Farm Beginnings – Farm Tour Scheduled for Saturday, June 30th, open to others!

Ralph Tate talks to group about developing these pastures through mob grazing the past few years.

If people are interested in visiting a couple of organic/sustainable farms, we have a tour scheduled for Saturday, June 30th. I have a 15 passenger van rented. We will leave from the southeast corner of the parking lot of the Southeast Lincoln WalMart which is located east of 84th & Nebraska Highway 2 at 7:30 am. We will travel to Ralph Tate’s grass farm near Fairbury, NE and should get there at 9:15 or so. We will look at the pastures, cattle and some cover crops in the pasture. We will leave there around 11:00-11:30. We will stop at Mc Donald’s in Fairbury or you can bring your lunch. We will then travel to Dave Welsch’s Farm south of Milford. He doesn’t have any chickens now, but we will see his chicken coops, equipment, pastures, cattle and organically grown crops. We will probably return to the WalMart parking lot at 3:30 or so.

Cattle West Blue Farm #1
Deb Welsch lifts up fence to move cow herd at West Blue Farm. Cattle are rotationally grazed (mob) grazed through pastures at the farm.
Cattle in Feedlot West Blue Farm
These cattle were in the feedlot at West Blue Farm. They were direct marketed to customers when they were ready for slaughter.


Please let me know if you will participate. If you are interested it will cost you $10 and you must find your own transportation to the van, which will leave from the southeast corner of the parking lot of WalMart near 84th and Highway 2 in Lincoln at 7:30 a.m. , Saturday, June 30th. Please contact me by Friday morning, June 29th, as space is limited and it is first come first serve.  You can email me at or call (402) 274-4755. Hope to see you Saturday!




“The National Good Food Network Conference” by Audra Woita, Project Leader With No More Empty Pots.

As part of the SARE Sustainable Ag Webinar series, a webinar will be presented by Audrey Woita, Project Leader with No More Empty Pots. Audrey received a SARE Travel Scholarship to participate in the National Good Food Network Conference which was held in Albuquerque, NM from March 27 – 30, 2018. The National Good Food Network Conference focuses on the success of food hubs. Audrey will give a presentation on her experience at this conference and discuss “No More Empty Pots” and her job with this organization. The webinar is scheduled for June 19th at 10:00 a.m. The link to this webinar is: .

National Good Food Network banner image:
                photos of cows, organic produce, apples, semi truck,
                grocery bag

Below are descriptions from Audrey of the National Good Food Network Conference, No More Empty Pots and her job there. We hope you can join us for this webinar that will focus on the success of food hubs.

The National Good Food Network (NGFN) was established by the Wallace Center a decade ago to bring all members of the value chain together to take healthy, fair, affordable and environmentally “green” food to scale, touching more lives in a positive way. In the last several years much of our effort has been supporting those businesses “in the middle” – food hubs – that connect the supply to the demand while maintaining a strong core of positive social and environmental values.

This conference is the only conference in the US with a central focus on the success of food hubs. There were 500 food hub managers, staff and supporters of all types invited to dig deep into the nuts and bolts of running hubs, financing, technology, and enhancing their triple bottom line impacts.  In 2018, on top of the deep dive into food hubs, the conference focus was expanded to address a broader set of partnering businesses and organizations that fill out the value chain and create true vitality in regional food systems.

So, that begs the question: What is a food hub?

A regional food hub is a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand.

Red Tomato created this informative video on what a food hub does.

About No More Empty Pots:  

No More Empty Pots (NMEP) is a grassroots non-profit corporation that connects individuals and groups to improve self-sufficiency, regional food security and economic resilience of urban and rural communities through advocacy and action. Our vision is to support communities in becoming self-sufficient and food secure through collaboration and adherence to our values of Education, Stewardship, and Sustainability.


Specifically, my role at No More Empty Pots is to manage a Cisco IT grant.  It was awarded to our organization to teach kids about the Internet of Things.  Our audience are learners ages 12-24 in North Omaha.  In addition to teaching them about the Internet of Things, we’re weaving in an introduction to innovation, problem solving, food systems and local food economies.  





“Farmer Training of New and Immigrant and Refugee Farmers”. by Matt Pirog, Growing Farmers Program Manager at Community Crops

As part of the SARE Sustainable Agriculture Webinar Series, we have scheduled the webinar “Farmer Training of New and Immigrant and Refugee Farmers” for Thursday, June 7th at 10:00 a.m.  Matt Pirog, Growing Farmers Program Manager at Community Crops will present the webinar.  The link to the webinar is .

A description of the webinar and a bio of Matt are listed below. The webinar will be recorded and be made available following the live presentation if you are unavailable to participate in it.

Proving training and technical assistance (TA) to immigrant and refugee farmers requires a different approach than traditional print and lecture-heavy methods common in the United States. To effectively provide assistance to groups of new Americans, it is important for trainers to tailor instruction to their needs. This means more picture-based and interactive learning activities. These methods are not just effective for teaching new Americans but for all adult learners. In November 2017, Matt attended a training with the national Incubator Farm Training Initiative to understand more about adult learning and effectively teaching new Americans. During this webinar Matt will share his experiences from that training and how Community Crops is applying this information in our own farm training program.

Matt Pirog is the Growing Farmers Program Manager at Community Crops, a non-profit in Lincoln, NE managing 9 community gardens, a youth education program, and a 6-acre incubator farm. At Community Crops, Matt is responsible for seeking out and facilitating learning opportunities for beginning farmers in Nebraska using lectures, farm tours, and hands-on workshops at the Prairie Pines training farm. He has an educational background in accounting and biological systems engineering, which drives his pursuit of small-scale, soil-regenerative farming models that are financially sustainable.

Growing Farmer Training By Community Crops Provides Opportunities for adults, both Americans and Immigrants to Learn about Farming.