Ag and Extension Briefs

Produce Safety Rule Training Available for Farmers

WILLMAR — The University of Minnesota Extension, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and other partners are hosting a FSMA Produce Safety Rule Grower Training in Willmar on March 10. Register today at www.psp.tix.com. Registration deadline is March 2. Space is limited. Do not delay your registration.

If your farm is not excluded or exempt from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, at least one supervisor or responsible party from your farm must complete a training that uses FDA-recognized curriculum or equivalent. (Visit https://z.umn.edu/PSRinfo to learn whether or not your farm is covered by the Produce Safety Rule.) This course will satisfy this requirement. Course topics include produce safety regulatory requirements and best practices related to worker health and hygiene, crop inputs (soil amendments), domestic and wild animals, water use and testing for pre- and post-harvest operations, such as irrigation and washing.

While training is required for farms covered by the Produce Safety Rule, all growers interested in learning about produce safety, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and the FSMA Produce Safety Rule are encouraged to attend. Learning about and implementing produce safety practices can help protect your farm and business, can help you get a GAP audit if needed, and helps keep our local food safe and healthy for all.  

These dynamic courses will be co-led by experienced fruit and vegetable farmers and staff from UMN Extension and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Training participants are eligible to receive a certificate of completion. Farms covered by the rule only need to have a responsible party complete training once to meet the rules’ requirements.

Each event location will begin with check in at 8:30 am. The training will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dates and Locations (details and addresses at registration page):

• March 10: Willmar

• April 14: Lamberton

Registration deadline is one week before each class, or until full. Register early — many courses will likely sell out. No walk-ins accepted.

The cost of the training is $35. (This cost is subsidized and will likely rise in the coming years). Fee includes training materials, lunch, refreshments and a certificate of attendance (participants must be present for the entire training in order to receive a certificate).

If you have questions about the training, or need assistance in figuring out if your farm is covered by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, you can visit the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Produce Safety Program page, call (651) 539-3648 or email  producesafety.mda@state.mn.us.

For more news from U of M Extension, visit www.extension.umn.edu/news or contact Extension Communications at extnews@umn.edu. University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

Ag BowlScholarship Invitational is Friday at SMSU

MARSHALL — Southwest Minnesota State University will host the Ag Bowl Scholarship Invitational Friday.

The event is an extension of the annual Ag Bowl, a celebration of agriculture in southwest Minnesota.

FFA teams from the region will compete in 18 FFA-certified Career Development Events (CDEs). The top FFA chapter will receive $500, the second-place team $300 and a randomly-selected third team $200. Members of the winning team will also be awarded $500 in scholarship dollars, and each member on the second-place team will receive $250 in scholarship dollars. Individual CDE winners will receive scholarship dollars, too — $500 for first-place winners, and $250 for those finishing second.

“The CDEs were selected because they relate well to the ag programs at SMSU,” said Jennifer Graven, executive drector of the Mustang Booster Club and athletics director of marketing and promotions.

A new CDE this year is ag mechanics, will take place at Marshall High School. The other CDE events will be at SMSU.

This will be the largest Scholarship Invitational to date, with an estimated 800 FFA members from 36 schools taking part.

Event sponsors include title sponsor Ralco, along with Action Sports, ADM, Channel Seed, CHS, Golden Harvest, Lockwood Motors, Lyon County Corn & Soybean Growers, Marshall Animal Clinic, Midwest Ag Enterprises, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and Titan Machinery.

Registration is from 7:30-8:15 a.m., with a welcome at 8:15 a.m. Competition will be from 8:45 a.m.-noon, with awards to follow.

For more information, go to: https://smsumustangs.com/sports/2017/12/18/ag-bowl.aspx#Schedule.

Small grain workshops scheduled

University of Minnesota Extension is offering seven small grain workshops across southern Minnesota in February to address successful small grain management. “Whether you are a farmer or crop consultant already producing small grains, or a farmer looking for another crop to add to the rotation, these workshops are for you,” said Jared Goplen, Extension educator in Crops. “Workshops will focus on production agronomics, variety selection, and economics, and include an open-forum discussion for related topics and on-farm experiences.” Workshops are sponsored by the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council. Lunch is included at all sites except Mora. Registration is free, and is strongly encouraged to assist with meal planning. Please register by visiting https://z.umn.edu/southern-small-grain or contact Jared Goplen at 320-589-1711 x2128 or gople007@umn.edu for more information.

Dates, locations, times and contacts include: Thursday, Feb. 20 — Granite Falls, The Rock: Dining and Events, 8:30-11:30 a.m. (Contact Dorian Gatchell at 320-321-3615)

Thursday, Feb. 20 — Slayton, Murray County 4-H Building, Event Hall,  12:30-4 p.m. (Contact: Melissa Runck at 507-836-6927).

* The Murray County Crops program will precede the small grains program from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Presenters may vary by location, but include Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Small Grain specialist and Jared Goplen, University of Minnesota Extension Crops educator.

I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course is March 24

ST. CLOUD — The I-29 Moo University will host a program at the Central Plains Dairy Expo focusing on dairy beef carcasses at the farm, processor and consumer end, along with targeting health considerations for maximum performance.

The I-29 Moo University Dairy Beef Short Course is Tuesday, March 24, as part of the pre-educational events for the Central Plains Dairy Expo at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. A registration fee of $25/person will include the short course, lunch, and the proceedings. Register by March 20 and is limited to 130 attendees on a first come first serve basis. To register, visit https://z.umn.edu/i29dbreg or go to the I-29 Moo University website at https://z.umn.edu/I29dairybeef.

Program speakers include Ty Lawerence, West Texas A&M, discussing the good, bad and ugly of finishing dairy beef. Russ Daly, South Dakota State Extension veterinarian, will address health considerations for dairy beef. There will also be a panel of buyers from packers discussing packer programs that fit dairy and dairy beef carcasses and Jan Shearer, Iowa State veterinarian, discussing the economics of lameness in feedlots.

For questions, contact Jim Salfer, salfe001@umn.edu or 320-203-6093 or Tracey Erickson, Tracey.Erickson@sdstate.edu or 605-882-5140.

U of MN Extension Crops and Marketing Day, March 10, Fairmont

WORTHINGTON — Prepare yourself for the 2020 growing season with the latest research and information in crop production and marketing from University of Minnesota Extension. If you farm or work with farmers, come to the U of MN Extension Crops and Marketing Day, Tuesday, March 10, at the Knights of Columbus in Fairmont. Registration will start at noon and the program will run from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Dave Bau, Extension educator in Ag Business Management, will start the day with “How to Get $4 Corn.” Bruce Potter, integrated pest management specialist at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, will then discuss “Can Crop Pest Scouting be Cost Effective?” Brad Carlson, Extension educator in water rsources, will follow with “Nitrogen Management in Today’s Climate.” Liz Stahl, Extension educator in crops, will wrap up the day with “Weed Management — Pigweeds, Principles, Prevention, and Planning.”

There is no cost to attend this program thanks to the support from our sponsor, the Martin County Corn and Soybean Growers Association. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear directly from U of MN Extension Educators and Researchers about the latest research and information on key issues in crop production and marketing for maximum profitability.