Check out these beginning and small farmer events happening in February 2016 in VirginiaFebruary 5: VSU's Sheep Facilities Tour and Hair Sheep Research Update:Join for a tour to learn about sheep production at VSU. Hands-on demonstrations and a Lamb Taste-Off will be available. Participants will get the opportunity to walk away with a lamb cut to sample at home and complete an on-line survey. This event will take place in Petersburg, VA. February 6: It’s Time to Start Planning: It’s Time to Start Planning will guide the participants through the full year’s planting schedule while sharing what has worked well at the Education Farm and also highlighting the rest of the upcoming workshops in the series. There will be free seed catalogs and light refreshments. This workshop is free and open to everyone with no registration required. This event will be in Warrenton, VA. February 9: VSU Beginning Farmer Program Workshop (Orange): This introductory workshop is designed for beginning farmers and ranchers to establish and sustain viable agricultural operations through whole farm planning programs. This event will take place in Orange, VA February 9: The Science Supporting Changes in Soil Health (Webinar):Participants in this webinar will learn about the science that supports changes in soil health that improves habitat for soil organisms and the impact this has on aggregate stability, water and gas exchange, and soil organic matter for more efficient crop production systems. February 10: Farm Tax Planning Workshop: Designed for anyone who will be preparing income tax returns for farmers and farm owners in 2016. Important information on farm-related tax topics will be presented by a CPA and tax expert. Stay up-to-date with new tax regulations and requirements that may impact your farm business. In addition, you will learn about the application process for USDA programs including Rural Energy for America and the Value Added Producer Grant. This event will be in Petersburg, VA. February 11: Soil Water Sensors for Agriculture – Applications and Usefulness (Webinar): Participants will learn how to best deploy and use soil water sensors for irrigation water management February 16: Effectively Engaging Producers in Conservation Conversations (Webinar): Participate to learn what social scientists are discovering about how farmers are thinking about conservation practices and practical strategies for engaging them. February 19: Blackberry Pruning and Trellises Field Day: New and experienced growers will learn from VSU’s College of Agriculture and Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists about pruning techniques and the advantages and disadvantages of different types of trellises. Lori and David Barron, owners of Poplar Grove and Wildwood Berries, will be on hand to share their experience. This event will be in Charlotte Courthouse, VA. February 20: Eastern Virginia Forage & Grazing Conference: Topics will include: Pasture management & rejuvenation, soil fertility, rotational grazing and weed control. After lunch, take a pasture walk with the specialists to practice what you learned and to ask one-on-one questions.This event will take place in Hanover, VA.