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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 


FACT Webinar Mini-Series with Dr. Fred Provenza – March 20 – April 13

In this three-part series, Dr. Provenza will discuss how palates link animals with foodscapes - those parts of landscapes animals use to nourish and self-medicate - through three interrelated processes: availability of foods, flavor-feedback relationships, and transgenerational linkages to landscapes. Collectively, these processes enable the wisdom of the body to manifest in animals that are locally adapted to the environments they inhabit. 
 
Please note: each webinar in this series requires a separate registration. 
 
March 30: Part 1 - Animal Feed as Medicine In this first webinar in a three-part series, guest presenter Dr. Provenza will discuss the wisdom of the body focusing on livestock and how animal feed can serve a medicinal purpose.  Register for Part 1
 
April 6: Part 2 - Plant Diversity and Health In this second webinar in a three-part series, Dr. Provenza will discuss how plant health and diversity impacts animal health and ultimately human health.  Register for Part 2
 
April13: Part 3 - Creating Locally-Adapted Herbivores In this final webinar, Dr. Provenza will discuss how we can help livestock prosper by using foods and habitats available locally while minimizing inputs from fossil fuels.  Register for Part 3
 

National Organic Coalition Pre – NOSB Meeting – April 15

The National Organic Coalition Pre-NOSB meeting will be held virtually this spring on Thursday, April 15 from 1 pm to 5:00 pm ET.
 
This meeting serves as a public forum for diverse stakeholders to discuss some of the most urgent and challenging issues impacting the organic community. The virtual meeting will include updates from organic farmers, a DC organic policy update, and information about petitions and materials that are under review by the NOSB. We will also hold concurrent breakout sessions on hot topics, TBD.
 
The Pre-NOSB Meeting is free and open to the public. Register for the meeting here.
 
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held live online during subsequent weeks with sessions on April 20, 22, 28, 29, & 30. More details are available here.

National Organic Standards Board Meeting – April 20, 22, 28, 29 & 30

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) typically meets twice per year. During meetings, the NOSB listens to public comments, hosts expert panels, discusses agenda items, and then votes on recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture in a public forum.
 
With input from the National Organic Standards Board and the organic community, NOP will hold the NOSB Spring 2021 Meeting live online, instead of in-person. This allows the Board to move forward with deliberations as scheduled in an open and public setting, without the need for travel.
 
NOSB Spring 2021 Meeting dates
 
Public Comment Webinar Day 1: Tuesday, April 20 from Noon - 5 p.m. ET
Public Comment Webinar Day 2: Thursday April 22 from Noon - 5 p.m. ET
NOSB Public Meeting Day 1: Wednesday, April 28 from Noon - 5 p.m. ET
NOSB Public Meeting Day 2: Thursday, April 29 from Noon - 5 p.m. ET
NOSB Public Meeting Day 3: Friday, April 30 from Noon - 5 p.m. ET
Links to the webinar and meeting will be provided approximately one week before the webinars.
 
Detailed meeting information, including the agenda, NOSB proposals, and links to submit written comments and register for oral comments, are posted here. For information on previous meetings, visit the NOSB meetings page.

Advancing Hemp – May 20

Acres U.S.A. LogoOn May 20, 2021, Acres U.S.A. will host the 2nd annual Advancing Hemp event. This virtual event will teach farmers the steps to successful hemp production. Hemp farmers will learn:

 

  • The advantages and disadvantages of clones vs. seed inputs and an overview of realistic expectations for current hemp genetics regarding cannabinoid production.
  • How to optimize plant nutrition and soil health for hemp production.
  • The best way to incorporate hemp-farming systems into your existing operation.
  • What the supply chain and processors require of hemp farmers.
  • Best practices from seasoned hemp farmers.

By the end of this event, you will be able to connect proven and practical soil health management tools to success in the marketplace.

More information and registration can be found at this link.


Healthy Soil Summit – August 25, 26

Acres U.S.A. Logo

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.