Workshops planned to connect farmers and ranchers with scientists

The past 50 years have seen numerous advancements in agriculture, but there are gaps that need to be filled. To identify them and find solutions, the National Institute for Materials Advancement, based at Pittsburg State University, will hold a series of workshops at the Four State Farm Show to connect farmers and ranchers with scientists.

The series, called F.A.R.M.S. (Farmers Accelerating Research in Material Science), will be comprised of three, one-hour sessions May 19-21 in the Robert W. Plaster Center at Pitt State.  Sessions will begin at 11:00 Friday and Saturday and 1:00 on Sunday.

“Through this exchange, scientists can gain valuable insights into problems experienced by farmers and ranchers that can be addressed through advances in polymers and plastics,” said Tim Dawsey, executive director of NIMA. “Solutions can’t come without input from the ones who understand the challenges.”

NIMA — formerly known as the Kansas Polymer Research Center — combines education with commercial applications and research to further industries and renewable products for generations. The NIMA team is led by scientists and educators with renowned expertise in materials science and a history of conducting applied research for a wide range of industries.

“Every day, we’re working to lead the way in the development and responsible use of polyurethanes, plastics, and other polymers,” Dawsey said. “We’re fully equipped to offer a wide range of tests including chemical composition, formulation, routine testing, non-routine analysis, failure analysis, physical properties, and more.”

The sessions will be facilitated by Kansas State Extension Agents. No advance registration is necessary, and anyone in attendance at the Farm Show may join the sessions.

For more information about the sessions, contact Administrative Coordinator Mary Leritz at or 620-235-4112.

Kansas State University is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. If you have special requirements due to a physical, vision, or hearing disability, contact Dale Helwig, Cherokee County Extension, 124 W. Country Rd, Columbus, KS 66725, phone 620-429-3849 or email

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