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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Grow Your Farm Course Offered This Fall in Clay County

An extension educational program will help landowners who want to get into farming for the first time as well as current farmers who are interested in starting new enterprises.

Grow Your Farm, a program offered by University of Missouri Extension, will connect people considering a farm career with successful farm operators and business experts, says Randall Saner, MU Extension livestock specialist in southwest Missouri and one of the authors of the curriculum.

The curriculum includes eight group sessions that will begin October 6, 2015 in Smithville and continue on through December 8th. 

Most sessions will focus on business planning and the process of selecting enterprises that can be profitable, based on an individual’s skills and resources. Planning is a big part of the program.

“With the continued growth of people moving into rural fringe areas around major cities, extension receives more questions from people who want to make a living, or at least create a profitable business, on their acreage,” says Crystal Weber, University of Missouri Extension in Clay County. “Grow Your Farm is designed to answer those questions and help them start successful enterprises. It should also be valuable for producers looking for new ideas to make their existing farms more successful.”

Class sizes will be limited to 20 participants, with two decision makers from each farm encouraged to participate.

“Farming takes a lot of work and family commitment,” says Weber. “Participants are likely to be more successful if both spouses, a partner or a parent and an adult child who will be involved in the operation, are both part of the learning process.”

A fee of $300 per operation (for two participants) includes courses and one set of materials. For each additional person, there is a small extra charge. Fees include the cost of a course notebook and additional textbook, copies of the set of Grow Your Farm PowerPoint presentations, group sessions with guest speakers, farm tours and refreshments. To register, contact the Clay County Extension office at 816-407-3490 or email

For more information, contact Crystal Weber, 816-407-3497, or visit your local Extension Center or

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Workshop

Kansas State University is offering a 3- day Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) course at the Johnson County Extension office in Olathe, KS from October 7-9, 2016.

The course will be applicable to meat and poultry processors, as well as to any type of food processors that need/want a HACCP plan.  Note that a HACCP plan is a government regulatory requirement for processors of meat and poultry, juice, seafood, and some vacuum packaged foods.

Many buyers (large grocery stores, distributors, etc.) will require a HACCP plan for other products and the recently released FDA Food Safety Modernization Act will require many food processors to have a Preventative Controls plan in place, which is similar to a HACCP plan.

The registration fee is $400 per person. Participants will be provided with workshop materials as well as lunches and refreshments during breaks.

To find out more or to register go to

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pasture Management Workshop and Tour on Sept. 28

University of Missouri Extension will present a Pasture Management Workshop and Tour starting at 1 p.m., Sept. 28 at the Raymond and Russell Neill Farm, 16640 S Highway 32, Fair Play, M. The farm is the third house south of Bear Creek off of Hwy 32.

The meeting will discuss topics like pasture management, fertility management, weed and brush control, livestock nutrition on pasture and economics.

University of Missouri Extension speakers discussing these topics are: Dr. Patrick Davis, MU Extension livestock specialist; Pat Miller, MU Extension agronomy specialist; and Wesley Tucker, MU Extension agriculture business specialist.

The event is free and open to the public but registration is needed by Sept. 24.

For more information on the event contact the Cedar County MU Extension Center by telephone at (417) 276-3313 or by email. If there is inclement weather and the event is postponed the makeup date is Sept. 29 at the same time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Growing Mushrooms in Missouri Workshop

There will be two mushroom growing workshops in Northeast Missouri - October 2 & 3. The focus will be on growing oyster, winecap and shiitake. Each person will take home an inoculated log.

The workshop on Friday, October 2 will be at the Missouri Department of Conservation office in Kirksville from 9-3.  The workshop on Saturday, October 3 will be at the Macon Expo Center in Macon from 9-3 and is coordinated by Max Glover in the Shelby County Extension Center. The speaker is Gregory Ormsby Mori, education and outreach coordinator for the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry.

Pre-registration is required by September 25 and is limited to 30 participants. Cost is $15 and includes lunch.  No late registrations accepted. Call the Adair County Extension Center at 660-665-9866 or the Shelby County Extension office at 573-633-2640 for a registration form or download it at


8:30 - Registration/Coffee

9:00 - Introductions, review of agenda and workshop objectives, participant concerns/questions.

9:30 - Fungi–mentals: What are mushrooms? Overview of fungi life cycle, relation with plants & forest ecolology.

10:00 - Species and methods for forest farmed mushrooms.  An introduction to 3 common species grown in agroforestry/permaculture practice (Shiitake, Oyster, Winecap) and 3 growing techniques (logs, totems,straw/woodchip beds).

10:45 - Morning Practice session. Group A: Shiitake Log Inoculation; Group B: Oyster Totems and Winecap Straw Beds

12:00 - Lunch

12:45 - Afternoon Practice session: Group A: Oyster Totems and Winecap Straw Beds; Group B: Shiitake Log Inoculation

2:00 - Getting started. Things to consider, for both the hobbyist and small farmer, for growing mushrooms: sourcing materials, costs, setting up a growing area, management & marketing.

2:45 Discussion, review, wrap-up

Monday, September 14, 2015

New to Farming?

New to Farming? Find Out How to Participate in USDA Programs
  • Proof of Identity: A valid driver's license, passport or other form of personal identification, social security card or IRS paperwork that verifies an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Original documents are required.
  • Proof of Ownership: Copy of the recorded deed or rental agreement as evidence of land ownership or control. 
  • Entity Identification and Status: Copy of the articles of incorporation, trust and estate documents or partnership agreements. 
Beginning farmers and ranchers interested in participating in programs offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture must first register their farm with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) at one of the local county offices. By voluntarily enrolling the farm, FSA can assist in locating the farmer's land through aerial photography and provide the farmer with a farm number that will be used to manage future program participation. 
When visiting the FSA county office for the first time, bring the following information to expedite enrollment and begin learning about all available benefits.
Farmers should take notice of information that is sent from FSA via newsletters and other direct correspondence. These informational materials provide general program information, eligibility requirements and sign-up dates. To find a local FSA county office visit

Friday, September 4, 2015

Show-Me Sheep and Goat Project II

University of Missouri – Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Farm Outreach Program, and the University of Central Missouri Biology and Agriculture Department are working together to host the Show-Me Sheep and Goat Project II.

“With the ability to have more profit potential than most other enterprises, sheep and goat producers sometimes have problems marketing their animals or products,” says Susan Jaster of the Lincoln University Innovative Small Farmers Outreach Program. If you want to raise sheep or goats for meat, milk or fiber, you can learn how to raise and manage them successfully from this series of classes. This four week program will allow participants the ability, in a hands-on environment, to learn how to manage sheep and goat operation as a business with profitability and the future in mind. It will also give participants a chance to learn from other producers that attend the class.

“This series of classes is the next series from the beginning class designed to focus more on production management and preventative care, Show-Me Sheep and Goat Project I.” says Nathanial Cahill, Ag Business Specialist of MU Extension. The sheep and goat industry is in a rapidly growing phase in the United States and the potential for producers to generate revenue is potentially endless. With the correct management practices and general knowledge increase, sheep and goat producers have the potential to get into a rather growthy market.

The Show-Me Sheep and Goat Project II course includes 4 evening classes on September
15th, 22nd, 29th, and October 6th. The classes will be held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Johnson County Extension Center in Warrensburg, MO (135 W. Market, Warrensburg, MO 64093) along with a farm tour and hands-on class participation at the University of Central Missouri Mitchell
Street Farm (details given at first class).

The program includes a wide variety of educational topics all sheep and goat producers.
Topics to be covered will include: financial statements, FAMACHA scoring, fecal egg count testing, forage alternatives and ID, risk management, and many other topics including those specified by participants.

Class size is limited, so registration is required by September 11th. The cost of the program is $55 per person or $75 per couple/entity with certification, refreshments and materials provided. If participants need special accommodations because of a disability, or if you need materials in an alternative format, please inform at time of registration.

For registration and additional information, contact Nathanial Cahill University of

Missouri Agricultural Business Specialist at 660-747-3193.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

USDA Announces Conservation Incentives for Working Grass, Range and Pasture Lands

Beginning Sept. 1, farmers and ranchers can apply for financial assistance to help conserve working grasslands, rangeland and pastureland while maintaining the areas as livestock grazing lands.
The initiative is part of the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), a federally funded program that for 30 years has assisted agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. In return, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. CRP has helped farmers and ranchers prevent more than 8 billion tons of soil from eroding, reduce nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to cropland by 95 and 85 percent respectively, and even sequester 43 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, equal to taking 8 million cars off the road.
The CRP-Grasslands initiative will provide participants who establish long-term, resource-conserving covers with annual rental payments up to 75 percent of the grazing value of the land. Cost-share assistance also is available for up to 50 percent of the covers and other practices, such as cross fencing to support rotational grazing or improving pasture cover to benefit pollinators or other wildlife. Participants may still conduct common grazing practices, produce hay, mow, or harvest for seed production, conduct fire rehabilitation, and construct firebreaks and fences.
With the publication of the CRP regulation today, the Farm Service Agency will accept applications on an ongoing basis beginning Sept. 1, 2015, with those applications scored against published ranking criteria, and approved based on the competiveness of the offer. The ranking period will occur at least once per year and be announced at least 30 days prior to its start.  The end of the first ranking period will be Nov. 20, 2015.
To learn more about participating in CRP-Grasslands or SAFE, visit or consult with the local Farm Service Agency county office.  To locate a nearby Farm Service Agency office, visit   To learn more about the 30th anniversary of CRP, visit or follow on Twitter using #CRPis30. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hands-on Homesteading Workshop

University of Missouri Extension and Sustainable Ozarks Partnerships is offering a Hands-on Homesteading Workshop on September 19 at the ARK Community Center, 25625 Highway 17 in Waynesville, MO.

10 am to Noon (pick one to attend)
  • Aerobic Composting/Vermicomposting, Dr. Hwei-Ying Johnson, Lincoln University
  • Managing Water Needs for the Homestead, Bob Broz, Water Quality State Specialist, University of Missouri

12:30 – 1:15 pm – LunchKeynote: What’s Up with the Weather? Pat Guinan, State Climatologist, University of Missouri

1:30-3:30 pm (pick one to attend)
  • Introduction to High Tunnels, Patricia Barrett, MU Extension and Lessons from the Field, Wendi Lombardi, Falcon Ridge Farm
  • Introduction to Beekeeping, Charlotte Wiggins, Beekeeper/Master Gardener

Registration is $20 which includes lunch catered by Vidie’s Catering.  Pre-registration is required by September 11th.

For more information call 573-774-6177 or click here.