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Montana State University agriculture research centers offer virtual field days
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Montana State University agriculture research centers offer virtual field days

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Western Agricultural Research Center staff

Bitterroot staff at the Western Agriculture Research Center. The usual series of in-person field days at MSU’s seven research centers was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has been replaced with live and recorded online events, Thursday, July 30.

The Montana State University College of Agriculture and Montana Agriculture Experiment Station will host a series of virtual field day events to replace in-person field days for 2020. This includes updates from the MSU-Western Agricultural Research Center in Corvallis and a live, web-based event on Thursday, July 30.

The usual field days, hosted by MSU’s seven research centers and campus facilities, were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, the agricultural researchers across the state will present both recorded and live content online, for free.

“Our field days are always a highlight of our year, and we were disappointed to not be able to host them this summer. But, the safety of our community members and our research center staff is our top priority,” said Darrin Boss, head of the Department of Research Centers and superintendent of the Northern Agricultural Research Center. “We hope that by creating virtual content this year, we will be able to incorporate virtual elements into future field days and produce an even better experience for everyone.”

MSU’s agricultural research centers are located in Huntley, Conrad, Havre, Moccasin, Sidney, Kalispell and Corvallis. Each center will provide short recorded presentations on a variety of topics specific to the research they conduct. Topics will include cereals, livestock production, water and pesticide use, fruit production and more. Content will also be provided by the MSU Post Farm, located a few miles from the MSU campus in Bozeman.

Virtual content will include welcome messages from Boss, MSU President Waded Cruzado and College of Agriculture Dean and MAES director Sreekala Bajwa. There will also be a live segment in which community members and any interested viewers may ask agriculture-related questions of MSU researchers and agriculture experts. Topics for the live segment will include crop pathology, soils, organic production, horticulture, livestock, weeds and a variety of other subjects. According to Zach Miller, superintendent of the MSU-Western Agricultural Research Center, there are advantages to this year’s format. “With the virtual format, we’re offering a great perspective of all the outstanding agriculture research from across the state and you can watch them when you’d like.”

Recorded presentations will be posted on the MAES website at https://agresearch.montana.edu/virtualfielddays.html on Friday, July 24, at noon and will be hosted through the College of Agriculture YouTube channel. That webpage will also include information on the live segment, which will take place on July 30 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Questions for the live segment can be emailed to agnews@montana.edu.

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