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Show will be in person despite spike in COVID Omicron cases in Jefferson County

PMG PHOTO: PIONEER FILE - Sid, the Grand Champion heavy weight steer shown by Hailey Bare at the Jefferson County Fair in July of 2021.

Jefferson County farmers and ranchers look forward to meeting in person for the 2022 Farm and Ranch Show on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 2 and 3, at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

Last year COVID forced the event online, which Kip Light says was not as good. "Heavens! Not nearly as good. Your older guys like me don't do stuff online," says Light, Co-President of the Jefferson County Seed Growers Association which sponsors the show.

Light says the Farm and Ranch show serves an important purpose. "To get all the growers together — and affiliates, and ag businesses — to discuss things," says Light. "Now we're talking about availability of fertilizer and chemicals which are hard to come by like everything else."

Tracy Wilson with the Central Oregon Ag Research and Extension Center lined up the roster of speakers.

"All of our speakers have good, timely information to share with our growers," Wilson says.

Given the latest coronavirus surge, Wilson is planning for flexibility. "We're doing everything we can to make sure all our presentations can happen."

In this time of drought, everyone wants to know the water outlook, which the North Unit Irrigation District will present.

Those needing credits for their pesticide applicator's license can get three credits at the Farm and Ranch Fair:

—Updates on paraquat and chlorpyrifos pesticide application

—Jeremiah Dung with the latest on pathogens, the living things you can't see

—John Spring with the latest on weed control, the living things you can see

Attendees can take in presentations from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Jefferson County Smoke Management, the Soil and Water Conservation District and the Middle Deschutes Watershed Council.

The Jefferson County Seed Growers Association will hold their annual meeting during the fair.

Sponsors provide free lunches both days, and Eagle Bakery provides refreshments throughout the day.

Vendor exhibits will be in the Watts and Keeney buildings from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Speaker presentations will be in the Maccie-Conroy Buildings between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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