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Forum staff reports, Published June 21 2013

Ag calendar (June 21)

NDSU sponsors event on how to cook with lamb

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The typical American eats less than 1 pound of lamb per year, while people in many other countries eat 5 to 25 times that amount.

If you don’t have a lot of experience cooking with American lamb, knowing how to prepare it can be one of your biggest challenges. Or maybe you cook with lamb and you’d like some new recipes or cooking methods, or you want to know about various meat cuts.

You’ll be able to find the answers to these and many other questions at a “Cooking With Lamb” workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 2, at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds in Jamestown.

Nick Forrest, chairman of the American Lamb Board, will lead this workshop.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service and North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers Association are sponsoring the event.

The “Cooking With Lamb” workshop is one of several events scheduled during the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Expo set for Aug. 2-3 at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds.

Other activities include:

• Workshops on the morning of Aug. 2 on working with wool and training a stock dog.

• Presentations in the afternoon and evening of Aug. 2 on lamb fabrication, lamb quality characteristics, the U.S. lamb market, flock health management and the future of the sheep industry.

• Lamb dinner on Aug. 2 and a lamb lunch Aug. 3.

• Ram consignor sheep show and Jamestown ram and ewe sale on Aug. 3.

• Vendor fair both days.

• Sheep shearing and wool handling demonstration the evening of Aug. 2.

Also, a workshop on alternative sheep grazing systems will be held at the AL Ranch near Woodworth the morning of Aug. 2.

The cost of the Cooking With Lamb, Working With Wool, Training a Stock Dog or Alternative Sheep Grazing Systems workshops is $25 per person. The cost for the afternoon and evening sessions on Aug. 2 also is $25 per person. Full registration (both days) if registering by July 26 is $45 per adult plus $25 for each addition adult family member and $10 for each child age 5 to 17. The expo is free for children under age 5.

For more information, contact Reid Redden, NDSU Extension sheep specialist, at (701) 231-5597 or reid.redden@ndsu.edu. To register, visit the NDSU Animal Sciences Department website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/ansc/.

NDSU co-hosts Cattlemen’s Boot Camp

FARGO – North Dakota State University is co-hosting a Cattlemen’s Boot Camp on campus Tuesday and Wednesday.

The program is open to all seedstock and commercial cattle producers.

The future of the beef industry, quality and yield grade, and range management are some of the topics that will be discussed during the one and a half day session.

Presenters for the event are NDSU faculty and American Angus Association staff.

The association and the Angus Foundation are co-hosts.

Tours of NDSU’s Beef Cattle Research Complex and the Ekre Ranch near Walcott also are scheduled during the event.

“This is a chance to be part of a really unique educational experience,” says Gerald Stokka, NDSU Extension livestock stewardship specialist and one of the program’s presenters. “This event includes giving participants hands-on learning experiences in evaluating carcasses in the NDSU Meat Lab and in range management at the Ekre Ranch.”

The $75 registration covers all meals and educational materials. Participants must make their own lodging arrangements. Area hotels are: Candlewood Suites, (701) 235-8200; Homewood Suites, (701) 235-3150; and Days Inn, (701) 232-0000.

For more information or to register, contact the American Angus Association at (816) 383-5100 or visit its website at www.angus.org. Cattlemen’s Boot Camps are one of several educational events planned by the American Angus Association and funded by the Angus Foundation.

2013 reporting of prevented planting extended to July 15

ST. PAUL – Farmers must report prevented planting acreage to their local USDA-Farm Service Agency office by July 15.

“Due to an unseasonably cool and wet spring, planting has been significantly delayed or prevented in many areas of Minnesota this crop year,” FSA state Executive Director Debra Crusoe said in a news release

USDA policy requires farmers who request prevented planting credit to report the applicable acreage to FSA on form FSA-578 (Report of Acreage) and file form CCC-576 (Notice of Loss) within 15 calendar days after the final planting date for the crop.

Final planting dates vary by crop but are all typically well before the final acreage reporting date of July 15. For 2013, FSA has simplified the process due to the widespread disaster situation by extending the various prevented planting acreage reporting deadlines for Minnesota to coincide with the final crop acreage reporting date of July 15.

Direct and Counter Cyclical Program participants who claim prevented planting and don’t plant a subsequent crop on that acreage are required to have an acceptable cover crop on all crop base acreage to protect the land from erosion. The cover crop cannot be hayed, grazed or otherwise harvested before Nov. 1. Information on approved cover crops for Minnesota is available at local FSA offices.

Farmers with highly erodible land are reminded they are required to follow a conservation plan to retain conservation compliance eligibility. If the weather conditions change a farmer’s planting plans, they need to ensure they still follow an acceptable conservation plan.

For more information about the programs administered by FSA, visit any FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

NDSU launches workshops focusing on local foods

MEDINA, N.D. – 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.

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.

To register for the workshop, visit 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 Extension specialist Glenn Muske at glenn.muske@ndsu.edu or call (701) 328-9718.