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Extension > Small Farms News > January 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Public invited to first Deep Winter Greenhouse prototype 2.0 to finish construction

Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) have been working with producers and community groups throughout Minnesota to field test a prototype design of a passive solar greenhouse that enables farmers to produce crops all winter long. 

The public is invited to an open house of the first Deep Winter Greenhouse (DWG) prototype 2.0 to finish construction on February 18 in Finland, Minnesota. 

Support for this phase of RSDP's DWG project has been provided by Extension, MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures, the Institute on the Environment, and a consortium of agriculture lending banks. The prototype was designed in collaboration with the College of Design Center for Sustainable Building Research.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Women in Ag Network Announces Second Annual Conference

“Planning for Our Future,” the second annual Women in Ag Network conference, will be Feb. 16 in Willmar.
The conference runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Willmar Convention Center. Discounted rates are available by registering early. 

The conference is an opportunity for women in agriculture to learn how to manage through times of adversity and see a way to the future.  Participants will have an opportunity to both learn these skills and network with others who are facing similar challenges. Breakout sessions during the day are designed to build skills in business planning, marketing, entrepreneurship and more.     

Lilia McFarland, new and beginning farmer and rancher program coordinator for USDA, will give the keynote address, “Planting Seeds for the Future.”

“The number of women farmers in Minnesota is growing– today more than one in four  producers in the state is a woman,” said Extension educator Pauline Van Nurden. “Our goal for this conference is to empower Minnesota women in agriculture -- giving them opportunities to gain skills, enhance their leadership and management abilities, and network with other farmers just like them.”

Women in agriculture want to be proactive and prepared for any situation in agriculture, added Extension educator Betty Berning. The conference will provide tools to proactively plan; participants will leave feeling like they have a path forward. 

As a sampling of the conference, Berning offers these five tips for effective, realistic planning in farming. (

For registration details and more information on the conference, please visit:

The Women in Ag Network formed to provide educational opportunities for women involved in agriculture, to enhance their leadership, management and production abilities. Our goal is to connect women to relevant, research-based education and to each other. For updates, please like our Facebook page:

Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2015-49200-24226.
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