Together for farm progress

John Lawrence’s message from Aug. 27, 2018

The Farm Progress Show is billed as the nation’s leading outdoor farm show. Held in Iowa every other year (the show rotates annually between Iowa and Illinois), it’s a three-day showcase of agricultural research, innovation and technology. This is an Iowa year, so once again Iowa State University and ISU Extension and Outreach will be participating in the show, Aug. 28-30 at the Central Iowa Expo site east of Boone.

Most of the exhibitors focus on what you buy in the bag or machine, apply to the crop or manipulate in the soil. However, Iowa State focuses on educating farmers who are making management decisions. We help them learn about the latest research, which innovations to watch, and how to evaluate the technology for their conditions. Did you know?

  • The Iowa State tent, at the corner of Central Avenue and 7th Street, is the place to start a conversation, watch a demonstration or check out innovations. Show visitors can learn about our work with soil, water and crops, as well as weeds, monarchs and soybean-stressor-detecting technology.
  • Visitors can talk about the weather with agricultural meteorologist Elwynn Taylor, insects with entomologist Erin Hodgson, agricultural economics with economist Wendong Zhang, and many other topics with many other specialists at our “Ask an Expert” area. These are two-way conversations: We share current research, and farmers and ag professionals tell us more about the complex and critical issues they face. Conversations may begin by chance at the show, but they continue long after because of trust and reliability.
  • We’re also sharing our Land Grant Legacy project to help visitors understand our history and mission, and what this rich legacy means to Iowa, agricultural education and those involved in agriculture.

For three days every other year, the Farm Progress Show is a great opportunity to highlight how Iowa State research, education and outreach extend across the landscape to support agricultural sustainability. However, it’s also a great reminder to our clients and to ourselves that we work together for farm progress in our state every day, all year long.

More notes

  • The Internal Communications Task Force met twice in August and the executive summary from the meetings is posted on Cybox.
  • I’ll be making more regional visits next week, with sessions in Region 7 on Sept. 4 and Region 9 on Sept. 5. I hope to visit all 20 regions by mid-October.
  • I am sending a letter today to Counties, Councils, Regional Directors, and 4-H Staff and CYCs about moving 4-H Club and Learning Community accounts under the County Extension Districts. This is not a new topic, but there has been confusion surrounding the implementation. If you are among the groups receiving my letter, please watch for and read it.

— John D. Lawrence
Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach

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