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Central Plains Organic Farmers (CPOF), formerly Kansas Organic Producers, is  hosting an all day workshop on “Diversifying Organic Farms: Integrating Grains, Forages. Livestock, Specialty Crops and People” on Wednesday, August 29,  at the Klinefelter Barn east of Hiawatha at 1724 230th St., Hiawatha, KS.

Registration begins at 8:45 a.m. Program runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch will be served on site. A $15 registration fee covers lunch and materials. See below for registration information.  Co-sponsors are the Kansas SARE and Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops,  Kansas Rural Center, and Kansas Farmers Union.  See full agenda HERE .

The workshop will offer practical how to information on weed control in organic grains and crops,  provide a look at how a traditional organic grain farm can add new enterprises for diversifying the farm and adding younger farmers, and describe a new model for poultry production based on permaculture principles and a regenerative agriculture system.

The morning of the day long workshop will focus on improving weed control with a diversified cropping system and the knowledgeable and skillful use of low cost cultivation. Featured speaker will be Gary McDonald, Organic Resources, Springfield, Illinois. McDonald is an organic farmer and educator who works with organic farmers throughout the Midwest. He will speak on “Organic Grain & Forage Cropping Systems: Crop Rotation, Cover Crops & Weed Control,” including the design, set-up and skillful use of row crop cultivators.

The afternoon will feature  Dave Bishop, PrairErth Farm,  who will  speak  on Integrating Organic Grain, Forage, Livestock & Specialty Crops.Bishop will cover how he has integrated specialty crops and more diverse pastured livestock production and marketing into a traditional organic grain, forage and beef cattle operation. Bishop and his family have a 300-acre diversified grain and livestock farm near Atlanta, Illinois, where he and his two sons and daughter-in-law, now raise organic grains and have added vegetables and fruits.  Part of his presentation will discuss how his family is constructing a food hub facility for additional farmers and for aggregation of packing and marketing, and the good and bad of offering internships on the farm.

For younger farmers this collaborative model of integrating traditional and specialty crop operations offers easier access to land and equipment as well as farming knowledge and experience. For older, established farmers this model offers a sustainable transition forward to a new generation of diversified farmers. Visit the Bishop  farm website at http://www.prairierthfarm.com/PrairiErth_Farm/Home.html

The day’s final presentation will be “Regenerating Small Farms with a Diversified, Poultry Based, Permaculture Production Model” by Reginald Haslett-Marroquin, Main Street Project, Northfield MN. The Mainstreet Project has developed a design for intermediate sized poultry production and marketing built on permaculture principles and  based on a regenerative agriculture system.  They have a demonstration farm and hope to spread their  model to other states. Visit their website at: https://mainstreetproject.org/what-we-do/

Registration for the workshop is $15 to cover lunch and materials.
To register or for more information: Call Ed Reznicek, Central Plains Organic Farmers, at 785/939-2032, or email at amerugi@jbntelco.com.

Early registration is encouraged to ensure space and meal count.