Monday, April 20, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Small Farms: New Markets

April 20. Online. Northeast SARE and the Cornell Small Farms Program present a free, three-part webinar series open to the public. The webinars feature dairy, livestock, and mushroom farmers that have all transitioned successfully to one or more new wholesale markets. Farmers will reflect on their decision making process, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed to get their products to bigger markets. Each webinar also features one of the farmer's 'wholesale' buyers who will describe how they establish productive relationships with smaller farms, and outline their business models and buying requirements. This webinar is titled "Mushrooms to Dining Rooms: Meet the People Behind the Food Chain." It features mushroom grower Alan Kaufman and Natural Gourmet Institute CEO Anthony Fassio.

Getting started with poultry production

Monday, April 20, 6pm. Small scale commercial poultry operations are becoming more popular. Taking the time to do things right from the beginning will ensure you have success.  What species and breeds fit best for you?  What will you sell?  Eggs, broilers, turkeys?  What are the regulations you must follow?  And can you make money doing this?  This session will provide an overview of the opportunities for beginners in poultry.  Facilities, labor, feeding, processing, and marketing will be addressed. 

“2050: Agriculture’s Role in Mitigating Global Challenges”

 April 21.  3:30 pm. Lincoln @ UNL's  Innovation Campus Conference Center, 2021 Transformation Drive. A Heuermann Lecture. Speaker: Robb Fraley, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Monsanto and World Food Prize laureate. Live Streaming available at .

National Food Policy Conference

April 21-22. Washington, DC. For 38 years, the National Food Policy Conference has been a Washington institution and a unique collaboration between consumer advocates, the food industry and government. The conference is organized by the Consumer Federation of America and is a key national gathering for those interested in agriculture, food and nutrition policy.

Biofuels Coop Workshop

April 21st. Whole Foods Omaha. This presentation will cover general energy production, benefits of biofuels, and a small batch of biofuel will be processed in the classroom. If you are interested in attending, please give us a call to register! Seating is limited!

Open-Sourced HACCP: Making Cured Meats Production More Accessible

April 21. Online. Many small-scale inspected facilities, retail butcher shops and restaurants would like to make dry-cured and fermented products in house. This can be difficult to do from three perspectives: 1) to produce a quality product, 2) to produce a safe product, and 3) to meet the regulatory requirements. This Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar will describe the challenges that most facilities face in starting a dry-cured product line and how they might be overcome. It will also share a new and novel resource for dry-cured HACCP: Underground Meats' open-sourced HACCP.

Entomology Seminar on Integration of Entomopathogens in Pest Management of the Western Corn Rootworm
April 21.  4:00 pm–5:00 pm. UNL's East Campus Union. Contact,  Jeri Cunningham, “Integration of Entomopathogens in Pest Management of the Western Corn Rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) in West Central Nebraska” presented by Camila Oliveira Hofman, entomology graduate student.

Risk Management and Your Agritourism Business

Tuesday, April 21 at 11:00 am CDT. Agritourism and farm-based educational enterprises have become an important part of the U.S. economy. People are interested in how their food is produced and want to make connections with their local farmers. As important as it is to foster relationships with customers, it's also important to know the risks of opening your operation to the public, and learn how to protect your farm from potential accidents and hazards. You also want to keep your customers safe. In this webinar, learn about assessing potential risks on your agritourism business. You'll also hear from two farmers who will share their knowledge and experience in the agritourism industry.

Meeting Heifer Nutrition Goals

Tuesday, April 21 at 12:00 pm CDT. Presenter: Dr. Bob James, Virginia Tech. It can be difficult to keep an efficient and effective heifer nutrition program. In this webinar Dr. James will discuss the challenges of meeting goals in heifer nutrition programs. Some of the critical control points he will address are: optimizing pre-weaning growth, optimizing post-weaning growth, achieving puberty at the desired age.

Conservation Activity Plan Policies and Procedures

April 21. Online. In this USDA NRCS Science and Technology webinar, participants will learn about the history, purpose, regulation, and policy associated with Conservation Activity Plans (CAP). The presentation will include a discussion of the responsibilities of Technical Service Providers (TSPs), producers, and NRCS staff. Presenters will describe how CAPs are incorporated into the planning process and define the programmatic requirements that must be met to offer financial assistance for the development of a CAP.

Regulations and Best Practices for Small Livestock

April 22nd. 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

Sugarbeet Genetics, Genomics and Germplasm Enhancement

Wednesday, April 22 at 1:00 pm CDT. Join the National Association of Plant Breeding and PBG Works for a webinar on Sugar Beet Genetics, Genomics, and Germplasm Enhancement, by Mitch McGrath of Michigan State University. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). The webinar is free and advanced registration is required. Register now at

Pine Straw Harvesting in Longleaf Pine Forests: Best Management Guidelines to Sustain Wildlife Resources

April 23rd. This webinar will discuss how longleaf landowners can balance income from pine straw harvesting while also preserving critical wildlife benefits of straw-harvested stands.

Backyard Ecology

April 23rd. 6pm. Walk through our gardens with Jack Phillips from the New Tree School, and explore the many integrated layers of the garden. Take home ideas to make your home garden a more balanced ecosystem!

Soil Fertility Research in Western Nebraska

Agronomy & Horticulture Seminar - Gary Hergert. April 24. 3:30 pm–4:30 pm. UNL's East Campus @ Keim Hall. Dr. Gary Hergert, professor, UNL Panhandle Research & Extension Center, UNL Agronomy & Horticulture, will discuss his current research and extension focus on soil and fertilizer management to improve crop production efficiency in western Nebraska. Join us in person or online at Refreshments served at 3 pm

Applied Ecology Seminar

Karla Jarecke. Aquatics & Nutrient Cycling. April 24th. 2pm. UNL's Hardin Hall. Karla Jarecke, graduate student in UNL’s School of Natural Resources, and other graduate students will present this free and public seminar.

Backyard Chickens

April 25th. 9am.  Urban to Suburban: Caring and Raising (South Omaha),


Common Good Farm Annual Organic Plant Sale

mark your calendar for our 2015 annual spring plant sale! april 24, 25, 26, may 1, 2, 3, may 8, 9, 10 and onward throughout may & into june until we sell is daily after opening but we highlight the first three big weekends sales! 9 am - 6 pm each day. cash or checks please. EBT/SNAP also accepted. certified organic & Biodynamic plants...a wonderful selection of plants!

FarmTable Delivery is Hiring

We're HIRING! Office Manager, Vendor/Producer Relations, Accounts Receivable. Effective Immediately. (This is one single position, perfect for the well rounded person). Location: Harlan, Iowa. For more information contact, 

Veg Farmland for Rent

Close in farmland for rent. About 1 acre 200 yards outside city limits in SW Corner of Lincoln. Organically maintained for at least 30 years. Bearing aronia bushes on part of the land. I know the owner and the land, as does Justin G Jones, and I think Ingrid Kirst at CROPS knows it too. If interested, call Jeff at 402-429-9507. In my opinion, it would make a good "training plot" for a couple of young veg farmers.  I tried to buy the property myself 15-16 years ago but I have no financial interest in the property or a possible rental; just doing an old friend a favor.

Spring Affair—Plant Sale, Talks and All Things Garden

April 25.  9:00 am–2:00 pm.  Lancaster Event Center. Spring Affair—the Midwest’s largest plant sale and gardening event, where more than 500 different perennials, herbs, grasses, trees, shrubs and other plants will be available.

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Survey 

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is working with the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI) to better understand experiences with crop insurance and with a new crop insurance product called Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. Whole-Farm Revenue Protection is a pilot crop insurance policy available for the 2015 crop insurance year. The policy provides crop insurance coverage based on a farm’s 5-year revenue history, and it enables a farm to insure more than one crop with one policy. The link to the survey is about this survey can be directed to James Robinson at 919-542-1396 ext. 209 or

Help Wanted

Small but diverse greenhouse and herb/vegetable growing operation in SW Lancaster County needs a p/t to f/t employee/intern/helper effective ASAP. Minimum availability: Now until Memorial Day. For the right person, this position could extend until October/November.  Work in a 100° greenhouse required for first few weeks; then work shifts to the field. Must be able to lift 40 lbs. Must be able to get to a workplace 22 minutes from central Lincoln on time. Some flexibility on shifts, but limited to daylight hours. We are a Certified Natural Grower. If interested, please send a one-page resume and your contact information to I will reply to everyone who applies via email. Thanks.

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 small farm equipment

Monday, April 27 at 6:00 pm CDT. 
Many beginning farmers are not as knowledgeable about farm equipment as they would like to be.  This webinar will help you will learn about matching equipment size to your necessary tasks.  It is designed to provide beginning farmers with little to no experience with a good ‘primer’ on identifying, selecting and purchasing equipment suitable for your farming operation, including tractors, tillage equipment, planters and drills, spreading equipment (manure, fertilizer, lime, etc.), haymaking equipment and other harvest equipment. MSU Extension educator and farmer Fred Springborn will be using a combination of discussion and pre-recorded video to get you acquainted with a variety of equipment suitable for smaller farms.  The presentation may include some information on hand tools and small, motorized, hand-operated equipment, but will focus on small tractors and tractor drawn equipment.

Solutions and Sustainability in Soybean Breeding

Wednesday, April 29 at 1:00 pm CDT. Join the National Association of Plant Breeding and PBG Works for a webinar on soybean breeding by Thomas Carter of the USDA ARS in Raleigh, North Carolina . The webinar takes place on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). The webinar is free and advanced registration is required. Register now at

Resources for Organic Producers Selling Local Foods

April 29. Online. The USDA Organic Working Group will host a webinar highlighting USDA's resources for organic producers marketing local foods. Learn about organic certification, labeling, and online directories of local markets. Learn about more resources for local and regional food programs through the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative. Pre-registration is not required for these webinar sessions. To participate, dial in by phone: 866-740-1260 with access code 7206000. Also access the Web:http://www.readytalk.comOn the left side of the screen, enter Participant Access Code 7206000.

Targeted Grazing Online Workshops: Choosing and Developing the Animal for the Job

April 30. Online. Learn the principles of targeted grazing to manage landscape with online workshops from the Targeted Grazing Committee of the Society for Range Management. This session features Dr. Rachel Frost, Missouri River Conservation Districts Council.

2015 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Beneficial Garden Helpers

Friday, May 1 at 1:00 pm CDT. Learn about the helpful insects in your garden and landscape in this webinar presented by Dr. Kris Braman from the University of Georgia.  Dr. Braman will explain how to encourage the predators and parasitoids in your backyard.  Moderated by Mallory Kelley and Ellen Huckabay, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Cooperative Extension System.  Click here to login as a guest and participate in the live event.   Note: on May 1, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar.  If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message.

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