Monday, February 15, 2016

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Getting started with native bees for pollination

Native bees can be harnessed for pollination services on the farm and in the garden. Because these bees do not make honey, they do not swarm, most of them rarely sting, and do not require heavy lifting from the beekeeper. This webinar explores the possibilities and techniques for keeping solitary cavity-nesting bees, such as leafcutter bees and mason bees.

Effectively Engaging Producers in Conservation Conversations

February 16. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service - Science and Technology National Technology Support Centers. Participate to learn what social scientists are discovering about how farmers are thinking about conservation practices and practical strategies for engaging them. Emphasis of this webinar will include findings on farmer uncertainty about conservation practices, farmer identities as feedback loops to adaptation, using social norms to leverage practices that address off field/off farm nutrient losses at the watershed level, and how the language of conservation can influence social learning and behavior change. The presenter is Dr. Lois Wright Morton of Iowa State University.

Pricing Your Products

February 16th. Women in Ag Learning Network Direct Marketing Webinar Series. Is it time for a pricing reboot? Do you know whether your prices are making you money or sending you to the poorhouse? When is it okay to sell something below cost? When do you make the tough decision to stop producing something? In this webinar, UVM Extension's Mary Peabody will guide you through a refresher on the things you need to know to set smart prices. Yes, you probably learned this once or twice, but when is that last time you spent some time really thinking through your pricing strategies?

A Novel Nutritional Approach to Rearing Organic Pastured Broiler Chickens, Part 2

February 16. Online. Join eOrganic for a webinar on pastured poultry by Michael Lilburn and Larry Phelan of the Ohio State University at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. This webinar will include updated findings from the NIFA OREI project "A whole farm approach incorporating pasture raised organic poultry and a novel cereal grain (Naked Oats) into an organic rotation." It includes results from experiments in which pastured organic broilers have been fed diets containing 75% naked oats.

DIY Farm Taxes

Join Community Crops and Yola Bailey from Fox Run Farms on Tuesday, February 16th at 5:30 PM for a do-it-yourself workshop on farm taxes. Yola has been preparing her own farm taxes for the last 5 years. She will lead the class through examples using the Schedule F and help answer questions around farm depreciation, profit and loss, self-employment taxes and more! Even if you don't prepare your own taxes, this class will help you understand what expenses you should be tracking throughout the year for tax deductions and help you estimate how your farming activities will affect your tax liability.

From Ents to Groot: Can trees talk?

SCIPOP TALKS! February 17th. 7pm. UNL's City Campus. Love Library Room: Adele Hall Learning Commons. Whether it is the Ents in the Lord of the Rings or Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, the notion that trees can talk is a curious idea. But can trees do that in real life? What language do they use? How do they communicate? Come hear what Ramesh Laungani has to say about it at this SciPop Talk!

Farming Evolution 2016

February 17-18. Holyoke, Colorado. If you have questions about no-till or the recent changes in farming practices, plan to attend the 2016 Farming Evolution. The keynote speaker, Dr. Jill Clapperton, is a well-known lecturer and advocate for soil health, and no-till producers will be on hand to share their experiences. The Haxtun, Sedgwick, West Greeley, and Yuma County Conservation Districts, the Upper Republican Natural Resource District, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service are sponsoring this event.

Innovations in Nutrient Management

Wednesday, February 17 at 2:00 pm CST. Presented by the North Central Region Water Network: Jeffrey Jacquet, Sociology and Rural Studies, South Dakota State University, The Pathways for Information Transfer Among Manure Nutrient Management Professionals, Mary Wicks, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University, Evolution of the Manure Expo for Manure Nutrient Management EducationInnovative Approaches to Manure Management.

NGFN Webinar: Group GAP

February 18. This National Good Food Network webinar is on Group GAP, in which a food hub, support organization, or central business entity collaborates with producers to establish site-specific best practices for complying with a food safety standard. In this free, one-hour webinar, hear the experience of a few of the trailblazers--groups who have already received GroupGAP certification.

Emerging Local Grains

February 18. Online. This session is presented by Bill Davison, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator.

Small Ruminant Webinar: Mineral and vitamin nutrition

February 18. The third installment in the University of Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program's winter webinar series is by Dr. Dan Morrical, Iowa State University. Pre-registration is not required for these weekly, evening webinars, but participation is limited to the first 100 people who log on.

Cover Crops for Ag Professionals Webinar Series

February 4, 11, and 18. This free, three-part webinar series from the American Society of Agronomy is sponsored by North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), with additional support provided by Practical Farmers of Iowa. Cover crops In the Midwest Corn Belt may be used to accomplish several goals, including erosion control, limiting nutrient movement off-site, enhancing nutrient cycling, and breaking pest cycles, among others. Precipitation amounts, temperature and growing degree days, and soils differ greatly throughout the 12 state region. In this series, researchers, CCAs, and producers will present principles and applications of how cover crops have been incorporated into some agricultural management systems across the Midwest. ​

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in Agriculture: State of the Art

February 19th. Ignacio Ciampitti, assistant professor, Crop Production & Cropping Systems Specialist, Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, will present “Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in Agriculture: State of the Art.” Global food security must address the dual challenges of closing yield gaps while improving environmental sustainability. The use of new technologies, such as uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), can play a critical role in addressing challenges. Join us in person or online at

Growing Vegetables and Fruit without Irrigation

February 19. Online. Join eOrganic for a free webinar about dry farming at 3 p.m. Central. This session will cover site selection, dry farming tools and techniques for orchard and row crops, soil hydrological principles, and the power of seed-saving in dry farmed systems. Learn about the OSU Small Farms Dry Farming Demonstration and Participatory Research Project led by Amy Garrett (OSU Small Farms Instructor). Jacques Neukom (Neukom Family Farm), known for his dry-farmed peaches and melons in Northern California, will share his experience producing a variety of crops using dry farming techniques all season long in a climate with long, dry, hot summers. Steve Peters (Seed Revolution Now & Organic Seed Alliance) will tell the story of the 'Dark Star' Zucchini developed with Dr. John Navazio and Bill Reynolds for dry-farmed systems and how seed-saving can be a powerful tool for dry farmers.


GM Position at Open Harvest 

Open Harvest Co-op Grocery has been serving Lincoln, NE as a leader in the organic and natural foods market for 40 years. We are seeking a General Manager to steer us through the increasingly competitive market and lead the success and continued growth of our store. We are looking for a candidate that embraces Cooperative Principles, is passionate about local food and economies, and has a strong work ethic and personal integrity. If you have questions, please email Brande Payne, Board Chair at Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Summer Garden Educators

Big Garden in Omaha is hiring. WE ARE HIRING for our 2016 Summer Garden Educators. Know 19+ young adults looking for a full-time summer job gardening & working with youth? Contact Cait at for more information.

Registered Milking Devons

I have two registered milking Devons, 1 six year old bred cow who had been milked before and one bred heifer. The cow is a1/a2 and the heifer has not been tested but has a 25% chance of being a2/a2. Both bred to a low birthweight belted Galloway bull. Makes some good beef calves. Their are only 1500 or so in the U.S. And they don't really fit my herd. I would like them to go to someone who would use them for what they were bred for. I am asking $1500 a piece. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks, Eric Lanik, Johnson Hill Farm, 402-480-2485


Nebraska Agri/Eco-Tourism

February 22-24. Grand Island. This three-day event will provide community leaders, landowners, farmers and ranchers, entrepreneurs, small business owners and service providers with information on how to establish, finance, market and grow businesses based on agri/eco-tourism and small business partnerships. Participants will come away with fresh marketing ideas, greater financial opportunity and numerous new contacts.

Integrating Beef Cattle into a Vegetable Farm

February 23. Online. NOFA Massachusetts presents this free, online educational opportunity. Learn tips for managing rotational grazing and balancing the needs of a healthy heard with the demands of a diversified vegetable farm. The presenter is Tevis Roberston-Goldberg of Crabapple Farm in Chesterfield, Massachusetts. The webinar begins at 7 p.m. Eastern and lasts one hour.

New Times, New Tools: Cultivating Climate Resilience on Your Organic Farm

February 23. Online. Join eOrganic for a free, one-hour webinar by Laura Lengnick on Cultivating Resilience on Your Organic Farm. Weaving practical lessons from the field with the latest climate science and resilience thinking, author, educator, scientist, and farmer Laura Lengnick draws on the adaptation stories of award-winning organic farmers growing food across the U.S. to teach about successful farming strategies for managing increased weather variability and extremes. Learn how to assess your climate risk and use ecosystem-based adaptive management tools to cultivate climate resilience on your organic farm. Advance registration is required.

Sales 2: Contracts for Planning Ahead of Production

February 23. Online. Attend this free tutorial from Farm Commons to learn the legal ins and outs of contracting for sales. This online tutorial will explore the unique sales arrangements farmers are creating such as selling their labor or services, as well as participating in priority systems for sales. These new structures require a new type of contract. This tutorial will go through the process of developing a contract for production services and how to build strong sales relationships that fall outside of the traditional buyer-seller format.

High Plains Organic Farming Conference

February 23-24. Cheyenne, Wyoming. This third annual conference is presented by the University of Wyoming. This conference targets dryland crop, irrigated crop and forage, and livestock producers in the High Plains region of Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska. This year, the conference will offer a variety of sessions that focus on crop, soil, pest, and livestock management as well as marketing and USDA National Organic Program updates.

Anaerobic Digestion Bio-refinery: Potential for Biochar Production and Utilization

February 24. Online. This event is part of a free, five-webinar series on Anaerobic Digestion where Washington State University researchers and their collaborators share their findings as they strive to quantify the climate, air, water, nutrient and economic impacts of integrating emerging, next-generation technologies within anaerobic digestion systems on U.S. dairies. This session features Dr. Manuel Garcia-Perez, Associate Professor at the Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University.

Agroforestry in Action Webinar: Carbon Farming

February 24. Online. This webinar is part of the Agroforestry in Action Webinar Series, a production of the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri. Presentations in this webinar series explore topics in agroforestry from North America and around the globe, showcasing examples of excellence in practice and research. Live webinars are presented on a monthly basis and are free and open to all. In this webinar, Eric Toensmeier, the author of the recently published book "The Carbon Farming Solution," will provide an overview of the potential of agroforestry and perennial crop systems for climate change mitigation. The webinar begins at 11 a.m. CST.

Webinar on Methods for Teaching Organic Farming and Gardening

February 24. Online. CCOF presents an opportunity to join farmer-educator Christof Bernau from the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at UC Santa Cruz from 12-1 p.m. for a free webinar on farm-based experiential education. Bernau will discuss ways to use an array of strategies to engage your audience; build student, intern and apprentice capacity; and grow the next generation of farmers. Through this webinar, participants will gain new insights into how to best support their students' acquisition and development of new agricultural skills and conceptual knowledge, as we work toward growing the next generation of famers who must simultaneously steward precious resources and work to feed an ever-growing population.

Economics of Herd Age Management: When to Cull Cows for Reproductive Performance and System Economics

February 24. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by NRCS East National Technology Support Center.

Plant in a Box: A Solution for USDA-Inspected Poultry Processing?

February 25. Online. This is a free, one-hour webinar from the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network. David Schafer, owner and founder of Featherman Equipment and NMPAN member, has built a "Plant in a Box" (PIB) that aims to be a turnkey answer for those looking to process chickens, turkeys, and other poultry under USDA inspection. The Plant in a Box unit utilizes a recycled shipping container and comes ready to go: all the operator needs is a site pad, water, power, and a plan for effluent. This webinar will feature John Smith of Maple Wind Farm in Vermont, the first farm in the country to own and operate a PIB. Smith will tell participants about how they got started, successes, challenges and surprises along the way, and plans for the future. Participants also hear from David Schafer and Greg Gunthorp (of Gunthorp Farms) about how the PIB concept got started and their plans for the future.

Small Ruminant Webinar: Sericea lespedeza

February 25. Online. The fourth installment in the University of Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program's winter webinar series is by Dr. Tom Terrill, Fort Valley State University. Pre-registration is not required for these weekly, evening webinars, but participation is limited to the first 100 people who log on.!webinars/cu81

Food Safety Modernization Act: Changes for Small Scale Producers

February 25. Online. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. Webinars are held from noon - 1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free. This session is presented by Laurie George, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator.

MOSES Organic Farming Conference

February 25-27. La Crosse, Wisconsin. The largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming offers 65 workshop choices, an exhibit hall with 170 vendors, and 3,400 participants. Learn ways to improve your farm, discover new resources and tools, and make connections and find support. The Organic University on February 25 offers full-day pre-conference seminars.

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