Resource Partners Event Roundup

Center for Rural Affairs

April: The Center for Rural Affairs (CFA) has two events this month. In partnership with The Farmer Veteran Coalition and the Drake University Agricultural Law Center, CFA is hosting the WI Farmer Veterans Tour and Workshop on April 12.  Veterans and family members interested in farming careers are invited to attend this event at Growing Power Farms in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A tour of the farm and its composting and aquaponics system will be followed by workshops at the farm. Admission is free and seating is limited so register here to reserve your spot!

Also on the 12th is the Farm Dreams Workshop. Women interested in farming and ranching will be able to participate in a four-hour workshop to get a feel for the professions and learn how to take the first steps to enter the field. The workshop takes place at the Syracuse Public Library in Syracuse, Nebraska and costs $5. Participants must register in advance and can contact virginiam@cfra.org or call 402.992.5134.

May: On May 10 the Farm Business Financing Workshop for Women will take place at the Lewis and Clark Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The event is an intensive business planning and farm-financing course to help women farmers and ranchers design a business plan and access financing for agricultural operations. Contact virginiam@cfra.org or call 402.992.5134 to register in advance. The event costs $5 and lunch is included.

June: For those thinking about venturing into the farmers market business, the June 7 event Selling at Farmers Markets gives tips and tricks to find the best location, customer base, product, presentation and price to maximize success. Located in Ashland, Nebraska, this event costs $5 and includes lunch. Contact virginiam@cfra.org or call 402.992.5134 to register.

On June 21, Selling Through a CSA will teach women getting started in gardening, farming, and ranching about the advantages of selling through a community supported agriculture system. The workshop will take place at the Webermeier Public Library in Milford, Nebraska. Contact virginiam@cfra.org or call 402.992.5134 to register in advance 

National Center for Appropriate Technology (ATTRA)

April: On April 25 the National Center for Appropriate Technology (ATTRA) will host Entering the Institutional Food Market. Montana farmers, ranchers and processors will be provided information and technical assistance.  Register for this $10 event here by April 20 to reserve a spot.

June: With Montana adopting a new energy code requiring blower door and duct tightness testing for all new homes, there are emerging business opportunities in residential energy efficiency. On June 2, the Home Energy Rater and Energy Star Training in Missoula, Montana will provide comprehensive energy auditor training with an emphasis on new residential construction and the Home Energy Raters rating process. Participants will be prepared to take the tests required to become a certified Home Energy Rater, a Northwest Energy Star Homes Verifier and a Northwest Energy Star Homes Performance Tester. Register online and click here for more details 

Rodale Institute

April: Interested in having your own chickens? On April 26 the Rodale Institute is hosting the Backyard Chickens event to educate those looking to learn how to make chickens a part of their family and get fresh eggs everyday. Participants will learn about cost, breeding, housing, feeding, protecting and handling chickens, as well as leave with a list of recommended books and resources on how to complete this project efficiently. Register ahead of time here.

The Greenhorns

 April: . The future of farmland is unclear. In the next 20 years an expected 400 million acres of U.S. farmland will change hands. On April 26 and 27 Our Land: A Symposium on Farmland Access in the 21st Century at UC Berkeley will delve into the historical context, long-term implications and economic impact and stewardship potential of this impending transition.

May: On May 3 The Greenhorns is hosting Farmland Seekers to provide technical assistance around land and capital access and transition. Attendees will learn essential tools for building and navigating relationships with lenders, investors, landowners, partners, boards, conservation organizations, neighbors and more!

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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Holds Workshops for Good Agricultural Practices

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is a level of food safety certification for fruit and vegetable producers. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is holding one-day fall workshops for direct-to-consumer producers to learn how to reach the GAP requirements.

Each workshop is divided into a Level 1 and Level 2 course. Interested participants can register online for a $25 fee and will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. Registration is still available for the following:

Council Bluffs Workshop—Iowa Western Community College

  • Level 1—Nov. 12: registration deadline Nov. 5
  • Level 2—Nov. 21: registration deadline Nov. 14

Click here for more information, or contact Heather Snyder with questions at (515) 294-9020 or hsnyder@iastate.edu.

Livestock 101 Workshop

Join the Accokeek Foundation for an intensive class on the basics of raising livestock. The workshop includes a combination of classroom and field instruction, and specifically focuses on animal husbandry of heritage breeds like American Milking Devons, Hog Island Sheep, Ossabaw Hogs, Buckeye Chickens, and Black Turkeys. Polly Festa–who has been managing livestock for over 15 years–will teach this class.

The workshop runs from 6:30-9:30pm on September 30th and costs $10 members, $15 non-members.

Click here for more information and to sign up.

Heritage Pastured Poultry Workshop for Montana Growers

As consumer interest in pastured poultry continues to grow around the country, an upcoming workshop presented by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC) and the Salish Kootenai College will take a closer look at the opportunities and challenges for heritage pastured poultry operations, with a focus on Montana.  The workshop, “Heritage Pastured Poultry Production: Opportunities and Challenges,” is being funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA).

Jim Adkins, founder of the International Center for Poultry, will address the market potential for heritage poultry in Montana. Jeff Schahczenski, an Economics Specialist with NCAT, will review resources for pastured poultry production and examine the market and economic potential for pastured poultry products. Jan Tusick of MMFEC will review the Montana Poultry Growers Cooperative Poultry Processing Manual and HACCP systems for on-farm poultry processing.

The day will end with a tour of the Rough Diamond Farm, a pastured poultry operation outside of Great Falls that is developing a breeding-stock program for Ranger chickens.

  • Title: Heritage Pastured Poultry Production: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Location: Holiday Inn Express, 1625 Market Place Drive in Great Falls.
  • Date: March 14, 2013
  • Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Cost:  $15, which includes lunch
  • For more information: email Jeff Schahczenski at jeffs@ncat.org.
  • Registration link: http://bit.ly/ZdyelN

Last Day to Apply: Specialty Crop Growers for “Crop Mob” Workshops in Washington State

The Tilth Producers of Washington and the Washington Young Farmers Coalition invite specialty crop farmers to apply to host “Crop Mob” workshops. Workshops will provide an opportunity to join together and support a fellow grower, while learning valuable skills from experienced farmers. The goal is to provide a fun, educational experience for all participants while helping a grower complete a large project.

This is open to all Washington state farmers, with priority given to members of the Tilth Producers of Washington. Crop Mob / Workshop ideas must fit the specialty crop requirements but otherwise are flexible. Past sessions and ideas include:

  • Infrastructure projects – hoop houses, green houses, fencing, netting, irrigation, moving compost or compost facilities, etc.
  • Equipment projects – learning how to use machinery and/or implements; threshing, seed cleaning, etc.
  • Pruning, planting seedlings or nursery stock, crop processing, etc.
  • Integrated Pest Management (IPM) projects.

Tilth Producers and the WAYFC will provide:

  • Experienced growers partnered with each workshop to provide knowledge and instruction;
  • Logistical and organizational assistance, including planning, outreach and publicity, registration, and volunteer support. Host stipends are available.
  • Help developing a work plan for approximately 15-25 volunteers with a range of skill levels (farmers and non-farmers).

Application forms are available on the Tilth Producers website and should be returned by February 20, 2013 to:
Jacqueline Cramer, Education Coordinator – Jacqueline@tilthproducers.org, 206.632.7506

Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference from NOFA-NY

NOFA-NY has announced their 2nd Annual Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference will take place on Friday, March 1st in Auburn, NY. The conference will consist of business, dairy, and field crop workshop tracks, including a half-day intensive workshop on the “Transition to Organic Dairy Management.” A pre-conference field day on February 28th at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, will focus on “Cereal Grains Seed Production and NYS Certified Foundation Seed Program.”

Register by February 15th for a $5 discount. Visit www.nofany.org/dairyconference for more information about the conference, including specific workshops and speakers.

Workshop for Aspiring Farmer Mentors in Ithaca, NY

If you are a farmer, farm manager, or farm educator with a passion for mentoring new farmers, deepen your mentorship skills at an upcoming full-day workshop called “Mapping the Mentor’s Journey.“ Experienced mentors Tim Drake and Jed Jordan and leadership coach Corinne Eisenman will lead hands-on exercises and conversations that examine farm education through the eyes of a mentor. Participants will take away new tools and a renewed passion for educating aspiring farmers and managing farm staff.

This all-day workshops takes place Sunday, February 10th in Ithaca, NY. Space is limited, so please RSVP by emailing rachel@groundswellcenter.org with answers to two of these three questions:

  • What skills would you like to share with other individuals wanting to start a farm?
  • What experiences inspired you to pursue your farming dreams?
  • How do you believe you can contribute lasting change to your community as a farmer?

The workshop is a collaboration between Primitive Pursuits, which fosters life-long connections with nature, and Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming, dedicated to nurturing the next generation of farmers.

Winter Workshop Series on Financial Management

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) is offering a workshop series in western Massachusetts on financial management and business decision-making for farmers. The seven-workshop series will run through March, and is aimed at helping farmers become more finance-savvy and prepared to make decisions about new markets and major investments.

Click here for more information on the individual workshops and dates.

The cost for the whole series is $60 for members and $75 for non-members. Register for individual workshops online or by contacting Devon at 413-665-7100 x22 or devon@buylocalfood.org.

Join Us for Farm Advocate Workshops at PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference

A project of Farm AidRAFI-USA and several cooperating partners, the Farm Advocate Link is a newly established national network of farm advocates whose goal is to honor and support established advocates, welcome new and aspiring advocates, and provide ongoing training, professional development and a shared sense of purpose to farm advocates across the country.

The Farm Advocate Link will offer two workshops: Farm Advocacy 101 and Dealing with Disasters, at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Farming for the Future conference on February 8th & 9th. The workshops, open to everyone, will be led by Joel Morton of Farm Aid, Scott Marlow of RAFI-USA, and Lynn Hayes of the Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG).

For descriptions of each workshop and more information about the Farm Advocate Link, visit www.farmaid.org/advocates. For more about the PASA conference, visit conference.pasafarming.org.

New England Workshop on Cost-Reducing Strategies for Dairy and Livestock

Cooperative Extension faculty and educators from northern New England are offering a workshop on January 17, 2013 in South Deerfield, MA, for dairy and livestock operations. Interactive presentations and discussions will give producers strategies for maximizing the impact of every dollar invested in their operations, including the following topics:

  • Reducing shrink on your farm
  • Alternative nutrient sources and nutrient management
  • Beating high feed costs
  • Maximizing forage quality
  • High forage dairy diets
  • Selecting profitable corn hybrids
  • Modern vaccination program
  • Other locally relevant topics

Register and find more information at: http://extension.umass.edu/cdle/events/cost-reducing-strategies-livestock-and-dairy-operations. Contact Mallory Ottariano with any questions: 413.545.5221 or mottaria@psis.umass.edu.