Mark your calendar for Farmer U on August 18-19

Posted July 21, 2021

Ready for the return of in-person agricultural events? Mark your calendar for August 18 and 19 for a new event organized by the High Plains Journal — Farmer U. The event will take place in Mulvane, Kansas, at the Kansas Star Event Center and will include speakers, educational breakout sessions, panel discussions and a trade show.

“We are looking forward to gathering together again to learn from agricultural experts and fellow farmers who are at the top of their fields,” said Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat. “We hope you will join us in Mulvane as we work together to continue the innovations of Kansas agriculture.”

Michelle Miller — also known as the Farm Babe on social media — will open the event by discussing how farmers and ranchers can counter the misinformation spread about agriculture and work to educate consumers.

Rob Sharkey — also known as the Shark Farmer — will close the event. Sharkey is a fifth-generation farmer from Illinois who hosts a podcast titled “SharkFarmer Podcast,” a radio show on Sirius XM and a television show on RFDTV called “SharkFarmer TV.” He will focus on his unconventional journey to becoming a disrupter in the agriculture industry and how his media ventures center around providing a platform for stories about people in agriculture.

The event will also include two panel discussions — a farmer panel and a women’s panel. The farmer panel will include Ki Gamble, Travis Schnaithman, Jimmy Frederick and Jeremy Brown.

Gamble is a fourth-generation farmer from Greensburg, Kansas, who farms irrigated and dryland alfalfa, corn, sunflowers, soybeans, sorghum and wheat and has won the National Sorghum Producer’s Grain Sorghum Yield Contest 10 times. Schnaithman, a past National FFA Star Farmer of America, is a fifth-generation farmer from Garber, Oklahoma, who raises wheat, soybeans, sorghum and corn with his father and brother. Frederick of Rulo, Nebraska, farms 3,000 acres of mostly non-irrigated ground alongside his father. Frederick is the world record holder for dryland soybeans at 148.8 bushels per acre. Jeremy Brown operates a 4,000-acre farming operation called Broadview Agriculture near Lubbock, Texas, using regenerative farming practices to raise cotton.

The Farmer U women’s panel will kick off day two with the Farm Babe serving as moderator for a line-up that will include Blayne Arthur, Oklahoma’s first female Secretary of Agriculture; Whitney Larson, a city girl turned Kansas farm wife, agricultural blogger and podcaster; fifth-generation Nebraska farmer Sarah Greer; and Colorado Farmer Bureau state officer and agriculturist Roxi McCormick.

Educational breakout sessions will cover soil health, irrigation, soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum, alfalfa and corn. Brent Bean, director of agronomy for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program will present on new herbicide technologies for sorghum. Schnaithman will discuss how to market wheat to extract additional value, including the use of on-farm storage. Bruce Anderson, Extension forage specialist emeritus at the University of Nebraska, will detail the benefits of alfalfa in crop rotations. Frederick will give a presentation on decreasing soybean plant populations while also improving plant health increasing yield. Seth Byrd, Oklahoma State University Extension cotton specialist, will present on cotton stand establishment and seed quality in the Great Plains.

Trisha Jackson, director of regenerative agriculture at PrairieFood, will provide a soil health breakdown about how taking care of the soil takes care of crops. Sarah Lancaster, Kansas State University assistant professor of agronomy and Extension specialist, will share the secrets of managing weeds — specifically pigweed — in corn. Scott Staggenborg, sorghum product marketing director at S&W Seed, will provide an analysis of new technologies on the rise in sorghum and how sorghum can become a more important crop rotation. Kurt Grimm, owner of NutraDrip Irrigation Systems, will explain how producers can get the most from their irrigation water.

The Farmer U & Trade Show event will also include the Farmer U Awards, including the 2021 Woman of the Year Award and 2021 Farmer of the Year Awards, given in the categories of alfalfa, corn, cotton, soil health, sorghum, soybeans and wheat.

To learn more about the speakers, trade show or to register, visit www.farmeru.net. Join Kansas Wheat at booth #164 to learn more about the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers' August membership promotion and discount, as well as Wheat Rx, a partnership between Kansas Wheat and K-State Research and Extension to disseminate the latest research recommendations for high-yielding and high-quality wheat to Kansas wheat farmers.

Pre-registration is $100 per person and onsite registration is $125 per person. HPJ subscribers receive a $25 discount at pre-registration and onsite registration pricing; check your current HPJ issue for the discount code. HPJ will be in compliance with all local and state pandemic precautions at the time of the event; however, facemasks and COVID-19 vaccinations will not be required.

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Written by Julia Debes for Kansas Wheat