Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published April 8, 2023

Events and classes scheduled in the outdoors, gardening and farming. Submit your event at by noon on Tuesday.

Round hay bales in a field


Beef Quality Assurance certification: April 25, 7 p.m., free, online via Zoom by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Beef Council. Advance registration required at . BQA certification is being required by many major industry buyers and processors. It is still voluntary for producers to complete; however, when a producer does not have current BQA certification, the result is that many packers and feedlots simply cannot purchase those cattle because their company cannot source cattle from a producer who does not meet their certification requirements. If unable to attend the Zoom session, earn free certification online, anytime, at .

Keep reading for more of this week's calendar items below the related content.

More agriculture-related news:
The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration organized two days of panels and public comments in Iowa on carbon capture pipelines.
Even with all parents working and with child care workers often underpaid in rural areas, child care can still be an expense that pushes the limits of a family’s income.
And this fall they will make the 5-mile trip back to the winter barn. It’s not known that any other dairy in the state does it like this.
Brent and Barb Stroh work with a Wisconsin based marketing company to market not only their lambs, but fellow producers as well.


Let’s Make Planty Things: Thursday, April 20, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., Jefferson Learning Center, ages 16 and up, instructor Pam Vruwink, $20 per session, register at Willmar Community Education. This hands-on class will make a variety of fun, plant-related projects. Course fee includes all required supplies. April 20 project is a ceramic planter to be decorated.

Let’s Propagate Plants: Thursday, April 24, 5:45 to 6:45 p.m., Jefferson Learning Center, ages 16 and up, instructor Pam Vruwink, $10 per session, register at Willmar Community Education. This hands-on class will propagate plants (without seeds) by taking fresh cuttings from the syngonium houseplant. Course fee includes plant cuttings, growing medium and containers.


Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online. Sibley State Park is west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. The Interpretive Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday; call 320-354-2055 . For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at . Cross-country ski and snowmobile trail conditions available at


  • Campfire Safety 101: April 8, 10 to 11 a.m., meet at the Interpretive Center Amphitheater. Learn fire basics and how to safely enjoy campfires.
  • Morning mindfulness hike: April 22, 10 to 11 a.m., meet at Interpretive Center. Join an interpreter to take a deep breath and enjoy the natural world during 0.7-mile hike on Pondview Trail: Please dress for weather.
  • Scats and tracks: April 22, 2 to 3 p.m., at the Interpretive Center. Learn about the scats and tracks of resident wildlife and how to identify them.

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. For trail conditions, check the website at . A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Advance registration required for all classes. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, cross-country skies, snowshoes and kicksleds) will be handled on a reservation basis, made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call by noon Friday. Two-hour equipment rental is $20 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for all youth. Call 320-354-5894 .

  • Earth Day 2023: April 22, 1 to 4:30 p.m., free, no registration required. Recycled outdoor gear sale, climbing wall, four half-hour classes on ponds, birds, mammals and insects. The Meadow Adventures puppet show will be at 1 and 3 p.m. with audience participation. Wood duck box building, nitrate testing, rain barrels for sale, adopt-a-drain and a food truck on site.
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 or phone 320-214-4341.
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