DIXON SPRINGS, Ill.— University of Illinois Extension is excited to be the host for the second of four twilight meetings at the Local Foods Research and Demonstration area at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center Monday, June 17, 2019 starting at 6 p.m.  University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems & Small Farms Educators, Bronwyn Aly and Nathan Johanning, have been partnering with area farms over the past five years to provide evening “twilight meetings” to highlight and demonstrate diverse farming enterprises across southern Illinois.  Anyone involved or interested in local food production or learning more about farms in our region is encouraged and invited to attend.  The Dixon Springs Agricultural Center, established in the late 1930’s, is the southernmost agricultural research center for the University of Illinois.  For almost 60 years, fruit and vegetable research and extension outreach has been conducted on-site, providing Midwest growers with a wide range of information on various topics including: variety selection, intensive production and management practices, pick-your-own marketing, strawberry plasticulture production, and high tunnel production.  Extension staff are currently focusing on production and management systems within high tunnels on various vegetable and fruit crops.

Over the course of the evening, Aly and Johanning will discuss the different types of high tunnel structures on-site, as well as the various production and management practices for multiple crops.  Dr. Wenjing Guan, Assistant Professor of Horticulture, from Purdue University will be discussing her NC-SARE funded research project, “Improving Seedless Cucumber Production to Diversify High Tunnel Crops in the North Central Region” - LNC17-390, including variety selection and grafting of cucumber transplants.  Also attending the meeting, Lauren Smith, NRCS Soil Conservationist, will provide an update on the NRCS cost share program, EQIP, for high tunnels.  We encourage anyone interested in learning more about diverse vegetable production in southern Illinois to capitalize on this on-farm learning and networking opportunity.

The event will be held Monday, June 17, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the University of Illinois Dixon Springs Agricultural Center located at 354 State Highway 145 N in Simpson, IL.  This program is provided at no cost but registration is appreciated. Please register by calling (618) 695-6060 no later than Friday, June 14, 2019.  For more information about the Twilight Meeting, contact Bronwyn Aly at (618) 695-6060 or Nathan Johanning at (618) 687-1727.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, contact your local registration office. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your needs.

News sources:

Nathan Johanning, 618-687-1727, njohann@illinois.edu

Bronwyn Aly, 618-695-6060, baly@illinois.edu