No. 20 Article 1/August 7, 2009

Follow Me to Beijing, China for WSRC

Next week (August 10-15), the eighth World Soybean Research Conference is being held in Beijing, China. The conference, held every five years, has strong connections to midwestern soybean production. The first one was held in Urbana in 1975, the third in Ames, Iowa (1984), and the sixth in Chicago (1999). The conference is a forum for the world's soybean researchers to exchange research results and development activities across all segments of the soybean industry and to promote international communication and cooperation. Several soybean researchers from the University of Illinois will be accompanying me (I shouldn't get out of control this way), as well as several of my counterparts from our neighboring states. I am looking forward to the opportunity.

Due to the trip, I thought this was a good time to advertise my new Illinois Soybean Production blog, which you can find at Also, for the past few weeks I have been using Twitter (; username vmdavis) to "tweet" timely soybean production information. Yes, I said "tweet"--a tweet is a short message of up to 140 characters sent from a cell phone to a group of recipients. I have been using Twitter for several months now, and I think it can be a very easy and very useful tool for extension education. I intend to have cell phone reception and Internet connection while I'm in Beijing, so I plan to blog and tweet my experiences while I'm there. If the plan fails, I will post my experiences and the things I learn about China and soybeans promptly upon my return. If you have interest, follow along with me.

I will unfortunately be unable to attend Agronomy Day because of this adventure, but I hope all of you can be there. It's the 53rd consecutive one, and it will be Thursday, August 13, from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Urbana South Farms. More information can be found at the Agronomy Day website.--Vince M. Davis

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