Montana State University and its seven Montana Agriculture Experiment Stations (MAES) have made the difficult decision to cancel their 2020 in-person experiment station field days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The field days will instead go virtual with MAES department head Darrin Boss saying the agriculture research will continue as it always has, but this year technology will be bringing the field days right to producers online.
“We are still hammering out the exact details, but all the speakers and all the people you normally get to interact with on a plot tour, on a wagon or out looking at a bunch of cattle will be the same,” said Boss. “It will just happen through either a recorded or a live broadcast.”
While the in-person field days will not occur, the virtual learning experience will let MSU share all the research they conduct across the state.
“I ran this by a couple producers, because we all work with advisory councils throughout the state of Montana,” Boss explained. “Many of the producers were actually very excited with what we had to work with. They absolutely mandate that we continue to do person to person, face-to-face contacts when it's safe and prudent. This was the best-case scenario we can find.”
Boss also added that the MAES videos may have a larger reach by sharing information online.
“Producers can go back and review the video broadcasts when they are in the tractor with auto steer or if they can't attend a field day because of a conflict. This could be an even further reach for our research centers and the field days.”
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