Monday, July 29, 2013

Sustainable Farming & Foods

Weekly Events & Opportunities

Nebraska Diversified Ag Tour

August 3. Lincoln, Nebraska. The Nebraska SARE program is teaming up with the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Program to conduct a bus tour in southeast-south central Nebraska to visit four very diverse farming operations in the Thayer County area. The tour will visit a grass-fed cattle operation that uses intensive grazing system, an organic field crop farm, a certified kitchen and local food distribution system, and a cut flower producer.

In Her Boots: Sustainable Agriculture for Women by Women

August 4. Canoe Creek Produce. Decorah, IA. Discuss farm diversification, beginning farmer challenges and resources, and farmstay start-ups with a panel of experienced farmers plus representatives of FoodCorps and MOSES. Click here for more information.

Pasturing Near Woodlands

July 31. Dorchester, Iowa. This Northeast Iowa Graziers Field Day takes place at the Dave Schulte Farm. Topics will include management strategies for pasturing around timbered areas, pasture management and improvement, and grazing management.
Lessons Learned from Natural Stream Restoration/Enhancement Webinar

July 31. This webinar will draw on the combined experience of two retired USDA NRCS employees and present the views and experiences of both the ecological and engineering sides of the Natural Channel Design equation.
Restoring Farmland for Native Pollinators

August 3. Minburn, Iowa. This Practical Farmers of Iowa field day visits Small Potatoes Farm. Learn how to decide which practices you can employ to conserve and restore the farm landscape to support native and wild bees. Hear and discuss results from an ISU survey assessing species diversity and abundance of cucurbit and other crop pollinators across a range of Midwestern landscape types, including Small Potatoes Farm. Examine sunn hemp and a legume mix in the field, being tested as an alternative cover crop for horticultural production. Tour the facilities Rick and Stacy Hartmann use to wash and pack produce for their organic CSA.

Growing Squash, Cucumbers and Pumpkins with IPM for Home Gardeners

August 2nd. 11:30am. Join North Central extension specialists on Friday August 2, 2013 11:30AM-1:00 PM CENTRAL TIME for a 90-minute webinar on plant selection and integrated pest management of winter and summer squash, cucumbers and pumpkins. Dr. Rhoda Burrows, Extension Horticulturist, South Dakota State University will discuss planting and management; Celeste Welty, Extension Entomologist, The Ohio State University, will cover cucumber beetles, squash vine borer, and squash bugs; Michelle Grabowski, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Minnesota will discuss powdery mildew, downy mildew, leaf spot and fruit rot diseases; and Dr. Mary Meyer, Extension Horticulturist, University of Minnesota will be the host and moderator. Three 20 minute presentations will be followed by 10 minutes of questions and discussion offered through

Winning Water Strategies

July 30th. 10:15am. Monsanto Water utilization learning Center, 76268 Hwy 47, Gothenburg. RSVP to Jason orton at (402) 476-0162 or The NEWBA Water summit is a special complimentary event for financial contributors who make up our Water Advisory Board. Non-members are invited to join us for the Summit at a cost of $20 per person. Lunch sponsored by Horizon Ag.!events/cord

Legal and Financial Clinic

Wednesday, Jul 31. Fairbury. Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up!

Green Cover Seed Field Days

July 30th. We will be having a free field day open house on Tuesday July 30th  – plot tours will start at 4:30 and 7:30 and we will eat at 6:00 so you can tour either before or after we eat.  No RSVP is needed for this but if you want to pickup any seed when you are here, please let us know that in advance.   NOTE:  This field day will not be at our seed building but will be 1 mile straight east of Bladen, NE on the north side of the road.


Crop Rotation on Diversified Farms - Webinar 

August 6. Participate in this training to learn about the many variables to consider when developing crop rotations on diversified operations. Emphasis will be placed on considerations for weed, pest, and nutrient management, based on examples and input for farmers.  Click here for more information.

Turning Your Land into a Sponge

August 8. 12:00pm Central. Cattle Production is the largest agricultural activity in Texas and in the Trinity River basin. Drought is a major challenge that faces ranchers and one that is too often unprepared for. Managing the vegetation on the land and setting an appropriate cattle stocking rate are the best ways to protect the productivity and sustainability of your ranch. Leaving sufficient amount of standing vegetation and litter on the land increases rainfall infiltration, which reduces runoff and erosion, allowing the land to store water that can be used later in the growing season or the next year.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Sustainable Farming & Foods

Weekly Events & Opportunities 
Grain Place Foods - Farm Tour & Summer Seminar
July 13. Marquette. Every year The Grain Place (the Vetter family farm) and Grain Place Foods hosts the Farm Tour & Summer Seminar for anyone interested in organic farming, the organic food industry, and sustainable agriculture in general. Participants are guided by The Grain Place farm manager Mike Herman on a tour of the farm, learning and sharing ideas about various organic growing practices. Grain Place Foods President Dave Vetter leads the tour through the plant, showing how all the various certified organic grains and seeds are processed and packaged.  Click here for more information.

Residue Sampling and Responding to Test Results
July 9 and 11. Online. IOIA Residue Sampling and Responding to Test Results Webinar is an intermediate 200 level course. This webinar will prepare inspectors and certifiers to comply with the requirements of the USDA National Organic Program final rule on residue sampling. The course will cover the sampling of organic crops before and after harvest. References to information on sampling soil and water will also be provided.  The course is geared for persons with an understanding of NOP Standards and organic inspection or certification review. This course is comprised of 3 components: self-study, webinar, and evaluation.

Marketing and Managing Grass and Grain-Fed Beef
July 11. Princeton, Iowa. At this Practical Farmers of Iowa field day, Neal Sawyer of Sawyer Beef will discuss his management systems, factors that influence how he makes decisions, as well as marketing the farm has done. Attendees will learn about grazing management and producing and marketing quality beef. If weather permits, the day will also feature a trip to the Sawyers' pastures.

Farming for Beneficial Insects: Pollinators, Predators and Parasitoids
July 11. Online. Pollinators and other beneficial insects help ensure healthy crop harvests. Participate in this webinar to learn how to support pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests (predators and parasitoids) by providing diverse habitat and protection from pesticides. This webinar highlights research showing how diverse habitat adjacent to cropland supports improved pollination and reduces pest pressure. This webinar is sponsored by the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center.

Weed, Pest and Disease Management Workshop
July 13. Kansas City, Kansas. This Growing Growers workshop will equip farmers and soon-to-be farmers with strategies to combat  problems that damage your crop, hurt yields, and drive you to insanity. The presenters will have a strong focus on organic and environmentally friendly ways to keep the plagues under control, so come prepared to soak up detailed and invaluable information.  After lunch, the second portion of the workshop will be walking Gibbs Rd Farm (aka Cultivate KC farm) learning about their operation and how they combat the three plagues.

Ecoinformatics and the Paleo-World: Climate Change and Vegetation Response at Large Temporal and Spa
Monday, July 8th. 4:00 pm-5:00 pm. Simon Brewer, Department of Geography, University of Iowa. Beadle Center at UNL in Lincoln. Contact: Joyce Ore, 402-472-7082

Safe handling of eggs from small and backyard poultry flocks
July 11th. 6pm Central. Many backyard flock owners are producing more eggs than they can eat and are considering selling the extras. Those with larger flocks often sell eggs in the Farmers' Market. This webinar will discuss the safe handling of eggs from production to the table. The presenter is Dr. Jacquie Jacob at the University of Kentucky. She has several years of poultry extension experience working with small and backyard poultry producers.

Landowner Habitat Tours
July 9 & 11th. Broken Bow, Hartington, Chardon State Park, North Platte & McCook. Making your farm or ranch operation work with wildlife. For more tour details and to register, please visit: or call 308-850-8404
Legal and Financial Clinic
July 9 & 10th & 11th. Syracuse, Grand Island, North Platte & Valentine. Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up.

Make Your Own Solar Oven
Saturday, July 13th, 10:00AM. Create your own solar oven and learn more about cooking and baking in the sun. Community CROPS Director Ingrid Kirst will walk you through the process of creating your own solar oven (supplies included in the class fee) and provide instruction on this fun and easy cooking method.  Keep your house cool, reduce your energy costs, and reduce your carbon footprint with a solar oven!


Practical Management of Cover Crops Webinar
July 18. This webinar is presented by Tim Reinbott, University of Missouri Superintendent of Bradford Research Center. To join at 2 pm, log in at  

Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Campout
July 19-21. Decorah, Iowa. Join the Seed Savers Exchange community at the 33rd Annual Conference and Campout. This event brings together experts and amateurs to share seed saving knowledge and stories. Speakers include Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, Dr. Jack Kloppenburg, Dr. Jeremy Cherfas, Sara McCamant, and Rosalind Creasy. Workshops, a seed swap, and social events are planned.