Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

National Heritage Breeds Week 

May 17-23. National. The first annual National Heritage Breeds Week sponsored by The Livestock Conservancy will be held May 17-23, 2015 across the United States to raise awareness about nearly 200 endangered heritage breeds of livestock and poultry. Heritage breed farmers, enthusiasts, and the public are encouraged to spread the word throughout their networks. The week of awareness will culminate on Saturday, May 23 with National Heritage Breeds Day where many farms and ranches will choose to hold local events such as farm tours, workshops, or lectures to raise awareness in their communities.

National Value Added Agriculture Conference

May 18-20. Austin, Texas. This conference addresses food security, rural development, and value added agriculture. The theme is “The Future of the U.S. Food System: Providing Nutritious, Sustainable, and Healthy Food for All Americans.” The conference will include breakout sessions and tours and will feature innovative businesses. The recent farm bill, food waste, labor issues, functional foods, technology and big data, the adaptability and resilience of the food and agricultural system in the new century are among the topics to be discussed toward the goal of designing and building a sustainable regional food network and agricultural systems.

Ag Safety for Women

Tuesday, May 19 at 11:00 am. Join us for a webinar on agricultural safety and its impact on women in agriculture. Farm Safety For Just Kids Education Director Shari Burgus will share some ideas on promoting a safe environment for farm families. Starting with the organization in 1991, Shari initiated the first chapter system. She now develops educational material and programs that include brochures, fact sheets, demonstrations, displays, curriculum, activity ideas, lesson plans, and more. Shari has past teaching experience in both middle and high schools in rural and urban settings.

Automated Calf Feeders on US farms: How do They Work?

Tuesday, May 19 at 12:00 pm. Presenter: Dr. Marcia Endres, University of Minnesota. During this webinar Dr. Endres will summarize some results of a field study with 38 farms that use automated calf feeders. She will also address some key housing and management practices used on these farms and how they might influence calf health and welfare.

Virtual Reality, A New Kind of Experiential Learning for Ag Safety

Tuesday, May 19 at 1:00. A powerful teaching tool is on the horizon, and the SAY project is shaping how to use it for farm safety training that sticks. We’re talking about virtual reality. Advances in technology will bring immersive 360-degree experiences out of the laboratory and into the hands of consumers in 2015.  These virtual reality headsets, such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, are initially focused on gaming and entertainment, but also afford a new kind of experiential learning for students in many disciplines. Simulations in 3D can model both good and bad practices in production agriculture, and in particular, things not possible in real life. Through risk-taking in a safe virtual environment, learners can experience for themselves the consequences of unsafe actions. Get a glimpse into the future of immersive learning, and the science and pedagogy that supports it. Find out how you can contribute to bringing farm safety into 3D through the SAY project. If you need assistance, please contact Linda Fetzer at

AgroForestry Workshop

May 20-21. Topeka. This workshop will provide farmers, ranchers, landowners and natural resource professionals the opportunity to learn science-based information regarding the design, function, management, and benefits of a variety of agroforestry practices. Examples include silvopasture, alley cropping, windbreaks, riparian buffers, and forest farming. For more information:  http://www.kansasfarmersunion/events/amazing-grazing-events/   also A workshop brochure is also 
available on line at by clicking on News and Events.

Breeding Peanuts: The Story of a Lowly Groundnut

Wednesday, May 20 at 1:00 pm. Join the National Association of Plant Breeding and the Plant Breeding and Genomics Community of Practice for a webinar on peanut breeding by Barry Tillman of the University of Florida. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, May 20 2015 at 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time). The webinar is free and advanced registration is required. Register now at

Tools for Transitioning to Organic Dairy Webinar

May 19. Online. The New York Organic Dairy Initiative will offer this webinar featuring presenters with the Northeast Organic Farming Association, USDA Farm Services Agency, and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service covering the requirements for organic certification, tools to adjust conventional farming practices to meet those requirements, and the types of federal loans and Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative resources that can help with transition costs. How to develop an Organic System Plan, spreadsheets and other tools for transitioning into organic dairy crops production, and return on investment data will be covered in the webinar session.

Regulations and Best Practices for Small Livestock

May 20th. Lincoln. 5:30pm. All classes will be held Wednesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm at Community Action (210 "O" St. Lincoln, NE).  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, kirstin@communitycrops.orgor call 402.474.9802 Register here,

Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Energy and Climate Change

May 21. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. It is the first in a four-part series exploring the environmental benefits of organic agriculture. This session will present scientific research examining the energy and climate change benefits of organic farming practices. Presenters are Erin Silva and Betsy Rakola.

Field Day: Reduce Tillage - Drilling Soybean into Triticale

Thursday, May 21, 5:00pm – 7:30pm. Abie. UNL Field Day. The field tour will start at 5:00 p.m. at the Stanislav farm two miles north of Abie, Neb. Farmers interested in using a mulch crop to avoid soil crusting and erosion in soybeans should attend. Participants will learn how to use a winter triticale mulch as an alternative to herbicides, followed with a cash crop of drilled soybean. Participants will evaluate 30 UNL experimental lines of early-maturing triticale for weed suppression and plant residue. Triticale was planted the previous fall at two dates a month apart.

The Benefits of Diversity: Another Look at Whole Farm Revenue Protection

May 21. Online. This National Center for Appropriate Technology webinar focuses on how the new Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) crop insurance may improve coverage and lower insurance costs for diverse field-crop farms or farms that are contemplating adding greater diversity to their cropping systems -- or even considering new livestock production.

Targeted Grazing Online Workshops: Monitoring for Success

May 21. Online. This is the final event in a series of online presentations led by experts on the topic of targeted grazing and made possible by the Targeted Grazing Committee of the Society for Range Management. The free, one-hour presentation is by Dr. Marc Horney, California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo.

Micro Manure Management

Friday, May 22 at 1:30 pm. When discussing manure management and land application, we often focus on the big picture – tons, nutrient calculations, odors, and size of storage. This webcast will take a look at the smallest manure managers, microbes and soil mesofauna, and how the work they do can drive our farming systems. Link:


Family adjusts to 'new normal' at Robinette Farms after traumatic accident

MARTELL -- Alex McKiernan walks with his 5-year-old daughter at his side and she asks: "Papa, can I be your cane?" McKiernan, who uses two canes to steady himself, pauses and shifts one to his left hand. Then he puts his right palm gently on Nina's brown-haired head -- she's about as tall as a cane -- and they walk together to the house.

It's a simple, loving gesture, and it epitomizes McKiernan's life since he suffered a spinal cord injury in a traffic accident on Jan 7, 2014. He relies on family, friends and others every day, and he is very grateful for the help. "The support we had from the community allowed me to focus on therapy," he says, sitting at a picnic table on the 113-acre farm near Martell where the family grows chemical-free vegetables. After the accident, friends, neighbors, fellow firefighters, area farmers and strangers signed up through a website to help. They cared for livestock, did the chores, delivered meals, watched Nina and her sisters Roisin and Fiona, 2, and raised "tens of thousands of dollars."

Read the rest about NSAS members Chloe and Alex,


Piglets for Sale

We have 5 dirt raised piglets born Easter morning for sale. There are 3 boys and 2 females left. No shots, antibiotics, medications or hormones of any kind have ever been given to them or their parents. We do not spray chemicals or pesticides on our farm, and we have been feeding them as much fresh green grass as they can shovel in. These are very people friendly, as we play with them several times a day. They are  a Duroc mix. Price is $50 per pig. Pickup is near Lyons. Thanks and happy bacon to you all. Serena Bourne,

Farmer/Apprentice/Intern Wanted

I am looking for a late May - October veg farm helper/intern/apprentice. Will participate in every aspect of planting, raising, harvesting, marketing and delivering fresh, naturally grown veg, herbs and fruit to Lincoln and Omaha restaurants.  24-32 hrs per week. Hrs somewhat flexible. F/T for the right person. I can also make land available at no cost for the employee to grow and sell his/her own stuff.  Please send one-page resume and contact info ggg

For Sale by Owner

Tekamah. (40+/- Acre farm with house & buildings). 
We have decided that we must downsize and are going to sell the farm. Please share with anyone you may know who is 

interested.  Northwest of Tekamah, Nebraska. Includes 5 
bedroom/3.5 bath raised ranch with walk-out basement house, Has two kitchens, oversized shower and whirlpool tub in 
master bath, plus walk-in closet. Property has been farmed organically for over 9 years, includes Morton machine shed, 
Butler livestock building and other small buildings. This farm has been ran to be self sufficient for several years. Farm 
does have underground wiring and a battery shed for solar power, solar panels do not go with farm, but all the 
underground wiring and permanent solar infrastructure stays. 
Call Rebecka Fleischman at 402-687-4149 for more information. 
More pictures available upon request. Schedule your tour today.

Egg Cartons for sale

I have 20 bundles of generic, never used, still in plastic wrapping, recyclable pulp egg cartons available - 120 [dozen] cartons each bundle - at 25 cents per carton.  I have switched packaging and don't need these anymore. 
Dan Hromas, 
Prairie Pride Poultry, 

Looking for Mentorship in Shelton/Grand Island/Kearney Area.

My family and I are returning to Shelton, NE in order to re-establish her family's farm. It is 160 acres but hasn't been used in nearly 30 years. We are going to be establishing a Joel Salatin Polyface Farm type farm. Where we will raise a multi specie critical and threatened heritage breed livestock as determined by the Livestock Conservancy Organization. All livestock will be pastured raised. We are also going to establish seasonal vegetable gardens. Looking for mentorship opportunities in the Shelton/Grand Island/Kearney area that would be willing to help us learn the does and don'ts of pasture based all natural farming. Michael Peña,

2014 Farm Bill - Conservation Compliance Changes | NRCS

The 2014 Farm Bill re-established the applicability of the Highly Erodible Land Conservation and Wetland Conservation provisions to crop insurance subsidies, but the Farm Bill did not change how these were implemented in conservation programs. USDA is seeking comments on an Interim Final Rule, which would make official this change to conservation compliance provisions. Submit comments on

Highly Erodible Land Conservation (HELC) and Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions aim to reduce soil loss on erosion-prone lands and to protect wetlands for the multiple benefits they provide. HELC and WC provisions apply to all land that is considered highly erodible or a wetland, and that is owned or farmed by persons voluntarily participating in USDA programs, unless USDA determines an exemption applies. 
Producers, and any affiliated individuals or entities who participate in most programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Risk Management Agency (RMA) are required to comply with these provisions. Farmers seeking federal crop insurance premium subsidies for the 2016 reinsurance year must comply by June 1 by filing form AD-1026. The 2016 reinsurance year runs from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Farm Family Placement Opportunity

'We are a family of four (with two kids), we are looking for any possibility that can lead us to live in the country (no more than one hour and a half driving from the farm to the city of Lincoln). We are specially looking for a farm/ house with a piece of land that is organic oriented .  Please do not hesitate to contact us for any queries (Cell phone; 402-4059195). Thanks. Troy Van Horn".

OneCert Hiring

Administrative Specialists. This is a full-time position in our Lincoln office. For more details, Sam Welsch, President, OneCert, Inc., 2219 C Street, Lincoln, NE  68502,

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.

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


Advances in Hi- and Lo-Tech Irrigation Systems

May 26. Online. This free, one-hour webinar beginning at 2:00 pm EDT is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. Participants will be provided with a summary of the major irrigation systems including recent advances and their utility. Some recent technological advancements in these systems have been introduced to enhance performance, ease management, and reduce energy use, or meet other specific needs.

Make the "Best of Fresh" with Farm to School

Wednesday, May 27 at 2:00 pm. Presented by Carol Chong, National Nutrition Advisor, Alliance for a Healthier Generation Healthy Schools Program and Christina Conell, Program Analyst USDA. Learning Objectives: Defining local and where to find local foods, Procurement principles and regulations,  Local can span the school meal tray.

Introduction to Agroforestry Systems

May 27. Online. This webinar is presented by the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center. Participants will learn about the five recognized agroforestry practices: Windbreaks, Alleycropping, Silvopasture, Forest Farming and Riparian Forest Buffers. The presenter is Rich Straight, US Forest Service Lead Agroforester, USDA National Agroforestry Center.

Profiles in Small-Scale Processing: Blue Ridge Meats

May 28. Online. This is a free webinar presented by the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network. On this webinar, participants will get a "behind the scenes" peek at Blue Ridge Meats, a small, USDA-inspected slaughter and processing facility in Front Royal, Virginia. Lois Aylestock, VP, will describe how they manage day to day operations, getting and keeping customers, bookkeeping, employee management, and more. She will tell us about systems they've developed, what has worked, and what she wishes she had known before they got started.

Animal Fiber Production Opportunities

May 30. Phillipsburg, Kansas. In this day-long 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.

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