Kent Shannon

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The 2020 Mid-MO Expo for small farmers and backyard gardeners offers sessions on topics from snakes to drones.

The fourth annual event is Saturday, Feb. 29, at Battle High School in Columbia.

The expo will have sessions on grapes, tomatoes, nuisance wildlife, composting, pollinators, agritourism, sinkholes and much more, says Kent Shannon, University of Missouri Extension agricultural engineering specialist and one of the event organizers.

Vendors will give demonstrations and offer advice from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Missouri Master Naturalists approved some sessions for advanced training credits, Shannon says.

Speakers and topics include:

• Using agriculture data to improve wildlife habitat. Adam Jones, MFA Inc.

• Nuisance wildlife. Bob Pierce, MU Extension fish and wildlife specialist.

• Agritourism. Amie Breshears, MU Extension county engagement specialist.

• Growing bigger and better tomatoes. David Trinklein, MU Extension state horticulturist and Missouri Master Gardener coordinator.

• Gardening with tower gardens in small spaces. Carlene Jayamanne, tower garden enthusiast.

• Prescribed burns. Ryan Lueckenhoff, private land conservationist, Missouri Department of Conservation.

• Small acre management. Courtney Nicks, wildlife biologist, Missouri Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever.

• Growing grapes. Dean Volenberg, MU Extension viticulturist.

• Missouri River, then and now. Mike Dickey, administrator of Arrow Rock State Historic Site.

• Invasive species. Roxie Campbell, Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force member.

• Prairie restoration. Chris Newbold, wildlife biologist, Missouri Department of Conservation.

• Choosing the right tree and shrub. Todd Lorenz, MU Extension agronomist.

• Using rain barrels to save water. Mike Heimos, stormwater educator for the city of Columbia.

• Sinkholes and construction. Eric Lindholm, Crockett Geotechnical Testing Lab, Columbia.

• Pollinators for suburban landscapes and small farms. Jim Quinn, MU Extension horticulturist.

• Preparing soil to garden. Todd Lorenz, MU Extension agronomist.

• Composting. Steve Callis, volunteer composting educator.

• Natural dyes. Carol Leigh Brack-Kaiser, fiber educator and author.

• Missouri snakes. Wayne Brekhus, field herper (snake watcher) and volunteer snake educator.

• Drones, rules and marketing. Kent Shannon, MU Extension agricultural engineering specialist.

The registration fee is $12 with lunch or $6 without lunch. Register at Battle High School is on Columbia’s east side, north of Interstate 70 at 7575 E. St. Charles Road.