Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Agriculture

On-Farm Food Safety and Conservation Webinar

April 15. Online. This webinar is part of the Organic series of webinars presented by USDA NRCS East and West National Technology Support Centers in partnership with Oregon Tilth. The presenter is Jo Ann Baumgartner, Director of Wild Farm Alliance. This webinar will cover how pathogens get on the farm, the prevalence in animals, and environmental factors that influence pathogen reduction. A multi-barrier approach will be discussed where conservation practices and food safety Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) are used to minimize food safety concerns.

"Clonal Reproduction in Plants -- Genetic Component with Utility for Apomixis and Haploid Induction"

Tuesday, April 15th. 4:00 pm-5:00 pm. Lincoln. Presented by Dr. Peggy Ozias-Akins, professor, Department of Horticulture, The University of Georgia Tifton Campus. Apomixis, asexual reproduction through seeds that harnesses apomeiosis and parthenogenesis to yield clonal progeny, is a genetically controlled trait found in wild relatives of come crop species, but rarely in crops themselves. Clonal reproduction through seeds in crops would enable the development of self-reproducing hybrids, impacting the production of hybrid cultivars and expanding access to hybrids in the developing world. Identifying genetic components for apomeiosis and parthenogenesis that could be used to install apomixis in sexually reproducing crops has benefitted from the study of female reproduction in natural apomicts and mutants of sexual plants. Our research on apomicts in the genus Pennisetum has yielded the discovery of a gene that induces parthenogenesis in sexual pearl millet and could have utility for both apomixis and haploid induction. All Biochemistry/Redox Biology Center Seminars are free and open to the public. Website:

Composting Workshop - Lincoln, NE (link)

April 15th. 6:00 pm. Learn how to be successful with composting by attending a composting workshop sponsored by University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension in Lancaster County and the City of Lincoln Recycling Office. At each composting program, two lucky participants will win either a composting thermometer or a composting bin. Website: Location: Loren Corey Eiseley Library, 1530 Superior St. Lincoln

Community Gardens

April 16. 11:30. Lunch ‘n Learn Webinars. Using Participatory Design to Build & Enhance Community Gardens. Abbey Piner, MHS, Participatory designer + Permaculture designer.

Modeling Short Rotation Hybrid Poplar Plant Growth and Yield

April 16. 12pm Central. 
 Hybrid poplar is one of the potential sustainable sources of bioenergy that could play a key role in sustainably meeting the long term energy needs in Pacific Northwest.  A viable poplar-based bioenergy industry will require a system to supply biomass to the refinery consistently and cost effectively. This system will depend primarily on the biomass production potential in the region. As such, the ability to predict poplar biomass under different climate and management regimes will help in developing management strategies to facilitate the best use of available water, land, and other input resources (e.g., fertilizers) and to maximize the regional biomass yields. In addition, economic and optimization models require regional biomass estimates in order to configure the efficient biomass supply chain and develop sustainable bioenergy systems.  
In this webinar, we present the features and application of the 3PG-AHB poplar growth and yield model, its application, and the GIS-based web interface. 

Please register for this webinar at

Dr. Vandana Shiva

April 17th & 18th. Dr. Vandana Shiva’s talk will cover the value of diversity in nature and in society, as well how the monoculture of the mind can destroy that diversity at every level. She will share what is happening to seed and food, and how “Gardens Of Hope” protect Seed Freedom and Food Democracy.

dirt! The Movie

Thursday, April 17th. 7:00 pm. Free for students. $4 for non-students. Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center. Lincoln

Enhancing Native Pollinator Populations on Farms

April 17. Online. In this hour-long Vermont New Farmer Project webinar, John Hayden from The Farm Between in Jeffersonville, Vermont, will present on who the native pollinators are, why they are in trouble, and how we can bring back populations with ecologically sound farming practices, pollinator friendly plantings, and by providing nesting and overwintering habitat.

Legal and Financial Clinic

Thursday, April 17. Lexington. Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up.

“Fire intensity and mortality thresholds – what is needed to achieve restoration objectives?”

April 17. Webinar: “Fire intensity and mortality thresholds – what is needed to achieve restoration objectives?”, sponsored by the North American Invasive Plant Short Course.  More info at

Sustainable Farm Energy Virtual Tours

April 18. Online. In this four-part webinar series sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program, you'll meet an organic vegetable farmer, grape grower & winemaker, sunflower & biodiesel producer, and pastured livestock farmer who will lead you through a virtual tour of their sustainable farm energy systems and ecological production techniques. This lunchtime webinar series will run from noon-1:00pm every Friday in April. All of the webinars are free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Beginning Beekeeping Workshop 

Saturday, April 19th. 10:00 am. ARDC near Mead. Details,


For Sale

Bobcat 440B Skid Loader. 43" bucket, 18hp Kohler gas engine, 700 hours, new tires, nice machine for smaller jobs. $3,500. Steven Bley(402) 802-5092

Fencing Equipment Available & Poultry Options

I just wanted to let folks know that we will have some premium hedge corner posts and line posts this spring.  They are a minimum 8 foot long with minimum 6” tops but can cut to your specs.  These are all Osage Orange posts that are guaranteed to outlast the hole that you put them in.  Over the years we have gotten lots of referrals for broilers and turkeys.  Unfortunately many requests came in too late to accommodate.  This year we have the help to ramp up our production enough to accommodate some of these requests.  The only requirement, on this end, is that we need to have the chicks and turkey poults ordered by July 1st.  So if you want to add broilers or turkeys to your CSA or your product line, just let us know and we will do our best to provide. Paul Rohrbaugh, Pawnee Pride Meats, Steinauer.

Organic Seed Production

Blue River Hybrids, an organic, non-GMO seed company located south of Ames, Iowa, needs to expand its production capabilities. We are currently looking for grain drying facilities near organic farms with irrigation in Nebraska. Would you be aware of any locations with grain drying capabilities? Cheri Johnson,

Earth Day Farmers Market

Saturday April 19. 9:00am – 3:00pm. Set up by 8:30am. Parking lot on west side of Elmwood Park, along Elmwood Park Road. Seeking local producers of any kind - produce, meats, eggs, honey, bedding plants or locally produced food product. No Arts & Crafts. One 10’ x 10’ space = $25. Application here: (Note some details on this site are pending and will change.)


Responding to an S.O.S. from the Commercial Beekeeping Industry

April 22. 12pm Central. Presented by: Marla Spivak, University of Minnesota. Given the chronic health problems facing honey bees and the increasing demand for pollination services from almond, blueberry, cranberry, apple, vine crops and many other growers, commercial beekeepers and breeders have requested assistance in maintaining healthy colonies. To this end, we began a novel “Bee Tech Transfer Team” program through the Bee Informed Partnership, a 5-year grant funded by USDA-NIFA. These teams consist of independent beekeepers that provide on-the-ground services to commercial beekeepers to assess and record colony health information; survey beekeepers about management; test for bee diseases and parasites; and assist in breeding bees that are more resistant to diseases and parasites. There is demand for this program nationwide and we are exploring ways to ensure that the Tech Team services are economically sustainable after the funding ends in 2016. As bees are directly or indirectly responsible for 35% of our diet through their pollination services, it is critical to increase effort to keep bees healthy and to provide hands-on assistance to the beleaguered beekeeping industry throughout the U.S. To register for the webinar go to:

Building Rural Resiliency: Who Should Help? What Should They Do?

April 25th. 1pm. Despite the importance of rural and agricultural resiliency, few local emergency planning committees include agricultural expertise and organizations. Rural and agricultural resources and capabilities should be cataloged to assist in planning, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from disasters. Thus, a research study was conducted to describe the perceptions of two groups of professionals, one agriculture-focused and the other disaster-focused, regarding organizations that should be involved in the phases of disasters impacting rural areas and agricultural businesses. The number and range of organizations identified by the experts demonstrates a wealth of potential social capital within communities. The list of organizations and roles that resulted from this study provides a foundation for decision-makers to examine the organizations involved in their communities, with the goal of strengthening the networks that support disaster preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery activities. Stronger networks during each disaster phase will in turn lead to increased community resiliency. Dr. Amy Dronberger, Oklahoma State University will discuss her findings during this 60-minute session. It is open to anyone, and may be of special interest to local governments and agencies involved in emergency operations planning, and to EDEN members. Please register for this free webinar at Choose "Building Rural Resiliency: Who Should Help? What Should They Do?" from the drop down menu.

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