February 27, 2024

Calendar: Incubation and Embryology Program for teachers

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Training for the 2024 Incubation and Embryology Program for teachers will be 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Kankakee County Extension office, 1650 Commerce Drive, Bourbonnais.

Course content will be oriented to train teachers to conduct classroom incubation and embryonic development projects.

After training, teachers have the opportunity to participate in the program to hatch eggs and raise chicks in the classroom.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/2s4k4jtw.

Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference

ROCKFORD, Ill. — The 28th annual Stateline Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference will be at 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at NIU-Rockford, 8500 E. State St., Rockford.

The conference addresses common issues facing fruit and vegetable growers, providing the most up-to-date information to ensure a successful growing season and business.

Cost is $35, which includes your choice of breakout sessions, a general session, and a boxed lunch from Mary’s Market. For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/5n6wx3aw.

Topics will include:

• Updates on Apple Disease Management — Dr. Mohammad Babadoost, University of Illinois Extension.

• A Year in Pumpkin IPM — Marissa Schuh, University of Minnesota Extension.

• Blueberries: From B to Z — Cheyenne Sloan, Michigan State University Extension.

• Diagnosis and Management of Raspberry Cane and Fruit Diseases — Dr. Leslie Holland, University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension.

Lessons in Tomato Pest Management from High Tunnels and Open Fields — Dr. Kacie Athey, University of Illinois Extension.

• Information and Guidance for Your First Steps with NRCS — Jamie Jones, NRCS.

• Maintaining Your Blueberries for Years to Come — Cheyenne Sloan, Michigan State University Extension.

• Updates on Solanaceous Disease Management — Dr. Mohammad Babadoost, University of Illinois Extension.

• Beginning IPM for Insects — Marissa Schuh, University of Minnesota Extension.

• Identification and Management Blueberry Fruit Diseases — Dr. Leslie Holland, UW-Madison Extension.

• Updates on Cucurbit disease management — Dr. Mohammad Babadoost, University of Illinois Extension.

• Integrating Livestock into Your Operation — Sarah Farley, University of Illinois Extension.

New and Old Pests in Fruit Production: Spotted Lanternfly, Periodical Cicadas, and Plum Curculio — Dr. Kacie Athey, University of Illinois Extension.

• Fertility Management Decision-Making Tools — Zack Grant, University of Illinois Extension

• Pumpkin Planning and Planting: Your First Field — Grant McCarty, University of Illinois Extension.

• Considerations for Herbicide Resistance, Use, and Management in Specialty Crops — Kathryn Seebruck, University of Illinois Extension.

Carnivorous Plants

MONTICELLO, Ill. — The program Carnivorous Plants will be noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Piatt County Extension office, 210 S. Market St., Monticello.

Carnivorous plants are unique and fascinating plants that have captured people’s imaginations for years. Learn about why carnivorous plants have evolved to “eat” meat, the different ways carnivorous plants go about capturing their prey, and their unique care requirements.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/2jy4sjs8.

This free program is part of the Growing Community Program Series hosted by DeWitt and Piatt county master gardeners.

Change Grants

URBANA, Ill. — Learn how to secure financial support for environmental and climate justice in your community in the online program Community Change Grants at noon Feb. 20.

The Inflation Reduction Act Community Change Grants Program funds environmental and climate justice activities to benefit disadvantaged communities through projects that reduce pollution, increase community climate resilience, and build community capacity to address environmental and climate justice challenges. These place-based investments are focused on community-driven initiatives responsive to community and stakeholder input and designed for communities most adversely and disproportionately impacted by climate change, legacy pollution, and historical disinvestments.

This session will provide information on program requirements, eligibility, application details, and available resources for the current funding opportunity, which is open until November 2024.

The program is part of the Thriving Communities Webinar Series. Register at http://tinyurl.com/48bfyn4c.

Annual Meeting

ROCKVILLE, Ind. — The Parke County Soil and Water Conservation District’s annual meeting will be 5 to 7 p.m. ET Feb. 20 at the 4-H Building, Parke County Fairgrounds, 1472 US 41, Rockville.

Learn how to manage forest on your property, including timber stand improvement and invasive management. Also, learn about SWCD plans for the year, grants and projects in the works. Speaker will be Lenny Farlee, forester with Purdue Extension.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/yrnxbysc. For more information about the SWCD, visit http://tinyurl.com/52w49tew.

Tree Fruit

SIMPSON, Ill. — The program Tree Fruit will be 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, 354 IL-145, Simpson.

Bronwyn Aly, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator, will highlight different tree fruit varieties and discuss tree care and maintenance practices to optimize fruit yields. Learn how to get the most out of growing fruit trees in your backyard.

The program is part of the Sustainable Living Series. Register at http://tinyurl.com/44hvtp85.

Ag Day

NEW HARMONY, Ind. — Posey County Ag Day will be 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CT Feb. 21 at the Posey County Community Event Center, 111 Harmony Township Road, New Harmony.

Topics will include:

• 2024 Regulatory Update: Worker Protection Standard — Amanda Mosiman, Purdue Extension.

• Corn Disease Management — Jordan Miller, BASF.

• Wheat Fertility and Management — Chris Bowley, AgriMaXX.

• Indiana Climate-Smart Agriculture — Dianna Rulon, Solutions from the Land.

RSVP by calling 812-838-1331. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/y3xk4mrr.

Air Drying Hardwood

LOGANSPORT, Ind. — The Air Drying Hardwood Lumber Workshop will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET Feb. 21 at Cole Hardwood, 1611 W. Market St., Logansport.

Speakers will discuss the moisture content of wood, why drying is necessary, and various ways in which to air dry lumber. Also, principles of setting up a quality air-drying yard, proper lumber stacking, basics of wood preservation and air-drying troubleshooting.

There will be a tour and discussion of Cole Hardwood’s air-drying yard.

Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/3h28mzre. For questions, contact Rado Gazo, professor of Wood Processing and Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, at gazo@purdue.edu or 765-494-3634.

Cooking for the Heart

PANA, Ill. — Cooking for the Heart will be 10:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 21, at Pana Community Hospital, 101 E. 9th St., Pana.

This class offers information on preparing nutritious meals low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium while incorporating ingredients that promote heart health, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Participants will prepare a variety of heart-healthy dishes and do some taste testing. Learning these cooking techniques can empower individuals to make healthier choices in their daily diets, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease and other related health conditions.

Register by calling 217-562-6231.

Air Fryers

WATERLOO, Ill. — The Wellness Wednesdays program Cooking for the Heart: Air Fryers will be noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Monroe County Annex, 901 Illinois Ave., Waterloo.

Learn how to make heart-healthy food choices and how cooking with an air fryer can be good for your heart. The program also will be available online.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/2s3u4xnh.

Choosing Trees

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. — Choosing Native Trees and Shrubs will be 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Christian County Extension office, 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville.

Explore the invaluable role native trees and shrubs play in fostering a thriving ecosystem for insects and wildlife in local habitats. Gain insights into the distinctive qualities of native woody plants and uncover the aesthetic appeal that desirable trees and shrubs can bring into the diversity of your landscape.

Register for this free program at http://tinyurl.com/4yztt32e.

Tea Gardens

BUDA, Ill. — The Tea Gardens Workshop will be 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at Mason Memorial Public Library, 104 W. Main St., Buda.

The tradition of making and taking tea in the garden is steeped in garden history. Today, tea gardens also provide enchanting outdoor spaces that are soothing, productive, sustainable, and lovely to visit. Learn about different types of tea gardens and the tea garden design components that make these great spaces to enjoy tea. Various plants used to make tea also will be covered.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/tu2mdce2.

Seed Starting

BELVIDERE, Ill. — The Seed Starting Class will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Ida Public Library, 320 N. State St., Belvidere.

Boone County Extension Master Gardener Jennifer Crider will guide you through the entire seed-starting process, from choosing the right seeds to nurturing your seedlings. You’ll gain valuable tips and tricks to maximize germination rates and ensure healthy plant growth.

Register for this free class by calling the Ida Public Library at 815-544-3838.

Agronomy Roundup

WATERLOO, Ill. — Agronomy Roundup will be 8 to 10 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Monroe County Annex, 901 Illinois Ave., Waterloo.

The event is a resource for local farmers, providing insights and strategies for the upcoming growing season.

The agenda includes:

• Local agency updates.

• Building a Successful Weed Management Plan for 2024 — Nathan Johanning, University of Illinois Extension commercial ag educator.

• Weather and Climate Outlook for the 2024 Growing Season — Trent Ford, state climatologist, University of Illinois

To register or for more information, call 618-939-3434 or email njohann@illinois.edu.

Ag Women Engage Conference

FORT WAYNE, ind. — The Ag Women Engage Conference will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET Feb. 22 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne.

Attendees will learn how to better manage risk, enhance their farms and agribusiness operations, and network with other ag women throughout Indiana.

Amanda Radke, a fifth-generation rancher from South Dakota, will be the keynote speaker following lunch. She will be presenting “Plant and Prune the Family Ag Business to Reap a Bountiful Harvest.” This session will navigate dynamics of multigenerational family agriculture businesses.

There also will be two preconference options available: Transferring the Farm’s Legacy, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 21; and Farm Accounting Workshop with Quicken, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p;.m. Feb. 21.

Participants also are invited to join the Purdue Women in Ag Team and the Young Ladies of Ag Forum participants for dinner on Feb. 21.

For detailed information about the AWE Conference and to register, visit https://purdue.link/AWE2024.

Weighing in on Sleep

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The Lessons for Living program Weighing in on Sleep will be 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 22 at the Macoupin County Extension office, 60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

Sleep is important for a number of brain functions, including how nerve cells communicate with one another. In fact, your brain and body stay remarkably active while you sleep.

This class is presented in collaboration with the Macoupin County Home and Community Education Association. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/muvfkf3w.

IPT Bull Sale

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The 2024 Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., Springfield.

The Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale has been a leader in introducing Illinois seedstock breeders and commercial cow-calf producers to the latest evaluation technologies and practices. The sale has offered some of the best genetics based on performance standards utilized by the beef industry.

During the past 54 years, 4,905 bulls have sold for over $9 million. Dedicated breeders and commercial cow-calf producers have trusted the Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale for proven genetics.

All bulls will have genomic-enhanced EPDs. Genomic-enhanced EPDs are more accurate and predictable EPDs. Reducing the risk on these bulls means they can be trusted more now than ever to sire true to their values.

Videos of bulls will be shown during the live auction instead of running through the sale ring. All bulls will be on display for buyer inspection during the sale. Halter-broke, as well as docile, non-halter-broke bulls are eligible. Non-haltered cattle will be screened for disposition prior to the sale.

For more information, including pictures of bulls, visit https://iptbullsale.com.

For questions, contact Travis Meteer, Illinois Extension commercial ag educator and beef specialist, at 217-430-7030 or email wmeteer2@illinois.edu.

Wind Energy

REYNOLDS, Ind. — A community listening session on end-of-service activities for commercial wind energy will be 5 to 7 p.m. ET Feb. 22 at the White County Fairgrounds, 12 N 25 E, Reynolds.

Learn about end-of service-activities and resources in this program presented by Purdue Extension and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/466w7z5u. For questions, contact Tamara Ogle at togle@purdue.edu or 317-523-8804.

Homesteading Conference

COVINGTON, Ind. — The 2024 Bi-State Homesteading Conference will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at The Beef House Banquet Hall, 16501 IN-63, Covington.

Experts from University of Illinois and Purdue University will discuss the joys and challenges of homesteading, equipping you with practical skills and inspiring you to cultivate a more mindful, sustainable life. Whether you’re a seasoned homesteader or just dreaming of your first backyard chicken, this diverse conference will cater to all levels.

Topics will include:

• Good Practices for Providing Local Foods — Sarah Hanson, Purdue Extension, food systems coordinator; Chris Adair, Purdue University, student farm manager; and Rachel Mannen, University of Illinois Extension nutrition and wellness educator.

• Backyard Poultry — Katie Bell, Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator.

• Adding Beekeeping to Your Homestead — Tabby Flinn, Purdue Extension agriculture and natural resources educator.

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

Growing Small Fruits

MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — Growing Small Fruits will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Jackson County Extension office, 402 Ava Road, Murphysboro.

Growing small fruits on your homestead is an easier and quicker way to harvest fruit on your farm or homestead. Compared to fruit trees, these plants usually do not require the same length of time to establish, so your harvests can begin in the same season as planting or the next growing season.

Small fruit production topics will include: Basic production of blueberries, brambles, and strawberries; and home garden and edible landscape.

The event is part of the Modern Homesteading Series. To register for this free program visit http://tinyurl.com/2s46uwj5 or call 618-687-1727.

Seed Starting

PRINCETON, Ill. — Whether you have a green thumb or are just getting started, the Seed Starting Workshop is the perfect place to learn about successful seed starting. Participants will learn the basics for successful seed starting, including soil, moisture and planting basics.

The workshop will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Bureau County Extension office, 850 Thompson St. Princeton. Register at http://tinyurl.com/bd6f5hv2.

Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo will be Feb. 23-25 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis.

Hours for the hunting expo are noon to 8 p.m. ET Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 25.

Purdue Extension — Forestry and Natural Resources will be sharing resources and giveaways.

For more information, and tickets, visit http://tinyurl.com/yc52nj79.

Joys of Gardening

FREEPORT, Ill. — Joys of Gardening will be 8:25 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Highland Community College Student Conference Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport.

Cost is $15. Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/288eybeu or call 815-235-4125.

Topics will include:

Patterns in Nature That Inspire Japanese Garden Design — Tim Gruner, garden curator, Anderson Japanese Gardens.

• Myth-Busting Nature — Connie McIntosh, master naturalist and nature photographer.

• Backyard Cover Crops — Grant McCarty, University of Illinois Extension local foods and small farms educator.

• Designing with Perennials: Looking Beyond the Bloom — Bruce Cubberley, superintendent of parks and natural resources, Freeport Park District.

• Bees as Pollinators — Dick Van Raden, master gardener.

• The Right Tool for the Job — Dan Cunningham, senior reseach and development engineer, Fiskars.

• Ornamental Grasses for Your Landscape — Monica Putnum, owner, Hidden Timber Gardens.

Spot the Spotted Lanternfly: Illinois’ Most UnwantedInvasive Species — Tricia Bethke, Morton Arboretum’s Forest Pest Outreach coordinator, Illinois.

• Lilac Care and Pruning — Michael Iacomini, master gardener.

Gardening Insights

DECATUR, Ill. — Gardening Insights will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at Life Foursquare Church, 2954 W. Ash Ave., Decatur.

Macon County master gardeners will host a fun, engaging day of classroom-style sessions both beginning and expert gardeners will enjoy. Youths are also invited to join 4-H for crafts, STEM, and gardening activities while caregivers are attending sessions. Items will be available for purchase from a variety of vendors during the event. Lunch is included in admission.

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

Topics include:

• 150 Ways to Make A Fantastic Yard Totally Tailored to You — Amanda Thomsen, a horticulturist, garden designer, backyard consultant, and author.

• Common Invasives and Control Methods — Ethan Snively, natural resources manager, Macon County Conservation District.

• Kokedama Strong Gardens — Candice Anderson, state master gardener specialist, University of Illinois Extension.

• This Isn’t Your Grandparents’ Gardening Weather — Duane Friend, state master naturalist coordinator and climate specialist, University of Illinois Extension.

• Prune Your Trees Like a Pro — Ryan Pankau, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• These Plants Are for The Birds — Kristen Ragusa, CREP specialist supervisor, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Decatur Area Audubon Society.

• Starting Sees for Your Home Garden — Geanna Koenigs‚ greenhouse and small farm coordinator, Richland Community College.

• Cultivating a Pollinator Paradise — Ken Johnson, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• Hops at Home: Cultivating Aromatic Cones in Your Backyard — Chris Enroth, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• The Native Gardener’s Palette — Erzebet Getz, Decatur Park District greenhouse grower, master naturalist volunteer.

• Vegetable Container Garden — Brenda Craven, Macon County master gardener volunteer.

• Sweet Secrets of Growing Backyard Berries — Ken Johnson.

• Rain Garden Essentials: Design, Build, Plant — Chris Enroth.

Tack Auction

AUBURN, Ind.— The DeKalb County 4-H Horse and Pony Tack Auction will be at 4 p.m. ET Feb. 24 at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall, 708 S. Union St., Auburn.

New items available will include halters, saddles, bits, blankets, lead ropes, saddle pads and reins. Tim Kugler will be the auctioneer.

Auction proceeds will benefit the DeKalb County 4-H Horse and Pony Club.

Pork Chop Dinner, Auction

CHRISNEY, Ind. — The Spencer County 4-H Pork Chop Dinner and Basket Auction will be 5 to 8 p.m. CT Feb. 24 at the Spencer County Youth and Community Center, 1101 E CR 800 N, Chrisney.

Meal includes pork chop, green beans, creek fries, roll and dessert.

Cost is $15. Tickets available from any 4-H member or the Purdue Extension office. Call 812-362-8066.

Funds from the event will be used for 4-H trips, 4-H Camp, project workshops, 4-H books and program supplies. If you would like to donate an item for the auction, call 812-362-8066.