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Center for Environmental Farming Systems offers 2010 workshop series

February 10, 2010

Media Contact: Lisa Forehand, cefs_info@ncsu.edu or 919.513.0954

Center for Environmental Farming Systems offers workshop series

The Seasons of Sustainable Agriculture is a series of education, extension and outreach events offered each year by North Carolina's Center for Environmental Farming Systems. Through these events, CEFS strives to share its knowledge and expertise in sustainable agriculture with producers, agricultural professionals and the general public and to enable all citizens to take part in creating in a vibrant future for agriculture. This year's events will take place now through November 2010. Additional events and updates may be added throughout the season, so watch the Web site: http://www.cefs.ncsu.edu.

Unless otherwise noted, all workshops will be held at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), located at the Cherry Research Farm, 201 Stevens Mill Road in Goldsboro, N.C. Driving directions can be found at www.cefs.ncsu.edu. Some workshops are free of charge, and other registration fees are noted. Contact CEFS (cefs_info@ncsu.edu or 919.513.0954) to learn about scholarship opportunities, some targeted at N.C. Cooperative Extension agents.

News organizations are invited to cover these events and to include them in calendar listings as well.

March
March 3: Improving Your Animal Handling & Calving Management Skills from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This workshop will start with classroom instruction on improving calving management and animal handling. Following the classroom session, we will proceed to the beef unit to tour the farm and observe the newborn calves and cows on various forage systems. We will also have hands-on instruction in managing calving difficulty, proper heifer development and low-stress animal handling. Registration fee: $20 (includes lunch). Presenters: Dr. Matt Poore, Dr. Mark Alley, Dr. Steve Washburn and Dr. Gary Hansen. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.

April
April 21: Small Ruminant Integrated Gastrointestinal Parasite Control, Smart Drenching and FAMACHA from 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). Controlling gastrointestinal nematodes in their animals represents the biggest challenge facing small ruminant producers worldwide. Participants will learn about the biology of the gastrointestinal nematodes, where we are and why, a quick review of de-wormers and how to integrate smart drenching, FAMACHA and pasture management for more effective control. New alternatives under review will also be discussed. A hands-on session will be held to teach participants how to use the FAMACHA card as an effective tool. Registration fee: $10 (additional $10 for FAMACHA certification card). For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.


May
May (date to be announced): Organic No-till Corn and Soybean Production from 5 to 7 p.m. This on-farm workshop will demonstrate no-till/roll-kill practices for organic corn and soybean production. The technique for planting corn and soybeans into roll-killed cover crops will be discussed. and potential follow-up weed control methods will be demonstrated. Crop yields, fertility and crop management will also be discussed, as well as research results from the previous year. Instructors: Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton, Dr. Julie Grossman, Mary Parr, George Place. Location and fee to be announced. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email Molly Hamilton (molly_hamilton@ncsu.edu) or call 828.273.1041.


May 25: Conservation Practices in Outdoor Hog Production from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This workshop will give agents and producers training on the environmental problems associated with outdoor hog production and conservation practices needed to address these issues. The group will tour and discuss the outdoor swine research sites at CEFS and nearby farms. Registration Fee: $20 (includes lunch). Presenters: Silvana Pietrosemoli and Lee Menius.

June
June, (TBA), 2010: Organic No-till Corn and Soybean Production from 5 to 7 p.m. This on-farm workshop will demonstrate no-till/roll-kill practices for organic corn and soybean production. The technique for planting corn and soybeans into roll-killed cover crops will be discussed and potential follow-up weed control methods will be demonstrated. Crop yields, fertility and crop management will also be discussed, as well as research results from the previous year. Instructors: Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton, Dr. Julie Grossman, Mary Parr, George Place. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email Molly Hamilton (molly_hamilton@ncsu.edu) or call 828.273.1041.

June 5: Food System Assessments: Part I, Community-based Assessments from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). Community-based food assessments identify food access, availability and demand questions, but also provide an engaged mode of community outreach and education about the importance of healthy food and local economics, as well as community development possibilities through food projects. This workshop will help you understand the basics of community-driven food assessments, present information from youth and community members doing successful projects and provide some tools for beginning or expanding in your own local assessments. In Part I, we'll cover different types of community-based assessments, examine ways that they help with outreach and education and introduce youth-driven community food assessment activities. If you want an introduction to community-based food assessments or want to jump into exploring the baseline of your own area, we’ll offer the information and materials to get started!

Community-based food assessments can create the foundation for a comprehensive food system assessment. See the workshop titled Food System Assessment Part II: Local, Regional and State Food Assessment for ways to leverage your community-based assessment. Presenters: Sidney Cruze and Tes Thraves. Registration fee: $10. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.

July
July 13: Food System Assessments: Part II, Local, Regional and State Food Assessments from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This workshop offers an overview of Food System Assessments and outlines key steps for developing local and regional assessments. Comprehensive Food System Assessments often combine secondary data gathered from health departments, Cooperative Extension and the USDA Census of Agriculture, with primary data gathered by professionals from community members. We will look at a variety of professional food assessment models, the data collected, how assessments are conducted and used, as well as examples of some assessments done in North Carolina. We’ll cover one in detail as a case study and discuss concrete steps to getting a comprehensive countywide or regional assessment in your area. If you want an introduction to food assessments or you want to explore the baseline data for your own food system, we’ll offer the information and materials to get you started.

Comprehensive food system assessments can create the foundation for a community-based food assessment. See the workshop titled Food System Assessment Part I: Community-based Assessment for ways to leverage your food system assessment. Presenters: Sidney Cruze & Tes Thraves. Registration fee: $10. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919-513-0954.

July 14: Farmscaping for Pest and Wildlife Management from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This workshop will provide an overview of practices designed to enhance beneficial insects (predators, parasites, pollinators), as well as farmland wildlife. Field demonstrations will focus on establishment and maintenance of habitats to provide all the life cycle needs of the above organisms. Presenter: Dr. David Orr. Registration fee: $20. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.

July 27: Alternative Management Strategies for Dairy Grazing Systems (With Potential Application for Both Organic and Conventional Pasture-based Systems) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This workshop will include observations on research using alfalfa-grass pasture mixtures being managed either organically or conventionally, as well as other pasture management topics. The workshop will include preliminary observations from alternative approaches in managing reproduction, udder health and general herd health in pasture-based and organic dairy cows. We will also observe the use of a vacuum system to physically remove horn flies from lactating cows, as well as other novel strategies for parasite control. Presenters: Dr. Sue Ellen Johnson, Dr. Kevin Anderson, Dr. Mark Alley, Dr. Wes Watson, Dr. Steve Washburn, Eileen Balz and Keena Mullen. Registration fee: $20. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.
* Waste Management Credits and Pesticide Credits are available *

August
August 25: Webinar on High-Tunnel Enhancements: Using Inner Covers to Increase Production from 12 noon to 1 p.m. Are you getting the most out of your high tunnels? This short webinar will focus on the use of low-cost inner tunnels in cool weather to increase microclimate temperatures. These microclimate enhancements have provided significant increases in plant growth and production capacity. There will be a significant portion of time for high-tunnel questions. Instructor: Steve Moore. Registration fee: TBA. For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.

August 26: Organic Certification from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). This workshop will help you understand what you need to know and do to get your farm certified under the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP). Find out what the standards are, how to get certified, how to fill out an organic certification application and how to find and choose a certifier. You'll receive an extensive notebook with record-keeping templates, mock applications, resources, approved materials lists and more. If you are thinking about getting certified organic, this is the place to start! Presenter: Tony Kleese. Registration fee: $50 (includes lunch). For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.


October
October 13: Fall Tomato Production from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). In North Carolina, the traditional "direct marketing season" for small-scale vegetable producers is from April to October. Successful North Carolina growers who sell primarily at tailgate markets attempt to have quality produce for sale every week during that period. Getting the best price for product brought to market involves production planning. As often as possible, smart growers will want to bring products to market when supply is low so that they can charge high prices. One such production strategy is referred to as "season extension."
Season extension provides producers with a competitive advantage, enabling them to produce, harvest and sell crops when they are not typically available to consumers. For example, growers can make "early" spring specialty lettuces or "late" fall tomatoes available to consumers when demand is high at market and supply is low. Having produce for sale at market -- when other growers do not -- can boost farm income and establish customer loyalty.
This workshop will focus on the production of high-quality tomatoes that can be sold at market from September until the first fall frost. Presenters: Dr. Keith Baldwin and Rickie Holness. Registration fee: $20 (includes lunch). For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call919.513.0954.

October 21: Use of Riparian Buffers to Mitigate Nutrient Runoff from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). Riparian buffers are a sustainable agriculture technique used to reduce excess amount of sediment, organic materials, nutrients and pesticides in surface run-off. Riparian buffers consist of grass, shrubs and/or trees grown alongside water sources (streams, rivers, ditches, etc.). This workshop will describe the design and maintenance of riparian buffers and the potential additional benefits of creating them, including the use of specialty crops within the buffer such as fruit shrubs or trees, nut trees and herbs. The workshop will include a classroom section with pictures and educational materials, followed by a tour of CEFS areas with riparian buffers. Presenter: Joshua Idassi. Registration fee: $20 (includes lunch). For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.

November
November 16: Managing Nutrients and Pests in Pasture-based Livestock Production from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). Riparian buffers are a technology in sustainable agriculture used to reduce excess amount of sediment, organic materials, nutrients and pesticides in surface run-off. Riparian buffers consist of grass, shrubs and/or trees grown alongside water sources (streams, rivers, ditches, etc.). This workshop will describe the design and maintenance of riparian buffers and the potential additional benefits of creating them, including the use of specialty crops within the buffer such as fruit shrubs or trees, nut trees and herbs. The workshop will include a classroom section with pictures and educational materials followed by a tour of CEFS areas with riparian buffers. Presenters: Dr. Matt Poore, Dr. Mark Alley, Dr. Steve Washburn and Dr. Gary Hansen. Registration fee: $20 (includes lunch). For more information please visit the CEFS Web site, email CEFS_info@ncsu.edu or call 919.513.0954.

Posted by Natalie at February 10, 2010 04:45 PM