Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Poultry medications – rule changes affecting small and backyard poultry flocks

Monday, December 12 at 10:00 am CST. Concerns over the development of antibiotic resistance in human medicine have led to the development of new regulations controlling the use of antibiotics in animal feed.  Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) drugs are medically important antibiotics whose use is regulated. New guidelines for these drugs become effective in January 1, 2017. Some of these drugs have been used in poultry medicine. How will these changes affect small-scale poultry producers?

Fund-a-Farmer Webinar: Understanding Farm Animal Welfare Certification

Tuesday, December 13, 10am – 11am. Are you considering Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and Global Animal Partnership certification? This webinar will walk you through the process of becoming welfare-certified and discuss funding options available to farmers interested in certification - including FACT's Animal Welfare Certification Grants. Please join us for this webinar that will provide an overview of three reputable and meaningful farm animal welfare certification programs - Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, and Global Animal Partnership. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) will discuss the business, consumer and farm animal benefits of welfare certification. CAFS and the ASPCA will speak to the growing market for welfare-certified products, walk participants through the overall process of becoming welfare-certified and discuss funding options available to farmers interested in certification.

Setting culling standards for small and backyard flocks

Tuesday, December 13 at 2:00 pm CST. Location: In any poultry production flock it is important to check your birds daily and remove any sick, injured or poor producers. You should have pre-set standards to follow when deciding to cull or not. Once you have culled a bird, it is important to euthanize them humanely. As sad as these situations are concerned, it is important to be prepared. Dr. Greg Martin from Penn State University will discuss setting culling standards as well as methods of euthanasia.

Flooding and Farm Evacuations

Tuesday, December 13 at 12:00 pm CST. Location: Flooding is the number one disaster in the United States. Learn how to prepare for and evacuating your farm from Joan DeVries and Dr. Susan Kerr, Washington State University Extension. Dr. Virginia White, Alabama Extension will moderate. 

Social Media for Beginners Webinar

Tuesday, December 13 at 10:00 am CST. Join us on December 13th at 10:00 CT for this informative webinar hosted by Jeremy Harris Lipschultz, Isaacson Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Marc A. Smith from Connected Action Consulting Group.

Webinar: Grassroots Solutions for a Just and Sustainable Food System

December 13. Leah Penniman, activist-farmer at Soul Fire Farm, has worked with farmers in Haiti, Mexico, and Ghana to exchange ideas and mutual aid. What can we learn from those on the frontlines of the global food sovereignty movement? Join NOFA Massachusetts in this free, one-hour webinar for a conversation that explores agricultural best practices and policy priorities to move us toward a more just and sustainable food system.

Whole Farm Revenue Protection for Livestock Producers

December 14
The Center for Rural Affairs is holding a series of free webinars on Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), a crop insurance option that requires crop diversity in order to qualify. This session offers a one-hour webinar for producers, followed by a one-hour webinar for insurance agents. WFRP will insure up to $1 million in annual revenue from animals and animal products. Learn how to apply.

Creating a Farm Loan Package

Wednesday, December 14 at 11:00 am CST
Register at
This webinar will provide a basic overview of a farm loan package. It is a practical program with real-world examples and helpful tips. The course is directed to those interested in borrowing money to start, grow or expand their business.

Grazing Guides Webinar: Weed Identification and Management in Pastures

December 14. Online. This webinar series covers topics that specifically relate to grazing dairy herds. Topics include technologies available to grazing herds as well as strategies for feeding, grazing and care of your animals.This free, one-hour webinar will review pasture weed identification and how to manage troublesome pasture weeds including thistles, spiny amaranth, multiflora rose, and poison hemlock. Mechanical, cultural, and chemical control methods will be discussed as part of an integrated weed management strategy.

Crop Planning for Vegetable Growers Webinar

December 14
In this free webinar, NCAT Agricultural Specialists Luke Freeman and Margo Hale introduce the topic of crop planning for vegetable growers wanting to scale up into wholesale or institutional markets. The webinar will help growers understand how to plan crops to meet production goals and wholesale contracts, how to calculate planting dates based on an anticipated date of harvest, and which key records to keep to assist with production planning in the future.

Disease Management in Organic Crops Webinar

December 14
This free, one-hour webinar will look at some cultural and non-chemical options that organic growers have for foliar and soilborne disease management. University of Illinois Local Food Systems/Small Farms Extension Educators Laurie George and James Theuri discuss Disease Management in Organic Crops. Pre-registration is required by December 12, 2016, to receive webinar access information.


2017 Healthy Farms Conference

Online Registration Open! Lodging Reservations deadline January 7th. Details: The Healthy Farms Conference is right around the corner! Join us in Columbus at the Ramada Columbus Hotel And River's Edge Convention Center on January 27th and 28th for our annual conference! With two dynamic keynotes in John Ikerd and Greg Gunthrop, as well as numerous breakout sessions, we are Getting Back To Our Roots. We also have a full program for youth activities and we encourage the entire family to attend. Youth under 10 are free!

FSMA Survey

The North Central Region Center for FSMA Training, Extension and Technical Assistance team would like to reach as many producers as possible in our region. This survey is anonymous and the information gathered will help them identify and meet small scale fruit and vegetable farmer’s educational needs with regards to compliance with FSMA.  The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and will help individuals/farms determine if they will be required to comply with the FSMA Produce Rules. It will also help the team determine fruit and vegetable producers' level of knowledge on food safety and determine their top education needs in our region. They need producer input so that they can start developing appropriate and targeted training materials ASAP.  The deadline for completing the survey is November 30, 2016. 

Farm Beginnings 2017

Nebraska Extension will begin its 9 th Farm Beginnings ® Program at the Kimmel Education and Research Center at 5985 G Road Nebraska City, NE 68410. on January 7 th . Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society are facilitating the Farm Beginnings ® Program to be held in Nebraska City. The Farm Beginnings ® Program is an educational training and support program designed to help people who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Farm Beginnings ® participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers; attend practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences. For a brochure and an application for the Farm Beginnings® Program go to and scroll down to the Farm Beginnings® article. For more information about the program contact Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator at or at (402) 274-4755,

Hay for Sale
I have Organic White Wonder Millet Hay and Grass Hay for Sale.  Large round Bales.  Will Deliver if need be. Snyder Organic Farms, Larry Snyder. Kimball, NE.
Cereal Rye Bales

I have 25 large round bales of cereal rye grass for sale. This grass contains the cereal rye as well as the grass. It was grown as transition crop under organic conditions. It was planted as a cover crop, but a crop was not planted because it was always too wet last spring. This should be able to be ground and used for feed. We can load it for you. Call Cheryl at 402-617-1718. Thanks

Osage Orange Posts

Over the years several NSAS members, especially organic producers , have bought osage orange posts from my son Chris Rohrbaugh.  He still offers posts but is also producing for Crete Lumber in Crete.  Crete Lumber has always been a great supporter of sustainable agriculture. Paul & Cyndie Rohrbaugh, Pawnee Pride Meats

​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.​ FSA has expanded the FSFL program to include portable equipment and storage and handling trucks.  These items can be new or used.  Along with these changes in equipment eligibility, the FSFL program now has a Microloan option for producers that have $50,000 or less in FSFL loans.  The FSFL Microloan reduces the down payment requirement from 15% to 5% and offers an abbreviated application by allowing the producer to self-certify their storage need. Loan applications should be filed in the administrative FSA office that maintains the farm’s records.​ ​For more information about Farm Storage​ Facility Loans, visit ​ ​


Adapting Farms to Weather Extremes and Climate Uncertainty

December 20. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. Participate in this training to learn about developing on-farm solutions for overcoming production, revenue, and stewardship challenges due to weather hazards and a changing climate. Emphasis will be placed on planning adaptive management alternatives for addressing uncertain future forecasts, outlooks, and projections. Two new USDA resources for adapting agriculture and forests will be highlighted, as well as emerging decision-support tools for producers.

Farm-Life Balance for CSA Farmers

December 20. 
Operating a farm under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Just like in any career, it’s important to find a healthy work-life balance – but for a farmer, that’s easier said than done. Learn from Kate Edwards of Wild Woods Farm near Iowa City about the challenges she has encountered, and from Kristen Kordet of Blue Moon Community Farm near Madison, Wisconsin, about the strategies she has used to strike a balance.

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