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49th Annual Delta Farm Forum Goes Online

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Experts will talk about the economics of livestock production and other agricultural issues on Saturday during the 49th annual Delta Farm Forum. And like countless other events over the past year, the 2021 forum will take place online.

UAF Cooperative Extension Service Agricultural Agent Phil Kaspari says it took a while before he and other organizers of this year’s farm forum reluctantly decided to hold this year’s event online. He says they hesitated because so much of what goes on during the event is the kind of information exchange that farmers prefer – and that is, face-to-face.

“It’s a very social event, and folks enjoy that time spent just visiting, catching up,” he said in an interview Monday.

Kaspari says he hopes conducting this year’s forum on the zoom platform may actually help boost interest in the event among out-of-town folks who might not want to spend their Saturday driving to Delta Junction and back. He says depending on the level of online interest in this year’s forum, organizers may in the future routinely feature remotely webcast presentations.

“We hadn’t ever really utilized distance delivery in the farm forum,” he said, “but I can see from here on out it’ll be an opportunity to tap into agricultural expertise from elsewhere.”

This year’s online forum will feature the usual assortment of presentations on Alaska agriculture. Kaspari said highlights include a talk on the economics of producing livestock profitably, to be given by Jenny Beiermann, an agriculture and business management specialist with Colorado State University’s extension service.

“It’s probably going to be as much for those folks (who) are considering getting into livestock -- y’know, can they economically pursue this venture?”

Another presentation on a veterinary service that makes house calls for large-animal health issues will be given by Annette Llanes a graduate of the veterinary-medicine program jointly operated by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado State.

“The livestock industry locally is growing,” he said, “and we recognize the need for more workshops on various aspects of livestock production.”

The farm forum will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. It’s being organized and sponsored by UAF’s Cooperative Extension Service , along with the Salcha-Delta Soil Conservation Service and Partners for Progress In Delta, a local non-profit job-training organization. You can find out more about the forum and how to register to attend online by going online to the Cooperative Extension Service’s website, uaf.edu/ces.