High Plains Journal’s signature summer events—Sorghum U/Wheat U and Cattle U and Trade Show—are headed for a new virtual format because of COVID-19. Sorghum U/Wheat U will be Aug. 11 and 12 and the Cattle U and Trade Show will be Sept. 8 to 11.

Associate Publisher Zac Stuckey, in making the announcement on both events, noted the primary concern by HPJ’s event team was the events be designed in a way that the health and safety of guests, exhibitors and partners comes first.

Don’t get us wrong. We prefer the face-to-face interactions that are offered in traditional formats. Countless hours were planned to put together programs that were pragmatic. Yet we have to recognize the challenges of the coronavirus.

As it became more evident that COVID-19 was going to limit the ability of speakers to travel to specific sites and raise concerns over health of attendees, HPJ staff, participating companies and event sites, the next step was to develop contingency plans because feedback from past programs indicated that attendees value the information they receive.

The good news for attendees is all the elements that make the traditional format successful will be retained. Many of the speakers have agreed to participate in the virtual format. Attendees are going to continue to have on offer an opportunity to learn successful techniques.

Also, attendees will continue to receive insightful advice from experts, and popular producer panels are being retained. Event sponsors will continue to play key roles in the program and be able to work with producers in a new way.

More now than ever HPJ programs can help farmers and ranchers to hone their production and marketing programs. This is an important bridge and Stuckey has correctly noted Sorghum U/Wheat U and Cattle U and Trade Show are valuable resources and “when the time is right, we will go back to meeting in person safely and comfortably.”

Sorghum U/Wheat U

Sorghum U and Wheat U is free to growers but they need to register at www.hpj.com/suwu.

The two days of live webinars feature prescheduled speakers and online access to all webinars, which will be recorded and posted on the HPJ.com so attendees can watch at their convenience. Program information will be regularly updated on the website www.hpj.com/suwu.

CattleU and Trade Show

Current Cattle U registrations will be applied to the future in-person Cattle U 2021 or registrants can request a refund of their fee. Because of the change in format, the Virtual Cattle U will be free and open to those who register in advance at www.cattleu.net. All registered attendees will receive access to Cattle U virtual content online and a complimentary eight-week Journal subscription, and they can sign up for monthly HPJ Direct beef cattle news updates at hpj.com/signup.

We hope that producers will continue to stay committed to attending the upcoming virtual shows and view them as a new way to learn about industry we all share in common. Taking advantage of these unique opportunities now and in the future will inevitably set farmers and ranchers up for future success. 

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

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