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Ag and Extension Briefs

Nominations open for the 2020 County Committee elections

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages all farmers, ranchers, and FSA program participants to take part in the FSA County Committee election nomination process.

FSA’s county committees are a critical component of the day-to-day operations of FSA and allow grassroots input and local administration of federal farm programs.

Committees are comprised of locally elected agricultural producers responsible for the fair and equitable administration of FSA farm programs in their counties. Committee members are accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. If elected, members become part of a local decision making and farm program delivery process.

A county committee is composed of three to 11 elected members from local administrative areas (LAA). Each member serves a three-year term. One-third of the seats on these committees are open for election each year.

County committees may have an appointed advisor to further represent the local interests of underserved farmers and ranchers. Underserved producers are beginning, women and other minority farmers and ranchers and landowners and/or operators who have limited resources.

All nomination forms for the 2020 election must be postmarked or received in the local USDA Service Center by Aug. 1 (or next business day). For more information on FSA county committee elections and appointments, refer to the FSA fact sheet: Eligibility to Vote and Hold Office as a COC Member available online at: fsa.usda.gov/elections.

University of Minnesota Extension offering free food preservation webinars

Are you going to the grocery store less often and buying in quantities when you do? Did you plant a garden this year? Are you wondering how to preserve food that is tasty and safe? Please join Suzanne Driessen, University of MN Extension Food Safety educator, as she presents free webinars on food preservation. You will gain knowledge and resources to preserve food safely and get the best results

Webinar topics and dates:

Topic: How to Freeze Food for Safe and Tasty Results 

Date/time: today, 10-11 a.m.

Register: https://z.umn.edu/freezefood

In this webinar, learn which foods do freeze well, why blanching improves frozen food quality, the process of freezing at home, the right packaging materials to use, and storage recommendations.

Topic: Basics of Home Canning: Safety First

Date/time: July 22, 4-5 p.m.

Register: https://z.umn.edu/homecanning

In this webinar, discover equipment needed and safe home canning methods. Whether you are new at home canning or have been canning for years, you will learn what’s safe and what’s not.

 Topic: Pickling: It’s Not Just for Cucumbers!

Date/time: July 30, 2-3 p.m.

Register: https://z.umn.edu/homepickling

Vegetables from asparagus to zucchini can be home preserved by pickling. Learn the steps needed to preserve a safe and delicious pickled product. 

Topic: Preserving Tomatoes

Date/time: Aug. 3, 4-5 p.m.

Register: https://z.umn.edu/preservingtomatoes

You have many options to preserve tomatoes and enjoy the taste of summer all year long. This session reviews three different methods to preserve tomatoes: freezing, canning and drying.

Topic: Dry it: You’ll like it!

Date/time: Aug. 20, 2-3 p.m.

Register: https://z.umn.edu/dryit

Drying food is simple, safe and easy to learn. This session explores how drying preserves food, food suitable for drying and tips to dry food safely.

Topic: Preserving Fall Vegetables

Date/time: Sept. 10, 10-11 a.m.

Register: https://z.umn.edu/fallvegetables

This session reviews food preservation options to freeze, dry, pickle, ferment and can fall vegetables. Learn best ways to preserve broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and potatoes.

Topic: Safely Fermenting Food at Home

Date/time: Sept. 29, 4-5 p.m.

Register: https://z.umn.edu/fermenting

From sauerkraut to Kombucha, you can ferment food at home. Learn the steps to safely ferment food.

For more information, contact Suzanne Driessen, driessen@umn.edu or 320.203-6057. Visit https://extension.umn.edu/food-safety/preserving-and-preparing

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