsolicited Packages of Foreign Seeds

People in several states, including several residents in Kentucky, have received unsolicited small packages of foreign seeds in the mail from China. Potentially these can pose a threat to Kentucky agriculture and the environment through the introduction of invasive plants or diseases.  The purpose of these seed shipments is unclear at this time but we need to get the message out that people should not plant them and to send these to the appropriate authorities.

Here is a press release by Commissioner Quarles from this morning. We are asking that anyone who receives any seeds to fill out the attached form and send them inside an air-tight container to the USDA office in NKY. There are several states that have been receiving seeds and the USDA is trying to gather as much information as possible. The seeds are in small sample packets and I have attached a couple of pictures from what we have seen thus far.  

Send the unopened packages in a secure package to:


P.O. Box 475

Hebron, Kentucky 41048

Individuals are also encouraged to contact the Kentucky Department of Agriculture at (502) 573-0282 or e-mail If anyone has any questions, please let them know to contact Joe Collins at the UK Dept of Entomology (859-257-5838).

You may also call the Clay County Extension Office at 606-598-2789.

Pasture-Finished Beef Educational Workshop - 3 concurrent sessions, 7:00 pm - 9"00 pm EDT each day: August 11th - Pasture-finished beef production overview, Forages 7 grazing management. August 12th - Cattle selection, supplementation and winter management, Marketing & processing. August 13th - Producer panel, Frame size X supplementation, Putting it all together. Hard copies of materials will be mailed to participants in VA, WV & KY. Electronic versions will be made availabel to everyone. Register at   FLYER

Asian Longhorned Tick

Asain longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, has been confirmed in three counties in Kentucky, Floyd, Martin, and Metcalfe Counties. The samples were found on a black bear, elk, and cow respectively. In Metcalfe County the cow was reported to have hundreds of this tick. This is an exotic tick native to China, Korea, and Japan. It has spread to Australia and New Zealand as well, where it feeds on a variety of wild and domestic animals and humans. The Asian longhorned tick has only recently (2017) established populations in the United States. Thus far it has been confirmed in Arkansas, Delaware, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. It is a known serious pest of livestock, pets, and humans. Reported hosts include cow, deer, raccoon, opossum, cat, coyote, elk, fox, sheep goat, groundhog, horse, black bear, Canada goose, chicken, cottontail, red-tailed hawk, and skunk.

Asian longhorned ticks are small, reddish brown ticks with no distinctive markings to aid in quick recognition. The unfed adults are smaller (3 to 4 mm long) than the other adult hard ticks that we commonly encounter (such as Lonestar ticks and black legged deer ticks). This species is capable of disease transmission, though the pathogens associated with it in its native range have not been found in the US. However, recent laboratory research indicates this species could be a competent vector for spotted fever rickettsia, a disease we have seen increased incidences of in this state. However, we do not yet know if these ticks are able to pass these germs in nature.

This species is an aggressive biter and frequently builds intense infestations on domestic hosts that can cause stress, reduced growth, and severe blood loss. One reason for their rapid buildup on hosts is that the female ticks can lay eggs without mating. It only takes a single fed female tick to create a population of ticks. Potentially, thousands can be found on an animal. It is also a known/suspected vector of several viral, bacterial, and protozoan agents of livestock importance. There is ongoing testing of ticks collected in the United States and it is likely that some ticks will contain germs that can be harmful to animals.

You should protect yourself from tick bites when in tick habitat.  Personal protective measures such as the use of EPA-approved insect repellents and 0.5% permethrin-treated clothing are effective against Asian longhorned ticks. Wearing light colored clothing, tucking your pants into your socks and checking yourself frequently helps to spot ticks before they have a chance to attach.

Ric Bessin and Jonathan Larson, Extension Entomologists.

CEDIK - Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky

Grant Funding

The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, in partnership with Community Farm Alliance, Appalachian   Impact Fund, and CEDIK - Community and Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky, is pleased to   provide grant funding through the Central Appalachian Family Farm Fund for farmers in Southeast Kentucky. These grants can be used to sustain and increase growing capacity in the midst of COVID-19 as a mechanism to help address food insecurity within communities.

Counties Eligible: Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Clinton, Estill, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Whitley, and Wolfe.

A family farm can apply for funds up to $750 and no more than one grant will be awarded per farming operation. These are grants and do NOT need to be repaid.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The application should take you approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

If you have questions and you are located in Southeastern Kentucky please direct questions to                            



Just a reminder of the CFAP. We encourage producers to explore the CFAP and to utilize the CFAP Call Center at 877-508-8364 for questions and one-on-one assistance with the application process.  The Call Center is open 8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.  Producers may also visit to learn more.


Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetle adults are around from June till August. Click HERE to see more information on Japanese beetles.


Beef Bash 2020 Virtual Field Day will be Thursday, October 1st, Zoom online meeting at 9:00 am CST. Sessions will be recorded and speakers available for Q/A after each session. Join us for "Talks from the Field", Demonstrations, and a Virtual Tour of the UK Reserach and Education Center.   FLYER



Kentucky Forage News - Keeping Forage-Livestock producers in Kentucky informed

Click this link for more information!

Mike Hooker - Shared Use Equipment Caretaker

598-4485 Home   681-9111 Cell

Equipment rental is $25/day for all pieces of equipment. The shared-use equipment is located at Mike’s place on Sacker, in the Burning Springs Community.  Call Mike to check on availability and to rent.

Equipment includes: Vegetable Transplanter with Mulch Layer & Lifter, Headgate Squeeze Chute/Scales, Post Driver, 6 Ton Lime Spreader,  Bale Wrapper, Pasture Aerator, Pasture Pleaser-Pasture Renovator/Tye Drill, 185 Manure Spreader, 145 Manure Spreader, 2 & 4 Row Corn Planter, Low Profile Sprayer, Weed Wipe, Corn Sheller, Chain Drag Harrow and No Till Drill.  WE NOW HAVE A 6'10" X 18' LOWBOY TRAILER TO HAUL THE VEGETABLE TRANSPLANTER WITH MULCH LAYER& LIFTER.

The Shared Use Equipment Program is supported by the Clay County Agriculture Development Council, Clay County Farm Bureau and the Clay County Conservation District.


The Beef IRM now has a facebook page.   Jeff encourages all  beef producers to visit and like the page.   KY Beef IRM-



Clay County Community Farmers Market -

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Kentucky Department of Agriculture - Honeybees

Beginning Beekeeping for Kentuckians

Kentucky State Beekeepers Association Website

Kentucky Pest News - Carpenter Bees - Thwart Ticks

Carpenter Bees


Poultry Website

Ag Magazine

Kentucky Fruit Facts

How to Take Soil Test Samples  YouTube Instructional Video

Department of Animal & Food Sciences

Home Vegetable Gardening in Kentucky

Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources