Small farm education
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Rod Greder, Extension educator
Pine County Extension Office, 320-591-1650
Isanti County Extension Office, 763-689-8252
If you are thinking of starting or expanding a small farm or buying an acreage, this workshop series will give you a solid background in all aspects of small farm operation and management. The basic agricultural information will help you be a good steward of your land and prepare you for more advanced learning opportunities.
The 8-week course begins with goal setting and individual property inventory, then addresses soil, plants, livestock, equipment and water basics. You’ll also have plenty of time for networking and questions.
Price includes registration for up to two people per farm, web access to all resources and course material, soil sample kits and instructions, farm tours and farmer panels, networking with peers and experts, lots of great handouts and access to many experts.
All in-person and online classes will be on Wednesday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m., from Oct. 21 through Dec. 16. Many sessions will be online.
In-person meeting locations
- Pine County Courthouse, 635 Northridge Dr. NW, Pine City, MN 55063
- Isanti County Government Center, 555 18th Ave. SW, Cambridge, MN 55008
$159 per farm; due on or before Oct. 10
$179 per farm after Oct. 10
Registration is required. Register between Sep. 1 and Oct. 10.
Each registration covers two people from one farm, soil sample kits and instructions.
Topics covered (subject to change):
- Taking Stock: What do I have and what do I want to do? Develop short and long term goals, complete an inventory and property map. Introduction to Extension and our resources and programs.
- What can I do with my property? Local and state regulations, and your goals. Production systems, marketing and economics for agricultural/rural enterprises. Farm transitions and land access.
- Soil, Water, Air, Climate: Learn about soil structure, health, and fertility. Learn how to use integrated sustainable systems to be good stewards of all your natural resources. Regenerative and practical practices.
- Buildings, Equipment, Crops, and Livestock: What do you want to produce? Learn about the buildings, equipment, power and supplies you'll need.
- Woodlands and Wildlife: Information to best care for your trees and woodlots. Invasive weeds, pollinators and wildlife habitats. Agroforestry. Silvopasture.
- Home-Grown Fruits, Nuts and Vegetables: Successful vegetable and fruit production for home use or sale. Managing fruit trees and vines. Explore options for selling produce. Alternative production systems. Food safety planning.
- Animal Care and Management: Animal husbandry, manure management, pasture management, zoning and permitting, labor required and costs of livestock; emphasis on poultry, sheep, goats, and cattle.
- Tours and Panels: Visit small farm businesses to get ideas and inspiration. Q&A with farmer panel. Networking with suppliers, vendors, buyers, information providers.
- NOTE: Topics are subject to change based on the needs of the participants.