Thursday, April 7, 2011

NCR-SARE Announces 2012 Call for Research and Education Preproposals

The 2012 North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Research and Education Grant Program Call for Preproposals is now available online at

NCR-SARE’s Research and Education program supports innovators with competitive Research and Education grants. Individual grants range from $10,000 to $200,000. NCR-SARE expects to fund about 8-12 projects in the twelve-state North Central Region.

Potential applicants can contact or 612-626-3113.

The deadline for Research and Education Program preproposals is 4:30pm CDT June 9, 2011.

Since 1988, NCR-SARE has awarded more than $40 million worth of competitive grants to farmers and ranchers, researchers, educators, public and private institutions, nonprofit groups, and others exploring sustainable agriculture in 12 states. NCR-SARE’s Administrative Council represents various agricultural sectors, states and organizations. It sets program priorities and makes granting decisions for the region. A collection of farm and non-farm residents, the Administrative Council includes a diverse mix of agricultural stakeholders in our 12 states. Council members come from regional farms and ranches, university extension and research programs, and nonprofits. In addition, the Administrative Councilincludes regional representatives of the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, state agencies, and agribusinesses.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hopyard Spring Training Event

Dodgeville, WI - Simple Earth Hops ( announced today that Matt Sweeny is opening up the hopyard for a Spring activities workshop. Prepare to get your hands dirty as you participate in this hands-on workshop to show the Spring time maintenance in the hopyard including training hop bines and stringing the hop trellis. Attendance to this free ticketed event does require registration at . This event is limited to ONLY 40 tickets.

When: Saturday, May 21 · 11:00am - 2:00pm - CST

Where: Hopyard at Greenspirit, 4352 State Road 23, Dodgeville, WI

Contact: For further information please contact Matt Sweeny at /

About Simple Earth Hops:

Founded in 2009, Simple Earth Hops provides locally grown ethical hop solutions to local brewers in Wisconsin and the Midwest. Connect with them on Facebook for up-to-date information about this event or register for free tickets at Eventbrite.

This training is being held is association with NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant project FNC09-748.

Missouri Grazing Dairy Farms to Host National Meeting

Source: University of Missouri Pasture Based Dairies

COLUMBIA, Mo. - The latest in dairy farming from the farm to the international view will be told at the Missouri Dairy Grazing Conference, July 6-8, at Joplin, Mo.

The program will be in the Holiday Inn Conference Center the first and third days. On the middle day, July 7, bus tours will go to grazing dairy farms in Southwest Missouri.

The conference held every two years brings dairy producers from across the nation and the world. Primary emphasis is on Midwest grazing.

"Most all topics will apply across the country," said Tony Rickard, MU Extension dairy specialist, Cassville, Mo. "We're not just talking about the fescue belt."

In the opening session, Jay Waldvogel, vice president, Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), will give a global view: "Where Grazing Dairies Fit In."

That afternoon, Rickard will talk to local users. He will describe "Hybrid Systems-How to Bring Grass into High Production System.

"We're finding that producers with high performance herds on mixed rations are finding ways to use both winter and summer-annual grazing. That lowers feed costs by 85 cents to a dollar per head per day."

Other topics that afternoon include "Environmental and Regulatory Issues," "Milk Quality on Pasture," "Heifer Raising, Grazing Systems" and "Using the Grazing Wedge." Those topics will be by Missouri speakers.

Managing Pasture-based Systems in Hot Climates," "Mob Grazing," and "Once-a-Day Milking" will be discussed by speakers from afar, including New Zealand.

Buses will go to Meier Dairy, Monett, Mo., Wentworth Dairies, Pierce City, Mo., and Mariposa Dairies, Pierce City, Mo.

The third morning features speakers at the Convention Center.

Rob Kallenbach, MU Extension forage specialist, Columbia, and Dennis Hancock, forage specialist, University of Georgia, will start the program. Their topic: "Planning Forage-Agronomy Systems."

Paul Rapnicki, University of Minnesota, will talk on "Low-stress Dairy Handling." Joe Horner, MU Extension dairy economist, will tell "Key Drivers of Profitability on Pasture-based Dairies."

Randy Mooney, dairy grazier, Rogersville, Mo., and chairman of the DFA board, will give a closing summary.

Mooney was an early adopter of managed grazing, Rickard said. He went from using temporary fences and hauling water to installing permanent electric fences and trenching in water lines.

After lunch the last day, attendees can visit other Missouri grazing dairies on their way home. Maps will be given to those who sign up.

Registration for the three-day event is $150 per person until June 20. Late registrations will add $25. Discounts for spouses and other members from the same farm are available. Early registration is encouraged.

Presentations from the grazing conference will be available free on the website or in a bound book for $25 after the event.

Details and registration forms are available at For more information, call Ryan Milhollin: (573) 882-0668 or

University of Missouri Pastured Based Dairies was a Missouri State SARE Professional Development Program activity for 2 years. For more information, contact Debi Kelly at

The Low-Down on Local Foods

Interest in where our food comes from, sparked by a desire for more healthful foods, and has spawned a newfound appreciation for local foods and communities. This webinar complements the First Quarter 2010 issue of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA ) peer-reviewed science magazine Choices -

Moderator - Lindsey Loving, Senior Director, Food Ingredient & Technology Communications, International Food Information Council Foundation

"What Does Local Mean?" Larry Lev, Ph.D. Oregon State University Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Presentation will describe current concepts of local, the central role that farm-direct marketing channels play in consumer perceptions of local, and the limited opportunities these channels offer for increasing local food consumption.

"Can Local Go Mainstream?" Robert P. King, Ph.D., former NCR-SARE Administrative Council member and University of Minnesota Department of Applied Economics
Talk will focus on the prospects for and barriers to local foods gaining a greater share of sales in mainstream supermarket and food service distribution channels.

"Nutritional Differences and Consumer Insights on Local Foods" Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian and President, Nutrition Edge Communications
Presentation will focus on nutritional comparisons of foods that are from local, regional, and national origins, as well as discussing consumer insights.

Please join us for this exciting event!

How to Register: To RSVP for the event please register prior to the webinar at

The presentations will be saved using web-seminar technology.
Registration is free but space is limited.