The Science of Overgrazing and How To Avoid It

Pastures can take a beating but only to a point. In this course you will learn the ecological theory of pasture plant communities and the detrimental nature of overgrazing (this is some of the most interesting stuff I learned in 6 years of grad school). Harnessing this knowledge, we will then discuss practical strategies to maximize the productivity and profitability of your pasture and reduce problems with weeds and mud. This is an intermediate-level class, so some experience with pastures will be helpful but not required. This course will be taught by Gordon Jones, PhD, SOREC Extension Faculty. Read more: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/events/science-overgrazing-how-avoid-it
Location: OSU Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point, OR 97502. Questions, call 541-776-7371

Soil Testing for Pastures, Farm Fields and Productive Gardens

Instructor Gordon B. Jones, Ph.D. We will cover the methods for collecting a soil sample, and where to send samples for analysis. Most importantly, learn how to interpret the results and then how to correct soil problems for the crop(s) you intend to grow. Examples from both organic and conventional systems will be discussed as well as soil testing to evaluate soil health. Register on line: http://bit.ly/JacksonExtAgriculture

https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec/events/soil-testing-productive-gardens-pastures-farm-fields

Intro to Pasture Management

Through understanding the biology of pasture plants and grazing behavior of livestock, you can improve the productivity of your pasture and reduce weed problems. In this introductory course, you will learn to identify important forage species, evaluate soil fertility needs, and implement rotational-grazing management techniques to maintain productive pastures in southern Oregon.

InFARMation September 25: Pasture-raised Poultry

Please join us for our next InFARMation at Lagunitas Public House on Tuesday evening, September 25th, from 6-9pm.  Our topic will be Pasture-raised Poultry, and we will get to the bottom of such questions like why pasture-raised poultry costs more, heritage breeds vs. Cornish Cross hens, what the state and federal rules are about chicken processing, why we can only get pasture-raised turkey once a year (and we will have opportunities to sign up for our 2018 Thanksgiving turkey on site!), and why it’s so hard to get pasture-raised chicken and turkey in restaurants.

Our speakers will feature farmers Geoff Scott and John Mathia of Marion Acres Farm.  Their farm story is a fascinating look into what it takes to create a poultry farm from a dream and a vision and a whole lot of hard work.  A. Whole. Lot. Their success story includes starting with 32 broiler chicks just a few years back to building and opening a ODA processing facility on-farm just this summer! They are one of the only local farms providing pasture-raised chicken to Portland restaurants.

Grand Central Bakery strives to provide local and pasture-raised meat to their customers, and has had to face issues of scale, demand, state law and processing issues as they’ve grown from a small cafe & bakery to having ten stores over two states. Piper Davis, co-owner, and Laura Ohm, product director, will give us a behind the scenes look at what sustainable sourcing can and should look like, what the barriers are, and how we as customers can make a difference.

Justin Ashby is meat monger for Flying Fish Company and owner of Tidal Boar Foods, and has worked for several of the higher end groceries in town behind the meat counter. He can speak to us about the challenges for grocery stores in stocking pasture raised meat and about what kinds of questions we should be asking to both find pasture-raised meat by the cut and to encourage grocery stores to offer these kinds of responsibly raised proteins. He has even offered to make a video on how to break down a whole chicken into parts for us.

Doors open at 6pm, speakers start at 6:30. This is a free, all-ages event.  Beer sales will be donated to Friends of Family Farmers.  Please note – food options will be limited: Pasture-raised pork rolls, Spinach and Feta hand pies, quinoa and kale salad. In addition to Lagunitas beer, there will be sodas and water. Parking is on-street, so leave yourselves a bit of extra time for that – folks can be dropped off at the side door on NE 3rd if you’d like. If you would like to volunteer for this or any of our future InFARMations, or if you have any questions, please email Michele@friendsoffamilyfarmers.org.

Save the Date for future InFARMs at Lagunitas Public House: October 9th: Pasture-raised Pork & November 13th: Grass-fed Dairy

Pastured Poultry Workshop

Pastured Poultry Workshop

Corvallis, OR
August 15-16, 2018
8:30 AM-4:00 PM each day
Want to improve your Pastured Poultry Production & Support Network?
Organizers: Oregon State University, University of California Extension, UC Davis & the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and its ATTRA project.
Whether you are an aspiring or beginning farmer, or a few years into your business, this workshop will address topics to support the development of your poultry enterprise.

Special Guest Speakers:
o Lauren Gwin, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN): Processing and Regulations
o Local Pastured Poultry Farmer (to be announced): Raising and Marketing Pastured Eggs & Meat

Discussion Topics:
• Preventive Health
• Feeding and Nutrition
• Housing and Equipment Systems Design
• Regulations: Options for Processing and Marketing
• Efficient Recordkeeping to Support Decision-Making
Cost of the workshop is $40, which includes lunch and a light breakfast both days and educational materials.
To Register https://ucanr.edu/survey/survey.cfm?surveynumber=21362
For more information, contact NCAT Specialist Ann Baier by email annb@ncat.org or call 530-792-7338

Pasture Management 8-week Course

An 8-week course on improving the health and productivity of your pastures and the profitability of your animals. 8 Thursday evenings, 6 to 9 pm, Feb. 22 -April 12. Plus 3 field trips. Topics covered include: 1) Developing management goals; 2) Your rights and legal responsibilities; 3) Plant physiology, growth and identification; 4) Soil fertility, health and management in pasture; 5) Paddock and fencing design and materials; 6) Forage budgeting, hay cost and extending the grazing season;
7) Raising small ruminants on pasture and browse vs. forage; 8) Water rights, watering facility use and design; 9) Intensive grazing and ultra-high density grazing; 10) ODA meat marketing and labeling laws; 11) Business and marketing plans; 12) Putting it all together and developing your plan. Register on line: http://bit.ly/JacksonExtAgriculture or contact paula.burkhalter@oregonstate.edu, 541-776-7371

Cascadia Grains Conference 2018

CASCADIA GRAINS CONFERENCE MISSION:
CONNECT: Convene and connect growers, processors, brokers, investors, and policy-makers across the value chain
LEARN: Provide a platform for the latest science, techniques, research, market opportunities and hands-on learning.
GROW: Cultivate an economically viable network of market opportunities for locally-sourced value-added products

The 2018 Cascadia Grains Conference will be January 19th & 20th, in Olympia, WA.

The 2018 conference is presented by WSU Food Systems and proudly supported by Fremont Brewing Company, Old Stove Brewing Company, Shepherd’s Grain and the generosity of many individuals, businesses, and organizations.

Friday January 19th at various locations and times around Thurston County for our Friday Hands-On Field Trips.
Saturday January 20th full conference from 8 am – 8 pm at the South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, WA.

Mud and Manure Workshop

Do you own horses or livestock?
Join us for this free event and learn about manure composting, heavy use areas, fencing, rotational grazing, and more.

Fall Pasture Grazing & Nutrient Management Field Workshop

Join us at Whispering Hills Farm near Dallas, OR to get ready for fall and winter conservation practices for livestock. Topics will include fall grazing, winter resting period, amendments, soil and manure testing, and a farm tour of Best Management Practices. Speakers will include OSU Extension’s Gene Pereli and Soil & Water Conservation District staff.

To register, call 503-472-1474 or visit www.yamhillswcd.org for online registration

Due to limited parking, we will be shuttling from the Old German Baptist Brethren Church at 13100 Beck Road Dallas OR.

Sponsored by the Polk Soil & Water Conservation District, Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District, and Marion Soil & Water Conservation District.

The Oregon Pasture Network is Officially Launched!

Farmers and consumers alike haveoregon pasture-smaller shown a growing interest in humane, environmentally friendly meat, egg and dairy products. Consumers want to buy them and farmers want to produce them. With growing concerns about factory farming practices and its health and environmental impacts, pasture-raised animal husbandry holds a lot of appeal. Friends of Family Farmers (FoFF) aims to support these burgeoning interests and connections through their newly-launched initiative: the Oregon Pasture Network (OPN).

OPN Farmer, Jon Bansen, and family

This statewide network will support the growth of pasture-based farming in Oregon. The OPN is a community of farmers, ranchers, food business owners and consumers who share similar values around the way food should be produced. They believe that raising animals on pasture, rather than in confinement, is the most sustainable, humane way to produce animal products.   When asked why he feels the network is important, Jon Bansen, member of OPN’s Farmer Advisory Committee and Organic Valley Co-op producer, said simply “Pasturing is important to our planet. I believe it is the one farming practice that will aid in our fight against global warming through carbon sequestration.”

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Jon Carter, OPN Farmer, of Jo Le Farms

The OPN will help these committed farmers by connecting them to each other for networking and support, connecting them to existing resources and expert assistance, and by promoting them to consumers. One exciting way that FoFF intends to do this is by creating Oregon’s first-ever, statewide pastured producers’ directory so that consumers and food business owners can find the sort of meat, eggs and dairy they are seeking.

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Gus and Margot Liszka, OPN Farmers, of Naked Acres

The Oregon Pasture Network is the newest iteration of FoFF’s popular “Pro Pasture” campaign, launched in 2013, which centered on encouraging farm-direct purchasing and farm-to-table restaurant connections to support pasture-based livestock producers. The OPN will provide new and improved support to Oregon’s dedicated pasture-based livestock producers through membership-based activities, educational opportunities, networking and market promotion. More information is available on the OPN webpage or by calling 503-581-7124, or emailing OPN @ friendsoffamilyfarmers.org.