Monday, March 31, 2014

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

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.

Endangered Species Act Compliance for the Sage-grouse Initiative

March 31. 2pm Central. This webinar will give participants an understanding of the Endangered Species Act, related USDA NRCS policy and regulations, and the requirements of the Sage-grouse Conference Report.

Biomass Harvesting Sustainability Webinar Series: The status and potential future of biomass harvesting guidelines

April 1st. 11am Central. This webinar will address existing state and regional biomass harvesting guidelines (BHGs), including southeastern examples, and consider the national and international policy context for BHGs.

USDA Renewable Energy Programs: New Tools to Help Achieve the 25x’25 Vision

April 2. 11am. Please join us for 25x'25's April Webinar, "USDA Renewable Energy Programs: New Tools to Help Achieve the 25x’25 Vision"

Legal and Financial Clinic

April 2 & 3. 
Norfolk, Grand Island.  
Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up and verify dates and locations.

The Role of Wholesale Grocers in Rural Food Distribution...

April 3. 12pm. This webinar takes a look into the existing wholesale grocer and wholesale produce distributions system found in the upper Midwest and the potential for collaboration with local foods growers and advocates.  Wholesale grocers, such as Mason Brothers of Wadena, MN and Affiliated Foods Midwest a coop with office in Nebraska, Kansas and Wisconsin, are the backbone of keeping groceries stocked on the shelves of grocery stores, particularly rural groceries, throughout the North Central region. What are the opportunities for those of us working to build local food systems to partner with these existing distribution systems? Well, the first step is to understand how the current system works. This webinar will provide insight into the workings of this existing wholesale grocery system- from warehouse to rural customer.  Presenter: Kathy Draeger, PhD, is the statewide Director of the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, a program of U of M Extension. Kathy is the Minnesota lead on a joint research project with the Rural Grocery Initiative out of Kansas State. She served on the Minnesota Grocery Access Task Force and is currently on the Minnesota Food Charter Steering Committee. In addition, Kathy and her family live, farm, and buy groceries in rural Big Stone County, MN, a USDA designated rural food desert.

The Clean Water Act and Silvicultural Operations: What You Don't Know Could Hurt You

April 3. 9am. This program is designed to inform foresters of the EPA rules and regulations of silvicultural operations under as appplicable under the Clean Water Act. The webinar will focus primarily on forestry operations but other related activities will be discussed.

New Farmer Summit

April 4-5. Belleville, Wisconsin. Beginning farmers, aspiring farmers, homesteaders, those looking for land access strategies, and those who want to meet other new farmers should attend this summit. The event offers two full days of workshops and networking, with 24 practical workshops that will cover both the financial and growing sides of your farm business. Large group sessions and a farmer panel will be facilitated by the National Young Farmers' Coalition.


Healthy Soil for raised bed

I am constructing 4- 4x8 garden beds, 12" deep and need to find some healthy soil to fill it- I plan to mix in my own compost and chicken manure to boost it but I'm looking for some safe dirt.  I thought about the city compost but not sure how "organic" that material is and likewise with a landscaping source.  Any and all suggestions would be helpful! thanks! maggie,


Managing for Soil Health on Dryland - A Farmer's Perspective

April 8. 1pm Central. Join the webinar to learn how a dryland farmer in Colorado uses cover crops and cover crop mixes to improve soil health and preserve moisture on his farm.

Dr Lynn Locatelli Low Stress Cattle Handling Workshop 

Rescheduled for April 12 in Salina, KS and Low Stress Ranch Tour at Olsburg, KS Set for May 3. Dr Lynn Locatelli of Cattlexpressions is a student of renowned animal handling expert Bud Williams. Dr Lynn began her veterinary career in Benkelman, Nebraska after graduating from UC Davis, and has 19 years of experience in both large animal veterinary practice and consultation. She educates many by private consultation and as a national and international speaker at veterinary seminars and cattleman’s conferences. For questions or folks with no email to register: Call Mary Howell at 785-562-8726

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