LONDON, Ohio — The North American Manure Expo is about to land in Madison County, Ohio.
The international event, covering the serious business of using farm animal manure to help grow crops, while doing it safely and greenly, is Aug. 3-4 at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, about 25 miles west of Columbus.
The expo travels around different locations every year, and typically attracts a couple thousand attendees, said Mary Griffith, educator with Madison County Extension.
“Manure is an excellent source of nutrients for the crops we grow in Ohio and is probably one of the oldest forms of recycling we have,” said a co-chair of the event’s planning committee, Amanda Douridas. She’s an agriculture and natural resources educator in the Champaign County office of Ohio State University Extension.
Expo attendees will dig into a trade show, three tours, field demonstrations and about 40 educational sessions on 13 main topics. Some of those topics will be new technologies, new water quality protection efforts, and new handling and application methods for solid and liquid manures.
See latest technology, research
Taken together, the event offers an “in-depth, hands-on opportunity to learn about the latest technology and research that are making manure application even more sustainable and environmentally friendly,” Douridas said.
OSU Extension and the Caren center, which also will be the site of September’s Farm Science Review trade show, are both part of The Ohio State University and its College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
The college is co-hosting the annual expo, which rotates among states and to Canada, together with the Ohio- and Indiana-based Midwest Professional Nutrient Applicators Association. Last year’s event was in Pennsylvania and drew about 2,000 people. The last time the expo was held in Ohio was in 2008 at the Caren center.
The event’s educational sessions will be a “huge draw because attendees can hear from so many experts in just one place,” Douridas said. Those experts will come from the college, other universities, agencies and industry. A complete list of the sessions and speakers is at manureexpo.org/expo-overview.html.
Three tours, 90 vendors, lots of new ideas
The tours, meanwhile, will give attendees a chance to see other operations’ successful practices — and to take home ideas to use themselves. Details on the tours are at manureexpo.org/tours.html.
The trade show will have more than 90 vendors, while the field demonstrations will offer side-by-side comparisons of equipment and practices.
‘Sustainable farms for the future’
“We’ve made a lot of improvements in understanding the value of manure and meeting crop nutrient needs by recycling manure back onto farm fields,” Douridas said. “It’s crucial that we protect our environment while feeding our neighbors.
“That’s how we develop sustainable farms for the future.”
Admission to the expo is free and open to the public, but preregistration is suggested. There’s a $20 fee for the tours, and preregistration is required to attend them. Online preregistration for the expo and tours is available at go.osu.edu/2016ManureExpoReg.
Earn continuing ed credits
Attendees will be eligible for credit under a half-dozen continuing education programs: Ohio Department of Agriculture Certified Livestock Manager; Certified Crop Advisor; Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois Level 2 Applicator Certification; Pennsylvania Act 49, Manure Hauler and Broker; Pennsylvania Act 38, Nutrient Management; and Ohio Professional Engineer. Full details are at go.osu.edu/2016ManureExpoCECs.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture, Van Wert-based Cooper Farms, Michigan State University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin also are helping present the event.
The expo is owned by the Professional Nutrient Applicators Association of Wisconsin and is managed by Ag Annex, publisher of Manure Manager magazine. For more information, go to manureexpo.org.