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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, Presented by Kathy Baylis, University of Illinois.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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