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.

 


Designing your Packing Shed — Apr 30

FREE: Workshop
FREE: Direct Market Success manual
FREE: Lunch & parking

Speaker: Atina Diffley, organic farmer & author of Turn Here, Sweet Corn
Location: Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 1315 Abbot Rd. East Lansing, 48823

A well-designed packing shed is a crucial component of an efficient farming operation. The value of high-quality produce can be lost quickly if it isn't cleaned, cooled and moved into cold storage in a quick and efficient manner. Good postharvest facilities can dramatically improve speed, efficiency, health, safety and employee morale. In this session we will discuss packing shed designs and product flow. We will also work on designing or redesigning YOUR packing sheds. We will discuss:

  •     Postharvest Handling
  •     Designing Your Packing Shed
  •     Cost of Production/Efficiency

Sponsored by the MSU SOF Farmer Field SchoolRegistration is required.


Crosshatch Field School Spring — May 5

Hands-on, full-day, on-farm conferences are coming this year. In addition to workshops with brilliant teachers, Crosshatch Field Schools will include one-on-one consulting with farm experts, a local food lunch, and a post-workshop social networking hour.

The Spring Field School is at Ware Farm, 9094 Alkire Road in Bear Lake.  There will be three tracks:

Track 1 - Mushroom Production with Bernie Ware
Track 2 - Beekeeping with Charlotte Hubbard
Track 3 - Fruit Tree Management with Trevor Newman

Cost is $45 if you register before April 5; $55 regular pricing from April 5 - April 28. Ticket sales for Field School Spring close on April 28th.  For special pricing for all three Field Schools: Spring, Summer, & Fall, please call 231-622-5252.  For more information and to register: http://www.crosshatch.org/events/fieldschool-spring.


Growing Nutrient-Dense Vegetables — May 10

For vegetable growers and gardeners. This webinar will present updates to Rodale Institute’s Vegetable Systems Trial, a side-by-side comparison of organic versus conventional vegetable production. Led by Dr. Andrew Smith, the lead researcher on the project, the webinar will compare methods for growing produce, as well as begin to examine how we can produce more nutrient-dense food, raised not only for yields, but for human and environmental health.  2-3 pm on May 10th.

Participation is free, but registration is required.  Registration closes one hour before the webinar.


Livestock on the Small Farm — Jun 10

Livestock can be a great addition to the small farm or homestead, providing a wide range of benefits, including land management services, meat, fiber, and income. This workshop will focus on the basics of pig and sheep management for the small-scale producer with presentations by Ben and Denise Bartlett, Log Cabin Livestock and Dale Rozeboom, MSU Animal Science.

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.


Plasticulture: Season Extension 201 — Jul 15

Plastic can work to the grower’s advantage by extending the production season in cool climates and managing weed and disease pressure. See season extension using hoophouses, greenhouses, plastic mulch, and weed control tarps with Collin Thompson, MSU North Farm.

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.


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.


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.


2018 Michigan Good Food Summit — Oct 22

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.