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Northwest Iowa Dairy Outlooks

A local discussion of current science and issues concerning dairying in northwest iowa

The Blackland region’s largest agricultural conference features a new date and location with a blend of traditional and new programs to serve producers, according to organizers.

The 2016 conference is scheduled Jan. 5-6 at the Waco Convention Center. The conference will be held a month earlier to give farmers more time in advance of corn planting to incorporate much of the information shared at the conference, said Ron Woolley, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service regional program leader in Stephenville.

For the past 53 years, the Blackland Income Growth Conference, also known as BIG, has provided producers with the latest information on new technology and cropping methods to boost yields and profits, said  Woolley.

“We think this schedule change will benefit all producers in the Blacklands region,” he said. “The Blackland Income Growth Conference has a long history of providing the latest research information and production management practices for farmers and ranchers throughout the region. This year’s program has something for everyone and provides timely, reliable information that will help farmers and ranchers become more profitable in their operations.”

Registration for the main Blackland Income Growth Conference is $20 per person and includes lunch. Several sessions will award continuing education units. Tarrant County producers can download the brochure at http://agrilife.org/urbantarrantag/ under the events tab to see specific continuing education credit allocations, sessions and speakers.

Producers will also be able to take part in the Mid-Texas Farm and Ranch Show at the convention center. Vendors and agricultural equipment dealers will be on hand showcasing the latest in farm supplies and implements, Woolley said.

The keynote luncheon speaker Jan. 5 will be Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market, The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a diverse alliance that works to create opportunities across the agriculture supply chain for improvements in productivity, environmental quality and human well-being. He will present “Defining, Measuring and Advancing Sustainability in Agriculture.

“The beef session had more than 100 attendees, one of the highest attended sessions in recent years,” Woolley said. “We are anticipating an even higher turnout considering the interest in beef cattle herd rebuilding and the overall economic climate producers are currently experiencing.”

Other commodity sessions include grain, rural land management, horticulture, cotton, forage, wildlife and equine.

On Jan. 6, the Blackland Income Growth Recertification Program will be held from 8 a.m-4:30 p.m. Two continuing education units will be offered for Texas Department of Agriculture license holders in the laws and regulation category, one integrated pest management, one drift and two general. A private applicator training will also be held the same day from 8-11:45 a.m.

For more information about the Blackland Income Growth program and registration fees, contact the Tarrant County AgriLife Extension Agent Fred M. Hall by calling 817.884.1945.

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