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Forage Conference to Focus On Environment, Wildlifew

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Written Friday, January 09, 1998  

Forage production and use, as well as environmental and wildlife issues will be on the agenda for the 1998 American Forage and Grassland Conference to be held in Indianapolis in March.

The theme is "Forages at the Crossroads."

"Our main purpose is to increase knowledge and to educate people on the use of forages and developments that have occurred," says Keith Johnson, of the Indiana Forage Council and a Purdue agronomist.

According to Johnson, producers, university and government specialists, agribusiness representatives and anyone else interested in forages is expected to attend the March 8-10 conference.

"One of the strengths of the organization is that it's not been one that focuses strictly on universities alone, or agribusiness alone. This is open to the public," he says.

Presentations will be given by Jay Akridge of the Center for Agricultural Business; Ron Turco of Purdue's Environmental Sciences and Engineering Institute; Brad Joern, environmental specialist; Jeff Volenec, forage physiologist; and Janet Ayres, specialist in community development and leadership for Purdue Extension.

Workshops will tackle issues such as on the environment, forage production and use, and wildlife issues that pertain to forage crops.

"Workshop attendees will have more opportunities to interact with the speaker, and the speaker has more of an opportunity to interact in a student/teacher relationship instead of a lecture," Johnson says. "The whole point is to bring forth new developments and topics that reflect what people feel are important today."

A panel discussion on "Intensive Grazing Hope, Hype or Hysteria" also is planned, as well as sessions on forage management and use, the economics of forage use, soil fertility and plant nutrition, the genetic improvement of forages, and more.

The conference also will feature the sights and tastes of Indianapolis. Tours to the Children's Museum, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Zoo, and other sites will be available for participants and their families. Visitors also will have the option to sample Indiana cuisine at a "Taste of Indiana" dinner.

Registration costs, which should be paid before Feb. 7, vary depending on what registrants choose to participate in. For more information on the conference and its costs, contact Johnson at (765) 494-4800; e-mail, kjohnson@dept.agry.purdue.edu, or call Dana Tucker at (800) 944-2342.

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