Farm meeting season is notoriously busy but I am here to tell you: March is set to out-do itself this year. It's all good though. Good people, good information, good experiences. Take a look:
Women Changing the Face of Agriculture | March 6: it's a long name but a great purpose, in connecting high school and college women with careers in agriculture. If you are that young woman or are the parent of that young woman, it's worth a look and a trip to Bloomington. And for the rest of us, frankly, it's just a great chance to catch up.
Illinois Soybean Summit | March 6: This is the second of these summits, and this one is in Peoria. Steve Johnson and Elwyn Taylor will bring greetings from Iowa State University, and updates on markets and weather. There are a variety of breakouts after that, but I think Jason Webster's update on Beck's Hybrids soybean yield farm research will be really good, as will John McGillicuddy's soybean agronomy talk. They'll wrap up the day with a farmer roundtable, which I'm always a fan of – and always glad to see college friends like George Lukach make the panel.
Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Banquet | March 11: Yes, this is an invitation only event, but I'm super excited about it, and always excited to announce the new class of Master Farmers. Even better, 2000 Master Farmer and Illinois Director of Agriculture Philip Nelson will be speaking to the group. You know it's going to be good.
ExploreACES | March 13-14: If you read my post earlier this week and have any inkling of wanting to suss out a career in Illinois agriculture, you've gotta go to ExploreACES. Back in my day, it was known as the Ag Open House. Today, it's the same event but amped up: more to do, more to see, more people to meet, more careers to explore. Again, if you or your kids are interested in ag as a career, you should make plans to attend.
National Ag Day | March 18: There's not an event to attend here (unless you find yourself in D.C. for the day) but perhaps your county Farm Bureau is celebrating, or you're a blogger who can write and share something agricultural, or even just share something agricultural through your Facebook of Twitter pages. Regardless, it's a good chance to reflect and celebrate the wealth of agricultural goodness we're all a part of. And, if you do tweet or blog or Facebook, grab the hashtags #AgDay2015 and #AgProud, and join Ryan Goodman's Ag Day blogging group.
Women in Agriculture | March 20: Ok, I know this is sort of limited to half the audience (i.e., those who are women) but this is one of my favorites. Two years ago, I spoke at this event and I have not met more dear, sweet farm women in all my life. It happened to be my mother's birthday and near the first anniversary of her death. I shared some of my family's stories and while I wasn't sure I'd make it through without a few tears, it never occurred to me that these women would join me. No one cries alone here, apparently and especially in grief over a farm mom. Last year, my fellow farm wives and I attended and podcasted about Ron Hanson's advice – which we loved. And this year, we're taking the podcast to the stage! DeAnna, Emily and I will actually be talking over the day's events and recording on stage, to wrap up the event. And you know we'll have a lot to say, about all the things.