Dakota Farmer

Annual corn, soybean expo turns virtual

New format for the Northern Corn and Soy Expo on Feb. 23-24 allows farmers from across the Dakotas to attend.

Sarah McNaughton

February 22, 2021

2 Min Read
Young soybean plants in field
PRODUCER EDUCATION: Corn and soybean farmers across the region can learn new production practices by attending the virtual expo. Farm Progress

With health and safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 still in effect, the Northern Corn and Soy Expo is just one of many events in agriculture that have turned virtual in 2021. One thing that won’t change about the Northern Corn and Soy Expo this year? A schedule jam-packed with learning opportunities for farmers. The expo will be from 8 to 11 a.m. daily Feb. 23-24.

Suzanne Wolf, communications director for the North Dakota Soybean Council, shares, “We're excited about it for sure, and I think the farmers are really going to have a great experience with it.”

“It feels like we're planning the expo for the first time; it’s a whole new platform. And I think it has a lot of really unique opportunities,” says Heidie Haugo, communication director for the North Dakota Corn Utilization Council. “We want to be sure that we are really taking advantage of all of the opportunities a virtual platform has to offer. So we’ve definitely done a lot of research and worked on how we can be the most efficient with this expo in getting it out to folks who have maybe never gotten to come out to an expo before.”

Many people are experiencing Zoom fatigue with an increase in virtual conferences and meetings, which is something the Corn and Soybean Councils took into consideration with their planning. “We will not have any breakout sessions, because I think there's an element of everyone having done a lot of online webinars and seminars. We didn't want to make it a full day. So it's actually two mornings, from 8 to 11 each of those days. If it's just a three-hour chunk of time; then farmers have an opportunity to take the rest of the day, and get some things done,” Wolf says about the expo’s schedule.

Different format, same content

Though breakout sessions are not included in this year’s expo, there is still numerous opportunities during this two-day webinar. The U.S. Farm Report, transportation update, panel of experts sharing how to prepare your field and how to advocate for agriculture are all included on this year’s agenda.

This expo is open to farmers and agriculturalists across the region, but Wolf says there has been a specific push to reach farmers in parts of North Dakota that might not have come in past years. “We are really doing a big push in promotion in the western and northern part of the state, giving them that unique opportunity where they don't have to drive six hours to Fargo and still participate. So we're hoping they take advantage of this format.”

The expo is free, and registrations are accepted anytime during the expo. If you’re interested in attending, preregister online at Northern Corn and Soybean Expo.




About the Author(s)

Sarah McNaughton

Editor, Dakota Farmer, Farm Progress

Sarah McNaughton is a graduate of North Dakota State University, with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications, along with minors in animal science and Extension education. She is working on completing her master’s degree in Extension education and youth development, also at NDSU. In her undergraduate program, she discovered a love for the agriculture industry and the people who work in it through her courses and involvement in professional and student organizations.

After graduating college, Sarah worked at KFGO Radio out of Fargo, N.D., as a farm and ranch reporter. She covered agriculture and agribusiness news for North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. Most recently she was a 4-H Extension agent in Cass County, N.D., teaching, coordinating and facilitating youth programming in various project areas.

She is involved in agriculture in both her professional and personal life, serving on the executive board for North Dakota Agri-Women, and as a member in American Agri-Women, Sigma Alpha Professional Agriculture Sorority Alumni and Professional Women in Agri-business. As a life-long 4-H’er, she is a regular volunteer for North Dakota 4-H programs and events.

In her free time, she is an avid backpacker and hiker, enjoys running with her cattle dog Ripley, and can be found most summer weekends at rodeos around the Midwest.

Sarah is originally from Grand Forks, N.D., and currently resides in Fargo.

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