Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 South Texas Agriculture Symposium, a web seminar hosted by AgriLife Extension Offices and the Texas Department of Agriculture, will be held, with slight safety modifications, on April 14.

In previous years, the event broadcast presentations to a live location where attendees could interact while viewing the symposium. With Coronavirus safety mandates limiting in-person interactions, AgriLife officials tweaked their event plan this year.

“We’ve made the opportunity where people can register and view this seminar from their home,” AgriLife Extension Agent Corrie Bowen said.

The symposium will take place 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with each presentation lasting about 30 minutes.

This year’s presenters and topics, in chronological order, are “The NOT Beef Burger,” by livestock specialist Joe Paschal; an update on Texas hemp production laws from agronomist Josh McGinty; an update on pasture and new range herbicides from Megan Clayton; glyphosate information from McGinty; “Cattle, sheep or goats?” by Paschal; “Path to the Plate and RanchTV.org” by extension office associate director Dan Hale; pesticide safety and environmental health by ag safety specialist Mark Matocha; fertilizing options from agronomy specialist Jamie Foster; update on the cattle fever tick from Paschal; and the sustainability movement from Clayton.

The 2019 symposium had about 20 attendees.

“That is because of the session on hemp last year,” Bowen said. “More people wanted to learn about it. Again, that’s going to be one of the topics this year.”

This year may have even more attendees, since they don’t have to travel, he added.

Attendees can register online in advance, and a link will be emailed on April 13 in order to view the symposium. Registration for the event is $10 per person, and virtual attendance for every presentation is not required.

While the symposium will be largely unchanged by the Coronavirus pandemic, the same isn’t true for operations at the Wharton County Extension Office. In order to meet state safety guidelines, office visits can be scheduled by appointment, but agents are only making essential site visits.

“Our mission continues to improve lives and educate Texans,” Bowen said. “We’re just having to do things a little differently now.”

To register for the symposium, visit Agriliferegister.tamu.edu/organizationListings/188.

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