Community Calendar

November  |  December  |  January  |  February

Look here for events and field days to help you grow organic successfully.

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October

Webinar: Basics of Poultry Health and Management
Oct. 30  |  Noon  CDT

Ohio State University presents this webinar on basic concepts of poultry disease diagnosis and control in organic production, with a brief discussion of management conditions that can impact poultry health.  To register, click here.

2014 Wisconsin Soils Summit
Oct. 31  |  10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  |  Osseo, Wis.

Hosted by the River County RCD, these workshops will focus on: management of feed, cows and manure in grazing-based systems; grazing’s impact on soil health; understanding soil functions; and soils case study review of North Dakota tour. There will also be a lunch and tradeshow.  Learn more and register.

Restoration Agriculture and Mob Grazing Workshop
Oct. 31-Nov. 1  |  8 a.m.-6 p.m.  |  Clark, Mo.

Join Greg Judy and Green Pastures Farm as they install a permaculture swale system with Mark Shepard. This 3-day, hands-on educational workshop will cover how to design, install, and incorporate a swale system into any grazing system. Cost is income based, from $400-550 scale for the weekend, including 7 locally grown meals. Please click here to learn more and register – only 40 spots available.

Iowa Farmers Union Annual Convention
Oct. 31-Nov. 1  |  Des Moines, Iowa

Join the Iowa Farmers Union for a conservation on “Farmer vs. Environmentalist: Building New Coalitions for Our Farm, Food & Energy Future.” The 2014 Annual Convention will engage participants in a dialogue about how we balance our diverse interests as farmers and how we can work more closely with partners outside the farming community to build productive coalitions for the future. Learn more.

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November

7th Annual Farmer Tribute Dinner
Nov. 1  |  6-10 p.m.  |  Amherst, Wis.

Hosted by Central Rivers Farmshed, this event brings community members together to honor Central Wisconsin farmers and celebrate the harvest season. Farms listed in the Central Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas are treated to this meal at the end of each growing season in recognition of their hard work and dedication to provide fresh food for our community. Community members purchase tickets to join the celebration and help sponsor the farmers’ meals.  Learn more.

Cover Crop Field Day
Nov. 1  |  1-4:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Sebeka, Minn.

Join the Sustainable Farming Association to review two fields planted to complex cover crop mixes. Compare both cold and warm season mixes that are designed to stimulate soil microbes, build soil organic matter and provide livestock forage. No pre-registration required. Learn more.

Feast! Festival & Tradeshow
Nov. 2-3  |  Rochester, Minn.

The FEAST Local Food Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system which encourages innovation. Sunday will be open for the public and Monday will be an industry-only conference and tradeshow exclusively for food growers, makers and buyers. Learn more.

Grow and Market Specialty Grains
Nov. 3-5  |  Champaign, Ill.

The Land Connection brings you a 3-day specialty and organic grains training intensive. Topics include how to access your land and operation for grain growing capability; identify ideal grain crop choices for your farm and markets; plan for soil fertility and pest management; and identify, promote to, and sell both to wholesale markets and directly to consumers.  Learn more.

Agricultural Grants Workshop
Nov. 4  |  Montello, Wis.

UW-Extension along with partners are hosting this event to help farmers and other value-added food entrepreneurs learn about potential grants, get the basics on putting together a strong grant proposal, learn about cost share programs and other financing options. Learn more and register.

Agricultural Grants Workshop
Nov. 5  |  Ashland, Wis.

UW-Extension along with partners are hosting this event to help farmers and other value-added food entrepreneurs learn about potential grants, get the basics on putting together a strong grant proposal, learn about cost share programs and other financing options. Learn more and register.

Good Food from Good Farms
Nov. 5  |  6:30-8:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Thief River Falls, Minn.

SFA Lake Agassiz Chapter is sponsoring a local-food event, “Good Food from Good Farms,” at the Heritage Community Center. The purpose is bringing sustainable farmers and consumers together for education and networking opportunities. Light refreshments will be served and admission is free. For more information, email Marie Petry at grass@wtc-mail.net.

Webinar: Internal Parasite Management in Pasture-Based Sheep and Goat Operations
Nov. 6  |  Noon CST

Ohio State University presents this webinar on  various internal parasite management and preventive strategies for organic systems. Participants will learn the basic biology and life cycle associated with the barber pole worm (Haemonchus contortus) and about chemical anthelminthic resistance. To register, click here.

Minnesota Food Licensing
Nov. 6  |  12:30-4 p.m.

Hosted by the Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association, come and get your food licensing questions answered directly from Health and Agriculture staff. In addition to learning about the various food licenses that are needed, participants will enjoy a fun hands-on safe food sampling lesson, presented by the University of Minnesota Extension. Using a statewide video conference system, you can attend from any of these locations: Bemidji, Duluth, Fergus Falls, Mankato, Marshall, Rochester, St. Cloud and St. Paul. Contact info@mfma.org for more details.

Webinar: Building Farm to Institution Markets
Nov. 6  |  3 p.m. CST

For farmers, ranchers and producers currently selling to, or interested in selling to, schools, child care centers, hospitals or other institutions, this free webinar provides an introduction to farm to institution practices and benefits. It will focus on how the needs of the producer can be matched with the needs of the buyer. Produced by Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Renewing the Countryside, and Sustainable Farming Association of MN. Register here.

Webinar: Starting a small-scale commercial poultry operation
Nov. 6  |  6 p.m. CDT

Hosted by eXtension, join Andy Larson, University of Illinois extension educator in local food systems and small farms, will be discussing the things you should consider.  Learn more.

Growing Power National-International Urban and Small Farm Conference
Nov. 6-9  |  Potawatomi Bingo Casino  |  Milwaukee, Wis.

Get ready for an intensive conference that covers urban farming from top to bottom: aquaculture, composting and vermicomposting, planning strategies, education, youth programming, fund raising, food policy, food justice and much more! Check out the Growing Power website as more details become available.

Fall Harvest Gathering for Women
Nov. 7-9  |  Cedar Valley Resort  |  Whalan, Minn.

Get to know other women who care passionately about farming and the earth. Some attendees farm and some want to farm, but all enjoy sharing and learning from each other at the annual Fall Harvest Gathering. All women are welcome. Cost: $120 before Nov. 1, $135 after and walk-ins. Fee includes lodging and some meals. Learn more.

Slow Money Gathering
Nov. 10-12  |  Louisville, KY

The event features food entrepreneurs who are leading the way rebuilding local food systems, along with many renowned thought leaders in agriculture, investing, and philanthropy. Speakers include farmer and author Joel Salatin, environmental activist Vandana Shiva and Mary Berry, daughter of Wendell Berry and executive director of The Berry Center.  Learn more.

Webinar: Using Trap Crops to Contral the Cruciferous Flea Beetle
Nov. 11  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic for a webinar on using trap crops to control crucifer flea beetles, by entomologist Joyce Parker. This webinar will explore the use of diverse trap crops, stands of plants grown to attract pest insects away from your target crop, as an approach to manage flea beetles in broccoli. The audience targeted are small farms, home gardeners and anyone interested in learning more about trap cropping.  Learn more and register.

Food for Tomorrow Conference
Nov. 11-12  |  Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

Hosted by New York Times food writer Mark Bittman, the conference will bring together executives, nonprofit leaders, food researchers, chefs, policymakers, corporations, and activists from around the world to discuss and develop innovative solutions to alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty.  Learn more.

Agricultural Grants Workshop
Nov. 12  |  Shawano, Wis.

UW-Extension along with partners are hosting this event to help farmers and other value-added food entrepreneurs learn about potential grants, get the basics on putting together a strong grant proposal, learn about cost share programs and other financing options. Learn more and register.

Cover Crops in a Corn/Soybean Rotation Field Day
Nov. 13  |  10 a.m.-3:15 p.m.  |  Free  |  Okabena, Minn.

UM-Extension along with partners bring you this field day to learn more about various cover crop seeding methods, timings, and mixes. Learn more local farmers, NCR-SARE, NRCS and more. Learn more.

Biodynamic Conference: Farming for Health
Nov. 13-16  |  Hyatt Regency  |  Louisville, Ky.

The biennial Biodynamic Conference, hosted by the Biodynamic Association, is the foremost opportunity in North America to learn about biodynamics, along with innovations from organic, permaculture, and ecological agriculture. Events include over 60 workshops, on-farm field days, pre-conference workshops and more.  Learn more and register.

Aquaponics Master Class
Nov. 13-15  |  8:00 a.m.  |  Montello, Wis.

A comprehensive course covering all aspects of aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. The topics covered include aquaponic methods and applications, crop choices and recommendations, water quality, daily operation and growing techniques, greenhouses and environmental control, fish biology and feeds, plant care and health, system start up and business considerations.  Learn more and register.

Women in Sustainable Agriculture Annual Conference
Nov. 14-15  |  Fairfield, Iowa

Organized by the Women Food & Ag Network (WFAN), this conference will include field tours, on-site intensives, a screening of the female farmer veteran documentary film Terra Firma and much more. The MOSES Rural Women’s Project Coordinator, Lisa Kivirist, will be presenting a plate to politics women’s leadership training.  Learn more.

Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
Nov. 14-15  |  Des Moines, Iowa

The Farmer Veteran Coalition and the Drake University Agricultural Law Center are convening the first national forum on programs and services for veterans pursuing careers related to food and agriculture. All stakeholders from the agricultural and veteran communities are invited: non-profits, businesses, philanthropists, government agencies, trade associations, and educators. Learn more and register.

Milling Small Grains and Aquaponics Production
Nov. 15  |  1-4 p.m.  |  Panora, Iowa

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, father-son team Earl and Jeff Hafner will show attendees their certified organic stone mill where they mill rye, buckwheat, wheat and corn. They will also lead a tour of their aquaponics production area, and request that attendees bring their high tunnel gardening expertise to share! Learn more.

14th Annual Iowa Organic Conference
Nov. 16-17  |  Memorial Union  |  Iowa City, Iowa

The 2014 conference will feature the organic tradeshow and organic luncheon as well as new speakers including keynote speaker Mary Berry, Executive Director of the Wendell Berry Center. Network with agribusiness professionals, other organizations, and producers.  Learn more.

Webinar: Dehulling Ancient Grains
Nov. 18  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic for a webinar on dehulling ancient grains, presented by members of the NIFA OREI project Value-added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems.  Learn more.

Extending the Garden Season
Nov. 19  |  6:30-7:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Morris, Minn.

UM – Morris brings you this program on ways to extend your vegetable growing season. Join Ryan Pesch, U of MN Extension Educator, for a methods and techniques class including greenhouses, high tunnels, plastic mulch and raised beds. Class held at the U of MN’s West Central Research and Outreach Center. Call  320-589-1711 for more information.

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December

Webinar: Nutrient Budgeting
Dec. 2  |  4 p.m.

Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about nutrient budgeting and organic considerations for implementing conservation practice standard 590.  The information needed to participate can be found at ConservationWebinars.net a month prior to each date. This free webinar is available to the public.  Learn more.

Webinar: IPM in Crucifer Crops: Focus on the Yellowmargined Leaf Beetle
Dec. 2  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic for a webinar on the organic management of the yellowmargined leaf beetle.  The presenters will discuss the identification and crop damage of the yellowmargined leaf beetle, as well as trap cropping, attractants, and biological control.  Learn more.

National Young Farmers Conference
Dec. 3-5  |  Pocantico Hills, N.Y.

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture hosts the 7th annual National Young Farmers Conference with speakers and workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, conservation and more.  Learn more.

Homegrown Minneapolis Annual Open House
Dec. 3  |  6-8:30 p.m.  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

The annual open house is a great opportunity for local partners to showcase the ways they support our community’s ability to grow, process, distribute, eat and compost healthy, sustainable, locally grown foods. If you have any questions, please contact Laurelyn Sandkamp or 612-673-2482.

2014 Acres U.S.A. Conference and Trade Show
Dec. 4-6  |  Columbus, Ohio

The annual Acres U.S.A. conference is where you find farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming who come together to share their experience and expertise. Attend the non-stop event, learn the latest in cutting-edge technology and methods, and return home ready to make your farming operation the best it can be.  Learn more.

Webinar: The Beginning Farmer’s Introduction
Dec. 8  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, beginning farmers will get a preview of the many legal issues they should consider when just starting out with farming. Learn more.

Webinar: Put Your CSA On Strong Legal Footing
Dec. 9  |  1  p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, learn how an attorney sees CSA and what you can do to protect your farm. CSA is an incredibly unique relationship between farmer and customer. But, this means it also has unique legal dynamics. CSA farmers who critically analyze their membership agreement, drop sites, and farm event programs beforehand set themselves up for success. This webinar will also discuss risks with farm volunteer programs and buying the right insurance. Learn more.

Grass Bred and Fed
Dec. 12  |  Multiple locations, Minn.

Hosted by Minn. Grazing Lands Conservation Association, this video conference will take place at multiple locations across Minn. This year’s conference is all about grazing from all parts of the state and will include a program with a panel with area grazers telling about their hands on experiences and their operations.  Learn more and register.

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January

Webinar: Hosting Safe, Legally Secure Farm Events
Jan. 5  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, learn how to make sure your farm isn’t left with the short end of the stick after a good-intentioned event goes bad. From zoning compliance to guest injuries and serving prepared food, we’ll work through a checklist of things a farm should address before hosting an event. Learn more.

Webinar: Adding Value Without Adding Legal Liability to Farm Products
Jan. 6  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons. Although starting a processing operation, improving packaging, and developing new products are great ways to make the farm more profitable, these activities have a huge legal impact. Employment laws, liability potential, state/federal regulations, and tax factors all change when a farm begins to process product. Farms relying on cottage food laws should make sure to attend- we’ll talk about what these laws do not do to protect farms.  Learn more.

Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
Jan. 7-9  |  Springfield, Ill.

Hosted by the Illinois Specialty Growers Association, this conference includes a wide variety of pre-conference workshops, cider contest, keynote presentation from Stacy Pasoni, and conference workshops spanning agritourism and marketing, fruits, vegetables, herbs, organic, and grain production.  Learn more.

Minnesota Organic Conference
Jan. 9-10  |  St. Cloud, Minn.

Organized by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, this conference will include keynote talks, tradeshow and breakout sessions on organic production, certification, marketing and more.  Learn more.

2015 GrassWorks Grazing Conference
Jan. 15-17  |  Chula Vista Resort  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

This conference includes session topics such as silvopasturing, thinking regeneratively, cash flowing the grazing farm, grazing cover crops, using animals to change the landscape and much more. Keynote and general session speakers include Joshua Dukart, Inga Witscher, Mark Shepard and Joel Kuehnfeld.  Learn more and register.

Growing a Hops Business
Jan. 17  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

Webinar: Farmland Leases Built to Last: Content and Legal Context
Jan. 19  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, learn how to prevent problems with a strong lease that addresses water usage, equipment access, payment strategies, dispute resolution procedures, long-term concerns, and termination processes, plus more. Negotiating tactics and various laws affecting farmland leases will be on the agenda.  Learn more.

Webinar: Managing Bad Stink Bugs with Good Stink Bugs
Jan. 22  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic for a webinar on managing stink bugs using the spined soldier bug, by Yong-Lak Park of West Virginia University. The efficacy and utilization of the spined soldier bug as a native biological control agent will be presented and discussed. This webinar is for a mixed audience including researchers, extension specialists and agents, and growers seeking information on biological control of stink bugs.  Learn more.

36th Annual NPSAS Winter Conference
Jan. 22-24  |  Aberdeen, S.D.

Conference includes workshops on livestock, planting trees for food, gardening, canning, small farm dairy production, bee keeping, recycling, cover crops, local foods and more. Speakers include microbiologist Don Huber, journalist Alan Guebert, and Missouri rancher Cody Holmes.  50+ exhibitors, youth workshops and organic/local foods.  Learn more.

Growing a Hops Business
Jan. 25  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

Deep Winter Production of Greens and Livestock Fodder Utilizing Passive Solar Energy
Jan. 31  |  10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  |  Ashby, Minn.

Hosted by the Sustainable Farming Association, farm owners Sue Wika and Tom Prieve will provide a detailed overview of the construction and operation of their deep-winter greenhouse, which utilizes passive solar energy with underground heat storage. The greenhouse provides greens for local consumers. In addition, the structure is utilized to produce fodder for the farm livestock. Learn more.

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February

Webinar: Housing for small poultry flocks
Feb. 9  |  2 p.m. Central

Organized by eXtension, Phil Clauer from Penn State University will be discussing various issues related to housing for small poultry flocks.  Learn more.

Webinar: Building Pest-Suppressive Organic Farms
Feb. 10  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic and learn what tools and ecological strategies worked and what did not work on five long-term organic farms. They will also explore the question of how much diversity is enough and how to manage on-farm biological control organism habitat.  Learn more.

SFA Annual Conference – “25 Years of Loving the Land”
Feb. 14  |  St. Joseph, Minn.

Voting is going on through Oct. 30, 2014 to decide topics for networking discussions at this conference, organized by the Sustainable Farming Association. Early bird rates of $35/members and $45/non-members holds through Sept. 30. The annual conference provides a forum for farmer-led networking discussions and exhibits by vendors with products or services related to sustainable farming.  Learn more.

Webinar: Blasting the Competition Away
Feb. 17  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic for a webinar on using air-propelled abrasive grits for weed management in organic grain and vegetable crops. This webinar will provide an introduction to the concept of weed management with air-propelled abrasive grits, or “weed blasting”, in organic cropping systems.  Learn more.

Midwest Soil Health Summit
Feb. 18-19  |  Alexandria, Minn.

Organized by the Sustainable Farming Association, this conference includes workshops and a presentation from soil health pioneer, Gabe Brown.  Learn more.

Hopyard Establishment, Harvest and Processing
Feb. 21  |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

26th Annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference
Feb. 26-28  |  La Crosse, Wis.

The MOSES Conference is the largest event in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. This event includes 65+ workshops, inspiring keynote speakers, and a two-floor Exhibit Hall with more than 170 exhibitors open exclusively to conference attendees. This farmer-focused conference is celebrated as the foremost educational and networking event in the organic farming community.  Learn more.

Hopyard Establishment, Harvest and Processing
Feb. 28  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Eau Claire-based Grow More Hops, LLC offers this seminar for Midwest growers who want to meet craft brewers’ increasing demand for locally grown hops.  Learn more.

 

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March

Webinar: Promoting Native Bee Pollinators in Organic Farming Systems
Mar. 10  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join eOrganic for a webinar on promoting native bee pollinators in organic farming systems. The webinar will cover the importance of native bee pollinators in organic farming systems, particularly diversified systems that produce many crops per year. We will first discuss the diversity of native bees in farming systems, and the roles they may play in supplementing (or replacing) honey bees for pollination services.