Master Naturalist Training- OGLE CO., Spring 2020

University of Illinois Extension invites adults of all ages to join them for the 2020 Illinois Master Naturalist training.  The classes will be held in Ogle County on Monday evenings from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m., starting March 16 and ending May 18, 2020.  The training features instructors from local natural resource agencies and organizations as well as state Extension experts.  The training will highlight our rich natural heritage by hosting classes in different locations in the area such as Nachusa Grasslands and Kickapoo Mud Creek Nature Conservancy.

As a Master Naturalist, you will learn about ecosystems and interrelationships of plants and animals that make up our natural world.  You will also learn how to assist with land management and to share your knowledge with others in your community.  The goal is to encourage participants to seek out lifelong learning opportunities to further their development as a naturalist.

Master Naturalist participants agree to serve 60 hours of volunteer service within the first two years of their initial classroom experience.  Volunteers can then continue their certification with 30 volunteer hours and 10 continuing education hours annually.  Volunteer opportunities in your county are extremely flexible and tailored to fit your personal interests, abilities, and time restraints.

For more information and to apply to become a certified Illinois Master Naturalist for Boone County, please visit or call Judy Hodge, Extension Program Coordinator at 815-544-3710 or email at

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact your local Extension office. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

Understanding the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Webinar-

March 11

The University of Illinois Extension Family Life Team presents a webinar on Understanding the Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). 

Recent research has revealed that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) can cause a lifetime of health consequences; from not being able to sleep soundly as an adult, to difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, and physical health problems.  Discover how ACEs impacts you, your family and your community and what you can do to help.

As exposure to adverse experiences is increasingly prevalent among today’s children, it is equally important to learn more about ACEs and the impact they have on brain development.

This lesson will cover:

  • The definition of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)
  • The relationship between ACEs and toxic stress
  • The impact toxic stress has on brain development
  • The role of protective factors in reducing stress
  • Strategies for building resilience in youth and adults

The webinar presentation will be on Wednesday, March 11 at 2:00pm in the Boone County Extension Meeting Room located at 205 Cadillac Court, Suite 5 in Belvidere. 

There is no fee to attend this program, but advance registration is required to ensure we have enough handouts.  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Boone County Extension office at 815-544-3710.  Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.

Farm Legacy Seminars- February 2020

The Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) and COUNTRY Financial are partnering to host three farm legacy seminars in February of 2020. The informational meetings will provide information and questions that are essential to legacy planning, in order to allow farmers to keep their farm in the family.

Seventy percent of U.S. farmland is anticipated to change hands during the next two decades, with estimates as high as half of American farmers operating without an estate plan. Illinois farm families face a series of issues, including rising costs in agriculture and surviving financial stress year to year, that may pull their focus away from planning for the future of the farm. This meeting series will help realign that focus by sharing resources and knowledge that farm families may use when having family conversations about farm legacy preservation.

Each meeting will include a free dinner and a keynote presentation by Dr. Ron Hanson, Harlan Agribusiness Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and expert on farm legacy planning. Hanson has been a recipient of 31 university and national awards throughout his 46-year agribusiness teaching and student-advising career. Following Dr. Hanson’s talk, farm legacy planning information will be provided by a COUNTRY Financial Planning Support Specialist.

Meetings are set to take place in northern, central and southern Illinois. The 2-hour seminars will each begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner. Doors open for registration at 5:00 p.m. Dates and locations are as follows:

•                      Feb. 25 — Hickory Grove Banquet and Conference Center, Rochelle
•                      Feb. 26 — I-Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign
•                      Feb. 27 — Kokopelli Golf Club, Marion

Registration opens January 1, 2020, however you can direct families to sign up for additional information and reminders at

Rules for the Road- Motor Vehicle Rules for Illinois Farmers- March 5

Trucking regulations can be complicated, and farm exemptions compound that problem. It seems everyone has a different answer to your question.  Come join us at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 5 at Tettens Grain, 1684 Nachusa Rd, Dixon, to find out what you need to know.

We’re hosting a two-hour meeting for Farm Bureau members that focuses on trucking laws specifically for farmers.  We’ll introduce you to new rules, remind you of the old ones that still apply, and help you figure out whether exemptions are available.

Throughout it all, you'll have the chance to ask those farm trucking questions that everyone has an opinion about, but no one can agree on an answer.

We will invite enforcement agencies you encounter on the road to discuss the rules and things they see most often from farmers.

Presenting the seminar will be Kirby Wagner who specializes in farm transportation issues for the Illinois Farm Bureau®. 

Please call 815-857-3531 or email by February 28 to reserve your place at the Rules for the Road Meeting.


The 2020 Certified Livestock Manager Training workshops, held in 10 locations throughout the state, will begin January 8, 2020, in Effingham and conclude February 26, 2020, in Springfield. The University of Illinois Extension workshops provide Illinois livestock producers the manure management training they need to meet the requirements of the state's Livestock Management Facilities Act.

The Livestock Management Facilities Act requires facilities with 300 or more animal units to have at least one employee certified in proper manure handling procedures. For facilities with 300 to 999 animal units, at least one employee must attend a workshop or pass the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Certified Livestock Manager exam. Employees of facilities with 1,000 or more animal units must do both to achieve certification.

Please note that all workshops begin at 9 a.m. with the exception of the Feb 5th training at the Illinois Pork Expo which will start at 12:30 p.m. All trainings will take 3 1/2 hours with the IDOA exam administered after the training.

2020 Workshop dates and locations are as follows:

Pre-registration is highly recommended so we may notify registrants if unforeseen circumstances require us to cancel or reschedule a workshop.

  • January 8 (starts at 9:00 am)- Effingham County Extension Office, 1209 North Wenthe Drive, Effingham, IL
  • January 9 (starts at 9:00 am)- University of Illinois Extension, 4618 Broadway, Mt Vernon, IL 62864
  • January 10 (starts at 9:00 am)- Clinton County Extension Office, 1163 North 4th Street, Breese, IL
  • February 5 (starts at 12:30 pm)- Bank of Springfield Center, 1 Convention Center Plaza, Springfield, IL
  • February 6 (starts at 9:00 am)- UI Extension/Pike County Farm Bureau Bldg., 1301 E Washington, Pittsfield, IL
  • February 7 (starts at 9:00 am)- Warren-Henderson Farm Bureau, 1000 N Main St., Monmouth, IL
  • February 18 (starts at 9:00 am)- UI Extension/Bork Nurseries Building, 916 W. Seminary Avenue, Onarga, IL
  • February 19 (starts at 9:00 am)- DeKalb County Farm Bureau Bldg., 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore, IL
  • February 20 (starts at 9:00 am)- Stephenson County Farm Bureau Bldg., 210 W. Spring St, Freeport, IL
  • February 26 (starts at 9:00 am)- Illinois Department of Ag Bldg. Auditorium, State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL

Each workshop will offer a general curriculum designed to keep producers current on the latest industry practices. The curriculum covers the basics of nutrient management as well as new technologies, research, and trends, so producers who have completed the training and are renewing their certification will benefit.

Registrations are on a first-come, first-served basis. Producers are encouraged to preregister at least two weeks prior to ensure a seat for the session that fits their schedule. To register, please visit For questions with registration, please contact UI Extension at 815-858-2273.

The registration fee is $35. If more than one employee from the same farm signs up, each additional registration will cost $25. Lunch will not be offered, but coffee and snacks will be provided.

The current training manual used for Certified Livestock Manager Training is the Livestock and Poultry Environmental Stewardship Curriculum. This curriculum is available for free online at If you have a manual or CD is older than 2003, you should check the website for information for update options. The IDOA CLM Exam questions are taken directly from this manual. Some of this curriculum will be covered during the workshops. However, it is impossible to cover all of the exam material in one workshop, so acquiring and reviewing the manual in advance is highly recommended.

Please visit the Certified Livestock Managers Training webpage at for more information about registration, manuals, online training options, and other resources.

Producers and employees also have the option of taking five online quizzes. Passing them is the equivalent of having attended a workshop, but does not substitute for passing the state administered Certified Livestock Manager exam. Registration is open for the CLM Online Training Program at There is no charge to take the online quizzes other than the cost of a manual.

Local Contacts:
Stanley (Jay) Solomon, Jr.                                                                   Neslihan Akdeniz
Environmental and Energy Stewardship Educator                       Clinical Assistant Professor
Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties                       Dept. of Agriculture and Biological Engineering
(p) 815.235.4125                                                                                 (p) 217.300.2644                                                                                                               

U of I Extension, DeKalb County and the DeKalb County Farm Bureau presents AN Industrial Hemp Workshop on February 10

The signing of the Illinois hemp bill has provided opportunities for the cultivation, distribution, and processing of hemp for fiber, grain, and CBD. Learn more about the options available in legal hemp production. This versatile cash crop has the potential to empower small farmer, but is not without its own set of challenges.

To help give some perspective and provide information on this new crop, University of Illinois Extension, DeKalb County will be presenting an “Introduction to Industrial Hemp” program on February 10, 2020. This program is being co-sponsored by the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. The workshop will be held from 1PM-4PM at 1350 W. Prairie Dr, in Sycamore, IL, and will discuss grain, fiber, and CBD production along with focusing on the many applications for this new crop. Demonstrations of various production systems and planting methods will also be conducted while addressing issues faced throughout the growing season.

Join Extension Educator, Phillip Alberti as he talks about his experiences with this potential new cash crop for producers in Illinois. Additional topics covered include licensing, rules and regulations, end-products, and an update on hemp across the state of Illinois. This will also be a great opportunity to network with persons of similar interests and get some of the most up to date information around.

Alberti will be discussing Industrial Hemp and how farmers looking for an alternative crop that takes up a small acreage might consider growing Industrial Hemp as a short term cash crop. Topics include types of hemp, production systems, licensing, rules, and regulations, end-products; and an update on hemp in Illinois.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please call your local Extension Office.

Four Seasons Gardening Winter Webinar Series Concludes with Colorful Conifers

The winter series of the Four Seasons Gardening program from University of Illinois Extension concludes with a session titled Colorful Conifers.

Get ready to add “shock & awe” to your landscape all season long with colorful conifers of all sizes.  Did you know some conifers change colors though the seasons?  Working with all-yearlong foliage color can be challenging.  Martha Smith, Horticulture Educator will show you how to re-think your landscape to bring out the best foliage display.

This program will be offered via computer on Tuesday, February 25 at 1:30 PM at the Boone County Extension Conference room located at 205 Cadillac Court, Suite 5 in Belvidere. 

This webinar may also be viewed from home by pre-registering at  Recorded videos of this session can be viewed following the program at

There is no fee to attend this program, but advanced registration is needed.  To register to attend Colorful Conifer at the Extension office, call 815-544-3710 or visit our website at  If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Extension office.  University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

Industrial Hemp Production Workshop slated for March 24 AT HCC

The signing of the Illinois hemp bill has provided opportunities for the cultivation, distribution, and processing of hemp for fiber, grain, and CBD. This versatile cash crop has the potential to empower small farmers but is not without its own set of challenges regarding planting methods, fertility, harvesting, storage and extraction.  To help give some perspective on the lessons learned from the 2019 growing season, University of Illinois Extension will be hosting its 2nd annual “Industrial Hemp Production Workshop” at Highland Community College’s Student Conference Center on March 24th, 2020. The workshop will begin at 8:30 and run until 3 p.m.

“We learned a lot this year, but I am not sure that anyone was truly ready for the challenges associated with growing hemp,” Extension Educator Phillip Alberti said. “We are a long way from giving research-based recommendations to our growers on how to grow hemp, start to finish. But what we can do is bring together those who have faced these challenges head on and share their experiences while research programs are developed.”

The “Industrial Hemp Production Workshop” will host a wide range of presenters who are involved in the industry, discussing topics such as production challenges, variety selection, greenhouse/indoor propagation, seeding methods, extraction, insurance, and marketing.

Those interested in viewing a complete agenda or attending the workshop may register online at or by calling the University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County at 815-235-4125.

The cost of the program is $25, which includes light refreshments and lunch. Pre-registrations are encouraged due to limited seating.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Extension Office, early requests are strongly encouraged to allow enough time for meeting your access needs. For additional questions, contact Phillip Alberti, Crop Science Educator with University of Illinois Extension at 815-599-3644 or