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Registration open for small farm winter webinar series

URBANA – Fields and gardens may soon be snowed over, but winter is the perfect time to develop new skills in small farming and local food production, whether it’s expanding to include new specialty crops or learning the art of high tunnel production.

University of Illinois Extension will once again be hosting the Small Farms Winter Webinar Series, featuring practical lunch-hour presentations on small farm enterprises and strategies. Participants can tune in from their desk or laptop every Thursday at noon from Jan. 18 through March 29.

The 12-part series will include presentations on soil contamination, organic certification, community food systems and native pollinators. A complete list of topics and free registration are available online at http://go.aces.illinois.edu/WinterWebinars.

“Winter is the best time for small farm owners to invest in educational opportunities,” Zach Grant, a local food systems and small farms Extension educator, said in a news release. “With all of the face-to-face conferences happening and unpredictable road conditions, we want the Small Farms Winter Webinar Series to give you peace of mind by bringing education to the comfort of your home or office.”

Presentations will be led by an Extension educator or University of Illinois faculty member, and made available online for later viewing. The award-winning series has been around since 2011, and its online archives (available since 2015) have received more than 60,000 views and more than 12,000 hours of view time.

Registration is free and participants will receive a webinar reminder, log in instructions, and instructions to access the archived recording. Those who do not have broadband internet capable of streaming video are encouraged to contact their local Extension office to see if they offer live viewing. Individuals who need to request a reasonable accommodation to participate also can contact their local Extension office.

Schedule:

Jan. 18 – Less Common Fruit Bearing Plants, Elizabeth Wahle, University of Illinois Extension commercial ag educator (fruits and vegetables)

Jan. 25 – Updated High Tunnel Concepts, Zachary Grant, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

Feb. 1 – Introduction to Certified Organic Production, Grant McCarty, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

Feb. 8 – Christmas Tree Production and Business Considerations, Dave Shiley, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

Feb. 15 – An Update on the Grand Prairie Grain Guild: Developing Staple Crop Varieties and Associated Regional Food Grade Markets, Bill Davison, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

Feb. 22 – Creating Community Food Production Systems, Laurie George, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

March 1 – Heavy Metals in Soils: Identifying and Acting on Contamination, Andrew Margenot, University of Illinois Department of Crop Sciences, College of ACES

March 8 – Native Pollinators on Your Farm, Doug Gucker, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

March 15 – Small Acres Pastured Poultry, James Theuri, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

March 22 – Growing Ginger, Turmeric, and Other Unique Crops, Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator

March 29 – Tips for Modifying and Building Sprayers for Specialty Crops, Nathan Johanning, University of Illinois Extension local food systems and small farms educator

For information, visit web.extension.illinois.edu.

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