Kay County Extension’s Shannon Mallory receives state award

January 19, 2021 | Featured|Headlines

By DONALD STOTTS | OSU COMMUNICATIONS

STILLWATER – Kay County Extension Agricultural Educator Shannon Mallory is the 2021 recipient of the Oklahoma State University Extension Outstanding Individual Field Staff Program Award.

Mallory received the honor on Jan. 7 for his successful use of YouTube in providing educational information and resources to clients when traditional face-to-face workshops became unsafe because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kay County Extension Educator Shannon Mallory helps a local tribe develop a management plan to return some of the Chilocco Indian School land back into native prairie. Soil samples are being collected in preparation for the plan to re-introduce Bison to the area.

“The YouTube channel will never displace traditional Extension programming, but it provides great value in allowing us to make available short informational and how-to videos,” Mallory said. “Another benefit of the videos I produce is that agricultural producers can view the videos at their convenience, and as many times as they wish. All they need is internet access.”

Each video is designed around answering a specific question, with an emphasis on basic information about managing land for new or relatively inexperienced farmers. It is also valuable as a general education video for people who might want to learn about common, research-based, agricultural practices in general.

Video topic examples include:

• Repairing and building a barbed wire fence.

• Killing nuisance trees with the cut-stump method.

• Limiting unwanted pollinator death while using pesticides.

• Wildflowers and native plants.

• Taking proper forage and soil samples.

“We always hear that shorter videos work best, but there are quite a few over seven minutes in length that have high engagement rates,” Mallory said. “The greatest obstacle was learning to shoot and edit higher-quality video than a person would find on most social media.”

Mallory’s first few videos are created with his cell phone and a video camera. He contacted OSU Extension Northeast District Director Nancy Johnson to see if he could get better equipment and Johnson came through.

The agriculture-oriented videos have become a key aspect of the  Kay County OSU YouTube channel, which has attracted 10,000 views and has been watched about over 550 hours since March 15 of last year. Videos also have been posted to the county office’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, resulting in more than 4,900 views and 2,500 minutes watched.

“My favorite part about creating these videos is knowing that people are learning from them even when I’m not actively engaged with the person,” Mallory said. “It’s like being in multiple places at once.”

Additional information about educational programs offered through the Kay County Extension Office is available  online, by phone at 580-362-3194 or by email at  carst@okstate.eduor  maribeth.ratliff@okstate.edu.