Looking for an opportunity to learn more about topics in agronomy? The University of Illinois’ Agronomy Day will look a little different in 2021, as researchers take the show on the road, holding tours throughout the state this summer.
Last year, organizers held the event virtually. However, with COVID-19 restrictions loosening throughout Illinois, the crop sciences folks at the University of Illinois say they’ll hold it in person.
“I know people want to get away from Zoom meetings and see in-person interactions,” says Allen Parrish, chairperson for Agronomy Day and director of crop sciences research and education centers at U of I.
Typically, Agronomy Day is one event in Urbana, with other field days held at the multiple research and education centers throughout the state. This year, the department has rebranded them all as Agronomy Days. Tours will happen each Thursday from July 22 through Aug. 19.
The tour agendas include speakers from 9 a.m. to noon, offering up looks at recent research, Parrish says. He says the new format will let attendees visit with speakers for more one-on-one conversations during breaks. He adds that they’re intentionally keeping discussions broad to reach a more diverse audience.
That means ag teachers, parents or grandparents can bring children that are interested in agriculture to the event. With speakers not going into in-depth logistics, young people can learn without getting overwhelmed. Plus, Parrish says, it will allow students to see if agriculture is a potential career field.
“We will have several speakers talking about regenerative ag and carbon credits,” Parrish says, plus a wide variety of other topics. “Farmers may be considering these different management ideas and philosophies. This will be a great opportunity for them to find out how they can integrate these concepts into their farms.”
The tours will be held at research and education centers near Baylis, Champaign, Monmouth and Urbana. Here are the dates and locations for this year’s events:
- July 22 at 2711 S. Race St., Urbana
- July 29 at 37803 State Highway 104, Baylis
- Aug. 5 at 3603 S. Race St., Urbana
- Aug. 12 at 321 210th Ave., Monmouth
- Aug. 19 at 4202 S. First St., Champaign