Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

 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.

Biodiversity Webinar

February 22. The Organic Center and Furman University present a free webinar at 5:30 p.m. ET about measuring on-farm biodiversity using a simple, free public tool called the Healthy Farm Index. The Healthy Farm Index is a biodiversity and ecosystem service planning and monitoring tool for farmers to better understand the direction connection to actions taken and responses at the farm scale. There will be plenty of time to ask questions. More information

Walk-in Cooler Considerations and Construction 

Tuesday, February 23, 7:00pm – 8:30pm. Tim Landgraf from One Step at a Time Gardens will discuss the three types of walk-in coolers he has used over the farm’s 20-year history. He will also cover important considerations when choosing a cooler, such as size, temperature, shelving, product life and common issues. Tony Thompson, of New Family Farm, will discuss the process he recently went through to build his own walk-in cooler, and share his blueprints, material, and advice for those thinking of doing the same.

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.

No-Till Conference

February 23rd. Holdrege @ the Phelps County Ag Center. Speakers and sessions relating to Climate, No-Till System Approaches, Plants & Soils Economics and more. Free event, but please pre-register by calling 308-995-4222.

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.

Getting started with wheat agronomy

Wednesday, February 24 at 6:00 pm CST. This program is part of a 23-webinar Michigan State University Extension 2016 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series. Learn the basics of wheat production from soil fertility and pest control to seeding rates and planting dates.

High Tunnel Cost Sharing and Diversified Farm Insurance

February 24th. 5:30pm.  Please join Community Crops, USDA-NRCS and USDA-RMA on Wednesday, February 24th at 5:30 PM for a great informational session on some topics very important to sustainable agriculture. The cost of this class is just $10, so sign up now!

Walk-Behind Tractors and Their Applications on Small Farms

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.

Direct Sales Marketing: Expanding the Current & Finding the New

AgrAbility Webinar on Urban Agriculture

February 25th. Online. AgrAbility will provide expertise on the increasingly popular movement of urban agriculture in a one-hour webinar at 3 p.m. with special emphasis on military veterans and farmers with disabilities. Urban agriculture is not limited to fruits and vegetables but also includes enterprises such as livestock, beekeeping, and aquaculture. Pre-registration is required.

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.

Nebraska Extension Cover Crops Conference

February 25th. ARDC near Mead. 9am. There are many benefits to utilizing cover crops, such as improved soil heath and reduced erosion. It’s the details of how and what to do that can present challenges. The focus of the conference is to provide information to growers who are strictly in a corn/soybean rotation and to assist them in understanding the value of cover crops. Pre-register by Feb. 22 to ensure resource materials are available and for meal planning purposes. Call 402-624-8000 or

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.

Buffalograss—native with unique challenges

February 26.  3:30 pm. UNL's East Campus @ Keim Hall room 150. Keenan Amundsen, assistant professor, Turfgrass Genetics, UNL Agronomy and Horticulture, will present “Buffalograss—native with unique challenges.” Buffalograss, like many specialty crops, has limited publicly-available genomic data, complicating genetic-based breeding strategies. Amundsen will discuss how modern RNA sequencing applications are advancing buffalograss cultivar development. He will also dispel myths of buffalograss management and discuss advancements in the understanding of seed and winter dormancy mechanisms. Join us in person or online at

Fruit Tree Pruning

February 28th. 3pm. Omaha. Come learn the basics of fruit tree pruning from community expert Jake Phillips! This workshop will be hands-on and geared toward gardeners and aspiring orchardists. Now is the time to prune your fruit trees! We will be pruning the beautiful & abundant mini-orchard at Clair Memorial UMC community garden.


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.

Ducks, Geese & Guineas

We are looking for baby ducks and geese available this Spring.  We are interested in Cayuga, Khaki Campbell or other breeds for egg production.  The geese we are looking for are Chinese or African for guard animals.  Guineas for bug control. Mike Levine, 
Fruit of Levine LLC, 

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


Design and Management of Organic Strawberry/Vegetable Rotations

March 2. Online. Join eOrganic for a free, one-hour webinar on the design and management of organic strawberry/vegetable rotations for soilborne disease control, fertility management and crop production, presented by Carol Shennan and Joji Muramoto of the University of California, Santa Cruz. Findings from a four-year rotation study and on-farm trials will be discussed. The study compared two and four year rotations with either broccoli or lettuce as the primary vegetables grown between strawberry crops. Advance registration is required.

Getting started with growing cider apples

Wednesday, March 2 at 6:00 pm CST. This session will focus on growing apples for cider making.  Cultural practices, variety selection, storage, and other considerations unique to cider apples will be discussed.

Midwest Farm to School Conference

Wednesday, March 2, 2016, Lied Lodge, Nebraska City, NE. For those interested in building the farm to school initiative in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. Food service professionals, farmers, students, school administrators, parents, and others are welcome to share ideas and learn techniques to improve students' knowledge of healthy foods and to increase the amount of local foods served in schools. Registration scholarships are available. For more information, an agenda and to register: or contact Pamela Mueri ( or402-580-9835). 

Everything about geese for the beginner - benefits and challenges of incorporating geese into your small farm operation

Wednesday, March 2 at 10:30 am CST. Location:

Using the Internet to Drive Farm Sales

March 2. Online. This 90-minute webinar from PASA will provide an overview of the importance, trends, potential and strategies associated for farm internet marketing. Participants will be given basic instruction on how to setup and use email lists, Facebook and Twitter. Participants will come out of the webinar with a framework to develop and distribute content across a variety of platforms on a weekly basis during the busy harvest season. The presenter is Simon Huntley from Small Farm Central. Registration is free, but the session is limited to 100 participants.

Small Ruminant Webinar: Internal parasite control

March 3. Online. The fifth installment in the University of Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program's winter webinar series is by Dr. Gareth Bath, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Pre-registration is not required for these weekly, evening webinars, but participation is limited to the first 100 people who log on.!webinars/cu81

Small Farms Winter Webinar Series: Getting Your Beehives Ready for Spring

March 3. Online. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. Webinars will be held from noon -1:00 pm on Thursdays and are free. This session is presented by Doug Gucker, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator.

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