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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.

Seed Commons & Ownership: A Listening Session on Intellectual Property Rights – Nov 19 - Jan 19

Organic Seed Alliance (OSA), Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will host a listening session to hear from farmers, seed growers, seed companies, plant breeders, and other food and farming stakeholders about issues they face with intellectual property rights (IPR) on seed. IPR decisions affect all growers, regardless of how they farm or garden (organic or otherwise) and have very real ethical and cultural implications for community seed systems. Listening session hosts will invite participants to answer the following questions: How does IPR impact your farming operation, gardening pursuits, and plant breeding or research? What questions do you have about IPR, and what resources do you need? What resources do you already have? Are there opportunities for improving how IPR is used in the seed system? Input gathered will directly inform future educational events and policy recommendations in 2021.

Register for the first session on Nov 19, 2020 12:00 PM


Greenhouse Online Courses — Dec 1 - Feb 28

These non-credit courses in the series are pre-recorded and registrants have three months to complete the courses: Dec. 1, 2020, through Feb. 28, 2021. Students in the course will take a pre-test and a final exam to gauge their learning on the topics. Registrants also can complete the optional self-assessment quizzes to engage with the material throughout the course. Each course is $129.

There are three scholarships for each of the courses for those interested but do not currently have the financial means to take it. The cost of the course will be reduced to $39.99 for scholarship winners. More information and registration can be found here. Registration for all courses ends Dec. 11, 2020.
 

Real Organic Symposium — Jan 3 - 31

The Real Organic Project's Virtual Symposium will be presented every Sunday in January, 3-5pm EST.  Each session will be unique and focus on a different topic as it relates to organic farming.  With more than 60 prominent organic farmers, scientists, and climate activists, presenters include Al Gore, Leah Penniman, Eliot Coleman, Vandana Shiva, Paul Hawken, Alice Waters, JM Fortier, Allan Savory, Bill McKibben, and Jennifer Taylor.  Follow this link to learn more about the Real Organic Symposium.

If you have decided you would like to attend follow this link to buy tickets. One ticket gets you access to all 5 sessions. 

 


Minnesota Organic Conference – January 7, 14, 21 & 28

Hosted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture annually, the Minnesota Organic Conference is going virtual this year, with afternoon sessions on four Thursdays in January. The first session features organic farmer, entrepreneur, and author Bob Quinn, speaking on “Back to the Future: Regenerative-Organic Food Production for Good Health.”  Use this link to find a complete schedule and registration information: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/environment-sustainability/minnesota-organic-conference

 


Pasture Management for Limited Resource Farmers – Jan 12

This webinar will give small, limited resource farmers the tools they need to better understand the benefits of good pasture management. We will discuss why continuous grazing is not sufficient, how to find and create markets for their products, and the importance of establishing a business entity and keeping it separate from one's homestead. Participants will learn how these management decisions not only affect their farm but also their community and the earth's sustainability for years to come

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST. To register follow this link.


Organic Winter Webinars from Ohio State – Jan 13, 20 & 27

Ohio State is hosting a series of short winter webinars on a variety of organic production topics. These sessions are brief, free, and can be accessed online or by telephone. All sessions are 11:00-11:45 a.m. and will include ample time for questions and discussion.  

This is a partial schedule.  More information can be found at https://offer.osu.edu/news/organic-winter-webinars

Wednesday, January 13 at 11 a.m. Transition Q&A. Julia Barton from the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) will share answers to common questions from growers transitioning to organic production. She will also leave time to answer additional questions that participants might have. If you are in the early stages of considering organic or just want to learn more about how organic certification works, this 45-minute session will be full of good information.

Wednesday, January 20 at 11 a.m. Manure Analysis: How Much Nitrogen Can You Get from Manure? 

Glen Arnold from Ohio State Extension will discuss general differences in manure types, what to expect from a manure analysis, and how to apply those results to your fertility program.
 
Wednesday, January 27 at 11 a.m. Irrigation Basics 
Larry Brown from Ohio State will discuss basic considerations about when and how to use irrigation and what questions should go into your decision-making process.
 
Additional topics are planned on beneficial insects, soil health, weed management, marketing, grazing, and more. For a full list of sessions, log-in details, to view past presentations, or to sign up for email reminders, visit go.osu.edu/organic-series or contact program manager Cassandra Brown at 330-263-3634.

Winter Advocacy Webinar Series – Jan 13 - March 27

The National Young Farmers Coalition will be hosting a Winter Advocacy Webinar Series for farmers and ranchers. The series will be geared towards young and beginning producers but anyone is welcome to join. You'll find more info on each session in the links. This series is free to attend. 
Understanding USDA Wednesday, 1/13, 7pm ET
 
Racial Equity and Policy Wednesday, 1/20, 7pm ET
 
Legislative Process 103 Wednesday, 2/3, 7pm ET
 
Riding the Omnibus Wednesday, 2/17, 7pm ET
 
Owning Your Power Wednesday, 3/3, 7pm ET
 
You Write the Rules Wednesday, 3/17, 7pm ET
 
 

Pastures for Profit – Jan 13 – March 3

The Pastures for Profit program is a collaboration between Ohio State University Extension, Central State University, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council. One live webinar will be offered per month along with “work at your own pace” videos and exercises that accompany each webinar.
Event organizer, Christine Gelley, Ohio State extension educator in Noble County, welcomes organic participants. She sees pasture management as a naturally low-input farming system if it’s done right, relying on holistic thinking and species diversity.
Each webinar will be offered live on Zoom at 7 P.M. and feature three presentations in a 90-minute span. Attendees will be able to interact with the speakers and ask questions in real time. Once registered, attendees will be granted access to the online course including the webinars and complementary resources. Participants that attend all three webinars will have the opportunity to earn a certificate of completion. Registered participants will also receive their choice of a curriculum binder or USB drive of the traditional course by mail.
The webinar schedule and topics are as follows.
Webinar One- Core Grazing Education: Wed., January 13th at 7 p.m.
- Evaluating Resources and Goal Setting
- Getting Started Grazing
- Soil Fertility
Webinar Two- The Science of Grazing: Wed., February 3rd at 7 p.m.
- Understanding Plant Growth
- Fencing and Water Systems
- Meeting Animal Requirements on Pasture
Webinar Three- Meeting Grazing Goals: Wed., March 3rd at 7 p.m.
- Pasture Weed Control
- Economics of Grazing
- Creating and Implementing Grazing Plans
A series of additional videos that complement each webinar will be accessible to registered participants.
 
The Pastures for Profit course utilizes Scarlet Canvas. For best performance, Canvas should be used on the current or first previous major release of Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser.
Cost of the course is $50, which includes the Pastures for Profit manual. Current and new members of the Ohio Forage and Grasslands Council are eligible for a $10 discount on registration. Register for the course by visiting https://afgc.org/ofgcwebinar
 

Northeast Organic Farming Association Winter Conference – Jan 16 - 23

The Organic farming is rooted in health – of the soil, the farmer, and the community. And health is the foundation of resilience. Our conference theme, Rooted in Resilience, reflects the ability of organic systems to embrace challenges: no matter whether it’s a global pandemic, unprecedented weather, a new pest, or the loss of an important market.

For nearly four decades, our conference has convened farmers, homesteaders, soil scientists, seedkeepers, and ag-vocates to work together and learn from one another. The mutual support and the generous exchange of knowledge is a hallmark of the NOFA-NY community. And now, we’ve seen the power of the that: our CSAs, farmers markets, and local co-ops have been models of food security throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our conference is an opportunity to leverage that power and learn directly from the experts: you!  One registration = 90+ workshops and events!

To find more information and to register use this link: https://nofany.org/2021-winter-conference/


Big Ag and Antitrust Conference – January 16

Free and open to the public, the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale (TAP @ Yale) and the Law, Ethics & Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School are delighted to co-host “Big Ag & Antitrust: Competition Policy for a Sustainable and Humane Food System,” a virtual conference on the role and power of antitrust and competition law and policy in shaping the American food system.
 
Family Farm Action Alliance’s Emily Miller has been invited to present a new paper, written in collaboration with Dr. Mary Hendrickson and Michigan's own, Dr. Philip Howard.  
The conference will be held on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Registration link and more information can be found at this link.
 
 

Pasture Biodiversity for Animal Health – Jan 21

The health of livestock, humans and the environment are closely tied to plant diversity. Sustainable farming practices, which use grazing animals, are seen as a potential solution to continued biodiversity loss resulting from over-or-under grazing. There is evidence that healthy ecosystems with minimally disturbed soils, adequate access to diverse, high quality forages, and clean water have a robust correlation with livestock's well-being. 

In this webinar, Kara Kroeger, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist, will discuss how you can manage your pastures with regenerative methods to beneficially influence the health of your livestock and the ecosystem by fostering biodiversity both above and below ground.
Thursday, January 21, 2021 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST. To register follow this link.

Grazing to Avoid Trouble – Jan 26

Join FACT and NCAT Livestock Specialist and sheep and goat producer Linda Coffey to discuss some of the problems farmers might encounter while grazing their livestock. Bloat, toxic plants, fescue toxicity, predator control, parasite management, and more will be addressed in this hour, with time for questions. Help us meet your needs by sharing questions or comments on issues you have faced when you register below. 

Linda Coffey brings many years of experience grazing sheep, goats, and sometimes cattle, as well as her work through the ATTRA program (www.attra.ncat.org) and will be providing those who register with many resources to help you improve your grazing and avoid trouble on your farm.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM EST. To register follow this link.


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.

 

 

 

 


Practical Advice for Solar Grazing – February 11

Join FACT and panelists from the American Solar Grazing Association to discuss new trends in solar grazing, best practices for shepherds and solar developers, and how you can get started. 

Thursday, February 11, 2021. 4:00 AM - 5:00 AM EST
To register follow this link
 
 

Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference – February 17 - 21

Registration is now open for the 22nd Annual NMSFC.  This year's conference offers farm education and virtual spaces to gather with peers.  The 5-day conference will consist of pre-recorded presentations you can view on your own time prior to conference week.
During the conference week of February 17 to February 21, there will be two roundtable sessions each day, one at the lunch hour (noon ET) and one at the after-dinner hour (7pm ET). Here, you can have a conversation with the presenter and your peers about the pre-recorded presentations.
 
This has been a tough year, so the price is low—just $25 per household covers the entire week: every pre-recorded presentation, every roundtable, all conference week. Attend one, attend them all. The flexibility is all yours.
 
 
Questions about registration? Email NMSFC@crosshatch.org or call (231) 522-6262.        Register at this link.

Growing Stronger Collaborative Conference – February 22-27

The 2021 MOSES Conference will be a virtual event in partnership with GrassWorks, Iowa Organic Association, OGRAIN, the University of Wisconsin, and Fairshare CSA Coalition.  Growing Stronger: Collaborative Conference on Organic and Sustainable Farming will include more than 60 workshops spanning 10 categories, Facilitated “roundtable” discussions to share ideas and move the needle on important issues, farmer Speed Presentations to highlight new practices, innovative tips, or simply explore each other’s farms, evening gatherings and farming-related films, keynote conversations from the Real Organic Symposium featuring prominent voices in the organic movement and much more.  


MSUE, Lean Farming Practices – Feb 23

On this webinar, the MSU Product Center and Center for Regional Food Systems Troy Rice, CEO Farm Brigge, will share how Lean farming can increase farm profitability. Implementing Lean techniques may include, creating process maps, leading brainstorming sessions, identifying improvement areas, creating SOPs, and creating a plan for managing and sustaining an efficient farm with minimal waste. Lean principles have been applied on farms across the world- small, mid-size or large scale farms.

Feb 23, 2021 12:00 PM EST    

To register for this webinar and to learn more about the speaker and Farm Bridge, click here.


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