Community Calendar

March  |  April  |  May

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

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February

Cover Crop Management for Small Farms
Feb. 19  |  6-8 p.m.  |  $5  |  Baldwin, Wis.

Hosted by UW-Extension, learn more about how cover crops are an essential component of a diversified vegetable operation. Presenter Mike Racette will share his expertise on how cover crop planting and management can add organic matter, prevent erosion, build nutrients and increase the water holding capacity of soils on small scale, diversified vegetable farms.  Learn more and register.

Organic Management of Root and Tuber Crops Workshop
Feb. 19  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  $40  |  East Troy, Wis.

This workshop will cover in-depth organic management strategies for several root and tuber crops, as well as storage options and soil management. Registration is $40 for the first person on the farm and $20 for any additional family members or business partners. Lunch is included. Learn more and register here.

Forage for “U”
Feb. 20  |  10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  |  $30  |  Rushford, Minn.

Hosted by UM-Extension, learn management recommendations for 2015 forage and pasture production with producer panels on alfalfa production and managed grazing ($30, includes meal).  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.

Organic Berry Workshop
Feb. 21  |  $75  |  North Branch, Minn.

Hosted by the Women’s Environmental Institute, this daylong, interactive workshop will focus on the establishment, management and production of perennial fruits, including blueberries, black currants, elderberries, aronia berries, juneberries, honeyberries and plums. It will not cover strawberries or raspberries. Learn more and register.

Soil Building, Crop Rotations, & Landscaping for Pollinators
Feb. 21  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  $40  |  Baldwin, Wis.

This workshop will cover crop rotation, fertility design, drought-proofing, reducing weed pressure and dependence on tillage,  and how to landscape your farm for pest management, pollinator habitat, and food safety. Learn more here.

Natural Home Beekeeping
Feb. 21  |  9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  Newburg, Wis.

This day-long class teaches the information and skills to begin beekeeping this spring. Registration is $75 before February 17 and $85 after. Learn more and register here.

Hazelnuts Workshop
Feb. 23  |  9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Fairmont, Minn.

Hosted by Rural Advantage, learn about establishing, growing and harvesting hazelnuts and enterprise budgets.  Learn more.

Webinar: Farm Sole Proprietorships, LLCs, S Corps, C Corps and Coops: Which? Why? How?
Feb. 23  |  12 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join Farm Commons to learn what an LLC or corporation can and cannot do to protect the farm business. A any solid business entity also needs managing paperwork. Learn what an operating agreement or bylaws can do for the farm and what to write into them. Discussion also includes options for cooperative ventures, entity structures to pass on the farm business, and some tax aspects of business entities.  Learn more.

Webinar: Going In-Depth with CSA Farm Law
Feb. 24  |  12 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, farmers will get in-depth tools to move forward on managing sales, drop-site, volunteer, and worker share matters. We’ll also discuss some of the more unique CSA programs like farmers’ market pre-pay programs and multi-farm cooperative CSAs. Farmers who’ve already attended one of Farm Commons’ basic CSA law programs will get a lot out of this advanced session.  Learn more.

Webinar: Custom Grazing with Goats
Feb. 24  |  7-8:30 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, this webinar will focus on contracts, fencing and water systems needed for custom grazing land that a farmer doesn’t own. Expert grazier Lani Malmberg will draw on her 25- plus years of experience taking her goats to places in need of weed management, brush control, re-seeding, erosion or flood control, and restoration. Learn more.

Introduction to Markets
Feb. 25  |  6-8:15 p.m.  |  $25  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Hosted by the MN Food Assocation, the discussion of what markets are available for local produce and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each. Most detail will be about Farmer’s Markets – what is available and how to sell successfully at Farmer’s Markets.  Learn more.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium: Selective Live Broadcasts
Feb. 25-26  |  Free

Join eOrganic for selected live online broadcasts. This online broadcast is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. You only need to register once to attend all the presentations below: you can come and go as you wish. 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.

Spring Fruit Tree Pruning
Feb. 28  |  1–3 p.m.  |  $30  |  Newburg, Wis.

Learn best practices for spring fruit tree maintenance and pruning to enhance yield. Registration is $30 by February 25 or $35 after. Learn more here. 

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March

Webinar: Getting Farm Work Done Legally with Interns, Apprentices, and Volunteers
Mar. 2  |  12 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, learn how using interns, apprentices, and volunteers is legally complicated and farms have gotten steep fines for doing it wrong. Get out ahead of the curve and build a legally compliant intern or volunteer program for your farm. Learn more.

Season Extension
Mar. 2-4  |  $375  |  Champaign, Ill.

Hosted by the Land Connection,  learn the essentials of season extension from farmers and other professionals in a classroom setting,  visit farms that have made season extension a vital component of their success, and get a hands-on demonstration in high tunnels. Learn more and register.

Webinar: Marketing for your Farm
Mar. 3  |  7-8:30 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, hear from beginning CSA farmers Tyler Magnuson and Caitie Caughey, along with their farm advisor, Gene Gage. Tyler and Caitie are currently enrolled in PFI’s Savings Incentive Program, where they are mentored by Gene on how to effectively market their fresh produce in southwestern Iowa. Learn more.

Small Fruits Workshop
Mar. 9  |  9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Free  |  Fairmont, Minn.

Hosted by Rural Advantage, learn about elderberry production, making vinegar, blue fruits, and how to reduce chemical use and inputs in cold climate grape harvest.  Learn more.

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.

Webinar: Meat Pricing
Mar. 10  |  7-8:30 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, tune in and learn how to fairly price your meat cuts for direct or wholesale markets. Bobbie Gustafson,of Story City Locker, will share the factors she considers when making pricing decisions. Then hear experienced livestock farmer Tom Cory share his insights and perspective as a producer. Learn more.

Michigan Farmers Market Conference
Mar. 10-11  |  East Lansing, Mich.

The two-day conference features three tracks led by experts in farmers market management and agriculture: (1) a market manager Boot Camp Track designed for beginning market managers; (2) an Advanced Track for managers who are looking for specialized information; and (3) a Farmer/Vendor Track designed for farmers who direct-market through farmers markets. Learn more.

Midwest School for Beginning Apple Growers
Mar. 13-15  |  $300  |  Madison, Wis.

Sponsored by CIAS, the course will prepare participants to grow and sell apples using a variety of management strategies and tools. The school emphasizes sustainable and organic production methods, including integrated pest management strategies, and  helps students understand the full cost of establishing an orchard. Learn more.

Building a Regenerative Farm
Mar. 14  |  8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  $75  |  Amery, Wis.

Join Hungry Turtle to explore the inner workings of the regenerative farm and how to design, stage and manage perennial crops. Look at the farm from a whole systems perspective delving deeply into the nuts and bolts of specific crops and creating a viable financial plan based on your assets, your site, and your community networks.  Learn more and register.

Webinar: Head-to-Head: Comparing Two Insurance Options for Specialty Crop Farmers
Mar. 17  |  7-8:30 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, learn about two promising insurance options available in 2015: Non-Insured Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP). Listen in as Kevin McClure of FSA and Mark Shilts of RMA work through costs and benefits of a sample farm. Learn more.

Webinar: Financing a Farmland Purchase
Mar. 23  |  12 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, learn more about the legal basics with bank loans, land contracts (aka contracts for deed), and family financing. The legal language behind promissory notes, security agreements, land contracts, and mortgages isn’t just “boilerplate.” Farmers will learn the basics behind these documents. Learn more.

Webinar: Efficiently Manage your Farm’s Risks with Insurance
Mar. 24  |  12 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Farm Commons, learn how insurance is vital to build a resilient farm. What’s a farm liability policy and is it the same as a property/casualty policy? How does it work with a homeowner’s policy? Is workers’ compensation required and how does it work? Find the right policies for you with this webinar.  Learn more.

Webinar: Pesticide Drift: Prevention and Response
Mar. 24  |  7-8:30 p.m. Central  |  Free

Join Practical Farmers of Iowa hear Andy and Melissa Dunham share the processes they have gone through to find out who is accountable and how to receive compensation for damages from pesticide drift, as well as their strategies for preventing it from happening again.  Learn more.

Minn. Lamb and Wool Producers 2015 Spring Workshop
Mar. 28  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $15  |  Kensington, Minn.

Day will include on-farm sessions, lamb lunch, virtual tour of Dennis Leiser’s farm and producer questions. Learn more.

Marketing Workshop
Mar. 30  |  9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Free  |  Fairmont, Minn.

Hosted by Rural Advantage, learn about accessing wholesale markets, building a resilient food system, building a website for direct marketing and how to save seeds. Learn more.

Webinar: Food Safety Modernization Act: Implications for Farmers
Mar. 31  |  7-8:30 p.m. Central  |  Free

Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa, hear from Sophia Kruszewski, a policy expert at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, about what the Food Safety Modernization Act is and what its implementation will mean for farmers. Organic farmer and farm consultant Chris Blanchard will discuss details about who it will impact and how to comply with the new rules and regulations. Learn more.

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April

Woody Agriculture Short Course
Apr. 10-13  |  $329  |  Lanesboro, Minn.

Organized by Badgersett, this short course offers the most intense and densely packed learning available about Woody Agriculture: : including chestnuts, hickories, and a focus on neohybrid hazelnuts. Pre-register by March 13 and save $30. Learn more.

IAC Great Lakes Intertribal Food Summit
Apr. 14-16  |  Green Bay, Wis.

Hosted by the Intertribal Agriculture Council, spend three days of working sessions, hands-on workshops, tours and more. Summit focus is on accessing USDA programs as a Tribal member or Tribal farming operation.  Learn more and register.

Organic Trade Association’s Policy Conference
Apr. 14-16  |  $349  |  Washington, D.C.

Join OTA with this conference comprised of three activity days. Events include a day for members to conduct trade association business, an informative and thought-provoking policy conference, and a final day, when members will take the organic message to legislators on Capitol Hill during hundreds of pre-organized Hill Visits. Learn more and register.

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May

14th North American Agroforestry Conference
May 31-June 3  |  Ames, Iowa

Join the Association for Temperate Agroforestry for their biennial conference. Early registration ends Mar. 15. They are currently accepting abstracts for poster and oral presentations. Learn more.