February 01, 2023

Calendar: Master Gardener Seed Swap

Choose from a variety of free seeds, including vegetables, flowers, herbs, and native plants, at the 2022 Kendall County Master Gardener Seed Swap on Feb. 5. Learn more or save your spot to shop for free at go.illinois.edu/2022KendallSeedSwap.

YORKVILLE, Ill. — The Kendall County Master Gardener Seed Swap will be from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 28 at the Kendall County Extension office, 7775 B IL-47, Yorkville.

Seed Swap participants can choose from a wide variety of free vegetable, flower, herb, and native plant seeds. No need to bring seeds to participate. If gardeners would like to bring seeds to share, they should be fresh and labeled, and not from F1 hybrids, so they grow true to type. All seeds collected pre-event will be labeled and come with care instructions. Master gardeners and master naturalists will be available to answer questions.

This event is free and no registration is required. For questions, call 630-553-5823 or email fellerer@illinois.edu.

Livestock Conference

DECATUR, Ill. — The 4-H Junior Livestock Conference will be Jan. 21 and 22 at the Decatur Hotel & Conference Center, 4191 US-36, Decatur.

The Youth Livestock Conference is a fun-filled overnight weekend event for 4-H members in grades 7-9. This program provides leadership and team-building activities as well as hands-on opportunities built around the science and disciplines of livestock production and exhibition.

Participants will arrive at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 and depart at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 22. Cost is $130 and includes participant T-shirt, hotel room, Saturday lunch and dinner, Sunday breakfast, snacks, and all workshop materials.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/bdcm9x92.

Owl Walk

ST. ANNE, Ill. — Birding expert John Baxter will lead an owl walk at 6 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Aroma Land and Water Preserve, 1578 S. Heiland Road, St. Anne.

Participants will walk through the park as they listen for owls and learn more about their habits.

For more information about his free program, visit https://tinyurl.com/2brztbea.

Farm Liability

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Farm Liability and Insurance Basics: Legal Training for Illinois Small Farms will be from 7 to 8 p.m. Jan. 23.

Learn the essential points of liability and property insurance that every producer needs.

The workshop will be presented by Farm Commons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering farmers to solve their own business law challenges in a community of support. Farm Commons Executive Director Rachel Armstrong will lead the workshop, which will include time for questions from participants.

Register online at go.illinois.edu/farmliability.

Digital Ready

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Extension Digital Ready Business program will be from 2 to 3 p.m. ET Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Jan. 24.

The online workshops are designed to help small businesses learn to leverage online tools and services to grow their business. They will include a presentation from a trained Extension educator, activities, handouts and more.

Workshops sessions and dates are:

• Claim Your Online Turf, Jan. 24.

• Website Basics, Jan. 26.

• Grow Your Virtual Customers, Jan. 31.

• Search Engine Optimization, Feb. 2

• Email Analytics & Marketing, Feb. 7.

• Podcasting 101, Feb. 9.

• How to Blog Successfully, Feb. 14.

• Introduction to Social Media Platforms, Feb. 16.

• Social Media Plan & Content, Feb. 21.

• Social Media Analytics & Marketing, Feb. 23.

• Digital Storefront Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Cost is $25 per workshop or $250 for all 11 sessions ($30/$300 for non-Indiana participants). If your business is in Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Delaware, Huntington, Kosciusko, Lagrange, Lawrence, Montgomery, Morgan, Noble, Steuben, Vanderburgh, Wabash, Wells, or Whitley counties, there is no charge for the workshops; grants received by the Northeast Indiana Innovation Center and by AT&T have covered the program fees.

For more information, including detailed session information, visit www.cdext.purdue.edu/dr. Register at https://cvent.me/RPLD2W.

Bi-State Garden Conference

COVINGTON, Ind. — The Bi-State Garden Conference will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET Jan. 24 at the Beef House, 16501 IN-63, Covington.

Gather with fellow gardening enthusiasts to learn about current gardening trends and take advantage of research-based horticulture expertise from University of Illinois and Purdue University Extensions that can help you plan, plant, and harvest a successful garden.

Presentations will include:

• Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden, 10 a.m.: Pollinator-friendly landscaping is becoming increasingly popular. This presentation will discuss the importance of pollinators, the different types of pollinators we can find, and how you can make your landscape more attractive to them. Presenter: Ken Johnson, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• The Social Side of Seeds: Growing Community Gardens, 11 a.m.: As a gardener, you feel the direct benefits of your labor of love, improving both physical and mental health through regular exercise, exposure to sunlight, and access to fresh produce. Learn how you can share these benefits with others and grow a stronger community. Presenter: Karen Mitchell, consumer horticulture specialist, Purdue Extension.

Cost is $30 (cash or check only); admission fees will be collected at the door. Register at https://tinyurl.com/5a3pzcdm.

Landscape Design

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Native Landscape Design will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 24.

You will receive an introduction to landscape design with a focus on incorporating native plants and then receive individualized coaching on your own landscape from Extension staff, master gardeners, and master naturalists.

Individual landscape design coaching will be available from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 7 and Feb. 21.

This workshop is free, but space is limited. Register at https://tinyurl.com/5n6snzcz.

Painting Class

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. — The Winter Wonderland Painting Class will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Christian County Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville.

Diane Singler will lead participants in painting a winter wonderland using acrylic paint.

Cost is $10. Register at https://tinyurl.com/3m677zdt.

Fruit Trees

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — The program Fruit Trees and Small Fruits for the Home Grower will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Jackson County Extension office, 402 Ava Road, Murphysboro.

Are you ready to add a sweet addition to your yard? Local Foods and Small Farms Educator Bronwyn Aly will share how to grow small fruits (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries) and fruit trees (apples, peaches, pears, cherries) during this free program.

Program highlights include:

• Variety selection.

• Site selection and preparation.

• Fertilizer recommendations.

• Weed control.

Register by calling 618-687-1727 or visit go.illinois.edu/HomesteadingFruits.

Comfort Food Makeover

FAIRBURY, Ill. — The program Comfort Food Makeover will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Dominy Memorial Library, 201 S. 3rd St., Fairbury.

Scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, fried chicken — comfort foods aren’t always the healthiest of options. How can we duplicate the creamy, silky taste of grandma’s mac and cheese but without all the calories? This lesson is full of recipes and easy swaps to make your comfort food more compatible with your health goals.

This event is free to attend and no registration is required.

PSEP Testing

MILAN, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension is offering an in-person private applicator PSEP test only on Jan. 24 at the Rock Island County Extension office, 321 W. 2nd Ave., Milan. There will be two session to choose from: 9 a.m. to noon, or 1 to 4 p.m. Seating capacity is limited to 25 participants per session. Pre-register to attend the in-person training on a first-come, first-served basis by signing up at go.illinois.edu/PSEPtest2023Milan.

You can also find additional in-person and online trainings offered throughout the state at Illinois Extension’s PSEP website: extension.illinois.edu/psep/training-testing.

Microgreens Workshop

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The program All About Microgreens will be at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at the Kankakee County Extension office, 1650 Commerce Drive, Bourbonnais.

Microgreens can be grown by anyone for a nutritious addition to any meal.

This workshop is part of the GROW at Home series. Cost is $10 and includes all supplies. Register at https://tinyurl.com/339az4up.

Bi-State Conference

COVINGTON, Ind. — The Bi-State Garden Conference will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET Jan. 24 at the Beef House, 16501 IN-63, Covington.

Gather with fellow gardening enthusiasts to learn about current gardening trends and take advantage of research-based horticulture expertise from University of Illinois and Purdue University Extensions that can help you plan, plant, and harvest a successful garden.

Presentations will include:

• Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden, 10 a.m.: Pollinator-friendly landscaping is becoming increasingly popular. This presentation will discuss the importance of pollinators, the different types of pollinators we can find, and how you can make your landscape more attractive to them. Presenter: Ken Johnson, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• The Social Side of Seeds: Growing Community Gardens, 11 a.m.: As a gardener, you feel the direct benefits of your labor of love, improving both physical and mental health through regular exercise, exposure to sunlight, and access to fresh produce. Learn how you can share these benefits with others and grow a stronger community. Presenter: Karen Mitchell, consumer horticulture specialist, Purdue Extension.

Cost is $30 (cash or check only); admission fees will be collected at the door. Register at https://tinyurl.com/5a3pzcdm.

Garden Paths

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The program Designing and Constructing Pathways for the Home Garden will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Champaign County Extension auditorium, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign.

The presentation for homeowners planning a new or updated garden path will include:

• Available materials.

• Where to source materials.

• Types of paths that are best suited for the intended space.

• Consideration of drainage and choosing a layout for an aesthetically pleasing and functional path.

• How to prepare the site.

The program also will be available online. Register at https://tinyurl.com/4r3rhxvf.

Better Bean Series

QUINCY, Ill. — The 2023 ILSoyAdvisor Illinois Better Bean Series meetings are happening through February. Funded by the Illinois Soybean Association checkoff program, these half-day events feature local CCA Soy Envoys, agronomists, industry experts and farmers and focus on providing growers with tools to improve profitability and achieve high yields by providing updates from the Illinois Soybean Agronomy Team, highlighting research and presentations from local experts.

The Better Beans Series meetings kick off Jan. 25 at the Holiday Inn, 4821 Oak St., Quincy, with a second event Feb. 23 at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Stadium Club, 1415 Arena Drive, Carbondale. Both events start with a hot breakfast at 7 a.m. and wrap up at noon.

Register at www.ilsoyadvisor.com.

Growing Tree Fruit

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. — The program Basics of Planning, Establishing and Maintaining Orchards: Grow Your Own Tree Fruit will be from 3 to 4 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Christian County Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville.

Tree fruits can be grown in your backyard with proper care and training. Learn the basics of backyard tree fruits and how selection, training, and pruning are key factors for success.

The program also will be offered online. Register at https://tinyurl.com/5n7dtwv6.

Beginning Farmer Workshop

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Interested in starting a farm but unsure of how to get started or where you can find help? Are you already a farmer but eager to enhance and improve your management practices? Purdue Extension’s Beginning Farmer Workshop can help put you on a path to success.

Workshops will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET Wednesdays, Jan. 25 to March 8, at the Allen County Extension office, 4001 Crescent Ave., Fort Wayne.

Participants will learn how to:

• Address the realities of starting a farm.

• Assess your farming assets.

• Define realistic goals.

• Create feasible plans to achieve your goals.

The workshop includes seven sessions, with individual work to complete between sessions. You’ll emerge with a clear perspective on planning farm projects and moving forward with confidence.

Cost is $60 per person. Farms looking to register multiple people and willing to share the course materials can save by paying an additional $25 per additional person registered.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/56md5k6t.

Farm Winter School

ROCHESTER, Ind. — Justin Pearson, meteorologist with Midwestern Regional Climate Center based at Purdue University, will discuss new technologies available to farmers at Farm Winter School, 7 to 9 p.m. ET Jan. 25 in the Rochester High School Ag Department, 1645 S. Park Road, Rochester.

For more information, contact Mark Kepler at 574-223-3397 or mkepler@purdue.edu.

Climate Series

URBANA, Ill. — Weather trends are changing. Are you ready for how these changes will affect your agricultural operation or natural resources area?

The Bi-State Climate Monthly Webinar Series brings together Illinois and Indiana Extension experts to highlight important climate-related topics for Midwestern agriculture.

“Heavy rains, milder winters, and longer growing seasons have been occurring more often, and those trends are expected to continue,” says Duane Friend, University of Illinois Extension state master naturalist and climate specialist. “Speakers will cover how these trends are affecting the agriculture industry and natural resources in Illinois and Indiana.”

The first two sessions will be Extreme Weather Impacts, Soils, and Integrated Pest Management at 1 p.m. Jan. 26, and Decision Support Tools and Climate Monitoring for Agriculture at 1 p.m. Feb. 23.

The Jan. 26 session will explore solutions to mitigate and adapt agriculture to climate change and its impacts, including extreme weather and challenges with integrated pest management. Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford will discuss climate change, its impacts, and the role soil and water conservation can have to improve long-term profit, sustainability, and resilience.

The Feb. 23 presentation will explore free climate and weather monitoring tools and resources that are available through the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. MRCC Director Beth Hall will highlight some key products for agricultural stakeholders to help with planning and risk assessment as well as provide an opportunity to learn more about the climate data and monitoring needs from the community that would benefit planning and yield.

Sign up for either program for free at go.illinois.edu/ClimateWebinar. Each webinar has a one-hour Certified Crop Adviser credit in Soil and Water Management.

Getting Started with Swine

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Getting Started With Swine will be from 6 to 7 p.m. Jan. 26.

This presentation will be a basic overview for those considering getting started in swine. The session will review the basics of swine care, breed selection, and marketing considerations.

The program is the first topic in the Livestock Production and Principles for Beginners Webinar Series developed by Extension Local Foods and Small Farms Educator Grant McCarty.

“These webinars are set up to provide an overview on best practices in getting started and for those who are raising to sell directly to consumers via farmers markets, websites, and other avenues,” McCarty said. “Many of the topics we will cover are ones we commonly get questions about at our Extension office and have provided programs on previously. However, we’ve seen a number of new farmers in the last five years reach out to our office looking for some of these topics to be more beginner/introduction.”

Register at https://tinyurl.com/34rtfeyk.

Community Resources

INDIANAPOLIS — The program Connecting to Community Resources will be the topic of the Lunch and Learn program from noon to 1 p.m. Jan. 27.

The free, online program will be led by Marion County Purdue Extension educators.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/59j899vw.

Beef Conference

DUBUQUE, Iowa — The 2023 Driftless Region Beef Conference will be from 1 to 9 p.m. Jan. 26, and 6:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Grand River Convention Center, 350 Bell St., Dubuque, Iowa.

Participants can select from different workshop topics to develop a customized program. Visit with the many conference sponsors in the display area and learn about products and services they offer. Visit with fellow beef producers from the region.

Program topics include:

Jan. 26:

• Updating the carbon market landscape, Sarah Sellars, graduate research assistant, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois.

• Building a direct meat sales business, Lillie Beringer, Beringer Family Farms, Cascade, Iowa.

• Cows, covers and no-till cropping systems, Jack Smith, fifth-generation farmer, Epworth, Iowa.

• Animal handling impacts on performance and efficiencies, Dr. Dan Thomson, professor, Animal Science, Iowa State University.

• Feeding systems into the future, Dr. Dan Loy, university professor and director, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University.

• Changes in animal health regulations – OTC & implant changes in 2023, Thomson.

• Bull pen discussion, W. Travis Meteer, Extension beef educator, University of Illinois.

Jan. 27:

• Checkoff funded research drives value to driftless region producers, Casey Anderson, director of industry relations, Iowa Beef Industry Council; and Tammy Vaasan, executive director, Wisconsin Beef Council

• Dry lot cow demonstrations, Meteer.

• Turning corn into beef, Dr. Zachary Smith, assistant professor, Animal Sciences, South Dakota State University.

• Annual forages to fill the grazing gap, Denise Schwab, Extension beef field specialist, Iowa State University.

• Confinement mobility and mat studies, Dr. Josh McCann, assistant professor, Animal Sciences, University of Illinois.

• Impacts of poor nutrition during late gestation on the cow-calf system, Colby Redifer, graduate research assistant, Animal Sciences, University of Missouri.

• Dairy on beef performance and biometrics, Bill Halfman, extension beef outreach specialist, University of Wisconsin Extension; and Alyssa Seitz, graduate research assistant, Animal Nutrition and Meat Science, University of Wisconsin.

• 7 & 7 Synch: A synchronization option for your herd?, Dr. Jordan Thomas, assistant professor, Animal Sciences and state cow-calf extension specialist, University of Missouri.

• Hairy heel wart, Dr. Dörte Döpfer, professor, Food Animal Production Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin.

• Market outlook, Dr. Derrell Peel, Breedlove Professor of Agribusiness, Oklahoma State University.

Cost is $115. More information on topics, speakers and lodging is available at www.aep.iastate.edu/beef. Online and mail registration forms are available on the conference website.

The Driftless Region Beef Conference is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, University of Illinois Extension, and University of Wisconsin Extension. For more information or to receive a brochure, contact Denise Schwab, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, at 319-472-4739.

Garden Clinic

INDIANAPOLIS — The Spring Garden Clinic will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Jan. 28 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St., Indianapolis.

This annual event is designed for beginners and experts alike. It provides a wide array of gardening information and a chance to network with other gardeners.

Cost is $55 and includes educational sessions, snacks and lunch. Register at https://tinyurl.com/2676ntrf.

Let’s Make Soup

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. — The program Let’s Make Soup will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 28 at the Jerseyville Public Library, 105 N. Liberty St., Jerseyville.

This is a hands-on class and involves making soup in pressure cookers. Participants will receive recipes and get to make and taste-test a variety of soups.

Register for this free class by calling the library at 618-498-9514.

Green Expo

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Green Expo will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 at the Indiana Convention Center, 100 S. Capitol Ave., Indianapolis.

The annual event will include educational sessions, workshops and a trade show.

The conference is a joint effort between the Midwest Regional Turf Foundation and the Indiana Professional Landscape Association with an average attendance of 1,600 green industry professionals.

For registration and more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/5bzphpxk.