Agriculture Notes


December 24, 2006

Conference set on sustainable farming

The Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture will hold its eighth annual "Farming for Profit and Stewardship" conference Jan. 12 and 13 at the Four Points Sheraton in Hagerstown.

Participants will learn strategies for improving production, ways to market products and ideas for new enterprises through 20 seminars offered over two days.

On Jan. 12, seminars will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon on grazing, vegetable production and small fruits and berries; and from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on crop rotation for organic farmers and producing for a farmers' market.

The conference will include the annual membership meeting and election of board officers at 3:15 p.m., a wine and cheese reception at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 6:15 p.m., panel session on farming for profit at 7:30 p.m. and an ice cream social at 9 p.m. Jan. 12.

Seminar topics Jan. 13 include breaking the feast-and-famine cycle, grazing, organic weed management, cut flowers, biodiesel, grazing dairy operation, local agriculture issues on the lower Eastern Shore, sustainable agriculture in rural West Virginia, migrant and foreign labor, backpack sprayer technology, integrating turkey production into vegetable systems, estate planning, small equipment, selling beef, early-season tomatoes in high tunnels and predator control in livestock.

Keynote speaker Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm in North Carolina will discuss "25 Years of Building a Farm" after lunch at noon Jan. 13.

Registration fees start at $75 for one day for members. The alliance has reserved rooms at a special rate.

Information: 410-549-7878.

Forestry course offered by mail

Registration is being accepted for the spring semester of the "General Forestry Correspondence Course," which runs from Feb. 1 to May 20.

Students work from home - using their own woodlot, a friend's or a public forest - while learning the basics of forestry, forest ecology and forest health in this noncredit course.

Topics include: protecting trees from insects, diseases and fire; forest inventory and stand analysis; the forestry business, tax nuances and the sale and harvest of forest products and developing a management plan for your forest.

The registration fee of $300 includes a text notebook, separate appendices of resources and supplemental readings. A certificate of completion is awarded when all assignments are completed.

Information: Nancy Stewart, Wye Research and Education Center, University of Maryland Cooperative Extension, P.O. Box 169, Queenstown 21658; 410-827-8056, Ext. 112.

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