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8. Virtual Learning

What a year it has been.  Every farm show and trade show has been cancelled due to Covid-19.   As we navigate through this year of uncertainty, we find ourselves possibly missing a year’s worth of innovation.  New advancements in seed technology, equipment development and interaction with our fellow grower are ever changing and warranted.  Many venues have created a virtual world of trade shows and opportunities to learn.  Taking this avenue also serves as another option to release information and activate the grower as we discuss the latest and greatest discovery that could potentially improve and contribute to a successful farming season.  Virtual Farm Tour is an opportunity to see all the vendors from the AgroExpo, but on your schedule.  Check it out at: http://www.theagroexpo.com/connect/virtual-farm-tour/

What are the benefits of a virtual world?  A couple things come to mind as we experience these creative and out-of-the-box productions of short clips and video series.  Being able to access this information 24- hours a day, 7-days a week, 365-days a year lends a convenient option for growers to learn on their own time.   The opportunity to build brand awareness by exposing growers to easy-to-access information about your organization, event location, mission statement, website presence, and vision statement. 

As the shift back to a more normal atmosphere and movement to reinstate farm shows around the country in 2021, virtual shows will act as a marketing opportunity to keep growers engaged and set the table for the upcoming growing season ahead.

What are the drawbacks of a virtual world?  The lack of hands-on learning.  At The North Central Research Station, we establish over 60 different plots including but not limited to experimental, show, and demonstration purposes.   The opportunity to teach through human interaction and being able to discuss questions and field questions from the industry are essential components that fuel real world scenarios.  We offer farm visits that include classroom style agronomic education, crop tours, and equipment displays that demonstrate our ability to do research on all scales of plot sizes. 

As you plan your upcoming educational opportunities, consider The North Central Research Station as an option.  We work with industry, educators, and many others to provide a memorable agronomic experience.

Jay Eccleton, CGCS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Site Manager. North Central Research Station                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     August 25, 2020


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