Programming

Land Leasing Strategies for Ag Women

The Power of Negotiation and Communication: Land Leasing Strategies for Midwestern Ag Women is coming to Geneva in January. The Nebraska Women in Agriculture program, in conjunction with Women in Agriculture programs at Purdue University and Kansas State University, will host a four-part extension workshop on the basics of land management, leasing, and conservation for landlords and tenants.

“The Power of Negotiation and Communication: Land Leasing Strategies for Midwestern Ag Women” will begin on January 18 at numerous sites in Indiana, Kansas, and Nebraska. The series will focus on writing agricultural lease agreements, landlord-tenant relationships, negotiations, and conservation practices. Workshops will be held on January 18, January 25, February 1, and February 8.

Photo by u00c1kos Szabu00f3 on Pexels.com

The workshop costs $50 per person and participants should plan to attend each session. A virtual option is available for those unable to attend a workshop site for $75 per person, although in-person attendance is highly encouraged to better network with other attendees and interact with speakers and includes a meal.

According to Department of Agriculture census data from 2017, there are over 90,000 women producers and over 51,000 female landlords in the three states.

“Women represent an important and growing demographic in agricultural land management and this workshop series will teach essential management information while providing women the chance to ask questions, connect with each other and share their experiences,” said Jessica Groskopf, director of the Nebraska Women in Agriculture program.

Each state will host several satellite workshop sites with local extension personnel. Keynote speakers will be simulcast to each location and each site will provide additional speakers and hands-on activities.

Groskopf said the program’s structure is intended to strengthen networks of women in rural areas, which can provide opportunities for building trust and sharing information. “Connections are so important to women farmers,” she said. “We have seen the benefits that come from knowing your peers, having a place to share difficulties and mitigate the isolation that so many of us in agriculture often feel.”

These workshops seek to help participants increase their awareness of local land values and cash rental rates and the factors that influence them. They will also cover the importance of having a written lease and the items that should be included in it to ensure an equitable agreement for all parties. Participants will learn negotiation strategies as well as best practices to improve relationships between landlords and tenants.

Conservation programs will also be covered, so that participants will have a greater understanding of compliance requirements and increase their awareness of voluntary conservation programs that are available to them.

Registration is required by January 13th. 

2022-23 Farmers & Ranchers College Schedule

  • December 8th -“Ag Today: New Era of Prosperity or Temporary Opportunity” featuring Dr. DaveKohl. Registration will start at 12:45 p.m. and the program will start at 1:00 p.m. at the Opera House in Bruning, NE.
  • December 15th – A hands-on training workshop will teach producers about Extension’s Agricultural Budget Calculator. This program will be held at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Geneva from 1-3:00 p.m.  Re gister by December 13th at cap.unl.edu/abc/training.
  • January 19th -Cow/Calf College Registration will start at 9:00 a.m. and the program will start at 9:25 until 3:30 p.m. at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Clay Center.

Questions on the Farmers & Ranchers College can be directed to the Fillmore County Extension Office at (402) 759-3712. To participate and register, go to the website: go.unl.edu/farmersrancherscollege.

Programming

Agriculture Today: New Era of Prosperity or Temporary Opportunity?

The 2022-23 Farmers & Ranchers College will kick off December 8th featuring Dr. Dave Kohl. Registration will start at 12:45 p.m. and the program will start at 1:00 p.m. at the Opera House in Bruning, NE. The program is titled, “Ag Today: New Era of Prosperity or Temporary Opportunity.” The business and economic landscape of agriculture can be described in one word as “anxious.”  Global trade uncertainty and the shift from fossil fuels to the green movement coupled with inflation and supply chain bottlenecks are only a few o the challenges.  However, with these headwinds, opportunities exist for those who manage the business proactively despite all the economic megatrend shifts. 

The decade of the 2020s will be one of economic and financial divide. Stimulus checks from the government along with rising commodity prices in some industries have presented profits not seen since the Great Commodity Super Cycle.  Extreme volatility and uncertainty created by geopolitics present an economic roller coaster environment for most businesses. These factors coupled with inflating costs, a shift from fossil fuels to the green movement, consumer and technology trends, and supply chain bottlenecks are only some of the challenges.  Visionary CEOs must strategically analyze the challenges and opportunities.  They must conduct both an industry and business SWOT analysis to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in their business plan, and a pathway to remaining on the positive side of the ledger.  Don’t miss out on this engaging session that applies the big picture variables to your business, family, and personal life.   

Many in the area are very familiar with Dr. Kohl, but if you are not, here are some details about him. Dr. Dave Kohl is an academic Hall of Famer in the College of Agriculture at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.  Dr. Kohl has keen insight into the agriculture industry gained through extensive travel, research, and involvement in ag businesses.  He has traveled nearly 10 million miles; conducted more than 6,500 presentations; and published more than 2,250 articles in his career. Dr. Kohl’s wisdom and engagement with all levels of the industry provide a unique perspective into future trends.

The following week on December 15th, the Farmers & Ranchers College will be hosting a hands-on training workshop that will teach producers about Extension’s Agricultural Budget Calculator. This program will be held at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Geneva from 1-3:00 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet to the workshop but if they are unable to do so, they are still welcome to attend. Please register by December 13th for this program at cap.unl.edu/abc/training.

Questions on the Farmers & Ranchers College can be directed to the Fillmore County Extension Office at (402) 759-3712. To participate and register, go to the website: go.unl.edu/farmersrancherscollege.

Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving

The American Farm Bureau Federation annually calculates the cost of a Thanksgiving meal to serve 10 people with plenty for leftovers. This year, with a traditional Thanksgiving meal, Farm Bureau estimated a meal total of $64.05 which is an increase from $53.31 last year. This is a 20% increase in last year’s cost. The turkey price is up about $1.81 per pound compared to last year which is a 21% increase from last year. Included in the meal is a 16-lb. turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and milk. You can thank our American farmers and ranchers who are able to provide us the bounty of safe and affordable food. Another interesting fact about Thanksgiving include that 88% of Americans are expected to be feasting on turkey for Thanksgiving this year (National Turkey Federation).

Now let’s talk trivia:

Q: Why are turkeys raised?   A: Because of their excellent quality of meat and eggs

Q: What is a male turkey called?  A:  Tom

Q: What is a female turkey called?  A:  A Hen

Q: What sound do turkeys make?  A: Only tom turkeys gobble; the female makes a clucking sound.

Q: How many feathers does a turkey have at maturity?  A:  3,500 feathers

Q: How big was the heaviest turkey ever raised?  A: 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog

Q: Which gender of turkeys are usually consumed whole?  A: Hens (females) are usually sold as whole birds. Toms (males) are processed into turkey sausage, turkey franks, tenderloins, cutlets and deli meats.

Q: How long does it take a turkey to reach market size?   A: Hens usually grow for 16 weeks and is 8-16 lbs. when processed while tom usually takes 19 weeks to reach market weight and weighs 24 lbs. Large toms (24-40 lbs.) are a few weeks older.

Regardless of what you do this Thanksgiving, remember to be thankful for what really matters.

If you need tips or resources to help you prepare a turkey or any other food for Thanksgiving, go to Nebraska Extension’s Food Website at https://food.unl.edu/article/thanksgiving-central.

Uncategorized

Gratitude Improves Health & Well-Being

During the month of November, many people think about Thanksgiving. The word “thanksgiving” means the act of expressing or feeling thankfulness. If you are a parent like me, how many times do you tell your children to “say thank you” after receiving something from someone?  When my kids automatically say, “thank you”, it brings joy to my heart. By teaching youth to automatically say those two small words, my hopes are that it will lead to writing thank you notes and expressing warm words of gratitude to those around them.

The art and practice of handwriting “thank you notes” can sometimes get lost with all the electronic methods of communication.  When I receive a hand-written thank you that really brings gladness to my heart, I put those in a special file folder in my desk.  Some of those thank you notes are from 4-H’ers, 4-H Alumni, interns, coworkers, etc.  As I write this, I even have a thank you note displayed on my desk from a summer adult 4-H volunteer. As the receiver of a thank you note, I can say it is nice to receive meaningful mail, rather than bills or advertising, but writing thank you notes also brings happiness to my heart. 

Two researchers from Indiana University, Drs. Brown and Wong (2017) researched an authored an article that provides the following psychological benefits of practicing gratitude.

  1. Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions. When you write about how grateful you are to others and how much other people have blessed your life, it might become considerably harder for you to ruminate on your negative experiences.
  2. Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it. The mere act of writing a thank you letter can help you appreciate the people in your life and shift your focus away from negative feelings and thoughts.
  3. Gratitude benefits take time. If you participate in a gratitude writing activity, don’t be too surprised if you don’t feel dramatically better immediately after the writing. You might have that quick “rush” of feeling thankful, however the bigger benefits of gratitude might take time to kick in weeks after your gratitude activity.
  4. Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain. Their research suggested that brain activity was distinct for those who felt more grateful, than those who only performed an act of gratitude related to guilt. Those who were more grateful showed greater activation in their medial prefrontal cortex.

University of Southern California (2019) also found evidence that gratitude can have profound health benefits and provided suggestions on how to practice gratitude. Some of the most effective approaches include maintaining a gratitude journal, writing personal thank-you notes and regularly expressing gratitude to others in person. One might also practice guided meditation, call someone to express thanks or write a note to a friend.

It can be easy to get down with all the negativity on social media, the news or being around negative people, but reminding oneself of the many things one should be thankful for can help improve one’s wellbeing.  I am thankful for all of you who read my weekly column and support Nebraska Extension!  


Upcoming Area Ag Programs:

December 8, 2022 – Dr. Kohl Presents Agriculture Today: New Era of Prosperity or Temporary Opportunity, 1-4:00 p.m. at the Opera House in Bruning, NE. This Farmers & Ranchers College program is free. For more information, call the Fillmore County Extension office at 402.759.3712.

December 15, 2022-ABC’s of Cost of Production Workshop, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Geneva, NE. There is no fee to attend the workshop, however pre-registration is required by December 13. Click here to register online: cap.unl.edu/abc/training or call the Fillmore County Extension office at 402.759.3712.

Uncategorized

Cost of Production Workshop

Figuring crop cost of production – it’s as easy as ABC with the new Agricultural Budget Calculator (ABC) Program!

In collaboration with the Farmers & Ranchers College, the University of Nebraska Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability has scheduled a hands-on workshop from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. on December 15, 2022, at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds, 641 N 5th Street, Geneva, Nebraska. This program is for ag producers, farm managers, bankers and anyone interested in learning more about utilizing the free online Agricultural Budget Calculator (ABC) for enterprise budgeting.

The Agricultural Budget Calculator is a free enterprise budgeting and decision-making tool that is designed to assist agricultural producers in determining their cost of production and projected cash and economic returns for various farm or ranch enterprises. 

As base or foundational budgets are prepared, producers and ag managers can utilize additional program features to help in their risk management and decision-making while using ABC, according to Glennis McClure, an extension educator and farm and ranch management analyst with the Center for Agricultural Profitability. “With the changing cost of inputs and our capital investment in farming, now more than ever, figuring your true cost of production as you budget for the new production season is important,” she said.

McClure, who works closely with the ABC tool and has been involved in its development, will facilitate the workshop. During the first part of the workshop, participants will learn how to use the ABC program to create and/or update crop budgets for their farms or fields on their owned and/or rented ground and create their own cost of production and anticipated return reports. Part two will provide details and hands-on demonstrations of combining enterprise budgets using the “whole farm” component of the program and more on using other features, including breakeven, crop comparison and risk analysis. Visit cap.unl.edu/abc for more information on the ABC program.  

There is no fee to attend the workshop, however pre-registration is required by December 13. Click here to register online: cap.unl.edu/abc/training or call the Fillmore County Extension office at 402.759.3712. Workshop attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptop or mobile device to get started working on their own budgets with the program. Mobile lab computers will be available as needed for the in-person workshops.

Horticulture, Uncategorized

Pumpkins

I love this time of year for several reasons. First, it is harvest time; watching the combines in the fields brings back great memories of riding in the combine with my dad as a child. Secondly, I love the changing colors of the trees and a slight chill in the air. Finally, I love pumpkins and going to the pumpkin patch with my girls which is why this week I’m sharing some fun information about pumpkins.

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

October is National Pumpkin Month. Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes squash, cantaloupe, cucumbers, watermelon, and gourds. Every part of the pumpkin was used by American Indians. Pumpkins and squashes were baked or roasted whole in a fire, cut up and boiled, added to soups and stews, or made into porridge and pudding.  Strips of pumpkin were dried and woven into mats and the dried outer shells of pumpkins and squashes found new life as water vessels, bowls and storage containers.

Did you know that pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of fiber? Also, a one-ounce portion of hulled pumpkin seeds is considered 20ounce equivalents in the Protein foods group. All parts of the pumpkin are used all over the world as ingredients in dishes – even the pumpkin leaves!  Cooked pumpkin leaves and peeled shoots are a staple in many Asian and African countries and served with rice or porridge. The flavor is said to be a mixture of green beans, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach. Use tender, young pumpkin leaves for best results.  Fresh pumpkins are best if you select small, heavy ones for cooking because they contain more edible flesh. Pumpkins for carving are not so great for cooking, but the edible seeds are great for roasting!  My grandma always made the best pumpkin seeds!

 If you have never made roasted pumpkin seeds, here are some tips from the National Center for Home Food Preservation:

  • Drying seeds and roasting seeds are two different steps:
  • To dry: carefully wash pumpkin seeds to remove the clinging fibrous pumpkin tissue. Pumpkin seeds can be dried in a dehydrator at 115 to 120°F for 1 to 2 hours, or in an oven on warm for 3 to 4 hours. Stir frequently to avoid scorching.
  • To roast: toss dried pumpkin seeds with oil and your favorite seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic, or cumin. Roast in a preheated oven at 250°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Once cooled, place the roasted pumpkin seeds in a sealed container and store at room temperature.

When selecting pumpkins for carving and fall decoration, choose varieties that suit your style! Traditional carving pumpkins are medium to large- in size, deep orange, and lightly ribbed with a strong handle. For painting, look for a small pumpkin with a strong handle and a smooth surface. Add additional interest to fall décor using miniature pumpkins with unique colors and patterns. Miniature pumpkins are typically less than 2 pounds and can be found in a variety of shapes and colors. Diversity among pumpkin varieties is incredible! With sizes ranging from 4 ounces to over 1,000 pounds, various unique shapes, and brilliant colors like orange, yellow, white, green, blue, gray, pink, and tan, there are endless opportunities to select the perfect pumpkin.

This information was taken from Nebraska Extension’s food.unl.edu website which has more great pumpkin and fall recipes and nutrition information.

Uncategorized

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

HPAI is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure. The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. Wild birds can carry the virus without becoming sick, while domesticated birds can become very sick.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include: a decrease in water consumption; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms. HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.

  • Poultry owners should report unusual poultry bird deaths or sick birds to NDA at 402-471-2351, or through USDA at 866-536-7593.
  • Enhanced biosecurity helps prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and diseases including HPAI. NDA and USDA have resources available to help poultry owners step up their biosecurity efforts.
  • Know the warning signs of infectious bird diseases like HPAI. Be on the lookout for unusual signs of behavior, severe illness and/or sudden deaths.
  • Restrict access to your property and poultry.
  • Keep it clean. Wear clean clothes, scrub boots/shoes with disinfectant and wash hands thoroughly before and after contact with your flock.

If you, your employees, or family have been on other farms, or other places where there is livestock and/or poultry, clean and disinfect your vehicle tires and equipment before returning home.

Don’t share equipment, tools, or other supplies with other livestock or poultry owners.

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, making sure wild birds cannot access domestic poultry’s feed and water sources.

Report sick birds immediately to: NDA at 402-471-2351; the USDA at 866-536-7593; or your veterinarian. Early detection is important to prevent the spread of disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk to people getting HPAI infections from birds is low. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

All poultry entering Nebraska must be accompanied by a VS form 9-3 or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI, or health certificate). If you are considering moving an animal into Nebraska from an affected state, please call 402-471-2351 to learn more. Nebraska poultry owners wanting to ship poultry out of state should consult the state veterinarians of the destination states for import requirements.

For more information about avian influenza, visit NDA’s website at https://nda.nebraska.gov/animal/avian/index.html or the USDA’s website https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

Uncategorized

Progressive Agriculture Safety Day

Statistics from those impacted by a farm-related injury or death are sobering. Many know someone who was impacted by a farm accident that in many cases could have been prevented. Therefore, I feel so passionately about conducting the Annual Progressive Safety Day each year. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation provides safety and health information to rural communities that need it, which is why I’ve teamed up with them. The mission of Progressive Agriculture Days is simple – to provide education, training, and resources to make farm and ranch life safer and healthier for children and their communities. The vision is that “no child become ill, injured or die from farm, ranch and rural activities.”

During the program’s first year, a total of 2,800 participants and volunteers were reached throughout the South and Midwest and now the program impacts close to 110,000 annually. To date, the program has impacted more than 1.6 million children and adults. The Progressive Agriculture Foundation is in its 28th year of programming in the United States and 21st year in Canada.

Locally, since I have been involved with a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day in Geneva, we have grown from approximately 60 participants to 140 youth from surrounding counties. This half-day event involves many volunteers and local sponsors to make the program what it is today. Every year, business staff or volunteers help teach the hands-on activities. In addition, area FFA chapters assist in delivery of sessions and guiding youth participants to each session.

Current 1st through 6th graders are invited to attend Progressive Agriculture Safety Day on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Geneva, NE.  Youth will participate in a variety of events designed to help them be aware of safety in potentially hazardous situations in and around rural and agricultural settings, including electricity, disability awareness, water safety, fire safety, tractor safety, etc.  NE Extension hosts this event in Fillmore County, along with Shickley, Fillmore Central, Exeter-Milligan-Friend FFA chapters, 4-H, W.I.F.E. and Fillmore County Emergency Management. Early registration forms and $5 are due April 29th; forms can be downloaded at fillmore.unl.edu. After April 29th, registration is $10/youth. For more info or to register, call 402-759-3712 or email brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.

Crops, Uncategorized

Private Pesticide Training Offered by Zoom for 2022

If you haven’t completed your private pesticide safety training yet, there is a zoom option approaching. Nebraska Extension will be offering five private pesticide applicator trainings via Zoom in March and April. Each one will have a different agricultural area of focus, including alfalfa, corn, soybean, pasture, and wheat. Several different steps must be met to attend these trainings.

Preregistration will be required. Registration can be completed at the following links:

Several things to know about include:

  • Training materials will need to be picked up at a county extension office PRIOR to training.
  • Nebraska Department of Agriculture paper will need to be filled out and submitted when picking up training materials. The training fee of $50 will need to be paid when picking up training materials.
  • Attend and participate in the training session where you have registered.
  • A photo ID must be presented during the training session.
  • A working web camera must be on for the duration of the training.
  • No certification will be initiated unless all seven requirements are completed. Individuals are encouraged to contact their local extension office first to see if training materials are available.

Each training will offer individuals the opportunity to pick one of the special topics. Those offered are:

  • March 28: Alfalfa: Cut, Bale, Scout Alfalfa Diseases
  • March 28: Corn: Tar Spot, Corn Rootworm Management, Herbicide Selection with Cover Crop Seeding
  • March 29: Soybean: Frogeye Leaf Spot and White Mold, Soybean Gall Midge, Dectes Stem Borer
  • March 30: Pasture:Thistle ID and Management, Calibration of Small Sprayers, Tree Encroachment
  • March 30: Wheat, Stripe and Leaf Rust, Herbicide Selection for Eastern Nebraska

For questions regarding the trainings, contact Jennifer Weisbrod, Nebraska Extension Pesticide Safety Education program coordinator, 402-472-1632 or jweisbrod2@unl.edu.

 

(Source: UNL CropWatch)