Farming for the Future
The Van Buren Conservation District present the 5th Annual “Farming for the Future”. A workshop for ALL farmers small and larger, beginning and established. This years workshop is November 30, 2011 from 8:30am to 3:45pm at the Van Buren Conference Center in Lawrence Michigan. If you have further questions please call 269.657.4030 x5.
Topics for 2011 Farming for the Future
Keynote: Vicki Morrone from C.S Mott Group for Sustainable Agriculture
Building Soil for this Year’s Crops and the Future
Morrone will discuss the value of building soil for the sake of fertility to crops and to sustain our land, for our future. Approaches to building soil tilth and improving soil health will be discussed in the context of sustainable and organic systems, highlighting quality examples practiced by farmers here in Michigan. She will also share how building soil can be done on large acreage and even urban lots, lending opportunity to improve the health of the soil while growing quality crops and produce. This talk will inspire farmers to explore options intended not to just benefit their crop that year but also improve their land for future generations.
Climate change and agriculture: why talk about it? -Julie Doll, Kellogg Biological Station, MSU
Any changes in our climate can affect Michigan’s agriculture in both positive and negative ways. In addition, agriculture is often recognized for its potential to help mitigate climate change. These issues are often discussed in academic, political, and societal circles. Come learn the main points of these discussions and more about agriculture’s relationship to climate change.
Using the Cottage Food Law – An Incubator Perspective -Lucy Bland, Fair Food Matters Can Do Kitchen and Stephanie Peirce, Owner of Dirtsong
Starting and growing your small food business requires access to resources and the knowledge to navigate various laws and regulations. The Cottage Food Law and business incubators like the Can-Do-Kitchen can help with some of those issues. Hear from Can-Do Kitchen incubator manager and small food business owner who uses both the Cottage Food Law as well and the Can-Do Kitchen.
Hunting Access Program (HAP)-Gaining extra income your land -Mike Parker, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
The Department of Natural Resources is looking to leases private lands for public hunting through this new program. The program has been created to increase public hunting opportunities in southern Michigan, where 97 percent of the land base is privately owned and give some additional income to landowners for the use of their land.
Pest Management Outlook- Emerging pest issues -Bruce MacKellar, Michigan State University Extension
Damage from pests can be devastation to a crop, learn which species is on the rise and how to handle them. Learn about pest and proper pest management on your farm, how to control unwanted species without creating other problems on your farm.
Differentiating Your Farm Market -Ron Goldy, Southwest MI Research & Extension Center, MSU
Growing your market beyond the honor system with a cash box takes thought and careful planning otherwise you won’t reach your full potential. Following a pre-planned, thoughtful approach will save you time and money. This session helps identify aspects you need to consider about yourself and your market as you work through this process.
Integrated Pollinator Management- Integrated Pollinator Management -Rufus Isaacs, MSU Trevor Nichols Research Center
Insects play an important role in pollinating a multitude of crops – berries, melons, soybeans, etc. Establishing native wildflowers and grasses around your crops can improve productivity and resilience against honeybee diseases such as Colony Collapse Disorder. Learn techniques and specific wildflower mixes to promote habitat on your farm that will benefit both pollinators and common natural enemies of pests.
Fuel Efficiency and Safety -Rob Enders, Schaeffer’s Specialized Lubricants
Fuel has changed and along with fuel comes concerns we need to address with using fuel and the storage tanks. With the prices on the rise we will also look at fuel efficiency, why we lost it and how to get it back.
Adding Life to the Soil to Achieve Better Yields -Dane Terrill, Flowerfield Enterprises
Soil is living with many micro-organisms that cannot be seen by the eye. There is biology and chemistry behind soil that if at the right equation can better your crop and better your yield. By slightly conditioning your soil with healthy practices you can better your operation, health of the land and productivity of your crop.
Balancing Agricultural Output with Grassland Bird Habitat- Mark Ludwig, Allegan Conservation District
Grassland birds like Meadow Larks and Bobolinks have been declining for decades due to changes in farming practices and land use. Learn about the conservation of these birds and a new project to give away flushing bars, a proven tool for protecting wildlife while mowing hay.
Pest Management Planning-Kyle Mead and Mike Wozniak, Van Buren Conservation District
How to build a Pest Management Plan for your farm. What records to keep, what maps to have, and how long to keep them.
The Transitional Gardner: Going from gardener to small farmer-Emellee Rajzer, Greenstone Farm Credit Services
What hurdles and barricades you may have to cross and many ways to make it easy and successful. Funding, location, marketing, management and product all contribute to be a successful small farmer.
Get the most out of the “Back 40”- Kelly Goward, Allegan Conservation District
Forests are an important resource in Michigan that can be managed for multiple benefits, including timber production, wildlife habitat, water quality, and recreation. This session will discuss basic forestry terminology and concepts as well as different management and timber harvest techniques.