Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Integrating Livestock into Dryland Organic Crop Rotations Webinar

October 22. Join eOrganic for a webinar on integrating livestock into organic crop rotations in the dryland Pacific Northwest. The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required. This webinar will cover a variety of reasons to integrate livestock into crop rotations, and will be summarizing past research on the topic. It will be directed towards beginning growers interested in diversifying their income and crop rotations, towards educators and Extension workers, and towards a more general audience wanting to learn more about mixed crop-livestock systems.

Missouri Dairy Grazing Conference

October 23-25. Springfield, Missouri. Presentations will be given by university faculty, industry, and dairy producers on the latest information related to dairy grazing systems. Farm tours will be held to local pasture-based dairy operations both during and after the conference. A trade show is also planned.

GAP Workshops: Level 2

October 24. Iowa City, Des Moines, or Dubuque, Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will hold GAP workshops this fall for farmers who sell directly to consumers and those considering sales to retail foodservices. The one-day workshops are offered as Level 1: KNOW and Level 2: SHOW. Level 2 workshops guide farmers in the development of a written farm food safety plan.

Food Day

October 24. National. Food Day is a nationwide celebration of healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food and a grassroots campaign for better food policies. Across the country, 3,200 events took place for Food Day 2012. The Food Day website offers information on organizing and hosting an event, and features an interactive map that visitors can use to search for an event near them.

Beginning Farmer & Rancher Call: Transitioning to Organic Production

October 24. Telephone. The Kansas Rural Center invites beginning farmers and ranchers to join a free teleconference call. The call will be moderated by Julie Mettenburg, Executive Director, and Natalie Fullerton, Program Coordinator, both with the Kansas Rural Center. Also joining the call will be producers with experience in producing organic fruits and vegetables, grains, and livestock. They will be available to share information, resources and ideas. The conversation will be structured around the questions and comments participants bring to the call. To participate in the call, please contact Natalie Fullerton at, or 402-310-0177.

Permaculture Design Workshop

October 26th. Permaculture is the pursuit of agricultural and cultural permanence. It is the design and implementation of land use systems that are energy efficient, low maintenance, productive and non-polluting. This workshop will empower students to live more sustainably. Topics include Permaculture theory and design techniques, soil building, water use, organic agriculture, forest farming, natural building and appropriate technology. Fee $25

East Central Nebraska Value-Added Ag Tour planned for Saunders County 

Tuesday, October 22nd. 8:30 am-4:30 pm. Would you like to learn more about value-added agriculture? Interested in adding an additional enterprise to your operation? Would you like to visit local businesses and locations to see agriculture in different lights? Well this is the tour for you! The tour will include stops at: Bernard and Rhonda Carritt’s aronia berry farm in Wahoo, Alan Vybiral’s grapes grown for James Arthur Vineyard also in Wahoo, Martin’s Hillside Orchard in Ceresco, Todd Valley Farms in Mead, and conclude the day at Larry and Margaret Kasper’s wholesale tree farm in Mead.  The tour will provide unique experiences to learn about large scale aronia berry production and marketing; grape growing and marketing to a local winery; family-focused agri-tourism with cider and pick-your-own apples, pumpkins, and raspberries; a turf-grass farm focusing on water conservation; wholesale tree and shrub growers; and more!!Please direct questions or register by contacting Lindsay Chichester, Saunders County Extension Office, 1-800-529-8030 or 402-624-8007 or Gary Lesoing, Nemaha County Extension Office, 402-274-4755.

"Plant invasions and global change, lessons from biogeography."

Wednesday, October 23rd. 2:00 pm-3:00 pm. Dr. Bethany Bradley Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst will present a seminar entitled "Plant invasions and global change, lessons from biogeography."

“Genomics/Transcriptomics of Weed Stress Responses in Corn and Soybean,”

Wednesday, October 23rd. 4:00 pm-5:00 pm. “Genomics/Transcriptomics of Weed Stress Responses in Corn and Soybean,” will be presented by Dr. David Horvath, North Dakota State University, USDA-ARS. A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

"The Role of Climate Change and Geology in the Evolution of Biodiversity in the Tropical Andes and Amazon."

Friday, October 25th. 2:00 pm-3:50 pm. Sherilyn Fritz, Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at UNL will present a seminar entitled "The Role of Climate Change and Geology in the Evolution of Biodiversity in the Tropical Andes and Amazon."

From Recipe to Reality.

October 26 - From Recipe to Reality, Lincoln. Contact Jill Gifford at (402) 472-2819.

Prescribed Burning Techniques and Lessons Learned

October 23. 12:00 pm. Participate to learn about several prescribed fire topics and lessons, stemming from Dale Wade’s 40+ years of experience. Dale will draw on his 40+ years of experience in prescribed fire and forest management research to discuss some of the practical prescribed fire lessons he has learned. Topics of discussion will range from ignition devices and techniques, to fire effects and prescribed fire planning.

Harvest Safety, Handling, and Storage

Saturday October 26, 9:00 AM-12:00PM, Prairie Pines. Farmers are food handlers too,just like in a kitchen, food safety is important on the farm. Discover safe and sanitary harvesting, handling, and storage techniques in this class. Register for Harvest Safety, handling, and Storage.

Conservation Practices: From Farm Fix-It to Farm Portfolio

October 24. 11:00 am. Presenter(s): Participate to gain an understanding of the components and application of a Farm Natural Resource Portfolio, and to identify new stakeholders that are reshaping the values of on-farm and off-farm conservation practices and systems. This webinar will introduce a unique perspective on determining conservation benefits - a Farm Natural Resource Portfolio. The portfolio contains five farm management units: farmscape, farmstead, livestock facilities, fields and pasture, and forests. Each unit contained in the farm operation is assessed with specific land management indices derived from USDA, university and industry sources. Three pilot studies will be overviewed to illustrate how index scores are determined by whom, and how conservation values differ among stakeholders including the producer.

Incorporating Birds into Tools for Measuring Ecosystem Services: A case study from Central California

October 22. 1:00 pm. Learn about a general framework for quantifying ecosystem services and providing payments to landowners for outcomes of restoration and specifically understand these concepts as they apply to quantifying riparian bird habitat. Landowners and the agricultural community are facing increased pressure to demonstrate measurable gains in environmental quality, while at the same time working to replace income from cuts in conservation funding. Payment for ecosystem service programs can help conservation groups and agencies target scarce conservation investments and achieve more strategic outcomes from restoration projects on working lands. The presenters will provide an overview of the concept and discuss a current Conservation Innovation Grant-supported pilot in California to develop mutually beneficial partnerships that reward watershed restoration and achieves tangible benefits to investors. They also will discuss assessment tools developed for California riparian areas that quantify bird habitat quality as a measure of environmental benefit from restoration.


UNL Wants Applicants for Chance to win $100,000 Ag. Prize

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is hosting information sessions about an agriculture competition with a $100,000 grand prize. The Ag Innovation Prize is seeking entries that will improve agriculture to change the world. The contest offers a $100,000 grand prize, four final prizes worth $25,000 each and an "audience favorite" prize of $15,000. The university's Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program is hosting the sessions to encourage people to enter. The sessions are scheduled on Oct. 23 at UNL's East and City Campuses, and Oct. 25 in the Sycamore Room of the Nebraska East Union, from noon to 1 p.m. A brainstorming session is scheduled on Oct. 30 in the Nebraska East Union, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, contact Tom Field at

South Maple Street is hiring

Market Coordinator, South Maple Street Market, Davenport, NE. Responsible for coordinating indoor farmers market. Set up market, meet vendors, sell products, promote the market through social media. 12-16 hours/week. Requires good communication and organizational skills. Contact: or 202-236-7688. South Maple Street is a food –based enterprise in rural Nebraska. We are passionate about food and the role that food can play in renewing the vitality of rural communities. Our purpose is to create food products and experiences that make a positive impact on people’s lives and benefit the rural economy. Ideal candidates must share South Maple Street’s core values and care about our mission.

2014 Summer Intern

My name is Kenneth J Roche’ (Kenny) from Denver, Co.  and I am  2nd. yr. Doctoral student at UNL Doctor of Plant Health Program (DPH).  †DPH is a professional doctorate program with a comprehensive approach to plants and agriculture. The program emphasizes a broad interdisciplinary education across all plant-related disciplines, practical learning, experience through internships, and research. My focus and interest lies within small scale urban/peri-urban sustainable food production. I am particularly interested in urban homesteading that includes small livestock, vegetable production, hoophouse/greenhouse and aquaponics. In other words year around food production. I am currently looking for summer 2104 internship opportunities. I have attached my resume for interested parties. Kenny,, 720/291/3074. Find the rest of the information from the list serv posting.

Natural Fertilizer

If anyone is interested, I have quite a bit of wood shavings (pine) with lots of chicken manure, which has aged for about 5 weeks. This would be perfect for raspberry bushes, blueberry bushes, or any acid loving plants. Contact me if interested... I'm not charging anything for the natural fertilizer. Dan Hromas, 402-217-2797


Hromas brings hens to area

YORK — Dan Hromas is raising happy hens he expects will lay healthy eggs. Hromas owns Prairie Pride Poultry, a business that provides farm-fresh eggs from free range Rhode Island Red hens that are treated humanely and raised on three acres of pasture. “When animals are less stressed, they produce a better product,” Hromas said. At present, Prairie Pride Poultry has about 600 chicks, ranging from two months to two weeks of age. They were purchased from the Central Hatchery in Madison and are housed in three 12x24 coops. Each coop contains nesting boxes, three windows, six vents and a set of sliding doors. They were manufactured by Mid America Structures in Peru. Read the rest,


Cultivating Our Food, Farms and Future: 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture

November 6-8. Holiday Inn Airport. Des Moines, IA. Gather with women farmers, advocates and landowners from across the US engaged in healthy food and farming for a unique mix of sharing, learning, field tours, and seasonal food from Midwest women farmers! Click here for more information.
National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference

November 1-2. Columbia, Missouri. The National Small Farm Trade Show & Conference is the largest annual small farm show in the United States. The exhibition hall features 100+ vendors, with seminars, three-hour short courses and talks in the Farmers' Forum, demonstrations, exhibits, association meetings, and more. The conference again features successful farmers communicating their methods to fellow farmers. Both traditional and alternative farming enterprises are covered for full- and part-time farmers, ranchers, gardeners, and landowners.

Kansas Rural Center’s 2013 Farm & Food Conference

November 2. Newton, Kansas. This year's conference theme will be "Farming as if People Matter: How to Feed Ourselves, Build New Farms and Adapt to a Changing World." The conference will feature keynote speaker Wes Jackson. The day-long event will offer 14 workshop sessions that cover topics including family farm transitions; farming with limited access to land, credit and capital; pricing of farm products for local markets; encouraging pollinators; Farm to School; emerging policy issues in Kansas; building soil health; crop insurance for specialty crops and organic; establishing community gardens, and more.

Food Safety for Artisan Cheese Making

October 29. Northwood, Iowa. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the Midwest Dairy Association are sponsoring a Food Safety for Artisan Cheese Making workshop. The one-day workshop will provide key information on food safety specifically designed for artisan/farmstead cheese makers. The workshop will include a review of the key aspects of micro-organisms most relevant to cheese safety; teach best practices to maintain, monitor and control cheese making operation to manage food safety concern; and use case studies to highlight specific practices important for artisan cheese making operations.

High Tunnel 101

October 29. Adel, Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting a series of meetings this fall for growers producing crops in high tunnels. "High Tunnel 101" workshop is offered for current commercial fruit or vegetable growers and traditional farmers interested in diversifying their production. Topics to be covered at the workshop include site and high tunnel selection, construction, soil management, irrigation, pest management, bed design, and cropping systems. A high tunnel manual also will be provided.

Nebraska Hop Growers Association

NHGA meeting November 3rd. Officers meeting from 12-12:45pm and from 12:45-3 meeting will be open to members/brewers, and potential members. The meeting will take place at Nebraska brewing company in Papillion. Please try to attend.

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