Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekly Events & Opportunities in Sustainable Farming & Foods!

Federal Funding & Financing for Farmers

May 23. Online. Learn more about the USDA loan, grant, cost-share, conservation, and insurance programs that are available to sustainable farmers in this free, one-hour webinar from Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT). NSAC's Ferd Hoefner will discuss the many programs offered by the USDA that help farmers succeed.

Online Introduction to Holistic Management® Whole Farm/Ranch Planning

May 23 – June 27. Online. In this online course from HMI, participants will learn how to effectively manage a farm or ranch through the principles and practices of Holistic Management —a nationally recognized whole farm/ranch planning process. Learn not only how to manage your farm/ranch for the triple bottom line (social, environmental, and financial sustainability) and more effectively manage resources, but also how to help others with that process.This course is seven weeks long, and participants should plan on about two to four hours each week to participate in the webinars and complete the assignments. Scholarships are available.

Water Quality Targeting Success Stories: Achieving Cleaner Water Through Farm Conservation Watershed Projects

May 24, 11:30am – 1:00pm. Online. Join American Farmland Trust and World Resources Institute on May 24th from 12:30PM – 2:00PM EST for a launch event— via live webinar stream of the event –as we roll-out new research that features six case studies of projects that documented water quality improvements due to watershed-scale adoption of farm conservation practices. For more information on the report, “Water Quality Targeting Success Stories: Achieving Cleaner Water Through Farm Conservation Watershed Projects,” please click here:

Poultry Exemptions Revisited

May 25. Online. In this free, one-hour Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network webinar, USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) staff will be on hand to respond to some of the more challenging questions regarding the federal poultry processing exemptions (Public Law 90-492). NMPAN has gathered questions from producers ahead of time regarding issues such as where you can market your poultry, can you cut-up and further process your poultry, what category do producers or groups of producers fall under, what kind of records should be kept, are there any facility requirements expected, and more.


Survey Assistance

My name is Steph I am putting together a survey for ranchers across the nation. It will explore some of ranchers' grassland management practices and some of the ideas that go behind them. Having said that, before I send it out, I need to make sure that my concepts make sense and are truly measuring what I set out to measure. I would guess that it takes 10-15 minutes to fill out (and reads better from a computer than a phone). I very much appreciate your help and if you want more detail into what I am doing, please give me a call (402-926-6732)! Steph Kennedy

Internship Opportunity

If you know of someone looking for an internship opportunity involving both produce and livestock. please have them call me or text me on my cell phone 308-754-8370.  This internship would involve experiences on a few local farms approximately 50% of hours would be paid and 50% considered educational. Andrew Hollister

Health Insurance in Agriculture Survey

How does health insurance affect farmers and ranchers? Help influence rural health policy in upcoming survey. Farmers and ranchers: How does health insurance affect you? Help influence rural health policy by participating in an upcoming USDA funded survey. Your responses will help researchers understand how health-insurance policy affects farmers’ and ranchers’ decisions to invest, expand, and grow their enterprises. Selected participants received a letter about the survey in February. If you would like to participate follow this link:

Resource Available

Rural Food Business Toolkit - this resource was designed by the Center for Rural Affairs alongside a USDA Rural Development project in northeast Nebraska which provided in person instruction and support. The toolkit provides resources to growers, processors and food business owners to help them succeed. It can be found and downloaded here:

Grazing Cover Crops Field Day

May 30. Sioux Center, Iowa. Topics will include grazing rye and hairy vetch, baling rye, growing cover crops for seed, and water quality.

Using Fire and Grazing to Maintain Productive and Ecologically Resilient Grasslands

June 1. Online. This free, one-hour webinar is presented by USDA NRCS Science and Technology. The webinar will provide training on the value of biological diversity and ecological resilience and discuss how fire and grazing can be used to sustain resilience, wildlife habitat, pollinator communities, and other important ecosystem components. Examples will be given of how ranchers might incorporate some important principles into existing management systems and evaluate the success of their management from a conservation standpoint.

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