Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published Feb. 19, 2022

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 genetics selection free beef webinar series from the University of Minnesota Extension. “Genetic selection with a vision — An integrated approach to creating profitability and opportunities for every type of beef cattle producer” will be Zoom meetings from 8 to 9 p.m. Monday nights, Feb. 21-March 14. Advance registration is required. Register online at and receive a Zoom link after registration is completed. Recordings for all the sessions will be available via email at the end of the series. Any questions please contact: Brenda Miller at . The date, subject and leaders for each session are:

  • Feb. 21: Buying the bull — How to make smart decisions on sale day.
  • Feb. 28: Breeding costs — Artificial insemination versus natural service.
  • March 7: Raising versus purchasing replacement heifers.
  • March 14: Bull breeding soundness exams and bull health.

Strategic Farming: Let’s Talk Crops webinar series. This free, live, online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help optimize your crop management strategies for 2022. Sessions will be held over Zoom from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays through March 30. Sessions will begin with a brief presentation by the discussion leaders for the day, followed by discussion framed around farmer/participant questions on the topic. Register at for the entire program series. Sessions will be recorded and posted for viewing later. The next three sessions are:

  • Feb. 23: Small grains management update; Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist.
  • March 2: Soybean gall midge: Knowns and unknowns; Bruce Potter, Extension integrated pest management specialist; Bob Koch, Extension soybean entomologist; and Gloria Melotto, graduate research assistant.
  • March 9: Getting ready for corn insects in 2022; Bruce Potter, Extension integrated pest management specialist.

Small grain workshops: University of Minnesota Extension is offering a final, online small grain workshop. It will address successful small grain management, focusing on production agronomics, variety selection and economics. The workshop will include an open forum for discussion of related topics and on-farm experiences. Registration is free. Register by visiting . The virtual workshop will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Feb. 23 on Zoom.

Pesticide applicator testing: April 8, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Olivia. Review the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website for testing requirements or call Ethan Dahl at 320-523-1550 , ext. 101 or email him at with any questions. The website is .


"Prairie Yard and Garden": The 35th season of the television show premiered Thursday, Jan. 20, on Pioneer PBS. All the shows are available for online viewing at after the original showing.


  • 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, and repeats 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, and 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28. Host Mary Holm talks with Steve Henry of Alexandria about his methods and a secret ingredient he uses when composting.

Gardening for the Health of It: The Olmsted County Extension Master Gardener volunteers spring gardening seminar will be a series of weekly Zoom sessions, with a cost of $15 per session. There will be 10 classes between Feb. 15 and March 24. Topics include alternative gardening ideas, gardening with nature, bees and pollination, shade gardening, photographing gardens, tree and shrub care, beneficial insects, healing power of gardening, heirloom varieties and urban water and soil conservation. Register and pay fee at

Gardening from the Ground Up: Feb. 22-25, 1 to 2:30 p.m., online. University of Minnesota Extension educators present the third annual webinar series. The free virtual workshops will cover a wide variety of topics ranging from soil nutrients, plant health and insects — useful for any curious beginner gardener or yard owner. More information and registration available on the West Central Research and Outreach Center website . Recordings of the webinars will be sent out at the conclusion of the series.


"Prairie Sportsman": The 13th season of Prairie Sportsman premiered Sunday, Jan. 23, on Pioneer PBS. All the shows are available for online viewing at after the original showing.

  • 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 20, and repeats at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday Feb. 26. Join host Bret Amundson for “Lakes and Legacies” as he visits Alexandria to spear fish with decoys hand-carved by Glen Tomoson's grandfather in the 1950s and stops by the Legacy of the Lakes museum.
  • 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27. Join host Bret Amundson for “Prairie Sportsman Showcase Special” as he presents Prairie Sportsman Upper Midwest Emmy nominated and awarded stories featuring pollinator friendly solar farms, world-renowned wolf researcher Dave Mech, Nobles County Pheasants Forever award-winning habitat restoration efforts and annual veterans hunt, twin girls competing in the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon and the first woman to thru-hike the Ice Age Trail in the winter.

Ice fishing tournament: Feb. 19, noon to 3 p.m., Smith Lake in Douglas County, Alexandria Industries’ 15th annual “Fishing For the Cure” ice fishing tournament. Tickets are $30 for adults on the day of tournament; ages 12 and under are $10. Tournament allows fish house shelters and participants can fish anywhere on Smith Lake.

Hawk Creek Watershed Project: The 20th annual meeting will be from 9 a.m. to noon March 9 at the Renville Community Center. Presenters include Pete Boulay, climatologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources State Climatology Office. Boulay will discuss the weather and climate and their effects on farming, cities, and the landscape. Dr. Todd Peterson, water quality partnership specialist with the Sand County Foundation, will present on new practices that can be adopted by farmers to improve crop production, while also reducing the impacts of agriculture on the environment. Heidi Rauenhorst, Hawk Creek Watershed Project coordinator, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the organization, sharing best management practices projects, work on water quality monitoring and aquatic invasive species, and other accomplishments. The full agenda is available at . Lunch will follow the presentations for those who RSVP by March 2 to 320-523-3666 or .

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. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at .

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, kayaks, canoes) 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 .

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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