Tuesday, June 26, 2018

'Armed to Farm' veteran training planned in Arkansas

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is now accepting applications from military veterans who want to attend our week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training in Fayetteville, Arkansas. ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career. 

About Armed to Farm

ATF’s engaging blend of farm tours, hands-on experience, and interactive classroom instruction gives participants a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farm. Participants learn about business planning, budgeting, recordkeeping, marketing, livestock production, fruit and vegetable production, and more. In addition, attendees gain a network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors.
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialists will teach the training sessions. Additional contributors will include staff from USDA agencies, plus experienced crop and livestock producers.
Applications are available at www.ncat.org/atf_AR and are due by August 10.
All military veterans, as well as their spouses or farm partners, are welcome to apply. However, the number of participants will be limited. NCAT will notify selected participants by August 17. 

Dates, Location, and Cost

Armed to Farm will take place October 1-5, 2018, in Fayetteville, Arkansas.Participants will attend classroom sessions at the Mt. Sequoyah Center, a retreat and event center located in the heart of Fayetteville. Several local farms will provide hands-on learning experiences.
The event is free for those chosen to attend; lodging at the retreat center, transportation to local farms, and most meals will be provided. Participants must pay their own travel costs to and from the event.


Armed to Farm is sponsored by NCAT’s ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program and a grant from the USDA Small and Medium-sized Farm program.


Please contact Margo Hale at margoh@ncat.org or 479-442-9824.
About NCAT
Since 1976, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been helping people by championing small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. More information about its programs and services is available at www.ncat.org or by calling 1-800-ASK-NCAT.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Seminar looks at converting cattle dairies to meat goats

Goat Rancher columnist Dr. Frank Pinkerton will be one of the featured speakers at the Family Day on the Farm to be held Saturday, June 30, at the Harvey Zimmerman Farm in Pembroke, Ky. Pinkerton will be addressing a gathering of Kentucky dairy cattle producers who are finding it hard to compete in today’s mega-dairy environment. Adding meat goats to their operations could be an option for increasing profitability, Pinkerton said.
“Our goal is to offer dairy cattle owners selected meat goat management and marketing information to better inform them about the opportunities and constraints for making this change,” he said.
He will be joined by Dr. Ken Andries of Kentucky State University and Dr. Ken McMillin of Louisiana State University.
A variety of concurrent workshops and seminars will be held throughout the day. Other topics to be addressed are Beekeeping, cheesemaking, horse nutrition, human health and nutrition, produce marketing, financial help for young farmers, accident prevention and a children’s tent with fun activities.
The goat session schedule of events:

9:45/10:30: Dr. Frank Pinkerton: Meat Goat Industry Update (meat goat supply, demand; international competition, and the insatiable need for more domestic goats and goat meat).

10:30/11:15: Dr. Kenneth Andries: Goat Breeds (origin, characteristics, prices, availability; performance testing for genetic quality and profitability).

11:15/12:00: Dr. Ken McMillin: Goat marketing, farm to table (channels, carcass fabrication and characteristics, retailing practices and prices).

1:00/1:30: Dr. Ken Andries: Meat goat production systems, rotational grazing, economic returns.

1:30/2:20: Dr Frank Pinkerton: Dairy goat production systems, grazing vs confinement; cheesemaking and retailing goat milk.

2:20/3:20: Dr. Frank Pinkerton: Confinement meat goat systems (production, facilities, marketing, economic returns; sources of startup stock & hauling costsS).

3:20/4:30: Speakers and listeners for smaller groups for further discussion of topics of greatest industry.

For more information:

Ken Andries
Assistant Professor, Animal Science
Kentucky State University
CEB 105/113
Office: 502-597-5094
Cell: 502-229-8719