MI Ag Ideas to Grow With Virtual Conference Will Feature Topics to Improve Agricultural Sustainability

Soil health, cover crops and other topics to improve agricultural sustainability in Southwest MI and around the state to be featured during this virtual event.

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Michigan State University (MSU) Extension invites you to participate in the 2021 MI Ag Ideas to Grow With conference to be held virtually, Feb. 15-19, 2021. This unique event combines past MSU Extension events such as Ag Action Day, Branch County Farmers Day, and Southwest Michigan Horticulture Days into one cumulative weeklong program encompassing many aspects of the agricultural industry and offering a full array of educational session for farmers and homeowners interested in food production and those considering agricultural endeavors. Specific sessions focused on a variety of topics to improve the sustainability of agricultural systems will be presented.

“Significant growth in cover crops acreage is contributing to rebuilding Michigan’s soil health and protecting its waters”, said Bruce MacKellar, MSU Extension Educator based in Van Buren County, “These sessions will provide practical information on soil health, cover crops and alternative small grains.”

During this week-long educational experience, a sustainability track on Wednesday, February 17, will include the following sessions:

  • Moving the Needle on Soil Health
  • Cover Crops: Fitting into your System
  • Cover Crops as Forage: What to Consider
  • Barley and Rye for the Brewing and Distilling Industries
  • Solar Energy Lease Agreement Considerations

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about these topics and get their questions answered.

“Interest in sourcing of local grains by brewers and distillers is growing in Michigan and this session will help farmers understand the opportunities, requirements and pitfalls when considering this emerging alternative market”, said Brook Wilke, MSU W.K. Kellogg Biological Station.

Sustainability is not the only option for participants during this conference. The week-long educational experience will feature a variety of tracks focused also focused on animal agriculture, fruit and vegetable production, irrigation, in addition to horticulture and home gardening. A track will also be offered for youth participants. Each day will focus on specific topics with sessions occurring at the top of every hour.

All sessions will be held using the Zoom platform, which does not require any additional software or equipment. While there is no cost to participate, attendees must register in order to receive access to the necessary zoom links. It will be a cumulative weeklong event, attendees are able to attend as many sessions as they would like and have multiple different topics to choose from. RUP and CCA credits will be offered for several of the sessions. More information can be found at: www.canr.msu.edu/miagideas.    

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