Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Healthy Farms Conference Breakout Sessions VII

A.  Leveraging labels to market your product: An overview of the labeling landscape and an in depth look at AWA Certification  

How do you let consumers know that your farm really has the well-treated animals raised outdoors on pasture or range that they see on supermarket labels and want for their families? Today’s producers face a bewildering range of terms and claims used to promote and label food. Animal Welfare Approved audits and certifies family farms that utilize high-welfare methods of farming, outdoors on pasture or range. Certified farms use the AWA label as a way to add value and to assure customers of high-welfare farming practices. Hear from Alexandra Frantz, Central Region Farmer and Market Outreach Coordinator, about what the most commonly used labels mean (and don’t mean) and how certification and effective labeling can help your products stand out in the marketplace.

Alexandra Frantz; As the Central Region Farmer and Market Outreach Coordinator for AWA, Alexandra works to expand the market for Certified AWA products by promoting Certified AWA farmers and developing relationships with retailers, restaurants, farmers markets, and consumers. In addition to attending and speaking at events and conferences across the Midwest, Alexandra provides a broad range of marketing support—from traditional press releases to social media features—for Certified AWA farmers, and identifies and recruits pasture-based farmers interested in AWA Certification.

B. Training for Beginning Farmer in Nebraska; The Farm Beginnings Nebraska Story!
The Farm Beginnings® Program works to get more successful farmers on the land and organize for a system in which family farmers can flourish. Family farmers are a force for change. They are caring for the land, strengthening rural communities, running viable farm businesses, and producing food and fiber for their communities. Farm Beginnings provides a wide range of trainings, including Farm Dreams, Farm Beginnings and the Journeyperson Course. We are working to improve land access for family farmers through organizing to reform key policies. We facilitate a vibrant network of farmers who lead field days, skill shares, and lots of support to each other. We have developed a Farm Transition Toolkit and a clearinghouse that connects land owners and land seekers. The 2016 Farm Beginnings® Nebraska Classes are being held in  Weeping Water, NE at the Cass County Extension Office.

In this session we will discuss the Farm Beginnings Nebraska program and hear from several graduates

Gary Lesoing; has served as Nebraska's SARE State Coordinator since 2008. Lesoing has been involved in research and extension in sustainable agriculture since 1980. He conducted research in organic and diversified cropping systems at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agriculture Research and Development Center. In 1998 Lesoing became a Regional Agronomy Specialist for the University of Missouri-Columbia in the West Central Region of Missouri and continued working in sustainable agriculture. In 2004 he moved back to his home state of Nebraska and became an Extension Educator in Nemaha County with a focus on crop production, sustainable agriculture and beginning farmer training. Lesoing holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology (1975) from Peru State College in Nebraska and a Master of Science Degree in Animal Science (1977) and a PhD. in Agronomy (1992) from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Gary and his wife Evey have two adult daughters and two grandchildren. Gary is an NSAS member, and has served on the Board of Directors for NSAS.

C.  Introduction to High Density Planting of Tree Fruits 

The latest trend in fruit tree production is high density planting using dwarf trees with increased plant population. Planting 1000 trees or more per acre rather than 180 trees per acre as done in traditional planting schemes.  Learn about the pros and cons as well some of the different types of high density planting methods and how this might fit into your production and marketing plans.

Vaughn Hammond; is currently the Team Leader and Mentor at Union Orchard located near Nebraska City.  His career has focused around local foods and sustainable, alternative agriculture and the entrepreneurship related to small farming.  His education includes a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture and a Masters of Science in Entomology.  His previous experience includes working for the University of Nebraska as a research technologist and Extension Educator and Agriculture Advisor in Afghanistan working with fruit, vegetable and honey producers in the Paktya Provence. Vaughn is a longtime NSAS member.

Click below for details and to register!

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