Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods

Farmers Night Out!

June 18th. Lincoln Neighbors Urban Farm, Lincoln. LNUF was formed in 2014 to produce food on underutilized urban space.  We hope to explore this approach to farming from an economic perspective.  We want to learn if sustainable agriculture can be successfully practiced in an urban setting & allow people to secure their livelihood from this model.

Managing Herbicide Resistance- Needs for Concepts that Border Science Fiction

 June 15.  3:30 pm. UNL's East Campus,  Keim Hall Room: 150. Jonathan Gressel is now an emeritus professor at Weizmann Institute of Science. His interests are to see how plant sciences can contribute to world food and fuel securities, with collaborations throughout the developing world. He studied metabolic controls, especially by anti-metabolites and pesticides, and the evolution of resistance. He conceived and helped develop a system to control parasitic Striga (witchweed) using herbicide-treated crop seeds, which is commercialized throughout Africa. 

Multiple Benefits from Wetlands, Prairies and Cover Crops

June 15. Winterset, Iowa. Frederick Martens will share his experience with cover crops and grid-sampling for variable-rate planting and fertilizer application. He will also lead a tour of his nitrate removal wetland and adjacent prairie currently being established. Anna MacDonald will discuss efforts to improve water quality in the Badger Creek Lake watershed. Matt Helmers of Iowa State University will talk about the role of conservation practices in reducing nitrate losses. Jessie Lowry, with the Blank Park Zoo, will speak about the zoo's Plant.Grow.Fly. initiative to increase the amount of pollinator habitat.

Social Media & Email Marketing Tips to Increase Farm Market Sales

In this webinar, Pam Knights, branding strategist and marketing communications specialist, talks about how to step up your game in social media and email outreach to more effectively promote direct sales at your farmstand and/or farmers markets. The five points she will address are: Consistent branding of your communications tools, to focus on Facebook and email marketing, as well as online forums; the development of a posting strategy, implemented consistently across all platforms; the importance of using photography to illustrate your messaging; ways to build community through social media; and ideas and resources for sources of information to round out your farm related posts. 

Pumps and Waste Transfer and Evaluating System Pressures

June 16. 1pm. Participate to understand the principles of evaluating and sizing pumps for animal waste application. Participate in this training to learn how to determine pump output requirements, assess pump and driver efficiencies, input horsepower requirements, and understand energy use. You will learn about appropriate pump types for different applications. Understand and learn to assess pump performance requirements using two examples - irrigation and animal waste.

Environmental Benefits of Organic Agriculture: Biodiversity

June 17. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. It is the second in a four-part series exploring the environmental benefits of organic agriculture. This session will present scientific research examining the biodiversity benefits of organic farming practices in temperate and tropical farm systems. The presenters are John Quinn and Betsy Rakola.

Humane Handling at the Processing Plant

June 17. Online. This Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar is presented in collaboration with Animal Welfare Approved. Learn about humane handling practices at the processing plant. Presenters will discuss steps producers and processors can take to ensure humane treatment and how animal handling impacts meat quality. Humane handling experts Anna Bassett and Tim Holmes will speak about the research that backs AWA's technical info and slaughter standards as well as their Animal Welfare Officer and Poultry Welfare Officer courses. All NMPAN webinars are free and open to the public. The one-hour webinar begins at 10 am PDT. 

How to Pay for it: Grant, Loan and Cost Share Options for Farms

June 17. Online. Join ASAP, along with the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), North Carolina Cooperative Extension, and Farm Service Agency (FSA) for the second in a series of online workshops designed to help you manage risk for your farm. This workshop will offer an overview of options for accessing capital. Hear about services and resources available through your local FSA chapter, what records you need to be eligible for loans, and how to stay connected with grant or cost share opportunities for farms in the region. 

Midwest Farm Energy Conference

June 17-19. Morris, Minnesota. The conference will be held at the University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center. The event will address energy-optimized systems for dairy production and energy conservation and generation in swine facilities. It will provide practical information for agricultural producers, as well as an opportunity to network with energy experts and professionals. Renewable energy bus tours are also offered.

“Bring Back the Pollinators”

Thursday, June 18. 7pm. Jennifer Hopwood of The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation will discuss the importance of insect pollinators, introduce the insects that provide pollination services in Nebraska, the native plants they rely on, and present straightforward actions that each and every one of us can take to protect and provide habitat for pollinators. Jennifer Hopwood is a Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. She is based in Nebraska, and provides resources and training for pollinator and beneficial insect habitat management, creation, and restoration to agricultural professionals and land managers across the Great Plains and Midwest. Jennifer is an author of a number of publications and articles, and is a co-author of the book Farming with Native Beneficial Insects. Jennifer has degrees in ecology and entomology from the University of Kansas, and is a Visiting Scholar with Michigan State University’s Kellogg Biological Station.Cost of the lecture is $10 for members and $14 for non-members. Space is limited. Please call (402) 346-4002, ext. 201 or email to register and make payment by June 16.

Creative Financing for Food

June 18. Online. This National Good Food Network webinar is free, and takes place 1:30 - 2:45 pm MDT. Whether you run a farm, food hub, processing facility, retail store, co-op or shared kitchen this webinar will introduce you to new and creative sources of capital.

Horse Manure Composting: Specific Steps to Start or Improve the Process

Friday, June 19 at 1:30 pm CDT. Horses can be significant contributors to water quality impairment with the 50 pounds of manure they produce every day. Horse manure composting is one way to reduce this impairment. This webcast will discuss various aspects of composting horse manure. Bedding options and how they impact the composting process as well as basic design considerations in large and small operations will be discussed.

Composting Demonstration - Lincoln, NE

June 20. 10:00 am.  Pioneers Park Nature Center’s backyard composting demonstration area.  Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County,


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".

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,

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.

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.

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


Conservation, Soil Health and On-Farm Energy

June 22. Emerson, Iowa. Learn about the numerous conservation measures McGrew Brothers Farm has implemented in southwest Iowa, ranging from diverse cover crops to nutrient management. Attendees will also get to view a soil pit and discuss soil health issues. Steve McGrew will talk about the wind turbine they installed three years ago as a source of on-farm energy production.

NRCS and Wildlife Habitat in Urban Environments: Linking Farm, School, and Community Agriculture

June 23. Online. In this webinar, join Nancy Adamson to learn how NRCS staff and partners are working in urban areas to conserve and create wildlife habitat, while at the same time protecting watersheds and supporting agricultural production. The one-hour webinar begins at 2:00 pm Eastern.

Practical Talk on Pasture and Row Crop Farming

June 24. Coon Rapids, Iowa. Whiterock Conservancy staff will lead a conversation on past and present grazing systems. For several decades, the pasture program had been based around rotational grazing, but last summer introduced high-density grazing. Whiterock staff will outline future plans to expand this grazing program. The conservancy also has an active row-crop program and, in recent years, has partnered with the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) on a microwatershed study looking at how planting perennials in waterways can improve water quality runoff – both tile and surface flow – in a no-till, contour farming corn-soybean rotation. ISA staff will discuss their findings, and Whiterock staff will outline their experiences with how to add prairie strips to a farm program. A representative from ISU's Science-Based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairie Strips (STRIPS) project will also be present to discuss the long-running project and its findings.

How to Implement Rotational Grazing in Equine Facilities

June 24. Online. This one-hour webinar is presented by the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center. Participants will learn about equine behavior and how management needs to be adjusted to have successful pastures on limited acres. The discussion will focus on pasture management and heavy use areas (sacrifice areas) and why they are important for a successful pasture. Conservation planners and others will learn how they can help horse owners develop and implement conservation practices on these acres.

Sell What You Grow: Diversifying Your Market Opportunities

June 24. Online. Join ASAP, along with the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), North Carolina Cooperative Extension, and Farm Service Agency (FSA) for a series of online workshops designed to help you manage risk for your farm. Join this webinar to learn more about the pros and cons of selling to a variety of local markets and how to determine if they are a good match for your operation. Find out more about strategies and tools for connecting with buyers and promoting your products.

Marlowe Family Farms, Farmers Night Out!

June 25th. Marlowe Family Farms. On Thursday June 25 2015 starting around 6 pm we will be hosting a Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society "Farmer's Night Out" here on the farm. Farmers, ranchers and consumers are all welcome.

W.O.W. – Wings on Wildflowers

Saturday, June 27th. 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Plainview. Topics of the day: Native wildflowers & their importance to pollinators, Understanding the need for plant diversity in the environment,  Hand-harvesting native, wildflowers & tips on starting a plot. $40/person includes transportation, lunch, knowledgeable speakers & free stuff! Register by June 18th to: 402-582-4866 or

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