WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. — The Devil’s Kitchen Lake Kayak Botany Tour will be 8 to 11:30 a.m. July 30. Enjoy a relaxing paddle around Devil’s Kitchen Lake while learning about the native plants and trees within the national wildlife refuge. This event is co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension Forestry program and the Southern Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society.
An experienced guide will lead the way along the undeveloped shoreline of the lake that is located within the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge between Marion and Carbondale in Williamson County. Participants will learn about aquatic and wetland plants as well as the forests and bluffs that surround the pristine 810-acre lake.
Participants must provide their own kayak, personal flotation device and equipment. This is a remote location without access to facilities. Participants should also bring drinking water, a snack, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, and a dry bag or case for protecting keys and phones.
Register at go.illinois.edu/KBT. The tour is free, but participants will need a day pass or annual pass to access the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. Passes are available at the Refuge Visitor Center located at 8588 Route 148, Marion.
CLINTON, Ill. — The DeWitt County Master Gardener Help Desk will be from 10 a.m. to noon July 30 at the Vespasian Warner Library, 310 N. Quincy St., Clinton.
Get garden tips and have any of your gardening questions answered.
Lawrence County Jr. Fair
Effingham County Fair
Tractor Driving Contest
ALTAMONT, Ill. — The Effingham Co. 4-H Tractor Driving Contest will be 10:30 a.m. to noon July 30 at the Effingham County Fairgrounds, 722 E. Cumberland Road, Altamont.
For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yckvsbs7.
Marion County Fair
Pulaski County Fair
Coles County Fair
Logan County Fair
Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes
The online program Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes: Emergency Kits and Communication Plans will be at noon Aug. 1.
Do you have an emergency kit ready to go? The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that individuals and families prepare to be on their own for at least 72 hours after a disaster occurs.
In this session, you will learn about the recommended items that should be included in every basic emergency kit and how to plan for the unique needs of your family. You also will learn how to develop a practical family communications plan that will allow you and your family to manage and maintain contact during a disaster scenario.
Additional sessions will be offered via Zoom Mondays at noon throughout the month of August. Register at https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/660734624.
Veterans Memorial Fair
PEKIN, Ill. — Veterans Memorial Fair, Aug. 1-3, Pekin; 309-348-2345.
Organic Field Day
WOLCOTTVILLE, Ind. — The Northeastern Indiana Organic Field Day will be Aug. 2 at the Wolcottville Organic Livestock Feed Cooperative, 109 Union St., Wolcottville.
Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program.
Program topics include:
9 a.m., Navigating the transition to organic production, Ashley Adair.
9:30 a.m., Budgets for organic production, Michael Langemeier.
10:30 a.m., Protecting organic acres using Driftwatch, Steve Engleking.
10:45 a.m., Update on OREI grant/future studies at NEPAC, Ashley Adair and Stephen Boyer.
11 a.m., Disease management of organic grains, Darcy Telenko.
11:30 a.m. What to expect from an organic inspection, Mark Seeley.
Lunch and tours of the W.O.L.F cooperative will be from noon to 1 p.m. Field tours of nearby organic farms will be from 1 to 3:30 p.m.
Cost is $20 and lunch is included. Register by July 26 by visiting https://tinyurl.com/2vpbp6az. For more information, call 260-499-6334.
Getting into the Farm Business
PRINCETON, Ind. — The series Getting into the Farm Business begins Aug. 2 at the Princeton Public Library, 124 S. Hart St., Princeton.
From business plans to thinking like a CFO, this series will give an overview of the kinds of financial information every farm needs to consider.
Sessions will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. CT Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 16, and Aug. 23.
Register at https://tinyurl.com/4s93fasd.
McHenry County Fair
Brown County Fair
STERLING, Ill. — Brown County Fair, Aug. 2-7, 39 Fairground St., Mt. Sterling; www.browncofair.com; 217-773-3939.
What’s Wrong with My Houseplant?
CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The program What’s Wrong with My Houseplant? will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Aug. 3 at the Macoupin County Extension office, 60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.
Houseplants can make your home inviting to more than just house guests. Before buying, examine plants thoroughly for signs of insects and disease. Learn how to get off to the right start when growing on the inside.
Register for this free program by visiting https://tinyurl.com/jv6keu48.
Commodity Market Basics
LEWISTON, Ill. — Cathy Ekstrand a senior market adviser with Total Farm Marketing, will teach a two-part course on Commodity Marketing Basics from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 3 and Aug. 10 at the Fulton County Extension office, 15411 N. IL 100 Highway, Lewistown.
Ekstrand is a statewide presenter for Annie’s Project in commodity market trading. This training has been inspired by Annie’s Project alumni who have expressed a desire to learn more.
Cost is $15, or $10 for Annie’s Project alumni. Register at https://tinyurl.com/583mvppm.
Kankakee County Fair
McLean County Fair
Ogle County Fair
OREGON, Ill. — Ogle County Fair, Aug. 3-7, 1440 N. Limekiln Road, Oregon; www.oglecountyfair.com; 815-732-6962.
Illinois Crop Scouting Competition
SAVOY, Ill. — The Illinois Crop Scouting Competition will be from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Crop Sciences Research & Education Center, 4202 S. First St., Savoy.
In a corn or soybean field, knowing how crops are progressing or being able to identify an insect can mean the difference between a profitable harvest and a bad year. The Illinois Crop Scouting Competition is a one-day contest that challenges teams of students from across the state to test their field scouting knowledge hands-on with agricultural professionals from University of Illinois.
Student teams grades 9 to 12 with an adult adviser will rotate through 10 outdoor stations at the University of Illinois South Farm fields to test their skills hands-on with topics such as identifying weeds, insects, and diseases, identifying the growth stages of corn and soybean plants, assessing abiotic injury, pesticide application, and integrated pest management.
Teams will be scored by judges with cash prizes for the top three scores: $500 for first, $300 for second, and $150 for third. The top two teams will also advance to compete against students in other states and represent Illinois at the Midwestern regional competition.
Register for free at go.illinois.edu/CropScouting. Lunch, beverages, and snacks will be provided.
ServSafe Class and Exam
GREENCASTLE, Ind. — The ServSafe Food Manager one-day class and exam will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Aug. 4 at the Putnam County Fairgrounds, 191 N. U.S. Hwy. 231, Greencastle.
Cost for training, manual and exam is $165. Register for this and other ServSafe training dates and locations at www.purdue.edu/servsafe/workshops.
Great Annuals for Your Garden
URBANA, Ill. — Champaign County master gardeners and University of Illinois Extension present the program Great Annuals for Your Garden — Master Gardener Tested from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Aug. 4 at the Idea Garden, 2001 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana.
Master Gardener Ann Tice will host a discussion about some of the new “to be released” 2023 annual flowers that a team of Champaign County master gardeners are currently evaluating.
Each year, master gardeners plant a display garden at the Idea Garden where they trial or “test out” annuals. About 45-60 different varieties of plants go through a detailed evaluation process.
Plants are evaluated for percentage of bloom, percent of pests or diseases, and an overall evaluation.
Register at https://tinyurl.com/4ebjrdub.
Jo Daviess County Fair
Kendall County Fair
Bond County Fair
GREENVILLE, Ill. — Bond County Fair, Aug. 4-9, 1224 Midway Drive, Greenville; www.bondcofair.com; 618-664-1412.
Plant Identification Hike
ST. ANNE, Ill. — Join University of Illinois Extension Educator Erin Garrett for a plant identification hike at 2 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Aroma Land and Water Reserve, 1578 S. Hieland Road, St. Anne.
Walk through prairie, forest, and wetland ecosystems while discussing the plants seen along the way and how to identify them.
Register for this free program by visiting https://tinyurl.com/5vwys2ky.