Monday, February 6, 2017

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Organic Farming Roundtables

February 6.  6:00 pm–9:00 pm. UNL's East Campus in the Plant Sciences Hall Room: 280 – Goodding Learning Center. Contact, Chuck Francis, The public is invited to attend and participate in this 14-week series led by Chuck Francis, professor of agronomy and horticulture. The series runs every Monday, Jan. 9 to April 24.

Webinar: Crowdfunding 101 for Beginning Farmers

Intro to Maple Syrup Production

February 7, 5:00pm – 6:30pm. Online. Maple syrup production is rapidly growing around the Northeast and offers a sound financial opportunity to utilize woodlots sustainably. Join Mike Farrell, Director of the Uihlein Forest- Cornell University's Maple Syrup Research & Extension Field Station in Lake Placid, NY. Mike is also the author of The Sugarmakers Companion, a book that is required reading as part of the course. More info and registration:

Where has all the farmland gone?

February 7. 6:00 pm–9:00 pm. UNL's East Campus in the Plant Sciences Hall Room: 280 – Goodding Learning Center. Contact, Chuck Francis, How to deal with the urbanization and conversion of productive farmland will be the topic of discussion in a 15-week series of courses taking place on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus. The series will be led by Chuck Francis, professor of agronomy and horticulture, and Amy Swoboda, farm and ranch staff attorney at Legal Aid of Nebraska. 

Predator control for small and backyard poultry flocks

Tuesday, February 7 at 2:00 pm CST. Location: Predators can be a problem with any poultry farm, large or small. This webinar will discuss some of the predators of concern and methods to minimize losses to predators. The presenter will be Dr. Matt Springer at the University of Kentucky.

Grassfed Meat Production Using Multi-Species Grazing and Free-Choice Minerals

February 7th. David Carbaugh, of Nobel Pastures Farm in Red Oak will team up with Derek Lawson, cattleman at Foxhollow Farm in Kentucky, to discuss pasture and animal management. David and Derek met at a Holistic Management International training program and Derek has served as a mentor to David ever since. Tune in to hear David ask Derek questions about pasture mixes, grazing strategies, mineral supplementation, biodynamic pasture preparations and marketing grass-fed beef.

Providing Habitat for Wild Bees on Organic Farms

Tuesday, February 7 at 1:00 pm CST. Join eOrganic for a webinar on February 7, 2016 on Providing Habitat for Wild Bees on Organic Farms. The webinar takes place at 2PM Eastern Times, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time. It's free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. Register now at

Transitioning Small Grain Production to Organic

February 7. Online. In the Understanding Organic Agriculture series, this free one-hour webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. Join this webinar to learn about the transition from conventional to organic small grain production and related management practices. Using several case studies of organic grain farms in the Pacific Northwest, this webinar will discuss possible transitions to organic farming. Management practices include crop rotation, soil fertility, and weed management. The webinar will also introduce a new, online Extension publication: Organic Small Grain Production in the Pacific Northwest: A Collection of Case Studies.

Webinar: MarketReady MasterCourse Branding and Labeling

February 8, 1:00pm – 2:30pm. We have developed a 1 hour MasterCourse webinar on Branding and Labeling with perspective from industry professional Chris Becker of Hello Fieldtrip. The webinar will uncover some of the most popular an effective ways to tell a farm story and brand products accordingly.  Participants will be encouraged to interact with guest speakers via questions or experiences.  Our hope is that participants will be able to use this information to make practical business decisions in addition to having a better understanding of the technical support available to them. For additional information please contact Alex Butler at (859)218-4383 or alex.butler@uky.edu

Micro Nutrients Webinar

Wednesday, February 8 at 11:00 am CST
Micro-nutrients like Mn, Zn and Cu can be tricky to manage in cropping systems. By the time symptoms of deficiencies show up it, yields will already be affected. On the other hand, too high on a concentration of some of these metals will cause toxic effects, also reducing yields. Managing soil pH and tissue and soil samples can help alleviate issues with micro-nutrients.
For more information and to register:

Grazing Guides Webinar: Organic Dairy Feed Management Project

February 8
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 program will present data from a recent Penn State study evaluating economic, environmental, and production data from organic dairy farms in Pennsylvania. Factors that lead to successful management of these dairy farms will be discussed. There is no fee to attend this event. However, pre-registration is requested.

Whole Farm Revenue Protection

February 9th. First Northeast Bank of Nebraska, Tekamah. Here's what you'll learn by attending: How WFRP works, John Schreiter of Hudson Insurance Group. Purchasing WFRP for a vegetable production, Kelly Jackson of Daniels Produce. What WFRP covers - fruits, vegetables, commodity crops, and livestock under $1 million in revenues. Whether WFRP is a good fit for your operation. For more information, contact Glen Ready, 402.687.2100 ext 1011.

Women Managing the Farm Conference

February 9-10
Manhattan, Kansas
The Women Managing the Farm Conference, "Her AgriCULTURE Story - Change, Adapt, Grow," is designed to aid women who are helping to grow the nation's food supply, whether by design, marriage, or inheritance. Over the two days of the conference, presentations regarding business planning, health, managing employees and more will be interspersed with opportunities for networking and learning from others attending the conference. The WMF Conference has been developed for all women involved in an operation, from the full-time manager to the absentee landowner needing a bit of insight about managing her investment.

Out with the Old: Pruning Old and Neglected Fruit Trees

February 9. Online. University of Illinois Extension's Small Farms Winter Webinar Series features practical, lunch-hour presentations on small farm enterprises and strategies. Log in every Thursday at noon for the free, one-hour webinars. The series runs through March 30. This session features Grant McCarty, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator.

Cover Crops 2017 Webinar Series – Looking Beyond the Basics

February 9, 11am – 12pm. Online. Building on the series from 2016, the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) brings you Cover Crops 2017 – Looking Beyond the Basics.  The three part series will explore and discuss the latest research complemented by on farm experiences under real world conditions.   Speakers will discuss cover crop pest management, scouting indicators, and what farmers and advisers should know for improved management.  The series is designed to look beyond the basics and focus on advanced cover crop management for enhanced production goals.  Once again these webinars are made possible by the generous support of North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC-SARE). FREE to all registrants.

Webinar Series: Holistic Financial Planning

February 9, 5:30pm – 7:00pm. If you've been struggling to make your farm operation profitable without driving yourself into the ground, this financial planning course is for you. Ultimately, it will help you with the delicate balancing act that all farmers must succeed in:  balancing healthy profits with healthy land and a healthy farm family and personal life. You will learn how to make financial decisions toward farm & family values and goals, and how to build profit into your plans up front, rather than hoping there is something left once expenses are subtracted from income. If you have been struggling with the financial statements in your business plan, this is a great course to help you focus in on these and get clear on your numbers. In this course, you will generate a clear written statement of your family's values and vision and know how to use it to guide financial and overall farm decision-making. You will also develop an Annual Financial Plan mapping out your planned profit, income streams, and expenses for your farm. More info and registration:
Manure and Soil Health Testing Roundtable

Thursday, February 9 at 11:00 am CST
In the Manure and Soil Health Testing roundtable, we hope to discover what current soil health tests help to quantify manure impacts on soil characteristics, thus determining which soil test is the best indicator and best value. We’ll also debate which types of fields might benefit most from manure used to improve soil health and procedures for collecting samples for soil health tests that would best recognize results from use of manure. We’ll also talk about field experiences and observations related to the value of manure as well as what farmers still need related to soil building with manure. This roundtable is the first of a four part series discussing the current state of our knowledge relative to manure’s impact on soil health.

Greg Garbos - Four Season Tools & City Bitty Farm 

February 10-11. Greg has spent his career pursuing and promoting skill-based service - a philosophy of using your unique talents  and skills to make a difference in the world. As a trained engineer, Greg has applied his skills to implementing solutions for sustainability. His love for nature came from a childhood in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of southern New Hampshire. There he was inspired by his passive solar home with a solar thermal water heating system custom designed and built by his own parents. His drive for an altruistic career was influenced by his father’s aerospace engineering fellowship and his mother’s biblical scholarship. They encouraged Greg to apply his knowledge and interpersonal skills to help others. Contact Jeremiah Picard, Nebraska Farmers Union - Local Foods Policy Director for details. Cell: 402.570.3746Office: 402.476.8815


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 ​ ​, or contact your local FSA office. To find your local FSA office, visit


Getting started with hoophouse management

Monday, February 13 at 6:00 pm CST. Location: management, Collin Thompson, MSU Extension. Profitable production in hoophouses requires careful planning and management.  Collin manages the Michigan State University North Farm, including hoophouses.  He will provide background information on hoophouse selection and siting, then concentrate his webinar on successful management to optimize production and sales. 

Pollinating Apples and Cherries

February 14. Online. This free webinar is part of eXtension's 2017 series of bee health webinars, Ensuring Crop Pollination in U.S. Specialty Crops. This webinar series will provide an overview of pollination requirements and strategies to ensure pollination of different specialty crops. Registration is required. 

Feed Management: the NRCS Practice Standard, Installation, Management and Explanation of the Conservation Activity Plan

February 15. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by NRCS Science and Technology Deputy Area.

Integrated Clubroot Management Strategies for Brassica Crops

February 15. Online. Join eOrganic for a free, one-hour webinar on clubroot management with Aaron Heinrich and Alex Stone of Oregon State University. This webinar will explore the life-cycle of clubroot, environmental factors influence disease incidence and severity, prevention measures to minimize between field and in-field spread, and management strategies to reduce crop damage. Particular attention will be focused on soil pH management using lime. 

Manure and Soil Biology Roundtable

Thursday, February 16 at 11:00 am CST. In the Manure and Soil Biology roundtable, we hope to discover the influence of manure, both positive and negative, on soil biology. We’ll discuss if certain fields will produce more soil biology benefits than others and whether timing of application affects these benefits. Finally, we’ll debate whether we can derive an economic value for manure beyond its nutrient value. We’ll also talk about field experiences and observations related to the value of manure as well as what farmers still need related to soil building with manure. This roundtable is the second in a four part series discussing the current state of our knowledge relative to manure’s impact on soil health. Presenters include: Rhae Drijber and Michele Soupir. More about this great roundtable series at:

Small Commercial Microgreen Production

February 16. Online. University of Illinois Extension's Small Farms Winter Webinar Series features practical, lunch-hour presentations on small farm enterprises and strategies. Log in every Thursday at noon for the free, one-hour webinars. The series runs through March 30. This session features Zack Grant, University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems and Small Farms Educator.

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