UMES Extension in partnership with Atlantic Tractor LLC in Queen Anne, Maryland, hosted the inaugural Ag Showcase August 18 at the UMES Research and Education Farm just south of campus. It was a hot one, but 125 Eastern Shore farmers participated in the free, full-day event aimed at helping them be successful in their farm operations.
“The event drew a diverse mix of producers, beginning farmers, service providers and agricultural enthusiasts from as far south as Northampton County, Virginia, to as far north as parts of Delaware. Overall, the event was a success and we’re already in discussions with local and regional partners on how we can make next year’s event even better,” said Berran Rogers, coordinator of UMES’ Small Farm Program.
Atlantic Tractor brought eight pieces of John Deere farm equipment to showcase modern technologies for small- and large-scale operations and set up an Operations Tech Center for Cloud Center and software apps. Lyle Jarrett of Atlantic Tractor did a presentation on soybean trials in a 90-acre soybean demonstration plot on the farm.
UMES Extension specialists showcased alternative and specialty crop demonstration plots such as greens not traditionally grown in the U.S. or in the summer months, ethnic crops such as scotch bonnet peppers and hibiscus, medicinal and culinary herbs, spices such as ginger and turmeric, high tunnel production, hops and soybeans resistant to saltwater. Food Safety information was also disseminated.
School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences faculty shared research information on cultivation and diseases in hemp and grapevines and the potential benefits of aronia.
UMES Extension 4-H STEM was on hand for youth attending with their families highlighting programs such as the Junior Master Gardening Program and LEGO WeDo Robotics among others. Another interactive demonstration area focused on drone technology for agricultural applications.
Participants were afforded access to 23 Ag vendors including Pioneer, McCarthy Ag Tire Service and Simplot Grower Solutions.
“The first UMES Ag Showcase for the Lower Eastern Shore offered equipment displays, precision agriculture benefits and training, specialty crop growing and agronomy field trials in soybeans,” said Kevin Dinsmore, the integrated solutions manager at Atlantic Tractor. “We will continue to develop the UMES and Atlantic Tractor partnership going forward into 2022 as we progress the UMES Ag Showcase into a major ag event for the area. A sincere thank you to all of the businesses, partners and individuals involved in making this such a successful inaugural event.”