Organic farm tour and organic farming seminar set for July 21-22 in Yankton |

Organic farm tour and organic farming seminar set for July 21-22 in Yankton

A seminar on organic farming for consumers and producers is set for July 21-22 in Yankton.

The event also includes a tour of an organic farm. It begins at 1 p.m. on July 21 at the Yankton County 4-H building, 911 Whiting Drive, Yankton. It ends at approximately 6 p.m. on July 22. Participants are welcome to attend portions of the event or the entire seminar.

On July 21, the producer-focused program will include Bryan Tipton and Ann Juette from the South Dakota Department of Agriculture. They will cover the investigation of pesticide damage complaints and plans for a new Web-based database and map of pesticide-sensitive areas.

South Dakota Cooperative Extension Beef Specialist Julie Walker will present information on the five challenges of organic beef production, including management of production systems and marketing. Thandiwe Nleya, an Extension agronomy specialist with the West River Ag Center, will report on the status of organic crop production in South Dakota. Peter Sexton, an associate professor of sustainable agriculture, will present as overview of his work on small scale processing of canola.

A farm tour of Cwach Farms begins at 5 p.m. on July 21. Gary, Mary, Dan, and Kevin Cwach operate the farm, and it is located east of Yankton at 30627 439th Ave. Producer Gary Cwach will present information on their current operation and plans for future expansion.

A roundtable discussion for area producers is set for 8:30 p.m. on July 21. This meeting is free and open to the public, and it will include discussions that define organic and sustainable farming and the perspectives of both producers and consumers. Producers will be able to share stories on certification, marketing, and access to information.

The July 22 consumer-focused program includes Pat Garrity, who will show the benefits that local economies can enjoy by buying locally grown foods. Dale Hebda will talk about the ongoing transition of his operation to organic production. Rebecca Terk will explain Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and how to organize these operations. Terk also will present information on the economics of sustainable production methods.

The event concludes with South Dakota Cooperative Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Educator Sharon Guthmiller’s presentation on home canning principles for food preservation. She will discuss methods including both water-bath and pressure canning. Participants can sign up for classes on canning jellies, pickles, salsa, beans, and other produce after Guthmiller’s presentation.

Organizations providing information for this event include the South Dakota Cooperative Extension Service, USDA, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, the South Dakota Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Nebraska Center for Rural Affairs.

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