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Showing posts from April, 2016

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…

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.
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 July 19,9 am-noon, Worthington, Extension Regional OfficeJuly 21, 2-5pm, Mankato, Greater Mankato Business Development CenterJuly 28, 2-5pm, Rochester, Heintz CenterAugust 4, 9 am-noon, Dakota County Extens…

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 you…