Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

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:

Systems Organic Management Suppresses Cabbageworm Outbreaks: Evidence from 4 Long-term Organic Farms

Tuesday, January 13 at 1:00 pm. Join eOrganic for a webinar on cabbageworm management on long-term organic farms. The webinar will take place on January 13, 2015 at 2PM Eastern Time, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time. The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required. Register now at:

“Whole Farm Revenue Protection”

January 13th. 7pm. Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) is a new type of crop insurance product being piloted by the USDA Risk Management Agency. WFRP will provide higher levels of coverage and lower premium costs than the previous whole farm crop insurance products. Agricultural economist Jeff Schahczenski, with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), will review WFRP, outlining its benefits and its more challenging aspects, and beginning farmer Tony Thompson will provide farmer questions and insights.

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. 

Quality of eggs from different production systems

Wednesday, January 14 at 10:00 am. When it comes to buying eggs for your family there are many different types to chose from - conventional, brown, white, green, free-range, cage-free, omega-3 enriched, pasture-raised. What are the differences between these eggs? Why do some cost more than others? Which type of eggs would you like to produce for sale. Dr. Jacquie Jacob from the University of Kentucky will be discussing this nutritious topic. Dr. Jacob is a poultry extension project manager with a heavy focus on small and backyard poultry flocks.

Developing a Farm Strategy Webinar

Wednesday, January 14 at 8:00 am. Creating a Farm Strategy Developing an overall farm strategy is a part of a farm business plan. This strategy includes a number of steps focused on market segments, characteristics of those segments, and forming a plan around the needs of each segment. The purpose of the process is to develop a plan for your business to achieve your personal goals. For more information and to register:

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.

Troubleshooting Design-Based Cow Comfort Issues

Wednesday, January 14 at 12:00 pm. The space a dairy cow lives in can have a significant influence on her health and performance. This webinar will investigate dairy housing features that can influence cow comfort, methods to evaluate critical areas, and suggestions for improving those areas.

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 incommercial vegetable and small fruit production for extension educators, producers, and industry representatives in Pennsylvania, New York, and surrounding state.

No-Till Culture for Peppers and Tomatoes

January 15th. This session will describe a no-till tomato and pepper system currently being investigated in which sowing of a cereal grain in the fall (rye) is followed by desiccating the rye with a roller/crimper the following Spring and no-till planting crops into the cover crop residue.  In addition, the use of black fabric mesh to enhance weed control is incorporated. Dr. Kyle Cecil, University of Illinois Extension Small Farms/Local Foods Educator.

Managing Risks on an Urban Farm

Thursday, Jan 15, 2015 11:00 AM. Urban farmers face many risks in producing safe and affordable food. Some of the risks are common to all types of farming; however, many are unique to the urban setting, including zoning regulations, access to water, and managing contaminated soils. While many cities in the U.S. are working to address some of the needs of urban farmers, profitability remains a challenge. This webinar will focus on the risk management strategies of two urban farms and how they have overcome several of the barriers facing urban farmers today. 


Hogs wanted

In Search of Bulk self feeder for Hogs. Please contact Andrew,

Raise the Roots

January 18th. Raise the Roots hosts quarterly events to nurture conversation and build community around sustainability initiatives in the Omaha area. While celebrating with live music, local bites and multi-media experiences, Raise the Roots audiences learn about local food, clean energy, and other sustainable initiatives in our region. The January 18th event is friendly for all ages, featuring onsite dining options from local chef Colin Duggan of Kitchen Table, hands-on kids’ activities, guest speakers, and live music from DJ Brent Crampton, musician Matt Cronin and Pancho and the Contraband. A number of community organizations will host information booths, including the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, Big Muddy Urban Farm, Omaha Biofuels COOP, the Nebraska Food COOP and others. Tickets are $7, free for children under 12.

Buy Fresh Buy Local Nebraska Potluck

Help Buy Fresh Buy Local® Nebraska Set the Table for 2015! With a Pot Luck Kick-Off Event. Saturday, January 17, 2015. Prairie Plate Restaurant, Waverley. 1:00 – 3:30 pm. This event is open to everyone who enjoys growing, eating and supporting locally grown and good tasting food! You are invited to come mingle, network, learn, share and connect with Nebraska growers, fellow food enthusiast and supporters. Please bring your favorite pot luck dish to share, we’ll supply the tableware. There is a suggested donation of $1.50 per person. Reserve your place by January 15, 2015: Contact: Billene 402-472-5273 or Linda (between the hours of 8:00 and noon) 472-3401,

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 participatein 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,


Farmland Leases Built to Last: Content and Legal Context

Monday, January, 19. 12:00 pm. Leasing farmland is so commonplace farmers may not think twice about the lease itself… until things go wrong. Don’t let misunderstandings with landowners hinder your farm. Prevent problems with a strong lease that addresses water usage, equipment access, payment strategies, dispute resolution procedures, long-term concerns, and termination processes, plus more. Negotiating tactics and various laws affecting farmland leases will be on the agenda. This webinar is funded by USDA Risk Management Agency.

Marketing Your Products - Turning Samples into Sales

Tuesday, January 20 at 11:00 am. Providing product samples is a great way to help increase sales at your farmers market booth or farm stand.  However, it is also important to do it in a way that does not give away all your product (and therefore profits!) and that also will provide a safe product that meets regulatory requirements. In this webinar, you'll learn how to choose which products to sample, how to control costs in sampling, and generally how to make the most of sampling. Lorin Fahrmeier, whose family sells a large amount of produce and other products through their farm stand and at farmers markets will provide insight from her extensive personal experience on how to turn sampling into sales. Londa Nwadike will also present some practical ideas on how to do sampling safely and also meet regulatory requirements. Lorin is the Farm to Institution Program Coordinator for the University of Missouri Extension and Londa is the State Extension Food Safety Specialist for both the University of Missouri and Kansas State University.

Rotational No-Till, Mulching and Conservation Tillage for Organic Vegetable Farms Webinar

Tuesday, January 20 at 1:00 pm. Join eOrganic for a webinar on no-till, high-residue mulching and conservation tillage on organic vegetable farms, by German farmer Jan-Hendrik Cropp. The webinar will take place on January 20, 2015 at 2PM Eastern Time, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time. The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required. Register now at

Health concerns with backyard poultry flocks

Tuesday, January 20 at 2:00 pm. The summer of 2014 saw many cases of Salmonellosis traced back to backyard poultry flocks - see CDC website: Dr. Colin Basler of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention will be speaking about health concerns related to maintaining a backyard poultry flock. This event was originally scheduled for January 13, but due to circumstances beyond our control, it had to be re-scheduled for January 20.

Food Safety Liability And Regulations For The Farm

Tuesday, January, 20. 12:00 pm. We’ve been hearing all about the upcoming regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act. But, as important as it is, farm liability for food safety goes beyond this new law. A food safety incident has potentially disastrous implications for any direct-to-consumer farmer. We’ll talk about how a food safety incident plays out, from lawsuits to recalls and contract breaches. Most importantly, we’ll talk about ways to protect farmers. This webinar is funded by USDA Risk Management Agency.

Managing Bad Stink Bugs Using Good Stink Bugs

Thursday, January 22 at 1:00 pm. Join eOrganic for a webinar on managing stink bugs using the spined soldier bug, by Yong-Lak Park of West Virginia University. Brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) have caused considerable economic damage in the Mid-Atlantic states, and biological control agents against BMSB are not readily available for growers yet. In this webinar, the efficacy and utilization of the spined soldier bug as a native biological control agent will be presented and discussed.  The webinar will take place on Thursday, January 22, 2015 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). The webinar is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. Attendees will be able to type in questions for the speaker. Register now at:

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