The year 2020 has been out-of-the-ordinary, to say the least. Illinois Extension is utilizing web-based program delivery methods on a larger scale than ever, which leads us to one of the very few silver linings of our current circumstances: increased access to programs across the state.
One such effort is being put forth by yours truly. Being still in my first year as a Commercial Ag Extension Educator for the University of Illinois, I should be organizing my first field day for the research farm in Monmouth. Historically, this event would draw farmers and consultants on a regional-basis to the Northwestern Illinois Agriculture Research and Demonstration Center, as folks came together to get updates from University specialists. Instead of a face-to-face field day with a regional draw, I am organizing and will hold a series of virtual field days that will be accessible to people across the state and even country!
Instead of hosting one two-hour long virtual field day, I will be hosting a series of 30-minute long field days that will be accessible to you on any computer, tablet, or mobile device you have handy. These field days will include in-field interviews with University of Illinois Extension educators and researchers. These experts will provide an overview of their topic and preliminary data from research in the subject area. Each of the four virtual field days is approved for 0.5 Certified Crop Advisor Continuing Education Units (must be present for the live virtual field day to earn credit.)
The virtual field days will be at 1:00 p.m. on August 11, 12, 13, and 14. Topics include soybean cyst nematode (myself, 8/11), Corn rootworm (Dr. Nick Seiter, 8/12), Hemp production (Phillip Alberti, 8/13), and corn tar spot (Dr. Nathan Kleczewski, 8/14). The links to register for these events are active in this blog post, which can be found at go.illinois.edu/HFVirtualFieldDays2020.