Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Importance of Pollinator Habitat and How It Fits in a Grassland Ecosystem

December. 9 – Pete Berthelsen, Director of Habitat Partnerships, Pheasants Forever, Inc. and Quail Forever, “Importance of Pollinator Habitat and How It Fits in a Grassland Ecosystem” All of the seminars in the series (listed at are at the East Union, 3:00-4:00. 

Farm Rental Rates: Setting Them and Paying Them

December 9th. 11:30am Central. Join Mark Cannella, Farm Business Management Specialist from the University of Vermont, to learn about the different  ways to set rental rates for your own property or to evaluate the rates that are offered to you as a tenant. He can't get into the details of each negotiation but you can learn about the basic methods that can be used when setting or paying rates.

Farmers & Ranchers College - Positioning Your Business for Ag's Next Decade 

December 9th. Featuring Dr. David Kohl. 1 :00 pm. Location, Bruning Opera House. 
 Brandy VanDeWalle, 402-759-3712

Landlord/Tenant Lease Workshops

December 9, 10, 11 & 12. Imperial, Hastings, Syracuse, David City, McCook, Auburn, Kearney, Sidney, York, Fairbury, North Platte, Gering, Oshkosh & Wilbur. See for more info.

Wood and Biomass Pellets for Regional and Global Energy

December 10 at 12pm central. Presenter:  David DeVallance, University of West Virginia. Wood pellets have been a growing component of the bioenergy industry in the Northeast United States, and continue to expand as local and international markets develop. Join Dr. Devallance as he discusses the process of wood pellet production, pellet properties and their management, as well as current markets - opportunities and barriers. Attend the live webinars at - sign in as a guest.

Farm Succession Series: LLC / Lease Workshop

December 10th. Syracuse. Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up.

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.

Farminar: Building Relationships, Building Customers

December 10, 7:00pm – 8:30pm. O nline. Relationship-building can be a powerful marketing tool. Hear from two farms of different scales about how they focus on building relationships with customers to be successful.  Go to,

Agricultural Working Lands and Wildlife: Ducks Unlimited's Winter Wheat Initiative in the Northern Great Plains

December 10. Online. This webinar is sponsored by the USDA NRCS National Wildlife Team located at the Central National Technology Support Center. Participants will learn about an opportunity to restore ecosystem function on agricultural working lands in the Northern Great Plains through the planting of fall cereals which provide safe nesting areas for birds and agronomic benefits to producers.

Connecting Beginning Farmers to New Markets: Start-up Advice & Resources for Gaining Access to Farmers Markets

December 11th. 2pm Central. The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program presents a webinar panel presentation, "Connecting Beginning Farmers to New Markets:  Start-up Advice & Resources for Gaining Access to Farmers Markets"

Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP) Webinar

December 11. Online. The Farm Energy Working Group at the University of Northern Iowa presents this free webinar that will explain Iowa's Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP). The program is managed by the Iowa Energy Center to support solar, biomass, small hydro, and wind turbine projects.

Economics of Organic Dairy Farming by eOrganic

Join eOrganic for a webinar on the economics of organic dairy farming with Dr. Bob Parsons on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 2 PM Eastern Time (1 PM Central, 12  PM Mountain, 11 AM Pacific Time).  The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required. Attendees will be able to type in questions for the speaker. Register now at: 

Legal and Financial Clinic

December 12th. North Platte. Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up.

NGFN Webinar: Food Banks as Regional "Good Food" Partners

December 12. Food banks across the country have trucks and warehouse space, including cold storage, and have been solving the logistics problem for decades. Several food banks across the country are acutely aware of the benefits of fresh, local food to their consumers, and their community, and are leveraging their resources to support local/regional food systems in innovative ways. Join the National Good Food Network in their monthly webinar for presentations from FoodLinkNY and the Sacramento Food Bank.

Economics of Organic Dairy Farming Webinar

December 12. Join eOrganic for a webinar on the economics of organic dairy farming with Dr. Bob Parsons. University of Vermont agricultural economist Bob Parsons has been collecting financial data from many of Vermont's 210 certified organic dairy farms for almost 10 years as the longest running economic analysis of organic dairy operations in the U.S. In this webinar, Dr. Parsons will share his findings and provide a look at the economic benefits and challenges to running organic dairy farms. The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required.

Panhandle Agricultural Summit

December 12 - 13. Gering. See for more info. 

Capturing Valuable Nutrients from Manure: Part 2

December 13. 1:30. This month we will continue our 3 -part series of webcasts on nutrient capture from manure. The focus of part two will be on experiences with nutrient capture in Michigan, capture of phosphorus from liquid dairy manure in Washington State and Maryland, and nitrogen capture in Washington State and Wisconsin.

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,

Sunday with a Scientist: Gene Silencing in Plants

Sunday, December 15th. 1:30 pm-4:30 pm. Morrill Hall at UNL in Lincoln. Contact: Dana Ludvik,


CropWatch Survey

The annual CropWatch Survey is up and information will be collected through Sunday, Dec. 15. This should allow time to get the results to you to include in annual reports and plans for 2014. Please consider including an invitation to participate and this link ( in communications with your clients.  I’ll be sending a note to the CropWatch subscriber list and have posted a link to the survey on the front page of CropWatch.  (I can send the code if you’d like to include it on your site too.) This could be nicely paired with your recommendation to use the many resources in CropWatch, including those listed in the Crops and Related Topics areas, to plan for 2014.  Thanks for your assistance and cooperation!


Community Supported Agriculture Legal Issues Webinar

December 17. Farm Commons is hosting a series of eight webinars over the Winter of 2013-2014 that will help farmers resolve the most common legal concerns. This evening webinar will discuss the unique employment law, insurance, zoning, and volunteer worker legal issues encountered through CSA. Farmers will learn how address these concerns.

Connecting Sustainable Farmers to Emerging Health Care Markets – A Farmer-Focused Presentation

December 17th. 1:30pm. Hospitals and hospital systems represent a sizable potential market for sustainable farmers, and interest in increasing purchases of local, sustainably produced food among hospitals and hospital systems is growing. However, limited hospital resources and the complexity of food purchase contracts and agreements at many hospitals have prevented farmers from accessing this market in any significant way to date. To assess the current and potential health care food markets for North Central region sustainable farmers, IATP compiled and analyzed purchasing data from three participating health system collaborators for all food and beverage purchases, including those that meet sustainability criteria outlined in the Green Guide for Health Care.

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