Community Calendar

March  |  April  |  May

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

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March

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.

Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture
Mar. 24  |  1 p.m. Central  |  Free

Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) is the first multi-state, participatory plant-breeding project to focus solely on organic carrots. Organic growers need carrot varieties that are adapted to organic conditions and have market qualities that organic consumers demand, such as superior nutrition and flavor. While some breeding work has identified these traits in orange, red, purple, and yellow carrots — all high-value crops and in demand by consumers — these varieties have not been adapted to the needs of organic agriculture. In the webinar, members of the CIOA research team will present results from the first three years of the project. In particular, participants will learn about advancements in breeding under organic conditions for nematode resistance and for beneficial relationships with soil microorganisms. REGISTER TODAY

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.