Community Calendar

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Events and field days to help you grow successfully.

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Indicates a MOSES event.

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December

Web Conference: Growing for the Future
Dec. 5-8  |  5 p.m.-8 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

The conference is completely online and features farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q&A, a discussion board, a resource center and free giveaways. Register here.

Transition to Organic Workshops – CANCELLED
Dec. 5  |  8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Free  |  Lamberton, Minn.

University of Minnesota Extension hosts a series of Transitioning to Organic Workshops around Minnesota.  These free one-day workshops are for both producers who are seeking more information about organic transitioning and certification, and for farmers who are currently going through the process of transitioning to organic production. This year’s topics include business plan development and marketing, understanding soil microbes, weed biology, and mechanical weed management. For more information, please contact Constance Carlson (carl5114@umn.edu). Learn more and register here. 

Webinar: Managing Downy Mildew in Cucurbits
Dec. 6  |  Free  |  Online

This presentation will discuss when downy mildew first arrives in an area and how the pathogen spreads. Methods for controlling cucurbit downy mildew, including resistant varieties and cultural controls, will be discussed. Register here.

Webinar: Graze and Bale–Cover Crops as Forage
Dec. 6  |  Free  |  Online

In addition to providing a variety of environmental benefits, cover crops on a crop-livestock farm offer economic returns when used as a forage source. James Holz and Bill Frederick have a combined 12 years of experience growing cover crops and operate Iowa Cover Crop, a custom cover crop application business. James will share his experiences with chopping and baling covers, while Bill will discuss cover crop grazing strategies. Join the webinar here.

Transition to Organic Workshop
Dec. 6  |  8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Free  |  St. Cloud, Minn.

University of Minnesota Extension hosts a series of Transitioning to Organic Workshops around Minnesota.  These free one-day workshops are for both producers who are seeking more information about organic transitioning and certification, and for farmers who are currently going through the process of transitioning to organic production. This year’s topics include business plan development and marketing, understanding soil microbes, weed biology, and mechanical weed management. For more information, please contact Constance Carlson (carl5114@umn.edu). Learn more and register here. 

Hard Cider in the North Central Region – Opportunities for Rural Development
Dec. 6  |  1:30   |  Free  |  Online

This webinar will share and discuss survey results focused on recent and projected industry trends, sourcing of apples, marketing and distribution approaches, constraints and opportunities within the industry, and research and outreach preferences of cider makers. This is a free webinar and no registration is required. Learn more here.

The Waters of Connection
Dec. 6  |  5-8:30  |  $30   |  St. Paul, Minn.

This event celebrating our interconnection and shared responsibility will feature indigenous and locally-sourced food, music and drumming, short excerpts of Bioneers films, Two Buck Root Beer & Beer, free food sampling, and a talk on ceremonies to pray for the water. Learn more here.

Webinar: Residue and Tillage Management in Organic Farming Systems
Dec. 6  |  2-3 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

The final installment of this three-part series will feature organic producers from the Western region discussing their methods of residue and tillage management. Learn more here.

Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo
Dec. 6-8  |  $105  |  Grand Rapids, Mich.

This fruit and vegetable growers, greenhouse growers, and farm marketers expo is not geared towards organic farmers, but may be a great opportunity to connect with other farmers in your interest area. Learn more and register here.

Transition to Organic Workshops
Dec. 7  |  8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  Free  |  Rochester, Minn.

University of Minnesota Extension hosts a series of Transitioning to Organic Workshops around Minnesota.  These free one-day workshops are for both producers who are seeking more information about organic transitioning and certification, and for farmers who are currently going through the process of transitioning to organic production. This year’s topics include business plan development and marketing, understanding soil microbes, weed biology, and mechanical weed management. For more information, please contact Constance Carlson (carl5114@umn.edu). Learn more and register here. 

Young Farmers Conference
Dec. 7–9  |  $285  |   Online

Past workshops have included topics such as soil health, agricultural policy, and marketing. Due to high interest, registration for the conference will be by lottery. Beginning farmers (farming for more than one year and less than 10) will be given registration preference. Lottery registration will open at 9:00 am on September 6 and close at 5:00 pm on September 19. Learn more here.

Managing Financial Risk in Organic Grains
Dec. 8  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $25  |   Atlanta, Ill.

Lenders, insurers, and farmers will discuss the details of how to seek financing and insurance for your organic crop, how to manage financial risk during organic transition and beyond, and how to make the most of your organic premium. Learn more and register here.

Indoor Microgreen Workshop
Dec. 8  |  6-7:30 p.m.  |  $45  |  West Bend, Wisc.

Learn how to grow microgreens all winter long in your own home. Participants will get hands-on demonstrations, samples of some favorite greens, and their own seedling tray plus bag of seeds to get started at home. Contact Christine Kuhn at 414-840-9741 or wellspringeducation@gmail.com with any questions. Learn more and register here.

Midwest Energy District Conference
Dec. 8-9  |  7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $30  |  Decorah, Iowa

Each of the two days of this working conference will engage participants in defining the future of the Energy District movement at the regional, state and national levels. Each half day will include a cycle of presentation briefs, break-out small group work sessions, and rejoinder discussion. Learn more and register here.

Land Stewardship Project Honors George Boody
Dec. 9  |  4-6:30 p.m.  |  Northfield, Minn.

The executive director of LSP is stepping down at the end of December. This event will recognize his almost quarter-century career with the organization. Learn more here.

Introduction to Holistic Management
Dec. 9-10  |  8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  $250  |  Red Oak, Iowa

Proper application of holistic management principles will enhance the health of your land and increase productivity while reducing operating costs. Lunch, break food and drinks for each day are included. Pre-register by November 23. Learn more here.

National Domestic Fair Trade Conference
Dec. 9-11  |  $  |  Portland, Ore.

This conference helps farmers, farmworkers, retailers, processors, distributors, manufacturers, advocates, and activists to find and share concrete solutions to improving our agricultural production system. Register here.

Advanced Strategic Business Planning & Management
Dec. 10  |  9 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  $150  |  East Lansing, Mich.

This is the second finance workshop from Michigan State University’s Student Organic Farm. This one dives deeper into financial planning, strategic investments, capital access, and growth. See here for more information.

Webinar: Flooding and Farm Evacuations
Dec. 13  |  12 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Learn how to prepare for and evacuating your farm from Joan DeVries and Dr. Susan Kerr, Washington State University Extension. Learn more here.

Webinar: Understanding Farm Animal Welfare Certification
Dec. 13  |  10 a.m. CST  |  Online

his webinar will walk you through the process of becoming welfare-certified and discuss funding options available to farmers interested in certification – including FACT’s Animal Welfare Certification Grants.  Register here.

Soil Health, Cover Crops, and Winter Grazing Workshop
Dec. 13  |  8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  Starbuck, Minn.

These presentations and a field day will cover the topics of building soil health with cover crops and winter grazing strategies in Minnesota. Lunch is included. To RSVP, contact Robin Moore at 320-269-2105 or rmoore@landstewardshipproject.org.

Webinar: Getting More from Cover Crops
Dec. 13  |  7:30-8 p.m. CST  |  Free  |  Online

Farmer Jack Boyer will share the results of on-farm research trials he has been conducting in an effort to “get more” from his cover crops, including his trial delaying cover crop termination until the day of soybean planting. Iowa State University agronomy researcher Michael Castellano will join Jack to discuss similar research trials he has conducted. Learn more here.

Webinar: Creating a Farm Loan Package
Dec. 14  |  11 a.m.  |  Online

This webinar will provide a basic overview of a farm loan package. The course is directed to those interested in borrowing money to start, grow or expand their business. Learn more here.

Webinar: Crop Planning for Vegetable Growers
Dec. 14  |  11 a.m. CST  |  Online

Scaling up to meet the demands of wholesale or institutional markets requires careful planning and recordkeeping. This webinar will help growers understand how to plan crops to fulfill production goals and wholesale contracts and how to calculate planting dates based on an anticipated date of harvest. Register here.

Webinar: Farm-Life Balance for CSA Farmers
Dec. 20  |  7:30-8 p.m. CST  |  Free  |  Online

Operating a farm under the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Learn from Kate Edwards of Wild Woods Farm about the challenges she has encountered, and from Kristen Kordet of Blue Moon Community Farm about the strategies she has used to strike a balance. Learn more here.

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January

Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Farmers
Jan. 6-8  |  $295-325  |  Madison, Wisc.

This three-day workshop is for anyone planning to start a fresh market vegetable farm. The program emphasizes organic production methods and direct marketing. Participants will learn about fertility management, greenhouse use, season extension, pest management and equipment needs, and will hear real-world perspectives on the financial and quality-of-life realities of running a small scale farm. There are a limited number of $100 scholarships available. Learn more and register here.

North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow
Jan. 10-14  |  $410  |  Galveston, Texas

This is a joint conference of the American Beekeeping Federation, the American Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council. Learn more and register here.

Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
Jan. 11-13  |  $75+  |  Springfield, Ill.

The Illinois Specialty Growers Association hosts their annual conference this year in Springfield Illinois. This event features education opportunities and a large trade show. View the schedule here and register here.

Temple Grandin Presents
Jan. 12  |  12 p.m.  |  New Hampton, Iowa

Temple Grandin is widely known for work with the American livestock industry. She has leveraged the fact that her autism allows her to better understand what management and facility designs will help to calm livestock and lead to better, more humane handling systems. She will be speaking at the New Hampton High School to students. Please contact the school by calling 641-394-2144 to learn more about the program.

Minnesota Organic Conference
Jan. 12-13  |  $140  |  St. Cloud, Minn.

The Minnesota Organic Conference offers opportunities for producers and consumers to learn about organic production and labeling. You can learn more about the event here. MOSES will be in the Exhibit Hall selling books and available to answer questions. Please stop by!

Winter Greens Short Course
Jan. 12-14  |  $595  |  South Burlington, Vt.

This three day, practical hands-on short course will explore everything from site selection, brands of  high tunnels/hoophouses, the four key principles to grow and maintain crops 365 days per year, the economics behind winter greens production, soil fertility management, and more. Learn more and register here.

Sustainable Foods Summit
Jan. 18  |  8 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  San Francisco, Calif.

The Sustainable Foods Summit is a series of summits that focuses on the leading issues the food industry faces concerning sustainability and eco-labels such as organic, fair trade, Rainforest Alliance, etc. The aim of the summit is to explore new horizons for eco-labels and sustainability in the food industry by discussing key industry issues. This summit will focus on sustainable food systems, food ingredients, traceability & authenticity and waste impacts. The summit comprises four sessions and two workshops. Learn more and register here.

Routes to Farm Summit
Jan. 18-19  |  Free  |  Oglesby, Ill.

This summit will cover emerging challenges for direct-market farms through a process of open dialogue between farmers and local food advocates. Space is limited and meals will be provided at no cost. Learn more and register here.

Practical Farmers of Iowa: Pre-Conference Short Courses
Jan. 19-20  |  Ames, Iowa

These pre-conference short courses  run the day before and morning of the conference.  Learn more here.

Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference
Jan. 20-21  |  Ames, Iowa

Attend to be part of the 30+ year tradition of information-sharing. Join in as farmers share how they conserve both money and soil, grow and market a multitude of crops, practice sound financial and production record- keeping, access land and capital, pass on the farm to the next generation, and more. Learn more here.

Organic Grain Production & Marketing Seminar
Jan. 21-22  |  Madison, Wis

OGRAIN hosts a two-day course to help farmers get up to speed for successful organic grain production. Hear from farmers, researchers, industry reps, economists, agronomists, organic certifiers, and more. Learn more and register here.

Organic Agriculture Research Symposium
Jan. 25-26 |  $   |  Lexington, Ky.

The symposium will feature researchers from all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems, and other systems of sustainable agriculture that employ techniques compatible with organic standards. The intent of the symposium is to provide current information to farmers, ranchers, extentionists, educators, agricultural professionals and others interested in organic agriculture. Learn more and register here.

EcoFarm Conference

Jan. 25-28 |  $   |  Pacific Grove, Calif.

As the oldest and largest organic farming event in the west, EcoFarm is a
prime networking and educational hub for farmers, ranchers, distributors, retailers, activists, researchers, and educators. It features  over 70 workshops, keynote speakers, discussion groups, an exhibitor marketplace, seed swap, live entertainment, mixers, and delicious organic meals. Learn more and register here.

Southern SAWG Conference
Jan. 25-28 |  $   |  Pacific Grove, Calif.

This is the must-attend event for those serious about sustainable and organic farming and creating more vibrant community food systems. This popular event drew over 1,400 farmers and local food advocates from across the nation last year while offering outstanding “field-tested” presenters, a full slate of hot-topic conference sessions and pre-conference courses, several field trips, a poster display and a trade show. Learn more and register here.

NPSAS Winter Conference
Jan. 26-28  |  $   |  Aberdeen, SD

This conference will include three pre-conference workshops, two keynote presentations, over thirty workshops, over fifty vendors, live entertainment, and organic and locally sourced meals. Learn more here.

MOA Organic Conference
Jan. 26–28  |  $   |  Kansas City Mo.

This conference will include informative educational sessions, hands-on workshops, a live auction, special events and great food. Learn more here.

MOA Organic Conference
Jan. 27-28   |  Des Moines, Iowa

The 2017 Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference will be held January 27-28 in Des Moines. More details available at a later date.

Wisconsin Farmers Union State Convention
Jan. 27-29  |  $   |  Wisconsin Dells, Wis.

Check back for more information or see here.

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February

Organicology
Feb. 2-4   |  Portland, Ore.

This conference about a sustainable food future will include a wide variety of workshops and new educational tracks, an all-day trade show, an organic seed swap and variety tasting, several keynotes, and more. Learn more here.

Organic Vegetable Production Conference
Feb. 3-4   |  Madison, Wis.

This producer initiated conference is built around farmer to farmer skill sharing and is expected to attract growers from Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Learn more and register here.

Holistic Management Workshop: Financial Management
Feb. 3-4   |  $250  |  Red Oak, Iowa

This workshop will cover the proper application of holistic management principles, which will enhance the health of your land and increase productivity while reducing operating costs. Meals are included. Contact lesliecarbaugh@yahoo.com for more information.

FSA Opportunities
Feb. 9   |  6-8 p.m.  |  East Troy, Wis.

Spend an evening with Tom Olsen of the FSA and learn about some of the conservation programs, disaster assistance, farm loan programs, and more that FSA has available. Learn more here.

SFA Annual Conference
Feb. 11   |  St. Joseph, Minn.

The topics of this conference will be determined by an online voting system where SFA members submit session topics and vote on their favorites. Learn more here.

Farm Services Agency Workshop
Feb. 11   |  $20  |  St. Joseph, Minn.

Officials from the Illinois state FSA office will walk attendees through programs designed to assist farmers with access to operating credit, real estate financing, conservation support programs, and disaster relief. Attendees will learn about eligibility and preferential funding groups such as beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. Learn more here.

Midwest Soil Health Summit
Feb. 15-16  |  $   |  Fergus Falls, Minn.

The SFA Midwest Soil Health Summit features soil health experts and farm leaders for two days of education and farmer networking all geared at improving the health of your soil. Learn more here.

Risk Management in the Emerging Organic Grain Industry
Feb. 16  |  $25  |  Central Ill.

This series of workshops is designed to help you manage risk in organic grain production, marketing, and financing. Learn more and register here.

MOSES Organic Farming Conference
Feb. 23-25  |  $   |  La Crosse, Wis.

This high-energy launch to your 2017 farming season features six workshop sessions with a total of 65 topics, 10 all-day courses, expert-led roundtables, great organic food and lively entertainment—this is the 28th annual MOSES Conference, the country’s premier event about organic and sustainable farming. Keynote speakers are Mas Masumoto, a certified organic farmer and author of Changing Seasons, A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm; and, Liz Carlisle, Stanford University lecturer and author of Lentil Underground. Learn more here.

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March

Beekeeping for Beginners
March 11 |  Madison, Wis.

This class will teach you the basic steps on how to start beekeeping, such as how to choose a site for your hives, where you can obtain your bees and equipment, how to properly care for your bees, how to collect the honey, and to overwinter your hive. More information to come.

Midwest Cover Crop Council Meeting
March 14-15  |  Grand Rapids, Mich.

More information to come.

Good Food Industry Conference
March 16-18  |  Chicago, Ill.

This conference will connect farmers, food producers, investors, trade buyers, policy makers, activists, families and Good Food lovers over the course of three days. Learn more here.

 

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April

Beekeeping for Beginners
April 29 | Madison, Wis.

This class will teach you the basic steps on how to start beekeeping, such as how to choose a site for your hives, where you can obtain your bees and equipment, how to properly care for your bees, how to collect the honey, and to overwinter your hive. More information to come.

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May

Beekeeping for Beginners
May 8 – Oct. 27  |  $6650  |  Burlington, Vt.

The UVM Farmer Training Program is a six-month intensive program where students run the 10-acre Catamount Educational Farm from seed to market, learning from expert farmers and educators in the classroom, and working alongside successful, inspiring farmers in the field. Participants leave with a Certificate in Sustainable Farming from UVM, a deeper understanding of agricultural management and small-scale farming, the entrepreneurial skills to start their own operation, and a network of incredible people to support them along the way. Learn more here.

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