Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Webinar on Cooperative Models for Young Farmers

Please join the National Young Farmers Coalition and the Democracy at Work Institute on November 21th at 6pm EST for a webinar on how cooperative businesses are helping to build local food economies and support young farmers in creating new markets, reaching new customers and building sustainable, rewarding farm-based enterprises. 

Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success

November 19 or 20. Online. Farmers' Market Federation of New York is offering a series of free webinars for direct marketing farmers. Each webinar is offered twice. This first session in the series focuses on Communications Assessment: How to Say What We Mean and Mean Something, with Dave Bellso, President of DesignWorks Advertising. Registration is required.

Introduction to Crowd Funding Webinar

November 19. Countryside Conservancy is sponsoring a free, one-hour webinar on crowd funding. Join Bob Cohen, CEO and Director of Business Assistance at Braintree Business Development Center for an overview of crowd funding and how to start your own campaign. We'll also hear from Lisa Daris of Lucky Penny Farm & Creamery, whose Kickstarter campaign raised over $11,000, exceeding their original goal and successfully launching a new product.

13th Annual Iowa Organic Conference

November 17-18. Iowa City, Iowa. An event directed towards organic and conventional farmers, Extension staff, industry representatives, and students who want to learn more about science-based research in organic agriculture and practical applications for your farming system. There will be 15 workshop sessions, over 40 educational and industry exhibits on display, a film showing of “GMO-OMG” and a keynote presentation provided by Bob Quinn. Click here for more information.

Increasing Profits While Regenerating Resources

Dates from November 18th to November 21st. Locations in Sidney, Curtis, Auburn, Hastings, Scotia, Norfolk, Chadron, and Ainsworth. See for more information, including time, location, and how to register.

Ethnic Marketing of Lamb and Mutton Webinar Series

November 19. Online. This free, four-part webinar series will provide sheep producers with the necessary skills to effectively market sheep/lamb meat to ethnic communities in their respective market areas. The series includes four live webinars, associated readings, activities, assignments, and group discussions.

Farm to School + Extension Webinar

November 19. In this one-hour USDA Farm to School program webinar, Julia Govis from University of Illinois Extension and Morgan Taggart from Ohio State University Extension will discuss the many ways they are supporting farm to school through the development of educational resources and curriculum. There is no registration required.

Addressing Energy Resource Concerns in Conservation Planning: Focus on Soil Health and Managing Carbon in Agroecosystems

November 20. Online. This webinar sponsored by the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center will explain how energy flows through agricultural systems with emphasis on the role of soil health to reduce the amount of fossil fuel required to maintain production. Webinar participants will gain an understanding of strategies that mimic natural processes and follow soil health management principles and that reduce dependency on petroleum-based inputs.

NGFN Webinar: Assessment Tools for Improving Farmer Financial Skills

November 21. Online. This webinar from the National Good Food Network focuses on three assessment-centered tools and programs. First, a tool for farmer trainers themselves - to assess the strengths of the trainer's knowledge as well as assess students' knowledge at the outset and their subsequent progress. Second, how Annie's Project integrates such an assessment tool as a part of the curriculum. And third, an entry level training tool that walks farmers through farm business cash flow analysis in an approachable way.

Winery Contracting Webinar

November 21. During this webinar sponsored by the University of Kentucky, participants will learn how to utilize contracts in the winery business. The webinar will cover the basics of contracting, then hear from lawyers and grape growers about the importance of contracts. Featured speaker Vicky Scharlau is the Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers and will share her experience in helping work through grower-winery relationships in Washington. This webinar is geared toward winery owners and grape buyers. It will be live from 3:30pm to 4:45pm EST.

Class Tracking In Quick Books: Enterprise Analysis

November 21st. 11:30am. See how the "class tracking" function can be set up in your Quick Books accounting system to isolate income and expenses for your multiple enterprises. Learn how to enter data and produce reports at the enterprise level. 

Food Hubs: Local Food 2.0 Call

November 21. Toll-free call. Orion magazine presents this free call with "From Food to Table" author Rowan Jacobsen and a panel of guest experts to discuss his research on the recent growth of food hubs and their challenges and opportunities.

GAP Workshops

November 21. Council Bluffs. 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 1 on November 12 is training for growers who provide food to consumers through community–supported agriculture or farmers markets, or are considering retail foodservice sales. Training covers good agriculture best practices and market considerations. Level 2 on November 21 guides farmers in the development of a written farm food safety plan.

Conservation Practices: From Farm Fix-It to Farm Portfolio

November 21. 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 sponsored by the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center 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.

Break Even Analysis

November 18th. 11:30am. Learn the basics of setting a break even price or deciding on a break even quantity of production.  Mark Cannella. h

Growing Up WILD

Growing Up WILD is an early childhood education program that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature. This program invites children to explore wildlife and the world around them through a wide range of fun and engaging activities and experiences. Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive attitudes and behaviors about nature and life-long social and academic skills. Activities are designed for children ages 3-7 years old. Thursday, November 21. 7:00-9:00pm. Benson Baptist Church, 6319 Maple Street, Omaha. To register, e-mail

Growing green energy: Poplar as a short rotation bioenergy crop

November 20th. 12pm. Presenters: Brian Stanton, Rick Stonex, Richard Shuren, and Bruce Summers from Greenwood Resources, Inc. Hybrid poplars are the fastest growing trees in the temperate zone. It is not surprising then that the United States Departments of Agriculture and Energy have identified hybrid poplar as one of the country’s most important feedstocks for the renewable transportation fuels industry. Join GreenWood Resources, Inc. and Washington State University for a one-hour webinar about using hybrid poplars as feedstock for transportation biofuels. What’s covered?: Hybrid poplar as a feedstock for cellulosic renewable fuels; Poplar hybridization and varietal selection for bioenergy; Farming practices and feedstock production; Harvesting and processing practices for short rotation poplars; The future of the renewable fuels industry using hybrid poplar. Please e-mail Nora Haider to register Start connecting 10 minutes prior to the start time. You need a computer with internet access and speakers. At the meeting time, you can enter the meeting at this link, or copy and paste the URL into your internet browser. The link will open to a login page. “Enter as guest” with your name, and business or institution and click “Enter Room”.

Legal and Financial Clinic

Thursday, November 21, Lexington. Friday, November 22nd, Fairbury. 

Transplant Production Improvement Considerations

November 19, 7:00pm – 8:30pm. Online. Explore systems to keep your transplants happy (even in the heat of summer) so they are ready to grow in top condition. To participate: Go to, click the link to connect and sign in as “Guest.” Pre-registration is not required, but those who register will receive reminder emails one week and one day in advance. All upcoming and archived farminars, as well as free audio podcasts of past farminars, are also available at this link.

Landlord/Tenant Lease Workshop

Tuesday, November 19th, Weeping Water. Tuesday, November 19th, Mead. Wednesday, November 20th, Shickley. See for more info.

Water for Food Institute's Transdisciplinary Conversations

Wednesday, November 20th. 4:30 pm-6:00 pm. Transdisciplinary Conversations is a new series of events hosted by the Daugherty Water for Food Institute. These networking events are intended to bring together the diverse water and food research community at the University of Nebraska. RSVP Required.


Food Safety Modernization Act Tool Kit Available

Everyone has a role in ensuring safe food from field to fork. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is the first major overhaul of our nation’s food safety practices since 1938, and it includes new regulations for produce farms and for facilities that process food for people to eat. It represents some big changes to our food system – and it is extremely important for the Food and Drug Administration to get these regulations right. The comment period deadline is November 22nd, 2013. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has compiled a comprehensive tool kit to help organizations, farmers, and consumers respond to the FDA’s food safety regulations by the November 15th deadline. As currently written the regulations pose challenges to sustainable farmers and processors throughout the country. Speak out now! Click here for details,

Seed Survey

The USFSA (Food Sovereignty Alliance) has compiled a survey for farmers, gardeners, eaters, organizations and others who saves seeds to address growing concerns about the ongoing loss of biodiversity, including heritage/indigenous/naturalized crops.The information gathered from the survey will help USFSA to determine if/when/how/where we promote our own seed bank.  The survey is written in English and in Spanish, and all contact info will remain confidential. Email William at for a copy of the survey or for any questions or concerns.

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