Winter Farminar Schedule 2018

Jan. 9 – “Using Permaculture Design and Farming Solo” – Clare Hintz

Want to learn about farming small, as a solo operator? Using permaculture principles on a farm scale? Farming in the winter? Meet Clare Hintz, the owner of Elsewhere Farm in Herbster, WI! She’ll highlight the features of her small, diversified farm that make it a successful business, a thriving ecology, and creative work.

  • Clare Hintz runs Elsewhere Farm, a production Permaculture farm near the south shore of Lake Superior in Herbster, Wisconsin. The farm features over 700 perennial fruit and nut trees interplanted on five acres, market gardens, rare-breed livestock, and a winter and summer CSA.  Clare recently finished a position as the coordinator for the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association, is part of the teacher’s guild of the Permaculture Research Institute in Minneapolis and is the editor of the Journal of Sustainability Education.

Jan. 16 – “Dive into Growing Woodies as Cut Flowers” – Rachael Ackerman

At Blue Sky Flower Farm near Elko-New Market, MN, Jon and Rachael Ackerman specialize in growing standard and unique varieties of woody ornamental plants. The Ackerman’s launched their farm in 2010 and grow approximately 2 acres of cut flowers and woodies for wholesale to local garden centers, landscape companies, florists & at the Twin Cities Flower Exchange (a local, wholesale flower market). Hear tips and techniques from Rachael on how to add woodies to your farm including information on propagation, varieties, growing, challenges, investment, social media and more.

  • Rachael Ackerman started Blue Sky Flower Farm with her husband Jon near 2010 in an old cow pasture on Jon’s family’s Brown Swiss dairy farm near Hutchinson, MN. They now raise cut flowers and several varieties of woodies, mostly dogwoods and willows, on a farm near Elko-New Market, MN. Rachael has a B.S. in Horticulture from the U of MN and has been working in the industry for 20 years, including several years at Bailey Nurseries in St. Paul, MN.

**Jan. 23—OFF**

Jan. 30 – “Beginning Farmer Barriers and Strategies” – Jenny Quiner, Bill and Stacey Borrenpohl

Beginning farmers face a whole range of barriers to overcome when starting a successful farm business. Accessing startup capital and land, building a market, finding a balance between farm work and family life, and overcoming production challenges are among the many issues beginners have to navigate. Beginning vegetable farmer Jenny Quiner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens, and beginning livestock farmers Bill and Stacey Borrenpohl will discuss the challenges they’ve faced as well as their strategies for overcoming them.

  • Jenny Quiner started Dogpatch Urban Gardens in the fall of 2015 with the help of her husband, Eric. They farm a small-scale market garden growing produce naturally with organic principles and sustainable methods on a quarter-acre within the Des Moines city limits.
  • Bill and Stacey Borrenpohl established Woven Strong Farm in 2010 in rural Jackson County. They raise beef, pork, meat goats and eggs for direct sale to both the greater Dubuque and Maquoketa areas.

Feb. 6 – “Red Clover: Still the “Cadillac” of Cover Crops” – Bill Deen

In many regions of North America, red clover has a long history of use as an underseeded cover crop in small grain systems. While enthusiasm for cover crops is increasing, red clover use is in decline due to perceptions that other cover crop options are superior, and also due to concerns of poor red clover stand establishment.  Research data, however consistently demonstrates that red clover is still the preferred cover crop for soil health, rotation effect, and nitrogen contribution.  When used in combination with winter wheat in a corn/soybean system, the impact on soil health and economics is profound.  Based on 20+ years of red clover experience, Dr. Deen will describe how to estimate yield and nitrogen benefits of red clover and will discuss recent research aimed at ensuring red clover stand uniformity when underseeded to either small grains or corn. 

  • Bill Deen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph.  He has internationally recognized knowledge of crop rotation, cover crops, tillage and field-based research techniques and experience managing interdisciplinary research efforts based on long-term field trials. He has been involved in red clover research and extension for the past 20 years.

Feb. 13 – “Using Natives to Create Pollinator Habitat: A Guide to Native Restoration” – Jessi Strinmoen, Dennis Pederson

Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and insects are critical to crop production and play a crucial role in our nation’s food supply.  This farminar will provide a guide to restoring native prairie by offering recommendations for research & planning, site preparation, planting, and management.  This information is applicable if you’re restoring many acres or considering a backyard project. Jessi and Dennis from Shooting Star Native Seeds will talk about how to choose a seed mix, how to eliminate weeds before you plant, what equipment is needed, and the management practices needed for continued growth of your pollinator habitat.

  • Jessi Strinmoen serves as the Marketing & HR Manager at Shooting Star Native Seeds, a full-service native seed company based in Spring Grove, MN. Shooting Star has over 1,000 acres of native grasses, wildflowers, sedges, and rushes in production from seed sourced from throughout the Midwest.
  • Dennis Pederson is a Regional Sales Manager for Shooting Star Native Seeds for southwest Minnesota.  In his previous role with Habitat Forever, Dennis was responsible for thousands of acres of upland habitat creation and improvement.

Feb. 20 – “Getting Started with Niche Pork” – Alyssa Juergensen, Dan Wilson

Raising livestock for niche markets can be a profitable enterprise when implemented successfully and markets are established. One way to add a niche livestock enterprise to your farm is through working with a company like Niman Ranch, who organize a network of small, family farmers raising meat according to a specific set of standards. Hear from Alyssa Juergensen, a field agent with Niman Ranch, and farmer Dan Wilson about their protocols and how to get started raising livestock for Niman Ranch.

  • Alyssa Juergensen is the West Central Iowa Field Agent with Niman Ranch, located near Churdan. She has a degree in Animal Science from Iowa State University, and now recruits and supports Niman Ranch producers in all stages of their pork production.
  • Dan Wilson and his wife Lorna own and operate Seven W Farms near Paullina, Iowa, where they farm with two of their sons and one of their daughters. Together, the family raises organic row crops, pastured pork and chickens, grass-fed lamb and beef, and free-range eggs. They have been raising pigs for Niman Ranch since 1998.

Feb. 27 – “Managing Risk on a Young Livestock Farm” – Caleb and Jacqueline Shinn, Rodney Sebastian

Beginning livestock farmers Caleb and Jacqueline Shinn have struggled to find affordable insurance coverage for their farm business. The Shinn’s will share about their farm and the process they’ve gone through as they evaluate their risk management options. Rodney Sebastian, with USDA Risk Management Agency, will discuss current insurance programs and risk assessment tools the Shinn’s could consider.

  • Caleb and Jacqueline Shinn raise beef cattle, pastured poultry and eggs at L4 Farms near Osceola. They are a part of Practical Farmers’ Savings Incentive Program to help expand their operation.
  • Rodney Sebastiangrew up on a farm near Spencer, Iowa and has worked with USDA for more than 30 years working for the Agricultural Marketing Service in Dairy Programs and the last 15 years with the Risk Management Agency.

Mar. 6 – “Planter Technology for Cash Crops in Cover Crops” – Robb Ewoldt, Jeremy Marsden

What is the ROI of planter technology when it comes to planting cash crops following cover crops?  Jeremy and Robb will discuss how they partnered to test current planter technology on a custom built planter. Together they have performed tests across almost 1,000 acres which include conventional tillage, no-till and cover crops. Products tested were hydraulic vs. spring downforce, electric vs. ground driven, and row shut off vs. no shut off. Not only will they share the planter data but also the harvest data so you can see the impact of each practice in order to calculate your ROI in your operation.

  • Robb Ewoldt farms 1,100 acres near Davenport in row crops and hay, and operates a cow-calf and hog operation. He is active with no-till and has been incorporating cover crops for nearly 10 years. Robb is the Iowa Soybean Association Director in District 6.
  • Jeremy Marston has spent the last 15 years working with farmers and technology. He is COO of the company TruAcre Technology, which he helped create in 2014 to help farmers get the correct technology for their farm and use it on the farm to make data-driven decisions.  TruAcre is a dealer of multiple brands of technology which helps them strive to be a color blind organization that can help any farmer no matter the brand of equipment.

Mar. 13 – “Direct Marketing at Seven Sons Farm” – Brooks Hitzfield

The Hitzfield family transitioned from almost losing the farm, to creating a profitable multi-species enterprise (Beef, Pork, and Poultry) that now services thousands of loyal families across the Midwest. This discussion will share how Seven Sons Farms utilizes internet marketing strategies to engage their growing consumer outlet in the midwest. Bonus: Brooks will leave you with 3 free tools that will work to acquire customers in your sleep!

  • Brooks Hitzfield has been directly involved with the family farm’s (Seven Sons) direct marketing efforts since 2014. With a particular passion for online strategies, he has played an important role in pushing annual e-commerce sales to 7+ figure business. Brooks is also highly involved with GrazeCart; a website solution built for small farms and he enjoys sharing marketing tips with clients across North America.