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The process of molting laying hens is done in order to extend the productive life of your laying hen flock. Molting is a natural physiological process of all birds and it occurs throughout the life of your flock.

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Even though it is getting cold outside and snow may soon be covering our gardens, we can still exercise our little ones’ (and own!) green thumbs. Bring the garden inside this winter with fun activities and experiments! Winter is the perfect time for kids to learn basic plant concepts.

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. — The Black Hawk College Soil Judging Team won first place at the American Society of Agronomy 2019 Region 3 Collegiate Soils Contest in Stevens Point. BHC team members competed against students from Eastern Oklahoma State College and Vincennes University.

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How often do you think or talk about your local watershed? For most, it is probably not a standard topic of conversation. The reality is, we all live, work and play in watersheds, and our actions can impact water quality locally and downstream.

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ELIZABETH, Ill. — Join the Jo Daviess County Master Gardeners on Nov. 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jo Daviess County Extension office, 204 Vine St., Elizabeth, for a program on how to make herb bundles. The cost of this program is $10 per person. All of the materials needed will be provided.

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URBANA, Ill. – Each year, the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine opens its doors to the public for an in-depth experience in the world of veterinary medicine. This free event, put on by roughly 400 veterinary students, is perfect for all ages.

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DECATUR, Ill. — Horticulture has been a recurring theme in Maria Christian’s life. Christian has always had a love of vegetables and flowers, and this year celebrates her 30th anniversary as a Macon County Master Gardener.

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SNAP-Education Educator Kaitlyn Streitmatter worked with Beverly Manor Junior High in Washington, Illinois, to research and apply ways to reduce school food waste and increase the amount of healthy foods students eat.

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FRANKLIN GROVE, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension and Franklin Creek Conservation Association are teaming up for Family Fun Day from 1 to 3 p.m. Oct 12 at the Grist Mill, 1893 Twist Road, Franklin Grove.

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GALENA, Ill. – The University of Illinois Extension will host a mini nature camp from 8 a.m. to noon Oct. 14 at Horseshoe Mound Preserve, 1679 N. Blackjack Road, Galena.

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Looking for a way to give back to the community? What better way than by empowering others to take control of their finances. If you’re comfortable managing money and would like to help others take steps forward in their lives, University of Illinois Extension’s Money Mentor program may be t…

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Nicole Flowers-Kimmerle of East Peoria has joined University of Illinois Extension as the new horticulture educator in the Fulton-Mason-Peoria-Tazewell Unit. Her new role will include a wide range of horticulture programs, educational resources, and overseeing the unit Master Gardener and Ma…

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KANKAKEE, Ill. –State Forrester Chris Evans will conduct a morning discussion on tree selection and maintenance and then lead an afternoon walk identifying trees.

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STERLING, Ill. – The free precision agriculture program Drones in Agriculture will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 30 at the Jordan Township Building in Sterling. Current and future uses of drones in agriculture will be discussed, and a field demonstration will include the Agras MG-1S RTK octocopter.

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ELIZABETH, Ill. –Learn about growing garlic from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Jo Daviess County Extension office, 204 Vine St., Elizabeth.

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – The program Apple a Day will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Kankakee County Extension office, 1650 Commerce Drive, Bourbonnais.

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ELIZABETH, Ill. – The Northwest Illinois Forestry Association will sponsor two chain-saw safety courses: beginners on Sept. 24, and advanced on Sept. 25, both from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Jim Breed farm, 3446 Long Hollow Road, near Elizabeth.

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AROMA PARK, Ill. – Bring your little nature lover to Shannon Bayou, 3301 Waldron Road, Aroma Park, for a walk along the Storybook Trail.

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DECATUR, Ill.  – Join the Macon County master naturalists for a family-friendly tour of Fairview Park to enjoy the festive autumn foliage and learn about the park’s wide variety of trees. Walk in the Park will be 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 29 at 1455 W. Fairview Park Drive, Decatur.

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A major concern is for evergreen material surviving the winter with very little soil moisture. Pine, spruce, fir, yew, juniper and arborvitae are already stressed from the summer extremes and are in real danger if they can’t pull moisture from the soil to replace what is normally lost due to winter weather.

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CANTON, Ill. – Students at Canton High School participated in the school’s largest career expo that the high school has ever seen. University of Illinois Extension staff worked with representatives from Canton Area Chamber of Commerce and Spoon River College to initiate the planning process.

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FREEPORT, Ill. – Highland Community College Agriculture in partnership with University of Illinois Extension will be hosting a Crop Research Field Day from 9 to 11 a.m. Sept. 4 at Highland Agriculture’s research plot located at 3472 W. Loras Drive, Freeport.

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The difference between a fruit and a vegetable is in their culinary use. The confusion between the two terms exists because “fruit” also refers to the mature ovary of a plant, consisting of the seeds and their covering. By this definition alone, vegetable crops such as sweet corn, snap beans, okra, peppers, and tomatoes qualify as a fruit.

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CARTERVILLE, Ill. — Native plants are an important part of our ecosystem. They house and feed our native wildlife and provide unique beauty to any landscape. Extension horticulture educator Austin Little and environmental and energy stewardship educator Erin Medvecz will provide a free program about native plants and how to incorporate them into landscaping.

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HILLSBORO, Ill. – Timing is important when it comes to treatment of caterpillar pests in trees. The earlier you find these insects, the easier it is to control them. Summer is a nice time to take a cruise in the car and you may notice some webs in the roadside trees.

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DECATUR, Ill. – Discover and celebrate the power of pollinators and the monarch butterfly as they migrate across central Illinois in September at the fifth-annual Monarch Madness co-sponsored by the Macon County Master Gardeners and Rock Springs Nature Center.

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The Illinois Rural Health Association will host its 30th annual Educational Conference Aug. 7-8 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign. The theme of this year’s conference is “30 Years of Improving Rural Health.”

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School gardens offer so much more than beautifying school grounds. Imagine being able to dig in the soil to explore its make-up instead of looking at pictures, observe firsthand the act of pollination and the life cycle of plants from seed to seeds, or be inspired by the garden while writing an essay or painting a picture.

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MACOMB, Ill. – Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture’s 2019 Agronomy Field Day will be held Aug. 8, at the Agricultural Field Laboratory. This year’s event will feature information on weed management in corn and soybeans.

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BRYANT, Ill. — Sonja Wright, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties, created a sensory garden in her hometown of Bryant, Illinois. Through her professional career as a speech pathologist, Sonja understands the value of using all five senses as a means of skills recovery.

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SPRING GROVE, Ill. — Richardson Adventure Farm’s annual corn maze will salute the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. Richardson Adventure Farm, 909 English Prairie Road, Spring Grove, has been in the family since 1840, and opened the first corn maze in 2001. Over the years, it has become an annual destination for family fun, with a new 28-acre maze every year, plus more than 30 activities.

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PRINCETON, Ill. – The Bureau County Farm Bureau and U of I Extension will host the Bureau County Master Showmanship Contest on July 19 at 7:30 p.m. (or approximately ½ hour after the end of the swine show) in the Swine/Sheep Livestock Barn at the Bureau County Fairgrounds.

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PRINCETON, Ill. – Youth ages 5 to 12 are invited to join University of Illinois Extension in a fun, educational Nature Detective Camp. The camp will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 7 at the Bureau County Extension office, 850 Thompson St., Princeton.

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URBANA, Ill. – Now that summer is finally here and our summer road trips have begun, we can fully enjoy the trees and natural landscapes. During my travels, I have been noticing more and more diseased or dead trees in Illinois. When I notice those trees, the concern that comes to mind is safety.

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STERLING, Ill – Join Whiteside County master gardeners at Summer Paint Night from 6 to 8 p.m. July 11 from at KIDZ Turn in Sterling. KIDZ Turn is located at the intersection of Route 30 and Lawrence Road, next door to the University of Illinois Extension office.

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PRINCETON, Ill. – Friends of 4-H & Extension who help to support outreach educational programs for the Extension Service and 4-H/Youth Development Programs in Bureau County is pleased to announce the winners of the cash raffle fundraiser.

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Dedicated volunteers Dr. John Ehrhardt and Laurie Delgado were recognized at the June 18 University of Illinois Extension – Bureau, La Salle, Marshall, Putnam Multi-County Unit Council meeting.

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You have probably heard of the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy by now, but in case you have not, it addresses nutrient losses to waters in Illinois and downstream to the Gulf of Mexico from both point and non-point sources of pollution. In Illinois, we have goals to reduce nitrate-nitrogen losses by 15% and total phosphorus losses by 25% by the year 2025.

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ROCKFORD, Ill.— Farmers and landowners are invited to join us on Tuesday, July 9, at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Rockford to learn more about cover crops during this challenging season. Local experts will share their research and experiences using different cover crop systems in northern Illinois.

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