Farm, Garden & Outdoors Calendar Released June 11, 2022 – West Central Tribune – Low Calorie Diets Tips

Meeting of the local working group: June 14, 9:00 am, Log Cabin at Kandiyohi Fairgrounds. Join the Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service for Conservation, Coffee & Conversation. This meeting, officially known as the local task force meeting, is a locally led process that provides information to the US Department of Agriculture on local natural resource priorities and criteria for USDA conservation programs and activities. It also provides information to the SWCD and Natural Resources Conservation Service to understand what are the key natural resource concerns and priorities of the area to better address funding priorities from a local perspective. If you have any questions, please call Kandiyohi SWCD at 320-235-3540, ext. 3.

Safety certification for youth tractors and farms: 14-15 June, Wright County Fairgrounds, Howard Lake. Costs from $40 and includes all materials and meals on training days. Scholarships are available. Visit z.umn.edu/TractorSafety for more information and registration. The University of Minnesota Extension Program offers youth ages 14 and up the opportunity to learn about the safe operation of equipment and general safety on farms. Students work hands-on with large tractors and implements, receive training in farm first aid, and learn about farm safety from a range of experienced community members. Students who complete this program receive a U.S. Department of Labor Certificate of Education. This certificate is required for 14 and 15 year olds who wish to work outside of their family farm or homestead with equipment greater than 20 hp. This course consists of eight hours of online instruction completed independently prior to the two days of in-person instruction.

Farmers Night Out: stocking density: The program, offered by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Dairy Initiative, provides networking and training on how to optimize space and return on investment in a freestall dairy farm. This free program will be held at the Greenwald Pub on June 16th, beginning with a free meal at 7:30pm, then moving on to the evening’s speaker, Travis Bischof, Nutritionist at Form-A-Feed. Registration for the meal is recommended and can be made online at /z.umn.edu/FNOsd or by calling Dana Adams at adam1744@umn.edu or 320-204-2968.

Management of invasive species: June 28, all day, West Central Research and Outreach Center, Morris. The hybrid event will feature four keynote speakers via Zoom in the morning and afternoon, with face-to-face expert discussions at each of 10 research and contact centers across Minnesota. Attendees can watch the morning virtual keynote sessions in person at the center closest to them or from any location of their choice. At the in-person afternoon event, there will be direct access to field and research sites, and participants will have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of invasive species native to their region. It will also feature hands-on, experiential learning focused on the science behind invasive species and how you can take action in your own communities.

Summer Beef Tour: On July 12, 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team and the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association will host the tour at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus with stops at the Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science, the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Forage Research Plots. The tour begins and ends at the Minnesota Zoo, where participants have exclusive access to the entire zoo from 4pm to 8pm. Check-in opens at 6am at the zoo and buses leave at 7am. Tickets are $25 per person through June 15 at z.umn.edu/MNSummerBeefTour. After June 15, tickets are $30 online or at the box office. Lunch and dinner are included. Inquiries can be sent to Dr. Joe Armstrong at armst225@umn.edu.

Meeker County Master Gardener Tour: July 12, 5:00pm to 8:30pm Sponsored by Meeker County Extension Master Gardeners, tour of six gardens in the Long Lake and Lake Minne Belle area near Litchfield. Tickets are $10 and are available at each garden the night of the tour or in advance at these Litchfield locations: First Lutheran Church Office, Zion Lutheran Church Office, KLFD Radio, Meeker County Extension Office, and Stockmen’s Greenhouse and Garden Center. Proceeds go to MST International and Zion Youth. Bus transportation to each garden is available for $12. Contact the Meeker County Extension office at 320-693-5275 to reserve seating by Tuesday, July 5th.

Farm Beginnings: September 1st is the application deadline for the Farm Beginnings course, which will be held in an online environment from November to March 2023, with on-farm training events to follow later in 2023. The training session will help beginners clarify their goals and strengths, create a strong business plan and start building their operations. For more information and registration, visit the Land Stewardship Project website at landstewardshipproject.org or email Annelie Livingston-Anderson at annelie@landstewardshipproject.org.

Strategic Farming: Field Notes: Free 30-minute University of Minnesota Extension webinar via Zoom developed for farmers and agricultural professionals every Wednesday at 8am. Sign up for the live sessions at z.umn.edu/strategic-farming. The program includes a live webinar with interactive discussions with attendees, addressing in-season growing issues as they arise. Weekly themes will be announced during the week of the program to allow flexibility to respond to issues that arise in 2022. For those unable to attend live, the discussion-based series will be streamed to podcast streaming services immediately after the webinar. Subscribe to podcasts on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or Google.

Garden lots on Willmar Avenue: Summer lots are available at Willmar Avenue Gardens north of the bus garages. The lots are 11 feet by 16 feet and are priced at $20 each. To reserve a lot, call Mary at 320-212-3471.

Wesley Community Garden plots: Summer plots are available at the United Methodist Church’s Wesley Community Garden in Willmar. Lots are 15 feet by 15 feet and are priced at $20 each, refundable under certain conditions at the end of the season. To reserve a lot, call the church at 320-235-5403.

Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online. Sibley State Park is just west of New London off US Highway 71. For more information, visit the State Department of Natural Resources website at www.dnr.state.mn.us.

  • Bike/hiking trail: June 11, 10 a.m. Beach parking lot at Sibley State Park. Celebrate the completion of the bike/hiking trail connection between Sibley State Park and the Glacial Lakes State Trail. Bring your bike to ride the trail or go on a trail hike. No state parking permit is required to participate.

Environmental Learning Center Prairie Woods: The hiking trails in the rural Spicer center can be used free of charge during the day. A bathroom with composting toilets is open at the pavilion. Pets should be kept on a leash. All equipment rentals (fat tire bikes, kayaks, canoes) are processed on a reservation basis, which must be made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve gear for the weekend, please call by noon on Friday. The two-hour gear rental is $20 for adults, $10 for members, and $5 for all youth. Call 320-354-5894.

  • Survive: June 18, 9am-12pm, Grades 4 and up, $20, advance booking required. Prepare to survive outdoors. Teamwork is key as your party builds a shelter using survival essentials. Try to start a fire with a bow drill, flint and steel.
  • climbing wall: July 23, 9am-10:30pm, $20 per session, Grades 3-8, advance registration required. Challenge yourself physically and mentally at your own pace. Beginners can get to know the sport, exercise and have fun; Experienced climbers can train and refine their skills. The center’s instructors will be there to help and equipment will be provided.
  • climbing wall: July 23, 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., $20 per session, grades 9-12, advance registration required. Other details as above.

Volunteer Water Wardens: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams — including several high-priority sites in the Willmar area — and then report to the agency. Volunteers conduct a simple water clarity test in a body of water twice a month during the summer. Lake Monitors drive or paddle to a specific spot in the lake to check clarity, while Stream Monitors record data from the creek bank or a bridge across it. All equipment and training is provided, no previous experience is required. The program relies on volunteers to help monitor Minnesota’s more than 12,000 lakes and more than 92,000 miles of streams. This is the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in helping protect the state’s natural resources. The MPCA uses the data to determine whether lakes and streams meet water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities such as fishing and swimming. In some cases, the information gathered by volunteers is the only monitoring performed on a specific lake or stream.

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