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You are here: Home / News / Familiar face, familiar area, expanded focus: Josh Bushong assumes area agronomist role

Familiar face, familiar area, expanded focus: Josh Bushong assumes area agronomist role

Josh Bushong, a familiar face to producers in northwestern Oklahoma as an Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant specialist for winter canola, is now helping area farmers and ranchers tackle a broader range of agronomic challenges.
Familiar face, familiar area, expanded focus: Josh Bushong assumes area agronomist role

Josh Bushong (right) answers crop production questions from Ron Hays of the Oklahoma Farm Report. (Photo by Todd Johnson)

ENID, Okla. –Josh Bushong, a familiar face to producers in northwestern Oklahoma as an Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension assistant specialist for winter canola, is now helping area farmers and ranchers tackle a broader range of agronomic challenges.

“We’re excited and pleased to have Josh join our staff as an area Extension agronomy specialist headquartered out of Enid,” said Dee Cooper, OSU Cooperative Extension director for the state’s Northwest District. “Crop production is vital to the economic viability of our producers, related agribusinesses and the communities in which they are located. Josh has the tremendous ability to convey the latest research-based information in an easily understood manner.”

Bushong hit the ground running in his new position on June 1. While some crops such as wheat production are consistently significant across the district, specific crop popularity and growing conditions can vary appreciably from the Oklahoma Panhandle to Kay, Noble and Logan counties, and points in between. Then there are individual producer operational choices: till, no-till, irrigated, non-irrigated, crop rotations and a myriad number of other management decisions.

“I’ve found it very satisfying and fulfilling to help Oklahoma crop producers maximize their chances for success through our Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service programs,” Bushong said. “The challenge of solving agricultural issues keeps me engaged and pushes me to continually increase my own knowledge and skill in making available the latest research-based information.”

Known by his accurately descriptive handle of @Tallokie_67 on Twitter, Bushong is looking forward of building upon his relationships – in person and through all applicable media – with farmers and ranchers, local agribusinesses, commodity groups, OSU Cooperative Extension personnel and Extension’s cooperating partners in the public and private sectors.

“As the winter canola Extension assistant from 2012 to May of this year, one of the things I enjoyed most was visiting and communicating with producers,” Bushong said. “It all starts with learning about a producer’s specific operation, identifying problems and then providing the best possible solutions.”

As the winter canola Extension assistant, Bushong served as coordinator for the Okanola Project Funded by several sources, including the state IPM program, canola growers associations, USDA Risk Management Agency and several private companies, the Okanola Project has increased support for growing canola in Oklahoma. Growers often are able to sell canola for approximately twice of the price of wheat, and wheat that is grown in the fields following canola can reap a higher price because the crop rotation helps mitigate the presence of grassy weeds.

“Josh has always been an outstanding collaborator with OSU Cooperative Extension state, district and area specialists and educators headquartered in our county Extension offices, helping to ensure producers and others have the best possible access to timely and relevant, research-based crop production information,” said Brian Arnall, OSU Cooperative Extension precision nutrient management specialist.

Bushong has come into the job well-versed in organizing agronomic production and management conferences, workshops, field tours, crop variety trials and crop demonstration plots.

An early adopter of social media in his professional career, Bushong reaches an estimated 5,000 Twitter accounts per month and more than 300 followers on Facebook. In terms of traditional media, Bushong has been featured in numerous state newspapers; regional agricultural media such as the High Plains Journal, Oklahoma Farm Report, Agrinet, Farmer-Stockman and SW Farm Press, among others; and has been a regular fixture on SUNUP, the agricultural TV show produced by OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, viewed statewide on OETA and beyond via youtube and DASNR’s website.

“As a society, we’re more plugged in than ever, with most people typically getting information on a subject in many different ways, over time,” said Jeff Edwards, head of the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences. “Josh makes a concerted effort to take advantage of as many communication venues as possible. Call it 21st century ag in action.”

A native of Weatherford who grew up on a farm, the Oklahoma-born Bushong is a Cowboy alumnus, having earned both his undergraduate degree in crop science and master’s degree in weed science from OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

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