Community Calendar

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

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April

GAP Certification
Apr. 21  |  12-4 p.m.  |  Sandwich, Ill.

In order to be GAP certified, you need to have a food safety plan, follow that plan, and document your actions as proof that you are following your plan. Montalbano Farms will go through the process of creating your food safety plan, creating and implementing food traceability records, and other documentation required. Visitors will see the packinghouse, fields, and greenhouse. Email farmertraining@learngrowconnect.org for more information.

Webinar: Getting your Food Product Into Retail Stores
Apr. 22  |  4:30 p.m.

Learn about the pros and cons of working with a distributor as opposed to direct marketing your product. Register here.

calendarwheatWomen Caring for the Land: Conservation Practices
Apr. 22  |  8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Dodgeville, Wis.

Women Caring for the Land is an innovative program that helps female non-operator landowners learn more about conservation practices they can employ on their land. The agenda includes an informational morning session, lunch, and a bus tour of area farmland to look at land conservation practices. Learn more.

calendarwheatWomen Caring for the Land: Conservation Practices
Apr. 23  |  8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Viroqua, Wis.

Women Caring for the Land is an innovative program that helps female non-operator landowners learn more about conservation practices they can employ on their land. The agenda includes an informational morning session, lunch, and a bus tour of area farmland to look at land conservation practices. Learn more.

calendarwheatWomen Caring for the Land: Conservation Practices
Apr. 24  |  8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Monroe, Wis.

Women Caring for the Land is an innovative program that helps female non-operator landowners learn more about conservation practices they can employ on their land. The agenda includes an informational morning session, lunch, and a bus tour of area farmland to look at land conservation practices. Learn more.

Permaculture Weekend Intensive with Mark Shepard
Apr. 25-27  |  St. Louis, Mo.

Participants will learn how to assess their own site’s water management needs, learn where to site keylines, swales and ponds, and gain hands-on practice using a laser level, an A-frame, installing keylines and constructing swales. Friday includes a free introduction to restoration agriculture course. Saturday will have classroom instruction, site assessment and social. Sunday includes field instruction. Click here for more information.

Introduction to Small Ruminant Husbandry
Apr. 26  |  1-5 p.m.  |  Ashby, Minn.

The Sustainable Farming Association offers this hands-on workshop at Paradox Farm. Course topics include: holistic management, ruminant nutrition, animal handling, fencing, grazing strategies, holistic veterinary care, shelters, weight and age estimation. Wear clothing appropriate for working with animals: closed-toe shoes, gloves, long pants. To learn more, click here.

Farm Dreams Workshop
Apr. 26  |  4-8 p.m.  |  Mountain Iron, Minn.

Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Learn more.

Farm Dreams Workshop
Apr. 27  |  1-5 p.m.  |  Menomonie, Wis.

Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Click here for more information.

Earth Day for Peace and Justice
Apr. 27  |  1-5 p.m.  |  Farley Center  |  Verona, Wis.

Farmer led mini-workshops, Earth-Day sing-along led by Daithi Wolfe and Barbara Chusid, recycle crafts and games, hiking tours, nature scavenger hunt and talking circles are a few of the activities planned. Learn more.

Thrive: Amazing Grazing – The Importance of Grass Fed Beef
Apr. 28  |  7 p.m.  |  $10  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

Todd Churchill from 1000 Hills Cattle Company talks about why he raises grass-fed beef using no grain, no antibiotics, and no artificial hormones and gives a history lesson of how politics and power have shaped and created the current food system. This event is part of the Thrive Sustainability series from Chowgirls Killer Catering and The Growler. Learn more.

Webinar: Urban Farms: Commercial Farms or Socially Minded Operations?
Apr. 29  |  Free  |  12 p.m. Central

This webinar will provide an analysis of the differences between nonprofit and commercial urban farms, and is based on research conducted by researchers at NYU, Penn State, and NCAT-ATTRA. Learn more and register.

Train the Trainers: GAPs On-Farm Food Safety Education
Apr. 30-May 1  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Le Center, Minn.

A series of hands-on GAPs workshops for agricultural educators and those who work with fruit and vegetable farmers, including non-profits, Extension and other agriculture educators and professionals. During the 2-day workshop, the UMN GAPs team will provide a foundation for understanding GAPs and how they can benefit farmers and minimize food safety risks associated with production of fresh fruits and vegetables. For questions, please contact Michele Schermann or Annalisa Hultberg.

Know Your Buyer
Apr. 30  |  8:30 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  Madison, Wis.

Hosted by WI DATCP, this event will be a panel discussion from a multitude of local food buyers and experts. Learn about CSA member management, selling to restaurants, grocery stores, institutions, and schools. Find out what they are looking for and how to best approach them with your products. Learn more.

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May

Organic Certification Made Easy
May 2  |  9 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  East Troy, Wis.

Designed to help participants simplify the process of organic certification, the content will focus on how to choose an Organic Certification Agency and establish a framework for what to expect from the inspector and the audit process. There will be time devoted to the steps necessary for writing an Organic Systems Plan and how to collect, organize and maintain the documentation necessary for initial and ongoing certification including establishing Lot Numbers. Learn more and register.

2014 Rural Summit
May 2  |  9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  |  $35  |  Stevens Point, Wis.

The rural summit will include a full day of speakers and the launch of the 2014 Rural Wisconsin Today report. Learn more and register.

Natural and Organic Expo
May 3  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Oshkosh, Wis.

This Expo brings together local and national companies that specialize in natural and organic foods & products. Features include a living organic garden, farmers’ market, and sales of organic seeds and transplants. Click here for more information.

Introduction to Permaculture
May 3  |  9 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  East Troy, Wis.

This workshop will focus on land use and the principles of permaculture. Learn how to turn household waste into valuable resources; put an end to the back-breaking task of tilling; discover how to grow more food in less space; and reduce your use of landscape chemicals. Participants will have an opportunity to develop permaculture ideas and solutions. Learn more and register.

Farm Dreams Workshop
May 4  |  1-5 p.m.  |  La Crosse, Wis.

Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Click here for more information.

Thrive: The Locavore Link – Know Your Farmers
May 5  |  $10  |  7 p.m.  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

Chowgirls co-founder Heidi Andermack and Chef Jerry Fodness talk with Bossy Acres’ Karla Pankow and Elizabeth Millard, and Peterson-Limosin Beef’s Andy Peterson about the importance of local sourcing and partnerships in food businesses. This event is part of the Thrive Sustainability series from Chowgirls Killer Catering and The GrowlerLearn more.

Webinar: Profitable High Tunnel Management
May 6  |  6 p.m. Central  |  Free

Designed to help specialty crop farmers take advantage of these benefits, webinar topics will include identifying the costs of production; fertility, disease, and pest management; profitable crops and cultivars; successful rotations; product pricing, and market strategies. Organized by the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association and Countryside Conservancy. Learn more and register.

Restorative Agriculture: Urban-Rural Partnerships
May 8  |  6-9 p.m.  |  $24  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

Facilitated by Paula Westmoreland and Lansing Shepard, discussion will be about emerging perennial-based agriculture systems, exploration of solutions and the roles individuals can play. Learn more.

Farmland Access Field Day
May 10  |  3-5:30 p.m.  |  Heyworth, Ill.

Learn about all aspects of farmland access from experts including a soil specialist, attorney, loan officer, and farm appraiser. Terra Brockman, of The Land Connection, will discuss the pros and cons of owning and leasing land, along with creative sustainable lease, rolling lease, and long-term lease options. Community experts will be on hand to discuss legal and financial aspects of farmland access. Learn more.

Postharvest Handling and Food Safety
May 12  |  4-7 p.m.  |  Kansas City, Kan.

This evening workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Learn more.

National Value-Added Agriculture Conference
May 13-15  |  Baltimore, Md.

The conference theme is “Enhancing Food Security and Rural Viability through Innovative Food System Practices and Opportunities.” Presentations cover food safety, agri-tourism, entrepreneurship, rural development, marketing and distribution, regulation and policies, sourcing and branding, and business planning and financing. Learn more.

Webinar: Using RUSLE2 to Evaluate Soil Health Planning Principles
May 13  |  1-2 p.m. Central

This webinar will provide participants a better understanding of the NRCS soil health planning process and how adjustments made within RUSLE2 directly relate to implementing a Soil Health Management System. The link between NRCS’ four soil health planning principles (minimize disturbance, maximize diversity, keep a living root growing, provide soil cover) and the Soil Tillage Intensity Rating, Soil Conditioning Index, tillage operations, vegetation, growth curves, residue type, climate impacts, and other data used in RUSLE2 will be explored. Register and learn more.

Aquaponics Master Class
May 15-17  |  8 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. Click here to register and learn more.

Introduction to Apple Orchard and Integrated Pest Management
May 17  |  9 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Cloquet, Minn.

This full-day workshop is geared towards backyard and beginning growers of all skill levels. The class will provide an overview of issues related to growing healthy trees & fruit and controlling pests and diseases throughout the season. Class will include handouts on specific topics covered, beginning with an introduction to apple trees and varieties, followed by an introduction to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and organic management of fruit trees. Contact Cindy at cindy@clovervalleyfarms.com.

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June

Minnesota Farmers Union Women’s Conference
June 1-3  |  Duluth, Minn.

Minnesota Farmers Union will be hosting a joint retreat with the Focus on the Future young farmers and the ladies of Farmers Union with a Women’s Conference. Inspiring stories and strong networking opportunities will help pave the road for young farmers and women in the agricultural community. If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact the Minnesota Farmers Union office at 651-639-1223.

Drip Irrigation and Small Farm Equipment
June 2  |  4-7 p.m.  |  $15  |  Olathe, Kan.

This evening workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Learn more.

Webinar: Commonly Used Organic Inputs
June 3  |  4 p.m.

Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about commonly used organic inputs. This free webinar is available to the public. Learn more.

Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference
June 6-8  |  Mukwonago, Wis.

Centered in the Wise Woman Tradition, the conference provides a gathering space to focus on earth-centered healing, nourishment, and the plants that grow around us. Conference includes plant walks, entertainment and over 40 workshops. Registration opens in December 2013. Learn more.

Webinar: Practical Soil Biology
June 12  |  $30  |  7 a.m. Central

Hosted by Earthfort, learn practical applications of soil biology and how to manage this resource. Review the fundamentals of soil biology and how to apply a biological approach to gardens, farms, or landscapes. Learn more.

Introduction to Small Fruit Production
June 14  |  9 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  $30  |  Kingsville, Mo.

This workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Learn more.

Farm Dreams Workshop
June 22  |  1-5 p.m.  |  Minnetrista, Minn.

Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Click here for more information.

Agritourism Intensive
June 23-25  |  Champaign, Ill.

Delve into the details on running agritourism operations. Details include walking through the risks and risk mitigation strategies of successful agritourism businesses with a farm law expert, learning from regional tourism boards and The Land Connection staff about the potential markets and opportunities for growth in agritourism and receiving tours and presentations of four successful farms in the “Land of Lincoln” that will cover topics from start-up and capital access to pricing, regulation and infrastructure. Learn more.

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July

Insect, Disease and Weed Managment
July 12  |  $30  |  9 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Lawrence, Kan.

This workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Martin to learn more or register: batesm@k-state.edu.

Aquaponics Master Class
July 24-26  |  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. Click here to register and learn more.

Low-till/No-till Cropping Systems
July 21  |  $15  |  4-7 p.m.  |  Kansas City, Mo.

This evening workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Cary to learn more or register: crivard@ksu.edu.

Horticulture Night
July 24  |  5-9 p.m.  |  Morris, Minn.

An annual event held at the U of MN West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris. Features include gardening demonstrations, walking tours, and a variety of activities. A special one-hour tour and presentation of our organic day-neutral low tunnel strawberry project is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Learn more.

calendarwheatIn Her Boots: Field Day
July 25  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  $50  |  North Freedom, Wis.

Join Jane Hawley Stevens’ certified organic family herb farm to learn about her favorite topic – herbs. Jane will offer a guided tour through her educational Chakra Garden, where the herbs are placed according to the body systems they support. From there we will explore the extensive production field were Jane can point out the culture of many medicinal herbs used in her product line. Learn more and register.

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August

Webinar: Weed Management in Organic Pastures
Aug. 5  |  4 p.m.

Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about weed management in organic pastures.  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. Click here for more information.

Farm Business Planning and Management
Aug. 9  |  $30  |  9 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Kansas City, Mo.

This workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Alicia to learn more or register: alicia@cultivatekc.org.

Farm Dreams Workshop
Aug. 10  |  1-5 p.m.  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Click here for more information.

calendarwheatIn Her Boots: Field Day
Aug. 15  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  $50  |  Athens, Wis.

Farmer Kat Becker welcomes you to her family’s certified organic operation, showcasing a third-generation family farm committed to local community, environmental sustainability, and providing a beautiful and constructive setting to raise a family. Come experience a highly diversified farm operation, including vegetables; fruit; maple syrup; grass fed beef, pastured pork and eggs; organic and most recently: farm to table pizzas. Learn more and register.

Farm Dreams Workshop
Aug. 17  |  1-5 p.m.  |  Viroqua, Wis.

Farm Dreams is an entry level, four-hour, exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical, common sense information on whether sustainable farming is the next step for them. This is a great workshop to attend if you are in the exploratory stages of getting started farming. Farm Dreams is a great prerequisite for the Farm Beginnings course. Click here for more information.

Introduction to Cut Flowers
Aug. 25  |  $15  |  4-7 p.m.  |  Kansas City, Mo.

This evening workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Lala to learn more or register: kumarl@missouri.edu.

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September

Aquaponics Master Class
Sept. 18-20  |  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. Register and learn more.

Scaling Up Your Business and Packaging & Grading Produce
Sept. 22  |  $30  |  9 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Lawrence, Kan.

This workshop is part of the Growing Growers series, which offers public workshops throughout the year on skills required to run a local farm. Contact Marlin to learn more or register: batesm@k-state.edu.

2014 America’s Watershed Initiative Summit
Sept. 3-Oct. 2  |  Galt House Hotel  |  Louisville, Ky.

The summit will bring together key private, public, and non-profit sector stakeholders to improve governance of the Mississippi Watershed. AWI is a collaboration that seeks solutions for meeting the multiple demands placed on the vast and complex Mississippi watershed system by integrating issues, partners and ideas at the full watershed scale. Register and learn more.

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October

Farmer Grant Writing Workshop
Oct. 1  |  6-9 p.m.  |  Springfield, Ill.

Existing and prospective farmers are invited to participate in a grant writing workshop to learn about the basics of grant writing as well as specifics on grants available through the North Central Region SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program and the Ill. Dept of Agriculture. Learn more and register.

Webinar: Organic Farming and Soil Health
Oct. 7  |  4 p.m.

Oregon Tilth and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service present this webinar about organic farming and soil health.  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. Click here for more information.

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November

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.

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. Click here to register and learn more.

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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. Click here for more information.

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