Farmer Learning, Training Sessions for Free Online

Join Practical Farmers of Iowa online next Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at 7 pm (CST) for their weekly free online farmer learning and training sessions from farmers, and more sessions weekly! Pasture Seed Mixes for Success: with Karl Dallefeld and Eric Madsen - Attend this Farminar to learn which species of grasses and legumes to choose for your pastures and what seeding rates will establish a good stand. Karl Dallefeld has 25 years of experience with forages and grazing to offer guidance to beginners establishing pastures. For seven years Karl worked with Midwestern Bio-Ag on soil health and forage quality. Karl greatly enjoys working with farmers to help improve animal performance on pasture, and soil health for happy animals. Eric Madsen, since graduating from college a few years ago, returned to his home county and has started a hay enterprise while assisting his father Vic, and mother Cindy on their family farm, Madsen Stock Farm, near Audubon. They raise certified organic rowcrops, small grains, deep-bedded hogs in hoop buildings, and are moving toward beef cattle production with managed rotational grazing. FREE "Farminar" from Practical Farmers of Iowa of the 2011 fall series. This web-based seminar is a 90-minute, interactive, online learning opportunity offered by Practical Farmers of Iowa. New farminars are presented live at 7 PM (CST) Tuesdays in November, December, January, and February. More than 39 previously recorded farminars are available in their archive. Supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2010-49400-21843 Upcoming Farminars include "marketing grass fed beef", "enterprise budgeting", "season extension", building high tunnels (hoophouses) and more...

Marketing Grass-Fed Beef: with Tom and Mary Cory and Dave Schmidt. For many farmers, raising a good product comes first, but marketing it is equally important to create a viable business. This Farminar will cover techniques to successfully market your products. Tom and Mary Cory own The Cory’s at Prairie Hill Farm, a family farming operation near Elkhart, IA. They produce livestock on managed, rotationally-grazed pastures utilizing holistic practices with their animals and the land. Since 1997, the Cory’s have marketed frozen, packaged lamb at the Des Moines Farmer’s Market, and in the past several years, they have added goat meat and grass-finished beef. They also sell through the Iowa Food Cooperative and the new Ames Main Street Farmer’s Market. Dave Schmidt, beginning grazier, returned to Iowa to graze livestock near Garwin, IA after working a few years after college in the western U.S. This year, he purchased his first eight bred heifers and began establishing his grazing system. He intends to market the first five steers when they are finished in approximately June of 2012.

When and Where: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 7:00-8:30 (CST) Tuesday December 6, there will be no Farminar.

Inexpensive, effective season extension: with Rob Faux and Ellen Walsh-Rosmann. Join in to find out how to extend your season without overextending your budget. Rob Faux with his wife Tammy have grown fruits and vegetables for their business Genuine Faux Farm since 2004. They have been experimenting with low-capital expense season extending cultural practices from the beginning of their farming careers. Their farm sold 100 summer and 25 fall CSA shares to families near Tripoli, IA in 2011. Ellen Walsh-Rosmann is a beginning fruit and vegetable farmer near Harlan, IA. She started a very small subscription vegetable farm CSA last summer. She and her husband Daniel also farm organic-certified rowcrops, small grains, and raises beef cattle, hogs, and popcorn with his family.

When and Where: Tuesday, December 13, 7:00-8:30 (CST);

Setup a system of recordkeeping (and stick to it) with Linda Halley and Julie Wilber: Enterprise budgets help farmers know, in detail, what crops are making money for the farm. Learn how to setup a system of recordkeeping for your farm that will allow you to run these budgets and increase your profit. Linda Halley has grown high quality produce for decades. She sees her role today as growing new fruit and vegetable farmers as Farm Manager of Gardens of Eagan, a farm owned by The Wedge, a Co-op grocery store in Minneapolis, MN. Prior to undertaking this new endeavor, she managed Fairview Gardens, a non-profit farm in California, and co-owned Harmony Valley Farm near Viroqua, WI for 15 years. Julie Wilber and her husband Scott began farming fruit and vegetables for their farm Wilber’s Northside Market near Boone, IA in 2003.  Their products are available by subscription into their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), in grocery stores, on-farm sales (just on the north side of town) and at their local farmers market.

When and Where: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 7:00-8:30 (CST);

Grow better with High Tunnels: with Adam Montri and Ann Franzenburg; How do I get the best germination rates, design the best crop rotation, and earn the most with this season extending technology? Learn this and more as our guest from Michigan returns for his third annual farminar. Adam Montri and his wife Dru own and operate Ten Hens Farm, where they grow and sell vegetables in the field and two commercial sized high tunnels 12 months of the year. Adam also works in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, East Lansing. He works with farmers throughout the Midwest on high tunnel production, marketing, and economics. Ann Franzenburg and her husband Eric manage Pheasant Run Farm, near Van Horne, Iowa. They produce corn, soybeans, hogs, poultry, flowers, tomatoes, greens, raspberries, ginger, and high value herbs. Previously employed as a public school teacher, Ann began working full-time on the farm in 2009, growing and selling cut flowers to diverse market outlets.

When and Where: Tuesday, December 27, 7:00-8:30 (CST);

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