TOPEKA, Kan. — The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) will host five specialty crop workshops during March to provide information and education necessary for beginning specialty crop growers to establish a successful specialty crop enterprise in Kansas. The workshops will focus on conservation, production and marketing practices for specialty crop growers, and will provide an excellent opportunity for beginning growers to connect with and learn from experienced growers.
The workshops are part of KRC’s “Linking Experienced and Beginning Kansas Specialty Crop Farmers to Share Information for Establishing Successful Specialty Crop Enterprises Project,” which was funded last fall by the Kansas Department of Agriculture through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program. KRC is one of five projects approved in Kansas. The aim of KRC’s project is to link experienced and beginning specialty crop farmers and provide information and networking opportunities to help beginning farmers lower production costs, increase profitability, and create successful specialty crop enterprises in Kansas.
More information and registration details will be available later, but the workshops will be held:
Saturday, March 3, in Scandia
Friday, March 9, in Leavenworth
Tuesday, March 20, in South Hutchinson
Wednesday, March 21, in Dighton
Saturday, March 31, in Erie.
Experienced specialty crop growers and experts from partnering institutions and agencies will provide information on conservation practices and soil health, high tunnel construction and management, cold storage, marketing strategies, and basic economics of specialty crops. Conservation and management practices (such as cover crops, crop rotations, pest and weed management strategies, beneficial insects, etc.) can dramatically impact the bottom line of farms through improving system productivity and profitability. Better understanding of the costs and benefits of these practices and the potential revenues from key vegetables and fruits well-suited to Kansas can help specialty crop farmers succeed.
In addition to providing valuable information education, the workshops will offer beginning farmers the chance to connect with experienced growers to provide for continued access to information and advice.
Detailed agendas of each workshop will be posted on the KRC website soon.
In addition to the regional workshops, KRC will work with beginning specialty crop growers to pair them with experienced specialty crop growers to facilitate farmer to farmer transfer of knowledge and information. KRC will facilitate a learning circle meeting of ten farmers to determine further educational and resource needs , to share information, and to serve as case study subjects for farm profiles for publication statewide.
To learn more about the workshops, please contact David Coltrain at 620-330-3951 or email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the project as a whole, please contact Mary Fund at email@example.com or 866-579-5469.
The mission of KRC, a non-profit research, education and advocacy organization founded in 1979, is to promote the long-term health of the land and its people through research, education and advocacy that advance an economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially just food and farming system. For more information, visit www.kansasruralcenter.org.
— Kansas Rural Center
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