Monday, October 12, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Industrial Hemp Production in the U.S.: Overview, Update, & Legal Issues

Monday, October 12 at 11:00 pm CDT. Sponsored by the Agricultural and Food Law Consortium. In recent years, interest in the production of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity has increased at both the federal and state levels. The Agricultural Act of 2015, commonly referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill, modified longstanding U.S. policy regarding hemp production by allowing certain institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture to grow industrial hemp so long as the laws of the applicable state allow such production. In addition, hemp production has enjoyed a certain level of protection via language including the annual appropriations process. This webinar will provide an update on the latest developments and legal issues in this arena, including a review of states’ legislation regarding industrial hemp production.

Sweet Potato Harvest Party!!!

October 12. 3130 N. 112th St. We at the Crops Prairie Pines Training Farm are getting ready to harvest what we're sure will be a great crop of delicious sweet potatoes....and we'd love your help!!! For two straight days we'll be digging these radical roots out at our farm. This is the perfect opportunity for CSA members, gardeners or anyone to come see the farm, lend a hand and learn about harvesting sweet potatoes! We'll provide the tools, some snacks and some some jazzy tunes. Just bring yourself, a water bottle and a pair of gloves (if you're so inclined). We'll even send you home with a few pounds of sweet potatoes in thanks for all your hard work! 

Showcasing Restricted Data Relevant to Food for Health

October 13.  11:30 am–12:30 pm. UNL's City Campus, Whittier Building. Contact, A representative from the Center for Palins Research Data Center (CRDC) will showcase how to use particular restricted datasets. Hosted by SBSRC.

The Impact of Climate Change on Nebraska’s Forests

October 13. 7:00 pm. UNL's East Campus. Dr. Linda Joyce, climate scientist for the United States Forest Service, will talk about the impact of climate change on ecosystems, plants and animals, as well as the socio-economic implications of those effects. Joyce said the goal is to be proactive, “to identify management, research, education and policy actions that can be implemented now and in coming years to enhance resilience and minimize damage from climate change.” John Erixson, 402-472-6601, Hosted by the Nebraska Forest Service, the event is free but participants are encouraged to sign up at

Entomology Seminar on Dipteran pests of beef cattle

October 13. 4:00 pm–5:00 pm.  Nebraska East Campus Union. Contact,  Jeri Cunningham,

Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Webinar Series

October 14, 6pm – 8pm. This webinar series is designed to provide information to growers on how to keep produce safe from production to the market.  For more information contact University of Illinois Extension, at 815/933-8337.

SNR Fall Research Seminar

Using a Water Budget Analysis to understand surface water and groundwater interaction. October 14.  3:30 pm. UNL's Hardin Hall. Duane Woodward, district hydrologist at the Central Platte NRD, presents this free and public seminar. Duane Woodward has been the district hydrologist at the Central Platte Natural Resources District (NRD) since 1992. He has worked with the Platte River Cooperative Hydrology Study (COHYST) and other groundwater databases and regional groundwater models for the Platte River Area above Columbus, Nebraska. He is also involved with the Conjunctive Management Study, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and Water Action Plan.

Figuring Out Facebook Pages

Wednesday, October 14 at 11:00 am CDT. My goodness! A lot has changed since Facebook first offered free pages for business and organizations. Learn how to optimize and get the most out of your Facebook page. For more information: register:


October 15. 4:30 pm–6:00 pm.  Maxwell Arboretum. Lincoln. Emily Levine, Enjoy a free afternoon celebrating the benefits of trees at the Friends of Maxwell Arboretum’s fall festival. This year’s theme, “A Tree-mendous Celebration,” honors the benefits of trees. Events include children’s activities, a scavenger hunt and self-guided tour, a free plant from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, a tree planting, and visits from Archie the Mammoth and Smokey Bear. Free UNL Dairy Store ice cream, Kimmel Orchard apples, and Department of Agronomy and Horticulture popcorn will be provided. Opportunities to talk with tree and insect experts and other plant specialists will round out this event in the beautiful arboretum.

SBS Seminar: Karrie Weber, UNL-Biological Sciences

October 15. 3:30 pm–4:30 pm. UNL's Hamilton Hall. School of Biological Sciences, "Life beneath our feet and the influence on water quality and nutrient availability” The School of Biological Sciences Seminar is a weekly series presented by invited speakers and UNL faculty to showcase current research advances in biological sciences.

Composting Demonstration

October 17. 10:00 am.  Pioneers Park Nature Center’s backyard composting demonstration area.  Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, Learn how to be successful with composting by attending a composting demonstration sponsored by Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County and the City of Lincoln Recycling Office. Sessions are presented by Extension Master Gardeners. At each composting program, two lucky participants will win either a composting thermometer or a composting bin.


USDA Organic Survey Results

The USDA's 2014 Organic Survey identified 12,634 certified organic farms, up 15.9 percent since 2008 when a similar survey was conducted. Sales in 2014 totaled $5.5 billion, up 72 percent since 2008. Of those sales, 60 percent were crops--lettuce, apples, and grapes were the top-selling organic crop commodities--28 percent came from livestock and poultry product sales (primarily milk and eggs), and 12 percent came from sales of organic livestock and poultry. Read the rest here!


Trailer for Sale

I have a 2011 12' x 6' Dura-line Bumper Stock [livestock] Trailer for sale, like new, I can provide pictures upon request and am willing to deliver. Dan Hromas, Grand Island, 

Solar Fencer for Sale

Survey seeks opinions of women livestock farmers

USDA Small Business Innovation Research grant to study the tool- and equipment-related needs of women livestock farmers. To assist Green Heron in designing better tools and equipment, women who raise or care for livestock of any kind are invited to complete a brief survey.   The survey will be open through September, and respondents who complete it will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Green Heron Tools gift certificate. Begun by two small-scale farmers with backgrounds in nursing and public health, Green Heron is the first company in the world to focus on scientifically designing agricultural tools and equipment that work well for women. For more information please visit Complete the survey at

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".

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,

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


FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Public Meeting

October 20. Chicago, Illinois. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will sponsor a public meeting on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Final Rules to Establish Requirements for Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food. The meeting will provide interested persons an opportunity to discuss the final rules for current good manufacturing practice, hazard analysis, and risk-based preventive controls for human and animal food (the preventive controls final rules). FDA will also respond to questions and discuss the next phase of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) implementation with respect to human and animal food preventive controls requirements.

Converting hybrid poplar to biofuels: feedstock properties and conversion techniques

Wednesday, October 21 at 1:30 pm CDT. Location: Rick Gustafson, Renata Bura, and Fernando Resende, University of Washington. Hosted by: Advanced Hardwood Biofuels Northwest (AHB)


October 21. Online. This Agroforestry in Action webinar will provide an introduction to silvopasture systems being incorporated into regional farms. The speaker, Joseph Orefice Ph.D., of Paul Smith's College, has spent the past four years researching the topic in the Northeast United States. He will draw upon his research that documented silvopasture practices on farms in the Northeast. Details here!

Organic Livestock Inputs

October 22. Online. This webinar training session is part of an educational livestock health series offered by Veterinary Extension at The Ohio State University and OEFFA. It is presented by the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) and the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). Participants will learn about commonly used organic inputs, what organic inspectors look for during an inspection, and how OMRI evaluates livestock inputs. The course will include pre-course assignments; in-class discussion, examples, and exercises; and a post-course evaluation. This webinar is usually valued at $350, but will be available free to a limited number of veterinarians and livestock professionals who pre-qualify for OEFFA scholarships.

Mother Earth News Fair

October 24-25. Topeka, Kansas. Mother Earth News Fairs feature more than 150 workshops from the leading authorities on organic gardening, food preservation, homesteading and livestock, green building, and natural health, as well as inspiring keynote speakers, demonstrations, and regional and national exhibitors that feature sustainable products and services.

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