Upcoming Educational Opportunities:

  • Anytime:
    • ATTRA Tutorials – self-guided and comprehensive multi-lesson tutorials in Scaling Up for Regional Markets, Pest Management, Farm Business Planning & Marketing for Beginnners, and Getting Started in Farming.
    • USDA Science & Technology Training Library – contains hundreds of archived webinars on Bioenergy, Conservation, Forestry, and Sustainable Forests.  Lists of upcoming webinars are also available on the site.
    • Farmer-to-Farmer Podcast with Chris Blanchard.  "Chris is a veteran farmer and educator who draws on over 25 years of experience to get at the big ideas and practical details that go into making a farm work.  Whether his guests are discussing employment philosophy or the best techniques for cultivating carrots, his down-to-earth conversations with experienced farmers - and the occasional non-farmer - will be time well spent."
    • Summaries of presentations at the 2016 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium are now available online at http://eorganic.info/node/16778. Many of the workshops and keynote presentations were recorded live and may be viewed via the eOrganic YouTube channel.


Winter Produce Safety Certification Course — Jan 4 through Mar 21

This free grant funded one-day workshop is offered by Michigan State University Extension, a minimum value of $85 for materials and certificate. The training will cover the curriculum designed by the Produce Safety Alliance, which meets the regulatory requirements of the Produce Safety Rule under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The course will provide FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, how to manage your operation to reduce risks associated with fresh produce contamination and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. One-day trainings will be held throughout the state between early January and March 21.  For more information and to register (registration required): https://events.anr.msu.edu/event.cfm?eventID=42EE0B710B42103B.

Introduction to Lean Agriculture — Jan 16

First in a series of 4 sessions on Lean Farming. This session will focus on the benefits of Lean and how using these business strategies can provide a real impact to your bottom line. Farming is a business and using proven approaches to improve your farming ledger is time well spent. We will discuss where Lean came from and how it has become so widespread across so many industries. The core of this approach is constant improvement and doing a little improvement - stress little - everyday.  North Central Michigan College; Petoskey, Room 536 SCRC (Student and Community Resource Building).  James Tisdel: Instructor.  Free to attend, but registration is required.  Call (231)348-6613  or email to register.

5S Your Farm the Lean Way — Jan 23

Second in the Lean Farming series. The strategy of 5S is all about putting things / tools in the right place and making your job easier, more productive, and more efficient. Improve the way individuals work and begin to change the view of work to constant improvement and the customer. Learn the steps involved in implementing this very effective approach for your farming business. North Central Michigan College; Petoskey, Room 536 SCRC (Student and Community Resource Building).  James Tisdel: Instructor.  Free to attend, but registration is required.  Call (231)348-6613  or email to register.

Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference — Jan 26-27

NMSFC, by far the largest gathering of family-scale and ecologically responsible farmers in Michigan, will again be held at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme, just six miles north of Traverse City.  MOFFA is proud to be a sponsor. This annual event brings over 1,000 farmers and national and statewide experts to Northern Michigan for a weekend of learning, networking, and gathering on January 26-27, 2018. There’s a ton of stuff to keep you busy at the conference, including Farm School with Dave Jacke, Ben Hartman, and others teaching advanced sessions in three separate tracks, a two-day trade show, a seed share lounge, Friday’s keynote address by Richard Wiswall followed by Friday night festivities, and more!  See the full schedule, session descriptions, speaker bios, pricing, and get your tickets at www.smallfarmconerence.com. We’re happy to support this conference and we hope you can make it out to this great event!

Organic Tomato Seed Production — Jan 30

Join eOrganic for a webinar on organic tomato seed production on January 30, 2018 at 2PM Eastern Time. The presenters are members of a NIFA OREI funded project entitled Tomato Organic Management and Improvement. The webinar is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required.  For more information and to register: https://learn.extension.org/events/3280.

The Waste in Farming and the Lean Approach — Jan 30

Third in the Lean Farming series. Lean waste isn't about the physical garbage you throw out. Lean waste is about those things that create waste of time and effort on the job. It is all about making the job easier and more effective. Combine this with 5S and you have the power to redefine the way work happens on your farm. Understanding what creates waste in your process and begin to get rid of it. North Central Michigan College; Petoskey, Room 536 SCRC (Student and Community Resource Building).  James Tisdel: Instructor.  Free to attend, but registration is required.  Call (231)348-6613  or email to register.

Melon Medley: Organic Production Practices, Microbial Safety and Consumer Preferences of various Melon Varieties — Jan 31

Join eOrganic for a webinar on organic melon production: best practices, microbial safety and consumer preferences, by Shirley Micallef and Kathryne Everts of the University of Maryland. The webinar takes place on January 31 2018 at 2PM Eastern Time.  For more information and to register: https://learn.extension.org/events/3248.

Michigan Family Farms Conference — Feb 3

Hosted by Michigan Food and Farming Systems (MIFFS), MFFC is a forum for beginning, small-scale, and culturally diverse farmers to network, learn and build sustainable family farms. Celebrating its 15th year in 2018, the conference has become a resource for connecting farmers from across the state. The 2018 conference will be held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  MOFFA will be there ... see www.miffs.org/events/MFFC for more information.

The Lean Kaizen Approach — Feb 6

Fourth and last in the Lean Farming series. Kaizen is all about making positive change and constant improvement. These skills provide a great approach to discovery and sharing of ideas and improvements. Make your operation run more consistently (given all the variables of farming) build your plan to improve your bottom line. North Central Michigan College; Petoskey, Room 536 SCRC (Student and Community Resource Building).  James Tisdel: Instructor.  Free to attend, but registration is required.  Call (231)348-6613  or email to register.

Organic Seed Growers Conference 2018 Live Broadcast — Feb 14, 16-17

Join eOrganic at the 2018 Organic Seed Growers Conference for live broadcasts of the Seed Economics Intensive on Feb 14th, and 2 more days of organic seed workshops on the 16th and 17th! You can attend any or all of these presentations and come and go as you wish from wherever you are! It's free, and just one advance registration is required! See the schedule below--because it is a live conference, the exact program might be subject to change. (Please note that there are some long breaks between sessions.) More information and to register: http://articles.extension.org/pages/74600/organic-seed-growers-conference-2018-live-broadcast.

OEFFA 39th Annual Conference: A Taste For Change — Feb 15-17

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s 39th annual conference, A Taste for Change, will return to Dayton this winter! Ohio’s largest sustainable food and farm conference features:

  • Nearly 80 educational, inspiring workshops on sustainable farming, livestock, homesteading, gardening, and business on Friday and Saturday;
  • ·A three day trade show with 90+ businesses, organizations, and government agencies offering food, books, equipment, products, information, and services;
  • In-depth, full day Food and Farm School courses on Thursday;
  • Engaging nationally-recognized keynote speakers;
  • Made-from-scratch, local, organic meals;
  • Thursday and Friday evening networking and receptions;
  • Kids’ conference, child care, and more!

Registration opens this fall. Sign up to receive conference updates at www.oeffa.org/conference2018.

MOSES — Feb 22-24

The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services Conference will be Feb 22-24, 2018.  Meanwhile, selected events from the 2017 conference are available on YouTube.  Keynote speakers Mas Masumoto and Liz Carlisle, both authors, encouraged farmers to share their indi­vidual stories and the movement's collective story to spread the environmental values of organic and sustainable farming beyond farm borders. Their inspiring keynotes are online here. You can also watch the one-woman performance of "Turn Here Sweet Corn," from Atina Diffley's memoir, and learn about the 2017 MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year. Audio recordings of conference workshops are available online as CDs (two per work­shop) for $8, which includes shipping. MP3 downloads are $5. The complete set of workshop recordings is $75, and comes on a USB flash drive.

Tools for Farm Biodiversity — Feb 27

Join eOrganic for a webinar about online tools and apps that can help you manage biodiversity on organic farms. The webinar takes place on February 27, 2018 at 1PM Eastern Time, 12PM Central, 11AM Mountain, 10AM Pacific Time. It's free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. For more information and to register: https://learn.extension.org/events/3297.

Management of spotted wing drosophila using organically approved strategies: An update — Feb 27

Join eOrganic for a webinar on the organic management of Spotted Wing Drosophila by members of a 4-year, multi-state NIFA OREI research project and find out what they have learned!

The webinar takes place on February 27th at 3PM Eastern Time. It's free and open to everyone, but advance registration is required. For more information and to register: https://learn.extension.org/events/3299.

Conducting On-Farm Variety Trials to Manage Risk for Organic and Specialty Crop Producers — Mar 20 & Apr 11

Join eOrganic for a 2-part webinar on how to conduct on-farm variety trials to reduce risk on organic and specialty crop farms. The goal of this two-part webinar series is to provide horticultural crop and small grain growers with the skills and information necessary to conduct effective on-farm trials, and manage risk in crop variety and seed sourcing decisions. These webinars include new perspectives from organic certifiers, updated methods for conducting simple and effective on-farm trials, and an introduction to new user-friendly online data analysis tools. This webinar series is open to all, but most appropriate for growers with at least two seasons of production experience. The webinars take place on March 20 and April 11, 2018, and they are free and open to the public. Advance registration is required. For more informationa and to register: https://learn.extension.org/events/3281.

Organic Tomato Foliar Pathogen Management — Mar 21

Join eOrganic for webinar on how to manage foliar pathogens organically! Effectively managing foliar pathogens is one of the biggest challenges facing organic tomato growers. This webinar will provide an overview of practices that can help synergistically address this challenge. Topics will include starting with a strong foundation by building and maintaining soil health, selecting the right varieties, cultural practices that make the environment less favorable for pathogens, disease identification and management using organic fungicides. The webinar takes place on March 21, 2018 at 2PM Eastern Time, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific. It's free and open to the public, and advance registration is required. For more informationa and to register: https://learn.extension.org/events/3284.

Abrasive Weeding: Efficacy, Multifunctionality, and Profitability — Mar 29

Join eOrganic for a new webinar on abrasive weeding by Sam Wortman of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln The webinar takes place on March 29, 2018 at 2PM Eastern, 1PM Central, 12PM Mountain and 11AM Pacific Time. The webinar is free and open to the public and advance registration is required. For more informationa and to register: https://learn.extension.org/events/3252.

Our Farms, Our Future — Apr 3-5

Our Farms, Our Future conference, hosted by SARE and NCAT/ATTRA. This national event will bring together our diverse agricultural community: farmers and ranchers, agricultural professionals, agribusiness, students, researchers, scientists, agency representatives, and nonprofit leaders. Every decade, SARE hosts a conference to look at the progress of sustainability in agriculture, and to understand our trajectory for the future.  Watch www.sare.org/our-farms-our-future for more details,