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 email@example.com 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.
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
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.