Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published Jan. 1, 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


American Sugarbeet Growers Association: Jan. 30-Feb. 1, Scottsdale, Arizona; annual convention. Registration open until Jan. 6. The theme is "Together Again to Shape Our Future," and the agenda will focus on critical issues in the coming year, including the 2023 Farm Bill. Scheduled speakers include industry leaders, researchers, economists and more.

Strategic Farming: Let’s Talk Crops webinar series. This free, live, online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help optimize crop management strategies for 2022. Sessions will be held over Zoom from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 5 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 first three sessions are crop fertility adjustments on Jan. 5; compaction on Jan. 12; and management of corn for grain and silage on Jan. 19.

Fair Farm Rental Agreement: Jan. 13, 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m., via Zoom; free program. Farmland rental rates are the largest input cost the farmer has. Determining a fair farm rent agreement is always challenging, and negotiating a fair rental agreement that satisfies the land owner and the farmer is a challenge. David Bau and Nathan Hulinsky, Extension Educators in Ag Business Management, will provide several ways — by examples, factsheets and worksheets — to determine a fair farm land rental rate for both parties. Zoom at .

Farm Couple Retreats: Feb. 4-5, St. Cloud. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is holding a couples' retreat to forge stronger partnerships. Couples will explore creative communication skills, personality differences and learn about resources that can help them reach their goals and manage the stresses of farming and family relationships better. Lodging and meals are included in the free retreat, although a refundable registration deposit is required. Each retreat starts at noon and ends at 1 p.m. the following day. Registration is limited to the first 10 couples who sign up. Participants must follow COVID-19 protocols in place at each venue. Find more information and registration forms at . Additional retreats are set for Jan. 21-22 in Faribault and Feb. 11-12 in Thief River Falls.


The 34th season of Prairie Yard and Garden premiers Thursday, Jan. 20, on Pioneer Public Television. All the shows will be available for online viewing at after the original showing.


Prairie Yard and Garden: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20, and repeats 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, and 1 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, on Pioneer PBS. Host Mary Holm visits with Anna Anderson of “Glory Garden” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, about how she leverages technology and relationships with local growers to connect fresh, locally grown meat, fruits, veggies and more with consumers in her community.

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 .


The 13th season of Prairie Sportsman premiers Sunday, Jan. 23, on Pioneer Public Television. All the shows will be available for online viewing at after the original showing.

Prairie Sportsman: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, and repeats 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 24, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, on Pioneer PBS. Host Bret Amundson visits Milan area conservationists Roger Strand on his hunting property and Brad and Kristi Fernholz at a remnant prairie on their farm.

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 .

Several classes are set for this winter, and all meet at the main building to start.

  • Snowshoeing: Jan. 13, 4 to 5 p.m., grades 4 and older, $8.. On snowshoes, you can explore “off the beaten path” and beyond the trails. Enjoy this magical adventure through quiet woods and hills, while watching for tracks and signs of our animal neighbors. Instruction and all equipment provided.
  • Intro to Cross Country Skiing: Feb. 10, 4 to 5 p.m., grades 2 and older, $10. Learn the basics of cross country skiing. Then hit the trails to practice your new skills. Instruction and equipment provided.
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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Events and classes scheduled in the outdoors, gardening and farming. Submit your event at by noon on Tuesday.
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