Several years ago I moderated a panel of farmers for the Tri-State Conservation Expo at the WWII Victory Museum near Auburn. The place was filled with farmers interested in conservation, including no-till. Cover crops weren't yet 'cool' amongst most in the audience, but conservation was cool.
It still is, and this year the Tri-State Conservation Expo, a project in its 12th year and sponsored by the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative, returns to the WWII Museum.
That opens up space for equipment exhibits and means there will be plenty of room for those who want to hear the sessions. The museum is located along I-69 north of Ft. Wayne and south of Auburn in DeKalb County. The facility includes a museum with displays of military equipment used during WWII.
The date for the workshop is Friday, March 1. Kick off the month by learning how good stewardship practices implemented now can influence and help future generations who will follow. Jennifer Thum, manager of the watershed, says the program begins at 8 a.m. EST, with registration and exhibitor visits starting at 7:30 a.m. Registration is $20. Learn more at www.sjrwi.org.
Several soil and water conservation districts will have tickets to sell ahead of time. Exhibitors will be given six tickets each to hand out to customers. Participating SWCDs include Allen, DeKalb, Steuben, And Williams and Hillsdale Counties in Ohio. You can also call 260-484-5848.
Speakers include Rodney Rulon, Rulon Enterprises, Arcadia, talking about how cover crops work in their no-till system, plus Kevin King of Agricultural Research Services, Columbus, Ohio, talking about water management.
A discussion on vertical-till and no-till will be led by Joe Nester, a leading independent crops consultant in northwest Ohio. Fred Whitford, Purdue University pesticide safety specialist, will review updated transportation rules on highways plus his latest publication, "Stuck in the Mud." That presentation alone should entice you to attend if you've ever heard the former regulator bring his comedic but insightful wisdom to safety for pesticides and other farm hazards.
Matt Pearson from the Office of the Indiana State Chemist will update the audience on fertilizer rules, and Bryan Young, Southern Illinois University, will talk about getting a handle on herbicide-resistant weeds.
Make your plans now to attend.