Farm Field Days and Workshops in Illinois

The Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network offers a series of 10+ On-Farm Field Days throughout the spring, summer, and fall to provide CIFB students and new and experienced farmers with the practical knowledge and training required to farm sustainably. These On-Farm Field Days are hosted by successful Central Illinois farmers on their farms, allowing participants to gain knowledge while also establishing new connections within the sustainable farming community. For more specific details on the Field Days or to register for a specific event, please visit Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network Field Days Registration. Note that registration for any of the events listed is $15 for non-members. Registration fee is waived for CIFB students. Propagating High Yields: How Producing Transplants On Farm Bring Higher Yields In Hoop Houses and in the Field Date: Saturday, April 2, 2011 Time: 9:30-noon (registration starting at 9:00 am) Location: PrairiErth Farm, 2047 2100 Road, Atlanta, Illinois Join Hans and Katie Bishop to learn the benefits of starting your own transplants from seed, the materials needed to get started, the care that transplants require along the way and the best practices once it comes time to plant. View Agenda Small Fruit Growing and Developing Value-Added Products Date: Saturday, April 16, 2011 Time: 1:30-3:30 pm (registration starting at 1:00 pm) Location: Teresa’s Aronia Acres, 1566 CR 400 N, Congerville, Illinois, and Teresa’s Fruits and Herbs, Eureka, Illinois

This workshop will begin at Teresa’s Acres where Teresa Santiago planted 2 acres of aronia bushes which yielded over 1000 pounds of fruit last year. After visiting the aronia, we will go five miles south to tour Teresa’s fruit and herb farm in Eureka, where she grows over 70 different kinds of fruit.Teresa will talk about how and why she expanded from a fresh-picked only business, to one that also provides value-added products such as shelf-stable aronia jam and jelly. She will also discuss the food rules and regulations that growers must be aware of when they consider selling value-added products.

Equipment for Small Farmers
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Time: 1:00-3:30 pm (registration starting at 12:30 pm)
Location: Spence Farm, Fairbury, Illinois

Learn how implements can contribute to satisfying, sustainable small-scale farming and help you achieve your goals. Marty and Kris Travis will present information about the function and use of tractors and other implements including a bale mulcher, crop cart, tractor tiller, converted horse drawn cultivators, and a potato planter. They will show how to set up a small farm inexpensively using older style equipment while also being innovative with some of the newer equipment.

Rotational Grazing and Fencing
Date: Saturday, June 18, 2011
Time: 10:00-noon (registration starting at 9:30 am)
Location: Indian Creek Farms, Jacksonville

Learn about the production of certified organic beef and poultry. Jim and Mary Burrus will discuss how they started a management intensive grazing system and why they made the decision to be certified organic. They will also share how they market their products.

Directions: Take the first Jacksonville exit. Just past the prison turn right (north) on Mobile Road 3 miles to Baldwin Road then left (west) 2.5 miles to Route 78 then right (north) 1.2 miles to Arcadia Road left (west turning northwest) 3.5 miles to a white house with green roof and green shutters on the left.

Cover Crops
Date: Saturday, July 9, 2011
Time: 1:30-4:00 pm (registration starting at 1:00 pm)
Location: PrairiErth Farm, 2047 2100 Road, Atlanta, Illinois

Learn more about how and why cover crops work and how you can build cover crops into your farming operation. Dave Bishop will share how cover crops are used extensively at PrairiErth Farm, both in row crop and vegetable production. Dr. Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University, will discuss the benefits of cover crops and how to select the best cover crops for your farm. He will also share information about cover crop research at the Allison Farm as well as information about the Cover Crop Innovators group.

Good, Bad and Ugly of Soils and Crops: A Walk and Talk Tour
Date: Saturday, July 30, 2011
Time: 9:00-11:30 am (registration starting at 8:30 am)
Location: Spence Farm, Fairbury, Illinois

Join noted crop consultant, Bob Boehle (Boehle Consulting, Bloomington, IL), as he conducts a walk and talk through the production areas at Spence Farm. Learn what signs to look for in fertility deficiency, crop stress and what might be limiting factors from growing outstanding nutrient rich produce. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers concerning your crops too.

Evaluating Soil Quality and Soil Maps: New Farmer Field Day
Date: Saturday, August 6, 2011
Time: 1:30pm-4:00pm (registration starting at 1 pm)
Location: Cow Creek FarmHosted by: Jeff and Rita Glazik of Cow Creek Farm, and Roger Windhorn of the USDA NRCS

Join us as Jeff Glazik and Roger Windhorn of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service demonstrate to Field Day participants how to collect soil samples for soil testing, and how to measure simple soil quality indicators such as soil structure, water infiltration, and soil penetration resistance. Participants will also have an opportunity to review soil test results, learn how to interpret findings, and discuss how to use county soils maps developed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), particularly when considering land for purchase or lease. We will also discuss how to develop a soil fertility program.

Farmer Grant Writing Workshop
Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Time: 6:30-8:30 pm (registration starting at 6:00 pm)
Location: University of Illinois Extension, Sangamon County Office, Springfield, Illinois

Information will be presented on the basics of grant writing as well as specifics on grants available through the NCR SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program and the Illinois Department of Agriculture (AgriFIRST, Specialty Crop Grant Program and the C-2000 Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program).

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