Farming

Private pesticide applicator certification renewal: Feb. 14, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., American Legion, Montevideo. Certification is required if you apply pesticides to land or sites you own, rent or lease for the production of agriculture commodities. For more information, contact Liz Stahl at 507-372-3900, ext. 3912, stah0012@umn.edu.

Grow your bottom line, increase your farm profitability and weather resiliency: Feb. 18, 9:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m., Renville Community Center, 221 North Main Street. The Hawk Creek Watershed Project and Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District are hosting the workshop. Ted Matthews will begin the meeting with his presentation “Managing farm stress.” Dr. Jerry Hatfieldwill speak on “Water quality and the interaction with ag practices and the weather.” There will be local farmers implementing reduced tillage and cover crops presentations and a small table discussion with presenters. RSVPs by phone at 320-523-1550 extension 116 or by email to Melissa.Edmondson@mn.nacdnet.net. Lunch will be provided to those who reserve by Feb. 12.

Winter crops & small grains day: Feb. 20, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., 4-H Building, Slayton. Hear the latest University-based research and information about corn and soybean in the morning and small grain production in the afternoon. Pre-register by calling Murray County Extension at 507-836-6927.

Small grain winter workshop: The University of Minnesota Extension is offering seven small workshops, which will focus on production agronomics, variety selection and economics, and include an open-forum discussion for related topics and on-farm experiences. Lunch is included at all sites. Registration is free and available online at https://z.umn.edu/southern-small-grain or contact Jared Goplen at 320-589-1711, extension 2128 or email gople007@umn.edu for more information. Meetings to be held in the area are:

Cold Spring: Feb. 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Great Blue Heron

Granite Falls: Feb. 20, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., The Rock

Benson: Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Hanny’s

Conservation on rented land: Feb. 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Schools Sisters of Notre Dame, 170 Good Counsel Drive, Mankato. The workshop by the Land Stewardship Project and the Living Earth Center is for farmland owners, those inheriting a farmland investment, and farmers who would like ways to invest in soil building on rented land. Participants are encouraged to bring their landowner/renter or attend independently. Suggested donation fee is $20, which includes a noon meal and toolkit. Register online at https://rentitoutright.eventbrite.com or contact by contacting LSP’s Robin Moore at 320-269-2105, rmoore@landstewardshipproject.org.

Pesticide applicator testing: Feb. 28 or April 24, 8 a.m. to noon, Renville County Government Service Center in Olivia, conducted by the Renville SWCD. Review the Minnnesota Department of Ag website for testing requirements or call Mike Sandager at 320-523-1550, ext 101 or be email at Michael.Sandager@mn.nacdnet.net with any questions. The website is https://www.mda.state.mn.us/pesticide-fertilizer/pesticide-applicator-licensing.

Nitrogen Smart is an educational program for producers that presents fundamentals for maximizing economic return on nitrogen investments while minimizing nitrogen losses. The morning Nitrogen Smart: Fundamentals session delivers high-quality, research-based education. The Nitrogen Smart certification is valid for three years after participants complete the Fundamentals course. The Advanced Nitrogen Smart session is available to returning participants or to new participants that attend the morning Fundamentals course. Both are also available as an online course. The classes are free and no pre-registration required. Classes in the area include:

Willmar: March 2, 9 a.m. Fundamentals, 1 p.m. Advanced, Willmar Conference Center

Appleton: March 3, 9 a.m. Fundamentals, 1 p.m. Advanced, Appleton Civic Center

MARL Class XI: Applications are now being accepted for the Minnesota Agriculture & Rural Leadership Class XI. MARL, now in its 20th year, is a two-year educational experience featuring nine two- and three-day in-state seminars, a six-day national study seminar in Washington, D.C., and a 10- to 14-day international study seminar. Applications will be accepted through April 24, 2020. The first Class XI session will be November 23-24 in St. Cloud. The application form, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions are available online at www.marlprogram.org/application. Interested individuals can join special webinars, and may contact Executive Director Olga Reuvekamp at: 507-537-6430; Olga.reuvekamp@smsu.edu. The MARL curriculum is designed to have immediate applicability for active leaders. Each session features a mix of leadership study, personal skill-building, and location-related subject matter. A majority of each class’ makeup is agricultural producers, and others are professionals involved in rural, and ag-related organizations. Most of the activities occur over the winter months.

Farm Beginnings: Applications are being accepted 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

Gardening

The Scoop on Soil: Feb. 19, noon to 1 p.m., AgCountry Auditorium, University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy. 329 in Morris. Nate Dalman, Horticulture Researcher II at the WCROC, will compare common fertilizers and potting soils and discuss which one(s) are the best for your garden, containers, and hanging baskets. This “Come Grow with Us” class is free, but donations are accepted. For more information call 320-589-1711.

Douglas County Let’s Get Growing: April 4, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Discovery Middle School, Alexandria, the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Douglas County annual educational day. Keynote speaker Dr. Joe Storlien will speak on “Gardening in Minnesota’s Changing Climate.” There will be breakout sessions with over 30 topics to choose from. For more information call the Extension Office at 320-762-3890 or online at extension.umn.edu/douglas. Tickets are $30 in advance by March 27 or $35 cash or check at the door.

Outdoors

Kids Archery League: open to youth in grades 2-12, 300 round, handicapped scoring, runs Sunday afternoons through March 15, minimum 6 scores required, $40, at the Little Crow Archers indoor range in downtown Willmar.