Upcoming U of I Extension small farms and local foods learning events
February 6, 2013, The following programs are being offered by the Local Foods System and Small Farm division of the University of Illinois Extension.
Putting Small Acres to Work
Putting a few extra acres to work can bring in additional income, provide an opportunity to experiment with a new enterprise, or develop an interest or hobby for its educational or entertainment value. How to get started is the question. University of Illinois Extension is sponsoring a series of workshops on a variety of topics to help people who have a few acres learn ways they that they can put them to use.
A Putting Small Acres to Work workshop will be offered on March 2, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm (registration starting at 8:00 am), at the University of Illinois Extension Office, Springfield. Topics will include: Beginning Beekeeping, Growing, Harvesting and Marketing Herbs, Low Tunnel Production, Managing your Small Farm Woodlot, Pastured Poultry Production, Sheep and Goat Production, Small Fruit Production, and Vegetable Production.
Cost of the workshop, $30 per person or $40 per couple, which includes lunch and materials. Students may attend for $10. Details and registration are available online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/lms and find program under "Find Events." For more information, contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at 217-782-4617 or email@example.com
Food Safety on the Farm
Food safety begins on the farm. For fresh fruit and vegetable producers, food safety is particularly important because most of the fresh produce they grow is eaten raw. Recent produce-associated foodborne illness outbreaks have heightened public awareness of produce food safety and increased the demand by fresh produce buyers to have third party auditors verify farm food safety practices. In all produce operations, it is critical to be aware of and implement food safety practices such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) so that microbial risks can be minimized. A simple procedure such as hand washing is highly effective at managing pathogens on workers' hands, but many farms do not have a written farm food safety plan or a worker training program in place.
University of Illinois Extension is teaming with University of Cornell Extension and USDA to offer "Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Workshop" on March 12 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. This offering was inspired by the desire to keep fresh fruit and vegetable producers in Illinois competitive in the marketplace. The increasing focus on GAPs and third party audit requirements are being used by the retail and the food service industry to identify growers who have implemented GAPs and have a verified farm food safety plan. This program will provide an overview of
Cost per participant is $10. Pre-registration is required by March 5, 2013. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. To register go to the Unit website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/lms and find program under "Find Events." For more information, contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at 217-782-4617 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Scaling Up” Webinar Series: How to Expand Your Local Foods Business
A webinar series addressing the business, marketing, production and risk management issues involved in expanding and growing your specialty crops farm or local foods business will be held on February 12, February 19, February 26 and March 5. Co-sponsored by the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation and the University of Illinois Extension, this series of four webinars will provide a comprehensive look at four major areas to consider when deciding how, when and why to expand your local foods operation. Through these webinars small farmers and local foods entrepreneurs will learn techniques, risks, opportunities and methods for expanding their business. In person consultation sessions staffed by experts in different fields involved in the local foods arenas will be available in the months of March and April following the webinar series to address specific needs of farmers or business ventures looking to scale up their local foods operations.
The webinars will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. through the University of Illinois Extension webinar program. There is no fee for the programs. Registration is available at https://webs.extension.uiuc.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=7752. Please contact Andrew Ference, Land of Lincoln Small Farms and Local Foods Fellow, at 217-356-1351 or email@example.com for additional information.
You can attend all or one of the sessions listed below:
· February 12 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. - "Scaling Up" Risk Management Issues with Expansion
Managing risk is an important part of any business, this presentation will give a farmer/entrepreneur a comprehensive idea of the types of risks that need to be planned for and managed when “scaling up” including: insurance, labor issues and food safety.
· February 19 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. - "Scaling Up" Expanding your Production of Local Foods
By learning more advanced farming techniques, knowing how to evaluate your farms expansion needs and planning those accordingly a farmer can successfully expand their farm to increase their production without over extending themselves.
· February 26 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. - "Scaling Up" Models for Business Expansion in Local Foods
Learn about the different business models that are used to expand from the farm to farmer’s market model, including such things as food hubs, CSA, selling wholesale and more.
· March 5 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. - "Scaling Up" Business Marketing in a Local Foods Operation
Learn about the different marketing opportunities available to a local foods business when expanding their business. Through effective marketing of your product you can ensure a steady source of quality demand for your local foods products.
Fresh Market Tomato Workshop Webinar
The University of Illinois Extension will offer a webinar on Monday, February 18, from 6:00-7:30 pm. We'll be discussing every aspect of tomato production, from planting, to pruning, to disease management to harvesting/marketing. Sessions are presented by U of I Extension Educators and Specialists.
There is no cost to participate. You can log on from home or contact our office if you need access. To register go to the Unit website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/lms and find program under "Find Events." Contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at 217-782-4617 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
LLCC's Green Center to host 10th annual Central Illinois Composting Symposium Feb. 20 Registrations being accepted now
SPRINGFIELD–Lincoln Land Community College's Green Center is hosting the 10th Annual Central Illinois Composting Symposium Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Trutter Center on the Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road. Registrations are being accepted now.
The theme for this year's symposium is "Composting for a Sustainable Community." The symposium is a forum for sharing composting information; stimulating the composting market; and bringing composters, educators, and businesses together so that everyone can benefit from learning about this excellent organic soil amendment. Participants will learn about composting organic materials and resources available to be a successful composter. A Build Your Own Bin workshop will follow the symposium at 5:30 p.m. where participants can learn more about vermicomposting and construct their own composting bin for use at home or work.
Radio host and award-winning columnist Mike Nowak will provide the keynote presentation. Symposium presenters include educators and professionals from Illinois Green Economy Network, University of Illinois Extension, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Midwest Fiber Recycling.
Symposium registration is $25 before Feb. 5, $30 after Feb. 5. The symposium is free to students with a valid ID. Registrations will be accepted at the door the day of the workshop. Build Your Own Bin registration is $15 before Feb. 5, $20 after Feb. 5.
Businesses or organizations related to composting or gardening are invited to exhibit at the symposium. Exhibitor space is $55, which includes one registration to the symposium (registration only; BYOB fee not included). Also, live worms and a variety of composting books will be available for purchase. Cash and checks only; no credit cards accepted.
The symposium is sponsored by the LLCC Green Center, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, University of Illinois Extension, City of Springfield's Division of Waste and Recycling, and Illinois Department of Agriculture.
For registration and additional information, call 786.2407 or go to www.llcc.edu/greencenter.
Lincoln Land Community College's Green Center is hosting the 10th Annual Central Illinois Composting Symposium Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 from noon to 5 p.m. in the Trutter Center on the Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road. Registrations are being accepted now. The theme for this year's symposium is "Composting for a Sustainable Community." For registration and additional information, call 786-2407 or go to www.llcc.edu/greencenter.