Here are links to collections of resources to help farmers and ranchers navigate the new challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monarch Meetup: McAlester
Local experts will be on hand to answer questions about how to plant and maintain your own monarch/pollinator garden. There will also be free seed packets for attendees. This free public education series is open to anyone to attend and is a casual come & go social. Bring your friends, family and anyone interested in helping save the monarchs.
This meetup is coordinated by Okies for Monarchs.
Discuss on-farm produce safety practices, considerations for your wash station, and how to comply with FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule.
The National Young Farmers Coalition, National Farmers Union (NFU), Heifer International and the Arkansas Young Farmers Coalition are partnering for this Wash & Pack Station Design Workshop and On-Farm Produce Safety Walkthrough at Heifer Ranch.
Wash and Pack Station Design Workshop:
Farmers are always looking to improve washing and packing spaces and to make them easier to clean, more pleasant to use, less wasteful in terms of time and movement, and improved for produce safety. After an introduction to FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule, this workshop will dive into the Rule’s requirements and suggestions related to washing and packing spaces. While the session will focus on food safety, it will also touch on increasing efficiency, body-saving innovations, cost-saving measures, and more. It will answer tricky on-farm food safety questions specifically, so come with questions about your own farm!
Homework: Come with a map, drawing, or photos of your wash/pack space.
The walkthrough will highlight Heifer Ranch’s various produce safety practices and discuss where contamination risks to produce may exist and actions farmers can take to reduce risk. Topics will include workers, soil amendments, wildlife/domesticated animals, water sources and usage, wash/pack station, and transportation. It will be conversational so feel free to come with questions!
The first part of the day will mostly be indoors and the second half of the day will be outside. Please wear clothing and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty and consider bringing a water bottle.
These conversations will be led by Maggie Kaiser and Cara Fraver from the National Young Farmers Coalition.
Schedule of the day:
Workshop: 9am – 12:00pm
Lunch: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Walkthrough: 2pm – 4pm
If you can make only the workshop or the walkthrough and would like to stay for lunch, please select the “Lunch add-on” when registering.
If you are in need of accommodations at Heifer Ranch prior to or following the workshops, contact Ian Peters: . Cost is $50/night.