No. 23 Article 2/October 3, 2008

A New Educational Conference Under Construction

Traditionally we have published the initial announcement about the forthcoming Illinois Crop Protection Technology Conference (formerly the Illinois Agricultural Pesticides Conference, or the Illinois Custom Spray Operators Training School) in this early fall issue of the Bulletin. However, for many reasons, we have decided to retire the conference after a highly successful 60-year run to begin work on a "new and improved" event to be held at a different time (December 1 and 2, 2009) and place (the new i Hotel and Conference Center in Urbana).

We are not yet certain exactly how the new conference will look and feel, but significant changes are in store. It is likely that the new event will combine some elements of the Illinois Crop Protection Technology Conference with some significantly more advanced educational opportunities. Distance education technology will also be incorporated to accommodate presenters and people unable to attend the conference. Although some type of proceedings will be published, we are not yet certain what form they will take. Expect a combination of print and electronic formats.

Conference co-chairs Carl Bradley, Mike Gray, Aaron Hager, Sandy Osterbur, and Kevin Steffey have initiated planning for the new conference, with input from agricultural industry leaders. As the development phase continues, we will seek additional input from a planning committee who will help us achieve our intended objective--to provide an exceptional educational opportunity for people involved in pest and crop management in the increasingly complex world of agriculture. If you have suggestions about educational needs that we might be able to fulfill with our new conference, don't hesitate to contact any of the co-chairs.

Although the Illinois Crop Protection Technology Conference will not be held in early January 2009, please note that two of the University of Illinois Corn & Soybean Classics will be held during the first full week of January--January 6 in Mt. Vernon, January 7 in Urbana. More information about the new conference and the Classics will be published in future articles of the Bulletin and at our conference Web site.--Kevin Steffey

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