Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Hosting Safe, Legally Secure Farm Events

January 5, 2015. Online. Make sure your farm isn’t left with the short end of the stick after a good-intentioned event goes bad. From zoning compliance to guest injuries and serving prepared food, this Farm Commons webinar will work through a checklist of things a farm should address before hosting an event.

Farm Commons Webinar: Adding Value Without Adding Legal Liability to Farm Products

January 6. Online. Although starting a processing operation, improving packaging, and developing new products are great ways to make the farm more profitable, these activities have a huge legal impact, says this Farm Commons webinar. Employment laws, liability potential, state/federal regulations, and tax factors all change when a farm begins to process product. Farms relying on cottage food laws should make sure to attend- this webinar will talk about what these laws do not do to protect farms.

Health problems with the digestive system of poultry

Tuesday, January 6 at 1:00 pm. As the first in a four part webinar series on poultry health, Dr. Frame will start this webinar with an introduction to chicken health programs. The remainder of the webinar with discuss problems with the digestive system. The digestive system of poultry is exposed to a variety of pathogens on a daily basis. Dr. Frame will be discussing how some of these digestive-related diseases are manifested in poultry.

Building the Capacity of Small Meat Processors:

January 7. The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network presents this free one-hour webinar at 10am PST / 1pm EST. NC Choices, an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems at North Carolina State University, spent two years working with a set of small processors in North Carolina, providing a range of technical assistance and support. On this webinar, NC Choices and three processors who participated in the project will tell us how they did it, what they accomplished, and why it matters. To attend: Go to 5-10 minutes before start time and log in as a guest.

Great Plains Growers Conference

January 8-10. St. Joseph, Missouri. This three-day conference for beginning and experienced growers features presentations by knowledgeable speakers from throughout the nation. The conference showcases educational information from all five states: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota, along with vegetable specialists and growers from those states. There is also a trade show with more than 50 exhibitors.

Organic Production Round Table Discussion

January 10th @ 1:30pm. Learn More about Organic Agriculture and Marketing: If you want to learn more about organic farming, here is the opportunity where you will get farmer to farmer answers and information. A panel of certified organic Nebraska farmers and grain elevators managers will answer questions about the following topics. The event is free and open to the public.  No registration is needed, refreshments will be provided.  Location: Columbus Community College, Columbus. For more information contact: Kim Mosel @ 402-620-2701

American Forage and Grassland Council Annual Conference

January 11-14. St. Louis, Missouri. The Missouri Forage and Grassland Council and the Illinois Forage and Grassland Council will host this event. It includes workshops on cover crops and soil health, cool season grasses, native species, and grassland improvement, as well as the national forage bowl.


Producers Choice Chef Award: Farmer Hosts Needed

The Producers Choice Chef Award committee of the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society is looking for 25 farmers to participate in 2015 Chef Award Dinner.  This offer is exclusively for farmers! You are being offered one or two tickets at $50 each (instead of the $125 public price) and the opportunity to sponsor a table at the event.  The event is 5:30-9pm on Sunday January 25th, but you may be asked to arrive earlier for photo ops. For the $50 (or $100 for 2)  ticket price you will  1. eat a delicious meal prepared by six of the top chefs from Lincoln, Omaha,and Hastings and each receive two complimentary drink tickets.  2. Your farm and names will be on the table that evening as well as listed in the event program that evening.  We are doing extensive promotion for this event so  3. we will promote you and your farms during the weeks leading up to the event. For more information please contact, Details about the event can be found here,

Local Foods Survey

This survey is being conducted by graduate student, Megan McGuffey, from the University of Nebraska at Omaha who is working with the Local Foodshed Working Group. The goal of this survey is to help create a more accurate picture of how many farmers are participating in the Lincoln/Lancaster County local food market. We are asking you to help us to complete this survey so that we can better understand the complex, local food system that gets food to our plates. If you have any questions or concerns about the survey please contact Megan McGuffey at Follow this link for the survey,


The Science Behind Healthy Soil: NRCS' Soil Health Literature Review Project

January 13. Online. 
Join the webinar for an overview of the USDA NRCS Soil Health Literature Review Project and its accompanying public website and USDA employee SharePoint that provide access to a searchable database of journal references related to physical and chemical soil health properties and conservation practices. Link:

Specialty Crop Producer Workshops – Farmer Training

January 13, 14, 15, 16: GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) Level 1: GAPs are production and farm level approaches to ensure the safety of fresh produce for human consumption. GAPs Level 1 will cover education training in preparation for a self-audit and on farm food safety plan.  A USB Drive will be provided with the materials needed for the training. Our Farmer Training series will consist of training in 5 Nebraska Cities: Grand Island, Norfolk, Lincoln, Scottsbluff (Via Video Conference) and Omaha.  We will be using local producers as well as national trainers to offer a unique farmer training program that is unlike anything NeFU has done before.  Our goal is to help producers move to the next level of production by providing the skills necessary to increase efficiency and profitability.  These trainings are open to any speciality crops producers, beginning or experienced,  that are producing for markets. 

Grazing Guides for Dairy Systems Webinar Series: Collecting a Forage Sample and Interpreting the Analysis

January 14. Online. This webinar presented by Mat Haan, PSU Extension, will discuss how to collect a representative forage sample and how to interpret the analysis. 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.

Vegetable and Small Fruit Production Webinars: Current Issues in Strawberry Pest Management

January 14. Online. Cornell Cooperative Extension and Penn State Extension are teaming up to present a series of webinars to keep fruit and vegetable growers informed on critical production issues. The series provides convenient access to timely updates in commercial vegetable and small fruit production for extension educators, producers, and industry representatives in Pennsylvania, New York, and surrounding state.

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