Food Handlers Safety Class March 15

The “Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER)” was revised and updated and made effective October 11, 2015. A major change in the revision now requires all food employees to complete an accredited Food Handlers Training Program within 60 days of employment, effective September 16, 2016.

A food handlers course accredited by the Texas Department of State Health Services is being offered by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services of Wharton County.  Food Safety: It’s In Your Hands is scheduled for Thursday, March 15, 2018 starting at 4:00pm at the Extension office at 315 East Milam Street.

This 1-2-hour course will now be required for all food service employees to help promote the service of safe food. The certificate is good for 2 years and is valid anywhere in the State of Texas. The course is a basic overview of food safety practices that are necessary to ensure that safe food is served at your establishment. Practices discussed include good personal hygiene, cross contamination, and time and temperature abuse.

To register for the course, call the Extension office at 979-532-3310.   Registration can also be done in-person the day of the course.  The cost is $20.00 per person and must be paid in full before the course begins.

Please bring Check or Money Order made out to:
Food Handlers #230202.
No cash or credit cards accepted.

2018 Seed Cotton Farm Program Webinar Feb 19

National Cotton Council to Host Webinar: 2018 Seed Cotton Program

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

As you have probably seen in the recent news, the budget agreement passed last week by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Donald Trump included the Hurricane Disaster Supplemental.  Included in the Disaster Supplemental is the language that establishes a Seed Cotton program for 2018.  The effort to get cotton back in Title 1 of the farm bill is an issue that the cotton industry, led by the National Cotton Council with support from South Texas Cotton & Grain Association, has worked on for the past three years.

To share information of the Seed Cotton Program, the National Cotton Council will be hosting a webinar on Monday – February 19, 2018 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Northside Education Center located at 707 Fahrenthold, El Campo, TX  77437.   Information will be provided on provisions of the Seed Cotton program including examples of support levels under various price scenarios and examples of generic base conversion options.  In addition, updates on the new farm bill will be discussed.  Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of each session. The Northside Education Center is just one site where the Webinar can be viewed.  For a complete list of webinar locations, contact Jeff Nunley with the South Texas Cotton and Grain Association at    If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact Corrie Bowen at the Wharton County Extension Office at 979-532-3310.


Auxin Specific Applicator Training Feb 15, Feb 22, Mar 1

Series of auxin herbicide trainings for area producers in February

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent
Wharton County

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct a series of auxin trainings for producers in the Wharton County area in February.  The Texas Department of Agriculture has required a special auxin-specific training in 2018 for those applying the new auxin formulations of dicamba.  The auxin training is required for all applicators including licensed applicators and unlicensed applicators who spray Engenia, Fexapan, or Extendimax under a licensed applicator.

Why is this training important?  In response to an elevated number of off-target movement claims in many states in 2017, this training has been mandated by the EPA for application of newly formulated dicamba products.  XtendFlex® cotton acreage in 2017 accounted for 65% of all cotton planted in Texas, and that number is expected to increase for 2018.  It is important to understand the potential impacts these products can have on sensitive and susceptible plants.  It is extremely important to understand the factors that can cause off-target movement and how to effectively manage it. EPA has set an expiration date for these labels of December 2018.  Renewal of these labels will depend on the success demonstrated in 2018.  As a weed management tool, the loss of this technology would be detrimental to cotton growers in Texas.

The training is not required for those using range and pasture dicamba products.  The Auxin Specific Herbicide training is an annual training, so licensed applicators and unlicensed operators will need to complete the training again next year, in 2019.  Auxin training is not required to purchase seed or chemistry, it is only required prior to applying Engenia, Xtendimax or Fexapan herbicides.


Dates, times and locations for the trainings, which all share the same curriculum are:

– Thursday – February 15, 2018  9 a.m. – 10 a.m. , Wharton County Extension Office

– Thursday – February 22, 2018  9 a.m. – 10 a.m. , Wharton County Extension Office

– Thursday – March 1, 2018  9 a.m. – 10 a.m. , Wharton County Extension Office


Each program will be one hour and will provide one Texas Department of Agriculture laws and regulations continuing education unit (CEU) and will meet the annual Auxin training requirement for 2018.  An applicator or operator must attend only one of the three available trainings.  The Wharton County Extension Office reached 220 pesticide applicators in the past month with the required Auxin training, however, there will be more cotton and soybean producers who will need to complete this annual training.  Therefore, I’m providing these three trainings on Thursday mornings through March 1st.  The Wharton County Extension Office will continue to provide these trainings through the growing season as needed.  The Wharton County Extension Office is located at 315 E. Milam, Suite 112, Wharton, Texas 77488.  For any questions regarding the Auxin trainings, contact Corrie Bowen at 979-532-3310.

Food Manager Certification Training Mar 26-27

The Food Manager 2-Day Certification Training will take place March 26-27, 2018 at the Wharton County Extension Office. This exciting, hands-on food safety course will equip you with the latest in food safety principles and practices and will help prepare you for the National Certified Food Manager Examination. The cost of this course is $125.00 and includes the course, national certification examination, coursebook, and all course materials.

Click here to download the Registration Form

Mail completed registration form with your check or money order by March 9, 2018 to:

118 Cater-Mattil
2253 TAMU
College Station, TX 77843-2253

Rebuild Texas Update: Transitional Sheltering Assistance Deadline Extended to March 12

AgriLife Logo

Transitional Sheltering Assistance Deadline Extended to March 12

By Corrie Bowen
County Extension Agent – Wharton County
Rebuild Texas Representative

Eligible Hurricane Harvey survivors receiving Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) may receive an extension to stay temporarily in hotels while they look for an alternative place to live.

Disaster survivors with a continuing need for the hotel sheltering program may be extended to Mar. 12, 2018. There will be a mid-term eligibility review on Feb. 20, 2018 where survivors participating in TSA will receive a phone call, email, and/or text message advising them if they have continued eligibility for assistance through a participating hotel.

FEMA makes payments to participating hotels for the room and any applicable taxes (including non-refundable pet fees – up to the maximum allowable room night charge). Applicants are responsible for all other incidental costs (meals, transportation, etc.). Hotels require a government issued photo ID at time of check-in, survivors must adhere to any hotel check-in requirements and may be required to provide a credit card for incidental expenses.

A household of four or fewer members is authorized one hotel room and a household of five or more will be authorized additional rooms (limit four people per room). One member of each household, 18 years or older, must reside in each room.

Applicants with disabilities or who have access and functional needs should check with hotels to ensure appropriate accommodations are available. Those with pets must check with the hotel to see if the hotel accepts pets.

TSA-eligible applicants must find and book their own hotel rooms. The list of participating hotels is available at under the Transitional Shelter Assistance Program link or by calling FEMA at 800-321-3362. For 711 or Video Relay Service, call 800-621-3362. For TTY, call 800-462-7585.

For more information on Hurricane Harvey and Texas recovery, visit the Hurricane Harvey disaster web page at, or Facebook at, the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account at, or the Texas Division of Emergency Management website at



Corrie Bowen, MS
County Extension Agent – Agriculture
Wharton County
315 E. Milam, Suite 112
Wharton, Texas 77488
(979) 532-3310