Monday, December 31, 2012

MO Beginning Farmer Program

As 2012 comes to a close, we at the University of Missouri thought you might like to know this.

The Missouri Beginning Farmer Program was funded from 2009-2012 by a grant from USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. This national program was funded as part of the 2008 Farm Bill and its funding and operation depend upon Congressional Action.  We are not asking you to support or not support funding for this program at the national level, but believe that some of you may be interested in understanding more about the policies that impact programs like this.  You can get more information about the program from the following places:

* National Young Farmers Coalition at is “by and for young and beginning farmers in the United State”

* Start 2 Farm

* National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s policy website

The USDA maintains an application website and abstracts of funded projects at 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Beekeeping Workshops

Here are three upcoming learning opportunities for those interested in beekeeping.  Did you know that there are 24 local beekeeping associations in Missouri besides the MO State Association?  To see if there is one near you, click here.

The Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Association (EMBA) will offer courses of instruction for beginners and experienced beekeepers on Saturday, February 9, 2013, at Maritz in Fenton, Missouri. Space is limited, and will be filled on a first-come-first-served basis.  Tuition for the workshop is $75 per person, including lunch and refreshments, before January 20, 2013. Tuition is $90 per person for those registering on or after January 20th. Registration closes February 2nd unless filled sooner. There will be a waiting list, if needed.  Click here for more information.

Three Rivers Beekeepers and the University of Missouri Extension Center for St. Charles County are offering a Beginning Beekeeper Class on February 1st and 2nd (Friday 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.). Come learn about the fascinating honeybee and how to manage them and their home, the beehive. Cost for the program is $75.00 per person. Register online or call the Extension Center at 636-970-3000.

The Basics of Beekeeping in Missouri Workshop will be held February 23rd from 9 am to 4 pm at the Johnson County Extension Center, 135 W. Market, Warrensburg, 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!  Cost: $40.00 per person with a class limit to first 30 paid students.  Contact the Henry County Extension Center at (660) 885-5556 for more info or to register. Deadline to register is February 18, 2013.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jan 19th - Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce

This is the second of the workshops on Wholesale Success:  A Farmer's Guide to Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce where producers will learn about what it takes to sell to wholesalers of all shapes and sizes.  A wholesale panel is included for you to make contacts and begin to develop marketing relationships.

Wholesale Success: A Farmer's Guide to Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce
Date: Saturday, January 19th, 2013
Time: 1-5pm, Meet the Buyer Reception 5-6pm
Location: Saint Stephens Church, 33 N. Clay Ave, Ferguson MO, 63135

Cost: $10.00 ($1 credit card processing fee online)

Farmer and workshop leader Atina Diffley, author of the memoir, Turn Here Sweet Corn, draws on her decades of experience in vegetable production and marketing to provide operators of produce farms of any size with useful, practical, profit-making guidance on how to achieve the highest quality produce for sale. Workshop attendees will receive a free copy of's Wholesale Success Manual, a $55 value.

· Maintaining the cold chain
· Packing and grading
· Food safety needs of wholesale buyers
· Postharvest handling

The workshop will be followed by a reception, refreshments provided by Fresh Gatherings Café. Farmers will have the opportunity to meet wholesale purchasers from such institutions as the Ferguson-Florissant School District, Washington University's Bon Appetit Dining, and Andy Ayers, produce distributer of Eat Here STL.

You may register and pay for the workshop at:  Please RSVP to Rachel Levi or call (314) 521-1006

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Jan 17th - Wholesale Success: A Farmer’s Guide to Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce

The first of three workshops on Postharvest Handling and Food Safety Workshop for Fruit and Vegetable Growers will take place January 17th in Kansas City, MO.  Each workshop will be slightly different, however each one will have a wholesale buyer panel for you to make contacts as new potential markets.

Participating producers will receive a free copy of’s Wholesale Success Manual. Normally a $55 value, this 250+ page manual is newly updated, revised, and in its third printing. The manual includes more than 100 crop profiles with with crop-specific information on harvesting, cooling, storing, and packing according to industry standards.

Learn about:

• Post harvest handling
• Food safety needs of wholesale buyers
Packing and grading
• Maintaining the cold chain

Meet wholesale buyers and start building relationships

Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013

1:30 – 3:30 Postharvest Handling and Food Safety
3:30 – 4:00 Break
4:00 – 6:00 Successful Marketing and Food Safety
6:00 – 6:30 Dinner
6:30 – 8:00 Farmer and Buyer Panel

Where: University of Missouri Platte County Extension Office, 11724 NW Plaza Circle, Suite 300, Kansas City, MO, 816-270-2141,

Registration: Email Katie Nixon or call 660-427-5555.

Presented by: Growing Growers, Kansas City and

Friday, December 21, 2012

Missouri Aquaculture Association Winter Meeting

The MO Aquaculture Association will hold its winter meeting on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Lincoln University’s Carver Farm in Jefferson City, MO.
8:00-9:00 - Registration
9:00-9:10 - Welcome - Kevin Flowers, MoAA President
9:10-9:30 - Aquaflor and the VFD process - Kasha Cox, Merck Animal Health
9:30-10:00 - Biosecurity and fish health - Dr. Chris Darnall, MO Dept of Conservation
10:00-10:30 - Parasitic copepod control methods - Wes Swee, MO Dept of Conservation
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45-11:30 - Small–scale aquaponic production: essential considerations - Dr. Jonathan Egilla, Lincoln University
11:30-12:00 - The next species for food production - crappie? - Chuck Hicks, Lincoln University
12:00-1:15 - Lunch and Tour of Aquaculture Facility
1:15-2:00 - Aquaculture bioprocessing of microalgal biomass enabling sustainable seafood production - Dr. David Brune, University of Missouri
2:00-2:15 - Aquaculture industry update - Reed Breedlove, Delta Western Feeds
2:15-2:30 - Update on MDC ban on crawfish - Larry Cleveland, Ozark Fisheries
2:30-2:45 - Break
2:45-3:15 - Crayfishes legal for trade and culture in Missouri and how to tell them apart - Dr. Jim Wetzel, Lincoln University
3:15-3:30 - NCRAC update - Paula Moore, 5 Eaker's Farm
3:30-3:45 - Feeding baby fish from the pond - Russell Gerlach, Lincoln University
3:45-4:00 - Wrap-up - Kevin Flowers, MoAA President
Registration is $10 before January 4th and $15 after for the general public.  Student registration is $5 before January 4th and $10 after.

Registrations will be accepted the morning of the conference; however, knowing beforehand helps tremendously with planning. As a result, a pre-registration discount is offered to everyone who registers by Friday, January 4. Registrations should be mailed to: Missouri Aquaculture Association, c/o Crystal Lake Fisheries, Route 2 Box 528, Ava, MO 65608.  For additional information go to the MoAA website.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Five-Year Agriculture Census

America’s farmers and ranchers are again being asked to take part in the 2012 Census of Agriculture. The census is conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The census is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches and those who operate them.

General sarcasm is expressed by farmers as every census roles around. Many farmers don’t think the census does much good for them because politicians aren’t known for basing decisions on facts, especially ones supplied by the farm minority of voters. But many in the ag industry point out that there is a definite need for farmers to provide accurate information. Federal law requires all agricultural producers to participate in the census and requires NASS to keep all individual information confidential.

“It is important that all growers, state farmers, women farmers and ranchers respond,” said Mike Duffy, Iowa State University Extension economist. “Census information is your voice and helps to shape the farm future as farmers. The Census of Agriculture is the only opportunity to know the state of U.S. agriculture. The census data can be used for research projects, general information on trends, basis for policy decisions and a host of other activities.  Farmers benefit from completing the census as completely and accurately as possible because the information is used in a variety of ways that can affect them directly. Agriculture, especially production agriculture, is changing dramatically. Every five years, farmers are given the chance to be sure we understand and know what is happening in agriculture. If we don’t know the true situation in agriculture, we have to rely on anecdotal evidence.”

Renee Picanso, director of NASS’s Census and Survey Division, says the census data is vital. The census looks at land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures and other topics. This information is used by all those who serve farmers and rural communities from federal, state and local governments to agribusinesses and trade associations. She contends that legislators do use the data when shaping farm policy, agribusinesses factor it into their planning efforts and rural service providers use it in planning community improvements.

The most up to date data being passed along by NASS is based on the 2007 census when 2 million farms existed that totaled 922 million acres. This was a 4 percent increase in the number of U.S. farms from the previous 2002 census, but the increase was basically hobby farmers or farmer market suppliers.

It will be interesting to see if this farmer market farming trend has continued with even more of these extremely small-scale operations that are classified as farms but have very little in common with the ever-increasing commodity crop farming operations. This will be the indication of what influence all the recent talk about growing local has had in the U.S.

NASS is to have all the census forms out by the end of December. Completed forms are due by Feb. 4, 2013. Producers can fill out the census online via a secure website,, or return their form by mail.

For more information about the Census, visit or call 1-888-4AG-STAT (1-888-424-7828).
(by Rich Keller, Iowa State University)


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Developing an Organic System Plan for Row Crop Production Webinar

As part of our Organic Grant at the University of Missouri, we are offering this organic webinar on eOrganic titled “Developing an Organic System Plan for Row Crop Production.”  Information on the webinar is below.  Please share and forward this announcement to those that may be interested in attending.
 Join eOrganic for a webinar on Developing an Organic System Plan for Row Crop Production on January 7, 2013. The webinar will take place at 1 pm Central. The presentation is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required.

Reserve your Webinar Seat Now at:
About the Webinar This presentation details how to develop an organic system plan for crop production to comply with the USDA National Organic Standard, with special attention to organic row crop production. The presenter will cover what must be included in organic system plan and the basic steps to organic certification.
About the Presenter
Beth Rota has worked in sustainable agriculture as an organic inspector, certifier, educator, consultant and farm hand. Since 2007, Beth has worked for Quality Certification Services, a USDA accredited certifier based in Gainesville, Florida. She currently serves as an independent consultant for the University of Missouri. Beth received her M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Beth serves on the Board of Directors for the Community Garden Coalition, a non-profit serving community gardens and gardeners in Columbia, Missouri.

Find all upcoming and archived webinars at

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

17th annual Great Plains Growers Conference Set for Jan. 10-12

One of the premier conferences for fruit and vegetable growers will be held Jan. 10-12 in St. Joseph, according to Tim Baker, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension at Gallatin.

Extension educators from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota are organizing the 17th Annual Great Plains Growers Conference.

The conference is open to everyone from backyard gardeners to commercial produce growers. Topics will include vegetables, tree fruits, small fruits and flowers. There are also presentations targeted toward organic growers.

The 2013 conference will include a record number of workshops to choose from, covering topics such as high tunnels, soils and irrigation, fruits, honeybees, introduction to vegetable production (in Spanish), and farm-to-school marketing.

Raymond Heldenbrand, a Daviess County beekeeper, will teach an introductory beekeeping class on Friday.

A Thursday workshop on beekeeping will bring in several researchers and beekeepers, including a retired state apiary inspector, a USDA bee research station expert and an entomologist who will speak on colony collapse disorder.

Jeff Lowenfels, an international proponent of organic farming and gardening and author of “Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web,” will give the keynote address on “Why Don’t the Redwoods Ever Need Fertilizing?”

The conference will be held on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. For registration and program information, call the Buchanan County MU Extension Center at 816-279-1691 or go to
(by Linda Geist, MU Senior Information Specialist)

Monday, December 17, 2012

Cause of Thin Goats Examined

University of Missouri veterinarian John Middleton said thin goats are usually the result of four main diseases.
Middleton spoke at the recent Missouri Livestock Symposium in Kirksville. MU Extension and the Missouri Livestock Symposium Committee organize the annual event.

One of the main causes is gastrointestinal parasites. Internal parasites are cyclical, shedding eggs in the host animal’s manure that hatch and develop into infective larvae, which can be ingested when animals graze pasture contaminated by manure.

Signs of infection include poor growth, decreased weight gain or loss of weight, reduced milk production, diarrhea, anemia as exhibited by pale mucous membranes around the eyelids, lower jaw swelling known as bottle jaw, underbelly swelling and death.

Examination of feces is the best way to diagnose parasite load and determine treatment, Middleton said. Strategic deworming protocols provide the best results; information is available from veterinarians or extension specialists.

Parasites tend to become resistant to dewormers over time, so Middleton suggests deworming with one product until signs of resistance show. He recommended against alternating dewormers.

He also said that animals should not be allowed to graze pastures to grass levels below 2 inches in height, which would increase exposure to infective parasite larvae. However, grass that is too tall may increase parasite populations by blocking sunlight and maintaining humid conditions at the base of the grass. Grass should be 2-6 inches in height. “Appropriate pasture management will help decrease host exposure and decrease the need for deworming,” he said.

Coccidia infestation of goats is common in the spring and is seen most in young goats. Symptoms include severe diarrhea, pneumonia-like symptoms, depression, weight loss, anemia, loss of appetite and even death. The disease can be controlled by adding coccidiostats to the feed or water.

Johne’s disease is a chronic disease that causes a wasting body condition with or without diarrhea. Young animals are thought to be more susceptible to infection with the disease-causing organism, Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, than adults and can acquire the organism by the fecal-oral route, through milk and possibly across the placenta in utero. The incubation period of the disease is very long, with animals infected as kids often not showing clinical signs until adulthood. Chronic weight loss despite a healthy appetite is usually the main indicator of the disease.

There is no effective treatment, and goat owners can best prevent this disease by maintaining a “closed herd.” The organism can survive in manure for more than a year. Middleton said it is estimated as many as 50 percent of boar goat herds in Missouri may have this disease.

Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus can affect multiple organ systems in goats, with arthritis being a common manifestation of the disease in older goats. Arthritis can occur in more than one joint. Infection usually occurs by the kid ingesting colostrum or milk from an infected dam. Infection is lifelong and the various disease manifestations show up at different ages. Kids tend to be affected by nervous system dysfunction while adults tend to be affected by arthritis, pneumonia, hard udder or chronic wasting. Some goats may never show clinical symptoms. There is no treatment and affected animals are a source of infection to others, so culling of infected animals is recommended, Middleton said. It may take three or four years before symptoms appear in this painful disease.

Caseous lymphadenitis is a devastating disease, more common in sheep than goats. It causes abscesses under the skin in various lymph nodes and can also cause internal abscesses. External abscesses should not be opened in the vicinity of other animals. If necessary, quarantine infected goats to prevent environmental contamination and infection of other animals.

Middleton also warned against putting out certain types salt blocks for small ruminants. Horse and cattle mineral blocks often contain higher concentrations of copper, which can be toxic to sheep and goats. Mineral supplements and salt blocks should be specifically labeled for sheep and goats.
 (By Linda Giest, MU Senior Information Specialist)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Recordkeeping Instructions and Templates for Small-Scale Fruit and Vegetable Growers

Farmers’Legal Action Group (FLAG) has released a farmers’ recordkeeping toolkit, Recordkeeping Instructions and Templates for Small-Scale Fruit and Vegetable Growers.  The toolkit contains instructions and recording templates that are intended to be useful to small-scale fruit and vegetable farmers to track their farm activities.

Recordkeeping is essential to the successful operation of any farm. Recordkeeping can help farmers track their farm income and expenses, assist them in preparing their income tax returns, and provide necessary information when farmers apply for farm operating loans and farm programs—such as Non-insured Crop Assistance Payment (NAP) with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The instruction sheets for each template offer practical suggestions farmers can follow for planning and recording their farm activities.

The templates can be used separately based on the farmers’ goals or intentions, or together as a comprehensive approach to tracking many stages and aspects of a farm operation.  Additionally, the instruction sheets for each template offer practical suggestions farmers can follow for planning and recording their farm activities.

Download the complete Recordkeeping Toolkit or download individual templates:

Printed copies can be obtained by calling FLAG’s office at 651-223-5400. The cost for a color copy packet is $23.25, and a black/white copy packet is $7.75. The cost for color copies of each individual template (topics are listed above) is $.75 per page, and black/white copies are $.25 per page. Costs include postage.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

NRCS Announces January 18 Deadline for EQIP Funding in Missouri

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has set January 18, 2013, as the next cut-off date for ranking applications for about $25.6 million available through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

EQIP is the agency’s largest Farm Bill conservation program. It helps producers of agricultural products improve water quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.

State Conservationist J.R. Flores says that while NRCS accepts applications for EQIP on a continuous basis, producers must file applications by the January 18 deadline to be considered for the next round of application funding. Applications filed after January 18 will be considered in the next ranking period if funds remain available.

Flores says EQIP offers farmers, ranchers and forestland managers a variety of options to conserve natural resources while boosting production on their lands.

“The nearly $26 million that we have available for use in Missouri this fiscal year will go a long way toward improving the environment and the economy of Missouri’s rural communities,” he says.

EQIP provides financial assistance for a variety of conservation activities, such as irrigation water management, reduced tillage, field buffers, rotational grazing systems, animal waste management systems and much more.

Additionally, NRCS offers special initiatives through EQIP, including:

·       On-Farm Energy Initiative: helps producers conserve energy on their operations.

·       Seasonal High Tunnel Initiative: helps producers install high tunnels designed to extend the growing season into the cold months, increase productivity, keep plants at a steady temperature and conserve water and energy.

·       Organic Initiative: helps producers to install conservation practices on certified organic operations or those working toward organic certification.

Applicants can sign up at their local NRCS service center. To find the service center nearest you, look in the telephone directory under, “U.S. Government, Department of Agriculture” or go to this website:

NRCS employees in county offices can provide more information about EQIP and how to apply for benefits offered by NRCS through the program.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sheep Shearing Videos Now Available

Two new videos are available from Penn State University. One explaining the tools needed to shear sheep and preparing and caring for the shears, and one explaining the six positions to shear a sheep.

Producers interested in learning to shear their own sheep, or those who may just need a refresher to brush up on their skills, can now look to the Web for help on shearing sheep. Finding someone to shear your sheep is becoming more difficult and expensive every year. We hope these videos will get you on a good track to doing your own shearing.

Penn State Extension’s Start Farming team realized there is a relative lack of good sheep shearing information when class after class has filled and folks keep asking for more. Mike Fournier, Penn State Extension Educator in Bucks County, teaches Introduction to Sheep Management and Sheep Shearing schools each year in southeastern Pennsylvania. In the past three years, 77 aspiring or beginning producers have taken the courses – most planning to join the almost 3,800 sheep farms in Pennsylvania.

The team created two videos, one explaining the tools needed to shear sheep and preparing and caring for the shears, and one explaining the six positions to shear a sheep. To view the videos, please visit the Start Farming team’s website at and click on the “Sheep” tab on the left side of the page.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Farm Lease Contracts

University of Missouri Extension agribusiness specialist Karisha Devlin urged northeastern Missouri agriculture lenders to encourage written agreements between landowners and renters during a recent agricultural lender seminar at Fiddlestiks restaurant in Hannibal.

The MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics sponsors the statewide seminar series in cooperation with regional MU Extension specialists.

“Half of all leases are done on a handshake, but termination becomes very messy and complicated when it’s a verbal lease,” Devlin said. “Farming is a business. Why would you not have a formal written agreement for a business? Make sure both sides are protected.”

Landowners and tenants don’t always share the same goals, she said. About 75-80 percent of the calls to her Edina office are regarding land issues. Written agreements help to avoid future conflicts by clearly stating terms.

Devlin said that at minimum a lease should have these essential elements: names and description; terms of lease; rental rates and arrangements; right of entry; and signatures and dates.

A complete lease would contain additional items, including provisions on operating expenses, improvements and repairs, and arbitration. For more information, see the MU Extension guide “Farm Lease Agreement”.

It is also important for leases to include a provision requiring scheduled soil testing and subsequent care of the land, Devlin said.

Most leases are for a one- to three-year period, and there are many factors to consider in determining the time frame. Leases should include clauses addressing subleases, crop restrictions and whether additional duties such as mowing around buildings are expected. Right-of-entry clauses also are critical in giving landowners access to the land.

Owners and tenants can arrive at a fair rental rate by considering crop and cattle prices, input costs and yield records. Termination agreements also are key to expectations.

Devlin said bankers should advise the owner and tenant to carry separate liability insurance coverage. Additional coverage may be necessary for land that is leased for hunting or recreational purposes.

Sample leases are available free of charge from MU Extension centers throughout the state. More information on leases is available on the MU Extension website at
(by Linda Geist, MU Senior Information Specialist)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Missouri Farmland Costs at Record High

A University of Missouri survey of farmland values in July 2012 shows record-high values for cropland, pasture, timberland and recreational ground in Missouri. Low interest rates and high commodity prices continue to push the per-acre land values to new levels. In turn, the land values and high commodity prices are driving cash rents higher.

MU Extension agribusiness specialist Karisha Devlin showed northeastern Missouri agriculture lenders results of the annual MU study at a Dec. 3 seminar at Fiddlestiks restaurant in Hannibal.

“Cash rents are expected to remain steady in 2013 for above-average crop and pasture ground. Prices for poor ground are expected to decrease slightly,” Devlin said.

Devlin cited information from MU Extension’s Cash Rental Rates guide and from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA/NASS).

USDA/NASS estimates are used by the Farm Service Agency in administering USDA programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program and in decision-making by other lenders, landowners and tenants.

About 240,000 farms and ranches across the U.S. are contacted for their total acres operated and acres rented for cash for various land categories.

According to the USDA/NASS survey, cash rent for all Missouri cropland increased by $5 per acre to $110 in 2012. The biggest jump was in irrigated cropland, which rose from $148 per acre in 2011 to $164 per acre in 2012. Pasture ground jumped from $25.50 per acre in 2011 to $28 per acre in 2012.

The MU Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics sponsors a statewide series of agriculture lender seminars in cooperation with regional MU Extension specialists.

The USDA/NASS survey provides detail of rent costs per county and state and can be found at
(by Linda Geist, MU Senior Information Specialist)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Equipment & Tools for Small-Scale Intensive Crop Production

ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas) is a great resource for beginning farmers.  They have tons of great publications and videos available plus they can answer your specific questions.

A recent email I received told about a new publication and webinar on equipment and tools for small scale farmers.  Below is the Introduction to the publication and below that is the webinar.  I hope you find these helpful.

Equipment & Tools for Small-Scale Intensive Crop Production
The use of appropriate agricultural equipment and tools for small-scale intensive crop production contributes to the viability of the farm by enhancing production efficiency. Equipment and tools are necessary for plant propagation, soil preparation, planting, pest and weed control, irrigation, harvesting, post-harvest handling, storage, and distribution. Sustainable agriculture can be a labor-intensive business and by selecting the appropriate tool for the task at hand, farmers can increase profits by increasing crop yields, improving crop quality, and reducing expenses. Factors to consider when choosing appropriate agricultural equipment and tools include the location and growing conditions of the farm, the type of crops being grown, the production practices being used, and how the crops will be marketed.

Tools for Small Scale Production archived webinar.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Online Courses

As the farm is winding down for the winter, you may be looking for some eduational experiences.  Here are a few from

The "Integrated Pest Management for Organic Crops" curriculum was developed with support from the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program (PDP), with Clemson University as the Lead Institution. The project goal is to incorporate of principles and practices of sustainable agriculture in training provided to agricultural professionals in the Southern Region.
Specific objectives are:
1.     Create 8-12 high quality, contemporary educational products to deliver state of the art knowledge about sustainable agriculture in the Southern Region
2.     Integrate these products into the overall Extension education system in the Southern Region through the Cooperative Extension Curriculum Project (CECP) and Southern SARE
For information contact Dr. Geoff Zehnder - Professor of Entomology and Coordinator IPM and Sustainable Agriculture Programs, Clemson University.  ENROLL in this course.

Strategic Farm/Ranch Business Planning and Marketing is a self-directed course designed to help agricultural professionals work effectively with their clients and develop research and education programs that address agricultural sustainability. This course is the second in a series that is aimed at:
o   helping clients critically assess their future
o   walking clients through the goal setting process
o   finding resources to help clients evaluate new ideas
o   providing guidance to clients on developing business and marketing plans
o   fostering critical thinking and offer risk management advice
o   helping clients prepare to meet with lenders to seek financing alternatives
o   advising about farm transfer and retirement options
o   promoting an appreciation of sustainable farm business management principles
For more information contact David Chaney, DEC Education Services, at; or Kim Kroll, Associate Director USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, at assoc_dir@sare.orgENROLL in this course.

Sustainable Agriculture: Basic Principles and Concept Overview is a self-directed course designed to help agricultural professionals work effectively with their clients and develop research and education programs that address agricultural sustainability. This course is the first in a series that is aimed at helping you answer these questions:
o   What is sustainable agriculture?
o   What does it mean for farmers, ranchers and communities?
o   How does it relate to my role as an educator or researcher?
For more information contact David Chaney, DEC Education Services, at; or Kim Kroll, Associate Director USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, at assoc_dir@sare.orgENROLL in this course.

o   Course Content Specialists: Alice Formiga
Organic Seed Production is a self-directed course designed for producers with some seed production experience, seed industry professionals, and extension professionals. This course will provide practical field-based knowledge and present current research on organic seed production practices. Topics covered: This course will cover the fundamentals of seed production for onions, beets and chard, brassicas, carrots, and wet seeded crops. It will also cover climatic requirements for seed crops, important diseases, and seed quality. For more information contact Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance, at
Course Subject Matter Specialists
o   Jodi Lew-Smith, High Mowing Seeds: Seed Diseases
o   John Navazio, Organic Seed Alliance: Which Crops for Your Climate, Beets and Chard, Carrots
o   Joel Reiten, Seeds of Change: Onions, Brassicas, Seed Quality
o   Don Tipping, Siskiyou Seeds: Lettuce, Wet Seeded Crops
o   Shelly Solomon, Leaping Frog Films: Videographer
o   Jared Zystro, Organic Seed Alliance: Online Tutorial Developer

Cost: $25.00
A Novel Strategy for Soil-borne Disease Management: Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation is a self-directed course designed for organic producers, extension educators, researchers and ag professionals who would like to apply for one CCA credit by watching a 75-minute eOrganic webinar recording followed by an exam and questionnaire. Participants in this course will learn about recent research from Carol Shennan of the University of California-Santa Cruz and David Butler of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, about how to perform anaerobic soil disinfestation and its potential for use in soil-borne disease management. When you register, you will be able to access the course for 48 hours. For more information contact Alice Formiga with Oregon State University at
Course Subject Matter Specialists
Carol Shennan
David Butler
o   Teacher: Ricky Yeargan
o   Kaitlyn McClelland
o   Josh Renaker
o   Ricky Yeargan
ENROLL in this course.
This module will provide a link that takes you to the beef website for the University of Nebraka-Lincoln. At this website you will take a closer look at the endocrinology and physiology of the estrous cycle of beef cattle. There are also illustrations to help aid in the learning of these areas.
ENROLL in this course.
o   Teacher: Steven Newman
Introduction to Small Scale Commercial Greenhouse Production is a blended course designed for county extension agents and new greenhouse professionals. Participants to the course will enhanced their knowledge base of starting and operating a commercial greenhouse enterprise. Certificates of completion will be provided. For more information or to enroll contact Steven Newman, with Colorado State University Extension, at or at (970) 491-7118.