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Food Safety Workshop in Rochester

Do you grow fresh produce for sale or donation? If so, join U of MN Extension to learn practical steps for keeping your produce safe, your customers healthy, and your business flourishing (and growing!).
Learn how Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) can improve the quality and safety of your produce and help you access new markets. This training is designed for small- to medium-sized fruit and vegetable growers, but any farmer or gardener is welcome to attend. Learn from Extension educators and your fellow farmers in this interactive session. Topics include:
Best practices (GAPs - Good Agricultural Practices) to improve safety in growing, harvest, washing and handling of fresh fruits and vegetablesWhat is a GAP audit? What is FSMA? How do they apply to me?Learn about water testing, compost and manure use, animal intruders, safely washing vegetables, low-cost handwashing stands, and moreIncludes donation garden walk-and-talk to discuss practical setups for safe harvest, washing, packing, …
Recent posts

Apply for funding through the AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant

By Annie Klodd, Extension Educator - Fruit and Vegetable Production. 

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture just released the call-for-proposals for the 2019 AGRI Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program. This is a good opportunity for farmers, including fruit and vegetable farmers, to apply for funding for research and demonstration projects on their farm. A total of $200,000 will be awarded this year, and proposals may request up to $50,000.

According to the MDA website, "This grant supports innovative on-farm research and demonstrations. It funds projects that explore sustainable agriculture practices and systems that could make farming more profitable, resource efficient, and personally satisfying."

Applications from farmers are given priority, but farmers can also collaborate with UMN researchers, UMN Extension, other non-profit organizations, and/or other farmers on their proposed projects. Non-profit and educational organizations can also apply, as long as t…

Sheep production workshop - September 21, 2019

On Saturday, September 21, 2019, the UMN Extension Small Farms Program will offer a workshop on “Managing the Reproductive Season of Sheep.” It will be held on the St Paul Campus, in the Beef Barn. Registration will start at 9:30, and the program will run from 10:00-3:00 p.m.
Topics to be covered will include, but not be limited to:
Reproduction in the Ewe Pre-breeding PrepFlushingBreeding Ewe LambsNutritionCulling
Reproduction in the Ram: The “ram effect”Fertility checkUsing a marking harnessSeasonal and year round breedingNutrition
Location- St Paul Campus Beef Barn, Corner of Buford and Gortner.  A light meal will be served. Please register in advance so that we can plan food. To Register: Contact Wayne Martin at 612-625-6224, or at . $10/adult, $15/couple or business partner, $5/student.

Small Farm and Local Foods Marketing Seminar - November 7th

By Katie Winslow, University of Minnesota Extension 

Join the University of Minnesota Extension for a small farm and local foods marketing seminar on Thursday, November 7, 2019 in St. Cloud, Minnesota. This event is bringing together local food growers and purchaser to provide tangible steps to help you grow your own local food market. The cost to attend is just $15 and registration is available at

The event will kick off with registration at 8:00 am. Three local foods producers will present on how they grew their farm market to include grocery stores, restaurants and nation-wide shipments. These farmers will share their successes and hard lessons learned along the way. Their hope is that you can learn from their trials. Then, you will work through building a brand for your business and the steps it takes to maintain a strong brand.

You probably know that connecting with your consumers in person and online is key to growing your business; but figuring that out can…

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,

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.