Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekly Events & Opportunities

Exploring the Environmental and Economic Opportunities and Challenges of Cover Crops Webinar
May 7. This webinar sponsored by the USDA NRCS Central National Technology Support Center will enable participants to make informed decisions about cover crop adoption. This webinar will provide an overview of cover crops, from their benefits and challenges, to examples of how they can be incorporated into common crop rotations. Included in this webinar will be an economic cost-benefit analysis of cover crops, particularly for the Midwest and Great Plains.

Organic Labeling Webinar
May 9. This CCOF webinar gives new insight into the most common mistakes companies make with their organic labels, and defines a step-by-step process for developing labels that comply with the USDA National Organic Program. After this webinar, you will understand the relevance of product composition and percentage calculations to your product claim, the correct use of the CCOF and USDA seals, ingredient lists, and the steps in the CCOF label approval process.

Food Labeling and Requirements Webinar
May 9. In this Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin webinar, Shannon Dorn, WDATCP Technical Specialist – Training Officer, will cover basic label requirements for
retail-packaged food products. Nutritional labeling exemptions and appropriate declaration of major food allergens will also be discussed.

Answers About Organic Webinar
May 9. This webinar will give participants an overview of the organic certification process, what it takes to transition, and the resources available to make the change. The webinar is sponsored by the NRCS West National Technology Support Center, in partnership with Oregon Tilth.

Outreach: What Social Factors "Sell" Landowners on Agroforestry Practices
May 8.  1:00 pm. This webinar will increase the awareness and understanding of agroforestry as a viable land management practice for small-scale landowners.

Tracking Sales to Learn What Customers Really Think

May 9. 1:00pm. You have a great product! Your prices are right in line with the competition! Your quality is outstanding! So, what is the next step in direct marketing success? Well a good place to start is by learning who your customers are, what they think of your products and who is buying what. We'll take a look at some ways that you can learn more about your customers and your sales and use what you learn to improve your bottom line. We'll take a look at simple, quick and inexpensive ways to collect information as well as some more involved strategies that will get you more detailed results. Most of the information will be directed at individual vendors but many of the ideas can be adapted by managers to assess whole markets.

Birding on Farm
May 11th. Common Good Farm. "Birding on the Farm" workshop with Dr. John Quinn. NSAS is offering scholarships for registrations....if interested e-mail william at  Pre-registration requested. see our website for more info.


Area man uses solar panels to reduce consumption
HARTINGTON —   Martin Kleinschmit has taken some extreme measures to cut his electric bill. Kleinschmit, rural Hartington, had a 36-panel unit of solar photovoltaic (p.v.) panels installed last October with the goal of cutting his electricity bill in half by October 2013. This project is certainly not his first nor will it be his last in the renewable energy field. He started working with the Small Farm Energy Project in 1977, which was located in Hartington. “We started looking at different options and our goal then was to see if we could be energy self-sufficient as farmers,” he said. “So, that kind of started it all.” The SFEP, which was comprised of area farmers, developed inventions such as a solar powered water heater for dairies and farm houses and participated in money saving practices like composting manure. Read the rest here,

Using Native Grasses for Livestock

May 14. 1:00 pm. This webinar will increase conservation planning knowledge and skills to use native grasses as part of a managed grazing system in the eastern U.S. Details of native grasses and the recommended species to use for various purposes, along with establishment challenges, grazing management practices, and ensuring sustainability of these grasses will be discussed. The presenter will address how native grasses can be used to add production to the warm season to complement typical cool-season grass-dominant pastures.  Nutritional values of native grasses will be included in the presentation.

Wheatland High Tunnel Build Workshop
Tuesday, May 14 – Friday, May 17. Wheatland Middle School Campus. Wheatland, WY. High tunnels or hoop houses can be incorporated into your gardening and cropping practices as a means to extend the growing season and increase specialty crop production - even in Wyoming. This educational workshop will provide you with the knowledge to build a high tunnel utilizing locally available materials, on your own property. Jeff Edwards, (307) 837-2000,