12 ways to expand your organic farming knowledge (starting today)

Photo of laptop computer

The national eOrganic program is offering a series of 12 free organic farming webinars through early April. First, airing today and tomorrow, is a live broadcast of selected presentations at the Organic Seed Growers Conference in Oregon. Learn more and register here.

The eOrganic program is part of the national eXtension program, which in turn is part of the national Cooperative Extension System, which in Ohio includes CFAES’s outreach arm, OSU Extension.

Untill then: Ohio Conservation Tillage Conference is March 2-3

Photo of no-till soybeans and cornOhio’s big annual Conservation Tillage Conference is coming up. Sponsored by CFAES, it’s March 2-3 in northwest Ohio.

How does conservation tillage fit with sustainable agriculture?

Potentially very well, says a fact sheet by the national ATTRA sustainable agriculture program:

“The principal benefits of conservation tillage are improved water conservation and the reduction of soil erosion. Additional benefits include reduced fuel consumption, reduced compaction, planting and harvesting flexibility, reduced labor requirements, and improved soil tilth.”

All those, of course, can support and improve a farm’s economic and ecological sustainability.

Get conference details here. (Photo: Jane Johnson, USDA-ARS.)

Feb. 8 deadline for organic matter workshop

A reminder to register by this coming Monday, Feb. 8, for “The Dirt on Organic Matter,” a Feb. 12 preconference workshop being held before the Feb. 13-14 annual conference of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association in Granville. The workshop will focus on ways to build soil organic matter on farms, especially organic farms. CFAES and other experts will teach it based on findings from their research over the past 15 years. Read more.

Can’t help but think Louis Bromfield would approve

dv455051Mansfield, birthplace of Louis Bromfield of Malabar Farm fame, could be next on the list of Ohio cities allowing backyard chickens. Linda Martz has the story in yesterday’s Mansfield News Journal …

Feb. 11: Sanjayan available to talk to media

Photo of M Sanjayan and panda 3M. Sanjayan, executive vice president and senior scientist with Conservation International, will give a free public talk, “Earth and People: Lessons in Living Together,” to more than 1,500 people — including students, faculty and staff from The Ohio State University and members of the surrounding community — at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in the Ohio Union on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus. Reporters are welcome to attend.

Sanjayan will be available for media interviews starting at 4:15 p.m. Contact Molly Bean at 614-688-8798 or bean.21@osu.edu to make arrangements. Read More »

What to do if you’re worried about lead in your water

Photo of water dripping from faucetConcerned about lead in your drinking water based on the news from Flint, and now the news from Sebring in northeast Ohio? CFAES water quality specialist Karen Mancl gives tips and perspective …

How (and why) to boost a farm’s soil organic matter

On Feb. 12, a research team including CFAES soil scientist Rafiq Islam will present “The Dirt on Organic Matter.” It’s a special preconference workshop being held before the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Feb. 13-14 annual conference in Granville.

The team members have spent the past 15 years studying soil organic matter, its benefits to crops and the best ways to boost it on farms run organically; the workshop is based on their findings.

“Soil organic matter is the cornerstone of soil health,” Islam said. “As with any agricultural production system, maintaining a healthy and productive soil is the foundation of sustainable organic farming.”

Read the full story …

Talk on bees’ health, genes, social life

Penn State scientist Christina Grozinger, distinguished entomology professor and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, presents “Bee Health: From Genes to Landscapes” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, in 121 Fisher Auditorium at CFAES’s research arm, OARDC, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster. You also can watch by video in 244 Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Road, on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus. Grozinger, for example, has been quoted this month in “A Hardier Honeybee That Fights Back By Biting Back” on NPR and “Conflict Among Honey Bee Genes Supports Theory of Altruism” on Phys.org.

Urban green space expert at conference

Photo of High Line Park in New York 2Tom Smarr, horticulture director for The Parklands of Floyds Fork, a new urban park in Louisville, Kentucky, keynotes the Tri-State Green Industry Conference Feb. 4 in Cincinnati.

“(The conference) is for representatives of all sectors of the green industry,” said Julie Crook, horticulture program coordinator in OSU Extension’s Hamilton County office and chair of the event’s planning committee.

Smarr previously was horticulture director for New York City’s innovative High Line Park, shown here, which was built on an old elevated train track.

OSU Extension is CFAES’s outreach arm; CFAES is a conference co-sponsor. (Photo by Steven Severinghaus from Friends of the High Line licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.)

Environmental, Sustainability Career Expo is Friday

If you’re an Ohio State student or recent alumnus, are interested in a green-related field, and are looking for a job or internship, check out CFAES’s Winter 2016 Environmental and Sustainability Career Expo. It’s tomorrow in Columbus. Get details and a list of the participating employers.