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Showing posts from July, 2016

Newsletter - Pick from 15+ ag newsletters

We surveyed MN farmers last year about their interests and needs.  In the responses, there was a request to share other small farm news sources.  We don't claim to be the only online newsletter one would ever want or need; personally, I subscribe to six or seven other ag focused newsletters and listservs* that keep me up to date on events, news, research, grants, and other opportunities. 
Some of you may be thinking "Nope!  I don't have time for more emails!"  Oh, how I sympathize. My method: create rules to filter incoming messages to a dedicated newsletter folder, skipping my inbox.  Whichever email client you use, consider this option.
Earlier this week, I sent a message to the rest of our Extension Small Farms Team asking for their online newsletter and listserv recommendations, it's not completely exhaustive, but here's the list of ag focused sources we assembled.
To sign up to receivethis newslettervia email, fill out this form.  :)
*A listserv typically a…

Apply for value-added grants

MN farmers have the opportunity to fund projects through grants from the MN Department of Agriculture's Value Added Grant program.

From their website...

Who's eligible?
Individuals (farmers) or businessesAgricultural cooperativesLocal government entitiesWhat can you use the money for?
Equipment purchase or physical improvements to intended to support businesses that will: Start, expand, or update livestock product processingPurchase equipment to start, upgrade, or modernize value-added businessesIncrease the use and processing of MN Ag products (required for all grants)Purchase equipment or facility improvement to increase food safetyIncrease farmers' processing and aggregating capacity to sell to schools, hospitals, or other institutionsMaximum grant award is $150,000, minimum is $1000.
For more information, visit the MDA website.

Newsletter - Season extension

Local food growers who use season extension may see multiple benefits.  Yields and quality can be improved.  Growers can also be first to market with earlier crops and produce longer into the fall.
Growing in a high tunnel, a.k.a. hoop house, or using other means of season extension come with a unique set of challenges; different pests and diseases, crop rotation, irrigation management, etc.
So, here are some resources and educational opportunities for those looking to add season extension to their farming mix or make improvements to existing practices.
To sign up to receive this newsletter via email, fill out this form. -------------------
In the news:  Extending Minnesota’s growing season
Go back in history to 2008, when high tunnel production was starting to take off in MN.  This MPR story profiles a farm in northern MN and talks tunnels with now retired Extension Educator, Terry Nennich.
Extending Minnesota’s growing season
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Resource:  UMN high tunnel website
So much her…

Visit the UMN Student Organic Farm

The University of Minnesota will be hosting two Open House and Field Days this summer and fall at Cornercopia, the student organic farm and research plots. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about the innovative organic growing practices students at the U of M are involved with as well as talk with researchers about their work in organic and sustainable agriculture. 

There will be tours, tasting, & more! These events are FREE & open to the public. We hope to see you there!


When
Wednesday, July 27th, 6-8pm
Tuesday, September 20th, 4-6pm

Location Cornercopia Organic Farm on the UMN St. Paul Campus, Intersection of Lindig St & Dudley Ave.

Parking Available in the Gortner Ave Ramp, 1395 Gortner Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55108
Contact umsof@umn.edu
For more information, view the event flyer.

Newsletter - Cottage food law update

UMN Extension has some important training opportunities coming up for those home bakers, confectioners, fermenters, jammers, etc who sell their goods at our great MN farmers' markets (and elsewhere) - so, it's a good time to share this particular set of info.  
If you haven't heard of the cottage food law, or have questions about what you need to do in order to sell your homemade goods, check out the info below.  
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In the news:  Now everyone can enjoy your home-baked treats
This article from the Start Tribune provides some background, context, and basic information on the Cottage Food Law.  Click below to read.
Now everyone can enjoy your home-baked treats
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The Law:  Cottage food producer registration
This MN Department of Ag (MDA) website explains the rule and it's requirements.
Cottage Food Producer Registration

Sign up for high tunnel farm tour

Join us for a high tunnel and farm tour to local farms on Monday, August 8, 2016 in the Little Falls and Brainerd area.
In addition to the farm visits, topics and speakers include;
Dr. Angela Orshinsky and Dr. Chris Phillips, University of Minnesota High tunnel integrated pest managementScoutingSpotted wing drosophilaTerry Nennich, UMN Extension, Emeritus High tunnel research resultsSuccessful high tunnel productionRegistration is required by July 31, and the cost is $15.