COLUMBUS - The second annual Rural Agricultural Expo will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Cherokee County 4-H Building in Columbus. Many people believe that since they are not involved in production agriculture that an Agricultural Expo has nothing for them. That could not be further from the truth. Everyone eats and many agricultural issues touch everyone’s lives.

During the Expo there will be various speakers on different topics and a trade show that will continue throughout the day featuring many local businesses. This is a come and go event. Here is a list of topics, speakers, and times for the various sessions throughout the day:

Beginning at 10 a.m., Mercy Hospital will give tips and advice of how to administer first aid in case of an emergency. Unfortunately farm accidents happen every day, but an accident can occur in the home, at the park, on the highway or anywhere, at any time and to anyone. During the presentation they will give tips of how to use what a person has available to stop the bleeding until help can arrive.

Starting at 11 a.m.; Dallas Peterson, Kansas State University Weed Specialist, will discuss Weed Control and Herbicide Drift. This is the second year using dicamba tolerant beans and there are continued reports of herbicide drifting to sensitive neighboring crops. Dicamba is not the only herbicide that can drift if precautions are not taken to minimize the potential for drifting. Dallas will discuss not only herbicide drift but also other options to control weeds in various crops.

Of interest to everyone will be our next topic at 1 p.m. about Tick Bites and the Potential of Developing an Allergy to Red Meat. The lone star tick, after feeding on a mammal, such as a raccoon or mouse, becomes filled with a carbohydrate-based molecule called alpha-galactose or alpha-gal. Alpha-galactose enters the body when an infected lone star tick feeds/bites a human; this stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies that will ward-off the molecule. Consequently, if the immune system encounters alpha-galactose again, then a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction may ensue. So, what is the problem? Many meat products including beef and pork contain alpha-galactose, and anyone having been bitten by an infected lone star tick, and then later consuming red meat may develop an allergic reaction. However, fish and chicken can be eaten without concern because they do not have the antigens associated with alpha-galactose. Raymond Cloyd, Kansas State Entomologist, will explain this phenomenon and other insect issues at the Expo.

At 2 p.m., Jim Hollenback from Farmers Coop will explore Winter Feeding Options and Strategies with the Limited Hay Supplies. Due to the drought at the beginning of the summer, many livestock producers have found themselves short of hay and forage. Supplementing extra grain and using hay stores efficiently, may allow producers to stretch their resources and not have to sell part of their livestock early.

There is still plenty of booth space available if anyone would like to be a vendor at the event. Booth space is only $30. For any questions regarding the Rural Agricultural Expo, please contact the Cherokee County K-State Research and Extension Office at 620-429-3849.