COVID-19 has changed how people attend school, church, and of course how we will conduct the agricultural events and programs that typically occur during the winter months.

Attending meetings and gatherings via the various internet platforms over the past 10 months has likely been new for most of us.

I suspect all would agree there are positives and negatives to the “virtual” format. It does provide an opportunity to participate in a meeting when one might not have in person, but of course, the individual connection, which is so meaningful in a gathering of people with similar interests, is removed from a virtual setting.

I suspect that post-pandemic we will see a return to group gatherings but the virtual gatherings will keep a presence in society from this day on. In the interim, the winter 2021 meeting season will be virtual with some limited in-person trainings.

I hope you take the time to attend the virtual meeting offerings that pertain to your enterprises. There will be many opportunities over the next couple of months, beginning this week.

The Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association Convention is one of the largest gatherings of cattle producers in Kentucky each year and originally planned to meet in Owensboro this week.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, Jan. 12, the event kicks off with the Beef Efficiency Conference that will focus on “Designing Beef Production Programs for the Consumer.”

The content pertains to identifying key beef consumer preferences and how the industry can grow to meet the demand. The 2021 Forages Conference will highlight “Improving Hay Quality in Kentucky” on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 6 p.m.

This seminar will focus on hay production and quality including hay testing analysis, steps to producing high-quality wrapped hay baleage, and practical approaches to improving hay quality.

The week will end on Friday, Jan. 15, with the Regional Caucuses followed by the Business Session and Awards Ceremony.

Highlights of Friday’s event include state and national updates, the election of new officers, and Hall of Fame awards. Preregistration to attend the Beef Efficiency Conference, Forages Conference, or business meetings is required and available at

The Kentucky Commodity Conference, a joint meeting of the Corn, Small Grain, and Soybean Growers Associations is occurring this Thursday, Jan. 14, beginning at 8 a.m. on Zoom with association business meetings and continuing with a general session consisting of a presentation by keynote speaker Michele Payne and recognition of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension 2020 yield contest award winners.

Several local farms will be recognized for their grain production accomplishments. Preregistration is required and available at

Next week, on Jan. 19, a Burley and Dark Tobacco Production Meeting and GAP Training will be on Zoom from 9 to 11 a.m. CST. A second session will be offered on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Preregistration is required no less than 24 hours in advance of the meeting you choose to attend and available on the GAP Connections website at

The Zoom log-in/log-out records will monitor the participation of growers attending the training. Growers that attend this live-streamed GAP training will not be required to take the training quizzes that are mandatory when viewing the recorded training modules that will be available on the GAP Connections website beginning Jan. 10. GAP record manuals will be provided at the time of production contract signing.

On Wednesday, Jan. 27, the Ag Expo educational program will begin at 8:30 a.m. via Zoom. Contact my office at 270-685-8480 or email me at to register. Extension Economist, Dr. Greg Halich, will be discussing the grain markets and profit outlook for 2020.

Extension plant pathologist Dr. Kiersten Wise will be discussing research data on V-10 compared to tassel stage fungicide application on corn and what we have learned about southern corn leaf rust in 2020.

Dr. Travis Legleiter will discuss the top five weed problems we have and the management required to keep them in check.

More events and online activities will be announced as the month progresses. Some additional programs we are working on pertain to estate planning and farmer health, so stay tuned!

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