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Producing for Profit - Sustainable Ag Workshop - Winona

A livestock and sustainable ag focused workshop featuring speaker Dave Pratt will be held on December 15th from 10 am to 3 pm at the Wilson Fire Hall (29660 Co Rd 12, Winona, MN).
Dave Pratt grew up on a small ranch and worked for cattle and sheep ranchers in Northern California where he learned ranching from the bottom up. In addition to his practical roots, Dave holds BS and MS degrees from the University of California and Washington State University. 
A Range and Livestock Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension Service for 15 years, Dave researched cell grazing and strategic issues impacting the sustainability of ranches. Dave and his wife Kathy took over Ranch Management Consultants (founded by Stan Parsons). Dave has been teaching the Ranching for Profit School in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia and Africa since 1993. 
Dave’s book, Healthy Land, Happy Families, and Profitable Businesses, “delivers more meaningful advice in a small space than I’ve ever…
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Join Us for the Local Foods College

I hope you're able to join us for this fall's Local Foods College. These one hour webinars start at 6pm for each session.

The first week has passed and covered fall tillage strategies, you can watch the recording here.

Upcoming webinars include;

9/25: Growing Great Garlic in MN10/9: Fall Vegetables: Storage and Preserving Tips10/16: Growing Pains: What the bug is this?10/23: FSMA and Food Safety Introduction Get registered and learn more about the series here.

Grazing Crop Residue

by Melissa Runck, UMN Extension Educator, Pipestone and Murray Counties

As the days get shorter, the temperatures get cooler, and pastures are being grazed down, cattle producers are starting to look for alternative feeding methods to get them by until they start feeding winter feed stuffs.In any beef-cow operation feeds costs tend to be the largest expense, which makes finding alternative and low-cost feed options a great opportunity to save money and increase profits. So what makes a feed source more economical than your stored feed source at home?Typically one that is grazed and the producer didn’t have to harvest or transport.If livestock can do the work themselves by grazing and there are few additional labor requirements needed from the producer, then grazing some type of forage or plant residue makes sense. Having cattle graze crop residue, or the remaining biomass left over after a planted crop has been harvested, can prolong one’s stored feed resources. Crop residue is the r…

Keeping Produce Safe – GAPs, FSMA, and upcoming training options for you

What is the FSMA Produce Safety Rule?
You may have heard of new federal food safety legislation called the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. FSMA is the first major overhaul to the US food system since 1938. The goal of FSMA is to shift away from responding to outbreaks toward prevention of microbial contamination. The FSMA is comprised of 7 rules which apply to the entire food system, including growers, processors, shippers and foreign suppliers. The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) is the rule within FSMA that applies specifically to farmers who grow fresh fruits and vegetables. These standards are based on a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and understanding on-farm risks, but the PSR is mandatory (for some farms), while GAP certification is buyer-driven and voluntary. In short, you get a GAP audit to fulfill a requirement from a buyer like a wholesale distributor, but the new Produce Safety Rule now mandates some of these practices for some farms.