Wednesday, January 27, 2016

20th Annual Greenhouse Growers' School

The Missouri State Florists Association and University of Missouri Extension announce the 20th Annual Greenhouse Growers’ School (Presented jointly with MLNA ‘Nuts and Bolts’ Event) on Thursday, February 18th.  The event will be held at the Bradford Research and Extension Center, 4968 Rangeline Road, Columbia, MO.  (From U.S. 63 travel east on Rt. WW to Rangeline and turn right)


8:30 - Registration/Coffee and donuts
9:00 - What’s new in the world of ornamental plants?, Kerry Meyer, Proven Winners
10:15 - Break
10:30 - ‘Grow Native!’ – Panel discussion on diverse topics & programs of ‘Grow Native!’

12:00 - Lunch (furnished) - Various program updates will be presented during lunch.

Concurrent sessions in the afternoon—your choice of topics.
 Room A (Greenhouse programming)

1:00 - Specialty Cut Flower Production, Karen Davis, LU Extension, Urban Buds
2:00 - Growing My Way, John Graham, Callaway Fields                                                        
3:00 - Break
3:15 - Hydroponics 101, David Trinklein, MU Plant Sciences
Room B (Nursery/Landscape programming)

1:00 - What’s wrong with my container trees? Tim McDonnell, Kansas Forest Service
2:00 - After the storm, drought, etc.—ideas to restore trees. Tim McDonnell, Mike Rood, Dr. Sven Svenson
3:00 - Break
4: 00 - Pests to beware and prepare (for) Sarah Phipps, Forest Pest Program Dir., MO-AG

4:15     Closing discussion—door prizes                           

Registration is $30 per person (includes lunch and break items) payable on the 18th.  Advanced registration is
not necessary.

For additional information contact: David Trinklein, State Floriculture Extension Specialist, 573/882-9631 or

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Safety for You and Your Livestock

With winter approaching, we have more opportunities to work with our livestock in a more confined setting.  Handling livestock can sometimes be stressful for both people and the animals.  A lot depends on our attitude, methods, and our understanding of how an animal behaves.  Trying to load a balky horse into a trailer, gathering or herding animals in a pasture, or trying to pen or catch animals for treatment can all be stressful situations and even unsafe at times for all involved.

Safety becomes an important issue when handling livestock.  Livestock safety applies to both the animal and the animal handler.  It involves much more than simply “being careful” around livestock.  In fact, many livestock accidents are not directly related to the animals themselves but are caused by improper use of equipment and poorly-maintained or poorly-built facilities.
People tend to give animals human qualities and forget that animals quickly revert to primal reflex reactions when they are threatened or under stress.  Animals will fiercely defend their food, shelter, territory, and young.  This is especially important to remember during late winter and early spring when livestock may be giving birth.  When frightened or in pain, animals may react in ways that threaten their and our health and safety.  While livestock fatalities are not nearly as frequent as deaths involving tractors or machinery, animals are involved in more total accidents and with more work related accidents.  Typical animal-caused injuries to the handler range from cuts and sprains from falls, to broken bones and whole body injuries from being kicked, pushed, shoved, or run over by an animal.

Livestock handlers must be fully aware of the different ways livestock and humans react to certain situations.  Handlers must remain in control of potentially dangerous situations and avoid actions which make them vulnerable to injury.  The more predictable our actions, the less likely we are to injure livestock or be injured.  The better we understand livestock, the less risk of the animals harming us or themselves.

Observing animals to determine their temperament can alert the handler to possible danger.  These signs include raised or pinned ears, raised tail or hair on the back, bared teeth, pawing the ground, and snorting.  Male animals are always dangerous.  Males of some breeds are more aggressive than others, but protective females, especially new mothers, can be just as dangerous.  Often injuries occur from animals that do not openly exhibit aggression or fear.  This reaction may be triggered by excitement caused, for example, by a person walking nearby.  Typical injuries from this type of situation are usually a result of being kicked, bitten, stepped on, or squeezed between the animal and a solid structure as the animal tries to flee.
Treat livestock with respect.  Always know where you are and where the animal is in relation to you when you are working with livestock.  Never overlook warning signs exhibited by animals being handled.

An ounce of patience when handling livestock will be worth a pound of good working relationship when farm animals are concerned.  Take time to understand how animals respond to various situations.  This understanding should reduce the potential for accidents.
(By Steve Tonn, Nebraska Extension Educator - Livestock; Source: Introduction to Livestock Safety, Auburn University)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Beekeeping Workshop across Missouri

This is the time to look for beginning beekeeping classes across the state.  Here are a few that are upcoming.  If you don't see a location near you, go to the bottom of this post to find one in your area.

Willow Springs
Beginning Beekeeping
This beekeeping class provides resources to local beekeepers and design networking opportunities for you to learn and grow from experienced beekeepers.  Learn about equipment, sources of bees and how and when to start your own hives.

Class will be held at Jan, 25, 27 & 28 from 6-8 pm each night at the Ferguson Builing, 127 E Main, St, Willow Springs, MO.

Registration is $65 per person and includes reference materials.  To register call 417-256-2391.

Keeping Honeybees beyond the First Year
This all day workshop will be taught by Jim and Valerie Duever.  Learn how to manage and maintain productive honeybee colonies beyond the first year.  Also learn about marketing products of the hive.

The class will be held Feb 27th at the Hunter Civic Center, 201 W Jasper St, Versailles, MO. From 9 am to 5 pm.

Class is limited to the first 50 paid registrants.  Cost is $30 for individual or $50 for a couple.  Contact the Morgan County Extension Center at 573-378-5358.  Registration deadline is Feb 19th.  You can also register online here.

Beginning Beekeeping Workshop
The Jefferson County Beekeeper Association is offering a Beginning Beekeeping Workshop on Saturday, February 13 from 8 am to 4:30 pm. The workshop will be held at the Jefferson County Extension Office at 301 Third St, Hillsboro, MO.

The workshop will include information on characteristics of a good colony, apiary location, equipment, honey plants, disease prevention, mite control and protection from insecticides. The workshop will be taught with local beekeepers with over 100 years of experience.
Price of the workshop is $50 per person, $25 for each additional person from the same family. Lunch is on your own.

To register, call 636-797-5391. Space is limited to 25 people, so register soon.

Beginning Beekeeping Workshop
The St. Clair County MU Extension Center is offering an all-day beginning beekeeping workshop on Saturday, February 20th. The workshop will be taught by Pomme De Terre Beekeepers. The topics of the class may include:
  • hive components, construction and accessories
  • Setting up the hive
  • Putting bees in the colony and management of the colony
  • Races of bees, their attributes and were to get them
  • Starting with nucleus hive or package of bees
  • Disease and pest of bees, identifying the queen, workers and drones, their function in the hive
  • Honey harvesting, equipment needed, when to harvest, how to package honey, what needs to be on the label, comb or extracted honey, how to market the honey
  • Fall and winter management to bring the hive to the second year

There will be a starter hive and bees raffled off during the workshop.

The workshop will be held at the First Baptist Church at 505 Walnut Street, Osceola, Mo. and will begin with registration at 8:30 a. m. and end around 4:00 p. m.

Food and refreshments will be provided. Cost of the event is $20.00 and payment along with registration needs to be done by February 17th to the St. Clair County MU Extension Center. For questions, more information or to register, contact the St. Clair County MU Extension Center (St. Clair County Courthouse, P. O. Box 523, Osceola, Mo. 64776) at 417 – 646 – 2419 or by email at If the workshop has to be canceled due to inclement weather it will be made up on February 27th same time and place.

Kansas City
Beginning Beekeeping Workshop
Saturday, March 12, at Lakewood Oaks Golf Club, Lee's Summit, MO 64064
21st Annual all-day class presented by the Midwestern Beekeeper’s Association. The complete course offers professional classes, a handbook, association membership, refreshments/lunch, a monthly newsletter, prizes, and beekeeping supply vendors on site.  $65 Pre-registration.

Visit: or call: 

To find out if there is a beekeeping class in your area of the state go to the Missouri State Beekeepers Association calendar of events or the local associations page for a club in your area.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Growing Elderberries for Fun and Profit

Meet Terry Durham, one of America’s leading growers and processors with River Hills Harvest Elderberry Juice Products.  Terry will be at the Slow Food St. James Workshop to share his knowledge of elderberry culture, from propagation to fighting pests, to harvesting and selling berries. 

The workshop will take place on Monday, February 15 at the Public House Brewing Compnay, 551 State Route B, St. James, MO.  A tour will begin at 3 pm followed by the workship from 4-6 pm.

Attendance is limited to the first 40 registrants.  Registration is $40 per person and includes light snacks created by chef Alex and River Hills Elderberry Products.

To register, click here.

For more information contact Penelope at or call 573-693-8054.
(photo courtesy of Columbia Tribune)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Grow Your Farm Course in Jefferson 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 Debi Kelly, MU Extension horticulture/local foods specialist in east central Missouri and one of the authors of the curriculum.

The curriculum includes eight group sessions that will begin January 25th in Hillsboro and continue on through March 14th. 

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 Kelly. “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 Kelly. “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.  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 Jefferson County Extension office at 636-797-5391 or email Debi Kelly.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mid-America Organic Association Conference 2016

As a result of growing interest, the Missouri Organic Association Conference has evolved into Mid-America Organic Association Conference. This year we will be welcoming participants from eight states: Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee and Kansas and maybe even more!

MOA’s remains unchanged: they aspire to provide organic farms with the necessary tools to be successful businesses, while educating the general public about the connection local farms and healthy communities, in a physical, environmental and economic sense.

The Mid American Organic Conference 2016 will be held between February 4th and 6th, at the University Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, Springfield MO.

For the 7th edition, they will be providing a broad spectrum of lectures, hands-on workshops, consumer education classes and networking opportunities.

The topics will include: Grain production, Livestock production, Commercial Vegetable production, High-tunnel small fruits and vegetable production, Sustainable living skills, Culinary and medicinal plants, and a whole lot more!

Keynote speakers this year are Dr. Arden Anderson, DO who will be presenting on “Healthy Soils, Healthy Bodies,” and Dr. John Ikerd who will be presenting on “Healthy Soils, Healthy Economies, Healthy Communities.” 

Another highlight for this year is the workshop conducted by Botanical Explorer, Joseph Simcox on “Raising Sexy, Exotic Crops for Fun and Profit”. He will be emphasizing plant selections suitable for farmers in Missouri and surrounding states and advising on propagation material and sources.

The “Top Chef competition”, featuring 6 of the premier chefs from St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia, scheduled for Friday, February the 6th, is by now a tradition of the MOA Conference.

On Saturday, February 6, the MOA will organize a special networking event, connecting organic farmers/producers with buyers and marketing managers from regional and national food stores, chefs, food distributors, etc.

One of the surprises they prepared for this year is the “Consumer Health Education Seminary”, scheduled for Saturday, February 6th and open to the general public. The discussion will focus on organic foods and their connection to a healthy diet and balanced nutrition. The session will be presented by dietitians and medical physicians and will include definitions and discussion regarding “health food terminology”.  Participants will learn about the difference between organic, non-GMO, natural foods, free range, cage free, etc.

The full 3-day MOA 2016 Annual Conference agendas are available for viewing at:

The conference price is $175 for all three days and a single day pass is $75. An Early Bird Special discount is available until January 15th, which includes a Buy 1 registration at full price, Get the 2nd registration at ½ price.  

To register, please follow the instructions on their website.                                           

Hotel reservations are available at a special MOA Conference block price of $84 (+ tax) per night at The University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, Springfield, MO. Please make sure to mention the MOA conference block to get this special hotel lodging price.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Beekeeping Workshop in West Plains

University of Missouri Extension beekeeping workshop continues to be a popular request and one of the most widely attended programs. Improving the craft of beekeeping takes many years of experience, a strong network of beekeepers you can depend on and a source of research based information to feed your knowledge as your apiary grows. 

“Winter and spring are a critical time for beekeepers and hive management, this workshop will provide beekeepers with the information they need to develop strong hives for spring brood rearing and honey production” says Dr. Amy Patillo, Certified Beekeeper and University of Missouri Extension Community Development Specialist.

Join us January 25th, 27th, and 28th at the Ferguson building in Willow Springs from 6-8 p.m. nightly, $65 per person or $100 per farm. The Ferguson building is located at 127 E. Main Street, Willow Springs, MO, 65793.

Beginning beekeeping will introduce beekeepers to everyone living in the hive, including each bee and the work they do, pests and their management and the equipment and components of beehives. Beekeepers will have the opportunity to examine beekeeping equipment, hives and hive products.
Patrick Byers, University of Missouri Horticulture Specialist will share information about the importance of pollination and contribution of bees to horticulture crops, as well as, provide detailed information about bees and horticulture. Patrick’s presentations are always a special treat at the beekeepers meetings.

This workshop will provide you with the information and resources you need if you are thinking about ordering bees this spring. If you are a new beekeeper, you will find the resources and information you need to keep your bees alive through the winter and be prepared to care for them in the spring during their crucial brood rearing time. This is also an opportunity for you to learn how to become active with the West Plains Beekeepers group and learn more about the Willow Springs Beekeepers group that is hoping to get started in the spring.

Call the University of Missouri Howell County Extension office to register, 417-256-2391. More information is available online at

Monday, January 4, 2016

Bringing Back the American Small Farm Conference

The Ozark Farmers Ag Co-op (OFAC) is presenting a conference to share instruction on how to contribute to your regional food supply using whatever land resources are available to you.  Whether that's a backyard garden area or 100 acres, get the information you need to start producing local foods the right way for you.​​

Bringing Back the American Small Farm Conference will be held January 28-29, 2016 at the West Plains Civic Center, 110 Saint Louis Street, West Plains, MO 65775.  Registration for one day is $25 and two days is $50 per person before Jan 14.  After this date registration is $35 for one day and $75 for two days.

For more information contact OFAC at (417) 274-4235 or vist

Day 1
8:00 am Registration

9:00 am Welcoming Remarks Patrice Jennings, Ozark Farmers Agriculture Cooperative

9:15 am General Session - Keynote "Small Farm, Real Income" Hank Will, Editorial Director,
Mother Earth News & Grit Magazine

10:15 am Vendor Exhibits / Break / Network

10:45 am Breakout Sessions:
* Conventional Farming Part I:  Considerations for Beginning Commercial-Scale Vegetable Production; Land, Machinery, Labor, Irrigation, Rusty Lee, Lee Farms, LLC
* Soil Health: Does It Matter, Doug Peterson, Rancher and NRCS State Soil Health Conservationist
* Livestock Grazing 101, Mark L. Kennedy, USDA Livestock Specialist
* Aquaponics Part I: Aquaponics system design is typically coupled with mystery, magic and backyard how to, Jeremy Shechter, Aquaponics Manager, FarmTek

11:45 am Vendor Exhibits / Break / Network

12:00 pm Luncheon General Session: Farm Resource Panel / Vendor Exhibits

1:30 pm Breakout Sessions:
* Conventional Farm Part II: Production and Harvest Care of your crop from seed to the marketed box of produce, Rusty Lee, Lee Farms, LLC
* Beekeeping Part I Grant Gillard, Author and former Missouri State Beekeeper President
* Pastured Poultry Jim Protiva, Peace Valley Poultry
* Aquaponics Part II – Maintenance and Fish-care Jeremy Shechter, Aquaponics Manager, FarmTek

2:45 pm Vendor Exhibits / Break / Network

3:15 pm Breakout Sessions:
* No Till Organic Vegetable Farming, Patrice Gros, Foundation Farm
* Small Fruit Production, Marilyn Odneal, Missouri State University at Mountain Grove
* Opportunities in Small Ruminants Mark L. Kennedy, USDA Livestock Specialist
* Hydroponics Speaker TBD
* Social Media Marketing, Kelli Jennings, Ag Marketing and Social Media Specialist

4:30 pm Networking Mixer

5:30 pm Adjourn for dinner

Day 2
8:00 am Registration

9:00 am Greeting and Announcements Patrice Jennings, Ozark Farmers Agriculture Cooperative

9:05 am General Session - Keynote "Why do Small Farms Matter?" Janie Dunning, USDA Rural Development State Director and Matt Moore, USDA Rural Development Business Program Director

9:55 am General Session "How to Learn Small Farm Skills" Dr. Linda Wulff-Risner, MSU-WP
Assistant Professor of Agriculture

10:15 am Vendor Exhibits / Break / Network

10:45 am Breakout Sessions:
* Urban Farming, Hank Will, Editorial Director, Mother Earth News
* Agri-Marketing, Patrice Gros, Foundation Farm
* Irrigation Speaker TBD
* Greenhouse 101,  Pete Hummert, Hummert International

11:45 am Vendor Exhibits / Break / Network

12:00 pm Luncheon General Session - Marketing Panel

1:30 pm Breakout Sessions:
* Conventional Farming Part III: Marketing—We grew it, now what do we do with it?, Rusty Lee, Lee Farms, LLC
* Agriculture Tourism,  Scott McWilliams
* Beekeeping Part 2, Grant Gillard, Author and former Missouri State Beekeeper President

3:30 pm Evaluations / Door Prizes / Adjourn