Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Organic Weed Management Webinar Series: Educator Webinar

March 24. Organic Thinking presents a free webinar series on organic weed management on four Mondays in March, led by organic farmers and specialists from across the United States. This final webinar will discuss factors influencing how organic farmers decide to manage weeds and how educators can adapt their message and extension efforts to better reach organic farmers. The webinar will also discuss new resources being developed to use with organic farmers.

Using positive messaging and social media to reach new Extension clientele in sustainability outreach

March 25th. 12:00pm Central. Extension has been criticized for a change adverse structure and a slow embracement of new programming areas and technologies. Specialists from across the USA have also requested that Extension increase sustainability programming and outreach to meet public needs. As a result, this presentation will guide participants through specific communication and marketing techniques that foster participation, behavior change, and provide a positive spin on sustainability messaging. Errors in sustainability communication will be discussed, as well as effective ways to motivate individuals to behave in a more sustainable manner. Streamed @,

Webinar: Food Safety Liability and Regulations

March 25. 6pm. We’ve been hearing all about the upcoming regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act. But, as important as it is, farm liability for food safety goes beyond this new law. Learn all the latest on how farms can comply with the FSMA as it goes into effect and how they can protect their operations from liability in general. Register and learn more,

Tree Care Workshop

Tuesday, March 25, Lincoln. Wednesday, March 26th, Omaha. For public works employees, landscape managers, tree board volunteers, arborists, nursery and green industry professionals and landscape enthusiasts, these full-day workshops cover emerging issues in tree and landscape care.  See for more info.

Pasture Associated Laminitis Prevention Strategies

March 25th. 6pm. 
 Excess pasture consumption is often cited as a factor associated with the precipitation of laminitis, a devastating disease affecting horses feet. However the relationship between pasture consumption and laminitis does not appear to be similar among all horses, i.e. some horses appear to be more at risk for developing laminitis while grazing pasture than others. In this webinar the relationship between pasture consumption, horse-type and laminitis will be discussed in the context of strategies aimed at preventing pasture-associated laminitis.

Improved Organic Dry Bean Production Systems in Michigan Webinar

March 25. Join eOrganic for a webinar on Breeding Efforts and Cover Crop Choices for Improved Organic Dry Bean Production Systems in Michigan. This webinar will share what has been learned at Michigan State University regarding dry bean breeding, variety selection, and cover crop influence on organically produced dry beans. The learning objectives of this webinar include understanding how variety selection may be a part of nitrogen fertility management, with some market classes being better suited to organic production than others, and how cover crop selection impacts soil fertility, weed management and dry bean yields. The webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Farming for Success in the 21st Century: Water Use Efficiency & On-Farm Storage for Climate Resilience

March 26. This three-part webinar series from California Climate & Agriculture Network is geared to agricultural conservation professionals such as RCD, Extension and NRCS staff. This webinar, the second in the series, will explore practices to help farmers bank more water in soils and catchments and improve water use efficiency on-farm, thereby increasing the water independence and resilience of farming systems when water is scarce and increasingly costly.

Estate and Transition Workshop

Wednesday, March 26. Holdrege. Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up.

Poplar for Biofuels: Endophytes to Increase Sustainability and Disease Resistance

Wednesday, March 26. 12pm. 
Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest presents research with endophytes that is designed to improve the sustainability of poplar-based biofuel and bioproduct production.  Endophytes are beneficial microorganisms that live fully within plants without causing disease.  Although endophytes are present in most poplar trees, addition of specific endophyte strains from native poplar can have pronounced impacts on the growth and health of cultivated poplar varieties.  Endophytes have the potential to increase plant growth and disease resistance with fewer inputs.  T
 o attend register at

Leveraging knowledge networks to extend sustainable agriculture

March 26th. 1:15pm Central. Social learning, or learning from others, is a critical pathway for extending knowledge about sustainable agriculture. Growers are embedded in social networks of knowledge sharing relationships - "knowledge networks". Social learning is either constrained or enabled depending on an individual’s position in these networks and their structure. We employ social network analysis to study knowledge networks and social learning in the context of sustainability partnerships in three California American Viticulture Areas: Central Coast, Lodi, and Napa Valley. We compared the usefulness of three learning pathways: experiential, social, and formal. Our data shows that growers prefer experiential and social learning. We modeled the knowledge network to identify classifications of individuals who are optimally positioned to access and spread knowledge through their network. UCCE staff was found to be operating in a network bottleneck, where many knowledge sharing relationships pass through only a few individuals. We also find that grower participation in traditional outreach activities is a strong predictor of their number of knowledge sharing relationships. We conclude by suggesting a number of “network-smart” extension strategies. Streamed @,

MarketReady, Selling to Schools Webinar

March 27. This webinar is part of a free monthly series of marketing webinars presented by OSU Extension and OARDC. This webinar is presented by Mike Hogan, an OSU Extension educator and Sustainable Agriculture coordinator. The webinar runs from noon to 1 p.m.

Holistic Grazing Planning

March 27-29, 2014 (3 Days), 8:00 a.m.—5:00 p.m. All workshop fees include lunch and refreshments. There will be a minimum enrollment of eight per class. If the minimum enrollment is not met five days prior to the class, the class will be canceled and the participants notified and refunded. To register go to: For further information about the workshops contact Bob Shields at 308-379-1361 or For Registration information contact Betty Kooy at 402-461-2441 or

Cover Crop Management and Termination Webinar

March 27. This webinar is the concluding session of a four-part cover crop webinar series presented by American Society of Agronomy. Panelists Mike Plumer and Steve Berger will present different methods for termination of cover crops.

Small Farms Winter Webinar Series: Growing for Ethnic Markets

March 27. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community, providing practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. Webinars are held from 1:00 - 2:30 pm on Thursdays and are free. This session on Growing for Ethnic Markets is presented by James Theuri, University of Illinois Extension Local Foods/Small Farms Extension Educator.

Local Food Producers Meeting

March 27th. Omaha. Come hear the stories of these three Omaha local food pioneers. Terra Hall, Rhizosphere Farm,
Greg Fripp, Whispering Roots Aquaponics, Chad Lebo, Cure

Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Inland Pacific Northwest Cropping Systems

March 27. Online. Join Georgine Yorgey, Associate in Research at WSU's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources (CSANR), for this webinar as she provides an overview of nitrous oxide emissions in cropland agriculture and summarizes existing measurements specific to the northwest region. This event is part of the Climate Change and Agriculture Webinar Series.

Cover Crops: Why grow a crop you don't sell?

March 28. Online. This webinar is presented by the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center. In this webinar you’ll learn some remarkable facts and figures from a farmer who conducted his own on-farm test comparing cover crop with no cover crop for corn and soybeans. The participant will learn about the transition to cover crops, an economics method for assessing the on-farm value of cover crops, and criteria for judging a case study.

Crate Free Pork Meeting

March 29th, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. Where: South Omaha Library 2808 Q St., Omaha. What: Opportunity for anyone wanting to transition away from crates. RSVP: To Angela, More details,

Lauritzen Gardens

A presentation by Jim Locklear of the Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha on Saturday, March 29th, at 10:00 a.m. at Finke Gardens, 500 N. 66th Street, Lincoln, NE about their initiatives for conservation of endangered native plants including research, seed banking, restoration and outreach. This program is sponsored by Friends of Wilderness Park and Finke Gardens and Nursery. 



Looking for some Big Flower vetch seed. Mike,

Equipment Needed

We are looking for a few dairy items:  Portable Goat Milker or one that could be modified; a 100 gallon plus or minus bulk tank; a 100 gallon plus or minus hot dog style Stainless Steel tank. Troy,

Friends of Wilderness Park Native Plant Catalogues

The catalogues for the annual native plant sale sponsored by Friends of Wilderness Park are available. People may get a catalogue by contacting me at 402-477-8282 or emailing me at Orders for the plants are due by April 25th. People should include name and address when requesting a catalogue.


Alternative Forages and Cover Crops Webinar

March 31st. 6pm. Growers, consultants and agribusiness professionals are invited to participate in a series of six online programs highlighting field crop production and pest management on Monday evenings beginning Feb. 24 through March 31, 2014.  Participants will learn how to enhance their field crop production systems in the coming season and have an opportunity to ask questions of MSU agriculture experts. The live webinar presentations will begin at 7 p.m. EST each Monday evening and run until 8 p.m. EST. One MDARD Pesticide Recertification Credit will be available through each webinar for application to one of the following categories:  Private Core, Commercial Core or Field Crops. Participants can view the programs independently online free of charge. However, pre-registration is required to access connection information. Presented by Dr. Kim Cassida, Extension forage specialist, Department of Plant, Microbial and Soil Science, MSU. Webinar is free, on-line registration required.

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