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.
    • Recorded presentations and associated materials from the Bionutrient Association's Soil & Nutrition Conferences over the past several years.  Too many well-known names to list, connecting the dots between healthy soils, healthy people, and a healthy planet.
    • Videos and presentations from the 2017 National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health sessions are now available.

 


Climate Resilience – A Course for Farmers — Aug-Sep 15

Farming connects to Climate Change in profound ways. On the one hand, industrial farming is one of the main contributors to Climate Change. On the other, agroecological farming can actually mitigate and reduce the risks, vulnerability and impacts of a changing climate. With this contradiction in mind, it is clear that to confront Climate Change rather than just react to it, we need to nurture strong farmer networks, adapt the way we farm to reduce impacts on the environment, and make our farms and farmers more climate resilient.

In this self-paced online course, you will learn from climate resilient agriculture experts, experienced farmers, and MESA’s network of agroecology educators. You will have access to online forums to help you build relationships, problem-solve and share expertise with other farmers in the USA. Through a series of engaging online videos and innovative assignments, you’ll learn to create and apply strategies to improve environmental conditions on your farm while helping build resilience and productivity within your management practices. All materials are oriented to confronting Climate Change on your farm.

MESA will release materials on July 31st, and you can begin anytime after that. Deadline to submit materials is Sept 15th. If these dates do not work for you, please email them to be kept in the loop for future dates. More information here. Thanks to grant funding, the course is free, but registration is required.


21st Annual Tour of Detroit Garden and Farms — Aug 1

See the places where residents are digging into Detroit soil to cultivate a healthy relationship to food, learn healthy habits from family and neighbors, and nurture an economically viable city where Detroit residents thrive. This year the event will be held on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. Tickets will be available on July 5th. For more information, check out the website: detroitagriculture.net/ or facebook.


Steel in the Field for Organic Row Crops — Aug 2

A Purdue Extension Organic Agriculture Field day at Living Prairie Family Farms in Wolcott, Ind. Panel discussions, morning rotations, and plot walks that cover  organic row crop equipment, managing split operations, transition strategies for grain farmers, interseeding cover crops, and more.  Look here for more information and to register.


Benefits of Agroforestry in Transitioning and Organic Systems — Aug 7

Agroforestry can increase soil health, agroecosystem biodiversity, soil matter and total organic carbon. It provides nectar/pollen/resin resources and reduces soil disturbance. Overall, increasing opportunities for agroforestry can reduce economic and ecosystem risks for farmers and forest stewards. This webinar will explore the opportunities and challenges associated with integrating trees and shrubs into conventional and organic forests/farms in North America and the Pacific Islands. With Bart Lawrence, USDA NRCS and Rich Straight, USDA Forest Service. More information here.


Flower Production — Aug 19

Flowers are a great addition to any operation, whether for pleasure or profit. Learn about variety selection, production management, bouquet arrangement, and marketing with Shailah Bunce, Rock River Farm and Jeff Heidtman, Color Blind Gardens.

The course will begin at 1 pm at MSU North Farm, then move to visit farms in Alger County with an emphasis on demonstration and hands-on activities so you can practice what you learn in class with other farmers and gardeners. $30 per course, or $100 for the series. Farm rate is available for multiple individuals from the same farm: $45 per course, or $150 for the series. Register at www.msunorthfarm.org/short-courses.html.


Farm to Fork at Peaceful Meadows Farm — Aug 26

Classes on: Edible flowers and weeds • Herbal remedies •Tai Chi • Gardening • Wild tea crafting • Honey bees • Maple syrup •  Garden walks and tours; music by the Silo Singers; and dinner from the farm.  1:00-6:00.  12030 N. Lewis Rd. in Clio.  $15 per person, and registration closes Aug. 15. More info here.


Organic Management Field Day — Sep 19

Scientists from MSU will introduce the results of the OREI USDA project on organic squash production in Michigan. The project compares strip and conventional tillage.  Presentations will cover management of pests and beneficials, fertility, cover crops, and equipment used in the study.  Kellogg Biological Station, 9701 N 40th St, Hickory Corners, MI.  More information and registration here.


Practical Conservation Tillage — Sep 19

First in a series of 9 webinars sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.
This webinar includes the impacts of tillage on soil health, including practical, soil-friendly tillage practices for organic systems. We will discuss several newer tillage tools and approaches that reduce adverse impacts on soil life and soil structure.For more information and to register, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74667/soil-health-and-organic-farming-webinar-series.


Forest Resource Management — Sep 30

Wooded areas can provide food, fuel, and habitat for wildlife. Find out about forest resource management, developing a forest management plan, and identifying the value of that may lie just outside your back door with Dan and Mary Rabine, Reh-Morr Farm, Holly Wendrick, MAEAP, and Matt Watkeys, District Forester.

The course will begin at 1 pm at MSU North Farm, then move to visit farms in Alger County with an emphasis on demonstration and hands-on activities so you can practice what you learn in class with other farmers and gardeners. $30 per course, or $100 for the series. Farm rate is available for multiple individuals from the same farm: $45 per course, or $150 for the series. Register at www.msunorthfarm.org/short-courses.html.


Cover Crops: Selection and Management — Oct 17

First in a series of 9 webinars sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.
This webinar will focus on selecting the best cover crops, mixes, and management methods for soil health, including crop rotations and cropping system biodiversity.  For more information and to register, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74667/soil-health-and-organic-farming-webinar-series.


2018 Michigan Good Food Summit — Oct 22

Amplifying Voices for Equity : #2018goodfood  This October, the Michigan Good Food Summit will amplify under-represented voices across the food system as we continue advancing the Good Food Charter's vision of equity, sustainability and a thriving economy for all of Michigan and its people.

Whether you're a food consumer, grower or buyer; line cook, server or chef; advocate, educator or policymaker - join us in East Lansing to connect with others advancing good food and equity in Michigan!

Breakout session proposals will be accepted through www.michiganfood.org/summits.  For questions on registration and sponsor/exhibitor information, contact Diane Drago at ddrago@dmsevents.com or (734) 747-2746.


Organic Farming Conference — Nov 8-9

This year's theme is Diversity, and MOFFA members Jessie and Leah Smith are among the presenters.  Topics include: Understanding Soils with Gary Zimmer, Heritage Horses with David Bontrager, Grass Milk Farmer Panel, Organic Produce, Bee Panel, Children's Enterprises, Row Crops, Farm Succession, ​Farm Home Demonstrations.  See www.organicfarmingconf.com for more information.


Plant Genetics: Plant Breeding and Variety Selection — Nov 14

First in a series of 9 webinars sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.
This webinar will cover plant breeding and variety selection for performance in sustainable organic systems, including nutrient and moisture use efficiency, competitiveness toward weeds, and enhanced interactions with beneficial soil biota. We will also discuss heritable traits that could directly benefit soil biology and soil health.  For more information and to register, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74667/soil-health-and-organic-farming-webinar-series.


The 43rd annual Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference and Trade Show — Dec 4-7

will be in Louisville, KY from Dec 4–7, 2018. The Conference includes Eco-Ag intensive, day-long workshops; seminars; 1-on-1 eco-consultant opportunities; round table discussions, an eco-ag trade show, and film screenings geared toward the beginning to advanced farmer. Keynote speakers include Joel Salatin. Registration is now open https://www.acresusa.com/events/2018conference/registration-19. Volunteer opportunities include a waived registration fee ($200) for a total of 4-6 volunteer hours during the event. Contact Mary Battjes at Acres with any questions about the conference or volunteering. 512-215-2374 | 800-355-5313 | mbattjes@acresusa.com.


Water Management and Water Quality — Jan 9

First in a series of 9 webinars sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.
This webinar will focus on the role of soil health and organic soil management in water conservation and water quality.  For more information and to register, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74667/soil-health-and-organic-farming-webinar-series.


16th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference — Feb 9

The Michigan Family Farms Conference, presented by MIFFS, is a forum for beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers to network, learn and build sustainable family farms. Celebrating its 16th year in 2019, the conference has become a resource for connecting farmers from across the state. The 2019 conference will be held at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.  We'll provide more information as it becomes available.


Nutrient Management for Crops, Soil and the Environment — Feb 20

First in a series of 9 webinars sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.
This webinar includes a discussion of the role of soil health and the soil food web, including practical guidelines for optimizing crop nutrition, minimizing adverse environmental impacts of organic fertility inputs, and adapting soil test-based nutrient recommendations (especially N) for organic systems.  For more information and to register, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74667/soil-health-and-organic-farming-webinar-series.


Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration — Mar 20

First in a series of 9 webinars sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.
In this webinar, we will discuss the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon, minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions during crop and livestock production, and enhance agricultural resilience to weather extremes. The presentation will include practical guidelines for optimizing the organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adaptability to climate disruptions already underway.  For more information and to register, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74667/soil-health-and-organic-farming-webinar-series.


Understanding and Managing Soil Biology for Soil Health and Crop Production — May 22

First in a series of 9 webinars sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and eOrganic focused on the topics covered in their new Soil Health and Organic Farming educational guides: building organic matter, weed management, conservation tillage, cover crops, plant breeding and variety selection, water management and quality, nutrient management, and more! This series is recommended for farmers, extension agents, educators, agricultural professionals, and others interested in building soil health.
This webinar will examine the functions of the soil food web and key components thereof in promoting soil health and fertility and sustainable organic crop production. Research-based guidance on organic practices and NOP-approved inputs for improved soil food web function will be discussed.  For more information and to register, visit http://articles.extension.org/pages/74667/soil-health-and-organic-farming-webinar-series.