RENO, Nev. — Hay producers and experts from throughout the West will gather here next week for a major alfalfa and forage symposium sponsored by the cooperative extension programs in 11 states.
The Dec. 11-13 conference at the Peppermill Hotel Casino here will feature expert speakers, an exhibit hall with the latest in alfalfa and forage products and services, and evening receptions for growers to meet with colleagues from throughout the western United States.
Kicking off the event will be a farm management workshop at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11 offering tips on how to design and build a family business.
The workshop will feature Jolene Brown, a nationally known author and business consultant from West Branch, Iowa, who will discuss designing a business while avoiding the many pitfalls involved with family farming, according to the event’s registration website.
Karen Klonsky, an agriculture and resource economics expert from the University of California-Davis, will explain how to scope out the profitability of a farm enterprise.
Symposium sessions will cover economic and industry trends, water and environment issues, diagnosing and improving alfalfa production, and other topics. Bill Frost, director of the University of California Cooperative Extension, will give a luncheon speech Dec. 12 on the future of extension services.
The symposium is sponsored by the university cooperative extension programs in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
In California alone, more than 3 million acres of alfalfa and other forage crops are grown, and the symposium will be a valuable tool for those growers to gain knowledge of global issues, economics and practical “how-to” advice on crop production, the website asserts.
In addition to farmers, the conference will also be attended by crop and pest control advisors, members of hay-related industries and representatives from government agencies.
The cost is $225 for pre-registration or $250 at the door. The pre-symposium workshop is $40. Students will be charged $100 for the symposium.
Western Alfalfa and Forage Symposium registration: http://ucanr.edu/sites/Alfalfa/
Symposium agenda: http://cekings.ucanr.edu/files/174896.pdf