The Missouri Livestock Symposium joins the growing list of agriculture events moving to a virtual platform this year.
According to Garry Mathes, Missouri Livestock Symposium committee chair, the annual event held in Kirksville is pivoting to online as COVID-19 may linger into winter.
“Everyone would prefer an in-person event,” Mathes said in a press release. “However, due to the ongoing concerns for public health, we have made the difficult decision to offer free virtual educational resources in 2020.”
Mathes admits it would have been easier to cancel the event entirely. “But the committee is dedicated to addressing the challenges of Missouri farmers and ranchers as we have for the last two decades," he said.
The symposium, which typically runs during the first weekend in December, now will offer online educational sessions that start in early December and are available through February.
“In the face of uncertainty, we look for opportunity,” said Zac Erwin, University of Missouri Extension livestock specialist and symposium vice chair. “Moving to a virtual platform gives us the potential to interact with a whole new clientele that may not make the annual trip to Kirksville.”
Sessions take shape
The program may be delivered differently, but it still will focus on providing livestock producers with information they can use in their operations. “Think of it as more of a winter educational series this year,” Erwin added.
The 2020 Missouri Livestock Symposium will feature nationally known speakers on a variety of topics. Some of the speakers will give live Zoom presentations, allowing the audience the opportunity to interact, and others will be prerecorded presentations.
A few presenters already have signed on to participate.
Ken McNabb headlines as an equine speaker this year. McNabb holds clinics for horse owners worldwide and can be seen on his weekly RFD-TV program, “Discovering the Horseman Within.” Participants will be able to send questions for McNabb to address in his presentation.
The keynote address will feature Corbitt Wall, cattle market analyst with DV Auctions. Wall offers straightforward, real-world insights into the beef cattle business that many farmers and ranchers connect with, Erwin said.
Online trade show offered
The Missouri Livestock Symposium is planning a virtual agricultural trade show. “Many of our sponsors are sticking with us, and we want to give them due credit for their support,” Mathes said.
Details about the sessions and trade show can be found at missourilivestock.com. Farmers also can contact the Adair County MU Extension Center at 660-665-9866.
To be put on the mailing list for details regarding the symposium, send an e-mail to email@example.com and put MLS in the subject.