The Southeast Nebraska Soil Health Conference is scheduled for Monday, March 5th at the Kimmel Ag Expo Center at 198 Plum St. in Syracuse. We have an excellent program lined up. Registration, coffee and donuts will be at 8:30 a.m., with the program starting at 9:00 a.m.
The day will conclude with a farmer panel of regional farmers that have been addressing soil health on their farms in different ways for several years. Farmers are utilizing no-till, applying manure as a soil amendment, utilizing cover crop crops and also grazing cover crops.
While the program is free, pre-registration is required by Tuesday, February 27thso we can have an accurate meal count. To register please call the Nemaha County Extension office at (402) 274-4755 or go online at http://go.unl.edu/senebsoilhealth.
Hi Everyone, tomorrow Ruth Chantry from Common Good Farm will be at Farm Beginnings class at the Douglas County Extension Office in Omaha, NE at 8015 West Center Road. At 10:00 a.m. Ruth Chantry will discuss their organic and biodynamic farm which is located near Raymond, NE. Ruth and her husband, Evrett Lundquist raise and sell a variety of vegetables, eggs, honey, beef, pork and starter plants from their farm. They sell off their farm and at a Farmers Market. Come and hear how Common Good Farm plans the production and marketing of their very diversified farming operation.
Just come to the Douglas County Extension Office at 8015 West Center Road tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. The cost of the program is only $25 and it includes lunch. Just bring cash or a check to the office tomorrow.
Daniel was a Disabled American Veteran who served in the Middle East. With assistance from the Veterans Administration, Farm Service Agency and Farmers Veterans Coalition he was able to begin his farming operation. Through the networking from FARM BEGINNINGS® , presenters Ruth Chantry & Evrett Lundquist from Common Good Farm connected Daniel with landowners in York where he leased 3 acres for his farm. “Common Good Farm” also provided Daniel with some valuable advice as he started and developed his new laying flock of Rhode Island Reds. He was able to purchase these portable buildings from Mid-American Structures at Peru, NE. With these portable structures, he was able to move them to his farm when he purchased it.
Daniel had about 400-500 hens in his flock on his farm near York. Starting out in York he marketed eggs to Grand Central Foods in York, NE. He also sold eggs to the Chances “R” Restaurant in York and sold at the Old Cheney Farmers Market in Lincoln and on the Nebraska Food Coop, an on-line local food coop.
Daniel moved his portable buildings from his farm in York. He now has permanent fencing, a tractor to help with the chores and feed storage as shown in the photo above. Daniel has expanded his flock to 500-600 hens. Besides the Rhode Island Reds he started with, he now has some other breeds that do well in his operation. From the photo above you see he has several of the Gold Sex Link Hens. These are very gentile and excellent egg producers, laying on average over 300 eggs/per hd/per year. These are brown egg layers. He also has some Black Australorps and Barred Rocks in his flock.
Daniel also has expanded his operation into broiler production. He raises from 100-150 broilers annually and sells these direct to consumers as well. Most of these are sold at the Old Cheney Farmers Market in Lincoln where he goes 2 times a month when they are open from spring through fall (April – October).
Daniel continues to deliver eggs to Grand Central Foods in York, but now also sells eggs to four Hy-Vee locations, one in Kearney, Grand Island, Williamsburg Hy-Vee in Lincoln and the 5010 O St. location in Lincoln. He also sells to two restaurants in the Lincoln area that source almost all of their food locally, “The Hub” at 250 N 21 St. in Lincoln and Prairie Plate Restaurant at 10405 Branched Oak Rd. near Waverly, NE. Daniel continues to sell at the Old Cheney Farmers Market, on the Nebraska Food Coop on-line market, direct from his farm near Grand Island and to other customers in the Lincoln area.
With a flock between 500-600 hens and very productive egg layers, it takes a lot of time to collect all these eggs every day. I caught Dan collecting eggs when I visited his farm near Grand Island last year.
Besides Daniel’s extremely hard work on his farm, he has been a spokesperson for the Farmers Veterans Coalition and all Veterans. He was named a Champion of Change by the Nebraska Vocational Rehabilitation Services. He went to Washington D.C. to receive this award. He has also had Congressman Adrian Smith visit his farm near Grand Island. He has been to Washington D.C. talking to representatives about Veteran’s and local food issues. If you want to find out more about Daniel Hromas and Prairie Pride Poultry, go to https://localhens.com/farms/profile/prairie-pride-poultry/ or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/prairieprideacres/.
Nebraska Extension is planning its 9th Farm Beginnings® Program at the Kimmel Education and Research Center at 5985 G Road Nebraska City, NE 68410 for January, 2018. Plans are being made for Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society to facilitate the Farm Beginnings® Program to be held in Nebraska City. The Farm Beginnings® Program is an educational training and support program designed to help people who want to evaluate and plan their farm enterprise. Farm Beginnings® participants engage in a mentorship experience and network with a variety of successful, innovative farmers; attend practical, high quality seminars, field days and conferences. The program is unique in that several successful farmers participate in the program as presenters, explaining firsthand the nuts and bolts of their farming operation. While this isn’t a program for someone wanting to get into conventional farming, it is a program that has attracted several people interested in farming on a smaller scale, some who have migrated out from urban to rural areas.
One past participant in the class said, “This program had a huge impact. I have improved my business plan, my overall efficiency and continue to try new ideas I thought to not be possible.” Any beginning farmer would benefit from attending these training sessions. Most of the farmers that present come from small to medium sized farming operations that produce and market many different diversified and value-added products. Many of these farmers direct market their products.
The Farm Beginnings® Program consists of a series of 11 sessions from January through April that cover a variety of topics including: building networks, goal setting, whole farm planning, building your business plan, marketing, business and farm management and financial management. While the class participants will learn firsthand from the farmers, they will also work on developing their own business plan as they progress through the course. As part of the class tuition, participants will also have the opportunity to attend the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society’s Healthy Farms Conference in 2018 to be held this winter. This is a conference that has been held annually for a number of years and has sessions that focus on topics in sustainable agriculture, such as: vegetable production, grass-fed beef, pasture poultry, meat and dairy goat production, composting, cover crops, organic farming, growing crops in high-tunnels, bee keeping, farm transitioning and agri-tourism. We also schedule farm tours early in the course and tour several farms in the summer to see how the farmers are operating. If interested, participants also have the opportunity to have a farmer mentor.
Participants of this course may be interested in becoming involved with growing alternative crops, producing fruits and vegetables for direct sale to consumers, grocery stores or restaurants. Others may be interested in growing livestock for direct marketing. This is an opportunity for people interested in learning about this type of farming from farmers that are doing it and making a living at it.
We also provide for the class participants the SARE resource, “Building a Sustainable Business and the MOSES publication, “Fearless Farm Finances”. We also provide a number of SARE resources and Farm Beginnings® exercises and references. Toward the end of the class we have previous Farm Beginnings® graduates give presentations about their farming operations. The final classroom session highlights what each of the farms participating in the class plan for their farms.
Cost of the total program is $500, but you may qualify for a partial scholarship for up to $200. For more information, a brochure for the Farm Beginnings® Program or an application go to our website at https://extension.unl.edu/statewide/nemaha/farm-beginnings-0/. For more information about the program you can also contact Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (402) 274-4755, Nebraska Extension in Nemaha County.
Learn about cover crops being used in different cropping systems at a NRCS Demonstration Site, a SARE On-Farm Research and Education Experimental Site and a Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition Site.
To register, for information about the field day or directions to the tour sites, contact Gary Lesoing at Nebraska Extension in Nemaha County at (402) 274-4755. In case of rain the event will take place at the Nemaha County Fairgrounds in the 4-H Building at 816 I St., Auburn, NE.
ITS NOT TOO LATE TO SIGNUP AND REGISTER FOR THE ANNUAL SARE TOUR!
A SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) sponsored sustainable ag tour is scheduled for August 15th in eastern Nebraska. An air-conditioned coach bus will leave the East Campus near 40th and Holdrege in Lincoln, NE at 7:30 a.m. for the tour. This year the tour will travel west and north of Lincoln in eastern Nebraska, touring a variety of farm stops. We hope to return to Lincoln at about 5:30 p.m.