No. 21 Article 1/September 10, 2010

AGMasters Conference: More Advanced Sessions Added This Year

The 2010 AGMasters Conference is scheduled for December 2 and 3, at the University of Illinois I Hotel and Conference Center. If you haven't done so already, we hope you will hold the dates. At the conclusion of last year's conference we asked participants how to make the 2010 meeting even more relevant and worthwhile. They told us that more advanced sessions would be welcomed. Taking that recommendation seriously, we have added four such sessions to this year's program and shortened the general session.

The general session, on the morning of December 2, will focus on climate change and its impact on Illinois agriculture, with a special emphasis on weed management. Lewis Ziska, a USDA-ARS plant physiologist from Beltsville, Maryland, will present Climate, CO2 and Invasive Weeds: Meeting the Challenge. Jim Angel, Illinois state climatologist, and Don Wuebbles, U of I professor of atmospheric sciences, will provide historical and futuristic perspectives, respectively, on climate change, with a focus on agriculture. Finally, Douglas Nelson, executive vice president of CropLife America in Washington, DC, will present The NPDES Dilemma: To Spray or Not to Spray.

The morning will conclude with a panel discussion by Department of Crop Sciences extension specialists. Each specialist will offer comments about the most recent growing season, share predictions for 2011, and respond to audience questions. The morning should be fast-paced and set the stage for the remaining 1-1/2 days.

The advanced sessions, designed to mirror a classroom setting, will be limited to 40 students. Each advanced session runs for 2 hours and will be repeated once. Instructors have been encouraged to welcome interaction and engage participants in active dialogue. These 12 advanced sessions will be presented:

Conference registration information will be published later this month in the Bulletin. Registration will be limited to 160 people, and sign-ups for the advanced sessions will be first-come, first-served. Each registrant may take up to six of the 12 advanced sessions. If you have questions about the conference, please contact co-chair Sandy Osterbur of the U of I Department of Crop Sciences (; 800-321-1296) or me (; 217-333-6652).--Mike Gray

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