ROLLA, Mo. – Grow Your Farm sessions for beginning farmers start Feb. 25 at Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla.
University of Missouri Extension, through a grant from the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach to help veterans, Latinos and socially disadvantaged persons who want to farm, offers the program to increase agribusinesses and enterprise development. Karen Funkenbusch serves as director. Patricia Barrett, Debi Kelly and Eleazor Gonzalez serve as co-directors.
The USDA 2501 grant helps beginning farmers and others evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Participants attend a set of practical seminars and field days to learn from MU Extension specialists, farmers and agribusiness operators. The grant comes at a critical time, Funkenbusch says. More than 300,000 veterans are expected to return to their rural Missouri roots in the next decade. “Many of them will seek work in agriculture,” Funkenbusch says. Latinos also represent one of the fastest-growing populations of new farm operators.
• Feb. 25. Debi Kelly, MU Extension horticulture specialist, and Patricia Barrett, MU Extension agricultural business specialist, open the event with “Identifying Values and Creating Goals.”
• March 4. MU Extension agricultural engineer Charles Ellis speaks on “Walking the Farm.”
• March 11. Patricia Barrett speaks on “Planning the Farm.” Sandy Nelson, owner of Box Turtle Farms and manager of the Camdenton Farmers Market, shares her experiences as a small farmer. She sells produce, jams and jellies, and homemade dog treats at farmers markets.
• March 18. Barrett and Mike Bottoms of Knee Deep Farms of Cuba, Mo., speak on “Assessing Business Opportunities.” The farm is part of the Agrilicious food movement.
• March 25. Barrett gives information on “Keeping Track of Finances.”
• April 1. Barrett and David Middleton of Lincoln University speak on “Marketing Farm Products.”
• April 8. Barrett presents on “Rural Legal Issues.”
• April 22. Farmer presentations.
There also will be farm tours. Locations and dates have not been announced yet.
Except for farm tours, events will be held 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bertelsmeyer Hall on the Missouri S&T campus, 11th and N. State streets, Rolla.
There is a reduced fee of $35 for veterans, Latinos and those from socially disadvantaged groups. There is a $130 fee for two attendees from the same farm and a $25 fee for each additional person from the same farm.
Contact Patricia Barrett at 573-369-2394 or email@example.com for more information. Register by Feb. 21 at the MU Extension Center in Miller County, 134 Second St., P.O. Box 20, Tuscumbia, MO 65082.
USDA helps fund this program as part of an $8.4 million set of grants to 24 states through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, also known as the 2501 Program. As part of the grant, MU Extension also will offer “Understanding the Alphabet Soup of USDA Programs” near military bases and areas identified by USDA as “StrikeForce” and “Promise Zone” initiatives.
Please download and complete the pdf registration and submit with payment.
Selling Local Foods program at the Eldon Career Center focuses on key business issues
Selling is as important to fruit & vegetable growers as a high yield. There is no reason to plant a crop if you have no market lined up to distribute the produce. Consider every aspect of your agriculture business by signing up for the “Selling Local Foods in MO” series offered by the University of Missouri Extension at the Eldon Career Center. The sessions starting Monday February 6th are packed with quality information.
Patricia Barrett of the MU Extension: “Selling food directly to consumers provides growers income, a chance to tell their farm’s story, and to build a close client network. It also brings unique challenges with regulation and marketing.” All sessions are offered at the Eldon Career Center, 112 S. Pine Street, Eldon, MO.
Monday February 6th - Session 1 covers Farmer’s Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Date: 2-06-17 Time: 6:30-8:00pm.
Monday February 13th – Session 2 discusses Customer Service and Kitchens & Local Foods. Date: 2-13-17 Time: 6:30-8:00pm.
Monday February 27th - Session 3 Food Safety (covering new rules and regulations) and Product Sampling. Date: 2-27-17 Time: 6:30 to 8:00pm.
March 6th - Session 4 Selling to Restaurants & Grocery and Produce Auctions. Date: 3-06-17 Time: 6:30-8:00pm.
Contact Gabe Branstetter via email - Gabe.Branstetter@eldonmustangs.org to register or call the ECC Office at 392-8060 ext. 1504 to pay with credit card. The sessions are $59 for all four or $19 per session
2016 Farmers Tax Guide
A limited number of 2016 Farmer's Tax Guides are available at the MU Extension in Miller County Office. Stop by the office at 134 Second Street, Tuscumbia and pick one up. We are here from 8 a.m. to Noon and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 on Monday through Friday. Please call 573-369-2394 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions
Joining 4-H is easy
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. 4-H is young people making new friends and memories while preparing to be leaders of today and tomorrow. We are a volunteer-led organization that reaches boys and girls through small groups called clubs. 4-H members choose from over 40 projects in which to participate. Most projects use hands-on learning experiences to teach subject matter and life-skills such as cooperation, leadership and decision making — skills that can be applied over and over for a lifetime. Contact Miller County Extension at email@example.com or at 573-369-2394.
Read more about 4-H programs
Don’t guess; soil tests save time, money
Soil testing is the best guide to the wise and efficient use of fertilizer and soil amendments, said Manjula Nathan, director of the University of Missouri Extension Soil Testing and Plant Diagnostic Services.
Whether you grow acres of row crops or have a vegetable patch in the backyard, a soil test will provide you with an analysis of nutrients and a set of recommendations for any improvements.
“We frequently get questions from customers like, ‘I apply fertilizer every year. How come my plants are not doing well?’” Nathan said.
“Most of the time the problem is they never have done a soil test, but have been guessing on fertilizer requirements,” she said. “They do not realize that by guessing they are wasting money by over- or under application, and the excess fertilizer can end up in streams, ponds and underground water, polluting the environment.”
Soil testing can be done through the extension office. Soil tests cost $15 per sample during the first full week of the month and are $16.50 per sample otherwise. Six or more tests are $12.50 per sample. Make sure your soil is dry when you bring it in. A soil probe and a auger that can be checked out from the extension office. There is a $50 deposit on the soil probe. Soil testing publications
Private pesticide training
If you need to be certified or recertified, call the extension office to schedule a time to view the video. There is a minimal fee. Individuals are required to have a Private Pesticide Applicator Reference Manual. Bring your copy for verification or purchase one for $12 at the extension office.