The Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association (TOFGA) 2023 conference includes three days of in-depth workshops and learning sessions, plus multiple off-site intensives and farm tours. Additional highlights include a farm-to-table banquet with keynote speaker, social and networking opportunities, and an excellent trade show featuring new and innovative material as well as mainstay agricultural tools, inputs, and services.
TOFGA is a statewide non-profit organization focused on education and advocacy for Texas farmers, ranchers, and gardeners who practice organic and sustainable methods.
Did your specialty crop operation recently incur on-farm food safety program expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years 2022 or 2023? You may be eligible for financial assistance through USDA’s Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops Program (FSCSC).
The FSCSC program provides financial assistance for specialty crop operations that incur eligible on-farm food safety program expenses related to obtaining or renewing a food safety certification in calendar years in 2022 or 2023. This program helps offset costs to comply with regulatory requirements and market-driven food safety certification requirements.
For each year, FSCSC will cover a percentage of the specialty crop operation’s cost of obtaining or renewing their certification, as well as a percentage of their related expenses.
Eligible expenses include developing, maintaining, or updating a food safety plan, food safety certification, certification upload fees, microbiological testing, and training expenses.
For more information or to apply, visit the program webpage.
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.
The 2023 Oklahoma Association for Environmental Education Expo has the theme, “The Sustaining Power of Nature”.
From oceans to the Amazon rainforest, keynote speaker Conservation Biologist Laurie Gillum, has dedicated most of her life to studying endangered species and their habitats, including cetaceans, chimpanzees, birds, and bugs. This passion for the natural world led her on a surprising journey to teaching kids about how their relationship to the plants and animals around them can make a positive difference in the world. There will be a variety of hands-on and lecture style presentations on topics such as creating living labs, Climate, Water & Resilience, Forest Therapy, Eco Audits, Wind Energy, Recycling and Composting, Lichen, Youth Climate Challenge, Bees, Living Loose Parts, and Virtual Reality for Outdoor Education.
Become a community scientist with this Monarch Larva Monitoring Project training! The MLMP team from the Monarch Joint Venture and the UW-Madison Arboretum co-lead these virtual one-day trainings on how to collect data that contributes to our knowledge about the monarch population. Participants learn about monarch biology, monitoring procedures, and data entry protocols, and are able to ask monarch biologists their questions about monarchs and monitoring.
This session will be relevant for both newcomers and individuals who are already participating in the MLMP or another monarch citizen science project. The four-hour training will be conducted in two parts with a one-hour break between them. This year, MLMP is offering three trainings focused on specific regions: western states on February 4th, southern states on February 25th, and northern states on April 29th.
Join the 2023 Farmers Market “Boot Camp” for a fast-moving overview of the basics of running a farmers market. You will get practical, grounded, and timely tools needed for opening day and beyond. Board members get a look behind the info booth to see what goes into market operations, as well as their role in sustaining a strong market organization and building a great team.
The National Association of Conservation Districts’ Annual Meeting is the premier event for leaders in conservation, from district officials and agency representatives to industry professionals. Each year, the meeting draws over 1,000 conservation leaders from across the United States and its territories.
Meeting attendees have the opportunity to:
– Network with landowners, partnering organizations, companies and government agencies
– Discover emerging technologies, services and programs through the Innovation Fair
– Engage in professional development
– Participate in forums discussing natural resource issues
– Develop strategies for education and outreach
– Influence conservation policy
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.
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fellowship Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to third-party vendors for items the veteran has identified will make a crucial difference in the launch of their farm business. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000.
The application for the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund opens once per year at which time eligible veterans are given four weeks to submit a fully completed application.
Once the application period ends, an advisory panel of agricultural industry professionals convenes to review submissions. The application review process can take up to two months with awardees usually being notified in the spring.
Fellowship recipients have six months to use their award.
Upon notification of their award, Fellowship recipients may begin seeking out third-party vendors to make their purchase. All third-party vendors must be approved by the Fellowship Fund manager prior to purchase.
After an approved third-party vendor has been selected, the Fellowship Fund manager makes the payment on the farmer veteran’s behalf.
The application, which consists of both short answer and essay questions, is comprised of five main focus areas: military service, educational background, prior farming experience, business and financial planning, and short-term and long-term goals.
Applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Farm training/experience and/or transferable skills
- Personal investment in their farm business
- Strength of funding request and ability to show how an award will help grow their farm business
- Vision and goals for the future of their business
- Community involvement
- A business plan
- Proof of service
For more information or to apply, visit the fellowship website, or contact the Farmer Veteran Coalition by email or phone (530-756-1395).
SoilCon 2023 is a free, virtual conference that brings research, extension, and production together to move soil health principles into practice. The Washington State Soil Health Initiative (WaSHI), with support from Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE), organizes the conference.