February 26, 2024

Calendar: Get growing at Bi-State Garden Conference

COVINGTON, Ind. — It’s not too early to make plans for your garden, and the 2024 Bi-State Garden Conference will give you the tools you need to get started.

The Bi-State Garden Conference will be 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET Jan. 23 at The Beef House Banquet Hall, 16501 IN-63, Covington.

Experts from University of Illinois and Purdue University will provide valuable knowledge to get this year’s growing season off on the right track:

• 10 to 10:30 a.m. — Jumping Worms, Robert Bruner, Purdue Extension entomology exotic forest pest specialist.

• 10:30 to 11 a.m. — Difficult Weed Management: 5 Weeds to Know, Michelle Wiesbrook, Illinois Extension specialist, weed science.

• 11 a.m. to noon — Lunch.

• Noon to 12:30 p.m. — Organic Lawn Care, Dr. Lee Miller, assistant professor and Extension turfgrass pathologist.

• 12:30 to 1 p.m. — Greenhouse Production of Landscape Plants, Kelly Allsup, Illinois Extension.

Cost is $30. Register at http://tinyurl.com/bp67ptsn.

For more information, contact Ryan Pankau at rcpankau@illinois.edu.

Winter Fest

GENOA, Ill. — Winter Fest 2024 will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Natural Resources Education Center in Russell Woods Forest Preserve, 11750 IL-72, Genoa.

Free nature-related educational and recreational activities will include a bird-viewing window, a family hike, presentations about migratory cranes in northern Illinois, crafts, face painting, an outdoor scavenger hunt, and a live bird program by Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center.

The Genoa Prairie Gems 4-H Club will offer lunch. There is no fee for the day; donations will be accepted to cover materials provided by the NREC.

For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/4u2bn2p6.

Breadmaking Workshop

OGLESBY, Ill. — The Make-and-Take Breadmaking Workshop will be 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 20 at Illinois Valley Community College, Culinary Kitchen, 815 Orlando Smith Road, Oglesby.

Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Susan Glassman will lead participants in making Garlic & Herb Focaccia, and Quick and Easy Strawberry Bread. Taste samples and take some bread home to enjoy with family and friends.

Cost is $15. Register at http://tinyurl.com/2rd24th2.

Interior Design

EUREKA, Ill. — The Interior Design Workshop will be 1:30 to 3 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Woodford County Extension office, 109 E. Eureka Ave., Eureka.

Participants will create an interior design item, using design concepts such as of color, shape, texture and pattern. There will be a competition showing off the design and skills you learned.

Cost is $5. Register at http://tinyurl.com/3px7utaa.

Tree Care

MATTOON, Ill. — The online Community Tree Care Series will begin 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 22.

Not all who care for trees are certified arborists, but many are carrying out the work arborists often do. This training is to provide information and resources to those who may need additional training to accomplish their goals of keeping trees healthy and minimizing risk.

This program is of special interest to arborists, public and private tree care professionals, municipal or county staff, community volunteers, and anyone interested in developing their tree care knowledge.

Three webinar sessions will cover the benefits of trees, basic identification of trees and their parts, site and species selection, planting and aftercare, pruning, and risk management. Face-to-face workshops will include hands-on training to apply learned skills, discussion of local issues, and opportunities to learn more.

Other webinars will be Feb. 5 and Feb. 26.

Cost is $20. Register at http://tinyurl.com/42d6xr2y.

Let’s Talk Money

URBANA, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension and the New American Welcome Center will offer the six-session series Let’s Talk Money at 4 p.m. Jan. 22 to June 24.

The program aims to help you gain financial knowledge and the confidence to discuss money with loved ones and professionals. All sessions will be held in English with a Spanish interpreter available.

The first three sessions will be online, and the last three will be in-person at the New America Welcome Center in Lincoln Square Mall, 301 S. Vine St., Suite 102, Urbana.

Session topics will be Who Are You With Money? Jan. 22; How Much Debt is Too Much Debt? Feb. 26; Credit Scores Revealed March 25; Debt Repayment Strategies April 22; Make Your Savings Grow May 20; and Secrets for Financial Success June 24.

No registration is required. For more information and to join a meeting, visit http://tinyurl.com/322etnbt.

Sheep Association Annual Meeting

SALEM, Ind. — The Washington County Sheep Association’s Annual Meeting will be 6:30 p.m. ET Jan. 22 at Southern Hills Church, 1645 S. St. Rd. 135, Salem.

The meeting will begin with a meal sponsored by the Washington County Sheep Association, followed by a short educational program, association business, and updates on 2024 programs and activities. Association annual dues of $10 may also be paid at the meeting.

All sheep producers are encouraged to attend. RSVP by calling the Washington County Extension office at 812-883-4601.

Arborist Conference

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Arborist Association will hold its 77th Annual Conference Jan. 23-25 at the Indianapolis Marriott East, 7202 E 21st St., Indianapolis.

The event will include a trade show and over 30 educational sessions.

Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Jan. 23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 24, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 25.

For details and registration, visit https://indiana-arborist.org/annual-conference.

Winter Birding

SAVANNA, Ill. — The program Winter Birding 101 will be 5 to 6 p.m. Jan. 23 at Savanna Public Library, 326 3rd St., Savanna.

A brief lesson on winter feeding and breeds in backyards will be discussed, and participants will make cookie-cutter bird feeders to take home for the birds in their backyards. Call the library to register at 815-273-3714.

Seed Starting

URBANA, Ill. — The program Native Seed Starting for Spring Planting will be 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 23.

Learn how to start native seeds for your garden with limited space and no specialized equipment.

Register for this online Four Seasons Gardening program at http://tinyurl.com/2rkky9bn.

Candle Making

GRAYVILLE, Ill. — The Candle Making Workshop will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Anthis Equipment, 171 IL Rte. 130, Grayville.

Youths ages 8 to 18 will learn how to make candles. Register at http://tinyurl.com/2s49jtsn.

Science of Chocolate

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The program Decadent Delights: Exploring the Art and Science of Chocolate will be 10 to 11 a.m. Jan. 23 at the Macoupin County Extension office, 60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

Learn all about chocolate and its origins. Participants will sample some chocolate products.

This class is presented in collaboration with the Macoupin County Home and Community Education Association. For more information, call 217-854-9604.

Cooking for 1 or 2

WAYNESVILLE, Ill. — The program Cooking for 1 or 2 will be 6 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Waynesville Township Library, 303 2nd St., Waynesville.

Cooking for one or two people can be an adjustment. The program will provide tips for making nutritious meals that are the perfect size.

Register for this free class by calling the library at 217-949-5111.

Annie’s Project

EL PASO, Ill. — Annie’s Project Training will be 9 a.m. to noon beginning Jan. 23 at Beck’s Hybrids, 90 N. Fayette St., El Paso.

The six-week training includes: Real Colors, Estate and Succession Planning, Farm Leasing, Insurance for Farm Families, Women and Money, Enterprise Analysis, Basic Financial Documents, Interpretation of Financial Documents, Grain/Livestock Marketing, Crop/Livestock Insurance, Farm Programs Overview (FSA, NRCS), Mental Health First Aid, and AgrAbility.

Cost is $50. Register at http://tinyurl.com/35ursy9h.

Pollinator Practices

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The program Pollinator Friendly Practices in Lawns, Landscapes and Gardens will be 7 to 8 p.m. Jan. 23 at the Champaign County Farm Bureau Auditorium, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign.

Learn about lawn service practices and their impact on pollinators, and steps you can take to help pollinators in your yard.

For more information, contact Valerie Nicolini, Champaign County master gardener program coordinator, at 217-244-4287.

Owl Biology

AUBURN, Ind. — The program Biology Is a Hoot for youths in grades 3 and up will be 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24 at the DeKalb County Office Building, 215 E. 9th St., Auburn.

The program will explore the biology behind owls, and investigate what they eat.

Cost is $10. Register at http://tinyurl.com/2p8y82pr.

Bumble Bees

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The online program Bumble Bees of Illinois will be 6 p.m. Jan. 24.

Register for this Wilderness Wednesdays program by visiting http://tinyurl.com/379db9rc.

NLRS Conference

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The 2024 Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Partnership Conference will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Illinois Department of Agriculture, 801 E. Sangamon Ave., Springfield.

The morning session will focus on the 2023 Biennial Report, nutrient research, and monitoring. An afternoon Policy Working Group Meeting will focus on discussions about the Iowa NLRS Dashboard, the Great Lakes to Gulf Virtual Observatory Dashboard, strategy goals for 2025, and the NLRS working group structure.

The conference is being held in person as well as online for remote participants. Register at http://tinyurl.com/h9bzxrvc.

The NLRS is implemented through a partnership between the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Agriculture, and University of Illinois Extension. Learn more about Illinois NLRS at go.illinois.edu/NLRS.

Beef Conference

DUBUQUE, Iowa — The 2024 Driftless Region Beef Conference will be 1 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 25, and 6:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Grand River Convention Center, 500 Bell St., Dubuque, Iowa.

The 12th annual conference will focus on efficient and economical forage and beef production in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Thie conference brings together beef producers and Extension specialists from these states for an educational program that focuses on production needs and timely topics.

Cost is $100. Register at https://www.aep.iastate.edu/beef.

Soil Health

HILLSBORO, Ill. — The program Soil Health and Preparation will be 10 to 11 a.m. Jan. 25 at the Montgomery County Extension office, 1 Industrial Park Drive, Hillsboro.

Learn how to unlock the secrets beneath your feet and cultivate a thriving garden from the ground up. Andrew Holsinger, Extension horticulture educator, will discuss practical techniques for soil preparation that go beyond the surface, ensuring your garden is poised for success. He will share valuable insights on soil amendments, cover cropping, and sustainable practices that nurture a vibrant and resilient soil ecosystem.

Register for this free program by visiting http://tinyurl.com/2jvadscu.

Prepare for Tax Season

INDIANAPOLIS — The online program Preparing for Tax Season will be 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. ET Jan. 26.

Topics will include understanding your filing status, gathering tax documents, maximizing retirement contributions, and adjusting your tax withholding.

The program will be led by Ashley Piland, Extension health and human sciences educator.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/4de94r3b.