Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

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:

Webinar: Getting your Food Product Into Retail Stores

April 22.  4:30 p.m. The School for Organic Processing Entrepreneurs continues with this session presented by Matt D’Amour and Adrian Reif. Learn about the pros and cons of working with a distributor as opposed to direct marketing your product. Register here,

All About Seeds-From Germination to Re-Generation

Tuesday, April 22, 10am – 11am.  Rebecca Bloom and Elizabeth Goodman will partner together to present this webinar.  Rebecca is from Omaha, Nebraska and is an experienced organic producer that grows organic vegetables across the river near Crescent, IA at her farm, Bloomsorganic.  Rebecca has experience with CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), selling to fine restaurants in the Metro area, farmers markets and food coops.  Rebecca has served on the Nebraska SARE Advisory Committee for many years.  Elizabeth Goodman, also from Omaha is working with Rebecca on her operation.  This is Elizabeth's fifth year with Bloomsorganic, she has been working on various organic farms since 2008. In Fall 2010, Elizabeth completed Seed School with Native Seed SEARCH and volunteered at Green Journey Seeds in Eugene, OR to learn the seed trade. February 2013, as a result of her volunteer efforts, Omaha Public Library opened Common Soil Seed Library. They will discuss issues of seed germination, seed savings and succession planting and how they are using these principals in their operation.  To access this webinar go to:

Driving Sustainability: Empowering Growers with On-Farm Research

Tuesday, April 22, 11am – 12pm. The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy invites you to join its third annual policy workshop webinar series, Frontiers in Food and Agriculture. In response to the growing interest in food and agriculture policy, both globally and locally, the series, co-sponsored by the Yale Sustainable Food Project and the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School, is investigating four broad themes. Part I explored linkages between theory and practice in food justice; Part II looked at a legal framework for the new food movement; Part III examined GMOs and intellectual property, and Part IV, considers the farm bill and the future of farming.

Webinar: Getting Your Food Product Into Retail Stores

Tuesday, April 22, 4:30pm – 6:30pm. This session will provide steps and strategies for forming relationships with retail stores, from different perspectives. Matt D’Amour of Yumbutter, one half of “the Om Boys,” will share some of their experiences as growing entrepreneurs and gurus of modern visionary business culture, as a B Corporation (B=Benefit) and contributors to the “Buy 1 Feed 1″ food security campaign. In addition, Kathleen Torbleau of Metcalfe’s Market will share the perspective of the retail store working with local food businesses and provide fundamentals of working with retailers.

Wildland & Prescribed Fire Training 

Tuesday, April 22nd. 6:00 pm. S-133 Look up, Look down, Look around. No registration fee but pre-registration is encouraged at Hardin Hall on UNL's East Campus in Lincoln. 

Estate and Transition Workshop

Wednesday, April 23. Pender.  Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up.

Water Seminar Series

Managing Water Resources for Multiple Benefits. Wednesday, April 23rd.  3:30 pm-4:30 pm. Hardin Hall in Lincoln. Contact, Steven Ress, 402-472-9549

Maps & Apps, Mobile Media Marketing

April 24. Online. This webinar is part of a free monthly series of marketing webinars presented by OSU Extension and OARDC. This session is presented by Rob Leeds, an OSU Extension educator.

Legal and Financial Clinic

Thursday, April 24. Norfolk. 
Call the Farm Hotline at 800-464-0258 to sign up.

Webinar: Emerald Ash Borer

Thursday, April 24. Highlighting challenges the forest pest creates for civic leaders and conservation professionals. More info on this webinar can be found at

Beginning Farmer Service Provider Webinar: Diversifying beyond direct

April 25. 
Cornell Small Farms Program is offering two free, one-hour webinars for service providers. This second webinar is titled "Diversifying beyond direct – Supporting beginning farmers in exploring wholesale markets." Learn through the experience of Deep Root Cooperative and their work with organic vegetable farmers in the Northeast. Learn about the nature of wholesale relationships, terms of pricing and payment, and expectations for quality and packaging. Exploring the structure of wholesale markets will help you design outreach and education programs that prepare beginning farmers to consider these channels as their enterprises grow.

Climate Change – Implications for Local and Regional Food Systems

April 25. 
Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development sponsors this free, 90-minute, Web-based seminar featuring scientists whose research focuses on how the temperature and precipitation changes that are forecast to occur over the next decades may affect food production. 

Sustainable Farm Energy Virtual Tours

April 25. 
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.

Diversifying beyond direct – Supporting beginning farmers in exploring wholesale markets

Friday April 25th. 11am Central. 
 Join us for a free webinar to learn through the experience of Deep Root Cooperative and their work with organic vegetable farmers in the NE. Learn about the nature of wholesale relationships, terms of pricing and payment, and expectations for quality and packaging. Exploring the structure of wholesale markets will help you design outreach and education programs that prepare beginning farmers to consider these channels as their enterprises grow. 
 Register for this webinar here

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.


Think Local Food

What will the next 20 years of Omaha’s local food scene look like? By Summer Miller Wildham
I grew up a few miles west of the Union Stockyards in South Omaha. On windy days when the sun burned hot and bright in a blinding blue sky the acrid sent of manure would fill my nostrils while I worked alongside my parents and siblings picking pole beans and tomatoes in our garden. When I look back to my youth, before my parents were divorced, before south Omaha transformed from one kind of ethnic community into another, I think of our garden and the bright and blinding summer sun.
Read the rest of this story about local foods in Omaha and beyond at,


Cottonwood Needed

I'm a student at UNL doing a class project, working with the Student Organic Farm.  Our project is to build them a hugleculture that they can plant on this spring, and were needing a source for a downed cottonwood tree that we could take of someones hands.   Thank you for your time, 
Kendra Nelson,

Solar Power for Habitat for Humanity Families

Nebraskans for Solar & Habitat for Humanity of Omaha are crowdfunding on Indiegogo to install solar hot water systems on five new or rehabilitated houses: If we reach our goal, five Omaha families will be able to reduce their monthly energy costs by harnessing power from the sun for the next 20 to 25 years! The money they save can be spent on food, healthcare, education, and other needs, benefiting their families and communities for a very long time.

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,

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