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Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published May 2, 2020

Events and classes scheduled in the outdoors, gardening and farming.

Round hay bales in a field

4-H

Minnesota 4-H has a number of online STEM learning opportunities for youth. Links are provided with each event and some require pre-registration.

Meet a NASA engineer: One remaining online conversation with the engineers who work on the Mars Rover program at NASA will be at 7 p.m. May 7. Advance registration is required. Visit z.umn.edu/4h-nasa for more information.

Farming

Conservation Stewardship Program: May 29 is the deadline for applications to be considered for screening and possibly ranked to compete for Fiscal Year 20 funding. Through the program, USDAโ€™s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps farmers earn payments for enhancing conservation while addressing agricultural production needs on their land. It encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques in addition to existing conservation activities. The 2018 Farm Bill makes some new improvements to the program. It is now able to fund eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres and increased opportunities for organic and transitioning to organic production activities. For additional information about CSP, contact your local service center. USDA Service Centers are open for business by appointment only at this time. More information can be found at farmers.gov .

Farm Beginnings: Sept. 1 is the deadline for applications for the Farm Beginnings class that starts in October in Red Wing. The 12-month training session helps beginning farmers clarify their goals and strengths, establish a strong enterprise plan and start building their operation. The course uses a mix of farmer-led classroom sessions, on-farm tours, and an extensive farmer network. It is designed for new and prospective farmers who want to plan a profitable farm business. Students do not need to currently own land, but some farming or production experience is helpful to get the most out of the class. More information and registration is on the Land Stewardship Project website or email Annelie Livingston-Anderson at annelie@landstewardshipproject.org .

USDA Farm Service Agency: Open for business by phone only. Fieldwork will continue with appropriate social distancing as precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with USDA's Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or any other Service Center agency are required to call to schedule a phone appointment. FSA will continue to deliver disaster assistance, safety net, farm loan and conservation programs that keep American agriculture in business today and long into the future. Contact your county office for more information.

Donna Middleton started working at the West Central Tribune in 1975 and has been the news assistant since 1992. She compiles the arts, health, farm and community page calendars, as well as rewrites and works on the special sections.
She can be contacted at dmiddleton@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4341.
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