Thursday, June 28, the barbeque grill will be hot and and the fields will be open for tours at the Western Ag Research Center.

The facility is up on the bench at 580 Quast Lane, 2 and a half miles northeast of Corvallis, off the East Side Highway.

The agricultural research centers throughout the state have annual Field Days, where the public is invited to come see what studies are being conducted and what results have been found.

The free barbeque starts at 5pm and should wrap up about 6:30, with field tours starting right after that.

The Bitterroot Valley center, like the others, is under the Montana State University College of Agriculture umbrella. The Ravalli County Extension Service in Hamilton also is tied to the Bozeman campus.

The research center continues to do important work in various specialties such as biological control of weeds. Since 1976, the spotted knapweed has been a target, with seven insects having some effect on the weed in western Montana.

A specialty crop planting of herbs and essential oil crops was started in 1998, to see how they grow in this climate through the years.

And, learning from the ill-fated "apple boom" of the early 1900s, the researchers have grown various types of apples, building a large database on varieties, sweetness, and more of all types of apples.