Monday, October 26, 2015

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Celebrating the Fabric of Local Foods!

November 1st! Hello NSAS Friends!! The time is getting close!!  The 3rd Producers Choice Chef Award Fundraising Dinner is November 1st!  Doors open at 4:30pm and first course is at 5pm! Tickets are $75 each and are available at We have 5 great chefs from Lincoln, Waverly and Omaha who have collaborated on a meal and will be putting on a bit of a show.  Matt Roush from Bread & Cup, Brandon Harpster from Single Barrel, Renee Cornett from Prairie Plate, Darrell Auld from Twisted Cork Bistro and Jessica & Paul Urban from Block 16 will be there to show off their stuff! This year NSAS is also collaborating with No More Empty Pots, who has invited guest speaker Robert Eggers to speak about solving inter-generational hunger. 


See you there! Eat well, be well, Krista

National Organic Standards Board Meeting

October 26-29. Stowe, Vermont. The board meeting provides a public forum for the organic community to weigh in on issues concerning organic production and processing. During the meeting, the board will address several petitions pertaining to changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances, including substances due to sunset in 2017 and 2018. While the meeting is open to the public, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) invites those interested in speaking at the meeting to register.

Entomology Seminar on RNAi for urban pest control

 October 27. 4:00 pm–5:00 pm. Nebraska East Union. Contact,  Jeri Cunningham,“RNAi for urban pest control: Recent progress and future challenges” presented by Sanjay Basnet, a graduate student in the Department of Entomology.

Webinar: Use of Solid-Liquid Separation Alternatives for Manure Handling and Treatment

October 27, 1pm – 2pm.  Livestock production has become more complex. As operations have expanded and concentrated in various parts of the country, more issues and concerns have to be addressed. Animal manures that were once considered a waste are now viewed as a valuable resource. Balancing manure production, land application, and crop nutrient requirements adds to the complexity of livestock operations. One possible way of addressing this is by applying solid-liquid separation technologies. Several separation technologies and approaches exist. A livestock producer must evaluate their operation to determine which separation technology will perform most effectively. This presentation will outline several solid-liquid separation technologies for manure handling and treatment, and selection guidance will be provided.

Farmers and Ranchers: Reach a New Market with Sales to Schools

Tuesday, October 27.  2-3pm. Description: This webinar, designed for Nebraska food producers, will discuss key points for farmers and ranchers to consider when you work with schools as a market opportunity. Walk in a food service director’s shoes with Donna Handley, School Lunch Program Specialist with the Nebraska Department of Ed. What requirements and needs do school food service staff face when serving school meals? Sarah Browning of University of Nebraska Extension will discuss the farm food safety procedures farmers and ranchers should consider, as well as helpful training resources that are available to address farm food safety topics. Finally, from experienced farmer Ryan Pekarek, how and when do you approach schools, and how do you go about planning your growing season? This webinar will introduce food producers to the opportunities available when selling to schools, as well as considerations to take when planning for success.

Warm Season Native Grasses for Restoration

October 28. Online. This webinar is presented by the NRCS East National Technology Support Center. Participants will be introduced to how, when and why one might use native warm season grasses. Presenter Ramona Garner, Ph.D., Plant Materials Specialist with the East National Technology Support Center of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss techniques that may provide the user with a more productive and beneficial native-grass planting.

Webinar: The Power of Automation: Using Systems to Slash Food Waste

October 28, 12pm – 1pm. This webinar will explore the power of automated food waste tracking systems as a long-term, sustainable solution for food waste management. Attendees will explore how automated systems save time and money, raise staff awareness, and keep food waste minimization a central focus of your daily operations.What you will learn: •  How real-time data and intervention inspires actions to reduce waste •  The behavioral impact of displaying the value of food waste •  Results from real organizations that switched from paper to automated systems

Paving the Way for an Organic Planet: Growing with Healthy Soil Biology

October 29-30. Denver, Colorado. This Rodale Institute course is hosted in Colorado by Chipotle Mexican Grill. The goals of this workshop are as follows: 1. Provide participants with the knowledge about why soil health is important. 2. Describe how soil biota produce healthy soil. 3. Define the roles of management practices and their impacts on soil health. 4. Define a set of measurement matrices for healthy soil. 5. Provide tools for monitoring and assessing soil health against the matrix. This class is conducted by Rodale Institute's Chief Scientist Dr. Kris Nichols and Farm Director Jeff Moyer. It is recommended for farmers, gardeners, landscape professionals, and environmental-education professionals. A few scholarships are available for small farmers who would like to attend this class.

Webinar: Farm to School at USDA: Looking Back and Looking Forward

October 29, 1pm – 2pm.  Join Deborah Kane, Director of FNS’s Office of Community Food Systems, for a review of the USDA Farm to School Program’s accomplishments and discussion of what what lies ahead as the Farm to School Program settles into its new home in the Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems. Topics will include a review of new farm to school resources, preliminary results and plans for the second USDA Farm to School Census, and new areas of emphasis, including farm to summer and farm to preschool. No registration required. To join, visit 

Agronomy & Horticulture Seminar – Rhae Drijber

October 30.  3:30 pm–4:30 pm. UNL's East Campus, Keim Hall Room: 150. Rhae Drijber, professor, Soil Microbial Ecology, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture, will talk about why arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important to plant nutrient acquisition under low input agriculture or from soils of low fertility. Most of our major agronomic crops have well-developed symbioses with AMF, particularly wheat, maize and soybean, that have adapted to modern breeding and agriculture management practices with varying impacts on AMF diversity and function. This seminar will highlight the research on AMF in maize cropping systems, particularly P uptake under high yielding conditions and the impact of N fertilization on AMF biomass and diversity.  Join us in person or online at:

Webinar: : Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, Know Your Cooperative

October 30, 9:00am – 10:30am. This session, hosted by Rural Development’s Jim Barham and fellow co-op specialists, will address the growing intersection between local food systems and cooperatives. Cooperative leaders from across the local food supply chain will discuss the advantages of the cooperative business model, how they are engaged in building robust local food systems, and supply-side, distribution, market-side and consumer issues. These co-op leaders include: Online and Audio: (866) 525-2577, Conference ID 50573752. 

Long-term soil productivity and sustainability of forest harvest residue harvesting

Friday, October 30 at 12:00 pm CDT. Presenters: Jeff Hatten, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University; Scott Holub, Silviculture Research Scientist, Weyerhaeuser NR Company. Forest harvesting intrinsically removes organic matter and associated nutrients; these exports may impact soil productivity of managed forests. We will examine the effects of removing forest floor and harvest residues on soils and sustainable production in intensively managed Douglas-fir forests of the Pacific Northwest. We will discuss the amount and types of biomass being removed and how biomass harvesting impacts various nutrients (e.g. nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium). Nutrient removals may impact long-term production or growth in these forests, and we will use simple thresholds and nutrient budgets to examine this trend. Finally, we will discuss the limitations of this approach and opportunities for further research. Webinar attendees will come away with an understanding of the issues surrounding long-term sustainability in forest residue harvesting scenarios and the limitations of our knowledge on these issues.


Feeder Pigs

We have another set of feeder pigs coming up ready for adoption to a new farm-home.  We have 20 piggies in the 25-30 lb range.   All are pasture raised and were weaned at 7-8 weeks.  They are being trained to hot wire. 
Ben Godfrey, 

Billy Available

Hey everybody, we have tried to sell our male Saanen goat born in February. They must be the weed of barnyard animals because no one seems to want him. I am hoping someone would want him for free. If you or anyone you know wants him, please contact me asap at 402-380-7233 to arrange a pickup. Thank you, Serena Bourne

Farming Opportunity

I have an opportunity to rent some ground just east of Beatrice but I need to farm it Organically. I live too far away and don't have the time right now to rotary hoe and/or cultivate in a timely fashion. Is there anyone that lives in the area that has experience (and preferably equipment) and would be interested in doing some custom farming? Thank you, Jon Yoachim, 402-309-4088

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, 

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


Turkey care and management

Monday, November 2nd. As you are thinking about Thanksgiving, have you thought about raising your own turkeys, or perhaps raising turkeys for sale? Dr. David Frame from Utah State University will be discussing the care and management of turkey flocks. 

Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

November 3-4. Minneapolis, Minnesota. The 2015 Green Lands Blue Waters conference, "Bridges and Buffers, Farms and Cities: Continuous Living Cover Farming Systems," brings solution-oriented approaches to some of the hot topics in Midwest agriculture today. The new Minnesota law requiring buffers of perennial vegetation along waterways, the lawsuit by the Des Moines Water Works against three counties upstream; state Nutrient Reduction Strategies; and the Mississippi River Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force brought national attention to agricultural water issues. The declining pollinator insects and a rising interest in soil health are also gaining attention on the farm and for policy-makers and the general public.

Revisiting Organic Agriculture -- Pest Management Webinar

November 3. Online. This webinar is part of a monthly series being offered by the American Society of Agronomy.

Making and Using Compost Teas

November 4. Online. Join eOrganic for a free webinar on making and using compost tea, by Lynne Carpenter-Boggs and CeCe Crosby of Washington State University. This webinar is aimed at a general audience, gardeners, farmers, and ag professionals. Viewers will learn how to make consistent and safe compost teas for gardening and agricultural use. Presenters will discuss how compost teas are viewed and regulated by the National Organic Program and Environmental Protection Agency. Viewers will leave with an improved understanding of compost teas and how they can be beneficially used.

Legal Issues in Animal Agriculture: Understanding the Recent Idaho Ag Gag Law Ruling

Thursday, November 5 at 12:00 pm CST. Location: A recent federal court ruling in Idaho has brought the debate over so-called “ag gag” laws to a head in many areas of the country. But what does it mean for attorneys, agricultural service professionals, educators and producers? 

Dairy Sheep Association of North America Symposium

November 5-7. Madison, Wisconsin. This 21st annual program brings together dairy sheep producers, artisanal cheese makers, and industry affiliates from throughout North America. The agenda includes presentations, a trade show, cheese tasting, and networking opportunities.

The Importance of Animal Handling for Dairy Cattle

Thursday, November 5 at 12:00 pm CST. Dr. Kathryn Proudfoot, Thee Ohio State University. In this webinar, Dr. Proudfoot will discuss why using appropriate animal handling practices is so important for dairies! She will touch on cow memory and how that can influence fear responses to handlers.

The Livestock Conservancy National Conference

November 5-7. Santa Rosa, California. The conference theme is "The Age of Flavor." Explore forgotten uses and flavors that will bring value added income to farms. Learn about utilizing products and services from animals at various ages including older and younger animals. Clinics and workshops will cover poultry selection and processing, carcass fabrication and cooking, sheep husbandry and selection, goat selection, rabbit keeping, marketing, and more.

Women, Food & Ag Network Annual Conference

November 6-7. Davenport, Iowa. The conference theme is "Women Protecting Pollinators, Protecting Food." The keynote speaker will be Dr. Robin Kimmerer. Other sessions will focus on creating and protecting habitat for native pollinators, as well as building robust local food systems in our communities and supporting women farmers and landowners. Field tours will visit the nearby Quad Cities Food Hub, Quad City Food Forest and Edible Landscape projects, and women-owned farms in Illinois and Iowa. Workshops will feature in-depth information on pollinator habitat creation, farmland access, pesticide drift, beginning farmer resources, eco-feminist activism, and more.

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