Farming

Beef Quality Assurance certification: Seven workshops to choose from in February and March, free, online via Zoom by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Beef Council. Advance registration required, codes at mnbeef.org/about-us/upcoming-events. 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 a scheduled Zoom session, earn free certification online, anytime, at www.BQA.org.

Farm safety webinar series: Four Thursdays, 11 a.m., free, choose any or all to attend. Register in advance at z.umn.edu/FarmSafetyWebinars, presented by Emily Krekelberg, University of Minnesota Extension, and Angie Johnson, North Dakota State University Extension. Feb. 4 will be tractor and equipment safety, Feb. 18 is youth farm safety, March 4 is livestock safety and March 18 is mental health.

Multi-generation farm transition planning: Thursdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25, noon to 1 p.m., free, online. The University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota State system have partnered to offer hands-on farm transition education focused on multi-generation farm businesses. An emphasis of the sessions is how to transfer both the “financial business” and how to transfer the “management and responsibility” of the farm business. The retiring generation and incoming generation should attend the sessions together, including spouses, partners and other relevant parties. The instructors will be Jim Molenaar, Farm Business Management instructor at St. Cloud Technical and Community College, and Extension educators Megan Roberts and Amber Roberts. Advance registration is required at extension.umn.edu/event/multi-generation-farm-transition-planning.

Sustainable Farming Association: Feb. 8-13, annual conference. Dozen sessions held throughout the week and concluding with Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen speaking on initiatives and challenges in expanding processing opportunities laid bare by COVID-19. To close the conference, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison will be interviewed by the association's executive director Theresa Keaveny on the state’s response to meatpacker concentration and antitrust enforcement. Association members may register for free and nonmembers for $40 on the website at sfa-mn.org/conference.

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Hemp forum: Feb. 10-11, noon to 4 p.m., free, online, register at www.mda.state.mn.us/hempforum. Minnesota Department of Agriculture forum for anyone interested in hemp and hemp production, federal and state regulations, plant breeding and agronomy, and market opportunities. This will be the first time Minnesota’s program will operate under a new state plan that was federally approved in July that governs production and regulation.

Beef calving webinar: Feb. 8, 11, 15, 18, 22 and 25, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. This webinar series is hosted by the University of Minnesota Extension and covers different aspects of calving on a beef cattle operation. Feb. 8: calving kits, Feb. 11: recordkeeping, Feb. 15: barn preparation and sanitation, Feb: 18: calving trouble, Feb. 22: helping newborn calves and Feb. 25: management of calf scours. Register at z.umn.edu/CalvingSeries by 5 p.m. the day before each event. Recordings for all the sessions will be available at the end of the series. For more information contact Brenda Miller at nels4220@umn.edu.

Small grain workshops: Feb. 15, 1-3 p.m.; Feb. 17, 4-6 p.m. and Feb. 19, 9-11 a.m. Online, free, register at z.umn.edu/southern-small-grain. Panelists include Jochum Wiersma, Jared Goplen and Daniel Kaiser who will discuss successful small grain management in central and southern Minnesota. Workshops will include topics on production agronomics, variety selection and economics. Sponsored by the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council. Contact Jared Goplen, 320-589-1711 ext. 2128 for more information.

Soil Health Field Day: Feb. 16, 1 to 4 p.m., online, free, register at upcoming events on the Land Stewardship Project website at landstewardshipproject.org. Soil health experts Jay Fuhrer and Jon Stika will talk about why soil health matters and how you can assess soil health on your farm and how to incorporate soil health into practices. Hear information and data from planting cash crops into green cover crops (planting green) and grazing perennial/annual covers at Menoken Farm.

Aid for turkey farmers: Applications are open through Feb. 26 for contract turkey growers to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. The federal financial assistance is available to contract turkey farmers who experienced pandemic-related revenue losses in 2020. Eligible contract growers would receive up to 80% of their revenue losses from Jan. 1-Dec. 27, 2020, compared to the same time frame in 2019. For more information, go to www.farmers.gov/cfap or call 877-508-8364.

Poultry Health Management School: May 24-25, online, register at PoultryHealthSchool.com. Participants will learn about poultry housing and management in this intensive training course for poultry producers, farm employees and other poultry professionals. Typically, the number of students allowed is limited. However, this year it will be offered to anyone who wishes to participate due to the virtual structure. Fee is $300, each attendee will receive the most recent American Association of Avian Pathologists Avian Disease Manual, an instruction guide and other educational tools. For questions, contact Rebecca Groos at rgroos@minnesotaturkey.com or call 763-682-2171.

Gardening

Top performing annuals: Feb. 17, noon to 1 p.m., online by the University of Minnesota’s West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris. Steve Poppe, horticulture scientist at the outreach center, will give his top recommendations for annual flowers that do best in our Minnesota climate. He'll go over which varieties are outstanding in the landscape, as well as recommendations for containers and hanging baskets. A link to view the presentation will be posted at a later time at wcroc.cfans.umn.edu. Advancer registration not required. This “Come Grow with Us” class is free, but donations are accepted. For more information, call 320-589-1711.