Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published May 1, 2021

Donna Middleton, West Central Tribune, Willmar, Minn.
·5 min read

May 1—Farming

Beef Quality Assurance and Secure Beef Supply training: Remaining workshops to choose from are May 6 or May 18 and June 3, free, online via Zoom by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Beef Council. Advance registration required, codes at BQA certification is being required by many major industry buyers and processors. It is still voluntary for producers to complete. However, when a producer does not have current BQA certification, the result is that many packers and feedlots simply cannot purchase those cattle because their company cannot source cattle from a producer who does not meet their certification requirements. If unable to attend a scheduled Zoom session, earn free certification online, anytime, at

Walk-In Access landowner enrollment: Through May 14, sign-ups available at local soil and water conservation district offices. The program pays private landowners to allow public hunting on their lands. It has enrolled land parcels 40 acres or larger with high-quality natural cover. Hunters must purchase a $3 permit with a hunting license to access enrolled land Sept. 1 through May 31. The parcels are marked with highly visible signs posted by Department of Natural Resources staff and hunting laws are enforced by DNR conservation officers. Landowners are not required to purchase additional liability insurance. Lands enrolled in the Walk-In Access program are covered by Minnesota's recreational use laws, which limit legal liabilities for landowners who permit outdoor recreational activities, as listed in Minnesota State Statute 604A.20. To sign up, contact your local SWCD office or contact Troy Dale, program coordinator for the DNR, at 507-537-6616 or on the website

Poultry Health Management School: May 24-25, online, register at Participants will learn about poultry housing and management in this intensive training course for poultry producers, farm employees and other poultry professionals. Typically, the number of students allowed is limited. However, this year it will be offered to anyone who wishes to participate due to the virtual structure. Fee is $300, each attendee will receive the most recent American Association of Avian Pathologists Avian Disease Manual, an instruction guide and other educational tools. For questions, contact Rebecca Groos at or call 763-682-2171.

Conservation practices cost share: The Kandiyohi Soil and Water Conservation District has cost share available for structural and nonstructural conservation practices. Landowners may receive up to 75% cost share on certain practices. Call the Kandiyohi SWCD at 320-235-3540, ext. 3.

Cover-crop cost share: Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District and Hawk Creek Watershed Project are offering cost-share for cover crops planted between April 1 and Sept. 15. Up to 75% of costs to plant cover crops (e.g. seed, labor, equipment use, seed incorporation) with a maximum payment of $2,000 per farmer per year with a maximum of three years of cost-share through this program. For more information, call Ethan Dahl at 320-523-1550, ext. 101, or email

Partners in Ag Innovation Conference: July 29, MinnWest Technology Campus, free for ag producers and agribusiness professionals. The MinnWest Technology Campus and the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission are joining forces to co-host the conference. The theme is "From Survive to Thrive." We are still emerging from the fast-track of change and unexpected events brought on over the past year but feeling hopeful and ready to emerge on the other side. Through this difficult period, comes a time for transformation and growth. Let us take what we learn from 2020 and learn to not just survive ...but thrive. We are prepared to go entirely virtual or hybrid and will keep attendees informed as planning progresses. Even with a virtual format, this year's event will include more interaction and small group discussions. See for a provisional agenda.


Community garden plots: Summer plots are available at the High Avenue Gardens, south of the Willmar Community Center. Plots are 10 feet by 15 feet and are $20 each. To reserve a plot, call 320-262-5288.

Community garden plots:Summer plots are available at the Willmar Avenue Gardens, north of the bus garages. Plots are 11 feet by 16 feet and are $20 each. To reserve a plot, call Mary at 320-212-3471.

Spring Tasks for the Waking Yard and Garden: Noon to 1 p.m., May 21, online by the University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris.

Steve Poppe and Nate Dalman from the center's horticulture department will discuss and show how to perform a variety of lawn and garden tasks, ranging from cleaning up perennials/shrubs and lawn fertilization to picking out plants in the greenhouse in order to help you properly prepare your yard and garden for the upcoming growing season. Topics include pond care, turf care, pruning shrubs, media for containers, and cleaning up perennials. This "Come Grow with Us" class is free, but donations are accepted. Advance registration not required, for more information call 320-589-1711.

"Prairie Yard and Garden": 4 p.m. Saturday, May 1, and 1 p.m. Monday, May 3, on Pioneer PBS. Host Mary Holm visits with Joe Zeleznik, Extension Forester, about the emerald ash borer, how it damages trees and how it spreads. Learn about what the community of Marshall is doing to lessen the borer's effect.


"Prairie Sportsman": 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 1. Join host Bret Amundson for "Flatheads and Get the Lead Out." Fish for flathead catfish at night on the Minnesota River and learn about the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency promoting lead free fishing tackle to protect loons and other wildlife.