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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 16 - Nov 9

The MSU Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) teaches aspiring farmers in a 50/50 mix of field and classroom activities every Monday from 9am to 5pm at the MSU Student Organic Farm. In the field, everyone participates in hands-on activities, farm walks and equipment demonstrations. In the classroom, we focus on small group activities, full group discussions, guest speakers and participant presentations. You will also visit over 20 Michigan farms! Outside of class, video lectures, readings and practical assignments, like writing a Farm Business Plan will connect learning themes from the class to YOUR farm goals. The OFTP is a vibrant, diverse and positive learning community where students learn from each other and share their unique skills, experience and goals.

More information about the 2020 Organic Farmer Training Program and the application can be found at this link as well as a link to a scholarship application.

Rodale Institute Events — March 26 - Nov 12

The Rodale Institute offers not only classes at the farm but webinars for those who live a distance away.  Topics range from pest and disease management to soil health and nutritional quality of vegetables. RSVP at the link following the webinar you are interested in.


Sept 17 – Watershed Impact Trial: Soil Health as Affected by Management on Row Crop, Vegetable, and Pastured Livestock Farms in PA  RSVP
Oct 8 – Manure and Pasture Management to Reduce Swine Parasites in Organic Pastured Pork  RSVP
Nov 5 – Vegetable Nutrient Quality and Soil Health in the Vegetable Systems Trial, 4th Season Updates  RSVP
Nov 12 – Impact of Management Practices on Colored-Potato Crop Nutrient Quality and Soil Health  RSVP

Farm Business Plan Accelerator — June 16 - Oct 15

The MSU Farm Business Plan Accelerator is a 100% online opportunity to meet twice weekly with other beginning and aspiring farmers to write a farm business plan that fits YOUR farmsite, markets, skills and goals. Sign up now to join the learning community each Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 1:30pm EST from June 16 to October 15. 

Evenings in the Garden - Race, Food, & Land in Detroit – July 30-Sept 24

MSU Tollgate Farm - Evenings in the Garden Lecture Series presents aa three part series on Race, Food, & Land in Detroit to highlight the past, present, and future projections of race relations in Detroit and how race has impacted land acquisition and food sovereignty. Each session will consist of a team of MSU Extension facilitators joined by panelists from across the Detroit food systems landscape to share their lived and learned experiences. Registration fees, minus the cost of stipends for the panelists, will go toward initiatives that support the needs of Black/African-American farmers in Detroit.  Scholarships are available.  Click here for more information and the register.  

Putting Your Garden To Rest: Soil Health Virtual Workshop – Sept 23

Join NCAT Soil Specialist Nina Prater and Horticulture Specialist Luke Freeman for a free virtual workshop to learn about soil health practices for the fall and winter seasons on produce farms and market gardens. Topics include soil health principles, winter-season practices to build soil health on produce farms, winter cover-crop species for Arkansas and the Mid-South, and management of winter cover crops.  Get more info and register here for this free, online workshop.

Scaling Up Pastured Livestock Production – Sept 23

This webinar sponsored by Food Animals Concerns Trust (FACT), will explore how much land and feed it takes to produce a pound of grass-finished beef, pastured pork, or pastured chicken. Presenter Franklin Egan, PhD, Director of Education with Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, will share lessons learned that will help farmers to improve their yields and bottom lines. He will share the results of a new study called Scaling Up Pasture Livestock Production which was produced in partnership with 10 pastured livestock farms in Pennsylvania and explores how much land and feed it takes to produce a pound of grass-finished beef, pastured pork, or pastured chicken.  Register here.  September 23, 12AM to 1PM, EST.

Stepping Up To Contract Seed Production: A forum for Midwest Growers – Sept 24

The COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for seeds in 2020 to an unprecedented degree. As seed companies assess their needs for replenishing seed stocks, farmers at all scales are considering producing seed for their own use or for sale to seed companies. This forum is designed to provide beginning or intermediate seed growers with a foundation in how to pursue, negotiate and deliver on seed contracts.

The conversation is targeted toward growers in the Midwest region, but will be useful to growers in other regions as well. Featured speakers include: Mike Levine and Erica Kempter from Nature and Nurture Seeds, Ira Wallace from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and Koby Jeschkeit-Hagen from Seed Savers Exchange. This event is hosted by Organic Seed Alliance and North Circle Seeds, with funding from NCR- SARE. 

Great Apple Crunch — October

Join the 2020 Great Apple Crunch to celebrate Michigan farmers, healthy kids, and strong communities this October. Participating in the Crunch is simple: buy, serve, and Crunch into locally grown apples! Since 2014, we have highlighted National Farm to School Month with MILLIONS of Crunches across the region. We know the Crunch will look different this year AND we are still excited to creatively Crunch together. Register your Crunch to make it official, add to the Crunch count, get the scoop on serving local apples during COVID-19, and receive the Crunch Guide. Everyone is invited to Crunch to reach our goal of TWO MILLION CRUNCHES this year. 

Michigan Good Food Summit — Oct – Nov

The 2020 Michigan Good Food Virtual Summit: Moving Forward with Equity and Resilience, will celebrate achievements, explore new directions, and launch a renewed effort to advance a good food system in Michigan that promotes equity, sustainability, and thriving economies.

We are grateful to have you join us for this unique opportunity during such a challenging time.
Since 2010, people across the state and country have gathered at the Michigan Good Food Summit to network, share, reflect, and learn about good food work happening in Michigan.
While we will miss gathering in-person this year, the 2020 Michigan Good Food Summit Virtual Summit will celebrate achievements, explore new directions, and launch a renewed effort to advance a good food system in Michigan that promotes equity, sustainability, and thriving economies for all of Michigan and its people.

The 2020 Virtual Summit will be an engaging event to help set the stage for the next 10 years of good food systems in Michigan!will bring together over 500 people to celebrate achievements and launch a renewed effort to advance a good food system in Michigan that promotes equity, sustainability, and thriving economies.  Register here


Acres Eco-Ag Conference — Dec 1- 4

The Eco-Ag Conference sets the standard for innovation and learning in modern agriculture. An educational experience and trade show, the conference unites farmers, ranchers and ag professionals from every facet of eco-farming to share their experience and expertise. Learn the latest in cutting-edge technology and methods, and return home ready to make your farming operation the best it can be. If you’ve never attended, make this the year you do!

We have a lot in the works for the 45th year of the Eco-Ag Conference – including top-notch speakers, educational sessions and unmatched networking opportunities – plus some celebration. Stay tuned for more announcements coming soon!

OEFFA Annual Conference — Feb 10-15

Save the date! For the first time in OEFFA’s 42 year conference history, Our Time: Essential Links for a Strong Food Chain, set for February 10-15, 2021, will be held online and accessible to you using your computer or phone.

We’re excited to offer all the essential elements of our conference online. In some cases, we’ll be able to offer even more, and we expect the online format will save you time and money, making the region's premier sustainable food and farm event accessible to even more people! Learn more here.