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 email@example.com.
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.
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