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Upcoming Field Days and Workshops

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Field Day at Janie's Farm Organics

June 25, 2019 | Danforth, IL

Join us for a tour of one of central Illinois' leading organic grain farms. Harold and Ross Wilken farm over 2400 acres of certified organic grain crops. They will share their secrets for growing food grade small grains. The field day includes a tour of The Mill at Janie's Farm showcasing what bakers are looking for to create delicious local breads and confections. The tour will wrap-up with a tasting of artisan breads made with flour directly from the mill.

Organic Agronomy Training Series (OATS)

July 24-25, 2019 | Crawfordsville, IL

The Organic Agronomy Training Series (OATS) is a collaboratively managed, science-based train-the-trainer program for agricultural professionals working with organic or transitioning producers in the United States. This two-day training provides education and guidance on organic production methods and certification necessary for agronomists, certified crop advisors, extension agents, and technical services providers to serve the needs of certified organic grain producers.

Wildlife on the Farm Field Day

July 30, 2019 | Saybrook, IL

Monarch butterflies, whitetail deer, honey bees, red tail hawks - these animals and insects are part of the diversity of wildlife that live on a working farm. This field day will showcase conservation practices that support wildlife species and will explore why wildlife is so important on the farm. Field day host Dallas Glazik is an organic farmer and Farm Bill Biologist with Pheasants Forever. He will display practices he uses on his own farm and explain programs offered by USDA to help farmers and landowners support wildlife on their land.

Agroforestry Field Day

September 14, 2019 | Sidney, IL

‘Agroforestry’ is a term for agricultural practices that combine perennial crops like chestnuts, hazelnuts, currents, and berries with annual crops or grazing livestock. The crops are arranged in a way that maximizes biodiversity and management efficiency, and assures high productivity across the farm. These innovative systems mimic natural ecosystems to enhance the environment and provide a multitude of crops for a farmer to harvest and market. Join the Savanna Institute and The Land Connection to see first-hand how an agroforestry system can work in central Illinois. You will visit two working farms, meet successful agroforestry farmers, and hear practical advice for establishing your own operation.

Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day

September 18, 2019 | Waukesha, WI

Successful weed management can seem like an uphill battle, especially for organic farms. Learning about the basic principles and available tools for precise mechanical weed control is the key to creating a comprehensive plan that not only combats unwanted plants but also promotes responsible land stewardship. The 3rd annual Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day is bringing this hands-on learning event to Waukesha, WI. There you'll learn about weeding tools and allied equipment through keynote speakers, company representatives, farmer-to-farmer networking, and in-field equipment demonstrations.

Farm Workplace Safety: Caring for your Body while Caring for the Land

Summer 2019 | Atlanta, IL

When imagining a farm, many will conjure a picture of an idyllic landscape, but a farm can be a dangerous place. All too frequently, farmers and their employees are injured on the job, both by accidents and by wear and tear on their bodies. In this workshop, we will learn about best practices for maintaining a safe farm workspace and explore the ergonomics of common farm tools and equipment. Prevention is the best protection against a farm workplace injury.

Our teaching philosophy

In designing our training programs, we follow the mantra "Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand.” We strive to give our students access to learning in the classroom, in the field, and in their hands.

We take advantage of our greatest educational assets: the people actually doing the work. If you come to us to learn about growing large-scale organic grains, we bring in a farmer who has 2000 acres of certified organic grains. If you need to know more about legal issues for farmers, we bring in a lawyer who has dedicated her life to those issues. If you want to know how to raise your own honeybees without chemical treatments, we bring in the guy who is innovating those practices in Illinois. 

And finally, we provide resources to put you in charge of your own learning. From video tutorials to printed resources to access to other training programs from around the country, we empower you to learn and grow.