Last year at Delaware Agriculture Week, nearly 3,000 agriculture stakeholders learned best practices and new technologies, networked with leading industry vendors and experts and met with other agricultural producers. This unique opportunity returns for its 12th year as the 2017 event will open on Monday, Jan. 9, and runs through Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington, Delaware. “What has become a 12-year tradition, Delaware Agriculture Week continues to grow in impact,” said Cory Whaley, University of Delaware agriculture extension agent and chair of the Delaware Agriculture Week planning committee. “We’re pleased to offer fresh, practical and topical sessions that matter to our farmers, growers, crop advisers and industry. Our planning committee and team of experts and guest speakers have once again created a dynamic agenda to meet the needs of our stakeholders.” The four-day event provides numerous sessions that cover a wide array of topics including small fruits, fresh market and processing vegetables, woodland management, small flock and commercial poultry, grain crops, hay and pasture, beef cattle, irrigation, direct marketing and a special session on soil health. A risk management session on retirement and succession planning will be featured. Nutrient management, pesticide, and certified crop adviser continuing education credits will be offered. The sessions are taught by Cooperative Extension agents and specialists from UD, as well as from neighboring institutions and leading agriculture industry experts. In addition to the events held in Harrington, the Delaware Urban Farm and Food Coalition will host a session “Feel the Pulse of Delaware’s Urban Agriculture Community” on Thursday, Jan. 12, from 6-8 p.m. at the Delaware Center for Horticulture in Wilmington. This session will engage in discussion focused on local school and community gardens, urban farming, and corner store efforts. Networking and refreshments will begin at 5:30 p.m. The event is free, but registration is required. For more information, visit the website or contact Carrie Murphy at 302-831-COOP. Delaware Ag Week is sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, Delaware State University Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. Agriculture is an $8 billion industry in Delaware according to a 2010 University of Delaware report that factors in agriculture jobs and related production, goods and services that support the largest industry in the First State. As with last year’s event, the main meeting area will be located in the Exhibit Hall, with additional meetings in the Exhibit Board Room and Commodities Building. A trade show with 89 exhibitors will take place in the Dover Building. The Delaware Ag Week website features a listing of daily sessions as well as the 2017 program book, available for download. There is no fee to attend. Article and photo by Michele Walfred This article can also be viewed on UDaily.