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.

 


Grower Produce Safety Course — Nov 6

Michigan State University Extension will host the Food and Drug Administration-defined Produce Safety Alliance Grower Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) certification course at various locations. Those interested in learning about Good Agricultural Practices (GAP‘s), produce safety, co-management, and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule are invited to participate.  This FREE certification training for produce growers meets the requirements for the Produce Rule under the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For more information see the flyer or the websitePre-registration is required, at least five days before the date of the course.


Smarter Season Extension — Nov 6

Join us for this workshop looking at two key aspects of season extension: Shoulder Season Production (Oct – Dec & Feb – April) and Root Crops.  In both areas we will look at important practices & schedules for success, necessary production & storage infrastructure, proven crop types and varieties, post-harvest/storage management, and other critical elements to moving beyond summer production. Presenters: Tomm Becker, Sun Seed Farm & Denae Friedheim, MSU Student Organic Farm

Hosted at MSU Student Organic Farm which has experimented and fine-tuned their season extension production since 2002. Co-presented by Sun Seed Farm, which has been growing in the shoulder season and producing lots of root crops since 2009.
Cost: $150 ($40 for 2nd person from same farm).  Scholarships are available.  Location: MSU Student Organic Farm, 3291 College Rd., Holt.  9am - 5pm; lunch and snacks provided.  Registration is required.


Webinar: Soil Health & Organic Production — Nov 8

On November 8 at 2pm EST, learn the results of Rodale Institute's research over the past decades, that can help organic farmers improve systems and show the advantages of organic production based on scientific data.  For more information and to register see rodaleinstitute.org/event-registration/?ee=228.  Registration required prior to COB Nov. 7.


Roundtable Discussion: Work-Life Balance for Farmers — Nov 14

Together, farmers and others will share in discussion of successful (and unsuccessful) practices and approaches to finding balance between the work of farming and life off the farm or at least off the clock. How do passion, values, ideals, goals and financial security for the farm mesh with those of family and loved ones, and our own personal limits? A look at how and why we make the decisions we do and what we can learn from eachother and understand about the farm and family life we choose.11:30am - 2pm.  The Roundable is free (and lunch is provided), but registration is required.  Location: Eastminster Presbyterian, 1315 Abbot Rd. East Lansing.


Farmer Field School Gathering — Nov 14

Farmer Field School Gathering, is for workshop attendees and other new farmers to get to know more about each other, but also help us brainstorm provide feedback about Farmer Field School. This includes: feedback on workshops, input on workshop structure, pricing, timing & content, explore how to support dialogue & learning between workshops and among each other, and other topics around workshops as they emerge. 2pm - 4pm.  The Gathering is free, but registration is required.  Location: Eastminster Presbyterian, 1315 Abbot Rd. East Lansing.


Great Lakes Fruit and Vegetable Expo — Dec 5-7

    4,200+ people from 42 states and eight Canadian provinces attended the 2016 EXPO.
    70+ education sessions and workshops will be offered over the three day period.
    450+ exhibitors in an expanded tradeshow.
    The EXPO offers many special events, receptions and other networking opportunities.

Over three days, the program includes sessions on fruit crops, vegetable crops, other specialty crops, greenhouse crop production and marketing, farm marketing ideas and operations, farmers’ markets and organic production and marketing. There will also be sessions covering a diversity of general interest topics, including food safety and labor.  Presentations will be made by researchers and Extension educators from Michigan State University, other Land Grant universities and industry. Several of the education sessions will be of interest to organic producers, especially on Thursday, "organic day".   GLEXPO is held at the DeVos Conference Center in Grand Rapids.


Acres USA 2017 Eco-Ag Conference — Dec 5-8

Exploring strategies for modern Eco-Agriculture from the soil up:  The Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show is a one-of-a-kind event for commercial-scale sustainable and organic agriculture. Well over a thousand people from around the world gather together to tap the knowledge of some of agriculture’s brightest minds. Join us for the most useful event you’ll attend all year! December 5-8 in Columbus, Ohio.  For more information, www.acresusa.com/events.


Grower Produce Safety Course — Dec 7

Michigan State University Extension will host the Food and Drug Administration-defined Produce Safety Alliance Grower Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) certification course at various locations. Those interested in learning about Good Agricultural Practices (GAP‘s), produce safety, co-management, and the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule are invited to participate.  This FREE certification training for produce growers meets the requirements for the Produce Rule under the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). For more information see the flyer or the websitePre-registration is required, at least five days before the date of the course.


Organic Intensives — Jan 6

We invite you to join us on Saturday, January 6th, 2018 for a one-day in-depth learning experience. Organic Intensives are an opportunity to acquire practical, detailed information over the course of a day with fellow Michigan farmers and gardeners. For 2018 we are working with individuals who are recognized experts and educators in one of three topic areas:

  • Diverse Grain Options for Farms and Homesteads
  • Small to Medium Scale Livestock for the Integrated Farm
  • Secure a Successful Season with Succession Starts (transplant production)

See our Organic Intensives page for more information.


Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference — Jan 26-27

So far, only the dates have been announced, but keep an eye on www.smallfarmconference.com/ for further information about this major event for small farmers in Michigan. 


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.  Keep an eye on www.miffs.org/events/MFFC for more information as it becomes available.


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, 2018

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.


Our Farms, Our Future — Apr 3-5, 2018

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,