Monday, January 29, 2018

MU Extension Offers Program to Learn About State and Federal Resources on Feb. 7 in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - University of Missouri Extension invites beginning farmers and ranchers to attend a free workshop about resources offered by state and federal agencies.

"Understanding the Alphabet Soup of USDA Programs" will be the topic of the Women in Dairy event held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Greene County MU Extension Center, 2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield.

Speakers will review resources offered to farmers and ranchers at the Farm Service Agency and explain funding options available through the Natural Resources Conservation Service, said Reagan Bluel, MU Extension dairy specialist.

During the afternoon session, speakers will explain the planning and operational orders process needed to apply for state and federal resources available to veterans. Missouri AgrAbility Project state director Karen Funkenbusch and representatives from other agencies will give case studies.

"This is a great opportunity to meet your local USDA FSA and MU Extension representatives and learn how to get started in farming and ranching," said Bluel. "It is also a good time to network with others interested in farming and ranching."

Pre-registration is needed since a free lunch is being served. Doing registration online at is preferred but can also be done by contacting Bluel by telephone at 417-847-3161 or email

MU Extension, through a grant from the USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach to help veterans and socially disadvantaged persons who want to farm, offers the program to increase agribusinesses and enterprise development. 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.

Friday, January 12, 2018

USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Support for Organic Agricultural Programs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) on January 8 announced $3.8 million in available funding to address critical issues related to organic agriculture. Funding is made through NIFA’s Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants – Organic Transitions (ORG) program. 

The ORG program supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and education programs that enhance organic livestock and crop production. Organic agricultural systems provide many ecosystem services, and natural resources stewardship is a key principle in organic farming.
The deadline for applications is March 29, 2018. See the funding opportunity for details.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Lambing & kidding school in North Platte, Neb., Jan. 27

The Nebraska Sheep and Goat Producers Association and UNL (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) Extension are hosting an educational lambing and kidding school at the Kelly Burns family farm (5677 North River Road, North Platte NE 69101) on January 27, starting at 10:00 a.m.  A great lineup of speakers and hands on  demonstrations will be presented on lambing and kidding plus other industry issues. 

Dr. Kelly Burns, flock owner and UNL Educator will host a tour of his family farm where tubing of lambs, docking and castrating will be demonstrated.  In addition he will discuss weaning steps of lambs from ewes.  Dr. Brian Vander ley, UNL Extension Veterinarian at the Great Plains Education Center will discuss flock health in both lambs and ewes, as well as tips on care of lambing.  A presentation on feeding the ewe for successful lambing will be made by Phillip Berg, Pipestone, Minnesota.    Knowing your costs is very important and yet often overlooked.  This will be discussed by Randy Saner, Extension Educator, Lincoln, Logan and McPherson Counties.  Another economic – marketing topic where utilizing risk offsetting, with the use of LRP will be presented by Patty DeLeeuw of D and D insurance, Brookings, South Dakota. 

Always popular, a producer panel will finish up the day with Brad Anderson, Mountain States, Greeley, Colorado, Daniel Stehlik, Sheep producer, NCTA Curtis, and Ivan Rush, Sheep producer, Scottsbluff.  The panel members will have a short discussion of their operations and be available for an open form discussion. 

The cost of the full day program which includes lunch is $20.  For more details and to register please call 308-532-2683 or by e-mail at

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Lambing school beneficial for goat producers too

Lambing School will be held Tuesday, January 23 at the University of Kentucky C. Oran Little Research Center Sheep Unit.

This school is designed for new and prospective sheep producers, although veteran producers are welcome.  Topics of discussion, demonstration and hands-on include ewe management prior to, during, and after lambing.  Greatest shepherding expertise is required during the first week after lambing, therefore attendees will have the opportunity to work with and learn from ewes that will be lambing at the Sheep Unit on January 23, 2018.

"This would be something good for everyone, even goat producers, as much of the same procedures are needed for goats," added Ken Andries, Assistant Professor, Animal Science, Kentucky State University.

The school begins at 10 a.m. (EST), with lunch on your own from 12 to 1 p.m., and will conclude by 3 p.m.  There is no preregistration or fee.  However, the school does ask that participants call Dr. Don Ely at 859-257-2717 or email him at prior to January 19 to verify attendance.

                        Event:       Lambing School
                        Date:         January 23
                        Time:        10 a.m.
                        Location:  1171 Midway Rd., Versailles, KY  40383