Who says winter is the slack season on farms and ranches? Here’s a quick look at the activities and events planned for coming months by some of the country’s premier hay and forage organizations:

• A national hay contest, forage photo contest, forage bowl competition and forage spokesperson contest will be among the featured activities at the American Forage and Grassland Council’s 2013 Annual Conference.The event is scheduled for Jan. 6-9 at the Cincinnati Marriott River Center in Covington, KY. For registration information, visit here.

• The Washington State Hay Growers Association (WSHGA) reports that more than 55 exhibitors will be on hand for the group’s 2013 Expo and Trade Show, to be held Jan. 16-17 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick. A full slate of educational presentations is also planned. Get more details at WSHGA’s recently redesigned Web site.

• Alfalfa management, varieties and tissue testing will be explored by featured speaker Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin Extension forage specialist, at the Feb. 5-6 Mid-America Alfalfa Expo and Conference in Kearney, NE. Other featured events will include a producer panel, trade show, fund-raising auction and the first-annual Forage Olympics. The expo is sponsored by the Nebraska Alfalfa Marketing Association.

• Forage producers in 11 Western states have until tomorrow, Dec. 19, to enter forage samples for the 2013 World Ag Expo Forage Challenge. Winners will be announced Feb. 12 at World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA. Download the entry form and rules here.

• While at World Ag Expo, on the same day, attendees can hear market analyst Seth Hoyt, learn of forage equipment innovations and catch tips from dairy nutritionists on getting the most from your forage testing dollars at the Forage Seminars hosted by Hay & Forage Grower and Mycogen Seeds. Check here for more information.

•Making and marketing hay for the horse industry, one producer’s experience with Roundup Ready alfalfa and harvesting alfalfa as baleage are among the topics that will be discussed at the 33rd Kentucky Alfalfa Conference. The conference will take place at the Fayette County Extension Office in Lexington on Feb. 21. For more information, go to the University of Kentucky forage Web site.

For information on other upcoming meetings of interest to hay and forage producers, check out our Calendar of Events.