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Welcome to the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture

News and Recent Publications

  • SIGN UP for E-Field Notes: Kerr Center Newsletter

    Information to help you be successful and sustainable! Keep up with Kerr Center Farm and Ranch, public events, publications, videos: sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, E-Field Notes.

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  • Organic Establishment of Native Wildflowers

    This presentation, by Kerr Center President David Redhage, is from a USDA-NRCS webinar held August 1, 2017.  It describes the Kerr Center’s experiences and lessons learned from efforts to establish wildflower plantings on the Kerr…

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  • Portable Shade

    Take a structure designed to protect tender plants from frost, and turn it into something that keeps cattle cool in high summer? Sure – it’s just another example of the Kerr Center livestock program’s can-do…

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  • President’s Note: Book Review – Fireflies, Glow-worms and Lighting Bugs

    Fireflies or lightning bugs – take your pick of the name – have interested me since childhood. I know many of you probably have memories of chasing fireflies in the early evening. It reminds me of time spent at my grandparents’ house literally over the hill from my childhood home.

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  • Field Notes – August 2017

    It’s August, and we’re as keen as anyone else to keep out of the sun. In this issue, we focus on how to do the same thing for crops and livestock, with features on: –…

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  • Berries Thrive in High Tunnels, But Be Aware of Pests

    via Southern SARE: A University of Arkansas study has found that using high tunnels in berry production can increase yields, extend the harvest season, and improve fruit quality compared to field production. However, care must…

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Events/Training

Sep
24
Sun
Farm & Food Leadership Conference @ McKinney, TX
Sep 24 – Sep 26 all-day
Farm & Food Leadership Conference @ McKinney, TX | McKinney | Texas | United States

This unique conference focuses on the policies and regulations affecting farms and food, as well as the latest developments in sustainable agriculture. Whether you are a farmer, consumer, chef, local foods business owner, or nonprofit advocate, you will find useful information and tools to help support the growth of the local and sustainable food movement.

Highlights:

  • In-depth pre-conference workshops to help farmers and producers with practical solutions such as how to form a successful co-op and food safety for produce growers.
  • Top speakers on a variety of topics including nutrition, sustainable sourcing at restaurants and retailers, food waste, water policy, farm support programs, GMOs, food freedom, and more.
  • Keynote speaker Fred Kirschenmann, President of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, and Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University.
  • Networking with individuals and businesses who care about our local farms and food
  • An on-farm dinner, prepared by local chefs from food grown by local farmers.

Presented by Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance and Council for Healthy Food Systems.

For more information, contact Teresa Davenport by email or phone (254-697-2661).

Sep
27
Wed
Soil Health Bootcamp @ Ft. Scott, KS
Sep 27 @ 9:00 am – 3:15 pm
Soil Health Bootcamp @ Ft. Scott, KS | Fort Scott | Kansas | United States

Register by September 18

The training consists of 3 parts that will be conducted by the participants in the following order:

  • a series of introductory webinars
  • hands-on workshops
  • an online learning community to dive deeper into these topics

There is no cost to attend the workshops, and lunch is provided.

Tentative Agenda for East Workshop

Reminder: Before the workshop, be sure to view the online webinars.

9:00 registration/snacks

9:30 introductions

9:45 rainfall simulator and texture by feel (DeAnn Presley)

10:45 fertility and cover crops (Cary Rivard)

11:30 soil arthropods (Ray Cloyd)

12:00 lunch (provided)

1:00-3:00 tour of local fruit/veg farm, including discussions of compaction and soil structure

3:15 evaluations and departure

For more information or to register, visit www.soilhealthbootcamp.com/east/ or contact Kerri Ebert by email or phone (785-532-2976).

Sep
28
Thu
Tribal Monarch Celebration @ Sulphur (Chickasaw Cultural Center)
Sep 28 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Tribal Monarch Celebration @ Sulphur (Chickasaw Cultural Center) | Sulphur | Oklahoma | United States

Join The Chickasaw Nation and Tribal Environmental Action for Monarchs in a Celebration:

10:00 Monarch Tagging Demonstration by Dr. Chip Taylor
11:30 Luncheon Hosted by Chickasaw Nation in the Holisso
12:00 Presentations by Tribal Officials, TEAM Project Leaders and Fish and Wildlife Service
1:00 Tribal Alliance for Pollinators Inauguration
1:30 Tour of Monarch Habitat Restoration Demonstration Sites
2:45 Film Screening: Flight of the Butterflies

For more information or to RSVP, email the organizers.

Oct
4
Wed
Organic Oklahoma: Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course @ Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC Student Center, Rm. 304)
Oct 4 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Organic Oklahoma: Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course @ Oklahoma City (OSU-OKC Student Center, Rm. 304) | Oklahoma City | Oklahoma | United States

Register by September 29

This course is Day 1 of the Organic Oklahoma 2017 conference.  Day 2 is the Fall Organic Farming Workshop.

Who Should Attend

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. The PSA Grower Training Course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Training Course

The trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in these seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

Benefits of Attending the Course

The course will provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals who participate in this course are expected to gain a basic understanding of:

  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
  • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them.

After attending the entire course, participants will be eligible to receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) that verifies they have completed the training course. To receive an AFDO certificate, a participant must be present for the entire training and submit the appropriate paperwork to their trainer at the end of the course.

For more information or to register, contact Karen Smith by email or phone (405-744-6277).  Online registration is also available.

Oct
5
Thu
Oklahoma Compost Conference @ Norman (Cleveland County Fairgrounds)
Oct 5 all-day
Oklahoma Compost Conference @ Norman (Cleveland County Fairgrounds) | Norman | Oklahoma | United States

The Oklahoma Compost Conference first started in 2015 as a way to discuss how compost can benefit local communities, businesses, and the environment. The conference features talks and demonstrations from leaders in the field of industrial and community composting.  Attendees range from local governments and municipalities, construction and solid waste companies, consulting firms and students.

Keynote Speaker Jona Tucker is Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Pontotoc Ridge Preserve, Oka’yanahli Preserve, and Boehler Seeps and Sandhills Preserve.  Tucker’s presentation will focus on the importance of soil health in Oklahoma ,and the role of healthy soil and plants in withstanding drought and flooding in Oklahoma.

For more information and to register, visit the conference website.


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