Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Plant & Grow!

Spring is here, and with the migration of the birds we welcome the growing season!  Our pasture is quickly gaining momentum and getting closer and closer to one of my favorite seasons, grazing season.  There are still numerous education opportunities to prepare for the season ahead.  This week NSAS will be at several events. One of my favorites is the Nebraska Crane Festival. Not only is it a chance to see one of the natural treasures of Nebraska, but it is also an opportunity to engage & connect with folks from across the state and continue to promote sustainable and organic agriculture. We'll also be at Vaughn Hammond's session with CROPS on growing fruits & veggies. Additionally there are numerous opportunities listed to continue to grow sustainable agriculture in Nebraska. We continue to update the list throughout the week and the link and updates will be available via the NSAS Facebook Page. Be sure to check them out.

Thanks and Happy Spring!

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Women in Agriculture

March 14.  4:30 pm. UNL's East Campus.  Nebraska East Union. A panel discussion on the various career paths women have taken in the field of agriculture.

Establishing Your Market for Perennial Fruits and Veggies

March 15th. Vaughn Hammond, Orchard Manager and Mentor at Union Orchard in Omaha, NE will share with participants how they can get established in the perennial fruits market. Topics will include crop/site selection, plant establishment and maintenance, post-harvest handling and how to bring products to market.

Targeting Your Market Dollar

March 15th. Online. Print, radio, social media. In this session we’ll look at ways to draft a basic marketing plan designed to get you the results you need. We’ll explore the latest thinking in target marketing and customer demographics. And we’ll discuss how tracking your market results will provide clues to future investments. Joining us today will be James Barnes, Associate Professor at Mississippi State University. Dr. Barnes will discuss some of his research findings on using paid advertising on social media and the Bricks to Clicks program he has developed to help farmers use social media for marketing their products.

Webinar: Save Energy & Money with LED Greenhouse Lighting

March 15. This webinar covers the results of a one-year study conducted by the University of Minnesota Department of Horticulture, Outsourced Innovation, and Tangletown Gardens funded by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The study explored benefits of using LED lighting to grow leafy greens, Swiss chard, tomatoes and basil in comparison to conventional high-pressure sodium lighting with a focus on energy costs and production characteristics. Fritz Ebinger provides an overview of the study results and talks about the potential implications for commercial greenhouse growers.

Skype for Business

March 16. 2:30 pm–3:30 pm. UNL's Campus in Lincoln, Architecture Hall.  Contact, Ranelle Maltas, 402-472-0585ranelle@unl.eduLearn to use instant messaging, video chat/conference and share your screen. Register at 

Foodlink: A New Tool to Link Customers with Farm Fresh Foods

March 16th. The webinars are free, but registration is required. Each program will be recorded and available for viewing later on the Small Farms Team website at more information or to sign up, go to:     

Good Sense Food Safety Practices for Organic Diversified Vegetable Farms

March 16. Online. Join eOrganic for a webinar on good sense food safety practices on organic diversified vegetable farms by Chris Blanchard of Purple Pitchfork. Chris Blanchard will guide you through twelve simple steps you can take to put you and your farm on the way to safe food production, including practical food safety, and the steps you can take to put you and your farm on the path to safe food production. The webinar at 2 p.m. Eastern is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

Getting started with growing and marketing Christmas trees

Wednesday, March 16 at 6:00 pm CDT. Christmas trees can be a profitable crop. Success at growing and marketing Christmas trees begins before you plant your first tree. This session will discuss all the aspects of growing Christmas trees such as; species and site selection, cultural practices, cost of production and marketing options.

Biodynamic Animal Husbandry

March 16. The Biodynamic Association presents Steffen Schneider of Hawthorn Valley Farm as he shares biodynamic insights into the nature of animals, best practices for integrating livestock into a diverse farm, and strategies for supporting animal health and vitality. Learn more and register,

Sound and Sensible Organic Certification Outreach Tools

March 16. Online. These one-hour webinars, hosted by the Agricultural Marketing Service's National Organic Program, will provide an overview of education and outreach materials created for the Sound and Sensible organic certification initiative. Each session will summarize the goals of sound and sensible certification, provide an overview of the successful outcomes of 14 recent sound and sensible projects, and take a closer look at two of the projects and their deliverables. The webinar begins at 1 p.m. Eastern. To participate, dial toll-free (U.S. & Canada): 866-740-1260 Access Code: 7202000. Also Access the Web at On the left side of the screen, enter Participant Access Code: 7202000.

Nebraska's Crane Festival

March 17th-20th. Kearney. We are already anticipating with great excitement the internationally celebrated migration of 500,000 Sandhill Cranes through central Nebraska. Thousands of people from all over the world come to witness this amazing, life-changing wildlife event. We hope this year you will choose to be part of this experience by registering for Audubon’s Nebraska Crane Festival.

Twitter in 15 Minutes!

Thursday, March 17 at 1:30 pm CDT. Hang on to your virtual hats, because this is going to be very quick, basic overview of Twitter! We will go over how to create an account, start following others and how to search and filter posts using hashtags, all in record time. This webinar is geared to beginners and is open to anyone interested in learning about Twitter.

Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation in Organic Production

March 17. Online. USDA National Organic Program has released new guidance concerning Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation. The guidance provides examples of practices that support these conservation principles and demonstrate compliance with USDA organic regulations. This webinar will discuss the guidance and opportunities for USDA NRCS to support producers as they implement these conservation practices. In the Understanding Organic Agriculture series, this webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology.

Small Farms Winter Webinar: Using Cover Crops on Small Farms

March 17. Online. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series provides practical knowledge on emerging topics that advance local food production in Illinois. Webinars are be held from noon -1:00 p.m. on Thursdays and are free. This session is presented by Nathan Johanning, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator.

Agronomy & Horticulture Seminar

 March 18.  3:30 pm. Laura Thompson, Assistant Extension Educator, Southeast Research and Extension Center, will present “Nebraska On-Farm Research Network: Using Data to Drive Decisions.” Nebraska Extension has been working with farmers to conduct on-farm research for over 26 years. Farmers participating in the on-farm research network take an active role in the research, addressing questions that impact productivity, profitability, and long-term sustainability. Thompson will discuss the recent growth of this program, tools the network has developed, results from 2015 research studies, and future directions for the network. Join us in person or online at

Tree Fruit Disease Prevention and Management 

March 19th. Presented by Kari Peter, a Plant Pathology Specialist working with tree fruit. Register,

Midwest Aronia Association Annual Conference

March 19-20. Des Moines, Iowa. The Midwest Aronia Association's 6th annual conference focuses on "Turning the Corner." The agenda includes sessions on production, marketing, processing, and more.


Facility Manager Position at Prairie Hill

PRAIRIE HILL Learning Center, a Montessori farm - school located on HWY 77 seven miles south of Lincoln, seeks a Facility Manager beginning in May. 20-30 hours per week, with daily hours beginning at 6:45am. Position involves being knowledgeable and handy with maintenance of buildings and grounds on our 12 acre farm. Good communication and organizational skills are required. Respect for and appreciation of children is crucial.  E-mail: Send a resume to Mail: PRAIRIE HILL Learning Center, 17705 S. 12 St., Roca, NE 68430, Telephone: 402-438-6668 and ask to speak to our Executive Director, Mandie Schadwinkel. 

Robinette Farms Apprenticeship

We're looking for one more addition to our farm for 2016. 
If you or someone you know wants to learn about small-scale vegetable production, CSA management, management-intensive grazing and pastured poultry, please get in touch! 

Testimonials from former Apprentices can be found here: 
Details about the Apprenticeship here:

Positions Available

I wanted to let you know that we are still trying to fill multiple positions on both our farm, New Earth Farm & Goods, and with our non-profit, Keipos. 
Here are the positions available: 

1) Farm Apprentice at New Earth Farm & Goods, which includes food, housing, and pay. 
2) Internships positions with Keipos, a 12-week program working at our heart and in the city, which includes a PDC certificate. 

Jonathan Dodd

Dryland Farming Opportunity

I have + or - 6 acres that I am transitioning to organic status. It has not had any pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers applied to it for five years. It is currently in alfalfa that has reached the end of its productivity. It does not have access to irrigation. Anyone out there want to farm it organically on a sharecrop or cash rent basis? I also have 10 acres of prairie grass (never sprayed with anything) that will need to be harvested - usually sometime between June 25 and July 10. Will do that on a sharecrop or cash basis as well. I do not have the necessary large farming equipment, but have access to some on a rental basis. Interested?  Please email me at Gene Gage, Heartland Organics

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. 

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

Fund a Truck, Fund Local Foods!

Nebraska Food Cooperative is asking for your help to raise capital for loan repayment and truck repairs.  Our delivery trucks put on a lot of miles to deliver fresh food across our state.  We had to replace one of our vehicles and make extensive repairs on another. As a grassroots community to help small farms and build local economies, we are asking for your contribution so that the money tied up in these expenses can be freed to go toward running the co-op and making our network stronger.  We believe in the value of the co-op, and we believe in you, our community of co-op members! Read more, and support NFC today!


USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development Memorandum of Understanding, Coordination of Programs, and the Ability to Stack REAP and EQIP Funding for Energy Programs

March 22. In this free, one-hour webinar at 2 p.m. ET, participants will learn about the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Rural Development (RD) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed in 2015 to allow the USDA agencies to mutually support on-farm energy efficiency programs and initiatives to achieve desired outcomes. The webinar will look at on-farm energy efficiency projects from both NRCS and RD and the use of funding sources from both the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP, NRCS) and Rural Energy for America Program (REAP, RD) to leverage on-farm projects.

MidAtlantic Women in Agriculture Webinar- Estimating and Tracking Production Costs

Wednesday, March 23 at 11:00 am CDT. The ability to effectively estimate and track production costs is essential to farm business decision making.  This session will discuss methods for estimating costs and how to manage expenses. For more information and to register:

Getting started with getting your land ready to grow organically - certified or not

Wednesday, March 23 at 6:00 pm CDT. This program is part of a 23-webinar Michigan State University Extension 2016 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series. A descriptive flyer and on-line registration and payment for any or all of the webinars is available at  

Landscapes for Butterfly Conservation

March 23. Participants in this free, one-hour webinar sponsored by the USDA NRCS National Wildlife Team will learn best management practices for butterflies at site and landscape scales. The webinar will focus on: 1) habitat components that have positive or negative associations with butterfly abundance, 2) best management practices for grasslands relative to grazing and burning, 3) differences in butterfly use of block versus linear habitats, and 4) responses to habitat edges and landscape context.

Unique Fly Control Methods for Organic Dairy Production

March 24. Join eOrganic for a free webinar about fly control options on certified organic dairy farms at 2 p.m. ET. In this webinar, Drs. Brad Heins and Roger Moon will describe practical options for fly control on lactating cows and growing dairy animals. The discussion will include a comparison of the Bruce Fly Trap and Spalding Cow-Vac, two control options that were researched at the University of Minnesota through a project funded by the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative. Advance registration is required.

Small Farms Winter Webinar: Growing Great Blackberries

March 24. The University of Illinois Extension presents a weekly educational series for the small farm community. This series provides practical knowledge on emerging topics that advance local food production. Webinars are held from noon -1:00 p.m. on Thursdays and are free.

Antibiotic Resistance and Animal Agriculture

Friday, March 25 at 1:30 pm CDT. Nearly every day the media bombards us with information on antibiotics and resistance to them. This webcast will examine the veterinary feed directive and how it impacts animal agriculture as well as discuss the state of the science as it relates to antibiotic resistance. Finally, we’ll bust some myths and review “facts” to keep in mind when chatting with livestock producers and the general public.

Low Tunnels & Cold Frames

March 26th. Extend your season using low tunnels and cold frames. Participants will get to see a variety of low tunnel and cold frames in action and get information about basic use and construction to get your garden started earlier in the season! Instructors Erin Schoenberg and Margaret Milligan run The Darlin' Reds farm. Growing on three acres, just northwest of Lincoln, NE. From head lettuce to leeks, sweet peppers and heirloom tomatoes, to all those wonderful storage crops (and much much more), The Reds grow enough to stock their own produce section of any local market! Register here.

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