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Friday, April 29, 2016

University of Minnesota Extension Small Farms Newsletter 4.29.16

April 29, 2016

Small Farm Enthusiasts,

We had a nice run of weather and hopefully we can dry out with another round of dryer weather.

On another note, I am leaving my position as a Local Extension Educator with the University of Minnesota Extension on July 1st. I have worked with lot of great people over the last 11.5 years and it has been a great experience. My current job is what I have considered a "dream job" for me. However, I am looking forward to a new opportunity working as a Program Leader for the same organization. Essentially, I am not moving and will become a supervisor for Local Extension Educators located in Central and Northern MN. My plan is to transition this newsletter on to another Extension Educator in Minnesota. Thank you for your continued interest in the University of Minnesota Extension Small Farms Newsletter. I have tried to do my best to keep you informed.

Minnesota Aquaponics Symposium

The Minnesota Aquaponics Symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center

The title for the symposium is called Aquaponics in Minnesota: Recent Findings in Economic Sustainability. The second annual symposium on aquaponics in Minnesota will bring together a diverse audience to discuss topics in aquaponics economic sustainability.

This symposium is intended for aquaponic producers, hobbyists, agencies, academics, food service and public health professionals, and others who work with or are interested in aquaponic production in Minnesota.

Following is a link for additional information: http://cceevents.umn.edu/minnesota-aquaponics-symposium.

Grafting and top working course at Hoch Orchard
           
This Course gives the rare opportunity to see top-worked trees of different ages and stages of growth. Not only will participants learn basic bench grafting techniques with different grafting tools, they will also learn how to top-work old trees to new modern varieties.

Saturday May 7th, 9:00 to 3:00 at Hoch Orchard near La Crescent Minnesota

$50 per orchard or family with one set of handouts and one lunch
$25 for a student or student group with one set of handouts and one lunch
$15 for extra lunch and break snacks. This is a local lunch made with products from the farm that includes a tasting of our wine and cider. No deli box lunches here!

Jake Overgaard, our Winona County Extension Educator, will give some background and history of grafting.
Harry Hoch and the orchard staff will help with grafting and tours.

Following is a link with additional information and registration details: http://z.umn.edu/15k6

Cottage Foods Workshops

Do you make and sell baked goods, home-canned pickles, salsa, jam and jellies?  Are you a cottage food producer?  If yes, this workshop is for you.  By attending you will meet the training requirement to register as a Minnesota food producer.

2016 Dates and Locations
·        May 7, 9 am-noon, St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
·        May 7, 1-4 pm, St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
·        May 11, 2-5 pm, Alexandria, Douglas County Library
·        June 21, 9 am-noon, Thief River Falls C’Mon Inn
·        July 19,9 am-noon, Worthington, Extension Regional Office
·        July 21, 2-5pm, Mankato, Greater Mankato Business DevelopmentCenter
·        July 28, 2-5pm, Rochester, Heintz Center
·        August 4, 9 am-noon, Dakota County Extension Office, Farmington
·        October 13,9 am-noon,St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
·        November 1, 9 am-noon, Cloquet, University of Minnesota Forestry Center

Following is a link for more information and how to register: http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/courses/cottage-foods/index.html. If you have any questions or need more information about the upcoming Cottage Food Producer Advanced Food Safety Training contact Connie Schwartau at schwa047@umn.edu.

Pastured Poultry Enterprise Analysis           

Source: Ryan Pesch, Extension Educator

As we all think about our big plans the summer season, you might want to read through the following report if your plans include chickens on pasture: http://z.umn.edu/15k9. This enterprise analysis compares the costs and returns from two pastured poultry systems, one a "chicken tractor" or move-able coop system and the other a free-range system with stationary housing:

This analysis is based on the actual costs and revenues of our two partners, Main Street Project in Northfield and the flocks managed by the University of Minnesota.  I appreciate their involvement and willingness to share how their operations are performing financially. 

Certainly the financial performance of these two operations are not representative of all pastured poultry enterprises.  However, little data exists about these types of enterprises and even two examples may provide insights into how your profitability compares and how the management or set-up of your system could impact your financial returns.

Eight Steps to be a Safe Machinery Operator

Source:  Nathan Winter, McLeod and Meeker County Extension Educator
                      
Spring is a reminder of a new start and for me farm safety. Farm safety is so important to those working in agriculture, their families, and those using rural roadways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website has numerous resources related to workplace safety and health topics. Every day, there are 167 agricultural workers that suffer a lost-work-time-injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment. Following is a link to the Eight Steps: http://z.umn.edu/15ka.

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Links and Resources

University of Minnesota Extension Small Farms Website:  http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/small-farms/
Follow us on Twitter: Twitter @UMNsmallfarms
University of Minnesota Extension Small Farm YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/umnsmallfarms
University of Minnesota Community and Local Food Resources: http://www.extension.umn.edu/rsdp/community-and-local-food/
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA): http://www.misa.umn.edu/
U of MN Extension Crops Website & Calendar of Events: http://www.z.umn.edu/crops  



Grafting and top working course at Hoch Orchard

This Course gives the rare opportunity to see top-worked trees of different ages and stages of growth. Not only will participants learn basic bench grafting techniques with different grafting tools, they will also learn how to top-work old trees to new modern varieties.

Saturday May 7th
9:00 to 3:00 at Hoch Orchard near La Crescent Minnesota

$50 per orchard or family with one set of handouts and one lunch
$25 for a student or student group with one set of handouts and one lunch
$15 for extra lunch and break snacks. This is a local lunch made with products from the farm that includes a tasting of our wine and cider. No deli box lunches here!

Jake Overgaard, our Winona County Extension Educator, will give some background and history of grafting.
Harry Hoch and the orchard staff will help with grafting and tours.

Bench Grafting: We will demonstrate bench grafting techniques using: grafting knives, a V-cutter, and an Omega grafter. Participants will have the opportunity to work with these different tools and have some hands-on testing before investing in their own. There will be discussion of handling, planting, and digging of the stock along with a look at small scale nursery equipment and a tour of the on-farm nursery.

Top Working: Participants will also learn how to top-work old apple trees to new varieties. We will tour the apple orchards and see several examples of trees that have been top-worked in the past.

The last part of the class will include demonstration of different techniques used to top work trees of different ages and sizes. Participants will get hands on experience top-working trees in the orchard.

RSVP to Hoch Orchard by email, Facebook message, phone or text. Send a check or pay at the door. Please let us know the number planning to attend. If we do not get at least ten RSVP we may cancel the event. We will notify people who sent an RSVP if we cancel.

Hoch Orchard and Gardens Inc.
32553 Forster Road
La Crescent MN 55947
Leave a voicemail at 507 643 6329
Text 507 313 0645
Info@hochorchard.com
www.hochorchard.com

Minnesota Aquaponics Symposium

The Minnesota Aquaponics Symposium will be held on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center

The title for the symposium is called Aquaponics in Minnesota: Recent Findings in Economic Sustainability. The second annual symposium on aquaponics in Minnesota will bring together a diverse audience to discuss topics in aquaponics economic sustainability.

The first-ever symposium on aquaponics in Minnesota was held on May 5, 2015. It brought together a diverse audience of more than 100 people to discuss recent research in food safety and good agriculture practices as they apply to our local industry. In addition, two panel discussions provided an opportunity for Q&A with some of the state’s technical experts and industry leaders.
Who Should Attend

This symposium is intended for aquaponic producers, hobbyists, agencies, academics, food service and public health professionals, and others who work with or are interested in aquaponic production in Minnesota.

Following is a link for additional information: http://cceevents.umn.edu/minnesota-aquaponics-symposium.

Eight Steps to be a Safe Machinery Operator


Source:  Nathan Winter, McLeod and Meeker County Extension Educator
                       
Spring is a reminder of a new start and for me farm safety. Farm safety is so important to those working in agriculture, their families, and those using rural roadways. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website has numerous resources related to workplace safety and health topics. Every day, there are 167 agricultural workers that suffer a lost-work-time-injury. Five percent of these injuries result in permanent impairment.

Although agriculture is safer than it once was, it still ranks among the most dangerous industries. Those working on farms risk fatal and nonfatal injuries, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, skin diseases, and certain cancers from prolonged sun and chemical use. Many of the mechanical, chemical, and environmental hazards increase the risk of accidents.  There were 374 farmers and farmworkers that died from work-related injuries in 2012. The leading cause of death for farmers and farmworkers was tractor overturns.

Unfortunately, we continue seeing injuries and fatalities in the agricultural industry and often they can be prevented. Most everyone working in the agricultural area knows of someone that has been injured or has died as a direct result of a farming accident. Farm equipment is safer than it used to be, but there are still injuries and fatalities that can occur.

Kansas State University Research and Extension highlight eight simple steps to be a safe machinery operator in their publication called “Machinery Safety on the Farm”.

1.                 Be aware. Recognize where and what the hazards are.
2.                 Be prepared. Replace worn parts promptly and do daily pre-operational checks. Include preseason checks. Take advantage of the off-season to do additional maintenance work. This gives you time to order any shields and other parts you may need. Anticipate problems.
3.                 Read the operator’s manual. The simple tips and precautions in this publication are no substitute for the operator’s manual for each piece of machinery. If the manual is missing, contact your dealer or check online to get another one.
4.                 Shield all moving parts. Make the machine as safe as possible.
5.                 Respect PTO and hydraulics. Remember that any machine that is powered by a power takeoff driveline (PTO) or has hydraulic systems is inherently dangerous.
6.                 Shut it off. Before servicing any machine, disengage the PTO, turn off the engine, remove the key, and wait for all parts to stop moving.
7.                 Watch yourself. Try to avoid particularly hazardous jobs if you’re physically ill or mentally distracted. Fatigue and stress cause many accidents.
8.                 Use a machine only for its intended purpose.

Often youth are utilized to help out with the farm work.  Be sure to look out for their interests by keeping them safe. In 2012, an estimated 14,000 youth were injured on farms, 2,700 of these injuries were due to farm work. On average, there are 113 youth less than 20 years of age that dies annually from farm-related injuries, with the most prevalent age group being those from 16 – 19 years of age.  Of the leading sources of fatal injuries to youth, 23% involved machinery (including tractors), 19% involved motor vehicles (including ATVs), and 16% were due to drowning. Be safe in your work and look out for the safety of others as well.

Sources:
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/  

Kansas State University Research and Extension “Machinery Safety on the Farm”, http://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF2941.pdf

Cottage Foods Workshops in St. Cloud and Alexandria

Do you make and sell baked goods, home-canned pickles, salsa, jam and jellies?  Are you a cottage food producer?  If yes, this workshop is for you.  By attending you will meet the training requirement to register as a Minnesota food producer.

Here are some comments from participants who attended some of our earlier workshops:

"Really good workshop!" " Great mix of learning stations and activities." "Very fun. I would recommend this class." "Excellent workshop! Questions were well answered."

Please open the Cottage Foods Workshop Schedule attachment to see when and where a session will be held near you.  For more information and for registration flyers for those later in the year go to the website listed on the schedule.

2016 Dates and Locations
  • May 7, 9 am-noon, St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
  • May 7, 1-4 pm, St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
  • May 11, 2-5 pm, Alexandria, Douglas County Library
  • June 21, 9 am-noon, Thief River Falls C’Mon Inn 
  • July 19,9 am-noon, Worthington, Extension Regional Office
  • July 21, 2-5pm, Mankato, Greater Mankato Business DevelopmentCenter
  • July 28, 2-5pm, Rochester, Heintz Center
  • August 4, 9 am-noon, Dakota County Extension Office, Farmington
  • October 13,9 am-noon,St. Cloud, Extension Regional Office
  • November 1, 9 am-noon, Cloquet, University of Minnesota Forestry Center
Following is a link for more information and how to register: http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/courses/cottage-foods/index.html. If you have any questions or need more information about the upcoming Cottage Food Producer Advanced Food Safety Training contact me at schwa047@umn.edu.

Pastured Poultry Enterprise Analysis

Source: Ryan Pesch, Extension Educator

As we all think about our big plans the summer season, you might want to read through the following report if your plans include chickens on pasture.  This enterprise analysis compares the costs and returns from two pastured poultry systems, one a "chicken tractor" or move-able coop system and the other a free-range system with stationary housing: 

This analysis is based on the actual costs and revenues of our two partners, Main Street Project in Northfield and the flocks managed by the University of Minnesota.  I appreciate their involvement and willingness to share how their operations are performing financially.  

Certainly the financial performance of these two operations are not representative of all pastured poultry enterprises.  However, little data exists about these types of enterprises and even two examples may provide insights into how your profitability compares and how the management or set-up of your system could impact your financial returns.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

University of Minnesota Deep Winter Greenhouse Project

Source: Greg Schweser, Associate Director Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships

Interested in experimenting with the University of Minnesota on passive solar greenhouse technology on your farm, community organization, or business in Greater Minnesota? Do you want to learn how to grow crops all year without relying on fossil fuels? Are you interested in helping others learn about sustainable agricultural production technology for year-round production?

If so, then the University of Minnesota Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships want to help you build a deep winter greenhouse. Greenhouses will be built according to UMN Center for Sustainable Building Research prototype designs. Awardees will work with University of Minnesota researchers for the first three years to study production and building performance and to host periodic extension events. Additional questions should be directed to:

Greg Schweser, Associate Director Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems
University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships
schwe233@umn.edu
612-625-9706

To download the request for applications, visit the following website:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/rsdp/statewide/deep-winter-greenhouse/

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