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Upcoming Educational Opportunities:

  • Anytime:
    • SARE 2018 Conference: Our Farms, Our Future.  All conference materials available as video, podcasts, and posters.
    • 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.
 

MSU Organic Farmer Training Program – March 15 - November 15

The 2021 MSU Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) will be a 50/50 mix of field and online learning, including 11 hands-on days at the MSU Student Organic Farm, 6 field trip days and 16 interactive online class days. Check out the full schedule and OFTP's COVID-19 protocols for masking, distancing and other precautions to see the plan for safe, on-farm learning. Join the 2021 cohort of aspiring and beginning farmers, farmworkers, homesteaders and educational gardeners to make your farm vision a reality! Online learning can create a strong learning community as Loretta Crum explains, “The give-and-take of comments and discussion I've received in this online course have convinced me that I can make my farm match where I am in my life and what I want to accomplish over the next 10-20 years. It's been fun to watch the rest of the students go through a similar process." Email msufarm@msu.edu or call/text Katie Brandt at 616-885-7776. For more information and to register follow this link: http://www.msuorganicfarm.org/organic-farmer-training-program.html 


Online Short Course:  Farming with Soil Life In the Midwest– June 9 

Healthy, living soil and its functions are created and maintained by fungi, bacteria, plants and by invertebrate animals as diverse as annelids, springtails, and firefly larvae, among others. Soil invertebrates are fundamental to soil health and create soil structure, cycle organic matter, consume weed seeds and prey on crop pests.
 
This online short course is intended for NRCS staff, Soil and Water Conservation staff, Extension Educators, farmers and other agricultural professionals. Participants will learn about common soil invertebrates, their ecology and roles in soil health, scouting methods, and management strategies to increase beneficial soil animal populations.
 
This course is free to attend, but registration is required.  Learn more and register here

Solarization and Biosolarization: Harnessing the Sun and Organic Matter to Control Weeds – June 16

Join the National Center for Appropriate Technology for a free webinar Wednesday, June 16 at 11:00 a.m. MDT to learn how to harness the sun and organic matter to control weeds.
 
Biosolarization is a new innovation in the realm of weed control. Different from the commonly known practice of solarization, which uses clear plastic sheeting on moist soil to thermally terminate a variety of pest species, biosolarization includes the use of organic matter in the form of compost, cover crops, manure or other materials such as pomace or nut hulls.
 
The addition of organic matter can accelerate the process by encouraging anaerobic soil disinfestation. The carbon from organic material produces chemicals with bio-pesticidal activity. The combination of these natural chemicals and heat acts like a fumigant and eliminates soil-borne pests and weed species.
 
This hour-long, free webinar will cover theoretical concepts as well as results from field trials. Join hosts Martin Guerena and Dr. Jesus Fernandez-Bayo to learn more about the advantages and challenges of using different by-products in biosolarization to control weeds and soilborne pathogens. Register here.

Healthy Soil Summit – August 25, 26

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The annual Healthy Soil Summit is built for farmers, growers and ranchers searching for an advantage in today’s marketplace. Our instructors are real farmers who practice what they teach, including detailed tactics to build soil resilience, increase water storage capacity and decrease costly inputs and programs. Not only will you learn how the ecological efficiencies of balancing the chemistry, biology and physical properties of your soil, but you will also learn how these tactics can decrease long-term fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide costs.  Register at this link.