Monday, May 16, 2016

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Alternative Strategies for Grazing Annual Crops

May 17. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by NRCS Science and Technology Area. There are a variety of ways, times and benefits of grazing annual crops. This presentation will focus on the practical ways to do so. Doug Peterson offers a wealth of grazing lands experience, both professional and personal.

Labor Law & Your Farm/Ranch Business

March 17th. One of the biggest challenges in reaching your farm goals is likely related to employees—finding, training, and retaining them. Without employees your growth is limited. Managing the transition from farmer to boss requires skill, practice and patience, plus a basic working understanding of federal employment law as it relates to agricultural businesses.

Bee Lab Webinar: Pesticides and Poisons in the Hive: An Overview of Bee Toxicology

May 18. Online. Join us for our free, monthly webinar series, at 9AM Eastern. All webinars are recorded and archived on the Bee Lab website. To Join a webinar, follow the link below and LOG IN AS A GUEST about 5 minutes prior on the day of the event:

Unpacking the Farm Labor Puzzle

May 19th. One of the biggest challenges in reaching your farm goals is likely related to employees—finding, training, and retaining them. Without employees your growth is limited. Managing the transition from farmer to boss requires skill, practice and patience, plus a basic working understanding of federal employment law as it relates to agricultural businesses.

Establishing & Maintaining Small Fruits

May 21st. 1st & L Community Garden, L St & S 1st St, Lincoln. Small fruits are a great addition to any landscape. They attract wildlife, provide vegetative barriers, ground cover, and best of all, produce delicious, nutritious treats! This class will cover the many different options that we have in Nebraska for establishing and cultivating small fruits including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and more! We will also discuss some lesser known, but still delicious, types like Honeyberry and Juneberry! Register

Composting Demonstration

May 21st.  2:00 pm. Pioneers Park Nature Center’s backyard composting demonstration area. Contact,  Sarah Browning, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, 402-441-7180sbrowning2@unl.eduLearn how to be successful with composting by attending a free composting demonstration sponsored by Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County and the City of Lincoln Recycling Office. Demonstrations are presented by Extension Master Gardeners. You will see three types of composting bins and how to use them. Two lucky participants will win either a composting thermometer or a composting bin.


Boar for Sale

One" tried" old style spot boar. Pre-breeding shots. Just over 1 year old. Lanette A Stec, Erstwhile Farm, LLC. Columbus. 402-897-4065

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

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

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

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!


Organic Confluences Summit

May 23. Washington, DC. This conference will bring together scientific experts, farmers, policy makers, and organic stakeholders to review the most up-to-date research on the environmental benefits of organic farming practices and assess the availability and efficacy of existing public sector programs designed to incentivize the adoption of environmentally friendly organic farming techniques. The first half of the day will be devoted to reviewing the most current and compelling research on the positive impacts that organic farming techniques contribute to soil health, water quality, biodiversity conservation and climate change. The second half of the day will include speakers from federal and state agencies that administer agricultural conservation programs. Roundtable sessions will be used to assess the efficacy and utilization of existing programs and identify areas for improvement and expansion.

Newest Research on the Value of Habitat for Pest Management

May 25
In this free, one-hour webinar presented by the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center, learn about the value of on-farm habitat for enhancing conservation biological control and the current scientific research that supports this natural pest control. The webinar will emphasize the most current scientific research on enhancing native beneficial insects and why maintaining habitat is so critical to these insects. Learn how adding diversity into agricultural cropland can provide the basic requirements to support these insects and how other farm management practices may have an impact.

Why Value-Added Products Fail

Wednesday, May 25 at 11:00 am CDT
Value-Added products can increase your enterprise profit picture, but only if it's a marketable product that fits your resources and farm mission. This presentation explores what works and what doesn't when developing and marketing value-added farm products. And, helps you answer the question, 'Just because I can produce a value-added product; should I?
For more information and to register for the online webinar:

Introducing the NRCS National Organic Farming Handbook

May 26
In the Understanding Organic Agriculture series, this webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. This webinar will explore the new Organic Farming Handbook, including a description of organic farming principles and relevant USDA organic regulations. The presentation will describe considerations and resources for planning conservation practices on organic operations such as cover crops, nutrient management, crop rotations, and livestock management.

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