Community Calendar

August  |  September  |  October | November

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

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July

Silvopasture Workshop
July 29–30  |  $45  |  Luck, Wis.

Silvopasture is a sustainable agroforestry practice where trees and forage crops are grown together on the same piece of land, and grazing animals eat the forages. Topics covered include establishment, management, and decision-making about silvopasture; livestock management in silvopasture (focus on cattle); controlling brush, toxic plants and invasives; opportunities and challenges of silvopasture; economics; and where to get more information. Learn more here. Register here.

Hop Field Day & Tour
July 29  |  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.  |  $85  |  Frankfort, Mich. 

The tour is designed for both beginning and advanced hop growers as well as those interested in learning more about hop production and craft beer. Local growers will be on hand to talk about all aspects of hop production including initial costs, plant care, disease & insect management, trellis construction, quality control, propagation, organic & conventional growing practices, and picking and processing. Lunch is included. Learn more and register here.

SAEA National Conference
July 29–31  |  $65+  |  Santa Cruz, Calif.

The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association is hosting their national conference. This year’s theme highlights the growing demand for inclusive and critical approaches to sustainable agriculture and food education at the post-secondary level. The conference will focus on social justice and equity oriented educational programming. Participants from across the agriculture and food system who are engaged in adult education are invited, including students, teachers, farmers, cooks, community organizers, and professionals in health, business, the arts, media, and law. This event has strong interest and will likely reach capacity well before the end of July, so register soon if you’re interested. The registration fee covers all three days of the event and all meals. There is housing and parking available on campus for an additional cost. See the website to learn more or register.

Working Together: Benefits of Mentoring and Collaborating
July 30  |  2 p.m. – 7 p.m.  |  Avoca, Iowa

This field day will begin at Fork Tail Farm at 2 p.m., and will move to Rolling Acres Farm at 4 p.m. Learn about the benefits of mentorship from the perspective of both mentee and mentor, and the differences in this relationship compared to an internship or employment. Attendees learn about the benefits of a collaborative CSA, such as diversifying crop risks and responsibilities, and how to make sure this relationship is fair for both parties. Other topics covered include producing crops on limited land and with limited time, using a mobile high tunnel, and the organic certification process. A meal will be provided. Please RSVP to Lauren at lauren@practicalfarmers.org. Learn more.

Easy Keeping Cows Field Day
July 30  |  2 p.m. – 7 p.m.  |  $105  |  Mondovi, Wis.

This field day will talk about how to how to find cows, nourish them, and create more low-maintenance dairy and beef cows for your farm. Learn more here.

Together at the Farm
July 30  |  8 a.m. – 11 p.m.  |  Chatham, Mich.

This conference will feature hands-on, interactive workshops on topics ranging from production methods to policy. The event’s keynote will be provided by Eliot Coleman, a pioneer and visionary in the field of organic agriculture, season extension, and diversified market farming.  The event will conclude with a ticketed dinner and barn dance. Learn more and register here.

LSP Farm Dreams Class
July 31  | members: $20, non-members: $40  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

The Land Stewardship Project hosts a four-hour exploratory workshop designed to help people who are seeking practical information on whether farming is the next step for them. To learn more, see the website.

Beekeeping Workshop: ReQueening and Late Nucs
July 31  | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  |  $40  |  Bellaire, Mich.

Topics covered in this workshop include the benefits and process of requeening, how to choose a queentricks for finding the queen, how to make a nuc with the old queen, how to successfully introduce a new queen into your hive. Three years of beekeeping is required to take this course. A bee suit is also required. Lunch will be provided. See more and register here.

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August

Summer Fruiting Crops in High Tunnels (Tomatoes and More)
Aug. 1  |  8 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  $150*  |  Bath, Mich.

This Michigan Farmer Field School course is hands-on and covers the nuts and bolts of successful planning, production, post-harvest handling, packaging and marketing of summer fruit under hoops. The workshop focuses on ginger, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and basil. Led by experienced growers and hosted on their farm, content includes everything from variety overview to planting dates, fertility schemes, trellis systems and management practices.
Learn more and register.
*$40 for each additional farm member

Soil Health Through Composting & Mulching
Aug. 1  |  5:30–8:30 p.m.  |  $30  |  Traverse City, Mich.

Topics for building soil health will include how to use hay, straw, leaves, ramial wood chips and charcoal; how to sheet compost; how to make straw bale or lasagna gardening beds; how to make and utilize hegelkulturs; how to make keyhole gardens; and the benefits of raised bed and container growing. These methods can be done with or without larger power equipment, making this workshop ideal for both garden and farm scale growers. Learn more and register here.

Webinar: Residue and Tillage Management in Organic Farming Systems – Eastern States
Aug. 2  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Oregon Tilth and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) have partnered to create this three-part webinar series featuring organic producers from the Eastern region discussing their methods of residue and tillage management.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: NRCS Organic Agriculture Series
Aug. 2  |  3 p.m.  EST |  Free  |  Online

This is the first webinar in a three part series that discusses challenges and opportunities in managing tillage and plant residues on organic farms. Learn more here. Pre-registration is not required.

Organic No-Till Field Day
Aug. 2  |  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Viroqua, Wis.

Organic no-till is a farming system that utilizes cover crops to produce “living mulch”  into which crops are planted. The benefits include reduced tillage, weed suppression, increased soil health, fuel savings, and carbon sequestration. Please RSVP to smcdowell@vernoncounty.org or 608-637-5484. Lunch will be provided by Organic Valley. This field day is held at the Steve Hornby Farm – E7104 Traastad Rd., Viroqua, WI.

Webinar: Water Quality Index Tool Tutorial
Aug. 2  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

The Water Quality Index for Runoff from Agricultural Fields is a qualitative, multivariate metric that ranks the combined impact of soil and site characteristics, climate, and management practices on the quality of surface runoff leaving agricultural fields. For more information on this webinar, see here.

Grass-fed Beef Field Day
Aug. 2  |  1–5 p.m.  |  Free  |  Arlington, Wis.

This field day will be held at the Arlington Research Station and includes refreshments. For more information, contact Jennifer Blazek, Dane County Dairy & Livestock Educator at 608-224-3717 or blazek.jennifer@countyofdane.com. You can see the full agenda and register here. 

Organic Field Day at the Don DeWeerd Farm
Aug. 2  |  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  Pipestone, Minn.

Topics covered include weeds, open pollinated seed corn, and the radish project. The featured guest speaker is Dr. Mike Lehman, research microbiologist. The event will be held at 1862 70th Avenue in Pipestone, Minnesota. Lunch will be served.

Farm Dreams Workshop
Aug. 3  |  5–9 p.m.  |  $20  |  Galesburg, Ill.

Farm Dreams is our annual workshop series for aspiring farmers to discover what it would really take to start your own farm business. Register here. Includes dinner.

Summer Pasture Walk
Aug. 4  |  9 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  $35  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

Topics will include general farm operation, pasture species palatability, uneven grazing patterns, new seeding mixes, and a rainfall simulator demonstration. Lunch will be available. RSVP to bonnie@dga-national.org or 507-421-7170. See here for more information.

Cottage Food Tier 2 Sales Workshop
Aug. 4  |  9 a.m.-12 p.m.  |  $35  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

The University of Minnesota Extension created this workshop that will meet the training requirements to register as a Minnesota Cottage Food Producer with annual sales of $5,001-$18,000 per year. This advanced course focuses on food safety practices for all processes covered under the cottage food law including drying, baking, confections, jams, jellies, acid and acidified fruit and vegetables and fermentation. Participants also learn packaging, labeling, storage, and transport of safe food products. Graduates of the training will also be qualified for the Tier 1 Sales requirement (applying to sales of $5,000 or less).
Learn more and register.

Bison Advantage Workshop
Aug. 5  |  12-4 p.m.  |  Free  |  Jamestown, N.D.

The National Bison Association has received SARE funding to host a series of workshops across the country introducing producers to this emerging sector of sustainable American agriculture. This introductory course covers holistic management and marketing of bison, a free bison “toolkit” of invaluable production education materials, a tour of the host ranch, lunch, and a networking hour.
Learn more and register.

Pork from Pasture (and Woodlot) to Plate Field Day
Aug. 5  |  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  |  Knoxville, Iowa

This field day will cover topics such as a discussion of fencing, water sources, feeding methods and rations, marketing methods, customer relationships, social media, different housing for different seasons, and a farm tour. Lunch will be served; RSVP for meal to lauren@practicalfarmers.org by August 2. See more here.

Wisconsin Farmers Union Summer Conference
Aug. 5  |  Kamp Kenwood, Wis.

More information to follow soon. See more here.

Cook Family Field Day
Aug. 5  |  6 – 8 p.m.  |  Gaylord, Mich.

This farm specializes in grass fed animals and GMO free grain. Topics covered include chicken production and cooperative systems. Learn more and RSVP here.

calendarwheatIn Her Boots: First Year Farming & Organic Certification Field Day
Aug. 5  |  10 a.m.– 3 p.m.  |  Browntown, Wis.

Topics covered include advice for your first year, organic certification, time management, self-care and farm-life balance, farming solo, farm diversification, running a family farm with kids. See here for more information.

Soil Sisters: A Celebration of Wisconsin Farms and Rural Life
Aug. 5-7  |  $  |  Monroe, New Glarus, Blanchardville and Brodhead, Wis.

Soil Sisters spans three days, has several unique components, and involves numerous women-owned farms. This culinary event includes farm tours, workshops, dinner on the farm, ‘taste of place’ and ‘dine fine’ events throughout the countryside in south central Wisconsin. Wear your sun hat, pull on your farm boots, and kick back for a relaxing time on one or all of the farms. Remember to come hungry for some farm-to-table feasts.
Learn more and plan ahead.

Wisconsin Permaculture Convergence
Aug. 5-7   |  Fountain City, Wis.

This yearly event brings people together to network, build community, share skills, and celebrate life. Learn more here.

Seed Saving: How to do it and why
Aug. 6  |  1-4 p.m.  |  $30  |  Bellaire, Mich.

Learning to save your own seed after your year’s harvest will save money and ensure the continuation of your favorite crops. Participants will learn how to save seeds and the best timing and storage techniques. Register and learn more here.

SILT Showcase Series – Eastern Iowa
Aug. 6  |  10 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Free  |  West Branch, Iowa.

Landowners in Eastern Iowa are invited to learn how to leave a legacy by permanently protecting their land to grow healthy food. This event is hosted by A Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) and includes a farm tour, lunch and presentations by both appraisers and an attorney. Participants have plenty of time for questions, so please come prepared. For more information, please contact Suzan Erem.
Learn more.

Starting a Market Garden Field Day
Aug. 7  |  2–5 p.m.  |  Grinnell, Iowa

This field day will discuss the different spatial possibilities for setting up a vegetable farms, including which issues need to be considered and the individual advantages and disadvantages. Topics covered include bed dimensions, plot size and rotation, relay cropping and plant groupings, tillage and weeding strategies, cover crops, irrigation and equipment considerations, and use of mulches and covers. There will be a meal provided. RSVP for the meal by August 4 to lauren@practicalfarmers.org. See here for more information.

17th Annual National Farmers’ Market Week
Aug. 7-13  |  Nationwide

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today signed a proclamation declaring Aug. 7-13, 2016, as “National Farmers Market Week” to celebrate the important role that farmers’ markets play in local economies. Throughout the week, USDA officials will celebrate at farmers market locations across the country

High Tunnel Tour
Aug. 8  |  10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  |  $15  |  Little Falls, Minn.

Topics covered include high tunnel integrated pest management, scouting, spotted wing drosophila, and high tunnel research production. Learn more here.

Organic Dairy Day
Aug. 9  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Morris, Minn.

This event is held at the West Central Research and Outreach Center. Field tours and the pasture walk will focus on the integrated livestock and cover crop project and organic silage variety trial plots. Lunch is provided. For more information, contact Brad Heins at 320-589-1711 or hein0106@umn.edu.

Maximizing Clover: Pasture Walk at Balch Farm
Aug. 9  |  Hollandale, Wis.

This pasture walk will review clover seeding and fertilization, demonstrate low-stress animal handling techniques and livestock water systems, an interpretation of soil and forage test results, and opportunities for financial and technical assistance for grazing. RSVP by August 5 — learn more here.

Twilight Tour: Historic Kelderhouse Farm
Aug. 9  |  6 – 8 p.m.  |  Maple City, Mich.

This tour will talk about grain through the ages with land stewardship, a sense of place, and community. Learn more and RSVP here.

Webinar: Rangeland Soil Health
Aug. 9  |  2 p.m. EST  |  Online

This webinar is ideal for conservationists, grazing lands specialists, and technical service providers. Learn more here.

calendarwheatOrganic Grain Toolbox Field Day
Aug. 11  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Evansville, Wis.

This MOSES and OGRAIN event takes place at Doudlah Farms, a 1,450-acre diversified organic grain operation. Learn what it takes to grow organic grain successfully, plus do a financial enterprise budgeting exercise, and learn about Whole Farm Revenue Protection. See here for more information.

Pasture Walk at Buena Vista Wildlife Area
Aug. 11  |  6–8 p.m.  |  Buena Vista, Wis.

This pasture walk will discuss challenges and success identified in a 5 year study of how management intensive grazing can be used in the Buena Vista Wildlife Area to remove woody vegetation and increase plant diversity. Contact William at 715-261-6038 or william.kolodziej@co.marathon.wi.us for more information.

Minnesota Garlic Festival
Aug. 13  |  10 a.m.–6 p.m.  |  $5  |  Hutchinson, Minn.

This family-friendly event features fantastic foods, celebrity chefs, music, area artisans, games, and a lot of garlic, all in support of a healthy environment, sustainable farms, and vital rural communities in Minnesota. This festival is a zero waste event! See the website for more information.

Pasture Walk – RavenCroft Farm
Aug. 13  |  10 a.m.– 12 p.m.  |  $15  |  Glenwood City, Wis.

This 140-acre organic farm produces beef, lamb, eggs, and oats and has been using intensive grazing practices to build soil sand grow high quality meat products. Register here  or see the full schedule of farm walks here.

Soil Health Workshop
Aug. 13  |  10 a.m.– 2:30 p.m.  |  $  |  Cresco, Iowa

This will workshop will cover the soil food web, agricultural practices to build soil tilth including relay and cover cropping strategies, and how to enhance farm production by regenerating soils. Anyone interested in the soil food web, including farmers and technical advisers, should plan to attend. The day will include a tour of the Borlaug boyhood farm, lunch, and in-depth presentations by Dr. Jill Clapperton, and a first hand look at how state-of-the-art scientific equipment works in the field. Cost is $25.00/person, or $40.00 for farm partners and includes lunch. Youth 18 and under are free. Pre-register by August 10. Learn more here.

Bison and Silvopasture Walk
Aug. 13  |  10 a.m.– 12 p.m.  |  Spooner, Wis.

The farm is located on 2473 Rolling Green Road, about 10 miles west of Spooner. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Touring wagons with tractors will be provided to take people around the farm. This farm grazes about 200 acres with 80 acres in silvo-pasture. For additional information, contact Otto Wiegand at 800-528-1914.

7 Farmers, 10 Enterprises: Diversity W Farm Field Day
Aug. 13  |  10 a.m.– 12 p.m.  |  Paullina, Iowa

Topics covered in this field day include farrow-to-finish pasture pork production, pastured poultry production and on-farm processing, the effect of micronutrient supplementation on hay yield and quality, rotary hoeing for weed control in oats, and more about small grains production. There will be a potluck lunch following with meat and beverages provided. RSVP for the meal to lauren@practicalfarmers.org by August 9. See more information here.

“Digging In” Youth Field Day
Aug. 14  |  6:30–8:30 p.m.  |  West Union, Iowa

This field day will cover the soil food web, find connections between living soil and healthy plants, and see the tools in the Growing Greener 4-H Greenhouse. Free to all youth 18 and under. Adults are welcome, but please consider a free-will donation. See here for more information.

Value-Added Producers – Efficiency, Capacity, and Food Safety Field Day
Aug. 14  |  1–4 p.m.  |  Duluth, Minn.

This field day will cover building efficiency, capacity & food safety for value-added products and developing profitable apple production along Lake Superior’s north shore of MN. Learn more about the farm here.

On-Farm Research and Pollinators Field Day
Aug. 14  |  2 – 4 p.m.  |  Kanawha, Iowa

Topics covered in this field day include pollinator habitat establishment, the research process & data collection, raising determinate tomatoes in the high tunnel, cucumber enterprise budget, Conservation Research Program, and the NRCS pollinator program. A sampling of cucumber and tomato salads will be served afterward; please bring your own chair and tableware. RSVP for the meal to lauren@practicalfarmers.org by August 11. See more information here.

Olathe Horticulture Research & Extension Center Field Day
Aug. 15  |  4–7 p.m.  |  $15  |  Olathe, Kan.

This workshop is being brought to you by K-State Research and Extension, a partner of the Growing Growers program. Cost to attend this workshop is $15. If you have questions, or for further information, contact Zac Hoppenstedt at zhoppenstedt@ksu.edu. Learn more and register.

Twilight Tour: Coveyou Scenic Farm
Aug. 15  |  6 – 8 p.m.  |  Petoskey, Mich.

This tour will talk about geothermal and solar energy on the farm. Learn more and RSVP here.

Otter Creek Organic Field Day
Aug. 16  |  10 a.m.  |  Free  |  Avoca, Wisc.

This Midwestern BioAg Field Day focuses on organic practices that build soil fertility and profitability in both the short and long term. It covers a range of topics, including nutrient management, transitioning steps, marketing, dairy production, and more. This event is great for both experienced organic farmers and those who are just considering transitioning to organic. RSVP here.

Pasture Walk with Christopher Baird
Aug. 16  |  10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Ferryville, Wis.

This pasture walk will discuss managing existing paddock for the summer pasture slump and using summer stockpiled feed. It will also review the outcome of the spring pasture plan that was implanted in April. This farm is located at 12241 State Hwy 27 Ferryville, WI. For more information, contact Christopher Baird at (608) 632-1769.

Minnesota Employment Taxes and Employer Responsibilities
Aug. 16  |  8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Stillwater, Minn.

Take a guided tour through the maze of state and federal employment tax and other employer reporting requirements. Topics covered include worker status, employment tax withholding and deposit rules, filing requirements, unemployment insurance, worker’s comp, labor standards, and new hire reporting. Minnesota state and federal laws are the focus. Your tour guides are experts from the IRS, Minnesota Department of Revenue, Minnesota Unemployment Insurance Program, Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Insurers Association and the United States Department of Labor.
Learn more and register.

Organic Seed Webinar Series: Diseases and Pests Case Study
Aug. 16  |  1 p.m.  | Free  |   Online

A new six-webinar series on organic seed production will provide training for seed growers and seed production interns throughout the 2016 growing season (June – November). This series will cover a range of topics, from planting to harvest to the economics of seed production. The free webinars are open to the public and appropriate for farmers, interns, students, and other agricultural professionals. Learn more hereYou can register once here for all of the webinars.

Webinar: Alternative Stewardship Strategies for Winter Feeding
Aug. 16  |  2 p.m. EST  | Free  |   Online

Participants will learn about winter feeding strategies that save on winter feeding costs and labor, and that can be done in a way that protects or enhances the pasture, the livestock, and other resources. Learn more.

Dirt Rich Soil Health Event
Aug. 17 |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  Redwood Falls (16) & Marshall (17), Minn.

The Aug. 16 program begins at the American Legion, 100 Industrial Dr, Redwood Falls, with a classroom portion followed by a trip to the award-winning Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz farm to view implementation of a complex cover crop blend and integration of livestock into a cropping system, as well as reviewing soil health monitoring tools and complex cover crop blend seeding. The Aug. 17 program begins at Pizza Ranch, 1420 Boyer Dr, Marshall, with a classroom portion followed by a trip to the Allen Deutz farm reviewing his work with cover crops and livestock integration, as well as innovative fencing techniques to provide livestock access to crop land. Cost is $30/day or $55 for both days; lunch included. Click here to register. For more information contact Wayne Monsen, wayne@sfa-mn.org.

calendarwheatIn Her Boots: Learn Farm Production Field Day
Aug. 17 |  10 a.m.– 3 p.m.  |  Goshen, Ind.

Topics covered include creative land access for beginning farmers, increasing efficiency and maximizing value, salad greens from seed to market, cover crop benefits and management, running a family farm with young kids, creating a family-friendly enterprise. See here for more information.

Pastured Rabbit Field Day
Aug. 17  |  $5  |  Jefferson, Wis.

This pasture walk will include a discussion of pasture plants, a demonstration of moving the colony, and an exposition of the individual components of the Coney Garth system. For more information, contact Julie at julie.m.engel@gmail.com. Register here.

Enhancing Pollinator Habitat Field Day
Aug. 20  |  9 a.m – 5 p.m.  |  $40  |  Tripoli, Iowa

This full-day workshop is for farmers and landowners who want to better understand links between their farm landscape and pollinators; content will focus on habitat enhancement opportunities. Registration is required. Learn more and register.

Pathfinders RC&D Solar Energy Fair
Aug. 20  |  Free  |  Fairfield, Iowa

This solar energy fair is designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for farmers, business owners, and homeowners considering solar PV for electricity production at their farm, home, or business. Fair attendees will learn about solar technology, the local and regional solar industry, and how to finance a solar energy project. Learn more..

Voluntary Robotic Milking and Baleage for Improved Dairy Production
Aug. 20  |  10 a.m – 2 p.m.  |  $40  |  Wilton, Iowa

This field day will cover topics such as calf feeding, voluntary robotic milking, using forages to improve soil health, cow nutrition, baleage as a feed source, and cattle hearding. Lunch will be served; please RSVP for meal to lauren@practicalfarmers.org by August 17. Learn more.

Bee Lawns: How to Have an Insect Haven in Your Lawn
Aug. 20  |  9:30-11:30 a.m.  |  $14  |  Chaska, Minn.

In honor of the new Tashjian Bee & Pollinator Center, join Professor Mary Meyer in an interactive discussion and tutorial for Minnesotans who would like to make their yard a more welcoming place for beneficial insects, pollinators, and humans. The class features an hour of informational lecture and then moves outside to view the Arboretum’s Bee Lawn with commentary, insights and insider stories from Dr. Meyer who helped create it.
Learn more and register.

calendarwheatIn Her Boots: Diversified Livestock & Eggs Field Day
Aug. 23  |  10 a.m.– 3 p.m.  |  Nerstand, Minn.

Topics covered include diversified livestock, cover crops and pasture management, food licensing in Minn., running a solo operation as a woman farmer, farmers’ market success strategies, Minn. cottage foods law. See here for more information.

Hidden Herbal Weeds on your Farm
Aug. 23  |  6-8:30 p.m.  |  $35  |  Traverse City, Mich.

Topics covered include an exploration of the practical and surprising uses of the common weeds found on most farms. Learn more and register here.

Edible Startup Summit
Aug. 24–26  |  8 a.m.– 4 p.m.  |  Madison, Wis.

This boot camp for Food Entrepreneurs will cover marketing, package and branding design, finding funding, business planning, food safety, how to get your local product onto the grocery store shelf, and more. See here for more information.

Minnesota State Fair Healthy Local Food Exhibit
Aug. 25 – Sept. 6  |  $  |  St. Paul, Minn.

The Healthy Local Food exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair includes a series of educational kiosks, daily cooking demonstrations, local food sampling, and kids activities. This exhibit is within the Eco Experience, a huge exhibition hall filled with hands-on activities, demonstrations, and resources promoting health and sustainability. You can sign up to volunteer here or learn more here.

Grass Identification & Ecology
Aug. 25-26  |  10 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $193  |  Chaska, Minn.

Mary Meyer of the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum leads this advanced two-day professional-level course on grass identification and ecology. The hands-on course’s focus is on teaching students to identify a multitude of grasses that add beauty and interest to the summer and fall landscape. This grass identification will enable participants to read the landscape’s conditions including soils, habitats, disturbances and past land uses. Utilizing the 1,200 acres of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum as a living laboratory and classroom, participants learn distinguishing features, grass ecology, and identifying species from keys.
Learn more and register.

Beginner Grazier School
Aug. 26–27  |  $100  |  Grand Rapids, Minn.

This beginner grazing school will cover grazing basics, plant identification, rotational grazing, grazing exercises in the field, and allow you to network with other graziers and with faculty on a grazing plan for your farm. The cost is $100 per person and $50 for each additional person from the same operation. See the website for more information and to register.

Gathering Of The Guilds Permaculture Convergence
Aug. 26–28  |  $ |  Geneva, Minn.

This event is three days of permaculture skill-shares, workshops, and networking. Camping is available.  Register  and RSVP with a proposal here.

Edible & Medicinal Herb Walk
Aug. 27  |  2–4 p.m.  |  Clear Lake, Wis.

This two hour walk includes lots of stops and will look at the many edible and medicinal plants that grow on their own in this area. RSVP is required — learn more here.

Pathfinders RC&D Solar Energy Fair
Aug. 27  |  Free  |  Creston, Iowa

This solar energy fair is designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for farmers, business owners, and homeowners considering solar PV for electricity production at their farm, home, or business. Fair attendees will learn about solar technology, the local and regional solar industry, and how to finance a solar energy project. Learn more here.

Innovations in Marketing
Aug. 29  |  4–7 p.m.  |  $15  |  Lawrence, Kan.

This workshop is being brought to you by K-State Research and Extension, a partner of the Growing Growers program. Cost to attend this workshop is $15. If you have questions, or for further information, contact Zac Hoppenstedt at zhoppenstedt@ksu.edu. Learn more here.

Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference
Aug. 30  |  $  |  Lancaster, Wis.

The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute coordinates their annual Cover Crops Conference in partnership with NRCS and University of Wisconsin Extension and Agricultural Research Stations. The one-day conference boasts the theme “Coupling Soil Health and Economics” and features a bus tour highlighting the operations of several local cover crop uses from livestock production to dairy to cash crops. Special emphasis is placed on using cover crops to improve the economic bottom line of producers.
Learn more and register.

Farm to Institution MythBusters
Aug. 30  |  11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.  |  Fergus Falls, Minn.

This free educational event about food safety and regulations related to local food and farm-to-institution will answer questions about local food purchasing. RSVP here. The location is Lakes Country Service Cooperative 1001 E. Mt. Faith in Fergus Falls, 56537. The full event is from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and includes lunch. Contact Noelle Harden at harde073@umn.edu, 218-280-5253 with any questions.

Pasture Walk with Emile Smith and Jay Glommen-McCloskey
Aug. 30  |  10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.  |  Seneca, Wis.

This pasture walk will discuss gauging soil health and fertility, as well as sward composition, density, and animal stocking rate of converted CRP (with trees) paddocks via rapid rotational grazing and silvopasture principles. Contact Emile or Jay at (608) 874-4310 for more information.

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September

Beekeeping Workshop
Sept. 3  |  1 p.m. – 6 p.m.  |  $  |  Wautoma, Wis.

Workshop  participants will be able to a tour the farm, learn about management, see the inside of the hive & honey house, and see the queens, eggs, & larvae. The cost is $65 for members and $80 for non-members. Learn more here.

PrairiErth Farm field day
Sept. 6  |  9 a.m.–noon |  Atlanta, Ill.

Topics covered include our food future, building the soul and building the system, funding infrastructure, diversity and value adding on the farm, University of Illinois research & plot tour, and funding infrastructure. Lunch is available. RSVP to The Land Connection at (217) 840-2128.

Bison Advantage Workshop
Sept. 7  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Free  |  Urbana, Ill.

The National Bison Association has received SARE funding to host a series of workshops across the country introducing producers to this emerging sector of sustainable American agriculture. This introductory course covers holistic management and marketing of bison, a free bison “toolkit” of invaluable production education materials, a tour of the host ranch, lunch, and a networking hour. This workshop and field day is hosted on the Ruhter Bison Ranch – a working bison operation with sustainable management practices.
Learn more and register.

Managing Risk in Organic Grain Marketing Workshop
Sept. 8  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  Danforth, Ill.

Workshop participants will learn how to establish pre-season contracts for organic and transitional crops; how processing, such as milling or roasting, can add value to your crop, and what it takes to invest in and tap into such markets; and how successful Illinois organic grain growers have established consistent marketing channels for their crops, and worked to create or expand existing markets. Learn more and resister here.

calendarwheatTransitioning to Organic Dairy Field Day
Sept 8  |  1–4 p.m.  |  Goodhue, Minn.

Join MOSES and Organic Valley as we visit Robert and Melanie Hinsch’s family farm, a 100-head dairy and field crop operation that they are transitioning to certified organic by May 2017. Learn about the realities of transitioning a dairy and large crop acreage from farmers in the middle of the process. See here for more information.

Gourmet Beef on Grass X
Sept. 8–10  |  Dubuque, Iowa

Nationally recognized leaders will lead educational workshops on the production and marketing of grassfed beef. There will also be a field day at a local farm featuring Devon cattle genetics and principles of grass farm management, as well as an annual national cattle show and cattle sale. Learn more and register here.

Hazelnut Production and Marketing Field Day
Sept. 10  |  10 a.m. – 1 p.m.  |  Fenton, Iowa

This field day will cover topics such as sourcing hazelnut plants, selecting genetics, site selection, establishment, best management practices, yield record keeping, processing, marketing, and regulations. There will be a lunch provided; please bring your own table service. Please RSVP to Lauren at lauren@practicalfarmers.org. Learn more here.

Livestock Options
Sept. 10  |  9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  |  $15  |  Kansas City, Mo.

This workshop is being brought to you by K-State Research and Extension, a partner of the Growing Growers program. Cost to attend this workshop is $15. If you have questions, or for further information, contact Zac at zhoppenstedt@ksu.edu. Learn more here.

Pathfinders RC&D Solar Energy Fair
Sept. 10  |  Free  |  Perry, Iowa

This solar energy fair is designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for farmers, business owners, and homeowners considering solar PV for electricity production at their farm, home, or business. Fair attendees learn about solar technology, the local and regional solar industry, and how to finance a solar energy project. Learn more here.

Harvest Festival
Sept. 10  |  10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  |  Free  |  Duluth, Minn.

The Harvest Festival features one of the best and largest farmers’ markets in the region, along with live music, crafts, nonprofit showcase, educational exhibits, family activities and more! Everything is locally focused and sourced. Admission and parking is free. See more here.

HAFA Farm Open House
Sept. 11  |  1 – 4 p.m.  |  Free  |  Hastings, Minn.

The Hmong American Farmers Association is hosting their third annual open house in Hastings, Minnesota. Learn more here.

Organic Vegetable Research Showcase
Sept. 11  |  2–5 p.m.  |  Madison, Wis.

This field day will cover organic vegetable variety trials and production. You can walk through ongoing trials and ask questions of plant breeders, pathologists, entomologists, seed company representatives and fellow farmers about current issues, management practices and varieties. Learn more here.

Rural Women’s Project Potluck – South Central Wisconsin Chapter
Sept. 11  |  4 p.m.  |  Free  |  New Glarus, Wis.

Join Lisa Kivirist of the Rural Women’s Project and the South Central Wisconsin Women in Agriculture Network Chapter for a field day and potluck. Jamie Baker of Love Rock Farm hosts this opportunity for you to join with other women to learn, network, and have fun together. Food is served at 5 p.m.
Learn more.

SILT Showcase Series – Southern Iowa
Sept. 12  |  10 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Corydon, Iowa.

Landowners in Southern Iowa are invited to learn how to leave a legacy by permanently protecting their land to grow healthy food. This event is hosted by A Sustainable Iowa Land Trust (SILT) and includes a farm tour, lunch and presentations by both appraisers and an attorney. Participants have plenty of time for questions, so please come prepared. For more information, please contact Suzan Erem.
Learn more.

Twilight Tour: UnderToe Farm
Sept. 12  |  6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  |  Kewadin, Mich.

The goals of this small scale organic farm and CSA are to improve soil biodiversity; grow delicious, fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables; and have ethically-raised chickens for neighbors and friends. This is a special tour for farmers, the Chefs of the American Culinary Federation and culinary students from Northwestern Michigan College. Learn more and RSVP here.

Livestock Marketing and Stockmanship Schools
Sept. 12–14  |  $700*  |  Exira, Iowa

The Stockmanship school will cover tools to keep your livestock in proper mental state through the production process, rotating pastries, sorting and weaning, backgrounding, and feedlot management and loading. The Marketing School will assist you in making profitable management decisions about what to buy and sell. Lunch and snacks are provided for each full day registered. Pre-registration is required by August 31. For more information and pricing, see here.
*For attendees 18 and older

Twilight Tour: Light of the Day Organic Farm and Tea Shop
Sept. 13  |  6 – 8 p.m.  |  Traverse City, Mich.

Michigan’s only certified Demeter Biodynamic farm will show you how they run the operation known for home-grown flowers, herbs and fruit blended into fine teas. You’ll also see the licensed commercial farm kitchen and packaging operation. Learn more and RSVP here.

calendarwheatOrganic Crops on a Large Scale Field Day
Sept 15  |  1–4 p.m.  |  Cottonwood, Minn.

The Olsons grow organic corn, soybeans, and small grains on 1,100 acres using a three-year cash crop rotation with cover crops. This MOSES and OGRAIN field day covers weed management, soil fertility and cover crops—particularly tillage radishes planted in late summer. See here for more information. 

Bison Advantage Workshop
Sept. 16 |  9 a.m.-1 p.m.  |  Free  |  Wolcottville, Ind.

The National Bison Association has received SARE funding to host a series of workshops across the country introducing producers to this emerging sector of sustainable American agriculture. This introductory course covers holistic management and marketing of bison, a free bison “toolkit” of invaluable production education materials, a tour of the host ranch, lunch, and a networking hour. This workshop and field day is hosted on the Cook’s Bison Ranch – a working bison operation with sustainable management practices.
Learn more and register.

Buffer Science & Design Symposium
Sept. 16 |  St. Paul, Minn

The University of Minnesota Extension and College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Sciences is presenting a one-day symposium to explore the current science behind the design, effectiveness, and implementation of riparian buffers. The symposium will provide a scientific foundation to inform future training, rules, implementation projects, and research. The event will be held in the Northstar Ballroom on the St. Paul campus. Contact Diomy Zamora, zamor015@umn.edu for more information.

CIRANDA Farm, Art & Garden Fair
Sept. 17  |  9 a.m.-1 p.m.  |  Hudson, Wis.

The CIRANDA group hosts the annual Farm, Art & Garden Fair in downtown Hudson. Shop local farm stands and art booths, participate in the “Green living” education series, and enjoy treats and refreshments. Demonstrations and children’s activities will be offered throughout the day.
Learn more.

Pathfinders RC&D Solar Energy Fair
Sept. 17  |  Free  |  Tipton, Iowa

This solar energy fair is designed to be a “one-stop-shop” for farmers, business owners, and homeowners considering solar PV for electricity production at their farm, home, or business. Fair attendees will learn about solar technology, the local and regional solar industry, and how to finance a solar energy project. Learn more here.

Pasture Walk – Shadow Ridge Ranch
Sept. 17  |  10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  |  River Falls, Wis.

This new ranch with a registered polled Hereford cow calf herd has established a pastureland with seeding, perimeter fences, and a water system. Register here or see the full schedule of farm walks here.

Pasture Walk with Susie and Doug Konichek
Sept. 20  |  10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.  |  Steuben, Wis.

This pasture walk discusses the high water table, creek and marsh/swamp pasture management for dairy rotational grazing options, and paddock/pasture renovation. The farm is located at 54226 Duha Ridge Road in Steuben. Contact Susie or Doug at (608) 874-4310 for more information.

Student Organic Farm Field Day
Sept. 20  |  4-6 p.m.  |  St. Paul, Minn.

The University of Minnesota will be hosting two Open House and Field Days this summer and fall at Cornercopia, the student organic farm and research plots. Participants can learn about the innovative organic growing practices students at the U of M are involved with as well as talk with researchers about their work in organic and sustainable agriculture. These events are free & open to the public. See the website and map here.

Organic Seed Production Webinar Series: Seed Quality, Harvesting Techniques, and Equipment
Sept. 20  |  2 p.m. EST  | Free  |   Online

A new six-webinar series on organic seed production provides training for seed growers and seed production interns throughout the 2016 growing season (June – November). This series will cover a range of topics, from planting to harvest to the economics of seed production. The free webinars are open to the public and appropriate for farmers, interns, students, and other agricultural professionals. Register here.

National Small Farm Conference
September 20-22  |  $325 before Aug. 5  |  Virginia Beach, Va.

The conference features strategies for small farmers and ranchers to enhance farm income and stories from small farm activities. Registration is now open. Learn more here.

Twilight Tour: Blackbird Gardens
Sept. 21  |  6 – 8 p.m.  |  Petoskey, Mich.

Topics covered include value added and food processing on this vegetable farm. Learn more and RSVP here.

American Pastured Poultry Workshop
September 22  |   6-10 p.m.  |  Northfield, Minn.

The American Pastured Poultry Producers Association is doing a US tour and stopping in Minnesota at Carleton College. Topics covered include an introduction to pastured poultry, advanced skills of managing and feeding, direct marketing or on-farm processing, troubleshooting poultry health, and homeopathy. Register here.

APPPA Pastured Poultry Seminar
September 23  |  11:30 a.m.– 4 p.m.  |  Eleva, Wis.

Topics covered in this seminar series include backyard and pastured poultry, advanced feeding and management of poultry, poultry marketing and production economics, and diagnosing and treating common poultry health problems. Register here.

Prairie Festival
Sept. 23–25  |  Salina, Kan.

More 40th anniversay of The Land Institute will be celebrated at this year’s Praire Festival. Camping is encouraged. There will also be a fundraiser concert for The Land Institute that includes a performance by Peter Buffett and short reading by Wendell Berry (tickets are sold separately). See the website for more information and to register.

Greenhouse Crop Options Workshop
Sept. 24  |  9 a.m. – 2 p.m.  |  $15  |  Olathe, Kan.

This workshop is being brought to you by K-State Research and Extension, a partner of the Growing Growers program. Cost to attend this workshop is $15. If you have questions, or for further information, contact Zac Hoppenstedt at zhoppenstedt@ksu.edu. Learn more here.

Packhorse Tour and Harvest Efficiency Field Day
Sept. 25  |   1 – 3 p.m.  |  Decorah, Iowa

This field day will cover topics such as design and construction of the packhouse, packhouse equipment, packhouse flow, design and construction of the root cellar, crop rotations, machinery for potatoes, preferred crop varieties, and selected harvest methods. Hearty snacks will follow the program. Please RSVP to Lauren at lauren@practicalfarmers.org by September 22. Learn more here.

Permaculture Workshop
Sept. 25  |   $  |  Almond, Wis.

Topics covered include diversifying food production, rainwater harvesting, solar & biofuel energy sources, passive solar shelters, waste/nutrient cycling for soil building, and community engagement in food & farming education & CSA products. Price is $65 for members & $80 for non-members. Learn more here.

Using Ultrasound as a Tool in Grass-Finishing Cattle
Sept. 28  |  1 – 5 p.m.  |  Maxwell, Iowa

This field day is the first in a two-part series. At the farm you will observe grass-fed cattle two weeks before they are harvest at a local locker. ou will visually inspect these cattle for finish, and compare observations to the ultrasound data. Discussion will focus on grazing management, forage quality for grass-finishing, what role cattle genetics play in grass-based production, and how ultrasound scans can help producers determine the optimal harvest window for grass-finished cattle. Learn more here.

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October

Fermentation Fest
Oct. 1–9  |  Reedsburg, Wis.

Fermentation Fest celebrates live culture in all its forms, from dance to yogurt, poetry to sauerkraut. Farmers, chefs, artists, poets and cheese makers will converge in Sauk County Sauk County with a series of tastings, demonstrations, cooking classes, art events, performances, food carts and more. See here for more information. 

Pasture Walk at Cavadini Farm
Oct. 6  |  1–3 p.m.  |  Marshfield, Wis.

This pasture walk will look at how cover crops can be used to extend your grazing season and improve your soil health. Cover crop species and variety selection, seeding methods and timing, and site preparation will be discussed. The farm is located at M431 Drake Avenue in Marshfield. Contact William Kolodziej at 715-261-6038 or email william.kolodziej@co.marathon.wi.us for more information.

Grading Grass-Finished Carcasses for Meat Quality
Oct. 15  |  12-3 p.m.  |  Mingo, Iowa

This is the second field day of a two-part series. At the locker, you will inspect four grass-finished beef carcasses and discuss meat processing, meat quality, carcass grading, and grass versus grain-finished beef. Light snacks will be provided. RSVP to lauren@practicalfarmers.org by October 12. See more information here.

Equipment Maintenance Workshop
Oct. 17  |  9 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  $15  |  Kansas City, Kan.

This workshop is being brought to you by K-State Research and Extension, a partner of the Growing Growers program. Cost to attend this workshop is $15. If you have questions, or for further information, contact Zac at zhoppenstedt@ksu.edu. Learn more here.

Organic Seed Webinar Series: Cleaning and Recordkeeping
Oct. 18  |  1 p.m.  |  Free  |   Online

A new six-webinar series on organic seed production will provide training for seed growers and seed production interns throughout the 2016 growing season (June – November). This series will cover a range of topics, from planting to harvest to the economics of seed production. The free webinars are open to the public and appropriate for farmers, interns, students, and other agricultural professionals. Learn more hereYou can register once here for all of the webinars.

Pasture Walk with Olaf Haugen
Oct. 18  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.   |   Canton, Minn.

This pasture walk will look at Sorghum Sudan versus grazed corn as a summer annual solution for both managing the summer pasture slump and paddock renovation options, as well as setting up the paddocks for fall grazing. It will also review the overall soil health after 22 years of rotational grazing. The farm is located at 12620 Deer Road in Canton.

New Farmer U
Oct. 21–23  |  $125  | Lanesboro, Minn.

Learn from experienced organic farmers and agriculture experts about the field and financial aspects of farming. This two-day event will help you find creative options for accessing land, get funds for farm improvements, make a farm business plan, meet food safety rules, obtain organic certification, grow better using organic practices, market your farm products, and connect with other new farmers. Hosted by MOSES, Renewing the Countryside, and the Land Stewardship Program. Learn more and register here.

 

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November

Grazing Ambassador Presentation: Rabbits
Nov. 1  |  7–8 p.m.  |  Fort Atkinson, Wis.

The Dwight Foster Public Library at 209 Merchants Avenue in Fort Atkinson will be hosting a Grazing Ambassador Presentation by Julie Engel. Contact the library for more information: 920-563-7790; alutzke@fortlibrary.org.

Organic Seed Webinar Series: Seed Contracting, Economics and Policy
Nov. 15  |  1 p.m.  |  Free  |   Online

A new six-webinar series on organic seed production will provide training for seed growers and seed production interns throughout the 2016 growing season (June – November). This series will cover a range of topics, from planting to harvest to the economics of seed production. The free webinars are open to the public and appropriate for farmers, interns, students, and other agricultural professionals. Learn more hereYou can register once here for all of the webinars.

Pasture Walk with Herb and Nona Bechtel
Nov. 15   |  10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  |   Richland Center, Wis.

This pasture walk will discuss the changes that 19 years of grazing has done for the farm, focusing on erosion issues. It will also examine the different methods for managing fall paddocks for optimum spring production. The farm is located at 23385 Buckhorn Lane in Richland Center. For more information, contact Herb or Nona at (608) 647-3447.

The Web of Life – Three Days with Fred Provenza
Nov. 15 – 17  |  8 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  Winterset, Iowa

This field day explores how behavior links the health of soil, plants, herbivores and humans. Topics discussed include epigenetics, value of plant diversity, grazing and plant palatability, and producing nutrient-rich food. There is no fee for the event. Breakfast and lunch will be provided each day. Learn more here.

The Web of Life – Three Days with Fred Provenza
Nov. 16-20  |  $  |   Santa Fe, N.M.

This conference for farmers, gardeners, educators, activists, and stewards of the earth will feature 10 keynote speakers, more than 80 presenters, and more than 50 workshops on the principles, practices, and philosophies of biodynamis and regenerative agriculture. A full schedule of workshops for children is also available. Check out the full schedule here and register early to save.

Growing Power Conference
Nov. 18-20  |  $  |  Butler, Wis.

This conference includes topics such as urban aquaculture, urban farming, planning strategies, education, youth programming, food policy and food justice. Participants include: farmers, academics, chefs, policy makers, organizers, and people from countless other walks of life. Register here.

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