July 15, 2024

Calendar: High Tunnels Production Field Day at Dixon Springs

SIMPSON, Ill. — High Tunnels Production Field Day will be 6 to 8 p.m. July 16 at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, 354 IL-145, Simpson.

More Illinois specialty crop growers are planting in high tunnels to benefit from the extended growing season, increased crop diversity, higher yields, and improved quality. But high tunnels come with their own unique challenges, including deciding on layout and structural design, managing insect pests, balancing fertility needs, and more that can seem overwhelming for new and beginning farmers or those new to growing in a protected culture system like high tunnels.

University of Illinois Extension staff at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center will share their experiences in high-tunnel production as they have been conducting research and demonstration trials for more than a decade in the three commercial-size high tunnels on-site. These structures allow for replicated research projects including variety trials, biological insect control studies and fertility management that can be shared with growers both regionally and statewide.

Over the course of the evening, Dr. Kacie Athey, specialty crops entomologist, and Bronwyn Aly, University of Illinois Extension educator, will share experiences and observations from their ongoing high tunnel research and demonstration trials. A local contractor will be discussing basic principles, construction concepts, and tools needed to prep, layout, and install a high tunnel. University of Illinois students will be demonstrating robots being developed to help with agriculture production issues.

Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/bdz6j77z.

4-H Showcase

INDIANAPOLIS — The 2024 Marion County 4-H Showcase will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 13 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 14 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds 4-H Exhibit Hall, 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis.

In addition to 4-H projects on display, there will be the pets and small animals show, poultry show, dog show, cooking competition, bicycle rodeo, youth talent contest, fashion show, leatherworking demonstration and public speaking contest.

For more information about this free event, visit https://tinyurl.com/56ne355f.

Tractor Driving Contest

INA, Ill. — The Franklin County 4-H Tractor Driving Contest will be 5 to 7 p.m. July 13 at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, 486 N. Ken Gray Pkwy., Ina.

Those participating must be registered 4-H youth enrolled in the appropriate fair project areas. Guidelines and policies can be found in the Franklin County 4-H handbook.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/mrynw9vs.

Pollinator Garden

MARION, Ill. — The program Attracting Native Bees to Your Backyard Pollinator Garden will be 1 to 3 p.m. July 14 at the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 6987 Headquarters Road, Marion.

Supporting native bee populations in your garden is a crucial part of creating biodiversity and resilient ecosystems. Learn the secrets of attracting native bees through gardening techniques, understand the crucial role these pollinators play in our ecosystem, and gain insights into why nurturing their populations is vital for biodiversity.

This seminar is a part of the Nature Dialogues Series sponsored by The Friends of Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. For more information and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/4dnrhb6c.

Gardener Seminars

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. — The Whitley County Master Gardeners Annual Seminar will be 1 to 4 p.m. ET July 15 at the Agricultural Museum at the Whitley County 4-H Fairgrounds, 680 W. Squawbuck Road, Columbia City.

Topics will include Backyard Gardening and Landscaping for Birds, Wildlife Photography, and Plants For Them and Plants For Us in Northeast Indiana.

For more information about this free program, visit https://tinyurl.com/msx3ea64.

Chronic Disease

URBANA, Ill. — Illinois AgrAbility webinar series Take Charge of Your Health: Chronic Disease Self-Management will be 1 to 3:30 p.m. July 15, July 22, July 29, Aug. 5, Aug. 12 and Aug. 19.

Experiencing symptoms from chronic disease is a daily and often private occurrence for many. Illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, liver disease, bipolar disorder, or other chronic, long-term conditions can cause symptoms such as fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety, and frustration. These can be difficult to manage each day.

For farmers and farm families, these symptoms can slow progress on and off the farm, making everyday tasks sometimes impossible. Illinois AgrAbility emphasizes the importance of being proactive with agricultural health and safety and providing opportunities to help individuals in the agriculture industry.

For more information and to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/dyufu8wj.

Introduction to Fermentation

DANVERS, Ill. — Introduction to Fermentation will be 4 to 5 p.m. July 15 at Danvers Historical Society, 102 S. West St., Danvers.

Learn about lacto-fermentation, which includes fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and sourdough.

Register by calling 309-963-4269 or email danvers.tl.rsa@gmail.com.

Cut Flowers

FAIRFIELD, Ill. — Cut Flower Farm and Market will be the topic of the Summer Twilight Series program, 6 to 8 p.m. July 15 at Blessed Bloom Flower Farm and Market, 1618 W. Main St., Fairfield.

Blessed Blooms is a cut flower farm providing fresh, locally grown flowers for events and everyday enjoyment. Middle school principal by day and a flower farmer by night, April Smith has turned growing flowers into a business, sharing her flower farm experience with others. Her daughter, Alyssa Short, makes up the other half of their team, designing unique arrangements grown with love. They grow their own blooms from April through October and specialize in wedding florals, market bouquets and floral subscriptions. In 2023, Blessed Blooms expanded into a location with local vendor farmers market and events as well as a vintage furniture and decor storefront.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. To register, visit go.illinois.edu/twilightseries or call 618-695-2441.

Homegrown Harvest

DECATUR, Ill. — Homegrown Harvest workshops will be 10 a..m. to noon July 16, Aug. 28, Sept. 25 and Oct. 25 at the Johns Hill Association Community Garden, East Lawrence Street and South Maffit Street, Decatur.

Homegrown Harvest is a series of family-friendly workshops designed to support vegetable gardeners. Topics include safely harvesting food, pests and diseases, seed-saving, managing weeds, growing pumpkins, and fall crops. The series is led by Extension Horticulture Educator Sarah Vogel, who encourages participants to bring questions and items for discussion.

Register by visiting https://tinyurl.com/337aaka9 or call 217-877-6042.

Growing Orchids

MONTICELLO, Ill. — Growing Orchids will be noon to 1 p.m. July 16 at the Piatt County Extension office, 210 S. Market St., Monticello.

Lori Garrett — a professor in the Natural Sciences Department at Parkland College, and a Champaign County master with a personal collection of over 200 plants — will discuss some common types of orchids, and common mistakes to avoid as a home orchid grower.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/yxj3aunh.

Native American Plants

LEWISTOWN, Ill. — The program Native American Use of Plants in Illinois will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. July 16 at the Fulton County Extension office, 15411 IL-100, Lewistown.

Michael Wiant, retired director of the Illinois Museum-Dickson Mounds, will discuss the use of plants by Native American societies in Illinois over the past 12,000 years.

For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/53v5ryvc.

Farm Management Tour

The 91st annual Purdue Farm Management Tour and Indiana Master Farmer Reception will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET July 17.

The tour includes stops at two farms in Randolph County: 9 a.m. at Union Go Dairy, 3518 S 300 W, Winchester; and 1 p.m. at the Clements-Miller Farm, 4698 E 600 S, Lynn.

Each tour includes an interview session where farm operators provide an overview of their farms. Host farmers will also share successful farm management tips, discuss how the management of their operations is changing in response to the agricultural economy and evolving family circumstances, and share reasons behind their recent innovations in production practices and adoption of new technology. This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn from the experiences of Indiana’s best farm business managers.

The Master Farmer Reception ad Panel Discussion will begin at 4 p.m. ET at Willow’s Edge, 627 W 100 S, Winchester. The event honors individuals who have contributed to Indiana agriculture and demonstrated success in their farming operation, stewardship of natural resources, and community service. The presentation of awards will be followed by a panel discussion with the honorees, moderated by James Mintert, director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.

The tour and reception are free and open to the public. For more information and to register, visit purdue.ag/farmtour or call 765-494-7004.

BBQ Dinner

INA, Ill. — The Franklin County 4-H BBQ Dinner will be 3:30 to 7 p.m. July 17 at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, 486 N. Ken Gray Pkwy., Ina.

The meal is $13, which includes a BBQ sandwich, beans, slaw, chips, dessert and a drink. There is a roadside drive-through option for carry-outs.

County Fairs

July 13-17 — McDonough County Fair, 3028 W. Jackson St., Macomb, Ill.; www.facebook.com/McDonough4H; chattert@illinois.edu; 309-837-3939.

July 13-18 — Wells County 4-H Fair, 1240 4-H Park Road, Bluffton, Ind.; www.extension.purdue.edu/wells; 260-824-6412.

July 13-18 — White County 4-H Fair, 12 N 25 E, Reynolds, Ind.; www.whitecoag.org; 219-984-5115.

July 13-19 — Clay County 4-H Fair, 6656 IN-59, Brazil, Ind.; claycounty4hcouncil@gmail.com; 812-442-0571.

July 13-19 — Marshall County 4-H Fair, 211 W. Walnut St., Argos, ind.; 574-935-8545.

July 13-19 — Union County 4-H Fair, 411 Patriot Blvd., Liberty, Ind.; www.facebook.com/4hunioncounty4h; 765-458-5055.

July 13-20 — Blackford County 4-H Fair, 310 E. Park Ave., Hartford City, Ind.; www.facebook.com/blackford4h; BlackfordFairboard@gmail.com; 765-348-3213.

July 13-20 — Carroll County Fair, 102 N. Fourth St., Flora, Ind.; 574-967-3538.

July 13-20 — Clinton County Fair, 1701 S. Jackson St., Frankfort, Ind.; www.clintoncofairgrounds.com; fair@clintonco.com; 765-659-6380.

July 13-20 — Sullivan County 4-H Fair, 1301 E County Rd 75 N, Sullivan, Ind.; www.sullivancounty4hfair.com; albadger69@gmail.com 812-240-1784.

July 13-20 — Wabash County Junior Fair, 15039 4-H Center Lane, Mt. Carmel, Ill.; https://tinyurl.com/y2vsh46u; 618-262-5725.

July 13-20 — Wabash County 4-H Fair, 660 Gillen Ave, Wabash, Ind.; 260-563-2532.

July 13-20 — Warren County Fair, 625 N. Chamberlain St., Roseville, Ill.; www.illinoiswarrencountyfair.com; warrencofair1928@gmail.com; 309-705-3155.

July 14-20 — Clinton County Fair, 1899 Methodist St., Carlyle. Ill.; www.clintoncofair.org; clintoncofair@gmail.com; 618-594-4169.

July 14-20 — Hendricks County 4-H Fair, 1900 E. Main St., Danville, Ind.; www.4hcomplex.org; spatterson@4hcomplex.org; 317-718-6154.

July 14-20 — Johnson County 4-H & Agricultural Fair, 250 Fairground St., Franklin, Ind.; www.johnsoncountyfair.com; 317-738-3247.

July 14-21 — Knox County Fair, 11728 IN-67, Bicknell, Ind.; 812-735-2344.

July 14-21 — Marshall-Putnam Fair, 915 University Ave., Henry, Ill.; www.marshallputnamfair.org; mpfair@frontier.com; 309-364-2814.

July 15-19 — Dubois County Fair, 4157 S State Rd 162, Huntington, Ind.; 812-482-2434.

July 15-20 — Cass County Fair, 649 S. Job St., Virginia, Ill.; casscountyfairil.com; www.casscountyfairil@yahoo.com, 217-452-3211; 217-452-3150.

July 15-20 — Farmer City and Dewitt County Fair, 850 N. Grove St., Farmer City, Ill.; www.farmercityfair.com.

July 15-20 — Franklin County 4-H Fair, 7178 Blue Creek Road, Brookville, Ind.; https://tinyurl.com/3zwkmv7v; 765-647-6522.

July 15-20 — Posey County Fair, 111 Harmony Township Road, New Harmony, Ind.; www.poseycountyfair.com; poseycountyfair@gmail.com.

July 15-20 — Warrick County Fair, 133 County Rd 100 N, Boonville, Ind.; www.warrickcounty4hcenter.com; warrickces@purdue.edu; 812-897-6100.

July 16-20 — Christian County Fair, 1716 W. Spresser St., Taylorville, Ill.; www.christiancountyfair.com; fairoffice@ctitech.com; 217-824-3100.

July 16-20 — Heart of Illinois Fair, 1601 W. Northmoor Road, Peoria, Ill.; heartofillinoisfair.com; expo@mtco.com; 309-691-6332.

July 16-20 — Rock Island County Fair, 4200 Archer Drive, East Moline, Ill.; www.rockislandfair.org; ricofairem@gmail.com; 309-796-1620.

July 16-21 — Benton County Fair, 27443 W State Rd 352, Boswell, Ind.; 765-869-5388; www.facebook.com/BentonCountyINFair.

July 16-21 — Iroquois County Fair, 1390 E 2000 N Road, Watseka, Ill.; www.iroquoiscofair.com; 815-383-8941 or 815-683-2359.

July 16-21 — Menard County Fair, 18450 Fairgrounds St., Petersburg, Ill.; www.menardcountyfair.com; office@menardcountyfair.com; 217-632-3848.

July 17-20 — Livingston County Fair, 18142 4-H Park Road, Pontiac, Ill.; www.livingstoncountyagfair.com; info@livingstoncountyagfair.com; 815-842-2650.

July 17-21 — Hancock County Fair, 94 First St., Augusta, Ill.; www.hancockfair.org; hancockcountyfairil@gmail.com; hancockfair@adams.net; 217-392-2524.

July 17-21 — Kane County Fair, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, Ill.; www.kanecountyfair.com; info@kanecountyfair.com; 630-584-6926.

July 18-22 — Hamilton County 4-H Fair, 2003 Pleasant St., Noblesville, Ind.; www.hamiltoncofairgrounds.com; lahanni@purdue.edu; 317-776-0854.

July 18-27 — Porter County Fair, 217 E. Division Road, Valparaiso, Ind.; www.portercountyfair.com; manager@portercountyfair.com; 219-462-0321.

July 19-21 — Elizabeth Community Fair, 42 West St., Elizabeth, Ill.; www.facebook.com/TheElizabethCommunityFair; elizabethil.communityfair@gmail.com; 815-598-3145.

July 19-25 — Huntington County Fair, 631 E. Taylor St., Huntington, Ind.; www.huntingtoncountyfairgrounds.com; 260-358-4826.

July 19-26 — Clay County Fair, 104 Golf Course Road, Flora, Ill.; www.facebook.com/claycountyagriculturalfair; amcorr@frontier.com; 618- 662-3247.

July 19-26 — Putnam County 4-H Fair, 191 US-231, Greencastle, Ind.; www.putcofair.org; 765-655-1565.

July 19-26 — Randolph County 4-H Fair, 1885 US-27, Winchester, Ind.; 765-584-2271.

July 19-27 — Champaign County Fair, 1302 N. Coler Ave., Urbana, Ill.; www.champaigncountyfair.cc; office@champaigncountyfair.cc; 217-367-8461.

July 19-27 — Elkhart County 4-H Fair, 17746 County Rd 34, Goshen, Ind.; www.4hfair.org; info@4hfair.org; 574-533-3247.

July 19-27 — Jefferson County Youth Fair, North Main St., Ina, Ill.; jcyf79@gmail.com; 618-237-9867.

July 19-27 — Richland County Fair, 702 White Squirrel Circle, Olney, Ill.; www.richlandcountyfair.org; 618-392-0766.

July 19-27 — Tippecanoe County 4-H Fair, 1406 Teal Road, Lafayette, Ind.; 765-474-0793.

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.