The winter through early spring calendar is filled with all kinds of opportunities to attend conferences and programs on a variety of topics and subject matter. I love the diversity of agriculture and the possibilities afforded us through various agricultural enterprises. In this column I want to highlight some conferences and programs that may be of interest to readers. Please note that these programs have February registration dates that are fast approaching.
Ohio Forage and Grasslands Annual Conference
The Ohio Forages and Grasslands Council Annual Conference will be held February 19, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg, OH. The program theme is “Fitting the Pieces Together in a Forage System.” The keynote speaker will be Dr. Stacey Hamilton, University of Missouri Extension State Dairy Specialist, who will discuss “Balancing risk and rewards of annual and perennial pastures” as well as “What we are learning about irrigating pastures,” based on his work with grass-based dairies in Missouri. Chris Penrose, OSU Extension Educator Morgan County, will speak on what he has learned from his on-farm research with “N-Inhibitors for grass production.” A highlight of the program is always the Producer Panel, and that tradition will continue with several producers highlighting their forage, dairy, sheep, and beef production systems. The day will conclude with a Forage Research Update including early results from low lignin alfalfa varieties by Dr. Mark Sulc and Dr. Dave Barker, The Ohio State University.
A conference brochure listing topics speakers and times as well as a registration form is available on the Wayne County Extension web site at: http://go.osu.edu/agwayne . The conference brochure with an on-line registration option is available on the American Forage and Grassland Council web site at: http://www.afgc.org/ohio.php
Registration is due by February 12, 2016. For more information contact Gary Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (419) 348-3500.
Ohio Hops and Malting Barley Conference and Trade Show
One of the growing, agriculturally related, industries in Ohio is locally brewed craft beer. According to Brad Bergefurd, horticulture specialist at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, in 2015 there were more than 150 licensed breweries statewide operating to meet demand for locally brewed craft beer. Bergefurd says that to meet this growing demand an estimated 6,000 acres of hops are required by Ohio craft brewers at current use rates. As of 2015, Ohio only had an estimated 200 acres of hops planted.
As more Ohio-based craft brewers seek to procure hops grown locally, interest in growing these crops continues to rise among both established and potential hops growers statewide. Along with locally grown hops, there is interest in reviving the production of malting barley within the state to add another local component to craft beers.
To help new growers learn how to get started growing both hops and malting barley in Ohio, a two-day Ohio Hops and Malting Barley Conference and Trade Show will be held February 24-25 at Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., in Wooster on the OARDC campus. The workshop will feature detailed information on the latest in hops and malting barley production, including soil fertility, fertilization, and pest control management. Other topics that will be covered include mechanical harvesting, processing, malting, pelletizing and marketing. The conference is for both beginning and advanced hops and malting barley growers and anyone interested in growing these crops to meet the increasing demand for a rapidly expanding industry.
Registration for the conference is $175 for both days or $100 for one day. Registration includes a spiral-bound booklet, handouts, a flash drive with conference presentations, snacks and beverages. The February 24 banquet is an additional cost of $50 per person. The deadline to register for the conference is February 5. More information, including a link to registration forms, a complete agenda of topics and speakers, and contact information to answer specific questions is available on-line at: go.osu.edu/OhioHopsAndBarleyConference.
Tri-County Beekeepers Beekeeping Workshop
We are fortunate to have an active beekeeping association our area, the Tri-County Beekeepers Association that has a lot of beekeeping knowledge and expertise. One of the outreach activities the association does is to conduct an annual beekeeping workshop which this year is scheduled for March 4-5. The workshop is held on the OARDC campus in Wooster, utilizing both the Fisher Auditorium and the Shisler Conference Center facilities. There is a 1000 attendee limit, so if you plan to attend register sooner rather than later. Registration deadline is February 13 if meals are desired as part of the registration process.
The theme of this year’s workshop is “Beekeeping in 3D: Detection, Disease, Doctoring”. The workshop begins on Friday evening with a tour of the OSU Pollinatarium and Museum at 5:00 pm and then workshop sessions at 7:00 pm. Saturday March 5 is a full day of speakers and workshop sessions. Attendees will have various breakout topics to choose from. For more information about the workshop including an agenda of workshop topics and an on-line registration process visit the web site at: www.TriCountyBeekeepers.org. You can also call for more information at 330-801-1309 and if there is no answer, please leave a message.