Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Getting started with USDA organic certification

Monday, March 9 at 7:00 pm. Vicki Morrone, Organic farming specialist, Center for Regional food Systems at MSU. In this session, you will learn what is required for USDA National Organic Program organic certification for crop production and animal and animal product (eggs, milk) production. A guide will be offered to help you decide if you want to certify organic or just practice organic and understand the differences in practices and market opportunities. The organic certification paper work and organic farm practices will be reviewed, offering a case example for each; field crops, mixed vegetables, poultry eggs and lamb.  Handouts with check lists and an organic farm plan will be offered with example answers to serve as a guide as you complete the paper work. Q & A will follow the session and can be continued via email after the program.

Heuermann Lecture: Climate Change in the American Mind

March 10.  3:30 pm. UNL's East Campus,  Hardin Hall, 33rd and Holdrege. Working to Meet the World’s Growing Food Needs. Anthony Leiserowitz from Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies will will report on recent trends in Americans’ climate change knowledge, attitudes, policy support, and behavior and discuss strategies for more effective public engagement.

Promoting Native Bee Pollinators in Organic Farming Systems Webinar

March 10. Join eOrganic for a webinar on promoting native bee pollinators in organic farming systems by David Crowder and Elias Bloom of Washington State University. The webinar will cover the importance of native bee pollinators in organic farming systems, particularly diversified systems that produce many crops per year. The webinar will be geared to farmers and researchers, but primarily for farmers or individuals interested in biodiversity conservation. The webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Understanding the Carbon Cycle in Agricultural Fields: A Case Study with Hayland

March 10. Online. Participate in this webinar presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology for a discussion of the carbon cycle in agricultural fields, the role of a healthy soil food web, and the impact that various agricultural systems have on carbon levels in soil. The presenter is Jay Fuhrer, District Conservationist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bismarck, North Dakota.

High Tunnel Webinar Series: Crop and Equipment Options and Nutrient and Irrigation Management in High Tunnels

March 10. This is the fourth 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. It covers what and when to plant and crop options for continued high tunnel production in Kentucky climates. Other topics include types of equipment for high tunnel production, and nutrient and irrigation management in high tunnel production systems.

Meat Pricing Webinar

March 10th. 7pm. Are you a livestock farmer who has struggled with the best way to price your meat so it’s fair to you and your customers? This farminar is for you: Tune in and learn how to fairly price your meat cuts for direct or wholesale markets. Bobbie Gustafson,of Story City Locker, will share the factors she considers when making pricing decisions. Then hear experienced livestock farmer Tom Cory share his insights and perspective as a producer.

Advanced Marketing Techniques and Advanced Markets

March 11th. All classes will be held Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm at Community Action (210 "O" St. Lincoln, NE). Cost for the series is $150, scholarships are available. Individual classes are $20 each, please contact Kirstin to register for individual classes. For more information, contact Kirstin Bailey, or call 402.474.9802.

O'neill Sustainable Ag Meeting

On Wednesday March 11 at 7p we will be having a Sustainable Ag meeting in O'neill at the library.  This will primarily be an introductory and organizational meeting with the purpose of planning some sort of regular schedule of meetings, speakers, pasture walks and farm tours.  I would like to see at least one regular meeting a month. Even if it's just to share fellowship with one another. Potential future topics include: Grazing, multi-species grazing, hoop houses, truck crops - vegetable and fruit farming, direct marketing, etc.  Suggestions are welcomed and encouraged. All are welcome, near or far. Organic producer, conventional producers, in between producers, consumers, and other interested parties. Chris Marlowe, Butte, Nebraska. 402 775 5000 Home

What is Gametophytic Incompatibility?

March 11. What is Gametophytic Incompatibility? It has a funny name, but this natural trait in corn can prevent unwanted outcrossing with transgenic varieties or other market classes of corn. Find out about the breeding that is going on with this trait and how to breed your own organic corn from Frank Kutka, a corn breeder.

Managing egg laying flocks

Wednesday, March 11 at 10:00 am. The last in the five-part egg production webinar series gives an overview of the management of small, commercial, egg laying flocks. Topics to be covered including lighting, ventilation, getting the hens to the nest, culling and general care of pullets and hens. The discussion will be lead by Dr. Michael Darre at the University of Connecticut, with input from Drs. Ken Anderson at North Carolina State University, Paul Patterson at Penn State University, and Jacquie Jacob at the University of Kentucky.

Water Seminar Series; Kremer Memorial Lecture, the Value of Groundwater

March 11,  3:30 pm.  UNL's East Campus, Hardin Hall Room. Michael Schneiders, president of Water Systems Engineering, Inc., will present this free and public seminar.

Precision Technology in Pasture Dairy

March 11. Online. This webinar is part of the series "Grazing Guides for Dairy Systems," from Penn State Extension. This webinar will discuss management and the adaptation of current and future technologies that may offer opportunities for precision feeding in pasture dairy systems.

Getting started with hop production

Wednesday, March 11 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 at  A registration fee of $10 per webinar, or $100 for all 20 webinars is required. Rob Sirrine and Erin Lizotte, MSU Extension.

Procrastinator's Farm Bill

March 11th. Have you waited until the last minute to make your farm bill decisions?  This webinar will give a quick overview of the decisions producers must make by Mar. 27th for the new Farm Bill programs.

Tree Care Workshop on “Disaster-ready Communities” - Norfolk

March 12.  9:00 am–3:00 pm.  Norfolk Room: Lifelong Learning Center, 801 E. Benjamin Ave. Topics include detection and treatment plans for pests and diseases; recommendations for structural pruning techniques that can be done in advance to minimize storm damage; and safety considerations for people working in and around trees after a disaster. Contact Amy Seiler or register online at

2015 Pond/Lake Management Workshop

March 12.  6:00 pm–8:00 pm. Grand Island. Have you ever experienced an algae bloom? Fish kill? Murky water? Or do you just want to know what’s going on in a lake or pond?
Workshop topics include: How lakes function in Southeast Nebraska: characteristics and challenges; Managing for fisheries; Project funding and regulations; Lake management planning; Resolving Common Maintenance Problems (Algae, leaks, undesirable fish, fish kills, clarity, erosion, nuisance animals); Develop an individualized maintenance plan for your pond; Additional Public Info: Register here:

Small Farm Webinar Series: Effective Farmers Market Displays

March 12. 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. In this session, learn more about trends and tips to create displays that really sell your products, including how to create a customer-friendly space, the importance of labeling, and how to make your display stand out at the market.

Agronomy & Horticulture Seminar - Bethany Johnston

Grassnap - An App to make monitoring easier.  March 13. 3:30 pm–4:30 pm. Bethany Johnston, Associate Extension Educator in the Central Sandhills Area, UNL Panhandle Research & Extension Center, will discuss the need for easy data collection methods, the basics of monitoring in a grazing system, and how to use GrassSnap to collect photo-monitoring data. A newer version of GrassSnap will be discussed for grasslands outside of Nebraska and for researchers collecting photo data in the field. Join us in person or online at

Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers

March 13-15. Madison, Wisconsin. This intensive three-day course demonstrates what it takes to set up and run a successful orchard business. Topics include soil fertility, pest management, business planning, risk management, recordkeeping, marketing and economics. Grower-instructors primarily teach the course, with featured presentations and hands-on labs by UW faculty and other specialists.

Women in Farming Risk Management Education Workshop

March 14. Lawrence, Kansas. Kansas Rural Center will host its first Women in Farming workshop, focusing on specialty crop production with a particular emphasis on the unique opportunities and challenges for women farmers. The morning portion of the workshop will address food safety and services that agencies provide. The afternoon portion of the workshop will take place at The Red Tractor Farm, featuring a farm tour.


NSAS Consignment Suggestions

I've been tossing around the idea of an annual farm consignment auction (or two or three) that has a portion of the proceeds donated to the NSAS. I was thinking a relatively small percentage would go to NSAS, to encourage anyone from the public to bring items. Thoughts?  I'm deferring to the collective knowledge of the group here. Any feedback as to why this would work or wouldn't? Tips or tricks to ensure success? Location suggestions? Any existing sales that we could piggyback on? We can put our stamp on it a number of different ways. For example, we could use products from NSAS members to cater the event. Or have a sale focused on smaller/older equipment. Or ...Shoot me an email directly, if you have ideas. Thank you, Jon.

IPM Fly Control Project Seeking Farmers

Looking for Livestock Farmers interested in developing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) system for Fly Control on their farm/ranch. Meeting will be next Wednesday, March 11th on the UNL East Campus from 10:00 a.m. to noon at the Entomology Hall: . If you would like to attend or need more details please call Liz at 402-309-0944 or email .

Donahue Trailer needed

Does any one have a donahue trailer for rent for a half of a day close to Lincoln? Rich Vernon,

NASS Organic Producer Survey

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service has an Organic Survey underway to gather detailed data on U.S. organic agriculture production. The survey is a complete inventory of all known organic producers that are certified, exempt from certification, and transitioning to certified organic production. Farmers and ranchers can fill out the survey online at until April 3, 2015.  

Mother Earth News Survey

Later this year, Mother Earth News will publish an article about the growing evidence of the vital importance of getting the right balance of fatty acids in our diet. Some researchers now believe that the shift away from beneficial fatty acids in modern diets is leading to health consequences that are as serious as the problems we face with climate change. As you probably know, grass-fed products are better sources of fatty acids than industrial products. We plan to help raise public awareness of this fact by conducting a large-scale survey to measure the fatty acid profiles of samples of grass-fed meat, eggs and dairy products from across the continent. We will publish the results of the survey in conjunction with our article. We are recruiting producers to join in this nutrient-testing project and hope that you will choose to participate. In order to be included, we need to hear back from you by March 15.


Getting started with season extension

Monday, March 16 at 6pm. 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 at  A registration fee of $10 per webinar, or $100 for all 20 webinars is required. Collin Thompson, MSU Extension program instructor/farm manager, MSU North Farm at the Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center.

Plant Propagation and Production Planning

March 16. Kansas City, Kansas. This event launches the 2015 Growing Growers workshop series, offering learning opportunities in sustainable farming in the Kansas City area. Growing Growers works to increase the production of local food by helping new and existing producers grow their businesses.

Insect, Weed and Disease Control in High Tunnels

March 17. Online. This is the fourth in a series of six weekly high-tunnel webinars from The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Center for Crop Diversification. During this webinar, specialists will teach how to manage pest pressures with cultural and biological controls, and cover available pesticide and fungicides approved for use in high tunnels in Kentucky.

Advancing the Agriculture Economy through Innovation

March 18-20. Fort Collins, Colorado. Colorado State University's summit on Advancing the Agriculture Economy through Innovation will pave the way for understanding what agriculture will look like in the next 10, 20, or even 50 years. Innovators in an Agriculture-Water-Food-Beverage-Bioenergy innovation ecosystem are gathering and growing along Colorado’s Front Range, creating next-generation technologies and business models to nourish, refresh, and energize the world. Featured speakers and panelists will delve into the most pressing issues driving and shaping innovation.

Sustainable Small Farm Online Summit

March 18-21. Online. The free online Sustainable Small Farm Summit is an exciting gathering of 18 farmers and activists who are coming together to share valuable insights into the often-neglected business side of farming. The goal is to support new farmers and people transitioning into farming to become even more effective at creating financially viable plans.

Small Farm Webinar Series: Veggie Compass Record-Keeping Software

March 19. 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. Veggie Compass is a farm management tool designed to help fresh market vegetable growers analyze farm records. This webinar will familiarize you with Veggie Compass, so you can begin to use this tool to locate efficiencies, set prices based on actual costs of production, and increase farm profits.

Targeted Grazing Online Workshops: Plant Ecology & Response to Grazing

March 19. Online. This workshop is part of a series of online presentations and discussions led by experts on the topic of targeted grazing and made possible by the Targeted Grazing Committee of the Society for Range Management.

Grazing Workshop

March 26th. Auburn. The Southeast Nebraska Grassland Ass’n would like to invite all NSAS folks to join us in our 19th annual grazing workshop.  This year we are featuring Doug Peterson, long time rancher and Missouri Soil Health Conservationist.  Doug has decreased inputs and increased profits with grazing practices that significantly improve soil health.  Obviously, Doug will be coming at this from a grazing standpoint but will address many other factors that improve soil health with minimum inputs.  The workshop will be held on March 26th and the 4-H building in Auburn.  Lunch will be served and there will be lots of opportunity for questions, answers, and networking.  If you are interested, e-mail me at and I will forward an electronic version of the brochure. 

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