farminars

posted November 10, 2010

A nifty idea out of Iowa – all of the “farminars” are archived, and useful no matter where you are.

Practical Farmers of Iowa is excited to announce their fall lineup of online webinars, or “farminars.” Practical Farmers of Iowa has four farminars scheduled for this fall, beginning November 2. To register and participate in the farminars, visit www.practicalfarmers.org/farminar.

Farmers have asked for more learning opportunities in the off-season, with farmers as presenters. Any computer with an internet connection can participate and learn from farmers. Ryan and Mikyla Dittman, beginning pork farmers near Hospers, participated in last winter’s farminar series: “We are looking forward to the farminars and really enjoyed them in the past.” Farminars will be a “Fish Bowl” view of a beginning farmer learning from a more experienced farmer. Participants watch and can ask additional questions not covered by the beginner.

Practical Farmers of Iowa fall farminars are:

Tuesday, November 2, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Cover Crops and Natural Manures” with Mark Quee and Sally Gran
Learn how to use cover crops and natural manures to improve soil fertility and structure. Mark farms at Scattergood Friends School farm in West Branch and has great experience in this topic from hand seeding to no-till drill seeding as well as management of livestock. Sally has worked for several Iowa vegetable farms in the past and began her own fresh produce farm in 2010 near Nevada. Learn how to manage cover crops, rotation recordkeeping, compost, and manure applications.

Tuesday, November 16, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Growing Greens Better” with Larry Cleverley and Glen Elsbernd
Larry Cleverley of Cleverley Farms near Mingo, shares his knowledge of producing high quality fresh greens for Iowa markets. Glen Elsbernd worked a full season at Harmony Valley Farm near Viroqua, WI before beginning his own organic horticulture farm “G Its Fresh,” in 2007.

Tuesday, November 30, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Marketing” with Ryan and Kristine Jepsen and Caite Grieshop
The Jepsens graze livestock and manage Grass Run Farm, a pasture-based meat distribution company based in northeast Iowa. Says Kristine, “In the meat business, the goal is to have a ‘home’ (one or more customers) for all parts of the carcass you’re selling; this determines where we focus our marketing energy.” Joining the Jepsens is Caite Grieshop, who is beginning a direct market meat business, Marshall County Market, in Marshalltown.

Tuesday, December 14, 7:00-8:30 p.m., “Financing Niche Pork” with Jason Penner and Devan Green
Jason Penner of Butterfield, MN has raised niche pork for Niman Ranch for over six years. Jason will share his experiences, what worked for him, and what he would have done differently. Joining Jason will be Devan Green of Conrad who markets his own organic pork as Green’s Organics.

Practical Farmers of Iowa will offer more winter farminars in January and February 2011.

Missed a farminar? All farminars are available archived online atwww.practicalfarmers.org/farminar.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s fall 2010 farminars are made possible by funding by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2010-49400-21843.

Practical Farmers of Iowa includes a diverse group of farmers and friends of farmers. Corn, soybeans, beef cattle, and hay are the top enterprises for PFI farmers, although many have a variety of other operations, including fruits and vegetables. PFI’s programming stresses farmer-to-farmer networking through research and demonstration, field days, conferences, and more. For more information, call 515-232-5661 or visitwww.practicalfarmers.org.