downtown Peoria, Illinois

A New Extension-focused Conference focusing on Agriculture and Climate is planned for July 31-August 1st in Peoria, Illinois

This summer, the North Central Agriculture and Climate Conference will unite Extension and agricultural professionals from across the region to spotlight climate adaptation and mitigation research, outreach, and Extension programs. The conference is being hosted by the North Central Climate Collaborative, the North Central Regional Water Network, USDA Midwest Climate Hub, Extension Foundation, and partners. The event – which will be July 31st – August 1st at the Peoria Civic Center – will provide ample opportunity for Extension professionals, ag advisors, and technical service providers to share their work and gain valuable knowledge on the climate-related work happening across the region. It will also provide a much-needed opportunity to network with other extension colleagues from across the region, and connect with outreach professionals, ag advisors and technical service providers.

The event will bring together experienced and new professionals to learn from one another and make connections. It will also include sessions highlighting extension climate programming that is already happening across the region – such as the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Fellowship, the Climate-Ready Farms Assessment, and the Farming for a Better Climate program to name a few – and showcase applied research that can be integrated into programming and outreach to provide communities and landowners the latest information and provide clarify on key climate questions.

“There are a lot of conferences out there that folks can go to, but I see the North Central Agriculture and Climate Conference as a National Association of County Agricultural Agents Convention type of event – except it is region-specific,” says Hans Schmitz, Conservation Cropping Systems Agronomist with Purdue Extension, and member of the conference planning team. “In my years with extension, the events that have been the most beneficial to me are those events that are extension-focused, because as extension professionals we serve a unique role and have specific challenges. This event will be a great opportunity for extension educators and specialists from different institutions to get together, talk about their work, and dive into how to address climate adaptation and mitigation in a productive way.”

To make the conference as inclusive as possible, the planning team sought out a central location – Peoria, Illinois – and has established a $75 registration fee. There is also a budget for travel scholarships for those in need of additional travel assistance to support their attendance. Registration is now open.

More information, including a call for proposals will be released shortly. Be sure to check for more information and updates.

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