Friday, October 24, 2014

Farmers Face Critical Farm Bill Decisions; four MU November meetings offer help

Four meetings will be held in November to explain the decisions required of all participants in USDA farm bill programs.

  • Nov. 10, Miner-Sikeston area, Miner Convention Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., David Reinbott, MU Extension Center, Benton.
  • Nov. 11, Macon, Macon County Expo Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Karisha Devlin, MU Extension Center, Edina.
  • Nov. 11, St. Joseph, Missouri Western State University, Blum Union, 4525 Downs Drive, 5-9 p.m., Bob Kelly, MU Extension Center, St. Joseph.
  • Nov. 12, Sedalia, State Fair Community College, Thompson Conference Center, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Brent Carpenter, MU Extension Center, Sedalia.

“Critical decisions must be made that have long-term income impacts on farms,” says Scott Brown, University of Missouri economist.

“Unlike previous farm bills, where it was a matter of just signing up, this law requires farmers to choose between options.”

The meetings are of interest to farmers and landowners, Brown says.

Date, place, time and local organizers:
All meetings are free.

RSVP by Nov. 5 to the MU Conference Office at 866-682-6663 (toll-free).

Reallocation and program sign-up at local Farm Service Agency offices begin now, but won’t wrap up until next year, Brown says. But homework will be required before sign-up.

First priority is an option to update crop yields and reallocate the base for each farm. Recently, FSA sent farmers a record of past figures. That includes planted and harvested acres. Every farmer should check to see if forms received are correct.

Next, farmers must decide which program option works best for their farm.

At the meetings, farmers will hear two experts who developed nationally accepted farm bill decision tools. They are Joe Outlaw of Texas A&M University and Pat Westhoff of the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute.

Missouri farmers should mark the dates and sign up for one of the meetings.

The programs are sponsored by MU Extension, Missouri Soybeans, Missouri Corn, Missouri Farm Bureau and FCS Financial.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lamb and Chevon

Lincoln University, through a grant, was able to provide one episode of the Show-Me Ag show on how to cook lamb and chevon.  Goat and sheep producers are finding that customers are interested in purchasing lamb and chevon but have no idea on how to prepare the meat.  Watch this episode to learn more.

The Sheep and Goat meat industries are rapidly growing segments of Missouri agriculture. The demand for these animals is based on their meat production and consumers need to know more about cooking the meat and its and nutrition benefits. That’s why this month we take a look at lamb and chevon, their health benefits, and how best to prepare them.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Forest Farming Workshop Series

Wooded areas are a prominent feature in the county landscape and are often thought of as unprofitable or unusable areas.  This workshop series is designed to offer options and ideas to those landowners looking to improve their forested areas or looking for other innovative ways to use the products that these areas can offer. 

This series of workshops will occur three Tuesday evenings in a row to help you gain more knowledge on forest farming and the opportunities that exists in our forest.  You can choose to come to one or all of them.  Each workshop will start at 6 pm and go until you have had all your questions answered. Light refreshments will be offered.  All workshops are FREE of charge.

Oct. 28th (To be held at the Washington Co. Library lower level)
Improving Your Timber Stand and Harvesting Options
Jeff Dierking from the Missouri Dept. of Conservation as well as a professional forester will be there speaking and to answer your questions.

Nov. 4th (To be held at the Wash. Co Health Department)
Silvopasture Practices: getting the most out of your forest for pasture
Rhonda Devault of Natural Resource & Conservation Service (NRCS) will be speaking on this opportunity.

Nov. 11th (To be held at the Washington Co. Library lower level)
Harvesting Wild Grown Products for Profit and Growing Mushrooms
American Botanicals, a company that buys wild products from individuals, will present and Sharon McCann of McCann Forest Farm will be speaking on growing mushrooms for profit.

If you have any questions, contact Joyce Rainwater, LU Small Farm Outreach Worker at 314-800-4076.  RSVP is kindly requested so enough refreshments and handouts will be available for everyone attending.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Teaching Financial Literacy to Farmers – A NIFTI Webinar

Join the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) on Nov. 18th, from Noon to 1:30 PM central time to learn tools and best practices for teaching financial literacy to beginning farmers. Presenters are Julia Shanks - Julia Shanks Food Consulting, and Gary Matteson – Farm Credit Council. The webinar will focus on practical strategies for teaching farmers how to manage the financial health of their businesses.

Click here to register for the webinar, and visit our website: to view previous NIFTI webinars.

Julia Shanks - chef and entrepreneur — consults with food businesses and farms, helping them maximize profits and streamline operations through business planning, feasibility studies and operational audits. Clients include Life Alive, Cuisine en Locale, The Elephant Walk, The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and City Growers. She lectures on sustainable food systems and restaurant accounting. She sits on the advisory board of Future Chefs and is the regional leader of Slow Money Boston.

Gary Matteson has more than 30 years of experience in the farming and agriculture industry. He leads the Farm Credit program serving young, beginning and small (YBS) farmers and ranchers at the Farm Credit Council, the System’s national trade organization. Mr. Matteson coordinates efforts within Farm Credit’s nationwide network and among many national organizations to ensure that YBS farmers have the opportunities they need to succeed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Farmer/Rancher Grant due Nov 20th

This is a reminder that the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Farmer Rancher Grants are due on November 20th.

This is an opportunity for farmers and ranchers to fund innovative ideas that advance sustainable agriculture.  An individual farmer can receive up to $7500, two farmers working together can receive up to $15,000, and three or more farmers can get up to $22,500 in grant funds.

Here are a few Missouri local projects that were funded in the last couple of years:

- Optimizing Year Round Leek Production in the Ozarks:

- Growing Mushroom on Local Agricultural Byproducts:

You can find out more information about this grant here:

Friday, October 10, 2014

Winter Production Workshop

Thanks to a Local Food Grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Webb City Farmers Market is hosting a Winter Production/Season Extension Conference November 10 and 11.

For a complete schedule and registration information, go to the Webb City Farmer's Market and click on the winter production tab.

The event will take place at the Continental Banquet Center, 2802 N Range Line Road, Joplin, MO 64801. Registration is $50 for the first farm registrant and $40 for each additional registrant from the
same farm. The conference will be limited to 100 participants and includes lunch both days.

Presenters include:
• Alison and Paul Wiedier of Au Naturel Farm in Smiths Grove, Kentucky, year-round market growers and authors of Walking to Spring.
• Patrice Gros, market grower and educator, owner of Foundation Farm in Northwest Arkansas.
• Lewis Jett, horticulturist, West Virginia University Extension, formerly of University of Missouri where he pioneered tomato production in high tunnels.

For additional information, contact Eileen Nichols at 417 483-8139.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Basics of Beekeeping in Missouri

A workshop on the basics of beekeeping in Missouri will take place on Saturday, November 1, 2014 from 9:30 am - 3:30 pm at the George Washington Carver Farm – Lincoln University, 3804 Bald Hill Road Jefferson City, MO

This all day workshop will be taught by Jim and Valerie Duever of Jim ‘n’ I Farms, Inc. The speakers have taught several beginning beekeeping workshops and are very passionate about educating people on beekeeping. Come learn about how to start, manage and maintain productive honeybee colonies through an entire year. Also, we will be doing a hands-on building of a hive. This hive will be given away as a door prize!

Registration is $40.00 per person with the class limited to the first 35 paid participants which includes a meal, refreshments and materials.  Contact the Morgan/Moniteau County Extension Center at (573) 378-5358 for more info or to register. Deadline to register is October 24, 2014.

Make Checks Payable To: University of Missouri Extension and mail to University of Missouri Extension, 100 E. Newton St. 4th Floor, Versailles, MO 65084.