Friday, February 28, 2014

Soil Health Workshop

Gail Fuller
A Soil Health Workshop will be held March 11th beginning at 1:30 p.m. at High Hill Christian Church, 852 Booneslick Road, High Hill, MO 63350.
The featured speaker for the workshop will be Gail Fuller, a crop and livestock producer from Emporia, Kansas who has been implementing no-till, cover crops, companion crops, and other methods to improve soil health in both cropland and pastures.
Other topics on soil health to be discussed are:
·         Infiltration and Erosion Demonstrations by NRCS
·         Producer Panel – hear the experiences of your local producers
·         Farm Service Agency with program updates
·         MU Extension will present test plot results
Improve your soil, improve your bottom line!
Registration, which includes a meal, is due by March 6. Please mail check, payable to the Warren County SWCD, for $15/per person and mail it to Polly Sachs, Warren County SWCD, 635 West Booneslick Road, Warrenton, MO 63383. Late or at the door registration will be $20.
If you have questions, please call (636) 456-3434. For more information, you can also contact your local USDA Service Center.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Slow Money

Gateway HarVest, LLC is a food and farm focused investment club. They make direct, low interest loans to local enterprises that need a small sum to make a big impact on the growth of the St. Louis’ sustainable food system and local economy.

About Us
They are a small group of individuals, inspired by the concepts of Slow Money, who came together with a common interest of investing our money into local businesses with a focus on food and farming. Their group will not exceed 12 members. If you are interested in joining Gateway HarVest, please email our Member Coordinator to find out if they are currently accepting new members.

The Loans
The loans will range from approximately $2,000 to $5,000, however, they will accept applications for other amounts. They are most interested in making loans for equipment or special projects that will help a farm or food business operate more efficiently and/or support growth. They expect that the borrower will clearly show how the equipment or project will affect the borrower’s business and whether the project will be successfully completed using their loan by itself or in conjunction with other funding. They will consider working capital loans, especially those of lower costs. They will generally not fund start-up businesses.

Garteway HarVest is now Accepting Loan Applications. Download the application here.

Loan Criteria
They are looking for applicants with the following:
  • Food and farm focused mission.
  • Demonstrated business track record (they will not fund start-ups).
  • A focus on environmentally sustainable practices.
  • Demonstration of solid business related procedures and operations.
  • Sufficient cash flow to support the loan.
Loan Application and Approval Process
  1. Send them a completed loan application
  2. They will review the application and get back to you regarding missing materials or additional clarification.
  3. Review period which may require a field visit by one of our evaluation teams.
  4. Reference checking.
  5. Notification of approval or non-approval.
Gateway HarVest is one of four investment clubs in the US focused on making direct loans to food and farm businesses.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Post-harvest Handling and On-Farm Food Safety Workshop

A workshop on Post-harvest Handling and On-Farm Food Safety will be held on March 12th in Kansas City.  This workshop is designed for producers who would like to learn:

·         Post-harvest Handling - Maintaining the Cold Chain
·         Cleaning and Drying - Packing and Grading
·         Relationships with Buyers - Food Safety Best Practices

Participating producers will receive a free copy of the Wholesale Success manual. Normally an $80 value, this 300+ page manual is newly updated, revised, and in its fourth printing. Wholesale Success covers up-to-date best practices information on food safety, post-harvest handling, packing, business management, marketing, and crop-specific profiles for over 100 crops.

8:00 – 9:00 am - Registration
9:00-10:15 am - Food Safety
10:30-11:45 am - Sorting and Packaging
11:45 am-1:15 pm – Lunch and Farm Economics of Wholesale – Growers Panel
1:15-2:45 pm - Post Harvest Handling
3:00-4:00 pm – Marketing

The workshop will be held at the Rainbow Mennonite Church,1444 Southwest Blvd Kansas City, KS 66103.

Early-bird registration is $20.00 before March 5th (includes lunch).  After March 5th, registration is $25.  Space is limited. Register online here.

For additional information contact: Katie Nixon at 816- 809-5074.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Beef Reproduction Workshop set for March 8 in Auxvasse

Participants at the 2014 Beef Production Field Day will get hands-on training for artificial insemination, and help with calving and pre-breeding exams.

University of Missouri Extension and Callaway County livestock producers sponsor the field day. The event will take place March 8, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm at Linnenbringer Farms in Auxvasse.

Participants will rotate among four stations from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The sessions include fetal aging and sexing using ultrasound by MU Extension dairy veterinarian Scott Poock, artificial insemination presented by Dan Busch of Select Sires, and calving assistance by MU veterinarian Dawna Voelkl.

MU Extension cow-calf reproduction specialist David Patterson will speak on estrus synchronization. Patterson, statewide coordinator for the Missouri Show-Me Select Replacement Heifer Program, will share results of his research to improve profits for producers.

Poock will talk about herd health and vaccination protocol during lunch. Registration deadline is March 5. The fee is $20, payable to Callaway County Extension Center, 5803 County Road 302, Fulton, MO 65251.

The workshop is open to the public, including 4-H and FFA members ages 14 and older. Linnenbringer Farms are at 2950 State Road E, Auxvasse.

For more information, contact Heather Smith at 573-642-0755.
(By Linda Giest, MU Writer)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Web Soil Survey Update Improves Data Delivery, Customer Service

Data on soils on the nation’s 3,265 soil survey areas are now updated and available free online from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

“This update is a major step-forward in meeting the growing demand for NRCS soils data,” said Dave Hoover, NRCS national leader of Soil Business Systems. “Our soil scientists in every state helped us upgrade all our software and databases, improve our spatial data, and put together a complete suite of soil interpretations and other products our customers want.”

This update, the first since the Web Soil Survey went online in 2005, features:
  • Soils data for the Continental U.S. that flows seamlessly, without gaps, across county lines and other political boundaries;
  • A full complement of national soil survey interpretations that let users analyze interpretations nationally, regionally and in several states at one time;
  • The first set of soil survey Major Land Resource Area update projects; and
  • A subscription feature that forwards updates for specific soil survey areas directly to customers via email.
The NRCS Web Soil Survey now serves more than 180,000 users a month, attracting a large audience that includes landscape architects, community planners, real estate developers, engineers, as well as researchers in universities. Every day, people in agriculture reference the survey, as do NRCS employees as they help customers with a host of issues and questions, and putting together conservation plans.

In a typical month, users print nearly 100,000 soil surveys and reports on soil properties and interpretations directly from the Web Soil Survey, and download more than 25,000 soil survey reports.

“Starting this year, we will refresh our soils data every October,” said Dave Smith, NRCS acting deputy chief for Soil Science and Assessment. “Our goal is to keep giving our customers even better and more up-to-date tools for assessing their soils, developing conservation plans for their farms, or whatever they need our data for.”

Web Soil Survey customers can click on the “Contact Us” link in Web Soil Survey to get assistance from the Soils Hotline, a state soil scientist or a local NRCS Office.

NRCS encourages everyone interested in soils to subscribe to GovDelivery, a free service.

For assistance with Web Soil Survey or GovDelivery, please send an email.
(By Brad Fisher, Natural Resources Conservation Service)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Midwest Climate Hub to Help Producers, Coordinate Climate-Related Agricultural Research

Producers endure the weather across the Midwest and wonder if it will be too wet to plant, too wet to harvest, too wet to spray, or if the rain will come at the right time to produce a bumper or just an average crop. In all of the presentations I have given on climate and agriculture across the Midwest, during the last year the prevailing question has been about whether the increasing variation in precipitation and temperature we’re experiencing is the “new” normal during the growing season. Producers point to the last four growing seasons as examples of the variation they face each year: 2010 was hot and wet during the grain-filling stage of growth causing the crops to mature more quickly, 2011 was almost normal with some dry periods during the last part of the growing season, 2012 was a drought year, and 2013 experienced two different extremes. In 2013, it was wet in the early growing season, delaying and in some places preventing planting, followed by a dry summer.  Across the Midwest, the early spring rains are increasing erosion from fields. Producers are now asking what they can do to protect their natural resources and the crops that depend on them, and what the next season will be like. If these extremes continue, how do they adapt their farming operations?

And it’s not just the producers taking note: many members of our communities are wondering how these weather extremes are affecting their natural resources. The gardeners in our region are a great example. Gardeners have an awareness of the weather and are often concerned when the spring conditions cause early growth in their flowers, only to be harmed by a late frost. They know that the late frost damage to their fruit tree at home means that what they purchase at the local farmers market has also been affected.  Those who love Michigan cherries felt this pain acutely in 2012.

As we witness these shifts in climate and variability in weather, our questions become more specific: How will rainfall patterns and amounts shift? What temperature extremes are we likely to experience and how frequently? How will the duration and frequency of floods and droughts change? What will happen next year? In the next 5 years? In the next 20?

Fortunately, searching for answers to these tough questions has been my training and my profession for almost 40 years. I received my Ph.D. in agricultural climatology in 1975 from Iowa State and have spent my professional career in California, Texas, and Iowa working on the relationships between agricultural production and the weather and climate. For those who don’t know, agricultural climatology is the study of the interactions between climate and agriculture. The short synopsis of my personal research is to increase the resilience of agriculture to weather and climate extremes through understanding the roles of genetics, the environment and management and how they interact.  The long story is that my research has focused on all aspects of this relationship, from how to improve the efficiency by which crops utilize water, to screening cotton and wheat for tolerance to drought and heat, to trying to understand how yield variations within fields can be reduced by improving how our soils could store more precipitation, to parsing out the changes in weather and climate which cause variations in crop production. In the past eight years, I have the led the efforts on documenting the effects of climate on agricultural systems for the National Climate Assessment and am working on the development of indicators which could be used as signals of climate impacts on agriculture. For a person with my background and training and continued involvement in this area, this is an exciting time to see these efforts emerge which can directly impact agriculture.

Formation of the Midwest Climate Hub provides an opportunity to increase agriculture’s response to climate change and weather variability by coordinating climate-related agricultural research across a diverse array of regional partners. It also provides an opportunity to mold that science into evidence-based tools, educational materials and outreach activities. The Midwest is one of the most extensive and intensive agricultural areas in the world and is fortunate to be in a climate zone with moderate temperatures and a summer rainfall pattern that allows for production of many different annual and perennial crops. However, the Midwest still faces challenges in maintaining agricultural production due to climate change. Our goal in the Midwest Climate Hub is to provide information to support agricultural crop and livestock producers and gardeners as they make decisions around climate and weather to bring us the agricultural products that affect our lives, from the home gardens to the vast corn fields. I look forward to working with you on this challenge.

For more information, visit and

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Starting a Farm from the Ground Up Workshop

Are you thinking about getting into farming or starting your own farm? Ever wondered what it takes to build your next urban or rural homestead and what opportunities may be available to help you accomplish your goal? This workshop will discuss the nuts and bolts of starting a farm including topics of land acquisition, infrastructure needs, and some successful strategies for putting the rubber to the road.

The workshop will be held at Masters Community Church 2548 S. 42nd Street, Kansas City, KS 66106 on February 24th from 4‐7 pm. 

4:00‐4:30 pm - Basic infrastructure needs for growing fruits and vegetables for market, Cary Rivard, KSU Extension Specialist

4:30‐5:00 pm - Accessing Land: Some examples of ways growers are finding space to grow, Laura Christensen, Blue Door Farm

5:00‐5:30 pm - Resources available to growers for starting a market farm, Marlin Bates, Douglas County Horticulture Extension Agent

5:45‐6:15 pm - Financing a small and/or urban farm, Molly Fusselman, KSU Urban Foods Systems MS Student

6:15‐7:00 pm - Farm Tour, Cultivate KC, Gibbs Road Farm, 4223 Gibbs Road, Kansas City, KS, 66106.

This workshop is being brought to you by the Growing Growers program. Cost to attend this workshop is $15. To register mail payment by February 21st to Growing Growers, 35230 W. 135th St., Olathe, KS 66061 (Walkins are welcome).  If you have questions, or for further information, contact Cary Rivard. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Green Hills Farm Project Winter Seminar

The Green Hills Farm Project (a grass-based farmers group) is hosting a seminar on Soil Health, Soil Organisms, Cover Crops, and Grazing featuring Molly Haviland and Doug Peterson on Saturday, February 22nd from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Linneus Community Center in Linneus, MO.

Topics to be covered include:
- Microherding the Soil Food Web - Establishing and Maintaining the Soil Food Web
- Identifying the Soil Food Web - What your local Missouri soil biology looks like

Molly received her BS in Sustainable Living with a focus in soil ecology from Maharishi University of Management.  She has been under the mentorship of soil microbiologist Dr. Elaine Ingham since 2011.  Molly is the director of The Living Soil Compost Lab in Fairfield, Iowa.  This lab specializes in developing hand turned aerobic thermal compost, aerobic compost tea and extract.  They do treatments, consultations, workshops, individual training as well as qualitative soil analysis. 

Molly will be accepting soil samples to take back to the lab for analysis.  A biological test will cost $30.  You will need to be sure to collect the samples the day of or the day before the seminar and place them in a paper bag or cardboard box.  Use a core sampler to get 3-4 inches below the soil surface.  You will normally receive results and photos of your sample 5 days after submitting the sample(s).

Doug Peterson, NRCS Soil Health Conservationist, will be covering some basic soil health trends and topics relative to Missouri.

There will be an extensive question and answer session in the afternoon. If there is anything you want to know about soil health or soil biology here is your chance to get those questions answered.

Cost is $10 for individuals and $20 per family.  Bring a covered dish to share for lunch.

For more information call 660-425-4894 or email.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Aquaponics 101 Workshop

Lincoln University's Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program in collaboration with Kansas City Aquaponics is offering a workshop on Aquaponics 101 on Saturday, March 1st from 2-4 pm at Drumm Farm, 3210 Lee's Summit Road, Independence, Missouri 64055.

Have you wanted to learn about growing fish and plants together in an aquaponic system?  If so, then, come learn about the aquaponics:

- Different aquaponic methods, filtration, and water flow
- Basic parts and supplies
- Filters
- Water Pumps
- Oxygen pumps, stones, etc.
- Tanks
- What it takes to maintain an aquaponic system
- Water quality-testing, corrective measures
- Best fish to use and stocking rate
- Plant production

We will demonstrate building a beginners system using 2-50 gallon HDPE drums and discuss the cost and potential returns.

This system is expandable and will get you started learning about the balance between raising plants and fish together.

Cost is $5 per person.  To register contact Jim Pierce at 660-232-1096.

For questions contact Jim Person or Eric Person who are workshop partners with Kansas City Aquaponics, Kansas City, MO.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Poultry 101 Meeting Offered for Beginning Poultry Owners

Beginning poultry owners have the opportunity to learn more about what it takes to successfully raise poultry at an upcoming workshop in Maryville.

University of Missouri Extension will be offering a Poultry 101 program on Wednesday, February 19 at the Northwest Technical School in Maryville.

The basics to be covered include choosing types and breeds of poultry that are right for you, housing and equipment needed to get started, common issues, potential opportunities, and more.

The program will run from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Cost to attend is $10 for adults and $5 for youth 17 years and under. Registrations are required.

To register, contact the Northwest Technical School at 660-582-8311 or visit their website at For more information on the program, contact the Atchison County MU Extension Center at 660-744-6231.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

S.A.L.E. (Small Acreage & Land Entrepreneurs) Conference

Gain practical knowledge and explore the possibilities for your small acreage at this informative conference – S.A.L.E. (SmallAcreage & Land Entrepreneurs)  The conference will be held on Saturday, March 8th from 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. with the Trade Show beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Fulkerson Center, Missouri Western State University (MWSU), St. Joseph, MO.
The conference will feature concurrent tracks of sessions - critters, great outdoors, home & hearth/odds & ends, and plants. The sessions will be timed so that attendees can move from track to track as they wish. Presentations are scheduled to last 30 minutes followed by 10 minutes for questions. For attendees who wish to switch tracks to attend another session, five minutes are scheduled between each session.

8:30-9:00 a.m. - Registration & trade show
9:00-9:15 a.m. - Welcome

Track - Critters
9:15-10:00 a.m. - Doc talk: equine dentistry & health, Joe Powell, DVM, Nodaway Veterinary Clinic
10:00-10:45 a.m. - Equine care from feed to farrier, Shawn Deering, MU Extension
10:45-11:00 a.m. - Break/trade show
11:00-11:45 a.m. - Raising rabbits & making a profit, Cathy Reardon
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Lunch/trade show
1:00-1:45 p.m. - Sheep and goats, Charlotte Clifford-Rathert, DVM, Lincoln University
1:45-2:00 p.m. - Break/trade show
2:00-2:45 p.m. - Beginning beekeeping, Raymond Hildenbrand
2:45-3:30 p.m. - Poultry particulars, Amie Schleicher, MU Extension

Track - Great Outdoors
9:15-10:00 a.m. - Resources & show-me the money, Panel of MU Extension, FSA, MDC, NRCS, SWCD
10:00-10:45 a.m. - Wildlife management, Jim Pierson, MDC
10:45-11:00 a.m. - Break/trade show
11:00-11:45 a.m. - Growing native plants on your acreage, Jeff Powellson, MDC
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Lunch/trade show
1:00-1:45 p.m. - Attracting birds to your property, Karen Lyman, Audubon Society member
1:45-2:00 p.m. - Break/trade show
2:00-2:45 p.m. - Trees: health, harvesting, thinning for trails, etc., Lonnie Massberger, MDC
2:45-3:30 p.m. - Pond & fish management, Tory Mason, MDC

Track - Home & Hearth / Odds & Ends
9:15-10:00 a.m. - Renting your ground, Bob Kelly, MU Extension
10:00-10:45 a.m. - Soap making, Donna Humphrey
10:45-11:00 a.m. - Break/trade show
11:00-11:45 a.m. - Food preservation, Karen Elliott, MU Extension
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Lunch/trade show
1:00-1:45 p.m. - This old house, Jim Crawford, MU Extension
1:45-2:00 p.m. - Break/trade show
2:00-2:45 p.m. - Alternative energy for the home, Jim Crawford, MU Extension
2:45-3:30 p.m. - Agritourism/pumpkin patches, Erin Dinsdale, DOT Family Farms

Track - Plants
9:15-10:00 a.m. - Growing your own fruit, Tom Fowler, MU Extension
10:00-10:45 a.m. - Cover crops & soils, Rodney Saunders, NRCS
10:45-11:00 a.m. - Break/trade show
11:00-11:45 a.m. - Forages, Wayne Flanary, MU Extension
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Lunch/trade show
1:00-1:45 p.m. - Getting started in the greenhouse business, Julie Hurst, Hurst Greenery
1:45-2:00 p.m. - Break/trade show
2:00-2:45 p.m. - Growing your own veggies, Tim Baker, MU Extension
2:45-3:30 p.m. - Composting, Jim Crawford & Tom Fowler, MU Extension

$40 per person if received by February 26
$60 per person after February 26 or at the door
Make checks payable to: Nodaway County Extension and send to Nodaway County Extension
403 N Market St, Maryville, MO 64468

Visit our website

For more information, contact:
Randa Doty, Nodaway County MU Extension, 403 N Market St, Maryville, MO 64468, 660-582-8101 

Tom Fowler, Buchanan County MU Extension, 4125 Mitchell Ave, St. Joseph, MO 64507, 816-279-1691

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Windy Start to 2014 Brings Wind Chills; Weather Challenges Livestock Producers

January gave the windiest start of the year to Missouri in almost 30 years. Wind puts the chill in wind chill.

“Those who think winds are chillier than usual are right,” says Pat Guinan, state climatologist, University of Missouri Extension. The cold and wind continues into February.

Cold dominated the weather reports since Jan. 1. “Preliminary data for January indicates the statewide average temperature was 25 F. That’s almost 5 F below long-term normal,” Guinan says.

With the winds accompanying frequent fast-moving fronts, the wind chills regularly drop to minus 10-30 degrees.

A polar jet stream set up from northwest to southeast across the state. That let several Arctic cold fronts barrel through the region.

“Those fronts brought reinforcing shots of frigid air,” Guinan says.

The mark of cold weather is when the daily high temperature doesn’t rise above zero degrees. That happened often across northern and central Missouri. That hadn’t happened since December 1989, he adds.

Winds are driven by differential between high-pressure and low-pressure areas. The Arctic cold fronts bring lower air pressures with them. Then the following high-pressure zones behind the fronts rush to fill the lows. The gradient between the two determines wind velocity.

“The differential is like when you push the valve on an inflated tire,” Guinan says. “The energy gushes from high pressure to low pressure.” The colder the air, the higher the density and the greater the air pressure.

“This winter, the polar jet dipped more often and deeper into the United States than usual,” he says.

What’s unusual was that the cold fronts lacked moisture this winter, Guinan says. They delivered less than normal water despite deep snows in parts of southern and east-central Missouri. The snow in early February across the north was light and fluffy.

Moisture-laden Gulf of Mexico air has been blocked from encountering the cold fronts, which normally trigger precipitation. With few exceptions, the snow came from Pacific moisture brought in on the jet stream.

The cold winds and snow make hay feeding an almost daily challenge for farmers, says Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension forage specialist. Cold and wind increase nutritional demands for body maintenance.

Cows in spring-calving herds should be gaining body weight. That includes the developing calf, but also a deposit of body fat that will supply milk for the newborn calf.

Some farmers find they must feed twice the usual bales of hay. To maintain cows’ body condition, farmers are feeding supplemental grain rations.

For crop and forage farmers, an ominous sign is lack of soil moisture. The dry condition has been building since last summer. Snow did not mitigate that long-term trend toward dryness in most of northern and central Missouri, Guinan says.

The National Drought Monitor for January shows “abnormally dry” to “moderate drought’ across the northern half of Missouri.

Guinan, with the MU Extension Commercial Agriculture Program, maintains a system of automated weather stations across the state.

(By Duane Daily, MU Writer)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Understanding Good Ag Practices (GAP)

A workshop on Understanding Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) on Thursday, February 20 from 9 am to 3 pm at the Stoddard County NRCS office in 18450 Ridgeview Lane, Dexter, MO 63841.  Registration is $15.00 per person.

9:00 am - Review of Produce Safety Issues

9:30 am - The GHP/GAP Audit

10:00 am - Worker Training and Record Keeping Overview


10:30 am - Production Water Management

11:00 am - Traceability

11:30 am - What to Think About Before a Crisis Happens

Lunch Provided

1:00 pm - Developing a Farm Safety Plan (HandsOn)

For more information or to register contact the University of Missouri Extension at 573-686-8064 or email 

Sponsored by University of Missouri Extension, MO Department of Agriculture and USDA/NRCS.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Growing Grower Workshops

Are you a grower or an aspiring grower who is looking for learning opportunities in sustainable farming?
-          Apprenticeships on local farms for aspiring growers
-          Workshops covering market farming and related topics
-          Farm tours of successful local farming operations
-          Networking through our Email listserv and apprenticeship
-          Specialized trainings for growers

Growing Growers is a collaborative effort of K-State Research and Extension, Univ. of Missouri Extension, Lincoln Univ. Cooperative Extension, the Kansas Rural Center, the KC Food Circle and Cultivate KC. We work to increase the production of local food by helping new and existing producers grow their businesses. For more information click here.

February 24Farm Start-Up, Accessing Land & On-Farm Crop Storage
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Kansas City, KS
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Dr. Cary Rivard at

March 14 & March 15Good Agriculture Practices & Food Safety Modernization Act
Location: Kansas City, MO
For more information or to register: Katie Nixon at

March 17Production Planning and Plant Propagation
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Belton, MO
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Katie Nixon at  

March 31Diversifying Markets: Farmers Markets, CSAs, Wholesale and Farm to School Programs
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Alicia Ellingsworth at

April 7Spotted Wing Drosophila
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Lawrence, KS
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Marlin Bates at

April 19Introduction to Soils
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Location: Kearny, MO
Cost: $30 - For more information or to register: Lala Kumar at

May 12Post-harvest Handling
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Kansas City, KS
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Dr. Cary Rivard at

June 2Small Farm Equipment and Drip Irrigation
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Olathe Horticulture Research & Extension Center (35230 W. 135th St., Olathe, KS 66061)
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Dr. Cary Rivard at

June 14Introduction to Small Fruit Production
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Location: Powell Gardens (1609 US Highway 50, Kingsville, MO 64061)
Cost: $30 - For more information or to register: Lala Kumar at

July 12Insect, Disease, and Weed Management
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Location: Lawrence, KS
Cost: $30 - For more information or to register: Marlin Bates at

July 21Low-till/No-till Cropping Systems
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Dr. Cary Rivard at

August 9Farm Business Planning and Management Workshop
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO
Cost: $30 - For more information or to register: Alicia Ellingsworth at  

August 25Introduction to Cut Flowers
Time: 4 pm to 7 pm
Location: Kansas City, MO
Cost: $15 - For more information or to register: Lala Kumar at

September 22Scaling Up Your Business/Packaging & Grading Produce
Time: 9 am to 2 pm
Location: Lawrence, KS
Cost: $30 - For more information or to register: Marlin Bates at

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

30th Annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference

The 30th Annual Southwest Missouri Spring Forage Conference will be held February 25th, 2014 from 8 am to 3:30 pm at the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, MO.


8:00 – Registration

8:45 - 9:30 – Concurrent Session A
(Select one of these four sessions to attend)

(A1) How Do You Know a Change in Your Management Will it be Profitable? Jim Gerrish, American Grazing Lands Services, Patterson, Idaho

(A2) Soil Health and Grazing (High Density/Short Duration), Doug Peterson, State Soil Health Specialist, NRCS, Gallatin, MO (REPEATED at 2:45 pm)

(A3) Addressing Misconceptions in Agriculture, Glenn Cope, Producer, Lawrence, MO

(A4) Multi-Species Grazing Management (Cattle, Sheep, Goats), Randy Williams, Producer, Arkansas

 9:30 - 10:15 am – Break & Visit Trade Show

10:15 - 11:00 – Concurrent Session B
(Select one of these four sessions to attend)

(B1) Using Strip-Grazing to Manage Annual and Perennial Pasture, Mark Kennedy, MFGC Grazing Consultant, Texas County, MO (REPEATED at 2:45 pm)

(B2) Pasture Renovation and Restoration, Sarah Kenyon, MU Extension Agronomy Specialist, Houston, MO (REPEATED at 2:45 pm)

(B3) Getting Started with Your Grazing System, Producers’ Experiences, Larry Israel, Producer, Stone County, MO and Ron Locke, Producer, Dallas County, MO

(B4) Opportunities in Grass-based Dairy Production, Joe Horner, MU Extension Agriculture Economist, Columbia, MO

11:00 - 11:45 am – Break & Visit Trade Show

11:45 – Luncheon Keynote Address - “Grazing Management Based on the Four Ecosystem Processes”, Jim Gerrish, American Grazing Lands Services

1:15 - 1:45 pm – Break & Visit Trade Show

1:45 - 2:30 – Concurrent Session C
(Select one of these four sessions to attend)

(C1) Question & Answer Time with Keynote Speaker Jim Gerrish, Patterson, Idaho

(C2) How to Cut Costs & Increase Profits, Wesley Tucker, MU Extension Agriculture Economist, Bolivar, MO

(C3) Poisonous Plants, Tim Evans, DVM/PhD, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

(C4) Quality Hay Production, Tim Schnakenberg, MU Extension Agronomy Specialist, Galena, MO

2:30 - 2:45 pm – Break

2:45 - 3:30 – Concurrent Session D
(Select one of these four sessions to attend)

(D1) Manage What You Have - Plant Fence Posts First, Mark Green, District Conservationist, NRCS, Springfield, MO

(D2) Soil Health and Grazing (High Density/ Short Duration), Doug Peterson, State Soil Health Specialist, NRCS, Columbia, MO

(D3) Using Strip-Grazing to Manage Annual and Perennial Pasture, Mark Kennedy, MFGC Grazing Consultant, Texas County, MO

(D4) Pasture Renovation and Restoration, Sarah Kenyon, MU Extension Agronomy Specialist, Houston, MO

3:30 pm – Adjourn

Registration is $35 per person before February 19th and $45 afterwards.  For more information call 417-831-5246 ext. 3 or go to the website.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Growing Growers Apprenticeships

Growing Growers in Kansas City is now accepting applications for the 2014 Farm Apprenticeship Program.  Growing Growers Apprentices work on a local farm, attend workshops and farm tours, receive books and reference materials, and are trained by their host farmer/mentor. It’s a great combination of hands-on experience and classroom training.

Many Growing Growers apprentices have gone on to start their own farms and/or local food-related businesses.

Host farms are available in Leavenworth, Wyandotte and Douglas counties in Kansas and Clay, Jackson, St. Clair and Lafayette counties in Missouri.  Apprenticeships may be paid or volunteer positions.  Apprentices must be able to travel to workshops and farm tours monthly and commit to a full season of fieldwork on their host farm.

 Cost to participate is $500.00, which includes farm tours, free registration to 14 GG workshops, a selection of texts and resources, and a minimum of 8 hours dedicated “sit down” training with your host farmer that go beyond on-the-job training.  This apprenticeship training covers topics such as, how your host farm manages soil quality, their yearly production schedule, how they manage their business, and much more.  Limited scholarship funds are available.

Check out the Growing Growers website or call (816) 805-0362.

Deadline to apply for a 2014 Growing Growers Apprenticeship is March 1st, but earlier application is strongly recommended!