Jul. 9—Strategic farming: Field Notes: Wednesdays, 8 a.m., free, 30-minute University of Minnesota Extension webinar over Zoom for farmers and ag professionals. Register for the live sessions at
. The program will feature a live webinar with interactive discussion with attendees, addressing in-season cropping issues as they arise. Weekly topics will be announced on the week of the program, maintaining the flexibility to react to issues that come up in 2022. For those unable to attend live, the discussion-based series will be posted immediately following the webinar to podcast-streaming services. Subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or Google podcasts.
Summer Beef Tour: July 12, 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., University of Minnesota Extension Beef Team and Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association will host the tour at the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus with stops at the Andrew Boss Laboratory of Meat Science, the College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Forage Research plots. The tour starts and ends at the Minnesota Zoo where attendees will have exclusive access to the entire zoo from 4 to 8 p.m. Check-in opens at 6 a.m. at the zoo and the buses will leave at 7 a.m. Tickets are $30 per person online at
or at the door. Lunch and supper are included. Inquiries may be directed to Dr. Joe Armstrong at
SMSU Agronomy Field Day: July 13, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Jon Knochenmus Center for Innovation and Southwest Minnesota State University Agronomy Field Trials Farm Site, north edge of Marshall, free. Deadline is past to RSVP for lunch. The fourth annual day will include lunch, tours and presentations highlighting SMSU faculty, students, field trials and related projects. Plot tours will follow the presentations, and partners will share research goals for 2022.
Partners in Ag Innovation Conference: July 26, 7:50 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar or virtual live stream, free for qualified ag professionals. The MinnWest Technology Campus and the Kandiyohi County & City of Willmar Economic Development Commission co-host the conference. Dr. Matt Roberts, an expert on ag, commodity markets, energy issues, and biofuels, will be kicking off the event. Personal stories of sustainability, working with the next generation, and expanding opportunities will be woven throughout the day. The day closes with a session focused on farm management, transitions and legacy planning. Detailed list of speakers and registration available on the website
. For more information, contact Sara Mikolich at
or Sarah Swedburg at the EDC at
Farm Beginnings: Sept. 1 is the deadline for applications for the Farm Beginnings class, which will take place in an online setting November through March 2023 with on-farm educational events to follow later in 2023. The training session helps beginning farmers clarify their goals and strengths, establish a strong enterprise plan and start building their operation. It is designed for new and prospective farmers who want to plan a profitable farm business. The class cost is $1,000, which covers up to two individuals per farm — discount for applications received before Aug. 1 and scholarships available. More information and registration is on the Land Stewardship Project website at
or email Annelie Livingston-Anderson at
Dykstras: Bill and Helene Dykstra will have their garden open from noon until dark daily July 5 until frost. Freewill donations for Guatemala will be accepted. Take Kandiyohi County Road 5 south of Roseland for one mile, go east on 210th Avenue and turn south on 37th Street.
Meeker County Master Gardeners tour: July 12, 5 to 8:30 p.m., six gardens south of Grove City and Litchfield, $10, tickets available in advance at Stockmen's Greenhouse, First Lutheran and Zion Lutheran churches offices, KLFD radio, Meeker County Extension office and at each garden the night of the tour. Proceeds will go to Zion Youth and MST USA. Sponsored by Meeker County Extension Master Gardeners, for more information call
. The gardens open are Donna Johnson, 19177 540th Ave., Grove City; Margret DuFoe, 23976 549th Ave., Grove City; Sandy and Dave Dougherty, 58620 County Road 28, Litchfield; Marlys Anderson 62150 200th Street, Litchfield; Nick and Debi Decker, 19635 623rd Ave., Litchfield; and John and Connie Thor, 18254 610th Ave., Litchfield.
Douglas County Master Gardeners tour: July 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., five gardens in Douglas County, $5 for adults, pay at the first garden you visit. Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions and provide helpful information. Visit the gardens in the order of your choice and go at your own pace. For more information or a brochure call the University of Minnesota Extension, Douglas County, at
or see the website at
Horticulture Night: July 28, 4 to 8 p.m. display garden, University of Minnesota's West Central Research and Outreach Center, 46352 State Hwy. 329 in Morris. Horticulture presentations, gardening demonstrations, keynote speaker, live music, food and vendor booths, farm tours and more.
Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online. Sibley State Park is west of New London just off U.S. Highway 71. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at
Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, kayaks, canoes) will be handled on a reservation basis, made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call by noon Friday. Two-hour equipment rental is $20 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for all youth. Call
* Climbing wall: July 23, 9 to 10:30 a.m., $20 per session, grades 3-8, advance registration required. Challenge yourself both physically and mentally at your own pace. Beginners can learn about the sport, exercise and have fun; experienced climbers can train and refine their skills. Center instructors will be there to help, and equipment is provided.
* Climbing wall: July 23, 10:30 to noon, $20 per session, grades 9-12, advance registration required. Other details same as above.
* Canoeing and Archery: Aug. 6, 9 a.m. to noon, $20 per session, grades 4 and up. After a lesson in canoeing skills and safety, you will set off over the water to witness the wildlife of wetlands followed by learning the basics of Olympic-style target archery.
Volunteer water monitors: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is recruiting volunteers to measure water clarity in numerous lakes and streams — including several high-priority sites in the Willmar area — and then report back to the agency. Volunteers do a simple water clarity test in a body of water twice a month during the summer. Lake monitors boat or paddle to a designated spot in the lake to check the clarity, while stream monitors record data from the stream bank or a bridge over it. All equipment and training is provided, no experience is needed. The program relies on the volunteers to help monitor Minnesota's 12,000-plus lakes and 92,000-plus miles of streams. This is the perfect opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts and those interested in helping protect the state's natural resources. The MPCA uses the data to help determine whether lakes and streams are meeting water quality standards designed to protect aquatic life and recreational activities like fishing and swimming. In some cases, the information gathered by volunteers is the only monitoring done on a particular lake or stream.