Wednesday, February 25, 2015

CSA Farms Celebrate National CSA Sign-up Day on February 28th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CSA FARMS CELEBRATE NATIONAL CSA SIGN-UP DAY FEBRUARY 28
PITTSBURGH, PA (February 23, 2015): Farms from around the country are celebrating National CSA Sign-Up Day on February 28. The day encourages food consumers to buy a share of their local farm’s harvest for the 2015 season, a buying model known as Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA.
CSA has become an important model to support local agriculture since it was introduced to the United States in the 1980s and since grown to over 6,000 farms across the country. To join a CSA, members buy a share of the harvest in the Winter and Spring and then get a box of local produce each week throughout the growing season.

“CSAs are the most authentic connection between a farmer and eater available. CSA members get the freshest, high quality, seasonal local produce, but they also get a direct connection to their farmer. This model is economically important to farmers, especially small and beginning farmers, because they can grow with confidence knowing that they have a market for their produce ahead of time.”, says Simon Huntley from Small Farm Central, a technology company that works with CSA farms across the country, and the creator of National CSA Sign-up Day.
February 28th was chosen as National CSA Sign-up Day because this day is the most popular day to sign up for CSA shares according to the 2014 CSA Farming Report. Buying a CSA share in late winter is important because farmers are making the capital investments for this year’s harvest now and the CSA model means they do not need to finance these costs with costly credit.
"The CSA model was what allowed me to start my own farm business at age 23. Without the sale of CSA shares, I would not have been able to buy seeds, potting soil, fertilizer, or anything else. Six years later, my business is still going strong, and it's because of the CSA. Access to capital in the off-season; the meaningful connections between farmers and CSA members; the sense of ownership and pride members feel about their CSA farms--all these things add up to healthy farms, businesses, and communities. The CSA model is good for everybody," says Laura Olive Sackton, owner of First Root Farm in Concord, Massachusetts.
For eaters looking to join a CSA, a searchable database of CSA farms is available at localharvest.org.
To learn more about National CSA Sign-Up Day and the CSA model, visit www.csasignupday.com.  
To find a CSA in Nebraska, contact William @ healthyfarms@gmail.com

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

2015 Nebraska Agri/Eco Tourism Workshop

Growing where you are! February 23-25. Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney. Get the right tools to grow your business! Take advantage of your land, talents and ideas. Agri- and eco-tourism can help you make the most of those resources. Find out how you can develop a new attraction, increase you income potential and create limitless opportunities. Keynote Speaker - Joe Calhoon, Author & Business Growth Consultant. Mr. Calhoon is an expert at making the growth planning process simple and practical. Learn how to build a remarkable business and live and extraordinary life. http://industry.visitnebraska.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=56

Pastured Eggs Webinar

February 23rd. 10am. Featuring Joel Salatin. In this 90 minute webinar, Joel will cover the Polyface egg mobile and x-wing egg production systems from start to finish – from brooding to portable housing to feed to paddock rotation, as well as multi-species integration and dealing with pests and predators. Perfect for aspiring egg producers working on either their own or rented land. Includes live Q&A and the ability to replay the entire webinar at your leisure after the event. Full details here:http://www.milkwood.net/joel-salatin/joel-salatin-webinars-us/

Farm Sole Proprietorships, LLCs, S Corps, C Corps, and Coops: Which? Why? How?

February 23. Online. In this free webinar from Farm Commons, learn what an LLC or corporation can and cannot do to protect the farm business. Any solid business entity also needs managing paperwork. Learn what an operating agreement or bylaws can do for the farm and what to write into them. The webinar will also discuss options for cooperative ventures, entity structures to pass on the farm business, and some tax aspects of business entities. http://farmcommons.org/farm-sole-proprietorships-llcs-s-corps-c-corps-and-coops-which-why-how

Getting started with farm food safety

Monday, February 23 at 6:00 pm. This program is part of a 20-webinar Michigan State University Extension 2015 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series.  A descriptive flyer and on-line registration and payment for any or all of the webinars is available athttp://events.anr.msu.edu/beginningfarmerwebinars/  A registration fee of $10 per webinar, or $100 for all 20 webinars is required. Link: http://events.anr.msu.edu/beginningfarmerwebinars/

Malting barley and hops production

Monday, February 23 at 6:00 pm.  Ashley McFarland, coordinator of the Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center is heading up efforts to identify well-adapted malting barley varieties and fine-tune cultural practices to produce high-quality grain for malting.  Dr. Rob Sirrine in Leelanaw County, MI works closely with the developing hops industry in the state.  Ashley and Rob will share their knowledge and insights with these two small, but exciting, crop sectors. http://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?folder=fieldcropswebinars2015

Custom Grazing with Goats

February 24th. 7pm. Are you looking for a unique way to put your goats to work? This farminar will focus on contracts, fencing and water systems needed for custom grazing land that a farmer doesn’t own. Expert grazier Lani Malmberg will draw on her 25-plus years of experience taking her goats to places in need of weed management, brush control, re-seeding, erosion or flood control, and restoration. Iowa farmer Doug Bartels will join Lani, and discuss his experience with custom-grazing goats in Iowa.http://practicalfarmers.org/news-events/events/farminars/

Going In-Depth With CSA Farm Law

February 24. Online. In this free, Farm Commons webinar, farmers will get in-depth tools to move forward on managing sales, drop-site, volunteer, and worker share matters. It will also discuss some of the more unique CSA programs like farmers market pre-pay programs and multi-farm cooperative CSAs. Farmers who've already attended one of Farm Commons' basic CSA law programs will get a lot out of this advanced session. http://farmcommons.org/going-depth-csa-farm-law

Reed Canarygrass: Research and Control Methods

February 24. Online. This webinar will introduce participants to the latest research on reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) invasion of wetlands and ways to address this resource concern during the conservation planning process. This webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/reed-canarygrass-research-and-control-methods

High Tunnel Webinar Series: Structure Options, Construction, and Ventilation and Temperature Control

February 24. Online. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Center for Crop Diversification, through the Barnhart Fund for Excellence, is sponsoring a weekly series of six webinars. This second webinar offers an introduction to structure options and layouts for stationary or moveable high tunnels, as well as construction tips and ideas. Other topics include ventilation and temperature control within a high tunnel throughout the year. http://news.ca.uky.edu/article/high-tunnel-webinar-series-convenient-option-growers

Water Seminar Series

February 25. 

Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers: Pasture nutrition

February 25. Online. The University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program will host a winter webinar series on Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers on consecutive Wednesday evenings in February and March 2015. The instructors for the webinars will be Jeff Semler and Susan Schoenian. The webinars are open to the first 100 people who log in. http://extension.umd.edu/news/webinar-short-course-pasture-management-small-ruminant-producers

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

February 25-26. LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Also streaming live at, https://www.extension.org/pages/72594The first Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) will focus on building a solid foundation for organic agriculture. The event will highlight research on organic farming systems, seeds and crop varieties suitable for organic production, holistic livestock care and feeding, soil health, organic markets and more. Researchers from all over the world will present their work at this event. Keynote speaker Chuck Benbrook will speak on The Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Evidence Based Results. Organic farmers and students are particularly encouraged to attend this symposium. Organic farmers are especially encouraged to participate in a listening and planning session on research priorities for organic agriculture. Ideas gleaned from this listening session will inform future organic research. http://www.cias.wisc.edu/oars/

Small Farm Webinar Series: Blueberry Production

February 26. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community, providing practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. This series of online events is aimed at providing small farm producers with a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. Webinars will be held from 1:00 - 2:30 pm on Thursdays and are free. This session includes basic principles of blueberry production including site preparation, variety selection, pest management, fertility, and irrigation. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=10817

Formulating Diets for Groups of Lactating Cows

Thursday, February 26 at 12:00 pm. Dr. Bill Weiss, The Ohio State University. Formulating accurate diets for lactating dairy cows requires users to input body weight, milk production, milk composition and perhaps other factors such as days in milk and parity. If you are only feeding one cow, those numbers are easy to get, but if you are formulating for a group of cows, what numbers should you use? This webinar will discuss: Proper cow specification inputs for various nutrients, Factors affecting those inputs, Grouping criteria that result in more accurate diets. https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/dairexnetwebinar/

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

February 26-28. La Crosse, Wisconsin. The MOSES Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. Expand your farming knowledge, discover new resources and tools, make connections, and find support. The event includes an Organic University, keynote speaker John Jeavons, and numerous workshops and roundtables. http://mosesorganic.org/conference/

Geography Seminar

GIS in Statewide Integreated Water Management.  February 27.  2:00 pm. UNL's East Campus, Hardin Hall. Amy Zoller, Integrated Water Management Coordinator at the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, will present this free and public seminar.

Agronomy & Horticulture Seminar

The Global Maize Project: Testing the Concept of Ecological Intensification around the World. February 27.  3:30 pm–4:30 pm. UNL's East Campus, Keim Hall. Dr. T. Scott Murrell, director, North American Program, International Plant Nutrition Institute, will present results from the first four years of a globally-distributed project that compares improved “ecological intensification” practices to current farmer practices. Maize grain yield and nitrogen-use efficiency will be discussed. Join us in person or online athttps://connect.unl.edu/fridayseminarseries/.



Upcoming


Getting Farm Work Done Legally With Interns, Apprentices, And Volunteers

March 2. Online. This Farm Commons webinar is an advanced follow-up to the Farm Commons basic farm employment law webinar. Using interns, apprentices, and volunteers is legally complicated and farms have gotten steep fines for doing it wrong. Get out ahead of the curve and build a legally compliant intern or volunteer program for your farm. In this webinar, farmers will gain a better idea of the role education programming and signed agreements play in building legal legitimacy. The webinar will also delve into the complicated world of in-kind wages: farm products or lodging offered to workers as wages. http://farmcommons.org/getting-farm-work-done-legally-interns-apprentices-and-volunteers

Getting started with sheep and goat management

Monday, March 2 at 6:00 pm. This program is part of a 20-webinar Michigan State University Extension 2015 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series.  A descriptive flyer and on-line registration and payment for any or all of the webinars is available athttp://events.anr.msu.edu/beginningfarmerwebinars/  A registration fee of $10 per webinar, or $100 for all 20 webinars is required.http://events.anr.msu.edu/beginningfarmerwebinars/

Using Participatory Variety Trials to Assess Response to Environment in Organic Vegetable Crops

March 3. Online. The Northern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative (NOVIC) has been conducting participatory vegetable variety trials on a network of organic farms across the northern U.S. since 2010. In this free, eOrganic webinar, Alexandra Lyon, a PhD student who has been working for NOVIC since 2010, will discuss a straightforward, graphical approach that uses the NOVIC variety trial data to assess the stability of variety performance across variable environments. This webinar is meant for an audience of researchers, farmers, and other professionals interested in farmer collaboration and participatory research. Advance registration is required. http://www.extension.org/pages/72566/using-participatory-variety-trials-to-assess-response-to-environment-in-organic-vegetable-crops

Health problems with the poultry skeletal system

Tuesday, March 3 at 1:00 pm. Link: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/poultry. The third webinar in the health series will look at the skeletal system and different health issues that can develop.

Organic Production and Certification in High Tunnels

March 3. Online. This is the third webinar in a weekly series of high tunnel webinars from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Center for Crop Diversification. Adam Watson, organic marketing representative from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, will introduce organic certification and how it relates to high tunnel production. Other topics will include economics and marketing of high tunnel crops throughout the year. http://news.ca.uky.edu/article/high-tunnel-webinar-series-convenient-option-growers

Using Sanitizers in Wash Water

March 4. Online. This event is part of the Winter Wednesday Lunch Series of vegetable and small fruit production webinars from Penn State and Cornell University. This 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 states. Each webinar is $10. http://extension.psu.edu/plants/vegetable-fruit/news/2014/vegetable-and-small-fruit-production-webinars-return

Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers: Pasture health problems

March 4. Online. The University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program will host a winter webinar series on consecutive Wednesday evenings in February and March 2015. The focus of the webinar series is Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers. This final, one-hour episode in the series focuses on pasture health problems. http://extension.umd.edu/news/webinar-short-course-pasture-management-small-ruminant-producers

Small Farm Webinar Series: Hydroponics

March 5. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community, providing practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. This series of online events is aimed at providing small farm producers with a look at how leading practices in production, management, and marketing enable operations to improve profitability and sustainability. In this session, Professor Samuel Wortman will discuss the basics of Hydroponics and summarize research results from ongoing studies on hydroponic production of strawberries, basil, kale, tomato, and pepper. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=10817

Holistic Management, Grazing Planning Workshop

March 5-7. The Holistic Management, Grazing Planning Workshop will be offered at Central Community College, Hastings Nebraska Campus on March 5-6-7.  Holistic Management workshop includes: mini lectures, examples, demonstrations and supervised practice in using the Holistic Management Model in decision making, producing more profit, and increasing the quality of life. Where:: Central Community College, Hastings Campus.  Contact, Bob Shields—phone (308) 379-1361 or email bob.shields01@gmail.com

Novel Livestock Housing

Friday, March 6 at 1:30 pm. Livestock and poultry housing designs have changed in recent years, spurred by changing policies, consumer attitudes and producer preferences. Regardless of what motivates the change, however, is the need to simultaneously address animal welfare, environmental implications and cost and management factors. This webinar will provide examples and perspectives from the swine, dairy and layer industry on how and why producers have implemented changes to their housing practices, and some of the lessons learned along the way! An application for continuing education credit for Certified Crop Advisors (CCAs) and members of the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists (ARPAS) has been submitted. Presenters include: Yuzhi Li, University of Minnesota. Erin Cortus, South Dakota State University. Hongwei Xin, Iowa State University. Curt Gooch, Cornell University

Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Machinery Sharing: Scaling Up Production for Small-Farm Growers

Tuesday, February 17 at 11:00 am CST. Learn about strategies small-scale growers are using to scale up production through equipment-sharing models. Topics will include: what to share, how to structure sharing agreements, finding and choosing partners, and potential challenges faced by case study examples. Please join Dr. Georgeanne Artz and Morgan Hoenig as they share valuable information about machinery sharing. https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/womeninag

Iowa Cover Crops Conference

February 17-18. West Des Moines, Iowa. The Iowa Cover Crops Conference will provide a forum for farmers, industry leaders, and agribusiness professionals to exchange information, discuss opportunities for collaboration, learn about successful cover cropping practices, and troubleshoot challenges that may be encountered. http://www.swcs.org/index.cfm?nodeID=79457&audienceID=1

High Tunnel Webinar Series: Season Extension Opportunities + EQIP Funding

February 17. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Center for Crop Diversification, through the Barnhart Fund for Excellence, is sponsoring a weekly series of six webinars. This first session offers an overview of season extension and the pros and cons of using season-extension technology: high tunnels, low tunnels, row covers, marketing and planning for markets before building a high tunnel, an overview of the basics of high tunnel economics and a summary of the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative. http://news.ca.uky.edu/article/high-tunnel-webinar-series-convenient-option-growers

Air-propelled Abrasive Grits for Weed Management in Organic Grain and Vegetable Crops

February 17. Online. Join eOrganic for a webinar on using air-propelled abrasive grits for weed management in organic grain and vegetable crops. The four presenters will provide information about the design of the first abrasive-grit applicator and initial field studies in corn, soybean, tomato, and pepper crops. They will also outline ongoing and future research objectives recently funded by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Organic Research and Extension Initiative. The webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. http://www.extension.org/pages/71257/blasting-the-competition-away:-air-propelled-abrasive-grits-for-weed-management-in-organic-grain-and

Forage Crops and Grazing Webinar

February 18. Webinar will feature Joe Sellers, a beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Sellers will present the feeding value of various annual forage crops, and the pros and cons of grazing these crops compared with harvesting them as silage or hay. He also will discuss issues with establishing and utilizing cover crops after Iowa grain crops, as well as other applications for forage crops including pasture renovation and using annuals to fill forage supply gaps. The ILF webinars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. They are free and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.http://www.extension.iastate.edu/article/iowa-learning-farms-february-webinar-focuses-forage-crops-and-grazing

NRCS Assistance for Transitioning to Organic Webinar

February 18. Join this webinar to learn about a newly revised NRCS plan that can support producers by addressing natural resource concerns as they transition their operation to organic and that also enables producers to apply for assistance to implement conservation practices. This webinar will describe how transitioning producers (both producers considering transitioning land for the first time and existing certified producers that are transitioning new land to certification) can use the NRCS Conservation Plan Supporting Organic Transition to transition to organic production. Also called a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 138, the plan will help transitioning producers identify resource concerns and introduce them to available NRCS conservation practices. The intended audience for this presentation is producers, land managers, and others; however, all are welcome to participate. http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/nrcs-assistance-for-transitioning-to-organic

NMPAN Webinar: Mobile Slaughter Units

February 18. This Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar will focus on mobile slaughter units (MSU) operating both in the U.S. and overseas: learning how they meet regulatory requirements, handle animals humanely, manage water, assure food safety, and more. Presenters will discuss MSU design concepts, challenges, and future improvements and leave plenty of time for Q&A. http://www.extension.org/pages/33477/nmpan-webinars

Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers: Pasture and grazing management

February 18. Online. The University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program will host a winter webinar series on Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers on consecutive Wednesday evenings in February and March 2015. The instructors for the webinars will be Jeff Semler and Susan Schoenian. The webinars are open to the first 100 people who log in. http://extension.umd.edu/news/webinar-short-course-pasture-management-small-ruminant-producers

Webinar: Nuts and Bolts of Farmland Leasing

February 19. Join New Entry Sustainable Farming project for a webinar discussing the basic practical details of farmland leasing. Learn about the benefits of farmland leasing, elements of a good lease, finding the "right" relationship with a land owner, and expectations of engaging legal help. https://nesfp.org/events/webinar-nuts-and-bolts-farmland-leasing

NGFN Webinar: Lessons Learned from the Food Hub Vanguard

February 19. Online. This National Good Food Network webinar examines the story behind the evolution of Grasshoppers Distribution LLC, an NGFN Food Hub Collaboration Study Hub, and explores key challenges, best practices, lessons learned, and the organization’s lasting impact on Kentucky agriculture and the local food sector. https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8761996430383139585

IOIA Course: NOP Livestock Standards

February 19 and 26. Online. This webinar is a 100-level course will prepare participants to verify compliance with the NOP Livestock Standards. This webinar training course will focus on topics including the National List of allowed synthetic and prohibited natural inputs for livestock production. Participants will also gain skill in understanding and navigating the NOP regulations. This course is geared to prepare those who intend to take further training to become organic inspectors or file reviewers. It is also highly recommended for organic producers, consultants, educators, extension, and certification agency staff and can be used as a credential to seek work as an entry-level certification file reviewer. This webinar will be given in two sessions, on two dates, each three hours long. http://www.ioia.net/schedule_web.html#feb19

Small Farm Webinar Series: Understanding Insecticides

February 19. Online. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community, providing practical knowledge on emerging topics which advance local food production in Illinois. Webinars will be held from 1:00 - 2:30 pm on Thursdays and are free. This session will explain how conventional and organic insecticides work, what kinds of insecticides work best against different categories of pest insects, and how insecticides can be used safely in small-scale fruit and vegetable production. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=10817

Applied Ecology Seminar

Consolidation, Merger, Market Domination & Agriculture's Changing Face.  February 20.  2:00 pm. UNL's East Campus Hardin Hall. David A. Domina, trial lawyer at Domina Law Group, will present this free and public seminar.

Department of Agricultural Economics Seminar Series

Conserving Forests: Mandates, Management or Money. February 20. 3:00 pm. Contact: Jane Witte, 402-472-1913janewitte@unl.edu. Presented by Kathy Baylis, University of Illinois. http://agecon.unl.edu/seminar

Animal Fiber Production Opportunities

February 21. Phillipsburg, Kansas. In this Amazing Grazing event, Sally Brandon, Shepherd’s Mill, and Rachael Boyle, K-State Research and Extension Livestock Agent, will guide you through the world of animal fiber production, from determining which animals are right for you and your farm to selecting a mill and marketing your fiber. http://www.kansasfarmersunion.com/animal-fiber-production-opportunities-to-diversify-small-farms/


Upcoming


2015 Nebraska Agri/Eco Tourism Workshop

Growing where you are! February 23-25. Holiday Inn Convention Center in Kearney. Get the right tools to grow your business! Take advantage of your land, talents and ideas. Agri- and eco-tourism can help you make the most of those resources. Find out how you can develop a new attraction, increase you income potential and create limitless opportunities. Keynote Speaker - Joe Calhoon, Author & Business Growth Consultant. Mr. Calhoon is an expert at making the growth planning process simple and practical. Learn how to build a remarkable business and live and extraordinary life. http://industry.visitnebraska.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=56

Farm Sole Proprietorships, LLCs, S Corps, C Corps, and Coops: Which? Why? How?

February 23. Online. In this free webinar from Farm Commons, learn what an LLC or corporation can and cannot do to protect the farm business. Any solid business entity also needs managing paperwork. Learn what an operating agreement or bylaws can do for the farm and what to write into them. The webinar will also discuss options for cooperative ventures, entity structures to pass on the farm business, and some tax aspects of business entities. http://farmcommons.org/farm-sole-proprietorships-llcs-s-corps-c-corps-and-coops-which-why-how

Going In-Depth With CSA Farm Law

February 24. Online. In this free, Farm Commons webinar, farmers will get in-depth tools to move forward on managing sales, drop-site, volunteer, and worker share matters. It will also discuss some of the more unique CSA programs like farmers market pre-pay programs and multi-farm cooperative CSAs. Farmers who've already attended one of Farm Commons' basic CSA law programs will get a lot out of this advanced session. http://farmcommons.org/going-depth-csa-farm-law

Reed Canarygrass: Research and Control Methods

February 24. Online. This webinar will introduce participants to the latest research on reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) invasion of wetlands and ways to address this resource concern during the conservation planning process. This webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. http://www.conservationwebinars.net/webinars/reed-canarygrass-research-and-control-methods

High Tunnel Webinar Series: Structure Options, Construction, and Ventilation and Temperature Control

February 24. Online. The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Center for Crop Diversification, through the Barnhart Fund for Excellence, is sponsoring a weekly series of six webinars. This second webinar offers an introduction to structure options and layouts for stationary or moveable high tunnels, as well as construction tips and ideas. Other topics include ventilation and temperature control within a high tunnel throughout the year. http://news.ca.uky.edu/article/high-tunnel-webinar-series-convenient-option-growers

Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers: Pasture nutrition

February 25. Online. The University of Maryland Small Ruminant Extension Program will host a winter webinar series on Pasture Management for Small Ruminant Producers on consecutive Wednesday evenings in February and March 2015. The instructors for the webinars will be Jeff Semler and Susan Schoenian. The webinars are open to the first 100 people who log in. http://extension.umd.edu/news/webinar-short-course-pasture-management-small-ruminant-producers

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium

February 25-26. LaCrosse, Wisconsin. The first Organic Agriculture Research Symposium (OARS) will focus on building a solid foundation for organic agriculture. The event will highlight research on organic farming systems, seeds and crop varieties suitable for organic production, holistic livestock care and feeding, soil health, organic markets and more. Researchers from all over the world will present their work at this event. Keynote speaker Chuck Benbrook will speak on The Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Evidence Based Results. Organic farmers and students are particularly encouraged to attend this symposium. Organic farmers are especially encouraged to participate in a listening and planning session on research priorities for organic agriculture. Ideas gleaned from this listening session will inform future organic research. http://www.cias.wisc.edu/oars/

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

February 26-28. La Crosse, Wisconsin. The MOSES Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. Expand your farming knowledge, discover new resources and tools, make connections, and find support. The event includes an Organic University, keynote speaker John Jeavons, and numerous workshops and roundtables. http://mosesorganic.org/conference/

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Healthy Farms Conference Breakout Sessions VI

Wetlands in Unexpected Places. Greg Fripp

 Using Constructed Wetlands in Urban areas to help the environment, to educate students and the community & to enhance economic opportunities for local populations.


Another Year in a Rural Whole Food System - A Conversation. Harold Stone

Last year, Harold described his rural economic development work - creating a Whole Food System in deeply rural Davenport, NE. In this, a follow-up report, we see that "rural" does not mean "dull and sedate."   The past year at Stones Thoreau has uncovered new challenges, and - as always - the solutions are not so quick and simple. This break-out session will be a simple conversation with the NSAS community about issues of rurality, food and community, when using economic development as a driver.


About: Dr. Harold L. Stone, owner of Stones Thoreau – Farm to Market, Inc. and South Maple Street Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen is implementing food-based strategies to restore vitality to rural communities.  His primary focus is to create a replicable whole food system that will serve as an economic engine for development in rural food deserts. For over 30 years Dr. Stone, has been a professor of Regional Planning, a Cooperative Extension Associate in Soil and Crop Science at Texas A&M University, and supervised the preservation of historic structures in Washington, DC for the National Park Service.


Dispatches on Global Beekeeping. Dillon Blankenship & Kat Shiffler

Drawing on experiences from beekeeping at home and abroad (five continents between them), Kat Shiffler and Dillon Blankenship will talk about beekeeping livelihoods, beekeeping for development, and how alternative hive management and ancient practices can inform our domestic work with bees. Nature Conservancy.

About: Dillon Blankenship is a 2012-2013 Thomas J. Watson Fellow who spent thirteen months exploring local (and historic) beekeeping practices in the UK, Tanzania, Egypt, India, Russia, and Germany. He currently lives in Wood River, Nebraska where he works for the Nature Conservancy as a field steward and biological technician. You can find some information on his travels at adetourbywayofthebeehive.blogspot.com

About: Kat Shiffler is an Agroecologist and beekeeper based in Lincoln, Nebraska. She conducted her thesis fieldwork in Chile with a Fulbright Scholarship, where she worked with distinct beekeeping enterprises throughout the long, skinny country. Learn more about her current projects at www.sweetberthas.com 


Cultural Recovery of Seed Saving. Betsey Goodman

Seed saving used to be a natural part of the growing season on every farm across this land. What happened? Each of us has an individual responsibility to uphold our food system if we want to keep at least a portion of it in the public domain, and it all starts with seeds. Come to this session to learn about seed saving basics and to have a discussion about why it's imperative in our time. 


About: Betsy Goodman: Elizabeth graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, emphasizing in Sustainability, Community, and Biocultural Diversity. She has worked with various farmers, herbalists, and seed producers along the West Coast. Since 2010, Elizabeth has been Production Assistant at BloomsOrganic Farm. Every year, Elizabeth works with the Douglas County Health Department and the Douglas County Extenuation office to plan a community wide Seed Swap. Additionally, Elizabeth is the Founder and Volunteer Coordinator for Omaha Public Library's, Common Soil Seed Library. 



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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Healthy Farms Conference Youth Program!



Friday – February 6, 2015

8:30 a.m.  Develop a Vision Board for Your Farm – Liz Sarno, Organic Farmer
Liz will help the kids to develop their own vision for their farm and family for 2015. 

10:00 a.m. How to Market Your Products at Farmers Market– Rebecca Bloom, Bloomsorganic

Rebecca will go over how to present your products at farmers markets.  The things to do to sell your products and definite things not to do.   She will discuss how to price products, licenses and how to make your market stand attractive.  

Bloomsorganic is a family business located just outside Crescent, Iowa, farmed by Rebecca Bloom, with help from her husband, Brent, and sons, Alex and Eli.  They are USDA Certified Organic with Iowa Department of Agriculture. The farm produces  berry fruits, culinary herbs, and a large variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, greens, and root crops.   They like to grow heritage and heirloom varieties whenever possible. Bloomsorganic also grows flowers and food garden plants.  They market their products through various local markets, restaurants, and community supported agriculture.

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. Tai Chi break 

2:00 p.m. How to make and find recipes for your products – Create your own cookbook- JoAnne Garvey

JoAnne will help you to find recipes for your products and then create recipe handouts and a cookbook. 

Some of JoAnne earliest childhood memories are of her grandmother’s kitchen where she learned the art of cooking rice, beans, tortillas from scratch, and other traditional Mexican dishes. It is easy to assume that her grandmother introduced her to cooking, but the truth is she claims to be born with the desire to cook; her grandmother simply added to an already intrinsic love.  JoAnne has over thirty years in the Hospitality Industry, and experience as a business owner, manager, and college chef instructor.

BA in Organizational Management from St. Joseph College, Whiting, IN,
AAS degree in Hotel Restaurant Management from Ivy Tech Community College, Indianapolis, IN. Current Food Handler Certification for Serv Safe, and Proctor for this national exam, Certified Executive Chef Certification from the American Culinary Federation.
Jo Anne Garvey CEC, Chef Instructor, Institute for the Culinary Arts, Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Ne



Saturday – February 7, 2015

8:30 a.m.  Yoga break

9:30 a.m. No More Empty Pots - Nancy Williams, CIO, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands
Nancy Williams will talk about youth programs and volunteer opportunities for kids.

Nancy began the practice of agriculture at an early age; first as a 4-H member in elementary school then as an FFA member in high school. Her family raised most of the produce they consumed; at one time maintaining as many as six gardens to feed themselves and share with neighbors. In addition to achieving success with FFA competition teams, Nancy earned scholarships to study Horticulture. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Louisiana State University then studied for a master of science in Weed Science with a minor in Plant Pathology at Cornell University. Nancy has diverse experiences in agriculture, from corporations, serving as an agronomist for local farmers and entrepreneurs to grassroots organizing and management for nonprofit community organizations. For the past 10 years, she has served as an information technology director for a nonprofit organization; where she has led award winning programs, increased technology integration and supported improved organizational outcomes.

Nancy Williams, No More Empty Pots

10:30 a.m. Making Pizza – JoAnne Garvey.  JoAnne will show how versatile pizza dough is for adding your fresh local products. 

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00 p.m. Bee Keeping – Fun with Bees – Lynn Danzer,

Bee-keeper from Council Bluffs, Iowa and Vice President of Education and Mentoring for the Omaha Bee Club: http://www.omahabeeclub.org/home .  Lynn has kept bees for 45years; ever since his Dad bought him, his first bees at a farm sale when he was 14 years old. 

Lynn will cover the types of honey bees, bee-keeping equipment, pollination, what effect pollination has on the plants and what plants attract bees. Lynn, teaches classes on bee-keeping at the South Omaha Library on 28th & Q St: http://www.omahabeeclub.org/beekeeping-classes

  

3:00 p.m. Finalize Your Vision Board




The Healthy Farms Conference Youth Program is a part of the Healthy Farms Healthy Kids Nebraska program of the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society.

We have youth rates available, for information please email William @ healthyfarms@gmail.com