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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.

March 26 – Organic Disease Management in Cucurbit Crops  RSVP

April 23 – Innovations in Cover Crop-Based Organic No-Till Systems to Improve Soil Health and Nutrient Management  RSVP

June 18 – Updates on Soil Health and Water Quality under Contrasting Farming Systems  RSVP

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

Bine and Dine, Hops Growing Webinar Series — April 6-Sept 8

MSU Extension is excited to announce the second annual Bine and Dine webinar series. Join Rob Sirrine, Erin Lizotte and MSU faculty on the first Monday of each month to learn about agronomic practices, pest management, fertility, timing of hop management activities and more! The series will run the first Monday of each month (first Tuesday in September) from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. EST. Each webinar will focus on providing timely information on current conditions and helping growers plan for upcoming management milestones. Recordings of the webinar will be available for registrants unable to attend live. See the schedule below for more information. The series is free, but registration is required. Registrants will receive email notification with instructions for joining the webinar. To register, visit the events webpage.

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.  

Medicinal Herb Production — August 1

2020 MOSES Organic Field Day – Free and Online.  Learn about organic herb production from the MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year! Jane Hawley Stevens and David Stevens grow herbs and flowers for a variety of wellness products at Four Elements Organic Herbals. They’ll give us a virtual tour of their farm and talk about:

• Plant identification
• Chakra Garden layout
• Production in the field
• Recommended hand tools
• Drying herbs
• Wellness products created with medicinal herbs
Saturday, August 1 12:45 pm CST  Register here to attend the event or view a recording.

Direct 2020: The Virtual Conference for your Farm Business — August 4

This free online conference will provide farmers with access to the best practices, minds, and insights to build a direct-to-market business. Learn how quality, brand, price, and convenience provide four levers for your farm to succeed selling direct.

August 4th, 8am-5pm.  Click here to learn more and the register:  https://www.directfarmconference.com

Healthy Soil Problem Solving Webinar: Humic Acid — August 6

Join Acres, USA  for the first in a series of Healthy Soil Problem Solving Webinars. These free events are created to give you easy access to information you need to improve your soil and overall farm productivity. This 30 minute, Live Earth Products, sponsored webinar will discuss solutions for improving your soil structure and fertility with humic acid. Learn how humic acid is formed, when and why you would add it your soil and what happens in your soil once it is incorporated.

To register for this webinar click here.

Michigan Good Food Summit — Nov 16

The 2020 Michigan Good Food Summit 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.  Save the date.  More details coming soon.

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!