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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 Lamb Management workshop on the St. Paul Campus. The workshop will cover breed selection, facilities, lambing, vaccinations and worming, disease management, economics, and marketing. Hands-on training including how to give shots, trim hooves, and more. Find more info and register here. 

Local Foods College

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 (based on # of views).

Fruit and Vegetable 
Production Workshops

UMN Extension will be hosting workshops in Little Falls and Alexandria on March 27th. UMN Extension's Bill Hutchinson and Annie Klodd will be presenting on;
  • Symptoms caused by the environment that look like diseases
  • Spotted wing drosophila
  • Tarnished plant bug
  • Squash vine borer
  • Cabbage looper
  • Corn earworm
  • Brown marmorated stink bug
  • and everyone's favorite, Japanese beetle
More details and registration are here.
Your Feedback, Please

Fruit and Vegetable Growers Needs Assessment
There's still time! If you haven't already filled this out, please do. UMN Extension is looking for input from commercial fruit and vegetable growers in order to better meet their educational needs. By taking the survey, you'll have the opportunity to win a $50 gift card.

Visit this link to take the survey.

There's also a new UMN Extension newsletter specifically focused on fruit and vegetable production, check it out and sign up here.

Help Us Improve Our Website
University of Minnesota Extension is looking for feedback on its website, and we'd like to hear what you think. We are evaluating usability by seeing how website visitors like you find information. 

To do this, we are using a tool called Validately, which will ask you to install a browser plugin that allows it to record your screen and voice while completing 5 tasks on our website. 

This information is then shared with a small group in Extension who will use the information to help improve the website experience. 

It should take less than 10 minutes. Thank you for your honest input.

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