Skip To Content

CSU Logo

Local and Regional Programs


3R's of Loan Renewal

December 8th
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

This webinar series will employ a “Flipped Learning” design whereby participants will view three asynchronous sessions where they will learn about balance sheets, income statements, and cash flows. This will be followed by a “live “ session where the ABM Team will assist the farmer/rancher participants in applying their new found knowledge to prepare to meet with their ag lender to renew their 2021 operating loan.  You can view the Loan Renewal Flyer.  The cost is $35.00 and you need to register at Eventbrite.


Produce Safety

Colorado State University Extension, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and Colorado Department of Agriculture will be hosting an online only Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course in two parts, from 8:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on both December 14 and December 15, 2020. We are excited to host this course for Colorado growers. Since it is online only, it has a very specific structure. Please read all the registration information to make sure this course will work for you.

This course will provide a foundation on the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management information, and details on how to develop a farm food safety plan. Individuals are expected to gain a basic understanding of:

  • Requirements in the FSMA Produce Safety Rule and how to meet them;
  • Microorganisms relevant to produce safety and where they may be found on the farm;
  • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm; and
  • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one.

The registration fee is $35 which includes PSA materials and a certificate of completion as required under FSMA. Registration for this course closes on December 7, 2020 in order to have time to mail out course materials. Register at Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. You can view the Produce Safety agenda.
Note that this online course has very specific requirements:

  • This course will be offered only online. As such you will need:
    • good internet connection (>25 Mbps download, >3 Mbps upload);
    • access to Zoom software (it’s free to download ahead of time, or it will automatically download when you first join the workshop);
    • speakers;
    • a microphone; and
    • camera for two-way video capabilities.
  • We will have someone available to assist you with any tech needs, and we will help you test your equipment beforehand.
  • You will need to have the PSA Grower Training manual in order to participate. We will mail this to you in advance, along with other materials and the Zoom link to connect.
  • We will be verifying participation throughout the course, so you will need to have your video camera on at all times.
  • You will receive an online evaluation form to complete, which must be received right after taking the course.
  • You must be present for the entire course and attend all PSA modules to receive a PSA/AFDO Certificate of Course Completion. You will receive this certificate by email following the course.

If you have any concerns or questions about this course, please contact Martha Sullins at martha.sullins@colostate.edu. We want this to be a successful educational opportunity about the Produce Safety Rule!


Agricultural Workforce Development Program

Are you interested in hiring an intern for your agricultural business in 2021? The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) is now accepting applications for the Agricultural Workforce Development Program (AWDP) which can reimburse qualified businesses for up to half the cost of hiring an intern, up to $5,000. In order to apply, you will need to complete an online application by 11:59 p.m. on December 18th. Applications will then go through a competitive review process, and applicants will be notified of their award status in February 2021. More information can be found on CDA’s AWDP page, or by contacting Jennifer Benson, CDA Grants Specialist, at jennifer.benson@state.co.us.


Colorado Building Farmers

Colorado Building Farmers is going virtual fall 2020!

The Colorado Building Farmers program (CBF) presents the Principles of Business Planning and Management short course though Colorado State University Extension. CBF builds farm community and business development skills through classroom and experiential learning for new and beginning farmers and livestock producers (0 – 10 years of experience). Over 8 weeks, Principles participants explore how to build a farm business, plan for new markets, improve their record keeping and financial analysis skills, and manage risks in crop and livestock enterprises.

Since 2007, over 300 producers have completed the program, almost 200 developed business plans and 23 subsequently worked under the guidance of an experienced producer-mentor to implement their plans and advance their business goals.

Join us in 2020 as the Principles course goes virtual! CBF is integrating all the familiar face to face learning, farmers teaching farmers, small group discussions, core curriculum, and business plan presentations into an online format. To further increase your business network, we are recruiting input and resource providers to join us as virtual exhibitors.

The course is Thursday nights December 3, 2020 - February 4, 2021 (no classes December 24th or 31st). Cost is $200 per person.

Learn more and register at Colorado Building Farmers Virtual Course.

Learn more about Colorado Building Farmers.


Building Land Stewards in Colorado

By Jennifer Cook

Air, water, soil, plants, and animals are natural resources we depend on every day and yet many of us don’t understand their dynamic relationships or how to protect them. We can be better land stewards through simple strategies that will help protect these natural resources.

Grazing livestock and horses can help regenerate our soils and forages if managed in a way that protects from overgrazing. Overgrazing occurs when our livestock graze for too long in one area. The desired forages eventually die-off from continued defoliation and weeds take advantage of overgrazed areas, becoming infestations and reducing palatable forages even further.

Strategies to limit overgrazing are to fence a “sacrifice area” and utilize temporary fencing. A sacrifice area is an area with shelter and water that is a comfortable size for livestock and horses to move around and spend much of their time. Pastures can be subdivided using temporary/movable fencing so that YOU control where and when your livestock graze. Pastures are grazed for a short time, protecting grasses by always maintaining at least a 3-inch stubble. When pasture grasses are 3-inches or shorter, it’s time to move livestock to the sacrifice area to let the grass regrow. The sacrifice area is also used in the winter when grasses are not actively growing.

Manure is a valuable resource and adds organic matter and nutrients to our soils. But manure can also become a water pollutant. Store manure at least 150 feet away from wells, ditches, dry washes, lakes and streams, to protect water quality. As water runs through manure, it carries with it nitrogen and other nutrients from the manure that will pollute aboveground and underground water. Excess nutrients in our water can cause human and livestock health issues and are what causes the algae blooms and fish kills we hear about on the news.

Regenerative farming and carbon sequestration are words you may have heard recently. They have to do with building soil health and protecting air quality. Land managers play an important role in reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouses gas. Carbon sequestration is the process by which atmospheric carbon dioxide is taken up by grasses, trees, and plants through photosynthesis, and stored as carbon in soils, roots, branches, and foliage. Carbon sequestration offsets carbon dioxide emissions from sources such as burning fossil fuels and forest fires.

 

Tilling, burning, and tearing up the soil releases stored carbon and increases particulate matter (inhalable particles such as dust and smoke) into the air. We can protect soil health and air quality by planting cover crops on bare ground and/or establishing perennial vegetation. These are some of the strategies we use to regenerate the soil as in regenerative farming.

An easy way to learn more is through CSU Online non-credit Land Stewardship badge program, developed in partnership between CSU Online and CSU Extension. Take one or more of the online self-paced short courses. The target audience includes: small acreage land owners, farm or livestock managers, urban/rural hobby farmers, realtors and listing agents.

Participants will gain a better understanding of the available natural resources, how to cultivate them sustainably, and build an effective long-term land management plan. The Land Stewardship Program, developed for the Colorado-arid west soil and climatic conditions, provides the learner with more localized land strategies.

Online courses are open and available for registration. To register, please visit the link to the coarse below:

Learn more about the Land Stewardship Program https://www.online.colostate.edu/badges/land-stewardship/

CSU Extension’s Small Acreage Management website is also a great place to find recorded webinars, videos, and articles on managing your land - http://sam.extension.colostate.edu/


Weld County, Colorado Master Gardeners

Flower garden with watering pot

Weld County Colorado Master Gardeners are operating a Remote Garden Help Desk to help you with your gardening questions during this time. If you would like to submit your lawn, tree or gardening question, please send an email to weldmastergardeners@outlook.com

Website: www.weldmastergardeners.org