Community Calendar

March  |  April  |  May  |  June  |  July

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

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February

Deep Winter Greenhouse Tour: Thiel Gardens
Feb. 6  |  1 p.m.  |  Free  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

A series of tours at deep winter greenhouses across the region are all hosted by SFA’s Deep Winter Producers Networking Group in partnership with the U of M Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships. This tour explores the first-of-its-kind passive solar greenhouse in the city of Minneapolis.  Owned by David and Jill Thiel, it is a model for urban winter production without enormous electric bills.
Learn more and register.

Weed and Insect ID & Management Workshop
Feb. 6  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  $85  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Beginning and advanced farmers are welcome to this lecture and hands-on workshop hosted by The Good Acre Classroom and the Women’s Environmental Institute. Dr. Loretta Ortiz-Ribbing of WEI presents proper Integrated Pest Management strategies to help growers improve their skills in identifying and managing garden pests.
Learn more and register.

Seed Starting Workshop
Feb. 7  |  1 p.m.-4 p.m.  |  $25  |  Urbana, Ill.

Farmers and gardeners who start their own seeds can save money and have far greater control over what they produce. Join University of Illinois’ Sustainable Student Farm for this workshop complete with presentations and hands-on work that illustrates a high-production farm’s growth of happy healthy seedlings.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: The Science Supporting Changes in Soil Health
Feb. 9  |  2:00-3:00 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Participants of this USDA-NRCS Soil Health Division webinar learn about the science that supports changes in soil health and improves habitat for soil organisms and the impact that they have on aggregate stability, water and gas exchange, and soil organic matter for more efficient crop production systems. Jerry L. Hatfield, Ph.D, Laboratory Director and Supervisory Plant Physiologist of the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment at the USDA-ART in Ames, IA shares his knowledge and answers questions for attendees.
Learn more.

Nutrient Management Conference
Feb. 9  |  $  |  Morton, Minn.

The best nutrient management researchers in the Corn Belt come together for one program. Speakers and workshops are focused on relevant, informative, and current topics related directly to nutrients for agricultural production and environmental stewardship.
Learn more.

Minnesota Farmers’ Market Academy
Feb. 9  |  2 p.m.  |  $35*  |  Rochester, Minn.

The Minnesota Farmers Market Association offers this opportunity at 8 locations across Minnesota. Vendors learn about food licensing, the 2015 Minnesota Cottage Food Law, product pricing, profitability and marketing strategies. Attendees are offered resources, including spreadsheets, to take home and benefit from. Market managers are also invited to interact with seasoned and successful managers to share tactics on growing vendor and customer bases, raising money for special events, and the latest on SNAP EBT acceptance.
Learn more and register.
* Free for MFMA members, discounted MFMA membership is available for a free academy registration

Webinar: Sales 1 – Availability, Invoicing and Dispute Resolution with Food Buyers
Feb. 9  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Join Farm Commons as they discuss the legal issues facing farm sales. Farmers need clear information on their obligations and expectations. In this tutorial, learn how to build a strong relationship with your buyers to ensure that they become life-long customers and advocates of your farm. Whether you’re using formal contracts or informal sales techniques, this webinar emphasizes the use of basic documents and an ordering system to help communication go smoothly and to make sure you get paid, even when things go wrong.
Learn more and register.

Organic Crop Improvement Association Annual Meeting
Feb. 10  |  10 a.m.-5:15 p.m.  |  $50  |  Bloomington, Minn.

The Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) holds its annual meeting at the Holiday Inn in Bloomington. The day’s agenda includes seven workshops, lunch, a mini trade show. Please register by contacting Angie Tunink at 402-477-2323 or by e-mailing atunink@ocia.org
Learn more.

Webinar: Grazing Systems and Forage Quality of Grasses
Feb. 11  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

eOrganic offers this webinar focused on pasture management and forage species selection. It’s important to know how pasture species can influence the feed quality of pasture forage for grazing animals. Brad Heins presents the results of a multi-year grazing project with a focus on grass forage species in grazing systems on certified organic dairy farms.
Learn more and register.

Forage Council Winter Meeting
Feb. 11  |  8 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  Staples, Minn.

This Sustainable Farming Association group is welcome open to all. Dr. Ringwall is featured as the main speaker.
Learn more.

Soil Health Leaders Meeting
Feb. 11  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  Free  |  Lewiston, Minn.

The Land Stewardship Project is bringing some of the nation’s leading names in soil health and cover cropping to southeastern Minnesota. These meetings feature a roundtable discussion consisting of farmers who are utilizing cover crops and other methods to build soil health. In addition, there are opportunities for farmers to provide input into what federal farm policy barriers exist when it comes to building soil health and what conservation reforms are needed in the next Farm Bill. This meeting features Sarah Carlson and Barry Fisher. Carlson is the Midwest Cover Crop Coordinator for Practical Farmers of Iowa, where she leads the On-farm Research and Cover Cropping Initiative. Fisher is an NRCS soil health expert based in Indiana where the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative he helped launch has become a model for using teams to establish and maintain soil-building practices.
Learn more and register.

Good Food Law Workshops: Contracts
Feb. 11  |  Free  |  Minneapolis, Minn. and Online

Throughout five daytime workshops, farmers and food business owners will have the opportunity to network, ask questions and learn how to strategically grow and protect their food enterprise. Those that join the attorneys of Jambor Heyman and the Linden Hills Farmers Market in person will also have the opportunity to partake in local food and beverages, but you can also participate online. This session revolves around the subject of contracts.
Learn more.

Introduction to Permaculture Class
Feb. 13  |  1-3 p.m.  |  $20  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Matt Frank, Founder of From the Ground Up North, leads this introductory permaculture course. Participants gain a better understanding of the ways permaculture can be utilized to develop regenerative food production and renewable energy storage.
Learn more and register.

SFA Annual Conference: Cultivating the Wisdom of the Community
Feb. 13  |  $65*  |  St. Joseph, Minn.

The Sustainable Farming Association’s annual conference includes a keynote, workshops and a trade show. This year features a new opportunity “Wisdom of the Community” – or WOC Talks – similar to TED Talks. Family programming is also available for children, ages 3-12 for a nominal fee.
Learn more and register.
*Early registration, child, and SFA membership discounts available

Planning Your Farm Transition
Feb. 13  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $150/farm partnership  |  Plainview, Minn.

The Land Stewardship Project offers tools and problem-solving conversations for families planning to transfer their farm to the next generation of operators. The workshop focuses on short and long term goals, financial needs in retirement, transition models, and resources and communication tools to help you throughout the process. Participants walk away with individualized technical support, an action plan for net steps, and more clarity around the process of their farm transfer.
Learn more and register.

Annie’s Project
Feb. 16-March 3  |  6-9 p.m.  |  $50  |  Carlinville, Ill.

Annie’s Project is a six-week course offered by Illinois Extension in partnership with Annie’s Project. It is a discussion-based workshop bringing women together to learn from experts in production, financial management, human resources, marketing and the legal field. The series is a relaxed, fun and dynamic way to learn, grow, and meet other women in farming and ranching. Registration covers course materials.
Learn more and register.

Be a Better Farm Boss
Feb. 17  |  10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  |  $40*  |  Grayslake, Ill.

Whether you manage one seasonal worker or a large year-round crew, good management can make the difference between making headway on your farm’s work or just creating more headaches. Join veteran farmer and educator Chris Blanchard to learn how to create a productive, positive work environment by communicating clear expectations and implementing systems for efficiency and accountability.
Learn more and register.
*$20 per additional attendee from same farm

Webinar: Roundtable for Food Safety
Feb. 17  |  2 p.m.  |  $25  |  Online

Farm Commons hosts this roundtable focused on joining forces to strategize best says to comply with FSMA and reduce food safety Liability risks. Participants are asked to attend the Food Safety Liability and Regulations FSMA and Beyond tutorial before joining.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Roundtable for Sales I
Feb. 17  |  2 p.m.  |  $25  |  Online

Farm Commons hosts this roundtable focused on examining and practicing the inside art of negotiating sales agreements. This session is appropriate for farmers who want to brainstorm, share, and refine best practices for negotiating and crafting user-friendly sales agreements with wholesale buyers. Attendees must have participated in the “Sales I: Availability, Invoicing and Dispute Resolution with Food Buyers” tutorial before joining.
Learn more and register.

SFA Midwest Soil Health Summit
Feb. 17-18  |  $200*  |  Alexandria, Minn.

The 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. A variety of speakers including producers, researchers, and soil health experts offer their insights.
Learn more and register.
*SFA membership discount available

Legal Issues for Farm Businesses
Feb. 19  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $40*  |  Champaign, Ill.

Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons leads this workshop covering business structures, farmland ownership transition, land access, contract strategies, and financing options. Attendees also receive detailed guides on creating legal business entities and financing. Plenty of discussion and brainstorming time is built into the schedule to help participants craft a personalized legal strategy.
Learn more and register.
*$25 for either morning or afternoon session. $40 for full day.

Weed and Insect ID & Management Workshop
Feb. 20  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  $85  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Beginning and advanced farmers are welcome to this lecture and hands-on workshop hosted by The Good Acre Classroom and the Women’s Environmental Institute. Dr. Loretta Ortiz-Ribbing of WEI presents proper Integrated Pest Management strategies to help growers improve their skills in identifying and managing garden pests.
Learn more and register.

Farm Financial Fitness: Business Planning and Managing for Profit
Feb. 20 & March 12  |  8 a.m.-5 p.m.  |  $225*  |  Holt, Mich.

This two-day workshop focuses on planning, running, monitoring, and revising your farm business for profit. Attendance is required on both days. Presenters, Tomm Becker, Fred Monroe, and Jeremy Moghtader, cover business planning including values and visioning for your farm business, goals, objectives and sound strategies for getting there. The workshop emphasizes financial management tools, production planning, asset analysis, labor, taxes, and marketing.
Learn more and register.
*$60 for additional second person from same operation

Deep Winter Greenhouse Short Course
Feb. 21  |  10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Ashby, Minn.

As a part of SFA’s Deep Roots Farmer Development Program, students learn deep winter production of greens and livestock fodder utilizing passive solar energy. Students spend time in the greenhouse in this hands-on workshop to learn how greens and fodder are planted and harvested. Registration is required.
Learn more and register.

Restorative Agriculture
Feb. 22  |  9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  |  Free  |  Fairmont, Minn.

This day-long workshop begins with coffee and includes lunch. Topics covered include building a regenerative farm, keyline design, an update on hazelnuts, and understanding soil biology. A diverse cohort of experts present their knowledge on these topics and attendees enjoy the opportunity to network.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Measure On-Farm Biodiversity
Feb. 22  |  4:30 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

The Organic Center and Furman University explain how to use the Healthy Farm Index, a free tool, to measure on-farm biodiversity. Using this tool can help farmers align with the new USDA biodiversity and natural resource guidelines. For information on calling in to the webinar, contact Jessica Shade.
Webinar portal

Nitrogen Conference: MN’s Grand Challenge and Compelling Opportunity
Feb. 23  |  $  |  Rochester, Minn.

The second annual Nitrogen Conference brings experts to focus entirely on the valuable input of nitrogen. It is intended for crop producers and ag professionals. CCA credits are available.
Learn more.

Webinar: Sales 2 – Contracts for Planning Ahead of Production
Feb. 23  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Attendees of this tutorial learn the legal ins and outs of sales relationships. Host, Farm Commons, explores the unique sales arrangements farmers are creating such as selling their labor or services, as well as participating in priority systems for sales. These new structures require new types of contracts. Participants go through the process of developing a contract for production services.
Learn more and register.

The Science of Cover Crops
Feb. 24  |  Free  |  Madison, Wis.

This one-day conference has been coordinated by University of Wisconsin Extension, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, and the Midwest Cover Crops Council to discuss what is truly known about cover crop benefits. The conference is geared toward farmers, consultants, industry, government and research audiences. Please plan on active discussion.
Learn more and register.

MOSES Organic Farming Conference
Feb. 25-27  |  $  |  La Crosse, Wis.

The MOSES Conference is the largest event in the U.S. focused on organic and sustainable farming practices. Pack your plaid and come ready to expand your farming knowledge, discover new resources and tools, make connections and find support for your farm endeavors.
Learn more.

Buy It or Bale It
Feb. 26  |  9 a.m.-11 a.m.  |  $20  |  East Troy, Wis.

The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute presents Peg Reedy as the topic of stored forage economics is discussed.
Learn more and register.

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March

Webinar: Design and Management of Organic Strawberry/Vegetable Rotations
March 2  |  1 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

This webinar, featuring Dr. Joji Muramoto and Professor Carol Shennan, is presented by eOrganic. The focus is on findings from a four-year rotation study and on-farm trials that compared two and four year rotations with vegetables grown between strawberry crops. Disease and fertility management including winter cover crops and the use of either anaerobic soil dis-infestation or mustard seed meal additions were included prior to planting strawberries. The webinar offers data on yields, disease incidents, soil nitrogen dynamics and preliminary economic analysis of these systems.
Learn more and join.

Webinar: Roundtable for Sales II
March 3  |  2 p.m.  |  $25  |  Online

Farm Commons moderates this online roundtable focused on cultivating and brainstorming techniques and tactics to create success in production services. Attendees are required to have attended “Sales 2: Contracts for Planning Ahead of Production” tutorial in order to participate.
Learn more and register.

13th Annual Indigenous Farming Conference: The Power to Heal
March 3-6  |  Callaway, Minn.

The White Earth Land Recovery Project hosts their 13th Annual Conference at the Mapleag Resort. Focal points of the conference include a seed swap, topics surrounding the relationship between food and health, and the wisdom of traditional varieties and methods.
Learn more and register.

Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference
March 4-5  |  $45  |  Gays Mills, Wis.

UW-Extension invites you to the 7th annual Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference. Hazelnuts are an emerging crop for the Upper Midwest with the potential to provide significant economic returns to growers while improving soil and water quality on agricultural lands. This Conference provides information on how to grow, harvest, and sell hazelnuts. Friday’s focus is hazelnut processing and Saturday is focused on production.
Learn more and register.

Organic Association of Kentucky Annual Conference
March 4-5  |  $25-150  |  Shepherdsville, Ky.

The Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) hosts Rodale’s Jeff Moyer as keynote for this year’s conference. Jim Munsch of Veggie Compass, Dr. Guy Jodarski of Organic Valley, and others will share their knowledge. Tracks are available for livestock, produce, no-till production, blueberries, low and high tunnel production, DIY solar, and more.
Learn more.

Commercial Goat Dairy Operators Workshop
March 5  |  9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.  |  $10  |  St. Charles, Minn.

The University of Minnesota Extension’s Dairy Team hosts a day covering nutrition management, animal health, and milk quality in a commercial goat dairy. Food will be provided. Contact Wayne Martin, Extension Educator, for more information and to register.

Herbal Workshop
March 5  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  $75  |  North Branch, Minn.

Instructor Nancy Graden of Red Clover Herbal Apothecary Farm offers a hands-on course in germination, growing, transplanting, and tending your herbs. She teaches what, how, and when to harvest, the medicinal and culinary properties of plants, and how to effectively use them for health and well-being. Nancy brings seeds, supplies germination soil, flats, and handouts. Participants can take their newly sown seeds home to care for them after the workshop. Samples of dried herbs and teas are included.
Learn more and register.

National Farmers Union 114th Anniversary Convention
March 5-8  |  $150  |  Minneapolis, Minn.

Members of the National Farmers Union are encouraged to attend the annual convention to hear a range of speakers on the state of agriculture and agricultural policy in the United States.
Learn more.

Farmers Market Workshop
March 6  |  1-5 p.m.  |  $30  |  Champaign, Ill.

The farmers market is the quintessential sales outlet for small farms. This workshop features expert direct marketers from PrairiErth Farm and other businesses. Attendees learn how to succeed at market selling through eye-catching displays, customer relations, food safety regulation compliance, and related topics.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Minnesota – Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm
March 7  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Employment law can be incredibly complex, especially for the diversified farm. Employment laws can also vary greatly by state. Farm Commons hosts this Minnesota-focused tutorial to break down employment law concerns such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation and overtime, independent contractors, and more.
Learn more and register.

Pastured Livestock & Poultry
March 7  |  9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  |  Free  |  Fairmont, Minn.

This day-long workshop begins with coffee and includes lunch. Topics covered include starting pastured poultry well and finishing them strong, raising niche market hogs, raising niche pastured cattle, and a farmer panel. A diverse cohort of experts present their knowledge on these topics and attendees enjoy the opportunity to network.
Learn more and register.

Access to Land and Financial Capital for New and Beginning Farmers
March 7  |  8 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $25  |  East Lansing, Mich.

The MSU Student Organic Farm, Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) and Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) have partnered with Genesee County and the Extended Area Women in Agriculture Network to present this workshop covering land access and financial capital. The full-day session helps beginning farmers understand the types and uses of capital and prepare to access it. Explorations include land tenure options, financial and investment readiness, finding and assessing land, and negotiating with investors and landowners through discussions, handouts and exercises.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Wisconsin – Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm
March 8  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Employment law can be incredibly complex, especially for the diversified farm. Employment laws can also vary greatly by state. Farm Commons hosts this Wisconsin-focused tutorial to break down employment law concerns such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation and overtime, independent contractors, and more.
Learn more and register.

Integrating Grazing into Cropping Systems
March 8  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

This conservation-minded webinar focuses on opportunities to integrate crop and livestock systems. It explores how soil health responds to the use of cover crops and perennial forages in diverse agricultural operations. Continuing Education Credits are available through several organizations. The USDA-NRCS Soil Health hosts Alan Franzluebbers, Ph.D, of the USDA Agricultural Research Service as he discusses a variety of methods and soil health improvements that can be seen with the integration of livestock and cropping systems.
Learn more and register.

Good Food Law Workshops: LLCs
March 8  |  Free  |  Minneapolis, Minn. and Online

Throughout five daytime workshops, farmers and food business owners will have the opportunity to network, ask questions and learn how to strategically grow and protect their food enterprise. Those that join the attorneys of Jambor Heyman and the Linden Hills Farmers Market in person will also have the opportunity to partake in local food and beverages, but you can also participate online. This session revolves around the subject of Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs).
Learn more.

People for Pollinators
March 8  |  8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.  |  $45  |  St. Paul, Minn.

Jim Riddle, Sarah Foltz Jordan, Don Arnosti, Vera Kirschik, Lex Horan, and Robert Engstrom headline for this event sponsored by Pollinator Friendly Alliance and Pollinate Minnesota. The in-depth symposium is designed to inspire, connect and unite a pollinator friendly Minnesota. Learn about pollinators and their relationships to wildlife, biodiversity, farm and urban habitats, pesticides and advocacy issues in a motivational and friendly environment.
Learn more and register.

Planning Your Farm Transition
March 12  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $150/farm partnership  |  Plainview, Minn.

The Land Stewardship Project offers tools and problem-solving conversations for families planning to transfer their farm to the next generation of operators. The workshop focuses on short and long term goals, financial needs in retirement, transition models, and resources and communication tools to help you throughout the process. Participants walk away with individualized technical support, an action plan for net steps, and more clarity around the process of their farm transfer.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Illinois – Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm
March 14  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Employment law can be incredibly complex, especially for the diversified farm. Employment laws can also vary greatly by state. Farm Commons hosts this Illinois-focused tutorial to break down employment law concerns such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation and overtime, independent contractors, and more.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Iowa – Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm
March 15  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Employment law can be incredibly complex, especially for the diversified farm. Employment laws can also vary greatly by state. Farm Commons hosts this Iowa-focused tutorial to break down employment law concerns such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation and overtime, independent contractors, and more.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Biodynamic Animal Husbandry
March 16  |  7:30-9:00 p.m.  |  $20*  |  Online

The Biodynamic Association presents Steffen Schneider of Hawthorn Valley Farm as he shares biodynamic insights into the nature of animals, best practices for integrating livestock into a diverse farm, and strategies for supporting animal health and vitality.
Learn more and register.
*$10 for Biodynamic Association members

Nelson & Pade, Inc. Master Aquaponics Course
March 17-19  |  8 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $995  |  Montello, Wis.

This comprehensive course covers all aspects of aquaponics and controlled environment agriculture. It is intended for anyone seriously considering beginning or already managing an aquaponics operation. The course covers methods and applications, crop recommendations, water quality, daily operation, growing techniques, greenhouses, environmental control, fish biology and dietary needs, plant care and health, system start-up and business considerations.
Learn more and register.

Principles of a Biodynamic Farm
March 18-19  |  $99  |  East Troy, Wis.

The Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Demeter USA, and Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture present Fred Kirschenmann and Jim Fullmer. The workshop focuses on the foundations of the US Demeter Farm Standard: biodiversity, generating fertility out of the living dynamics of the farm, generating pest control out of the living dynamics of the arm, biodynamic preparations and wider influences, on-farm water and waterway conservation, integration of livestock, and gentle post-harvest handling.
Learn more and register.

Homegrown Fest
March 19  |  $15*  |  Springfield, Ill.

Homegrown Fest brings together community members from all walks of life to explore and develop local food, agriculture, and gardening knowledge and skills. The aim of the festival is to increase the availability and affordability of local food, to grow and pass on food-related knowledge of tradition and culture, and to reconnect the community with sustainable and holistic lifestyles for the 21st century.
Learn more and register.
*$10 reduced rate for pre-registration

Pollinators
March 21  |  9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  |  Free  |  Fairmont, Minn.

This day-long workshop begins with coffee and includes lunch. Topics covered include pollinator policy, pollinator programs, monarch waystations, neonicotinoids, the Buffington Pollinator Project, and pollinators in action. A diverse cohort of experts present their knowledge on these topics and attendees enjoy the opportunity to network.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Roundtable for MN and WI Employment
March 23  |  2 p.m.  |  $25  |  Online

Farm Commons moderates this roundtable focused on sharing and gaining confidence and insight in hiring and retaining competent employees. This session is appropriate for any farmer in Minnesota or Wisconsin who has or anticipates hiring employees and wants to collaborate and share stories with other farmers on ways to stay within the legal parameters of federal and state employment laws.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Roundtable for IA and IL Employment
March 24  |  2 p.m.  |  $25  |  Online

Farm Commons moderates this roundtable focused on sharing and gaining confidence and insight in hiring and retaining competent employees. This session is appropriate for any farmer in Iowa or Illinois who has or anticipates hiring employees and wants to collaborate and share stories with other farmers on ways to stay within the legal parameters of federal and state employment laws.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Ohio – Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm
March 28  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Employment law can be incredibly complex, especially for the diversified farm. Employment laws can also vary greatly by state. Farm Commons hosts this Ohio-focused tutorial to break down employment law concerns such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation and overtime, independent contractors, and more.
Learn more and register.

Webinar: Missouri – Make Employment Law Work for Your Farm
March 29  |  2 p.m.  |  Free  |  Online

Employment law can be incredibly complex, especially for the diversified farm. Employment laws can also vary greatly by state. Farm Commons hosts this Missouri-focused tutorial to break down employment law concerns such as minimum wage, workers’ compensation and overtime, independent contractors, and more.
Learn more and register.

3rd Biennial Food Hub Conference
March 30-Apr. 1  |  $550*  |  Atlanta, Ga.

The Wallace Center hosts this year’s Food Hub Conference including a number of full day intensive trainings as a pre-conference option, a trade show area, and a collection of sessions tailored to those developing food hubs in their community. Those directly involved in a Food Hub qualify for a reduction in their registration fee by filing out a questionnaire to determine qualification.
Learn more and register.
*Tiered early bird reduced rate deadlines are midnight Dec. 31, 2015 and Feb. 15, 2016. Food Hub members receive $100 fee reduction at all tiers.

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April

Organic Berry Workshop
April 2  |  10 a.m.-3 p.m.  |  $75  |  North Branch, Minn.

Jim Riddle of Blue Fruit Farm instructs this day hosted by Women’s Environmental Institute. The interactive workshop focuses on the establishment, management and production of perennial fruits, including blueberries, black currants, elderberries, aronia berries, juneberries, honeyberries and plums, although strawberries and raspberries will not be covered. Jim shares planting, site selection, soil preparation, weed control, aisle maintenance, irrigation, propagation and pollination techniques along with specific production and management considerations.
Learn more and register.

Small Engine and Tractor Workshop
April 3  |  9 a.m.-4 p.m.  |  $100*  |  Daneville, Ill.

Small engines (for tilling or mowing) and tractors (for cultivation and light work) are essential farm tools. Richland Community College experts cover the operation and maintenance of engines in the morning and tractors in the afternoon. Participants will work hands-on with machines.
Learn more and register.
*$55 for either morning or afternoon session, Full day for $100

Terra Firma: Sarasota Film Festival Premiere
April 5  |  $  |  Sarasota, Fla.

Since 2001, over 280,000 women have been sent to the Middle East to serve in the War on Terror. Many return traumatized by their experiences. The film, Terra Firma, weaves together the stories of three women veterans who were among the first to deploy. After years of struggling, each has found ways to heal the hidden wounds of war through farming. The film follows the women as they go about their daily lives, reflecting on their time in the military, the impact of war on their lives, and their newfound purpose and peace of mind serving their country by growing food for their communities.
Learn more.

Good Food Law Workshops: Food Labeling
April 5  |  Free  |  Minneapolis, Minn. and Online

Throughout five daytime workshops, farmers and food business owners will have the opportunity to network, ask questions and learn how to strategically grow and protect their food enterprise. Those that join the attorneys of Jambor Heyman and the Linden Hills Farmers Market in person will also have the opportunity to partake in local food and beverages, but you can also participate online. This session revolves around the subject of food labeling.
Learn more.

Webinar: Roundtable for OH and MI Employment
April 7  |  2 p.m.  |  $25  |  Online

Farm Commons moderates this roundtable focused on sharing and gaining confidence and insight in hiring and retaining competent employees. This session is appropriate for any farmer in Ohio or Missouri who has or anticipates hiring employees and wants to collaborate and share stories with other farmers on ways to stay within the legal parameters of federal and state employment laws.
Learn more and register.

Good Food Law Workshops: Employees
April 26  |  Free  |  Minneapolis, Minn. and Online

Throughout five daytime workshops, farmers and food business owners will have the opportunity to network, ask questions and learn how to strategically grow and protect their food enterprise. Those that join the attorneys of Jambor Heyman and the Linden Hills Farmers Market in person will also have the opportunity to partake in local food and beverages, but you can also participate online. This session revolves around the subject of employees.
Learn more.

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May

University of Vermont Farmer Training Program
May 9-Oct. 28  |  $6,300  |  Burlington, Vt.

UVM’s Farmer Training Program is a 6-month hands-on program providing experiential, skill-based education in sustainable farming. The program is designed for new and beginning farmers, urban and community gardeners, farm educators and students interested in deepening their understanding of sustainable farming systems in an intensive and focused learning environment. Participants leave with a deeper understanding of agricultural management and small-scale farming, the entrepreneurial skills to start their own operation, and a network to help support them along the way.
Learn more and apply.

Terra Firma: A Celebration of Women Veterans
May 17  |  $  |  Mt. Vernon, Ky.

Since 2001, over 280,000 women have been sent to the Middle East to serve in the War on Terror. Many return traumatized by their experiences. The film, Terra Firma, weaves together the stories of three women veterans who were among the first to deploy. After years of struggling, each has found ways to heal the hidden wounds of war through farming. The film follows the women as they go about their daily lives, reflecting on their time in the military, the impact of war on their lives, and their newfound purpose and peace of mind serving their country by growing food for their communities. This screening is presented by GROWING WARRIORS.
Learn more.

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June

Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Moving Forward Together
June 2-4  |  $150  |  Madison Wis.

Registration for the conference opens Feb. 15, 2016. This program will include more than 40 workshops, plenary addresses delivered by leaders in the farm to cafeteria and local food movements, networking opportunities, a series of 5-minute “lightning talks”, a poster session and resource share fair, entertainment and an evening reception showcasing Madison’s vibrant local food culture.
Learn more.

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July

Agroforestry Academy
July 25-29  |  $1,000  |  Columbia, Mo.

The University of Missouri’s Center for Agroforestry hosts their fourth Agroforestry Academy. The cornerstone of this course is applied planning and design exercises.  Academy trainees work in small groups to gain hands-on practice in agroforestry design based on the needs of a working farm.  Academy trainers and graduates form the core knowledge infrastructure needed to enhance landowner adoption of practices, resulting in increased sustainability of rural communities and both the integrated food and agricultural system.
Learn more and register.

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