Ag and Extension Briefs

Online Beef Quality Assurance & Secure Beef Supply training scheduled

University of Minnesota Extension, along with Minnesota Beef Council, will host several online Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) and Secure Beef Supply (SBS) training sessions starting in April through June. Producers only need to attend one of these free workshops to receive a three-year BQA certification, and they will also learn the steps needed to begin their own Secure Beef Supply plan.

In an ongoing effort to show their commitment to providing the safest, highest-quality beef, cattlemen and women continue to show their dedication to the beef industry by completing a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification program. Specific companies and feedlots have chosen to extend their own quality assurance protocol requirements to producers who are a part of their supply chain. A BQA certification is being required by many major industry buyers and processors. BQA certification is still voluntary for producers to complete, however, when a producer does not have current BQA certification the result is that many packers and feedlots simply cannot purchase those cattle because their company cannot source cattle from a producer who does not meet their certification requirements.

About the training: Pre-registration is required. You will not be able to access the Zoom meeting room without first pre-registering and receiving the secure Zoom link and passcode from Extension staff. The two hour training and certification session is free. Only one person from each operation is required to be certified to ensure the entire operation follows the BQA standards. However, everyone who handles and manages fed cattle is encouraged to become BQA certified. Certification is good for three years.

To register: Register for the online training using the specific link for the training you wish to attend:

• Tuesday, April 20, at 6:30 p.m.: z.umn.edu/BQAApril20

• Thursday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m.: z.umn.edu/BQAMay6

• Tuesday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m.: z.umn.edu/BQAMay18

• Thursday, June 3, at 6:30 p.m.: z.umn.edu/BQAJune3

Families are able to view the training on the same computer/mobile device, and all viewers will receive credit for certification. At the time of entering the Zoom webinar you will be instructed to enter the registration code of all participants viewing the webinar from your computer/mobile device, and only those whose registration code is submitted during the time of the webinar will receive credit for completing the online certification.

Strategic Farming: Let’s Talk Crops recordings available

Did you miss any of the Strategic Farming: Let’s Talk Crops sessions this winter and were wondering where to access recordings? Well search no more. All sessions, which were originally held Wednesday mornings from Jan. 6 to March 24, are available at: https://z.umn.edu/strategic-farming. Just scroll down the page to find the recordings.

Topics ranged from corn and soybean management and selection tips, pest and nutrient management, and on-farm research, to cover crops, third crops, and conservation programs. Links to key resources for many of the sessions have also been posted. A special thanks to the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the Minnesota Corn Growers Research and Promotion Council for sponsoring this program.

Building off this program’s success, U of MN Extension will be hosting “Strategic Farming: Field Notes” every Wednesday morning, 7:30 to 8 a.m., starting April 21 throughout the 2021 growing season. These interactive, discussion-based sessions will address in-season cropping issues as they arise. Farmers, crop consultants, agronomists, agricultural sales reps, agency personnel, researchers, educators, and anyone else who is interested are encouraged to join in. To learn more and to register go to: https://z.umn.edu/strategic-farming.

Lizabeth Stahl is an Extension educator with the University of Minnesota.


Staples to host 2021 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference

University of Minnesota Extension has selected Staples to host the 2021 Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) Conference Sept. 9-10. This annual community development initiative will bring together entrepreneurs, business leaders, economic development professionals, decision makers, and community champions to strengthen and broaden regional entrepreneurial networks. The 2020 online conference hosted 56 attendees from 36 Minnesota communities.

The Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference features local success in providing support to entrepreneurs. The city of Staples has a long history of public and private partnerships to achieve its economic development goals. Highlights include a four-unit incubator building, managed by the Staples Economic Development Authority (SEDA), that provides new businesses with low rental fees and technical assistance. The community has also partnered with private developers to attract 115 housing units over the past three years and secured the development of a childcare center with public and private partners.

Information about the conference is available at https://z.umn.edu/CEC_Conference2021.

Source: Elyse Paxton, senior editor, Extension Center for Community Vitality, 1420 Eckles Ave, St Paul, MN 55108, epaxton@umn.edu, (612) 624-9736.


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