The Illinois Forage Institute will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 24, at the University of Illinois (U of I) Dixon Springs Agricultural Center near Simpson.

“The educational program will focus on managing hayland and pastures,” says Dale Baird, U of I Extension educator. “The program will also include commercial exhibits focusing on the forage industry.”

In the morning session, Brett Roberts, Illinois state conservation agronomist with USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will discuss “Fertility for Pastures and Hay Production.” Richard Hungerford, NRCS state resource conservationist, will present, “Selecting Forage Species” and Ed Ballard, retired U of I Extension educator, will cover “Year-Round Grazing and Forage Economics.”

U of I College of Veterinary Medicine’s Clifford Shipley will start off the afternoon with a presentation on “Grazing Small Ruminants, Horses and Exotics.” In addition, the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council (IFGC) will host the Illinois Forage Bowl, a youth quiz competition, and the Forage Spokesperson Contest.

To register, contact IFGC at P.O. Box 233, Greenville, IL 62246. The educational program is $15 per person for IFGC members and $20 per person for non-members. Pre-registration is due by March 11. The cost will increase to $20 and $25, respectively, after March 11 and at the door on March 24. Registration includes a noon meal and forage presentation handout materials.

For more information on the program, go to www.illinoisforage.org. The event is sponsored by IFGC and supported by NRCS and U of I Extension.