Will Bowling County Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources

Will Bowling

County Extension Agent for Agricultural/Natural Resources

Email to: will.bowling2@uky.edu 

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.

USDA Seeking Information about Farm Damage from July 2022 Floods

FEMA Assistance for July 2022 Floods

Be Alert to Fraud after a Disaster

Financial Assistance for Farm Flood Damage

The recent flooding adversely affected many Clay County producers. There are currently two primary resources for flood assistance directly related to farm operations.

  1. Central Appalachian Family Farm Fund (CAFFF): This grant can provide up to $5,000 in grant assistance for commercial farmers who sustained damage in the July 2022 flood. Full details are available at: https://www.appalachianky.org/flood/. Applications can be filled out online, but feel free to contact our office at 598-2789 if you would prefer a printed application. (CAFFF application header page)
  2. Emergency Conservation Program (ECP): This cost-share program is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA has not enacted this program yet, but they are currently collecting information to see whether our area will qualify. To report damage (and be eligible for assistance should it become available) contact the Barbourville FSA office at 606-546-3373. You will need to provide your Farm Number, the type and estimated dollar value of flood damage, and photographs of the damage. (ECP Fact Sheet)

If you have farm damage but need help in documenting damage or estimating the current value of your losses, please contact Clay County Cooperative Extension at 606-598-2789.


Apple Tree Cost-Share Program

The Clay County Soil Conservation District is sponsoring an apple tree cost-share program. Participants will receive a package of heirloom apple seedlings. All of these varieties should do well in our climate, and the ripening dates are spread through the season so you can have fresh apples coming in from early summer through late summer. This is a cost-share, and the Conservation District is planning to pay 50% of the full price, with the participant paying the other 50%. The trees will ship in fall 2022 and will be available for pickup in Manchester. Supplies are limited, so if you’re interested please call the Soil Conservation District office at 598-5132.

October 6th - Disaster Preparation for Family & Farm

Disaster Preparation for Family and Farm will be on October 6th at 10 AM and 6PM at the Clay County Extension Office. (Zoom upon request)

  • Discussion of most common weather-related threats facing Clay Countians
  • How to assess your risk
  • Concrete actions you can take to prepare for disaster
  • Farm-specific considerations
  • FREE & open to the public!
  • Please call 598-2789 to register.

October 11th - Maple Syrup Farm Tour

Interest in Kentucky-made maple syrup has increased over the past several years. We often don’t think about maple syrup being produced in the mountains of Kentucky, but a growing number of folks are doing just that, including several farmers in and around Clay County.

There are several reasons for this uptick in interest. We have an abundance of maple trees, and syrup production can generate revenue from land that’s too steep to produce traditional farm crops. In addition, syrup production takes place in the winter, during a time when most other farm work has slowed down. Finally, many people have discovered that locally-produced maple syrup is delicious, and that’s good for both farmers and those of us eating the food.   

The Kentucky Maple Syrup Association and UK Cooperative Extension are partnering on a series of tours of Kentucky maple syrup operations this fall. One of these tours will be hosted by local producer Jimmie Sizemore at his farm on Buzzard (591 Sarvis Branch Rd, Manchester, KY) on October 11th from 3-6PM. This free event will include a tour of Jimmie’s operation, a presentation about funding assistance for new syrup producers, an open Q & A session, and a catered meal. Space is limited. Registration is required. To register scan the QR code, visit https://ky-maplesyrup.ca.uky.edu/workshops or call the Clay County Extension Office at 606-598-2789 ASAP. Pre-registration is required by October 7th @ 5PM.  FLYER


October 17th - Kentucky Beef Conference

Kentucky Beef Conference will be October 17th at 6:30-8:30PM at Fayette County Extension Office or online. RSVP by October 10th.  FLYER

October 18th - Principles of Electric Fence Systems & Rotational Grazing

Principles of Electric Fence Systems and Rotational Grazing will be October 18th at 5:30-7 PM at the Rawlings-Stinson Park in Manchester, KY.

  • How to design and install an electric fence
  • Common electric fence issues and troubleshooting tips
  • Common tools for rotational grazing
  • Cost-effective ways to add electric fence to an existing barbed wire or woven wire fence
  • FREE & open to the public!
  • Please call 598-2789 to register.

October 20th - Clay Co. Beekeepers Association

Clay County Beekeeper Meeting will be on October 20th from 6 – 7 PM at the EXCEL building beside McDonalds.

October 22nd - 2022 KY Sheep & Goat Annual Producer Conference

2022 KY Annual Producer Conference will be on October 22nd at KSU Research Farm in Frankfort, KY. Registration sign-ups end October 17th.  FLYER

October 27th - Fall Grazing Conference

Fall Grazing Conference will be on October 27th from 8AM-3:30PM at Clark County Extension Office.

October 27th - Beef Quality Care & Assurance (BQCA)

Beef Quality Care and Assurance (BQCA) certification will be October 27th from 6 – 7PM at the EXCEL building beside McDonalds.

November 3rd - 2022 Kentucky Fencing School

2022 Kentucky Fencing School will be on November 3rd 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM at EXCEL, 86 Muddy Gap Rd, Manchester, KY. This program is designed for producers and agricultural professionals to learn the newest fencing methods and sound fencing construction through a combination of classroom and hands-on learning. High tensile and fixed knot woven wire fencing. Space is limited…register today! Cost is $30/participant – includes notebook, refreshments, safety glasses, hearing protection and catered lunch. Registration deadline: 2 weeks prior to workshop. Register by mail: Krista Lea N-222C Ag. Science Bldg. North, Lexington, KY 40546-0091. Make checks payable to: KFGC. Register online at https://22GrazingManchester1.eventbrite.com. This program is organized and sponsored by the Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council, UK Cooperative Extension Service, and the Master Grazer Program. For more information, call the Clay County Extension Office at 606-598-2789 or Krista Lea at 806-683-5143 or krista.lea1@uky.edu.



The Variability of the First Fall Freeze

Hay Production Cost Increases in 2022 and Management Implications

Take Action in August to Save Money on Hay this Winter

Living with Black Bears

3 Tips for Farm Management During Rising Inflation

Managing Legume-Induced Bloat in Cattle

Cane Blight of Brambles

Strategies for Cattle Producers to Reduce Fertilizer Costs

Ways to Minimize Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Damage


Many farmers wonder whether outside funding exists to help them expand or improve their operations. There are several “traditional” financing options such as local banks, the Farm Service Agency, and ag cooperatives (such as Farm Credit Mid-America). However, this column focuses on less common funding sources that have been used by Clay County producers. Click here to check out all those sources!


Did you know that several different departments in the UK College of Ag put out weekly or monthly newsletters? This is often one of the best ways to stay up-to-date on Kentucky-specific ag information. Some of these newsletters are found online in a blog format, but you can also directly subscribe to many of these resources to have new editions delivered to your email.  Click the link below visit the newsletter site.

Off the Hoof Beef Newsletter

Kentucky Forage News

Kentucky Pest News

Kentucky Hort News

UK Fruit Facts

Center for Crop Diversification Newsletter

Kentucky Maple Syrup E-News

Forestry Department E-News

Corn and Soybean Newsletter

Eonomic and Policy Update

PDF Version of the above listed websites and QR codes.


Agricultural Exemption Number

Department of Animal & Food Sciences

Forage News

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources

Kentucky Proud

Poultry Website