Friday, October 9, 2015

Writing Grants for Your Farm

Lincoln University Cooperative Extension, Innovative Small Farmers’ Outreach Program (ISFOP) in collaboration with Missouri SARE are pleased to offer a hands on training to farmers in southwest Missouri on grant writing.  The workshop will take place on October 23, 2015from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Southwest Research Center, 14548 Highway H, Mt. Vernon, MO 65712.

This workshop will cover...
* What is SARE and how they can help your farm
* Details on different grants offered through SARE
* What is involved in Grant Writing
* How to make your application more attractive to grant review panels

The workshop will be taught by Dan Downing, Missouri SARE Co-Coordinator.

Since 1988, SARE has awarded numerous grants in every state and Island Protectorate. Aimed at advancing sustainable innovations, these grants add up to an impressive portfolio of sustainable agriculture efforts across the nation.

This is a free workshop with limited seating! 20 participant maximum.

For more information and to register contact Nahshon Bishop at (417) 846-3948.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture Conference

The University of Missouri Extension is offering the Pearls of Production: Women in Agriculture Conference is a program designed to provide a leadership and hands-on training opportunity for women involved in livestock production in Missouri. The program is designed to reach women who are playing larger roles and making key decisions in livestock production on the farm.

November 6, 2015
12:30 p.m. Conference Registration Opens

1:00 p.m. – Rotating sessions begin: Tractors, Equipment & Maintenance, Meat, Food & Quality for Consumers, Health & Safety of You and Your Animals, Government Programs and the Business of Your Farm

·         1:00 p.m. First rotating session
·         2:00 p.m. Second rotating session
·         3:00 p.m. Break
·         3:30 p.m. Third rotating session
·         4:30 p.m. Fourth rotating session

5:30 p.m. Social Hour and Dinner
6:00 p.m. Keynote Speaker Lorenza Pasetti, Volpi Foods

November 7, 2015
Hands-on Demonstrations with lunch from 12:00-1:00 p.m. Breakout sessions will be offered as follows:

Morning Sessions 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Beef Wendy Flatt, Kendra Graham, Reagan Bluel and Erin Larimore
Session 1:
Calving – signs, process, difficulty
Bull selection, confirmation, EPDs, Genetic testing
Body Condition scoring & nutrition

Swine Heather Smith and Marcia Shannon
Reproduction – artificial insemination, heat detection & semen processing
Farrowing – baby pig processing, farrowing induction, reproductive tracts

Forages and Pasture Management Amie Schleicher and Valerie Tate
What’s the plant? Forage & weed ID
Forage fertility for productivity
The latest on tall fescue varieties
Grazing management tools you can use
Start with a good foundation: soil sampling

Afternoon Sessions 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Beef Wendy Flatt, Kendra Graham, Reagan Bluel and Erin Larimore
Session 2:
Vaccine handling & schedule
Calf processing
Cattle feeder grades
Marketing cattle

Small Ruminants Charlotte Clifford-Rathert
Herd Health and Quality Assurance
Parasite Management
Hoof Trimming
Kidding and Lambing

Forages and Pasture Management Amie Schleicher and Valerie Tate
What’s the plant?
Forage & weed ID
Forage fertility for productivity
The latest on tall fescue varieties
Grazing management tools you can use
Start with a good foundation: soil sampling

For additional information go to or call 573-882-4349 or 1-866-682-6663.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Whole Foods Market: Searching for New Local Suppliers

Whole Foods Market, the world’s leading natural and organic foods grocer, is currently looking for new, local, Missouri-based products to stock its latest store in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood. The new store is set to open spring 2016.

For a business to be considered local and attend this summit, the products should be grown, manufactured and packaged in the state of Missouri. During the summit, interested suppliers will learn about Whole Foods Market’s Quality Standards and supplier process, and then meet individual with buyers to discuss their products in more detail.

The Missouri Supplier Summit takes place Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Maryville University Auditorium, 650 Maryville University Dr., St. Louis. Advanced registration is required for those interested. To secure a spot, send the participants’ name, company name, brief product description, and contact email and phone number to by Friday, Oct. 16.

Currently, anywhere from 10-30 percent of the products on Whole Foods Market shelves come from local producers. Several suppliers, such as St. Louis-based Billy Goat Chips, have grown from a single store to other stores in the region.

Since 1980, Whole Foods Market has led the grocery industry with its Quality Standards. These high standards for quality and transparency offers shoppers access to delicious, pure foods; minimally-processed body care products and environmentally-friendly cleaning products.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Planning a Successful Timber Harvest

A successful timber harvest lies in working with a professional forester and your logger before the first tree is cut. The following abbreviation of a ten-step approach developed by Lynn Barnickol (Missouri Consulting Foresters Association) and Jason Jensen (Missouri Department of Conservation) provides an excellent framework for the planning process. Emphasis on each step may vary with site and location in Missouri.

  • Safety first. Safety must remain a constant consideration throughout the harvest planning process. Every decision made will have safety implications.
  • Recon. Using aerial, topographic and soil maps, your forester will conduct on-the-ground reconnaissance of the area to be logged. Noted are: the slope, aspect, soils, timber stands to be harvested, streams, access to the timber, boundaries, and old logging roads.
  • Identify streamside management zones (SMZ’s). SMZ width is site specific and is determined by factors such as stream classification, soil type, and percent slope. An SMZ should be a minimum of 50 feet wide or as determined in Missouri Watershed Protection Practice.
  • Locate log decks. Location of the log decks depends on road building cost, skidding cost, timber volumes, skidder payload, and environmental impact. The size of the log deck will depend upon the type of logging equipment to be used, topographic constraints, landing layout, amount of timber skidded to the deck, and environmental impact. Log decks should be kept as small as feasible, be slightly sloped, facilitate drainage, and have stable soils that do not easily rut.
  • Locate logging road entrances. In some areas, highway entrances must be approved by the resident highway engineer. Generally, the law requires 300 feet of visibility in either direction when pulling onto the highway. Truck turning radius, angle of approach, and direction of travel loaded and empty must be considered. Entrances should always be located on well-drained, stable soils and road rock may be needed to keep mud from being transferred onto the highway.
  • Locate logging roads. New roads should be located on a topo map prior to locating on the ground. Your forester will take the map to the woods and flag-in the proposed road. Road grade should be kept at 8% or less and the roadbed placed on well-drained, stable soils. As a general rule, haul roads should be 1-½ times as wide as the equipment utilizing the road, allowing the truck driver to address any ruts or soft places in the road. Harvesting trees adjacent to the road will improve drying and snow melt in the winter. Most primary haul roads are county roads. Secondary haul roads connect the harvest site to the county road or highway. Typically, secondary roads aren’t graveled except for possible soft spots. Drainage can usually be handled through a few well-placed water turn-outs or broad-based dips. Your forester will consider cost, volume of timber to be hauled over the roads, time of year that the roads will be used, type of trucks using the roads, length of road to be built, available road construction equipment, the need for rock surfacing, time it will take to construct the roads, and how the road will be retired when harvesting is completed.
  • Locate stream crossings. Stream crossings can be expensive, hard on equipment, and a source of environmental and water quality problems. If it is determined that a stream crossing is necessary, your forester will choose a location that will minimize the chance of stream sedimentation resulting from logging or hauling operations. The common types of stream crossings, from least to most expensive, are a ford, a culvert with dirt fill, a “low-water” bridge, and an elevated timber bridge. The “best” choice depends upon the cost, stream characteristics, amount of use anticipated, load bearing requirements, area of forestland drained by the stream, previous “high-water” mark, time of year the structure will be used, and environmental impact.
  • Locate main skid trails. Properly located skid trails will minimize damage to the residual stand. Loggers can utilize undesirable trees as “bumpers” to prevent damage to higher quality crop trees. Main skid trails will also be located away from SMZ’s or other sensitive areas and placed so they can be drained with water bars when harvesting is completed. A general rule of thumb is to keep skidding distance less than ¼ mile to maintain productivity and profitability.
  • Determine the schedule of operations. The most efficient schedule of operations depends on the tract topography, time of year, current and anticipated weather conditions, road construction requirements, and cash flow.
  • Specify tract “close-down” requirements. Included are: re-grading ruts, installing water bars on abandoned roads and skid trails, reseeding certain landings and roads, removing temporary stream crossing structures, cutting spring poles, slashing tops, removing trash, opening ditches or water turnouts, and any clean-up necessary to leave the tract in acceptable shape. To help reduce time and costs, many of the operations can be scheduled as harvesting is completed on various parts of the tract.

(By Hank Stelzer, MU Forestry Extension)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Women Caring for the Land Workshop

Women who own or manage farmland in Missouri are invited to participate in a free conservation discussion focused on soil health, native plants and organic production methods on Thursday October 8th at the Lincoln University Carver Farm in Jefferson City, MO. The learning circles method of conservation outreach to women farmland owners, and the activities in this program were developed by Women, Food and Agriculture Network for its Women Caring for
the Landsm program.

The program is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources Soil and Water Conservation Program, and Lincoln University. If you know of a friend or family member who might benefit from attending, please share this information with her.

The meeting will begin with registration, coffee and resource sharing at 8:30 a.m. Lunch is provided, and there will be an afternoon field tour. We will be walking, so please wear or bring appropriate clothing and footwear; dress for the day is casual. We will return to the meeting room for dessert and wrap-up, and end the meeting by 3 p.m.

Maintaining healthy soil is the key to productivity and environmental health for our farmland. Women landowners who attend this meeting will learn to assess and improve the health of their soils through practices such as cover crops, creating and protecting pollinator habitat and other conservation practices.

In order for us to have the right amount of food available, please RSVP by 5 p.m. Thursday
October 1, 2015 to Regina Thompson by email or by phone 573-
681-5312. For more information about this program, visit  

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Scaling Up to Meet the Demand for Local Food Workshop

Beyond Farmers’ Markets:  How to grow local food jobs and businesses.

What We Know
* Demand for food from local producers is strong.
* Large markets are interested in connecting with local production.
* Farmers and food entrepreneurs are busy supplying it as best they can.
* Major gaps in capacity (production, processing, distribution, and marketing) impede further growth.

What We Want to Discuss
* Controlling product quality and consistency; overcoming seasonality challenges; offering consistent supply to match demand; ensuring food traceability and food safety; infrastructure to supply larger volumes; steadier pricing; capacity development; managing increased need for labor.

Who Should Attend
* Local producers, food hub and farmer’s market coordinators/managers buyers, processors, food retailers, food distributors, food service management
* Food system financiers, large systems, intermediaries, public health advocates, planners
* Government officials, supporting organizations, consumers, community leaders
* All interested in building economic development through expanded marketing opportunities for local food

Workshop Dates and Information
Registration & Check-in will begin at 8:30 am prior to workshop on Nov. 5 & 6
9:00 am – 5:00 pm | Thursday, November 5, 2015: Scaling-up Workshop: Lunch provided
9:00 am – 4:00 pm | Friday, November 6, 2015: Introduction to GAPS                  
9:00 am – 12:00 pm | Saturday, November 7, 2015: Preparing the Farm Food Safety Plan

Location: Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center; 2400 Scenic Ave., Springfield MO 65807

Costs:   Nov 5 only: $40.00       Nov 6 & 7 together: $40.00     All 3 days: $70.00

To Register:  Call 417-881-8909 or e-mail Clarissa Hatley at
Space is limited! Pre-registration Deadline is October 31!

Late registrations will result in an added fee of $5

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Missouri Farm to School Conference

The University of Missouri Extension is hosting a statewide Farm to School conference. This one day conference will feature an exciting array of speakers that will discuss how schools and producers can work together to increase the amount of local products served in school meal programs. The conference will include time for school food service staff and local producers to meet and network. Local farmers, processors, distributors, school personnel and others interested in the use of local foods in schools should attend.

The Missouri Farm to School Conference: Growing Together will be held on October 20, 2015 at the University of Missouri’s Bradford Farm, 4968 Rangeline Road, Columbia MO.

Register at:  Cost: $30.00

8:30 am – Registration

9:00 am – Welcome

9:15 am - Keynote: Farm to School: Connecting the Dots, Anupama Joshi, Executive Director and Co-Founder National Farm to School Network

10:15 - 11:15 am  - How Selling/Purchasing Local Products Works in Schools: The USDA Procurement Regulations with Bob Gorman, Mountains Plains Region, Farm to School, USDA and Karen Wooton, Director, Section of School Food Service, Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Breakout Sessions

11:30 am - Producer Track                                         
Food Safety/Traceablity/ Liability, Charlie Hopper - AgriMissouri-Program Coordinator, Missouri Department of Agriculture

11:30 am - Food Service Track
How to Locate Local Products Panel:
• Farmer - Steve Hamra, Owner. Hamra Farms
• Produce Auctions - James Quinn, Regional Horticulture Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
• School Food Service Director - Carmen Fischer, MS, RD, SNS, Director of Child Nutrition Services, Rockwood School District
            • Distributor - Matt Erhardt, Produce Buyer, Kohl Wholesale

12:30 - Local Lunch — Catered by Columbia Public Schools’ Culinary Arts Program

Breakout Sessions

1:30 - 2:30 pm - Producers Track
Building Distribution Systems
• Patty Cantrell, Principal, Regional Food Systems
• Johnice Cross, Local Foods Consultant, Turtle Moon Farm

1:30 - 2:30 pm - Food Service Track
Resources and Success Stories
USDA/Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
• Bob Gorman, Mountain Plains Region Farm to School
• Karen Wooton, Director, Section of School Food Services
University of Missouri Extension
• Lorin Fahrmeier, Farm to School Coordinator
Missouri Department of Agriculture
• Lindsey Jones, Farm to School Coordinator
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
• Alma Hopkins, Nutrition Specialist, Team Nutrition
Southern Boone Learning Garden
            • Jenny Grabner, Executive Director

3:00 pm - Forward Contracting and Geographic Preference — Bob Gorman, Mountains Plains Region Farm to School, USDA

4:00 pm - Roundtable Discussion/Networking

5:00 pm - Closing remarks — Anupama Joshi, Executive Director and Co-Founder, National FTS Network