Winter grazing at Imperial Stock Ranch. Photo courtesy of Imperial Stock Ranch.

American Forage and Grassland Council will hold hybrid conference in 2021

By Chris Penrose, OSU Morgan County Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and President Elect, American Forage and Grassland Council

In response to feedback, the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) Board of Directors has made the decision to host a hybrid conference in January 2021. This means there will be two events, one in-person and one virtual, on two separate dates. The Board felt this approach met the feedback received and allows members and attendees the option to choose the event structure that best fit their comfort level.

The AFGC Annual Conference will be held in-person January 3 through Jan. 6 at the Hyatt Regency in Savannah, Georgia and the AFGC Virtual Conference will be held January 11 and 12, 2021. The content offered in person will be recorded and available at the virtual event and the virtual will include sessions by presenters who made the decision to present remotely.

Both events will use the same conference app, which will be released with directions closer to the events. Virtual session presentations will be done using the Zoom platform with links to sessions in the app.

Those attending in-person will also have access to the virtual event at no additional charge. The virtual sessions will be available for up to 60 days after the event.

AFGC staff are working with the Hyatt Regency to ensure all federal, state, and local guidelines are followed as well as CDC and WHO recommendations for holding an in-person meeting to ensure the safety of all attendees. The measures include the requirement of all attendees to wear a mask, social distancing throughout the facility, assigned seating at sessions and meal functions, additional hand sanitizing stations, and more. However, attendees will be required to acknowledge that even with this procedures and policies in place, AFGC cannot guarantee that a person may contract COVID-19.

AFGC 2021 participation will be a personal decision based on individual comfort level and circumstances. The AFGC Board did not make this decision lightly and if circumstances change the Board may have to reconvene and reconsider options.

Registration for both events is open and there will be a limit of 180 people to register onsite. Fifty spaces will initially be withheld for speakers to register. We will have a waiting list feature enable for in-person registration. There is currently no limit on the virtual event. Additional details are available at www.afgc.org.

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