the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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great michigan resource for new farmers

MSUThe MSU Farmer Field School is comprised of intensive one and two day hands-on workshops. They are tailored to deliver in-depth, practical information building on the decade of farmer training on-going at the MSU Student Organic Farm and the wealth of knowledge in Michigan’s farming community.

Experienced farmers and premier agriculture educators from our region are teaming up to co-lead and deliver workshops in the Farmer Field School. Each workshop also includes group-based learning processes where diverse approaches to farming challenges can be shared and discussed by both participants and workshop presenters and demonstrated at host farm sites. For the current cycle, workshops will take place on select farms in southern Michigan with a goal of expanding the workshops to other regions of the state as the program develops.

With an emphasis on vegetable production, the Field School is designed to help improve the profitability of diversified, sustainable, Michigan farmers in their first 10 years of farming who serve local and regional markets. The Field School is part of a broader vision and collaboration among statewide organizations including the MSU Center forRegional Food Systems and Michigan Food and Farming Systems to help increase new farm success by working to make farming a more prosperous, secure, and sustainable career choice for the many beginning as well as future farmers here in Michigan– to keep farmers farming, farmland in production, and food local and regional.

For more information on workshop details and to register click HERE.

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wool symposium, nov. 7, point reyes station, california

Wool Symposium

The fourth annual Fibershed Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium
November 7th, 2015 • Dance Palace, Point Reyes Station
10:00 am to 6:00 pm

In addition to hands-on activities and demonstrations, there will be informative presentations on collaborations between fiber farmers and designers, as well as on carbon farming, soil carbon sampling and drought tolerant breeds. The fee to attend the Symposium is $40, or $20 for seniors and full-time students.

The Fibershed Marketplace (open to the public at no charge from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm) will offer an array of beautiful local fibers and handmade goods, on sale in the Dance Palace church building, as well as on the lawn (weather permitting).

To purchase tickets and view the schedule click HERE.

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soil and water conservation policy conference november 19 and 20 at drake university

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center, in cooperation with the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will host a two-day, state-wide conference on soil and water conservation policy. The conference will bring together individuals and organizations working to protect Iowa’s soil and water resources to consider the role of policy and law in shaping our stewardship efforts.
More than 30 speakers are scheduled for the event. The conference will also include a dinner and awards ceremony honoring individuals for their leadership as Stewards of Iowa’s Land. To view the program and register click HERE.
Registration fees:
Early bird (through Oct. 19) – $125
Regular (after Oct. 19) – $150

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ny: ginseng planting workshop

Date: Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time: 12 noon to 4 PM
Location: Philmont Public Library Cultural Center (rear entrance off the parking lot)
101 Main Street (State Route 217)
Philmont NY 12565 (Columbia Cty.)

You may be able to wild-cultivate American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) on your property, given shade and specific conditions. Learn how to assess your property’s potential for this crop, and how to set up test plots to find the best place to grow the plant.

Two hours of classroom instruction in the Philmont Public Library’s Cultural Center will be followed by a field trip to Retrograss Farm (six miles away) where our instructor will demonstrate the planting of test plots. Our instructor, Bob Beyfuss, worked for Cornell Cooperative Extension for many years and serves as New York state’s resident ginseng expert. He will have stratified seed available at $20 per ounce. (An ounce is about 500 seeds, enough to plant 10 test plots.)
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northern new york: using birdsfoot trefoil for parasite control pasture walk!

birdsfoot trefoilMcCabeGoat3003.25

Northern New York. Two Pasture Walks in September will provide small livestock producers with a research update on whether grazing heavy stands of birdsfoot trefoil, a forage crop high in condensed tannins, can help reduce often fatal worm loads in sheep and goats in Northern New York.

The research funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is the first trial in Northern New York evaluating whether the pasture species known as birdsfoot trefoil can provide a natural pasturing solution for controlling parasites in the small livestock. It is part of a four-year project being conducted in cooperation by Cornell University, the University of Rhode Island, Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, and the University of Wisconsin.

The Pasture Walks are set for September 15 at 2:30 pm at Asgaard Farm and Dairy in AuSable Forks, NY, and September 16 at 6:30 pm at the St. Lawrence County Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm in Canton, NY. Interested producers may register for either Pasture Walk with Hodge at 315-379-9192,
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beef cattle improvement workshop, shondack landing, ny, sept. 18-19

With Gearld Fry and Mike Scannell
 Harrier Fields Farm
4116 County Route 21
Schodack Landing, NY
9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., September 18-19, 2015
This workshop focuses on improving cattle herds with quality and quantity of meat per acre of grass. Learn how to recognize cattle that will yield 70% meat to bone and to reproduce it in your whole herd. And learn to recognize the bull that can make this happen. Learn about the importance of soil fertility and methods of achieving it.
Gearld Fry has a lifetime of experience earning his living from cattle to share. He has learned from the masters and brings along an exceptional gift in cattle detail. The last 20 years he has consulted world-wide, inspiring farmers and ranchers to improve their herds genetically.
Mike Scannell and Joan Harris have worked closely with Gearld for the last thirteen years. With Gearld’s guidance, we bought a small group of preindustrial phenotype females and bred them to Gearld’s pick of the best of the bulls in the world. We look forward to sharing our journey in breed/herd improvement. If you don’t understand improvement, degeneration is sure to follow.
The workshop runs from 9 to 4 each day, and lunch will be provided. Registration is $100.
Contact  (518) 732-7350 for more information and to register by September 8, 2015 or ASAP

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usda to offer apple and grape grafting demos at empire farm days

graftingScientists from the Agricultural Research Service Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Geneva, NY, will demonstrate grafting techniques used with apple trees and grapevines daily at 11 am at the August 1113, 2015 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott and Son Farms, 2973 State Route 414, in Seneca Falls, NY.

The ARS scientists will show how rootstocks affect fruit quality, change the shape and productivity of the tree scion, or top, and how scion traits can be modified by different rootstocks.

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