Free Webinar Series Offered for Specialty Crop Farmers

Registration is now open for a three part webinar series designed for specialty crop farmers. Individual sessions will address advanced production techniques, season extension, and market connections. The webinars are being offered by the Countryside Conservancy and the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA).

This series of webinars will provide growers with information on advanced specialty crop production skills and season extension in order to meet the increasing demand for locally grown  products says Renee Hunt, OEFFAs Program Director. Beth Knorr, of the Countryside Conservancy goes on to say, In Ohio, right now, there are growers hungry for something beyond introductory training that will take their farm business to the next level professionally.

These free, web-based seminars deliver training through the internet directly to a participants computer. They will be able to view the presentation through their internet browser and listen to the audio portion through a call in phone number. The sessions will be interactive and allow participants to ask questions and communicate with the presenter. Each webinar will be recorded and available on the Countryside Conservancy and OEFFA websites afterwards. -          The first webinar titled: Improving Efficiency on your Organic Farm will be held Monday, January 31, 2011 at from 7-8 p.m (EST). Two successful organic vegetable producers will lead this webinar: Jon Cherniss of Blue Moon Farm in Illinois and Jim Crawford of New Morning Farm in Pennsylvania. Each of these farmers has over three decades of experience growing and marketing certified organic produce. They will describe how they have improved the efficiency of their farm operations by hiring and managing labor and by carefully evaluating and investing in capital improvements like buildings and machinery. To register, go to: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/178199998 -         The second webinar titled, /“/*Building Mutually Profitable Relationships with Independent Chefs and Restauranteurs, will be led by Chef Douglas Katz from Fire Food and Drink located in Shaker Heights, Ohio. It will be held at 10 a.m. (EST) on Thursday, February 24, 2011. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and a passionate locavore, Chef Katz will give participants a first-hand look into how farmers can connect with restaurants in their area. He'll take participants through the entire process, from approaching a restaurant, to providing samples, the ordering process, customer service expectations, and average volumes of produce ordered in a typical week. Chef Katz was most recently noted in /Crains Cleveland Business/ as a Who's Who, 150 names to know in Northeast Ohio. To register, go to: https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/247897358 -         Our third and final webinar in the series titled, Effective Weed Management Strategies for Organic Farming Systems will be led by Dr. Matt Liebman, Henry A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. This webinar will be held in March; details, including the date, time, and registration link to be announced. Registration for each webinar is limited to 50 participants. There is no charge to participate, but pre-registration is required. Partial funding for this webinar series is provided through the Ohio Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant. If you are interested in becoming an Incubator Farmer for the 2011 season, you MUST attend the following IFP Information Meeting: Monday, January 24, 2011 (3:00-4:00 pm). The informational session will be held at the Simsbury Town Hall located at 933 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT 06070; followed by a tour of the farm at 73 Wolcott Road, Simsbury, CT  06070 www.communityfarmofsimsbury.org To RSVP, please call Tim Goodwin, 860-217-0453 or email, tgoodwin@communityfarmofsimsbury.org

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