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Events/Training

Feb
12
Fri
ODAFF Plasticulture Conference @ Mid-America Technology Center
Feb 12 @ 3:00 pm – Feb 13 @ 9:30 pm
ODAFF Plasticulture Conference @ Mid-America Technology Center | Wayne | Oklahoma | United States
The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry’s 10th Annual Plasticulture Conference will provide gardeners with the latest information on the plasticulture growing technique. This year’s theme will be “Advanced Techniques for Plasticulture.” Keynote speaker Itzhak Esquira is the Greenhouse and Plasticulture Extension Specialist for the Israeli Plants Board. He teaches greenhouse technology at Tel Hai College and offers agricultural consulting through his company, GreenIT in Tel Aviv, Israel. Plasticulture is a farming technique that creates raised soil beds covered with plastic sheeting and equipped with irrigation drip lines laid directly under the plastic. Vegetable seedlings are planted in holes punched through the plastic. Micah Anderson, ODAFF Plasticulture Program Coordinator, will give an overview of his recent trip to the International Agriculture Conference in Tel Aviv, Israel. Other speakers include OSU Area Extension Horticulturist Dr. Jim Shrefler, Noble Foundation Horticulture Consultant Steve Upson, US Foods Manager Freddy Phillips, and Dr. Merritt Taylor of the OSU Agricultural Economics Department. The general session on Saturday will be from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Register for the conference by calling Ashley Bender at (405) 522-4330. Registration costs $10 per person and includes lunch. The Mid America Technology Center is located at 27438 State Highway 59 in Wayne. A pre-conference session will be held Fri., Feb. 12 from 3-6 p.m. at the Mid-America Technology Center. It is open to the public at no charge and will include an outside demonstration laying a plasticulture bed with a tractor and a display of hoop house design by Kingston Greenhouses. For more information on ODAFF’s plasticulture program, visit http://www.ag.ok.gov/mktdev/plasticulture.htm.
Mar
3
Thu
Organic Oklahoma 2016 @ OSU-OKC Student Center
Mar 3 – Mar 4 all-day
Organic Oklahoma 2016 @ OSU-OKC Student Center | Oklahoma City | Oklahoma | United States
This annual sustainable and organic production conference is designed for both beginning and advanced growers. This year’s program topics include hands-on growing techniques, season extension, varietal selections, and farm management practices.  In addition, there will be tours of a farmers’ market, green houses, and high tunnel facilities, as well as opportunities to visit with product suppliers, educational exhibitors, and industry-related vendors.  Featured speakers include national and state recognized specialists and experienced local growers.
Mar
8
Tue
Tour the Kerr Center @ Kerr Center
Mar 8 all-day
Tour the Kerr Center @ Kerr Center | Poteau | Oklahoma | United States
Guided tours are available one day each month, on the second Tuesday of the month. During these tours, Kerr Center staff show visitors our current horticulture and livestock projects. Short tours go from 9-11 or 1-3 (approximate length),  and cost $10 per person. Long tours are also available, starting at 9 a.m., and cost $20 per person. Advance registration is required. Contact us a week in advance to let us know you are coming and whether you want to see horticulture or livestock projects or both. Keep in mind that what is available to see varies according to season. When you call, we can let you know what is available to see. We want you to have the best possible experience! Pay at the door. Tours begin at the Kerr Center office. Click here for directions and map. All other visits must be requested at least two weeks in advance. Groups are welcome. Call the Kerr Center at 918.647.9123 or email mailbox@kerrcenter.com with “tour request” in the subject line to arrange a visit.
Mar
10
Thu
Oklahoma Farmers Market Conference @ Cole Community Center
Mar 10 @ 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Oklahoma Farmers Market Conference @ Cole Community Center | Oklahoma City | Oklahoma | United States
Register by March 3. The Oklahoma Nutrition Information and Education (ONIE) Project will host the second annual Oklahoma Farmers Market Conference on March 10 from 9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Cole Community Center, 4400 NW Expressway, OKC, OK 73116. The ONIE Project, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF), the Oklahoma Food Banks, Integris Health, Oklahoma Farm and Food Alliance, Oklahoma DHS, and OSU-OKC are partnering for this conference geared toward market managers, board members, growers, vendors and individuals or city officials who want to increase the presence of local food in their community. Breakout sessions will include: – marketing to the public – nutrition education at the farmers market – sourcing local businesses – SNAP and Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Programs at the market – growing season planning – recruiting vendors – community organizing – farmers market policy – grant opportunities. More information and free registration are available at www.onieproject.org/FarmersMarkets. Registration closes on March 3. There is no charge for the conference and lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Meredith Scott at (405) 271-2091.  
Mar
31
Thu
Deadline: NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-up 2016
Mar 31 all-day
Deadline: NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-up 2016
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Oklahoma plans to add an estimated 450,000 more acres to the rolls of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) during fiscal year 2016. NRCS Oklahoma State Conservationist Gary O’Neill encourages farmers, ranchers and landowners to submit applications by March 31 to their local USDA service center to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016. CSP is USDA’s largest conservation program that helps producers voluntarily improve the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands through more than 100 different land enhancements. Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec.31, 2016 have the option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew are also due by March 31. NRCS also makes CSP available to producers as an additional opportunity to participate in regional landscape-level conservation efforts including the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative and Ogallala Aquifer Initiative. Funding is available for more than 100 kinds of enhancements nationwide to help participants:
  • Improve soil quality through use of cover crops, conservation crop rotations and other activities that increase soil productivity.
  • Use water wisely and improve water quality through enhancements such as more efficient irrigation systems and weather monitoring.
  • Restore habitat for wildlife and pollinators such as the lesser prairie-chicken and monarch butterfly through the use of better grazing systems and improved plant management.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is compatible with their operation. As part of the application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete a resource inventory of their land to determine the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant’s conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking and payments. For more on technical and financial assistance available through conservation programs, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted.

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