Farm, Garden & Outdoors calendar published March 4, 2023

Mar. 4—Pesticide applicator testing: March 6, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Olivia. Review the Minnesota Department of Ag website for testing requirements or call Ethan Dahl at


, ext 101 or email at

with any questions. The website is

. A second session will be April 7.

Local work group meeting: March 10, 9 a.m., Renville County Government Center, Olivia. The group provides a forum for partners, farmers, agronomy business, conservation groups and local community members to share conservation activities and discuss natural resource efforts and concerns that should be prioritized. The group assists in guiding the Natural Resources Conservation Service in targeting farm bill funds for technical and financial assistance in Renville County in the future. For more information, contact the Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District,

or by phone at



Strategic Farming: Let's Talk Crops webinar series. This free, live, online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help optimize your crop management strategies for 2023. Sessions will be held over Zoom from 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 11 through March 29. Sessions will begin with a brief presentation by the discussion leaders for the day, followed by discussion framed around farmer/participant questions on the topic. Register at

for the entire program series. Sessions will be recorded and posted for viewing later. The next three sessions are:

* March 8: Corn tar spot distribution, development and management; Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist, and Darcy Telenko, Extension field crop pathologist, Purdue University.

* March 15: Alfalfa weevil and other alfalfa management challenges; Craig Shaeffer, Extension forage agronomist, and Anthony Hanson, Extension educator in integrated pest management.

* March 22: Soybean pests — what's up with the new and old ... are they a big deal?; Bob Koch, Extension entomologist.

Farm transfer planning workshop: March 11, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., MinnWest Technology Campus auditorium, Willmar, ages 25 and older, $150 per farm owner. Instructors are Samantha Nelson, David Nelson and Mark Santelman. Register at Willmar Community Education at

. Designed for owners who are serious about starting their farm transition and want to include their family or successors in the process. It will focus on family dynamics by exploring personal and team strengths, as well as personal resilience building and stress management during the transfer process. Second part will focus on case studies and logistical questions guided by the wisdom of local experts and professionals seasoned in the transfer of farms. The final part will focus on building a practical farm transfer action plan for participants to use as a catalyst for their transition efforts. Our facilitation model is centered around your family (or farm owner and successor) first. Once your legacy is well-articulated, local resources can follow up to equip and empower you to fulfill your vision.

Beef Quality Assurance certification: March 21, 7 p.m., free, online via Zoom by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Beef Council; advance registration required 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 the Zoom session, earn free certification online, anytime, at


Meeker County Gardener's Gala: March 21, 5 to 8:30 p.m., Church of St. Philip, Litchfield, the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Meeker County annual educational evening with speakers and vendors. Robin Trott, Extension horticulture education in Douglas County, will speak on "Grow a Rainbow: Annual flowers for color and purpose" and Larry Cipolla, master gardener, will be speaking on hydroponics for year-round gardening, the very easy way. For more information, call the Extension Office at


. Go to

to register online and pay or to download the brochure to register by mail. Tickets are $10 by March 10 and $20 at the door.

Wright County Spring Days: March 25, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Maple Lake High School, $35 advance registration by March 8, $45 at the door. More information and registration at


Douglas County Let's Get Growing: April 1, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Discovery Middle School, Alexandria. No advance registration — $20, cash or check only at the door. Educational booths and three sessions, "Plant selection for a changing climate" by Julie Weisenhorn, University of Minnesota Extension educator; "Building soil health" by Joe Storlien, associate professor of environmental studies, College of St. Benedict and St. John's University; "A-Z of vegetables, herbs and fruits" by Courtney Tchida, community programs director, Minnesota State Horticultural Society.

McLeod County Horticulture Education Day: April 1, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Crow River Golf Club, Hutchinson. For more information, call



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. The Interpretive Center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday; call


. For more information, visit the state Department of Natural Resources website at

. Cross-country ski and snowmobile trail conditions available at

* Snowshoe hike: March 4, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meet at the Interpretive Center and take a snowshoe hike on the Pondview trail. Learn the snowshoeing basics and explore the winter landscape with an interpreter. Advance registration is required due to limited equipment. Please contact Savannah,


, at the Sibley Interpretive Center to reserve your spot. If there is not sufficient snow, it will be a winter hike.

* An incredible journey: March 18, 11 a.m. to noon, meet at the Interpretive Center. How does water end up in different forms and locations? Play a game to explore the water cycle. Activity is designed for ages 5-11, but all are welcome to participate.

* Skin and bones: March 18, 2 to 3 p.m., at the Interpretive Center. See how many pelts and skulls you recognize and compare them to other animals found at the park.

Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Trails at the rural Spicer center may be used during daylight hours at no cost. For trail conditions, check the website at

. A bathroom with composting toilets is open by the pavilion. Pets should be on a leash. Advance registration required for all classes. All equipment rentals (fat-tire bikes, cross-country skies, snowshoes and kicksleds) 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: March 7, 4 to 5:30 p.m., $10 per session, grades K-12, 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. Instructors will be there to help, and equipment is provided. Additional date is March 23.