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Small Farms Newsletter - July 2019

I think this spring and early summer season is another reminder of how we increasingly need strategies for dealing with highly variable weather. 
I do a lot of work related to nutrient management and conservation, this type of weather has me thinking about how precipitation might be affecting us in these respects. In this newsletter, I'm sharing a number of resources that can help you address soil and nutrient management.
Also, this growing season may be compounding other issues you're dealing with on the farm. If it's starting to weigh heavily on you or someone around you, please see the resources below.
To receive this newsletter direct to your inbox, sign up here.
-Jake Overgaard  Extension Educator Stress on the Farm I asked my Extension colleague Emily Wilmes to recommend a few resources that struggling farmers might start with. Whether it's you, a family member,
Recent posts

RSDP and CURA seek input from hazelnut growers

By Connie Carlson

RSDP and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), in partnership with the American Hazelnut Company (AHC), seek input from hazelnut growers in the Upper Midwest. If you have grown hazelnuts or have interest in growing them, please share your experience in this survey. Information gathered through the survey will be used to support and connect hazelnut growers, processors and distributors in the Upper Midwest.

For additional information, please contact Connie Carlson.

Dairy Goat Workshop

University of MN Extension will be holding a workshop for dairy goat producers on March 30th. Farmers interested in learning more about improving animal health and milk production, and manage illness should attend.
Speakers include Morgan Allen (area producer), Whitney Knauer (UMN College of Vet Medicine) and Cindy Wolf (Emeritus - UMN College of Vet Med Emeritus).
The workshop will be held at the St. Charles City Hall, 830 Whitewater Ave, from 10 am to 3:00 pm. Cost of the workshop is $10 and includes lunch and refreshments.
To register, visit or call Winona County Extension at 507-457-6440.

Fourteenth Annual Southern Minnesota Organic Crops Day to be Held in Owatonna

By Claire LaCanne, UMN Extension The fourteenth annual Southern Minnesota Organic Crops Day will be held Tuesday, March 26th at the Steele County Community Center, 1380 S. Elm Avenue in Owatonna. This program aims to provide current, transitioning, and future organic crop producers with additional tools and knowledge to help their operation succeed. Registration starts at 2:30 p.m. and the program begins at 3:00 p.m. Discussion with a panel of experienced organic farmers will follow the lineup of speakers and an all-organic supper.
This event offers a broad range of topics applicable to organic row crop production. Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota Extension Manure Specialist, will discuss research updates regarding the use of manure as fertilizer in Minnesota. She will also provide time for discussion on what new research would be relevant for organic producers in Minnesota. Paulo Pagliari, University of Minnesota Extension Soil Specialist, will review nutrient management and pr…

Small Farms Newsletter - February 2019

Who survived the polar vortex? It has been a tough winter. While driving, taking care of livestock, pruning trees, trying to keep the house warm, or just trying to get out the door, we've been challenged. 
Your fruit trees and vines may have been challenged too, according to a recent article from our Fruit and Vegetable Production Educator, Annie Klodd.
I won't predict when, but spring is coming. In order to get ready, here are some workshops and webinars. Also, a few survey for you to fill out; help us get ready too.
-Jake Overgaard  Extension Educator
Poultry and Sheep Workshops

There will be a series of backyard and small scale poultry workshops around the state focused on disease management, improving egg-laying, minimizing predator issues, among other topics for small scale and backyard poultry producers. Locations include St. Charles, St. Cloud, Gaylord, Elko New Market, and Alexandria. More info and registration is here.
On March 16, UMN Extension will be hosting a Sheep and…

Local Foods College Update

A group of us in Extension have been running the webinar series, Local Foods College, since 2012. The presentations are focused on local foods and issues related to production, processing, post-harvest, business/marketing, natural resources, and more. 
We're doing some planning for our next series. In the meantime, here are three things you can do.
1. Help us decide what to cover next. Access this two question survey here. I swear this is super short.
2. There is a TROVE of fantastic presentations available for viewing on YouTube which you can access via the Local Foods College Website.
3. Check out the Local Foods College Greatest hits of each year. 2018: Fruits and Nuts2017: Disease Management in a High Tunnel2016: Soil Health2015: Farm to Bottle2014: Post Harvest Handling2013: Efficient Irrigation for Garden, Farm and High Tunnels2012: Apple Orchard Management

Sheep and Lamb Management Workshop

By Wayne Martin, Extension Educator
We will be teaching our Annual Spring Sheep & Lamb Management Workshop on Saturday March 16, 2019.

Registration begins at 9:30, the workshop begins at 10:00 and ends at 3:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided. Pre-registration is needed in order to plan for food and handouts.

The following topics will be discussed:

Sheep Industry OverviewBreed SelectionFacilitiesLambing challengesVaccinations and wormingDisease identification and responseEconomics/Marketing
In the afternoon participants will gain hands-on experience with giving shots, trimming hooves, inspecting ewes for health status. If there are lambs of appropriate age, participants will practice tail docking.

Location: St Paul Campus Beef Barn, Corner of Buford and Gortner. 

To Register: Contact Wayne Martin at 612-625-6224, or at .

$10/adult, $20/couple or business partner, $5/students.