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Agricultural issues, techniques to be discussed at expo

Joplin Globe - 9/14/2017

Sept. 14--COLUMBUS, Kan. -- From genetically modified crops to feeding antibiotics to livestock, the Rural Agricultural Expo will analyze a wide range of agricultural topics.

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce Ag Committee will be the host for the expo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Cherokee County 4-H Building, 114 W. Country Road in Columbus.

Consumers and producers will have a chance to see what's new in the world of agricultural products, visit with vendors and attend workshops.

"We want to educate the consumers on their food supply, and this is an opportunity for them to ask any questions that they may have on how their food is produced," said Dale Helwig, Cherokee County agriculture agent.

The day will kick off with dialogue regarding fall application of herbicide and fall calf crop feeding strategies.

At 11 a.m., Lucas Nodine will discuss "Long Term Care and How to Protect Your Assets" in the later years of life.

"He works a lot with protecting your assets as you get older," Helwig said. "A lot of farmers and ranchers have quite a bit of assets, and he'll explain how to protect those if you were to go into a nursing home or have long-care issues. It's a very big topic for farmers."

Following lunch, a discussion on genetically modified organisms by Harold Trick, a professor at Kansas State University, is scheduled.

"I will be talking about the safety of GMOs and what's currently going on in the GMO arena, what products are out there on the market and potentially what will be coming up in the future as well," Trick said.

"The big myth about GMOs is that they're not safe," he added. "We now have 22 years that biotech crops have been on the market. During that time, the products that have been grown out there, we haven't seen anyone dying from GMOs and we haven't seen anyone sick."

Mike Apley, Kansas State University veterinarian, will examine another hot topic, antibiotics in livestock, at 2:15 p.m.The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a ruling at the beginning of the year requiring producers to obtain a "veterinary feed directive" before administering antibiotics to livestock through their feed.

A live demonstration on cattle handling will be presented by Dalebanks Angus owner Matt Perrier at 3:30 p.m. One of the newest methods of reducing stress to an animal is the use of a Bud Box system.

"People have been wanting to see this for years, and Matt Perrier will be showing a live demonstration on how the Bud Box works," Helwig said. "It's a way to quietly move cattle through a working facility. It's a low-stress cattle-handling exercise."

The day will wrap up with the Cherokee County Beekeepers' Association. The number of beehives has decreased since 1950 and the workshop will highlight how to protect the pollinators.

"They'll talk about the pollinators and extract some honey," Helwig said. "This is a topic for both consumers and producers. Producers need to be aware where these beehives are located."

Lunch

A meal of ham and beans and cornbread will be served at noon for $5.

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(c)2017 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.)

Visit The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.) at www.joplinglobe.com

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