Bat Week is an international, annual celebration designed to raise awareness about the need for bat conservation. Bats are amazing creatures that are vital to the health of our natural world and economy. Although we may not always see them, bats are hard at work all around the world each night – eating tons of insects, pollinating flowers, and spreading seeds that grow new plants and trees.
For more information, visit the Bat Week website, or contact Bat Conservation International by email or phone (1-800-538-BATS).
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.
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).
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).
The Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grassfed Association collaborate each year to convene ranchers, farmers, conservationists, land managers, scientists, and thought leaders to share knowledge, build community, and create a culture of resilience and regeneration.
This year’s event explores the intersections of ecology and economy through the lenses of agriculture, science, conservation, economics, racial justice, policy, and culture. Leading up to the conference, there will be a month-long series of events including a virtual workshop week and field days throughout the western U.S. These events will culminate in REGENERATE 2022, a hybrid conference that will take place November 2-4, 2022, in person at the National Western Center in Denver, Colorade (and online for virtual attendees).
For more information or to register, visit the Regnerate 2022 conference webpage, or email the conference organizers.
Come learn from OSU Extension Horticulturist, Courtney Keck, about fall propagation of plants in the home garden. This workshop will be a combination of lecture and hands-on learning. Participants will be able to take home propagated plants!
The cost is $5, cash or check, paid to the Canadian County OSU Extension Office.
For more information or to register, visit the workshop webpage, or contact Courtney Keck by email or phone (405-262-0155) .
Is your landscape prepped for the winter season? Join Oklahoma County Extension for this free workshop, and their experts will give you tips on:
– winterizing your irrigation system
– how and when to prune/train your plants
– which plants bring winter interest and beauty
– how to extend your vegetable growing season
– and more!
There will also be a food demo, and tasting for everyone.
The workshop is free, but please register in advance for demo planning purposes. For more information or to register, call Oklahoma County Extension at 405-713-1125, or email LaDonna Hines.
In this “Dealin’ with Drought in Southeast Oklahoma” workshop, from the Oklahoma Grazing Lands Coalition, learn new tricks to help get your ranching operation through drought.
For more information or to register, visit the registration webpage, or contact Sara Bullis by email or phone (405-853-5005).
Oka’ The Water Institute at East Central University is hosting its 7th annual water sustainability conference in person in Ada.
This two-day conference will include a curated lineup of speakers including agency leaders, cultural dignitaries. It also features the ASA Stakeholder field meeting at the EAR site and Byrd’s Mill Springs.
For more information or to register, visit the conference webpage, or contact Oka’ The Water Institute at East Central University by email or phone (580-559-5151).
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 in November and December:
- November 9 (Part 1), November 10 (Part 2)
- December 14 (Part 1), December 15 (Part 2)
Information on the specific content of Part 1 and Part 2 of the workshops can be found on the online registration form. 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. You also have the option to only sign up for either Part 1 or Part 2. 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. Note that the registration deadline for each afternoon workshop is the Friday before the workshop date. Several days before each workshop, an email reminder containing more information as well as the workshop Zoom link will be sent out to those registered.
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).
The Kansas Rural Center Farm and Food Conference begins Friday, November 11 at 1 pm with a free, public presentation by Dr. Dan Wildcat and Steve Lerner. Registration then covers the following break-out sessions, reception, and full day Saturday.
To register, visit the conference registration page. For more information, visit the conference webpage, or contact the Kansas Rural Center by email or phone (866-579-5469).