Monday, December 2, 2013

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Western Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Conference

December 7. Ogallala. The Western Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Conference will feature several dynamic presenters on topics including cover crops, growing vegetables in high tunnels, planned grazing, organic wheat breeding, and more. A tradeshow will also feature businesses and organizations from across Nebraska. Sponsors of the event include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society and the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) NE Chapter No. 2. Details, email William at

Public opinion of GMOs, food safety & food security: What happens when people don't believe the facts?

December 4th. 1pm Central. Three of the most contentious issues in agriculture come head-to-head in the PIE Center’s newest public opinion survey and upcoming webinar. Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, have led to genetically modified food, new crop traits and greater control over a food’s genetic structure. Food safety practices avoid foodborne illnesses and potentially severe health hazards, while food security refers to the availability and accessibility of food among a growing population.  PIE Center researcher Joy Rumble will share Floridians’ opinions about these issues, followed by Associate Professor Kevin Folta, who will discuss the public’s surprising reactions to the science behind GMOs. 

Annual Grazing Workshop

Saturday, December 7.  
Virginia, NE. Featuring Chip Hines. 
Sponsored by the Southeast Nebraska Grassland Association.  See for more info.

Silvopastures: A Cause of Range Wars or Peace in the Valley

Fall 2013 Grassland Seminar Series. Monday, December 2nd. 3:00 pm.  Richard Straight, Technology Transfer Lead, USDA National Agroforestry Center, will present “Silvopastures: A Cause of Range Wars or Peace in the Valley.” Free and open to the public. 

Organic Agriculture Conference

December 2-3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. South Dakota State University presents a public event for those currently producing organically, those who may be curious about getting started or transitioning to organic, as well as members of the organic industry. Sections of presentations on crops, livestock, and vegetable production are scheduled. Additional topics will include climate change and farm energy.

SNR Outreach Seminar - Michael Forsberg

Tuesday, December 3rd. 7:00 pm. Michael Forsberg will present a public seminar. The event is free and open to the public with free parking in the lots surrounding the building.  

On-Farm Vegetable Crop Storage

December 2. This Missouri Beginning Farmers Program webinar features Scott Sanford of Michigan State University. Log in under guest with your own name at from 7-8:30 pm.

Overview of Farm Legal Issues Webinar

December 2. Farm Commons delivers fast-paced webinars that help farmers move forward on the legal issues that affect their farm operation. In this webinar, learn about the most common legal issues encountered by direct-to-consumer and organic farm operations. This session is geared to for the beginning farmer and the experienced farmer interested in identifying potential issues. Attendees will learn how to spot common legal issues and know the initial steps to resolve them.

Sustainable Production Using Year-Round High Tunnels Webinar

December 3. In this webinar, participants will learn how producers are maximizing high tunnel production on diversified specialty crop operations. This free webinar is sponsored by the USDA NRCS East and West National Technology Support Centers. The presenter is Michael Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Family Farm.

Revenue Projections and Profit Potential of Grass-Based Livestock

December 3. Practical Farmers of Iowa will host a free farminar, "Revenue Projections and Profit Potential of Grass-Based Livestock," from 7-8:30 p.m. CST. This interactive webinar will feature an experienced farmer sharing his insights on raising pasture-based livestock with beginning graziers. Listen in as the speakers explore questions from husbandry practices to improving profitability to anticipating income potential of a grass-based livestock enterprise.

Trap Cropping in Organic Strawberries to Manage Lygus Bugs

December 3. Join eOrganic for a webinar on using alfalfa for trap cropping in organic strawberries, by Diego Nieta of the University of California Santa Cruz. The webinar takes place at 2PM Eastern Time. It's free and open to the public, and advance registration is required.

Online Ordering Systems Webinar

December 3. Utilizing online ordering systems can streamline service for both you and your customers, strengthening that relationship in the process. In this webinar presented by Countryside Conservancy, Heather Walters of Basket of Life Farm will discuss her positive experience with Small Farm Central and give an overview of other systems as well to help you determine which one is right for your business.

Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success

December 3 or 4. Farmers' Market Federation of New York is offering a series of free webinars for direct marketing farmers. Each webinar is offered twice. The topic for this session is "You Are What You Look Like! Preparing the Product," presented by Marty Butts, Small Potatoes Marketing.

Farm to School + Extension: Webinar #3

December 4. Online. 
In this Farm to School webinar from USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Debra Eschmeyer, FoodCorps Co-Founder, and Rachel Spencer, Arkansas FoodCorps Fellow, will describe FoodCorps' model of teaching kids about what healthy food is and where it comes from, building and tending school gardens, and bringing high-quality local food into public school cafeterias. Additionally, Susan DeBlieck, Extension Educator in Community Food Systems with University of Minnesota Extension, will describe how University of Minnesota Extension has strategically supported farm to school throughout Minnesota by collaborating with partners to provide training and develop materials. There is no registration required.

Minnesota Grazing Lands Conservation Association Videoconference

December 5.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture along with the Minnesota Grazing Lands Conservation Association present their third annual videoconference focusing on grazing and soil quality from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The videoconference will be presented at nine locations around the state. Featured speaker Dr. Kristine Nichols from the Agricultural Research Service, Northern Great Plains Research Laboratory, will give a presentation entitled "Keep it Growing, Keep it Green: Soil Health and Water Protection are the Answers." 

IOIA Webinar: Maple Syrup Inspection

December 5. Online. IOIA Maple Syrup Inspection Webinar is an advanced 300-level course. This webinar will be presented in one, three-hour session. This webinar will prepare inspectors and certifiers to understand the requirements of the standards for organic maple syrup (and birch syrup) production. It will provide tools for use by inspectors in the woods and sugar camps, as well as in more industrial maple syrup processing situations.

Landlord/Tenant Lease Workshop

December 2nd, O'neill. December 3rd, Neleigh. December 3rd, Wolbach. December 4th, Bloomfield. December 5th, Laurel. December 5th, Lexington. December 5th, Ponca. See for more information and to register. 

Fall 2013 Biotechnology / Life Sciences Seminar Series

Dr. Julian Shroeder, University of California, San Diego.  Wednesday, December 4th. 4:00 pm-5:00 pm. “Drought-Induced Abscisic Acid Signaling and Atmospheric CO2 Sensing in Plants,” will be presented by Dr. Julian Shroeder, University of California, San Diego. A reception will be held at 3:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.  

You Are What You Look Like! Preparing The Product 

December 3, 10:00am – 11:30am,  December 4, 6:30pm – 8:00pm, .  Marty Butts, Small Potatoes Marketing.  The Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success webinar series will give farmers the information and tools they need to excel at direct marketing their farm products. It will also provide curriculum, presentations and handouts to Cooperative Extension Educators and other farm service educators to help their farmers master key marketing concepts that will bring greater success and more profits to their farms than ever before. 

Affordable Care Act - Question & Answer Session

Roberta Riportella and Barbara O"Neill will be answering questions about the Affordable Care Act and the Farmers & ACA curriculum. December 2nd. 2pm Central.

Trap Cropping in Organic Strawberries to Manage Lygus Bugs

December 3rd. 1pm Central. Join eOrganic for a webinar on using alfalfa for trap cropping in organic strawberries, by Diego Nieto of the University of California 
Santa Cruz. ). It's free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. Attendees will be able to type in questions for the presenter. Register now at: 

How Are You Doing? A Financial Check-Up

December 4th. 10am Central. Just in time to develop some 2014 New Year's resolutions, this webinar will discuss twenty ways that people can assess their financial progress and identify areas of their financial life that need improvement. Topics covered include financial quizzes, financial goal-setting, income and expense statements, net worth, debt ratios, marginal tax brackets, retirement planning, investment performance metrics, investment risk tolerance, insurance needs, estate planning, and more. The webinar will include time for interactive chatting and links to online resources. To connect to this webinar, which is hosted by DoD, you must install security certificates if you are not on a military installation. Instructions for can be found: 

Establishing regulations for keeping urban poultry flocks

December 4th. 2pm Central. There is a growing interest in keeping chickens in urban areas in North America. Whether or not a family can keep poultry in their backyard depends on state, county, and city ordinances. Community regulations may also come into play. The current regulations vary from city to city. Many cities don't have regulations and are contemplating their development. Dr. Tony Pescatore of the University of Kentucky will discuss some of the issues that should be considered when developing regulations for urban poultry.

WEBINAR: Communication about Finances and Estate Planning

December 5th. 8pm Central. When getting a financial house in order, we can’t forget that communicating about the plans is an important part of the process. This presentation is about involving spouses and others effectively so that we set ourselves up for long term success. Conversations with those planning their finances indicate that people’s plans are not about money – it’s about creating lasting bonds within families. The estate planning process is a powerful way to do that. Join Online Meeting:


Farmer Veteran Coalition Conference

December 14. Des Moines, Iowa. The conference features expert agriculture attorneys, accountants, agribusiness professionals, educators, USDA personnel and other veteran service providers as well as a keynote address from Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. Veteran farmers and professionals working with veteran farmers are encouraged to attend. Registration is free but seating is limited; learn more here,

Acres U.S.A. Conference & Trade Show: Ecological Farming for the Real World

December 10-14. Springfield, Illinois. This event begins December 10 with an Eco-Ag University offering two days of intensive workshops on topics including restoration agriculture, crop nutrition, mob grazing, and biological farming. The main conference December 12-14 features presentations by some of the world's leading authorities and practitioners of ecological agriculture, an eco-consultants' hall, and a trade show.

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