Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

National Organic Standards Board Meeting

April 25-27. Washington, DC. The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will hold a public meeting during which the board will address several petitions pertaining to changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The public is invited to provide oral comments during one of two sessions--at the meeting or during a webinar. The webinar will be held on April 19, 2016, from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Interested individuals must pre-register no later than April 14, 2016, to provide oral comments.

Soil Erosion: A Historical Perspective

April 26. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. Participants will gain an understanding of the impact soil erosion has had on civilization through time and what society needs to do to protect this precious resource.

Medicinal Herb Gardening

April 26th 6.00pm - 8.00pm. Prairie Pines Training Farm, Adams St & N 112th St, Lincoln. Participants will learn some of the unique conditions required for starting medicinal herbs from seed, proper harvesting times, different drying and preservation techniques and why you should be growing your own medicine. Nicole Saville co-owns and operates Spiritus Vitae Botanicals, a small medicinal herb farm outside Lincoln. She has a B.S. in Herbal Medicine from Bastyr University and has a passion for stewardship and sustainability. Register

Heuermann Lectures: Working to Meet the World’s Growing Food Needs

April 26.  4:00 am–5:30pm. Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center Room: Auditorium, 

Lincoln. Contact,  Jessie Brophy, 402-472-7080, jbrophy3@unl.eduPresented by Sally Rockey; executive director of Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.

Ensuring Nitrogen and Potassium Fertility Through the Growing Season--Initial Bed Preparation, the Economics of Compost, and Side Dressing

April 26. Online. This free evening webinar from NOFA Massachusetts begins at 7 p.m. Eastern. Learn the role of nitrogen and potassium in plant growth and tips for increasing nitrogen availability in cool spring soils. The presenter is Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm.

Grow a Garden That's Easy For You & Great For The Environment

April 26th 6.30pm - 8.30pm. Learn how to start or maintain a garden inexpensively and reduce your labor. We'll discover how to conserve resources, store carbon in your soil and help the environment all at the same time! Class is taught by Ingrid Kirst, Community Crops Executive Director and long-time gardener. Class will be held at the Antelope Church of the Brethren, 3645 Sumner. To register, go to the Southeast Community College's Continuing Education Site and click the yellow "Register" button at the bottom of the page. Use the keyword "Grow". Registration fee is $12.

Marketing Channels for Beginning Farmers

April 27. Online. This free, half-hour webinar from Community Alliance for Family Farmers is intended for beginning farmers who would like to learn more about the various direct and indirect marketing channels, such as farmers markets, CSAs, distributors, restaurants, and grocery stores.

Selecting a tractor for your small farm

Wednesday, April 27 at 6:00 pm CDT. Aside from land and farm buildings, a tractor is often one of the larger investments made by new farmers. Big, new and shiny may not be your best choice. Old, rusty and untrustworthy may not be a good choice either. Fred will discuss how to determine what you really need to get the job done from both the financial and mechanical points of view, key points to consider when selecting a tractor, and various options for obtaining it.

Soil PH, Liming Rates and Fertility

Wednesday, April 27 at 11:00 am CDT. Soil pH is only one number on a soil test report, but can control a lot of your production potential. To maximize your returns from the soil, understanding where soil acidity comes from and how we determine lime rates is essential.

Farm Financial Calendar

April 28, 11am – 12pm. Online. Are you having difficulty finding time for regular financial tasks? Is your farm business running as smoothly as possible? This webinar is designed to give you the tools to stay on track during the growing season. Join New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and The Carrot Project for a webinar overview of a new Financial Calendar tool. We'll dive into how the tool can help you stay organized with daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks. A successful beginning farmer will also be on hand to help you adapt the calendar to your farm's needs and realities and create a personalized financial management calendar for your farm. Pre-registration required:

How to Evaluate Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems Webinar

April 28. Online. The authors of a new U.S. Department of Agriculture guide to evaluate the economic impacts of investing in farmers markets, community supported agriculture (CSA), food hubs, and other local food systems will discuss the toolkit during a free webinar.

Womens Learning Circle

April 30th. The Center for Rural Affairs brings the first of its series of learning circles for women farmers and landowners in eastern Nebraska to Robinette Farms in Martell on April 30.The program runs 9-11:30 a.m. and the topic is tools and equipment. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided. Robinette Farms is at 17675 S.W. 14th St., Martell. Space is limited and people are asked to register by April 26. Contact Kirstin Bailey at or at 402-367-8989.
Teaching Biodiversity & the Tree of Life

April 30. 9:30 am. UNL's Hardin Hall. Contact, Shawna Richter-Ryerson, Dr. Harry W. Greene, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University, will present and discuss “Teaching Biodiversity & the Tree of Life.” 


​Omaha area gardens sought for milkweed/monarch research project

I am studying monarch caterpillar survivability in conservation areas compared to residential gardens. I am asking for help in locating people with gardens that could be part of my study. I would need to visit a garden once every four days throughout the summer. An ideal garden should have at least ten milkweed plants from two species. We will have small quantities of milkweed (swamp milkweed & common milkweed) that we can provide to help bring the garden’s total milkweed to the number needed. ​​My name is Emily, and I am a master’s student at UNO. Please contact me for more information. Thank you!

​New Farm Storage Facility Loan

​T​he Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) Program administered by the FSA has expanded to include some new eligible commodities. The new commodities eligible for facility loans include floriculture, hops, rye, milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, meat and poultry (unprocessed), eggs, and aquaculture (excluding systems that maintain live animals through uptake and discharge of water). Commodities already eligible for the loans include corn, grain sorghum, rice, soybeans, oats, peanuts, wheat, barley, minor oilseeds harvested as whole grain, pulse crops (lentils, chickpeas and dry peas), hay, honey, renewable biomass, and fruits, nuts and vegetables for cold storage facilities.​ ​Loan applications should be filed in the administra-

tive FSA office that maintains the farm’s records.​ ​For more information about Farm Storage​ Facility Loans, visit ​ ​, or contact your local FSA office. To find your local FSA office, visit

For Sale

If you're a BCS and/or Grillo two wheel tractor owner looking to add to your implements, I have the following available for sale and/or trade for mowing equipment: 
Power Harrrower, 
Cultivator with hitch
3' mulch layer (drip tape layer not included).

Organic Custom Grazing

I have 150 acres of grass that is certified Organic. I'd potentially be interested in custom grazing pairs/cows/yearlings. I also have an additional 250 acres of grass that can be certified. I've been custom grazing 50 pairs the last few years on non-certified ground. Please let me know if you're interested or know of someone who might be. Jon Yoachim, 402-309-4088

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,  Keipos, Inc. http://keipos.org,

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

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. 

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!


Getting started with farm business planning and financial readiness

This program is a final addition to the 24-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 original 23 webinars is available at  This final webinar is a free offering. 

Recordkeeping for Organics: Tips, Tricks & Questions Answered

May 3. Online. This webinar from Oregon Tilth will help producers understand what records are required to apply for organic certification. The webinar will also share “sound and sensible” recordkeeping practices that producers can implement to demonstrate organic compliance to inspectors and certifiers. The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session. It begins at noon Pacific Time.

Overview of poultry related equipment

Wednesday, May 4 at 10:30 am CDT. Dr. Jacquie Jacob from the University of Kentucky will discuss the different equipment needs for backyard flocks and small scale poultry operations.

2016 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Managing Pests of Backyard Pecans

Friday, May 6 at 1:00 pm CDT. Thousands of mature pecan trees are grown around homes, many with sparse and erratic production. Usually, there is no single reason why a pecan tree fails to produce a crop or produces poor quality nuts. Learn practical tips anout pecan pests and pecan management by  Bryan Wilkins, Research Associate IIl,  Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center.

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