CINCINNATI, Ohio -- A river may separate Ohio from Kentucky, but for members of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents, it serves as a link to the opportunities that await participants of the 91st annual NACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Improvement Conference (AMPIC).
The event, to be held July 23-27 at the Cincinnati Cinergy Center, marks the first time two different states with two different NACAA regions have hosted AMPIC together. The last time AMPIC was hosted in Ohio was in 1972. The conference is sponsored by Ohio State University Extension, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and NACAA.
NACAA is a national organization that serves Extension Educators and their service to individuals, families, businesses, and communities in the areas agriculture, food safety, water quality, pest management, natural resources, horticulture, community development and forestry. NACAA helps foster professional development, encourages communications and cooperation among members, and facilitates excellence in Extension programming.
"Ohio State University Extension is excited about the opportunity to host Extension agents from around the country for a week, and show off our state, our university, and our outstanding Extension and research programs," said Mike Hogan, OSU Extension Director for Carroll County and an AMPIC co-chair. Hogan anticipates over 2,000 agents, administrators and family members to attend the event.
"Participants will learn about the latest trends in agriculture and Extension education. Approximately 40 tour buses will fan out across Ohio and Kentucky to tour farms, research facilities and agribusiness," said Hogan. "In addition, companies and organizations can get involved by exhibiting in the trade show, by presenting at a technology or issues luncheon seminar, or by acting as a sponsor for the event. Lots of Ohio companies and organizations are sponsoring including Ohio Farm Bureau, Kroger, Bob Evans, and Scotts."
AMPIC kicks off July 21-22 with pre-conference tours and workshops, followed by six days of over 100 professional improvement sessions aimed at increasing the skills of agents in the areas of agronomy, public relations, educational technologies, pest management, agricultural economics, animal sciences, forestry, natural resources, aquaculture, horticulture, public policy and communications.
Two pre-conference geospatial workshops will be available to participants on July 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. GPS Applications for Extension Programming and GIS Applications for Extension Programming, hosted by the Ohio Geospatial Extension Program, targets participants interested in learning the basics of GIS and GPS operations, using the equipment and software, querying data, creating images, maps and tables and learning techniques for data collection.
The conference will also include professional improvement tours on such topics as the natural and cultural heritage of southwestern Ohio, Ohio's dairy industry, alternative livestock, commercial fruit, aquaculture, Cincinnati floriculture, sustainable agriculture, wind energy, agricultural tourism, commercial vegetables, grazing forages, Ohio Valley's ag transition from tobacco to grapes, sod production, ornamentals, an overview of Kentucky agriculture, apple farms and Kentucky's equine industry.
Agribusiness opportunities abound during AMPIC with a two-day trade show, commercial technology seminars that allow companies to promote products or services, and current issues seminars that provide information on agricultural trends, new technologies or hot issues.
Other activities during the NACAA conference include the annual banquet, life member tours, sons' and daughters' activities, spouses' programs and spouses' tours, 4-H Talent Revue and an inspiration program featuring musician and entertainer Eric Horner.
For more detailed information on AMPIC, including registration fees, hotel accommodations, directions to the event, sign-ups for tours and cancellation/refund policies, log on to http://www.nacaa.com. Interested individuals may also contact Mike Hogan at (330) 627-4310, or firstname.lastname@example.org, or NACAA AMPIC conference co-chair and University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service agent Tim Hendrick at (502) 732-7030 or email@example.com.