April 14, 2024

Calendar: Goat milk caramel making demonstration

SALEM, Ind. — The Washington County Goat Association and Purdue Extension are hosting a Goat Milk Caramel Making program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. ET March 5 at the Washington County Government Building, 806 Martinsburg Road, Salem.

Heidi Potter, Clark County ANR educator and owner of Summer Solstice Farms, will demonstrate how she makes delicious caramels using goat milk from her farm.

RSVP for this free program by calling 812-883-4601.

Beekeeping Workshop

KANKAKEE, Ill. — The Kankakee River Valley Beekeepers’ Association and University of Illinois Extension will host a workshop on beekeeping, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 2, at Kankakee Community College, Iroquois Room, 100 College Drive, Kankakee.

Whether you are interested in beekeeping or a seasoned expert, this workshop is offered in two tracks so there is something for everyone.

Cost is $40. Register at http://tinyurl.com/mjf7sv7j. For more information contact Renzo Ceme Vinces at krvba22@gmail.com.


SULLIVAN, Ind. — The eighth annual Wabash Valley STEM Fest will be 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET March 2 at Sullivan Middle School, 415 W. Frakes St., Sullivan.

The event will feature hands-on experiences for K-12 students in science, technology, engineering, math, music and art.

For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/3nt3wd3v.

Parent’s Night Out

WASHINGTON, Ind. — Parent’s Night Out parenting series will be 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. ET March 4, 11 and 18 at the Daviess County Government Center Conference Room 300 E. Hefron St., Washington.

Topics will include communicating with your children, gaining their cooperation, developing self-esteem, and encouraging responsibility.

Register by calling 812-254-8668. For more information, visit http://tinyurl.com/48n6nhzz.

Air Frying

HILLSBORO, Ill. — The program Cooking for the Heart — The Art of Air Frying will be 5:40 to 7 p.m. March 4 at the Montgomery County Extension office, 1 Industrial Park Drive, Hillsboro.

This class will provide hands-on practice using a basic air fryer. Pparticipants will make and taste-test various recipes and talk about the DASH diet and small changes to improve your cholesterol and overall heart-healthy meals.

Cost is $5. Register at http://tinyurl.com/4h6sdxex.

Gardening Series

FAIRFIELD, Ill. — The Spring Introduction to Gardening Series will be 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 4 to May 6 at the Wayne County Extension office, 2B Frontier Drive, Fairfield.

Whether you are a beginning gardener or have years of experience, you will have the opportunity to learn how to build your successful garden with research-based methods that promote healthy, productive plants. University of Illinois Extension Educator Katie Bell will give you steps to plan and tend your garden, including:

• Site Selection and Preparation, March 4

• Plant Selection, March 12

• Planting 101, March 18

• Soils, April 1

• Plant Nutrition, April 16

• Harvesting and Plant Storage, April 29

• Pest and Disease Identification, May 6

To register for one or all of the classes, call the Extension office at 618-842-3702 or register online at http://tinyurl.com/49apzf43.

Joint Annual Meeting

SALEM, Ind. — The Washington County Cattlemen’s Association and Washington County Pork Producers joint annual meeting will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET March 4 at Southern Hills Church, State Road 135 S, Salem.

The meeting will begin with a meal at 6:30 p.m. For reservations, call the Washington County Extension office at 812-883‑4601.

Anyone interested in the beef and pork industries is invited to the annual meeting and to join one or both of the organizations. The Washington County Cattlemen’s Association annual membership dues are $20 per household and the Washington County Pork Producers annual membership dues are $10 per household.

Dues may be paid at the annual meeting or by contacting the Extension office. More information about both organizations can be found at http://tinyurl.com/2tp7scyc.

Farm Succession

MONMOUTH, Ill. — Planning for the future of your farm isn’t just about crops and livestock; it’s about ensuring your legacy and protecting the values your farm represents. To help families navigate the complexities of farm succession planning, Illinois Extension will host the Planning Farm Succession program from 10 a.m. to noon March 5 at the Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau, 1000 N. Main St., Monmouth.

This interactive workshop, led Kevin Brooks, Extension farm business management and marketing educator, will equip farmers and landowners with the essential knowledge and tools needed to make informed decisions about their property’s future, including:

• Avoiding common pitfalls: Learn from real-life examples and expert advice to navigate potential roadblocks in the succession process.

• Communicating effectively: Develop strategies for open and honest conversations with family members about the future of the farm.

• Choosing the right trustee or executor: Understand the roles and responsibilities associated with these crucial positions, and make informed decisions based on your unique situation.

• Additional key considerations: Explore financial planning, legal aspects, tax implications, and more, ensuring a comprehensive approach to succession planning.

Register by calling 309-837-3939 or visit http://tinyurl.com/ye223w89.

AI and Your Farm

WOODHULL, Ill. — Explore the future of farming with artificial intelligence, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 5 at Woodhull Community Center, 150 N. Division St., Woodhull.

In an era where technology reshapes every landscape, the merger of agriculture and AI stands as a pivotal frontier.

Topics will include:

• Explore AI applications in farming with N. Dennis Bowman, Illinois Extension digital agriculture specialist.

• Dive into drones, fungicides, and learn about SweetWater precision ag technologies from Hannah Gripp, SweetWater Technologies, Powered by Gripp.

• Look into the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy with Nicole Haverback, watershed outreach associate at Illinois Extension.

The program is sponsored by Goldstar Cambridge, Big River Resources and River Valley Cooperative. Cost is $5. Lunch by Henn House BBQ. Register at http://tinyurl.com/4tf5xxyk.

Rain Garden

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Rain Garden Essentials: Design, Build, Plant will be 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. March 5.

Discover the power of rain gardens, which act as nature’s filter by slowing storm water runoff, reducing soil erosion, and relieving strain on stormwater systems. Gain insights into the principles of rain garden construction and design, ensuring that your garden not only enhances the beauty of your space, but also contributes to the health of the environment.

Register for this Four Seasons Gardening program by visiting http://tinyurl.com/zur57e8u.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship

WEST LAFAYETTE, ind. — The online program Introduction to Entrepreneurship will be 4 to 5 p.m. ET Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 21 and 28.

Discover your inner entrepreneur and the initial steps needed to launch a business through a series of interactive workshops facilitated by Purdue Extension educators.

Topics for the workshops, geared for the 50-plus age group, include:

• Introduction to Entrepreneurship

• What is Entrepreneurial Thinking and Acting?

• Decoding Your Entrepreneurial History

• Anatomy of an Idea

• Building Your Brain Trust

• Branding That Brings Results

• Finance: Common Sense and Cents

• Entrepreneurship is a Verb, Not a Business Plan — Just Start!

In addition to the workshops, you will be connected to coaching from the Small Business Development Center after completion if you choose to move forward with your business idea.

Cost is $99. Register at https://cvent.me/3wba1l. For more information, contact Kristi Whitacre at kwhitacr@purdue.edu or 812-462-3371.

Emergency Preparedness

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. — Emergency Preparedness for Rural Families will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. ET March 5, 7, 12 and 14 at the Whitley County Extension office, 524 Branch Court, Columbia City.

The series will focus on farm and ranch emergency management, first aid, fire protection, and hazardous materials.

The program is a collaboration between Extension Women in Agriculture programs at Purdue University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, agricultural occupations have high rates of work-related injuries and deaths. While not all emergencies result in bodily injury or death, they may cost rural families in other ways.

Cost is $60. The series also will be offered online. Register by visitng https://wia.unl.edu/prep.

Seed Starting

HENRY, Ill. — Seed Starting will be 6 to 7 p.m. March 5 at the Marshall-Putnam County Extension office. 509 Front St., Suite 4, Henry.

Participants will learn the basics for successful seed starting, including soil, moisture and planting. Register at http://tinyurl.com/2b2y3nwr.

Honey Bee Seminar

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The virtual program From Forage to Feeding — Honey Bee Health Seminar will be 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET March 6.

Good nutrition through forage and feeding has the power to improve honey bee health in the face of many other challenges like pesticides and parasites.

Attendees will hear from PAm-funded researchers on new frontiers in forage and feeding for healthy bees. There will be plenty of time for a live Q&A with the speakers and panelists.

For more information and to register, visit http://tinyurl.com/3v97he2p. Contact Grace Kunkel at grace@projectapism.org with any questions.

Save Money

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Save Money on Food will be noon to 1 p.m. March 6.

Learn some tricks for eating well for less money in this Get Savvy — Grow Your Green Stuff Series.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/4a7fw3t6.

Pruning Basics

NORMAL, Ill. — Learn the basics of tree fruit pruning to maximize production from 4 to 5 p.m. March 6 and March 14 at Refuge Food Forest, 701 E. Lincoln St., Normal.

The program will cover tools of the trade, sanitation, and best practices of pruning tree fruits for tree fruit production. When pruning at home, follow these pro tips for trimming ornamental or fruit trees:

• Start with the 3 D’s: Dead, Dying, Diseased.

• Always prune outside a branch collar for healthy healing.

• Sanitize tools between every tree pruned.

• Remove less than one-third of growth for healthy tree recovery.

Bring appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather, and your favorite pruning tools, such as hand-pruners, loppers and pole saws. If you don’t have any pruning tools, a tool will be provided to you for the class. If bringing your own tools, make sure your tools are sharpened and cleaned before the class.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/5rh48z7s.

Gateway Green Conference

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. — The Gateway Green Conference will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 6 at the Gateway Convention Center, 1 Gateway Drive, Collinsville.

Natural resource industry professionals face the vital task of responsibly caring for our communities’ valuable environmental resources. Evolving research and environmental changes make it more important than ever to explore responsible stewardship practices, understand how to successfully manage emerging diseases and pests, and apply sustainable landscape practices to support our future.

The conference provides a platform for sharing new ideas and research-based information.

Cost is $85. Register at http://tinyurl.com/5n6jwd6s.

The conference schedule includes sessions in three tracks: Building Sustainable Landscapes, Conservation Stewardship, and Tree Care.

Building Sustainable Landscapes:

• One at a Time: Herbicide and Application Options When Using Individual Plant Treatment to Control Woody Plants, Chris Evans, forestry and research specialist, University of Illinois Extension.

• Pruning for Tree and Shrub Health, Ryan Pankau, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• Jumping Worms are Here to Stay, Tricia Bethke, Illinois forest pest outreach coordinator, USDA APHIS/The Morton Arboretum.

• Regional Changes in Climate: Historical Observations and Future Directions, Justin Schoof, director, School of Earth Systems and Sustainability, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

• Plants in the Energy Landscape, Jay Solomon, natural resources, environment and energy educator, University of Illinois Extension.

Conservation Stewardship:

• Caves and Other Karst Features of Southwestern Illinois, Bob Weck, professor of biology, Southwestern Illinois College.

• Ecology of Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers, Chris Benda, Illinois botanist, researcher at Southern Illinois University.

• Invasive Plant Ecology and Identification, Erin Garrett, natural resources, environment and energy educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• Chain Saw Safety and the Open Face Boring Back Cut, Kevin Rohling, forestry research technician, University of Illinois Extension.

• Hidden Among the Trees: Preventing Mosquito and Tick-Borne Threats, Holly Tuten, associate vector ecology scientist, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

Tree Care:

Distribution and Spread of Laurel Wilt Disease, Alexandra Blevins, forest health program coordinator, Kentucky Division of Forestry.

• Using Plant Phenology to Better Predict Pest Treatment Timing, Aaron Schulz, plant health care director, Oak Bros Tree Care & Removal LLC.

• Plant Alternatives — Plant This, Not That, Jennifer Fishburn, horticulture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

• Will This Tree Fail? Recognizing and Mitigating Conditions of Concern in Urban Trees, Jake Miesbauer, arboriculture scientist, The Morton Arboretum.

• Spotted Lanternfly in Illinois, Kelly Estes, State Agricultural Pest Survey coordinator, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.

• Even Native Plants Can Misbehave, Elizabeth Wahle, specialist and commercial agriculture educator, University of Illinois Extension.

Declutter Your Home

HARRISBURG, Ill. — The program Where to Start: Declutter Your Home and Finances will be 6 to 7 p.m. March 7 at the Harrisburg District Library, 2 W. Walnut St., Harrisburg.

Do you feel overwhelmed trying to organize your stuff? Do you have a filing cabinet spilling over with financial paperwork? Join University of Illinois Extension educators Robin Ridgley and Emily Harmon for a free workshop to get your home and finances organized.

• Explore reasons for clutter and how it makes you feel.

• Identify what financial documents need to be kept and when to discard documents.

• Explore secure options to discard sensitive financial documents.

• Learn the benefits of decluttering and minimizing.

• Identify strategies and create a plan to clear your clutter.

The program will be repeated 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. March 8 at the Jackson County Extension office, 402 Ava Road, Murphysboro.

For more information, call 618-993-3304. Register online at go.illinois.edu/Where2Start.

Family, Consumer Science

ULLIN, Ill. — The Family and Consumer Science Conference will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 7 at Shawnee Community College, 8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin.

The event will include three workshop sessions and lunch provided by The Kitchen on Lafayette. Keynote speaker will be Marsha Griffin, senior community outreach liaison, Office of Illinois Attorney General. Door prizes will be given out.

Cost is $10. Register at http://tinyurl.com/399yb3sb.

Canning and Pickling

NEWBURGH, Ind. — The Home Food Preservation Canning and Pickling Workshop will be noon to 5 p.m. CT March 8 at the Friedman Park Event Center, 2700 Park Blvd., Newburgh.

Participants will learn canning basics, food safety guidelines for home canning, and where to find resources. The course includes lecture, handouts and hands-on practice in the kitchen.

Cost is $35. Register at https://bit.ly/SWIHC2024.

The program is a preconference event for the Purdue Extension Southwest Indiana Homesteading Conference, which begins March 9.

Homesteading Conference

NEWBURGH, Ind. — The Southwest Indiana Homesteading Conference will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT March 9 at the Friedman Park Event Center, 2700 Park Blvd., Newburgh.

Conference participants will receive information on production methods and processes from a variety of experts to plan for new ventures, improve current production and profitability, and diversify current operations.

Topics will include: Vegetable gardening, cover crops, fruit gardening, beekeeping, rainwater harvesting, organic considerations for beneficial insects, poultry processing, farm tools, soils and composting, small fruit gardening, mushroom production and urban ag.

Cost is $40. Register by visiting http://tinyurl.com/ykthxb6d.

Ag Day

SULLIVAN, Ind. — Sullivan County Ag Day will be 6:30 to 11 a.m. ET March 9 at the Sullivan County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1301 E County Rd 75 N, Sullivan.

In addition to vendors and booths, the event will include a pancake and sausage breakfast, silent auction, and pedal tractor pull. Ag Day Scholarships will be awarded to essay contest winners.

For more information, contact the Ag Day Committee at 812-566-0444 or 812-268-5157, ext. 3.

AgriNews Staff

AgriNews Staff

The Illinois AgriNews and Indiana AgriNews staff is in the field each week, covering topics that affect local farm families and their businesses. We give readers information they can’t get elsewhere to help them make better farming decisions.