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Canola U instructors will accelerate your learning curve

The third and completely new Canola U event on Feb. 28 at the Cherokee Strip Conference Center in Enid, Okla., promises to accelerate the learning curve for wheat growers who want to successfully introduce a rotation with winter canola to the mutual benefit of both crops, as well as to their bottom lines.

Sponsored by High Plains Journal and DEKALB, Canola U is an educational seminar featuring multiple presentations in a classroom format that cover key aspects of planting and managing winter canola, the crop's rotational benefits to wheat, how the grain industry is gearing up to handle canola, favorable crop insurance programs and how to make canola work in no-till and minimum-till production systems.

Each class is taught by highly experienced growers, academic and industry experts who are well-versed in winter canola agronomics, financing, crop insurance, marketing and processing. Small classroom size ensures a relaxed and educational atmosphere that is conducive to asking questions and having those questions answered.

Some of the class instructors who will be present at the upcoming Canola U event include a number of heavy hitters who have been involved in adoption of winter canola in the southern Plains from the ground up: Dr. Tom Peeper, Mark Boyles and Josh Bushong of Oklahoma State University; experienced wheat and canola growers Jeff Scott and Bob Schrock; Producers Cooperative Oil Mill agronomist Heath Sanders, and others.

Bambi Sidwell, a crop insurance agent with Sidwell Insurance Agency in Piedmont, Okla., will instruct a class that examines insurance programs for winter canola, how growers can minimize risk and the various reporting deadlines for that crop. Sidwell is a 2003 graduate of Oklahoma State University, where she majored in Ag Economics. Upon graduation, she was hired by Boeing in southern California to work as a lobbyist for the Armed Services and Defense Committees.

In 2005, Sidwell began working for GE Financial as a sales representative, and she received the award of Group Leader for the company for two consecutive years. In 2009, Bambi returned to Oklahoma to work with farmers and open a second Sidwell Insurance Agency office. She is a supporter of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, an active member of the Oklahoma Wheat Growers Association, the Oklahoma Grain and Stockers Association and serves on the Board of Directors for NAIFA.

Josh Bushong, an OSU winter canola Extension specialist for the Garfield County Extension Office in Enid, will cover basic winter canola agronomics in a class taught in concert with PCOM agronomist Heath Sanders. Bushong has assisted Tom Peeper in winter canola research since 2003, conducting and evaluating field trials for variety selection, fertility, weed control, herbicide carryover and different cropping systems.

Bushong holds both a B.S. degree in crop science and a M.S. degree in weed science from OSU and has been actively involved in the OSU Crops Judging Team, Weed Science Team and the Southern Weed Science Competition. He was born and raised on a farm in Weatherford, Okla.

There is no charge to attend Canola U, and lunch is provided. To register, RSVP at 855-4CANOLA (855-422-6652) or register online at


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