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Farmers and ranchers are turning their attention to winter, and while there’s little fieldwork to be done, these quiet months can be instrumental to their 2020 bottom line.

High Plains Journal has long championed the cause of having meetings that can benefit producers. That is why we leverage the talents of our diverse team and take the education to farmers and ranchers. Our special projects team continues to work to find new topics and speakers that will increase your opportunities. And, of course, grower and producer panels, with farmers talking to farmers, have become a signature to the Journal’s programming.

Cotton production continues to move north and this trend led to the upcoming Cotton U in Amarillo, Texas, Dec. 5, a first-time event as part of the Amarillo Farm Show. Cotton has been a staple in the Southern Plains region but it has grown in importance as farmers and ranchers look to diversify their operation.

The event will feature a keynote address by Craig Brown, vice president of producer affairs at the National Cotton Council, who will speak on “Benchmarking Sustainability: The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.” Featured speakers Jeff Miller, of ForeFront Agronomy, and Seth Byrd, an Extension specialist with Oklahoma State University, will present “2 Goals, 1 Drop: Irrigation for Profitability and Soil Health” and “Managing Cotton in a Short Season Environment,” respectively.

The event is free but it does require registration by calling 620-227-1834 or visiting cottonu.net.

But the educational opportunities don’t stop there. On the horizon is Soil Health U plus three Alfalfa U events. 

Soil Health U is a two-day event, Jan. 22 to 23, at the Tony’s Pizza Events Center, in Salina, Kansas. That event, now in its third year, is driven to help producers who are concerned about long-term quality of their soil while recognizing the need to stay profitable, particularly in a challenging economic environment. Soil Health U will include more than 20 speakers and three keynote sessions with several practical application farmer panels. A large trade show reinforces the tools needed to nurture the health of your soil.

Registration is $125 a person or check your current issue for subscriber discount code. Additional information is available for that event is at www.soilhealthu.net or by calling 620-227-7171.

Alfalfa U will be Feb. 11, in St. George, Utah; Feb. 18, in Gering, Nebraska; and Feb. 20, in Dodge City, Kansas. The hay and forage industry continues to grow and the Alfalfa U event is designed to deliver practical ways to improve with agronomic, marketing and management. Additional information about Alfalfa U will be regularly updated and available at AlfalfaU.com.

Also, many organizations throughout the High Plains region are putting together regional meetings or annual meetings to provide updates on issues of importance to the industry. Several meetings also seek producer input to develop policies at the state or federal levels. The input by grassroots producers, for example, led to the stop of the implementation of the Waters of the United States rule.

Taking time to attend meetings that can improve your bottom line is needed now more than ever and we encourage you to do so.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or dbergmeier@hpj.com.

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