Calendar

Oct
31
Mon
USDA Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) (signup deadline)
Oct 31 all-day
USDA Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) (signup deadline)

October 31, 2022, is the last day to sign up for the USDA’s new Organic and Transitional Education and Certification Program (OTECP) as part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, certified organic and transitional operations faced challenges due to loss of markets, and increased costs and labor shortages, in addition to costs related to obtaining or renewing their organic certification, which producers and handlers of conventionally grown commodities do not incur. Transitional operations also faced the financial challenge of implementing practices required to obtain organic certification without being able to obtain the premium prices normally received for certified organic commodities.

Eligible Expenses 
OTECP funding is provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Certified operations and transitional operations may apply for OTECP for eligible expenses paid during the 2020, 2021 and 2022 fiscal years. For each year, OTECP covers 25% of a certified operation’s eligible certification expenses, up to $250 per certification category (crop, livestock, wild crop, handling and State Organic Program fee). This includes application fees, inspection fees, USDA organic certification costs, state organic program fees and more.

Crop and livestock operations transitioning to organic production may be eligible for 75% of a transitional operation’s eligible expenses, up to $750, for each year. This includes fees charged by a certifying agent or consultant for pre-certification inspections and development of an organic system plan.

For both certified operations and transitional operations, OTECP covers 75% of the registration fees, up to $200, per year, for educational events that include content related to organic production and handling in order to assist operations in increasing their knowledge of production and marketing practices that can improve their operations, increase resilience and expand available marketing opportunities. Additionally, both certified and transitional operations may be eligible for 75% of the expense of soil testing required under the National Organic Program (NOP) to document micronutrient deficiency, not to exceed $100 per year.

Applying for Assistance 
Program Year 2022 covers expenses paid from October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022.  The application period for program year 2022 is May 16, 2022 to October 31, 2022.  Producers apply through their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office and can also obtain one-on-one support with applications by calling 877-508-8364. Visit farmers.gov/otecp to learn more.

Additional Organic Support   
OTECP builds upon USDA’s Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) which provides cost share assistance of 50%, up to a maximum of $500 per scope, to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the NOP. This year’s application period for OCCSP ended Nov. 1, 2021.

Additionally, USDA’s Risk Management Agency announced improvements to the Whole-Farm Revenue Program including increasing expansion limits for organic producers to the higher of $500,000 or 35%. Previously, small and medium size organic operations were held to the same 35% limit to expansion as conventional practice producers. Also, producers can now report acreage as certified organic, or as acreage in transition to organic, when the producer has requested an organic certification by the acreage reporting date.

To learn more about USDA’s assistance for organic producers, visit usda.gov/organic.

For more information or to apply, visit the program webpage, or contact Kimberly Graham by email or phone (202-720-7641).

USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) (signup deadline)
Oct 31 all-day
USDA Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP) (signup deadline)

October 31, 2022, is the last day to sign up for the USDA’s Organic Certification Cost Share Program (OCCSP).

OCCSP provides cost share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program (NOP). Certified operations may receive up to 50 percent of their certification costs paid during the program year, not to exceed $500 per certification scope.

To learn more about USDA’s assistance for organic producers, visit usda.gov/organic.

For more information or to apply, visit the program webpage, or contact Kay Niner by email or phone (202-205-9354).

Nov
13
Sun
Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference @ Oklahoma City
Nov 13 – Nov 15 all-day
Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference @ Oklahoma City

‘Growing Together’ – The Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference is back for its first in-person conference at the national level since 2019.

Join in the 8th Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference from November 13 to 15 at the Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at the Reed Conference Center in Oklahoma City.

The Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference is the largest national gathering of the agriculture and military communities and features three days of education, distinguished speakers, guest panels, networking events, farm tours, camaraderie and much more.

For more information or to register, visit the conference webpage, or contact the Farmer Veteran Coalition by email or phone (530-756-1395).

Dec
14
Wed
OK-FIRE Virtual Training @ online
Dec 14 @ 1:00 pm – Dec 15 @ 4:30 pm
OK-FIRE Virtual Training @ online

Register by December 8

Free virtual training workshops will be offered this fall for both new and experienced users of OK-FIRE, the statewide weather-based decision support system of the Oklahoma Mesonet for wildland fire management with applications to wildfire, prescribed fire, and smoke. Dr. J. D. Carlson, OK-FIRE program manager and fire meteorologist in OSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, will conduct the training. Workshops will be held in a virtual format over Zoom from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., spanning two consecutive afternoons.

Registration is required and can be done here. For those interested in the virtual workshops, please note that information on the specific content of Part 1 and Part 2 can be found on the online registration form. Part 1 will be useful to all wildland fire managers (those who work with wildfires or conduct prescribed burns), while Part 2 will be of most help to those who work with wildfires. If you can only make one of the two consecutive days, feel free to sign up for the other half of the workshop in another month. It would also be better, if possible, to attend a Part 1 workshop first and a Part 2 workshop in a later month. In addition, you have the option to only sign up for either Part 1 or Part 2. Note that the registration deadline for each workshop, virtual or in-person, is the Friday before the workshop date.

Workshops will consist of a combination of presentations, website demos, and question/answer periods. Participants will learn about the available fire weather, fire danger, and smoke products on OK-FIRE, as well as their application to wildfire, prescribed fire, and smoke management. In addition to past/current conditions based on Oklahoma Mesonet data, OK-FIRE also includes a 3-day forecast component, useful for anticipating periods of high fire danger as well as identifying windows for prescribed burning. If possible, attendees are encouraged to use either tablets or computers, as the larger screens will make for easier viewing and learning. Please note that these workshops are designed for those who work directly (or indirectly) with wildland fire (wildfire and/or prescribed fire). Finally, for those who attended any OK-FIRE virtual workshops last fall, please note that the workshops this fall will be similar to those of last year.

For more information or to register, visit the OK-FIRE training webpage, or contact Dr. J. D. Carlson by email or phone (405-744-6353).

Dec
15
Thu
Neighbors Helping Neighbors (signup deadline)
Dec 15 all-day
Neighbors Helping Neighbors (signup deadline)

December 15 is the signup deadline for the Oklahoma Conservation Commission’s new Neighbors Helping Neighbors program. The program allows either poultry growers or their immediate neighbors to sign up for one of several conservation practices to be installed on their farm.

The project will focus on the poultry growing areas of eastern Oklahoma and will primarily work directly between poultry growers and their immediate neighbors. On a larger scale, it will protect natural resources in eastern Oklahoma while also supporting the important regional poultry industry. Landowners that either own a poultry farm or land adjacent to one in the following counties could be eligible: Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Haskell, Le Flore, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Ottawa or Sequoyah.

Some of the natural resource concerns that can be addressed through the program are odor and dust, water quality and light pollution.

For more information or to sign up, visit the program webpage, or contact Jeri Fleming by email or phone (405-334-6343).

The Neighbors Helping Neighbors project is funded in part from USDA NRCS with additional funding from the U.S. EPA Section 319 program and an appropriation from the Oklahoma legislature. Other partners include the Grand River Dam Authority, OSU Extension Services, the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, and the Poultry Federation.

OK-FIRE Virtual Training @ online
Dec 15 @ 1:00 pm – Dec 16 @ 4:30 pm
OK-FIRE Virtual Training @ online

Register by December 8

Free virtual training workshops will be offered this fall for both new and experienced users of OK-FIRE, the statewide weather-based decision support system of the Oklahoma Mesonet for wildland fire management with applications to wildfire, prescribed fire, and smoke. Dr. J. D. Carlson, OK-FIRE program manager and fire meteorologist in OSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, will conduct the training. Workshops will be held in a virtual format over Zoom from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., spanning two consecutive afternoons.

Registration is required and can be done here. For those interested in the virtual workshops, please note that information on the specific content of Part 1 and Part 2 can be found on the online registration form. Part 1 will be useful to all wildland fire managers (those who work with wildfires or conduct prescribed burns), while Part 2 will be of most help to those who work with wildfires. If you can only make one of the two consecutive days, feel free to sign up for the other half of the workshop in another month. It would also be better, if possible, to attend a Part 1 workshop first and a Part 2 workshop in a later month. In addition, you have the option to only sign up for either Part 1 or Part 2. Note that the registration deadline for each workshop, virtual or in-person, is the Friday before the workshop date.

Workshops will consist of a combination of presentations, website demos, and question/answer periods. Participants will learn about the available fire weather, fire danger, and smoke products on OK-FIRE, as well as their application to wildfire, prescribed fire, and smoke management. In addition to past/current conditions based on Oklahoma Mesonet data, OK-FIRE also includes a 3-day forecast component, useful for anticipating periods of high fire danger as well as identifying windows for prescribed burning. If possible, attendees are encouraged to use either tablets or computers, as the larger screens will make for easier viewing and learning. Please note that these workshops are designed for those who work directly (or indirectly) with wildland fire (wildfire and/or prescribed fire). Finally, for those who attended any OK-FIRE virtual workshops last fall, please note that the workshops this fall will be similar to those of last year.

For more information or to register, visit the OK-FIRE training webpage, or contact Dr. J. D. Carlson by email or phone (405-744-6353).

Jan
31
Tue
Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audit & Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants (application deadline)
Jan 31 all-day
Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audit & Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants (application deadline)

The Rural Energy for America Program Energy Audit & Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance (REDA) to eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses. This program helps promote American energy independence by increasing the private sector supply of renewable energy and decreasing the demand for energy through energy efficiency improvements. Over time, these investments can also help lower energy costs for small businesses
and agricultural producers.

For more information or to apply, visit the program website, or contact Brian Wiles by email or phone (405-742-1060).

Feb
13
Mon
Beginning Farmer Summit @ Ames, IA
Feb 13 @ 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Beginning Farmer Summit @ Ames, IA

Practical Farmers of Iowa invites all beginning farmers and landowners to the annual Beginning Farmer Summit for an opportunity to reconnect with friends and peers and make new acquaintances. The event is free, and farmers from all enterprises are encouraged to attend.

Registration is required and open online until Feb. 8.

For more information or to register, visit the event webpage, or contact Greg Padget by email or phone (515-232-5661).

Feb
14
Tue
Southern Cover Crops Conference @ Baton Rouge, LA
Feb 14 – Feb 15 all-day
Southern Cover Crops Conference @ Baton Rouge, LA

The Southern Cover Crops Council is hosting the Southern Cover Crops Conference to help farmers adopt and improve cover crop management.

For more information or to register, visit the conference webpage, or contact Lisa Fultz by email or phone (225-578-1344).

Feb
16
Thu
Georgia Organics Conference & Expo @ Perry, GA
Feb 16 – Feb 18 all-day
Georgia Organics Conference & Expo @ Perry, GA

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Georgia Organics will once again its conference for farmers, community advocates, equity activists, and climate leaders. Over three packed days, attendees will build and reinvigorate the connections that lead to impactful collaborations for Georgia’s food system.

For more information or to register, visit the conference webpage, or contact Georgia Organics by email or phone (678-702-0400).

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