Monday, December 1, 2014

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Grassland Studies 2014 Fall Seminar Series
December 1.  3:00 pm–4:00 pm. UNL's East Campus Union. Ctr for Grassland Studies, David Wedin, School of Natural Resources, and the sod house team, will present “A sod house autopsy: Insights into prairies and homesteading a century ago.” Free and open to the public.

2014 Farm Bill Workshops

December 1st. Multiple locations.  Loup City at the Sherman County Community Center. Hartington at the Knights of Columbus Hall.Bloomfield at the Community Center.
For more information contact the FSA or Extension office in the host county.

True Cost of Food

December 2nd, Urban Alley in Omaha. Watch the “True Cost of Food” video followed by a discussion on supporting alternatives to industrialized agriculture.  Co-sponsored by The Big Garden and the Humane Society of the United States. There will be an opportunity to make a free-will donation to support the on-going work of the Big Garden.

IPM in Crucifer Crops: Focus on the Yellowmargined Leaf Beetle

December 2. Online. Join eOrganic for a webinar on the organic management of the yellowmargined leaf beetle, presented by Rammohan Balusu and Ayanava Majumdar of Auburn University, and Ron Cave of the University of Florida. In this webinar, the presenters will discuss the identification and crop damage of the yellowmargined leaf beetle, as well as trap cropping, attractants, and biological control. They will share relevant outcomes from a NIFA-OREI funded project and highlight IPM resources for producers and educators. The webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Entomology Seminar on Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks
December 2.  4:00 pm–5:00 pm. Lincoln.  Jeri Cunningham, “Mountain Pine Beetle Outbreaks” presented by Zachary Rystrom, entomology graduate student.

Nutrient Budgeting: Organic Considerations for Implementing 590 Webinar

December 2. This webinar is part of the series of organic webinars presented by NRCS East National Technology Support Center and Oregon Tilth. This session will equip participants with knowledge and resources to complete a nutrient budget to describe the application of nutrients to meet crop needs and improve soil health. The following will be covered: determining a crop’s nutrient needs; crediting sources of nutrients in the system including the contribution of cover crops and past soil management decisions; and determining the target nutrient application rate. The webinar will include a discussion of inputs commonly used in organic systems.

2014 Farm Bill Workshops

December 2nd. Multiple locations.  Pender at the Pender Fire Hall. Fairbury at the Fairgrounds. Dakote City at the Extension Office. Broken Bow
For more information contact the FSA or Extension office in the host county.

Webinar: By the Numbers: What the Census of Ag Tells us About Women Operators

Tuesday, December 2. One of a 3-part series focuses on women's influence on agriculture and food security.  More information can be found at: 

The Value of Consumer Coops

December 3rd. Heidi Demars will update participants on current coop work as well as inform about the benefits of consumer coop purchasing.

Acres U.S.A. Conference & Trade Show and Eco-Ag U

December 3-6. Columbus, Ohio. Acres U.S.A. presents Eco-Ag U Advanced Learning on December 3-4, with two-day or whole-day educational sessions. The conference and trade show on December 4-6 brings farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming who come together to share their experience and expertise.

2014 Farm Bill Workshops

December 3rd. Multiple locations.  Seward at the Fairgrounds. Columbus at Ag park. For more information contact the FSA or Extension office in the host county.

Introducing Radishes into the Organic Pasture Webinar

December 4. Join eOrganic for a webinar on considerations for introducing radishes into the organic pasture by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Fay Benson and Liz Burrichter. Radishes can provide two benefits to the organic dairy pasture: 1) to extend the grazing season with a high energy feedstock, and 2) to provide "bio-drills" by utilizing the tap roots of these plants to address soil compaction. In this webinar, Fay Benson and Liz Burrichter will describe their on-farm research with brassicas, including no-till seeding Daikon Radish into grazing swards. The webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Geography General Seminar

Geographic perspectives of Human Trafficking in the Great Plains. December 5. 2:00 pm. Lincoln. Jim Merchant, Rebecca Buller, UNL geography lecturer, will present “Geographic Perspectives of Human Trafficking in the Great Plains.”

Recent advancements in switchgrass for bioenergy

December 5.  3:30 pm–5:00 pm. Lincoln. Dept. of Agronomy & Horticulture, Presented by Robert Mitchell, USDA Research Agronomist and Adjunct Professor, UNL Dept. of Agronomy & Horticulture. Mitchell will provide updates on the bioenergy research conducted by USDA-ARS in Lincoln, discuss recent developments in the multi-location NIFA-CAP grant, and address potential pathways to commercialization.

2014 KFU Convention and Beginning Farmer Workshop

Manhattan. Convention: Thursday, December 4 – Friday, December 5. Join the Kansas Farmers Union Board of Directors and National Farmers Union Historian Tom Giessel for lunch and some early NFU history while learning how it developed into a modern-day ag organization. Day 2 begins with key findings from KRC’s Feeding Kansas report; an exploration of a potential Kansas aqueduct; and the nuts & bolts of starting a local food co-op. Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition Day: Saturday, December 6. Join the Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition for its 3rd annual Beginning Farmers Day. Featured presenter Cody Holmes of Rockin H Ranch. Complete details about both can be found at,


Farm Beginnings Nebraska

Farm Beginnings® is an educational training and support program designed to help people who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise.  Farm Beginnings® participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers; attend practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences.  Classes begin January 3, 2015, and conclude on April 25, 2015.  They will be held at the Douglas/Sarpy Extension Office in Omaha.  For more information about the class and how to register can be found in the brochure at:

Non GMO Yellow Corn

I have approximately 900 bushels of non-gmo yellow corn available now. It was grown in a field transitioning to organic and it was the control against a field of red corn. It has been tested and is 99.4% non-gmo. This is some really good non-gmo corn. It is still standing in the field since I don't have anymore storage available. Located at Utica (between Seward and York). Please call me at 402-617-1718 if you are interested. 

Farm for Sale in Western Nebraska

We have operated a pastured poultry (including processing) operation and a direct beef operation.  This would be an excellent opportunity for someone who would like to start a small scale sustainable agricultural business. We are having an auction on October 21st which will have all of our equipment for the pastured poultry operation (including processing equipment) and livestock equipment. The link for the auction is:
(check back often as we are still adding items). We also have our cattle herd for sale.  We will only sell them all to one buyer to keep the herd together.  The herd consists of approximately 40 cows and 3 bulls.  The herd is comprised of Angus and Angus/Lowline cross. If you have any questions, please call or email myself or my husband Dan. Dan's cell phone is 308-631-6849. Email 

BarnRaiser at Darby Springs Farm

As you may know, we have been slowly growing our farm, Darby Springs, over the past several years. We have launched a crowdfunding campaign with Barnraiser and are asking you to join us in building a creamery barn to create farmstead ice cream, featuring local flavors, and space to learn and grow as a food community. Click here to skip the rest and get right to it: We already sell pastured meat, milk, and eggs, but want to grow to bring you farmstead ice cream and opportunities to experience all our farm has to offer. To do this the Barn will have: The Loft: event and classroom space; Community Kitchen: a certified kitchen for use by all; Farm Store: featuring our ice cream and homemade baked goods as well as other area farmers & artists; Creamery: where the wonderful desserts are made; Milking parlor. Click here to check out our video, get full project details and support our project if you can, or spread the word to your friends:


Local View: City dwellers can grow food in a risky climate

By TIM RINNE. It’s been a year of bad news for the security of our food supply. In March, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that “Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to further erode food security — particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger.” All aspects of food security, the report stated, are potentially affected by climate change, “including food access, utilization and price stability.”

Then in May, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Agricultural Development Initiative (co-chaired by former Nebraska Congressman Doug Bereuter) issued a report warning that “Climate change will bring hotter temperatures, changing rainfall patterns and more frequent natural disasters. Farmers everywhere will be affected.” If these challenges are not addressed, “consumers will need to be prepared for higher food prices and potential food shortages.”

Read the rest!

The Beginning Farmer’s Introduction to Farm Law

December 8. Online. In this Farm Commons webinar, beginning farmers will get a preview of the many legal issues they should consider when just starting out with farming. What business entity should a farmer choose? Which insurance policies are really important? What about that farmland lease--when should it be written down and what should it say? Is there anything to know about farmers market sales, volunteers, or working with family members? This webinar will touch on all of these questions and more.

Put Your CSA on Strong Legal Footing

December 9. Online. This Farm Commons webinar provides an opportunity to learn how an attorney sees CSA and what you can do to protect your farm. This webinar will also discuss risks with farm volunteer programs and buying the right insurance.

Webinar on NOP Organic Integrity Database

December 9. The AMS National Organic Program (NOP) and Information Technology Service (ITS) will host an interactive webinar regarding the development of the Organic Integrity Database. The NOP will open with a short presentation about the database development project, including its goals, current development priorities, and timeline. They will then invite feedback from the group about the database priorities, and any additional requirements that are critical to the organic community and consumers. Step 1: Dial In by Phone, Toll-Free (U.S. & Canada) 866-740-1260. Access Code: 7202000. Step 2: Access the meeting URL 
On the left side of the screen, enter Participant Access Code 7202000

Kansas Forage and Grassland Council Winter Conference and Annual Meeting

December 9. Manhattan, Kansas. The agenda includes sessions on integrating livestock with crops, managed intensive grazing, managing nitrates, and grazing grasslands.

Feeds and Feeding of Pullets and Layers Webinar

December 10. In this eXtension webinar, Dr. Paul Patterson from Penn State University will be discussing the feeding of replacement pullets and laying hens. Dr. Patterson is a nutritionist. The central theme of his extension and research programs is environmental poultry management. Efforts focus on discovering and promoting efficient poultry production systems that place minimum burden on the environment.

Grazing Guides for Dairy Systems Webinar Series: Tall Grass Grazing for Dairies

December 10. Online. Tall grass grazing has become a popular management practice for beef cattle in recent years. Learn how this practice is being applied to dairy grazing. This webinar is presented by Mena Hautau, Penn State Extension. This session is part of a monthly webinar series that will cover current research and basic management issues of interest to experienced, novice, conventional and/or organic, dairy grazers and industry representatives that support them.

Forest Botanicals: Deep and Tangled Roots

December 12. Online. This webinar is the last in a series on non-timber forest products, presented by the National Agroforestry Center, NIFA, the American Tree Farm System, and others. In this webinar, Eric Burkhart, faculty instructor at Pennsylvania State University, will share insights from his studies and involvement with native plant species on eastern U.S. forestlands that are wild-harvested for the domestic and international plant trade. Quality-control, profitability, and sustainability within this industry will be discussed.

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