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Published May 10 2013

Ag calendar (May 10)

Conservation stewardship applications due by May 31

WASHINGTON – The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program will provide nearly $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres of enrollment this year, according to a release from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Farmers, ranchers and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by May 31 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding.

CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship.

The voluntary program allows producers to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations.

Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.

For the checklist and additional information, visit the CSP website (http://tinyurl.com/bwzz6ll) or visit your local USDA NRCS office.


Therapeutic horsemanship workshop slated June 22-23

FARGO – North Dakota State University and Riding on Angels’ Wings are co-hosting a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International workshop June 20-22 at NDSU and a certification program June 22-23 at ROAW.

The workshop is the first of its kind in this region and is open to anyone interested in learning more about equine-assisted activities and therapies.

ROAW, of rural Felton, Minn., is a therapeutic horseback riding program and member of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. PATH promotes excellence in the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies through instructor education, center accreditation, educational opportunities and advocacy work.

NDSU partners with ROAW and PATH International to offer minor and certificate programs in therapeutic horsemanship.

The early registration deadline for the workshop is May 17. Participants are not required to pursue certification.

For additional information about this workshop, contact Erika Berg, an assistant professor of Equine Science in NDSU’s Animal Sciences Department, at erika.berg@ndsu.edu or (701) 231-9611.


Father of sustainable ag to be in Medina, Fargo

MEDINA, N.D. – Treat your father to a “Day on the Prairie” and walk the earth with Distinguished Fellow and “Father of Sustainability” Fred Kirschenmann and “Symphony of the Soil” film director/creator Deborah Koons Garcia beginning at 1 p.m. June 16 in Medina.

The North Dakota premiere of the movie will be June 18 at the Fargo Theatre.

There will be several events and education opportunities in conjunction with the premiere, beginning with “A Day on the Prairie” June 16, with participants gathering at the FARRMS office in Medina to view the Karle Limvere Memorial classroom and artistic donor wall designed and installed by Renee Knight.

The first soil tour will be at Kirschenmann Family Farms south of Medina and a second farm/garden tour is slated in Windsor. Participants will share time and conversation with Kirschenmann and Garcia discussing soil health and sustainability.

There will be a social about 5 p.m., followed by a meal featuring grass-fed organic beef from Kirschenmann Family Farms and vegetables grown at the Windsor gardens, and a discussion about the future of FARRMS’ mission.

Tickets to the Father’s Day event are $100 for the first person and $50 per person for additional members of the family or company. FARRMS is offering a special Father’s Day ticket price. Bring your father and up to three family members for $150.

Proceeds benefit FARRMS education programs and sustainability as an organization. Call (701) 486-3569, email info@farrms.org or visit go online to www.farrms.org to purchase tickets.

For more information, call FARRMS at (701) 486-3569 or Sue Balcom at (701) 527-5169, email info@farrms.org or go online to www.farrms.org.


Minnesota GreenCorps now seeking applications

Minnesota GreenCorps is recruiting hosts and AmeriCorps members for the upcoming program year.

Minnesota GreenCorps is an AmeriCorps program the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency started in 2009. AmeriCorps is a national service program that helps communities with a wide variety of challenges.

Goals of the Minnesota GreenCorps program include reducing solid waste and increasing recycling in communities; reducing greenhouse gases and other air pollutants; reducing stormwater runoff and improving water quality; and training new environmental professionals.

Whether they are just out of college or contemplating a career change, Minnesota GreenCorps presents opportunities for individuals to gain experience in the environmental field.

The next Minnesota GreenCorps program year will begin in September. Available positions are in the areas of energy conservation, waste prevention, living green and green infrastructure. Applications to become an AmeriCorps member are due June 7.

For more information on Minnesota GreenCorps, email Karen Solas at karen.solas@state.mn.us or go online to the Minnesota GreenCorps page at www.pca.state.mn.us/mngreencorps.


Camp offers youths taste of technology June 17-20

FARGO – North Dakota youths will have an opportunity in June to learn about building robots, using global positioning system technology and making maps.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is holding a GEAR-Tech-21 (Geospatial and Robotics Technologies for the 21st Century) Camp June 17-20 on the NDSU campus in Fargo.

The camp is open to youths who will be entering grades five to eight this fall.

Youths do not need to be a 4-H member to attend the camp.

Participants will be able to:

- Build and program robots.

- Operate a hand-held GPS receiver.

- Apply robotics, GPS and geographic information system technologies to geo-tracking, navigation and map making.

- Learn about information technology’s role in natural resources and precision agriculture.

- Explore the outdoors.

- Learn about careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

- Complete fun challenges and take part in a virtual competition with youth across the U.S.

The cost of the camp is $200 per participant. That includes all meals, overnight housing, and a camp workbook, supplies and T-shirt. Youth who will be riding the designated 4-H bus to camp will need to pay an additional $50.

The registration deadline is June 1. The camp is limited to 12 youth. Register online at https://nd.4honline.com.

For more information, contact Linda Hauge, 4-H youth development specialist, at (701) 231-7964 or linda.hauge@ndsu.edu.


Short course focuses durum wheat milling skills

FARGO – The Northern Crops Institute and the International Grains Program at Kansas State University are co-sponsoring a durum wheat milling short course May 21-24 at NCI here.

The course will provide participants with a better understanding of the durum milling process and add insight into milling performance and semolina quality.

Course topics include objectives of durum wheat milling, durum wheat variety development, durum wheat selection, durum wheat cleaning, durum wheat tempering, durum mill flow sheet analysis, grinding and sifting, purification, air utilization, product quality control, and trends in the durum milling and product utilization industry.

NCI’s pilot-scale mill was converted in 2009 from a durum mill into a swing mill to give the region the capability to mill pilot-scale or test-scale quantities of durum or bread wheat. The mill is capable of milling flour, durum semolina and whole-wheat flour.

Flour milling capacity of the mill is 200 to 300 pounds per hour, a larger quantity than a laboratory scale mill can produce.

The intended audience of this course is newly hired millers, millers who would like to advance their skills, and quality control personnel wanting to gain an insight into durum milling.

All courses are contingent upon sufficient enrollment numbers. Registration Fee: $850. For more information, visit www.northern-crops.com. Follow the educational courses link.


Leadership program seeks participants for 6th class

If you want to improve your organization, business, farm or ranch operation, or community, the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s Rural Leadership North Dakota program can help.

Rural Leadership North Dakota is looking for participants for its next class, which begins in November.

The deadline to apply to join the class of 2013-15 is June 15. Applicants must have been a state resident for at least a year and be able to attend all of the seminars.

RLND is an 18-month leadership development program that develops leaders for North Dakota’s future. The program includes in-state seminars with experts; tours of agricultural and community businesses; out-of-state trips (Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis in 2014) to meet with agricultural, business and government leaders; and a trip to another country (destination to be determined) to learn about international agricultural and community issues.

Participants learn leadership skills, such as thinking critically and creatively, communicating effectively and managing conflict. They also learn about agricultural and rural policy, the agricultural economy and future trends that could affect North Dakota, finding innovative ways to fund local and regional development projects, marketing, civic engagement, the value of coalitions and partnerships, industry and community advocacy, and how to work with the state Legislature.

Tuition for the RLND program is $3,750. It covers all meals, hotels and travel expenses such as buses during in-state seminars and airfare to out-of-state seminars. Participants are responsible for their travel costs to in-state seminars and points of departure for out-of-state seminars.

For more information, or to register or nominate someone for the class, visit RLND’s website at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/rlnd, send an e-mail to ndsu.ruralleadership@ndsu.edu or call (701) 231-5803.


‘See for Yourself’ export facility mission July 9-11

North Dakota soybean farmers are encouraged to apply for an opportunity to follow their soybeans on a journey to the Pacific Northwest.

Applications to participate in this trip are open to all North Dakota soybean farmers until May 30.

With approximately 95 percent of the North Dakota soybean crop exported each year from the Pacific Northwest, international marketing is a crucial part of the checkoff’s effort to enhance farmer profitability.

This year’s “See for Yourself” mission to Seattle includes a visit to the Seattle export facility. Twenty state soybean farmers will be selected to participate with air fare, lodging and most meals will be covered.

During the trip the group will learn about the logistics required to export their soybeans. As a partner in the project with the North Dakota Soybean Council, Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad specialists will discuss their role in transporting soybeans. BNSF committed $4.1 billion in investment in 2013 to improve service, $550 million of which is toward terminal, line, and intermodal expansion.

To complete and submit an application, go online to www.ndsoybean.org.


Agriculture in Classroom conference in Minneapolis

ST. PAUL – The “Land of 10,000 Lakes” is hosting the “Land of 10,000 Ag Opportunities” at the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference June 25-28 in Minneapolis.

For the first time in its 28 year history, the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom program is hosting agricultural literacy supporters from across the nation.

The Ag in the Classroom program provides school teachers with opportunities for embedding agriculture, food and natural resources education into the K-12 curriculum. These programs cultivate an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system that we all rely on every day.

The conference brings together classroom teachers, informal educators, program volunteers and staff, and leaders in agriculture and education. The national conference will feature workshops, traveling tours, an exhibit fair and dynamic keynote speakers.

The National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference will be at the Marriot City Center in downtown Minneapolis.

Early registration by April 15 is $375. By May 15, registration is $400. After May 15, the cost is $425. There are also opportunities available for organizations or businesses wanting to be a conference sponsor or exhibitor.

Register online at www.agclassroom.org/conference2013; or for more information, contact Al Withers at alan.withers@state.mn.us or 651-201-6688.