Monday, March 30, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Getting started with direct marketing

Monday, March 30 at 6. New farmers who plan to sell products directly to consumers should become as familiar as possible with the various approaches available.  On-farm sales, CSA, local farmers markets and other techniques will be presented, with pros and cons of each. This session will provide a valuable overview of direct marketing and help you determine which strategies will best fit your operation. This session will also briefly touch on the applicable regulations for which products need to be licensed to be sold direct to consumer.

Food Safety Modernization Act: Implications for Farmers

March 31. Online. Sophia Kruszewski, a policy expert at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, about what the Food Safety Modernization Act is and what its implementation will mean for farmers. Organic farmer and farm consultant Chris Blanchard will discuss details about who it will impact and how to comply with the new rules and regulations. These interactive webinars are led by farmers, are open to everyone and allow participants to ask questions of presenters in real-time.

Entomology Seminar on Arthropod Community Associated with Perennial Warm-season Grasses

 March. 31. 4:00 pm–5:00 pm. Lincoln on UNL's East Campus. “Characterization of the Arthropod Community Associated with Perennial Warm-season Grasses (Poaceae) Composition in Nebraska” will be presented by Katie O’Brien, entomology graduate student. Contact, Jeri Cunningham,

Risk Management and Insurance

April 1st. 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 click the link next to the class to register for that particular class. For more information, contact Kirstin Bailey, or call 402.474.9802

Backyard Hens

April 1st. Webinar. Annie Carlson, Morning Joy Farm. Turning table scraps into eggs means healthy eating and less garbage. Annie will cover where to get hens, housing those birds, laying, feed, water requirements and management.

Getting started with managing soil, irrigation and fertilization interactions

Wednesday, April 1 at 6. “It all starts with the soil” is a truism that can’t be ignored. This session will help you understand your soil type and how it influences irrigation and fertilization decisions. Having this understanding will help get the most out of nutrient and water applications while maximizing production and maintaining environmental quality.

Western Nebraska Landscapes

April 2. Lincoln on UNL's East Campus, Keim Hall. 12pm. Amy Seiler, Community Forestry Specialist for the Nebraska Forest Service, will talk about some beautiful landscapes with a strong sense of place in western Nebraska. Seiler will have photos and tips for creating and managing waterwise landscapes in difficult urban settings. And she will highlight some plants and trees, both naturally-occurring and planted, that are “thriving in unlikely and difficult places and circumstances.” Contact,  Karma Larsen, 402/472-7923,

Applied Ecology Seminar

April 3rd. 2pm. UNL's Hardin Hall. Asssessing the Effects of a Wind Farm on Greater Prairie Chickens. Jen Smith of UNL’s School of Natural Resources will present this free and open seminar.


Foreign Exchange student

I work with a non-profit foundation that places high school exchange students with host families in the Omaha area. I'm looking for a host family for Ana Beatriz from Brazil and I thought some of her interests would line up with this group. She loves animals (wants to be a vet and currently volunteers with rescues), cooking, and horses). Host families provide 3 meals a day and transportation to/from school (walking, bus, carpool are all fine options). The students come with instance and spending money for any other needs. If you're not ready to host, but know someone who is, send them my contact information! We offer a $100 referral incentive payment if someone you send me ends up hosting one of our students. 
Please feel free to ask any questions! I can be reached at 402-499-9031 or at

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 untilApril 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.


Growing Farm to School

April 6. Council Bluffs, Iowa. 

Getting started with cover crops in field crop rotations

Monday, April 6 at 6pm. 
Farmers who want to prevent soil erosion, improved nutrient cycling, sustain their soils and protect the environment have been returning to a very old practice: planting cover crops.  This session will provide an introduction into benefits, selection and management of cover crops in field crop systems including corn, soybeans, wheat, and other row, small grain and forage crops.

Innovative Approaches to Extension in Organic and Sustainable Agriculture

Tuesday, April 7 at 1:00 pm. Agroecology has a proven track record of assessing the principles underpinning sustainable farming. Yet, approaches to utilizing research-based information to develop and deliver extension programs that allow innovative agricultural producers to make informed management decision are still lacking. In this webinar, we will explore pedagogical principles that Extension agents and agricultural educators can take advantage of when developing context-dependent outreach and educational programs for organic and sustainable farmers. Register now at

The avian immune system and vaccination programs for poultry

Tuesday, April 7 at 1pm. The final webinar in this health-related series will focus on the avian immune system and vaccination programs for poultry flocks. As the last in a four part health-related webinar series, Dr. Frame will also discuss things to do to minimize health challenges.

Farminar: Attract Customers through Fiber & Education

April 7. Online. Farminars are a virtual field day from Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network. PA-WAgN 2015 Specialty Mentor Terri Kinka of Golden Glen Alpacas will discuss methods to break into the niche market of alpacas. She will review the fiber qualities and value-added aspects of this unique animal and review the characteristics of several breeds. Terri will discuss how she builds knowledge and attracts customers to her farm through educational tours to the community.

Reduced Tillage in Organic Specialty Crop Systems

April 7. Online. Participate to learn about research aimed at methods to improve soil health by minimizing tillage in organic vegetable systems. In the Understanding Organic Agriculture series, this webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. The presenter will describe current research at Washington State University that is exploring methods to address a significant soil health challenge in vegetable production - tillage. The discussion of methods to reduce tillage in organic specialty crop systems will include cover strip tillage, the use of a roller crimper, and the role of cover crops. Research findings compare the impacts of different techniques in terms of compaction, water infiltration, soil respiration, and other factors.

Twitter for Newbies Webinar

Wednesday, April 8 at 11:00 am. We’ll create a new Twitter account and go through the step-by-step process. Some basic techniques will be covered. Entry level. For more information:

Raspberry Breeding

Wednesday, April 8 at 1:00 pm. Join the National Association of Plant Breeding and PBG Works for a webinar on Raspberry Breeding for the Pacific Northwest by Pat Moore of Washington State University. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). The webinar is free and advanced registration is required. Register now at

Targeted Grazing Online Workshops: Diet Selection Basics

April 9. 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. This session is presented by Dr. Karen Launchbaugh, University of Idaho.

Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association Annual Conference

April 9-11. Casper, Wyoming. The Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association, University of Wyoming Extension, Wyoming Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops, and University of Nebraska Extension are presenting a two-day GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) workshop, followed by the Wyoming Farmers Marketing Association Annual Conference and Business meeting. The WFMA conference will include a keynote speaker followed by two sessions of one-hour topics.

Building and Managing Healthy Soils

April 11. Olathe, Kansas. This event is part of the Growing Growers monthly workshop series that seeks to help new and existing growers increase production of local food.

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