Crop Diagnostic Training Center Summer Workshops

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University of Wisconsin’s Crop Diagnostic Training Center will be hosting two hands-on workshops this summer: Diagnostic Troubleshooting July 30 and Crop and Pest Management on August 13. For more information, please download the workshop flyer. Registration is available online.

Farm Financial Management Workshops for Women Farmers

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University of Extension Rusk and Taylor counties will be hosting Annie’s Project Financial Management workshops on February 25 and March 4. For more information, read Sandy Stuttgen’s news release below.

February 2015
Contact: Sandy Stuttgen, 715-748-3327, sandy.stuttgen@ces.uwex.edu,

Annie’s Project Financial Management Workshop scheduled for February and March

Medford, Wis. – University of Wisconsin-Extension Rusk and Taylor Counties are hosting a two day Annie’s Project on Farm Financial Management. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 25 and Wednesday, March 4 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jump River Community Center in Jump River, Wisconsin.

This workshop series is for farm women who are interested in learning or improving their farm financial management, which is part of the fabric of farm life. The series will be inter-active between speakers and participants with in-class exercises.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Financial Management
  • Records and Recordkeeping Systems
  • Filing Important Family Papers
  • Management Reports including the Balance Sheet and Income Statement
  • Analysis and Interpretation of Financial Statements
  • Benchmarking of Financial Position and Performance
  • Decision Making Tools including Budgets

The cost of the program is $40 which includes materials and lunch both days. Brochures and registration information are available by contacting UW-Extension Taylor County office at 715-748-3327 or http://taylor.uwex.edu/ .

Annie’s project is an opportunity for farm women to learn about farm management skills by providing resources and information to improve farming operations. Class sizes are small which allows for opportunities to network with other farm women in similar situations.

UWEX Using Wood Energy Webinar Series

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Cooperative Extension will be hosting a series of webinars this winter discussing how and why to consider using wood for energy. For more information, please read Scott Sanford’s press release below:

Contact: Scott Sanford, sasanford@wisc.edu, 608-262-5062

Wisconsin Refuels with Wood Energy webinar series scheduled for February – April

Madison, Wis. – Wood is an abundant resource in Wisconsin and can be used to replace fossil fuel that is imported into the state thus creating jobs and keeping money in Wisconsin. Businesses, schools, greenhouses and residences currently using LP gas, heating oil or electricity may be able to reduce their energy cost with the use of efficient wood burning appliances.

The Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET), a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to promote the efficient use of wood energy for heating, processing and power, is hosting a series of educational webinars entitled “Wisconsin Refuels with Wood Energy” on the efficient use of wood energy.

The webinars are scheduled for Wednesdays at 1 p.m. from Feb. 18 through April 8. The webinars are free but registration is required.

Topics include:
· How Wood Energy Compares to Fossil Fuels;
· Wood Fuel Types and Combustion Appliances;
· Economics and Case Studies of Wood Combustion Systems;
· Feasibility Assessment Tools;
· Financing Options;
· Wood Fuel Supply and Distribution;
· Industrial Wood Heating and Power Systems
· Cluster Development and District Heating

The webinars will cover everything from a residential wood burning stove to an industrial combined heat and power applications. Businesses using propane, heating oil or electricity for heating, Educators, Economic Development Agents, Rural School District Facility Managers, Municipal Facility Managers, Heating Contractors, Home Owners are encouraged to participate in the webinars.

Go to wisconsinwoodenergy.org under the “Events and news” tab for a link to the registration.

This programming is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service to establish a Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET). The SWET aims to expand markets that convert woody biomass into energy, advance installation of commercially viable wood energy systems in public and private facilities, and support wildfire mitigation, forest restoration, urban wood utilization and other forest management goals that utilize Wisconsin woody biomass.

The Core SWET members include the USFS, Wisconsin SEO, UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW-Extension, Sustainability Resources Institute, Renewable Resources Solutions, Marth Companies, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and Heating the Midwest. To learn more, please visit: wisconsinwoodenergy.org

Certified Crop Advisor Training Series

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Here is another resource brought to you by University of Wisconsin Extension! Free, online certified crop advisor training videos are available now. In addition to CCA training, they are great for adding to your general knowledge about integrated pest management, soil science, and field and forage crops.

Vince Davis has created a series of weed science videos that can be accessed directly from the videos page.

University of Wisconsin Offers Six MOOCs

University of Wisconsin-Madison is going global this winter with six new MOOCs, not a cow moo with a cough, but Massive Open Online Courses. These are free, non-credit courses taught by UW-Madison faculty. To access the courses or read more about them, go to moocs.wisc.edu. The course schedule is as follows:

  • January 26 to February 22, The Land Ethic Reclaimed: Perceptive Hunting, Aldo Leopold and Conservation
  • February 23 to March 31, Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region
  • April 26 to May 23, Shakespeare in Community
  • June 21 to July 18, Energy and the Earth
  • September 30 to December 28, Forests and Humans: From the Midwest to Madagascar
  • November 9 to December 4, Climate Change Policy and Public Health

Webinar: Cover Crop Economic Decision Tool

The USDA-NRCS is hosting a webinar discussing a new cover crop economics decision tool on January 22, 2015 at 2 PM. The presenters will show participants how to enter cropping information into the Excel-based tool and interpret the output. The webinar can be accessed by following this link.

UW Returning to the Farm Workshop

From Joy Kirkpatrick at the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability:

Returning to the Farm workshop helps farm families plan for farm succession

Madison, Wis. – UW Center for Dairy Profitability, University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Wisconsin-Extension are offering a workshop to help farm families plan for a son, daughter or partner to return to the farm and eventually take over the farm business. The four-day workshop will be offered on the UW-Platteville campus. The dates are Jan. 16 and 17 and Feb. 13 and 14, 2015.

Families looking toward the future of their farming operations have many issues to consider. Two issues of extreme importance to the future life of the business are the development of a son, daughter, or partner to be the future manager of the business and the creation of a succession plan. The Returning to the Farm workshop helps families make these plans.

Returning to the Farm is open to all farm families who want to learn more about planning for farm succession. Families are expected to participate in both sessions. At the end of the February session, families will have action steps to move forward with a plan.

Through this program, farm businesses will:
Determine if an existing operation is large enough to support an additional partner.
Uncover alternatives for the transfer of farm assets.
Recognize personalities and learn to work with each individual’s strengths.
Write long- and short-term business and family goals.
Learn how to address issues in a multiple generation farm business.
Hear the current issues and information on the tax implications of farm transfer.
Understand the tools of estate planning and business succession planning.
Receive business succession and estate planning resources.
The registration fee for this four-day program is $300 per farming unit (up to four people per farm). This includes materials, meeting room costs, refreshment breaks and lunches. The registration deadline is January 9, 2014. If more than four people attend from a farming unit, $75 will be charged for each participant over four.

For more information about the program or to register contact Joy Kirkpatrick, UW Center for Dairy Profitability Outreach Specialist at 608-263-3485 or by email joy.kirkpatrick@ces.uwex.edu . Returning to the Farm is funded by UW-Center for Dairy Profitability, UW-Platteville, and UW-Extension.

Legal and Business Structure Workshop

Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is offering a workshop for farm and food businesses to discuss different types of business structures, property and employment law, and liability insurance issues. For more information, their press release is below:

Media Contact: Ann Marie Ames
608-224-5041 annmarie.ames@wi.gov

Jim Dick, Communications Director
608-224-5020 jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON – Those who want to learn more about legal issues involved with starting and successfully maintaining farms and food businesses should register for next month’s Legal and Business Structure Workshop, which will take place in four locations around Wisconsin. The workshop is part of the annual Local Food Business Seminar Series, designed to help farmers and food business owners improve business practices.

The workshop speakers are Rachel Armstrong from Farm Commons and Courtney Berner of the UW Center for Cooperatives. This highly informative and interactive workshop will benefit those who are planning to start a food business, have recently done so, or who have been running a successful food business for some time.

Topics will include:

● The pros and cons of different business types including non-profit, S corporation or C corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC and cooperative.

● Property and employment law including short- and long-term farmland leases, incubator kitchen leases, workman’s compensation and laws regarding the hiring of employees and interns.

● Liability insurance issues including those regarding food safety and agritourism.

Armstrong and Berner will travel to four sites to deliver the workshop on four dates from Nov. 3 to Nov. 6. They will be in Waukesha on Nov. 3, Stevens Point on Nov. 4, Gays Mills on Nov. 5 and Madison on Nov. 6. The Madison seminar will be available online as a free webinar.

No matter the location, the cost of the seminar is $15 for the first person from any organization and $10 for any additional participants from the same organization. Something Special from Wisconsin members get a $5 discount.

Each seminar will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Check-in starts at 8:45 a.m. Lunch is included in the cost of the seminar.

To learn the addresses of the seminar site nearest you, to find a complete agenda or to sign up, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.

To request a link for the webinar or if you have other questions, contact Kietra Olson at (608) 224-5112 or Kietra.olson@wisconsin.gov.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, along with a number of partner organizations, plan the annual Local Business Seminar Series, which will continue monthly through March. The next in the series is food safety from Dec. 1 to Nov. 4. For a complete list, go to http://datcp.wi.gov/Business/Buy_Local_Buy_Wisconsin/BLBW_Workshops.