State agriculture director opens 6th annual Pearls of Production workshop

Pearls of Production

Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn gives the welcome at the sixth annual Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture workshop Nov. 2-3 in Columbia.

Chinn, a fifth-generation farmer from Clarence, manages a farrow-to-finish operation with her husband and children. The Chinns also have a small cow-calf herd and family feed mill and grow corn, soybean, and alfalfa. She serves as a leader in many agribusiness groups.

The University of Missouri Extension sponsors the two-day hands-on workshop to reach women who are playing larger roles and making key decisions in farm livestock production, says MU Extension state swine specialist Marcia Shannon. She says this year’s event focuses on farm biosecurity.

Chinn kicks off the event 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia. Austin and Dustin Stanton open up their poultry operation in Centralia from 2:30 to 6 p.m. Dinner follows. Stanton Brothers Eggs is the largest independent free-range chicken operation in the nation, according to USDA. They also produce honey ice cream. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg toured the Missouri Century Farm in 2017.

Speakers include Bill Pittenger, poultry program manager for the Missouri Department of Agriculture. He will give an update on farm biosecurity.

On Saturday, Nov. 3, Pearls of Production offers hands-on breakout session from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Beef reproduction specialists will cover anatomy, tract scoring, and semen evaluation. Beef nutrition specialists talk about interpreting hay test results, choosing supplemental feeds and fetal programming. MU Extension safety and health specialist Karen Funkenbusch will cover shop safety, tractor handling and horsepower, and how to use tools properly for better ergonomics.

Shannon said farm biosecurity is another emerging issue that MU Extension specialists will cover. They will give tips for small poultry and swine operations.

Register at bit.ly/2NgJ9K1. Early registration ends Oct. 12.