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Published June 14 2013

Ag calendar (June 14)

NDSU launches workshops focusing on local foods

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is launching a series of workshops to help communities get involved in the local foods movement.

The first workshop, “Building Capacity for Local/Regional Food and Understanding the Industry,” is Aug. 13 at FARRMS in Medina.

Interest in eating locally produced food continues to grow among consumers, restaurants, schools and grocers. The reasons vary, but health, safety, freshness and knowing where one’s food comes from are four key drivers.

“The interest in eating local is behind the NDSU Extension effort to train local people to support opportunities to grow foods here,” says Abby Gold, Extension nutrition and wellness specialist. “After the training, program participants will develop projects that help their communities explore strategies to increase local food availability.”

From 2007 through 2010, local food sales increased from $1.2 billion to $5 billion nationally. This trend appears to be continuing because more farmers markets open each year and the number of small farms (those less than 100 acres) is expanding.

North Dakota has gained more than nine farmers markets in the last two years.

In a 2011 NDSU symposium that examined scaling up local foods, participants said training to help expand this effort, especially in local areas, was needed.

“The training needs varied from helping producers with food safety issues to helping consumers better understand how local foods support good nutrition,” Gold says.

Issues North Dakota faces in meeting the demand for locally produced food are the lack of producers, transportation and rural retail outlets.

“Small farm specialty crop producers account for less than 5 percent of our agricultural producers,” says Glenn Muske, NDSU Extension’s rural and agribusiness enterprise development specialist. “Meeting this growing demand will mean helping potential producers see this as an opportunity and helping ensure they can do it profitably.”

To register for the workshop, visit http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/smallbusiness. The registration deadline is July 15.

The workshop is free of charge. Participants will receive travel stipends and a small grant to initiate a local foods program in their communities.

For more information, contact Muske at glenn.muske@ndsu.edu or call (701) 328-9718.

NDSU crop management field school slated June 20

The North Dakota State University Extension Service’s annual crop management field school will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 20 at the Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC).

The school will provide updates, using hands-on training in field research and demonstration plots, on crop and pest scouting and management recommendations.

The school is targeted for crop advisers, but the program also will be beneficial for farmers.

Specific field sessions include:

• Weed identification – identify more than 60 living weed exhibits and review biology and control.

• Herbicide mode of action – identify herbicide classes by examining crop and weed injury symptoms.

• Wheat – fungicide strategies.

• Insect management – review current insect concerns.

• Corn – plant health, nutrition, protection and intensive management.

• Soybeans – root rot and white mold management.

NDSU instructors for the field school are Venkat Chapara, Extension Service area crop protection specialist; Greg Endres, Extension Service area agronomist; Kirk Howatt, weed scientist; Mike Ostlie, CREC research agronomist; Shana Pederson, Extension Service area agronomist; Blaine Schatz, CREC director and research agronomist; and Michael Wunsch, CREC plant pathologist.

Preregistration is required. A total of 50 participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants will receive reference materials, refreshments and a noon meal. Certified crop advisers participating in the event will receive six continuing education units.

For further details and preregistration information, go to http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/

CarringtonREC/events or contact the Carrington center at (701) 652-2951.

A completed preregistration form and $75 fee is required by June 17 ($100 after June 17).

BBQ Boot Camps dish up knowledge

Grilling season finally is here. If you are looking for new ways to grill your favorite meat, want to learn about different meat cuts or need some tips on handling food safely, the BBQ Boot Camp can help.

North Dakota State University’s Animal Sciences Department and the NDSU Extension Service have teamed up to hold three BBQ Boot Camps this year.

The dates and locations are:

• June 26 at Bonanzaville in West Fargo, 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

• July 2 at the city park in Fullerton, 5 to 8 p.m.

• Aug. 15 at the Harold Schafer Heritage Center in Medora, 5 to 8 p.m.

BBQ Boot Camp instructors introduce participants to grilling methods, including smoking and cooking with gas and charcoal; describe the merits of various meat cuts; and explain how cooking temperatures, humidity and the composition of the meat from different animal species can affect the barbecuing process.

Participants also learn about:

• Nutrition.

• Food safety issues such as the proper cooking temperatures for meat and how to handle raw meat safely.

• Techniques such as using rubs, marinades and seasonings.

• Current topics in the pork, beef and lamb industries.

• Related research, teaching and Extension activities at NDSU.

“The program highlights many different aspects of agriculture from meat cookery to the importance that producers place on meeting high product quality standards,” says David Newman, NDSU Extension swine specialist and one of the BBQ Boot Camp organizers.

The camps wrap up with a full meal, including traditional barbecue side dishes.

Participants will be able to fill their plates with a large variety of barbecued meat.

“You definitely won’t leave hungry,” says Eric Berg, a professor in the Animal Sciences Department and a BBQ Boot Camp instructor.

Animal Sciences Department and Extension faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students are the instructors for the camps.

The cost is $40 per person. For more information about the BBQ Boot Camp or to register for the July 2 and Aug. 15 camps, go to http://www.ndsu.edu/bbqbootcamp. To register for the June 26 camp, go to http://tinyurl.com/BBQBootCamp.

This is the fifth year BBQ Boot Camps have been held across the state.

Therapeutic horsemanship workshop slated June 22-23

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.