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Farm Briefs, March 14

Webinar to focus on animal welfare

NORTH MANKATO -- Creating an animal welfare program is the topic of the March 25 PorkCast webinar. The webinar is from 1 to 2 p.m. and there is no cost to take part.

Presenters will be National Pork Board curriculum manager, Jim Lummus, and National Pork Board director of animal welfare, Sherrie Niekamp.

The webinar will provide information and tools to assist pork producers to develop their own animal welfare program. Topics will include strategies for implementing training programs, resources to aid in developing a farm-specific animal welfare program and resources on selecting and hiring animal caretakers.

To access the live webinar go to During the live program participants will have an opportunity to ask the presenters questions. Following the live program, the webinar will be archived at the University of Minnesota Swine Extension Web site.

PorkCast is a quarterly online seminar series that provides pork producers with timely, management-level information on issues affecting the pork industry. The Minnesota Pork Board and University of Minnesota Extension Swine program sponsor the PorkCast.

For more information, contact Dr. Mark Whitney, University of Minnesota Swine Extension Educator at or (507) 389-5541.

Farm Bill meetings rescheduled

WILLMAR -- The meetings scheduled for March 10 and 11 by the Center for Rural Affairs and Land Stewardship Project about programs of the 2008 Farm Bill related to starting a business and growing locally have been rescheduled due to the weather.

The meeting details are as follows:

Redwood Falls: 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 24, Redwood Falls Public Library, 509 S. Lincoln St.

Montevideo: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 24, Montevideo High School lunchroom, 1501 William Ave.

Morris: 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 25, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 43875 230th St. (Highway 59).

Ortonville: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 25, Countryside Public Health Meeting Room, 47 Second St. N.W. (Main Street behind the Granary Food Co-op).

For more information, contact Terry VanDerPol at or 320-269-2105, or Steph Larson at or 402-687-2100.

Ag Calendar

- EAGAN -- A free agricultural education training will be offered for Minnesota producers who want to become more comfortable planning and delivering school visits and farm field trips. The training will be from 1 to 4 p.m. March 24 at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Office in Eagan. Members of Minnesota's leading commodity groups are encouraged to attend -- bring a friend or two and carpool to the training. To register, contact Karin Schaefer at 651-905-2115 or

WILLMAR -- The Center for Rural Affairs and Land Stewardship Project is sponsoring meetings in western Minnesota about programs of the 2008 Farm Bill related to starting a business and growing locally. Meetings have been rescheduled to March 24 and 25 after this week's storm. (See details above.) For more information, contact Terry VanDerPol at or 320-269-2105, or Steph Larson at or 402-687-2100.

WILLMAR -- The Farm Business Management Program at Ridgewater College will host a seminar "New Economic Realities of American Agriculture" from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 25 at the Kandi Entertainment Center in Willmar. The seminar will focus on agriculture and the changing economy. Predicting the future is difficult, but the workshop will discuss the key economic and financial changes that will be influencing the final financial score for 2009 and beyond. The presenter, Dr. David Kohl, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics of Virginia Tech. For more information or to register, call Kay Scholten at 320-222-7609. Cost for the seminar is $35, which includes lunch and program materials. Registration is required.

Send information about your ag-related event to or to the West Central Tribune, PO Box 839, Willmar, MN 56201.