Each year I encourage attendance at the Ag Expo held in Poplar Bluff, MO at the Black River Coliseum. I often see many people I know from Dunklin County and have the opportunity to talk with them face to face during the Expo. Although there are many family and child friendly events (dairy cow, petting farm, toy tractor pull and garden activities) each year at the expo I will highlight some of the activities that may be most interesting to the agriculture community. Plan to attend on Friday, January 18 from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. or on Saturday, January 19 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
In 2013 producers will again be able to renew their private pesticide applicator license during the expo. On Friday, January 18 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. producers will meet in room 4 of the coliseum to obtain or renew their license. This has become a yearly event, hitting two birds with one stone; see the expo and renew your license. During this time you may also pick the brains of local specialists who often attend just to say hello. It is a great opportunity to network with each other.
There will be three additional educational programs available in room 3 and 4 behind the expo display area. These programs are free to the public and to all attendees and will provide good information that may be of interest for the next season.
The first program, beginning at 4:30 p.m. is available to anyone who has questions regarding Basic Canning. Maude Harris, Specialist with the University of Missouri will be on hand to show you what materials are needed, what foods can be stored and how they should be stored. She will be able to answer any questions that have come to mind if you have tried canning before and she will infuse participants with the confidence to try it if they have not. Although it is early in 2013, this may be one of the best opportunities this year to learn basic canning with someone who has done it for years. If you want to know more please attend. The class is free.
Sarah Kenyon is an Agronomy Specialist with the University of Missouri based in Oregon County. Her specialty is forage. Due to the climate in 2012 and the expected weather in 2013 she will provide participants with information on Forage Management after a Drought. Please come after work at 5:30 p.m. to hear what she has to say on the subject.
The final educational program during Ag Expo will be on Cover Crops. This practice may be recognized as a method of rotation by some and a means of adding organic matter and improving soil by others. Sarah Denkler is a Horticulture Specialist with the University of Missouri. She will give a short presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m. on how cover crops can be used in organic gardens or in traditional cropping systems to improve soil and available nutrients.
In addition to the education there are many other opportunities to network with industry and other producers during the Ag Expo. Spend a day checking out the opportunities and bring the kids for a day of fun.
The Extension office is open Monday - Friday, located in Kennett, Missouri at 101 South Main Street (the old bank) on the 2nd floor. For horticulture questions contact the horticulture specialist at 573-686-8064. MU is an equal opportunity/ADA institution.