The Wurdack Research Center brought a diverse group of topics to its annual Field Day on Friday, Oct. 7, in Cook Station.
Topics at Wurdack, one of the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Agricultural Research Centers, included forage, timber, beekeeping, growing mushrooms and antibiotics.
“Topic relevance is probably most important, that and the presenters’ ability to link the topic in such a way that it supports farmers and their farms,” said Wurdack Superintendent Dusty Walter. “We tried to format the topics to touch on a wide range of salient issues in order to create an informative day that causes folks to think outside the box.”
Several of the topics presented on were new for the Wurdack Field Day. Leo Sharashkin, a Mizzou graduate, discussed how he has raised wild bees in the Ozarks.
“The talk by Leo on honeybees was an encouragement to forward-think,” Walter said. “It played off the hot topic of pollinators and monarch butterflies. Honeybees have a history of importance to the farm that we have failed to appreciate. While his talk focused on local bee capture and honey production, we are rediscovering the significance that bees and pollinators have to farm production. Even on a farm that relies on forage production to feed livestock, bees contribute by pollination of legumes and clovers which are significant sources of nitrogen and enrich the forage balance.”
Gregory Ormsby Mori, education and outreach coordinator with the MU Center for Agroforestry, showed attendees how they could grow shiitake and other mushrooms in forest farming.
“Both talks are a good example of current and forward-thinking topics,” Walter said. “Mushroom production utilizing wood from on-farm resources is nothing new. However, people get stuck on shiitake mushrooms. I think Gregory’s talk was nice because it highlighted how the forest resources (material and shade) could be used to produce several types of mushrooms, including shiitake, oyster, and wine cap stropharia.”
Timber management practices, climate, antibiotic changes and novel endophyte fescue were also presented on during the Field Day. The Missouri Department of Agriculture and MFA also presented some of their programs in support of farm certification and producers.
“New, and sometimes novel, topics are critical to the MU Research Centers’ mission and vision,” Walter said. “I believe we need a mix of current and forward-thinking topics in order to maintain the value we provide to the state regions we serve.”
For a closer look at the Wurdack Research Center Field Day, visit flickr.com/photos/cafnr/albums/72157671561423193.