2018 Short Courses

2018 Pre-conference Short Courses

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
      through
Thursday, January 18, 2018 • 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

These 1 ½ day intensive short courses are high-value learning experiences that provide you comprehensive and in-depth information with practical lessons from some of the most experienced experts in the region. Instruction is based on practical experience and on lessons learned from years of working in this field. Each course will include excellent classroom instruction along with resources for continued learning. You must register to participate in the short courses. Pre-registration is strongly recommended, as space is limited.

The four short courses we are offering this year are:

  1. Start-Up Organic Vegetable Production and Marketing
  2. Living the Farmer-Florist Dream: Organic Cut Flower Production and Marketing
  3. Food Safety Practices for Small to Mid-Scale Producers
  4. Dismantling Racism: A Constructive Approach to Solution Building, Community and Agency

Short Course #1
Start-Up Organic Vegetable Production and Marketing

Instructors: Cathy Jones, Perry-winkle Farm (NC) and Josh Hardin, Laughingstock Farms (AR)

Perry-winkle Farm produce for sale. Photo by Debbie Roos.

Perry-winkle Farm produce for sale. Photo by Debbie Roos.

This comprehensive course on organic vegetable production and marketing will give you the critical information needed to get off to a great start and make the most of your early farming years. Information in this course is designed for new farmers, interns and apprentices, and those thinking about switching careers to farming. It will also be valuable for farmers with a couple of years of experience who want to improve their operations. Cathy Jones and Josh Hardin have different backgrounds and experiences that defined how they arrived at their respective farms. Josh grew up on a "conventional" family farm in Arkansas and went on to start Laughing Stock Farm 10 years ago, whereas Cathy and her husband started Perry-winkle Farm as "first generation farmers" (with no previous experience) 27 years ago. They will use their experience running successful, small-scale, diversified farming operations to teach you what you need to know to make a success of your new farming enterprise. The course will cover:

  • Organic Farming Principles
  • Soil Health
  • Crop Rotation and Cover Crops
  • Field Planning, Planting, and Variety Selection
  • Transplant Production
  • Irrigation
  • Pest, Disease and Weed Control
  • Farm and Market Equipment
  • Harvest and Post Harvest
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Season Extension
  • Record Keeping and Crop Planning

Take-home materials will include a DVD from Southern SAWG’s Natural Farming Systems in the South series that provides a virtual farm tour of a successful organic vegetable farm, and Southern SAWG’s comprehensive Organic Vegetable Production and Marketing in the South CD ROM featuring Alex Hitt along with hundreds of useful articles, photos and resources.

Short Course #2
Living the Farmer-Florist Dream: Organic Cut Flower Production and Marketing

Instructors: Karen (Mimo) Davis and Miranda Duschak, Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers (MO)

Mimo and Miranda at Tower Grove Farmers Market.

Mimo and Miranda at Tower Grove Farmers Market.

Do you dream of growing, arranging, and selling gorgeous cut flowers? This comprehensive course on organic cut flower production and marketing is perfect for both beginner and experienced farmers whose goal is to be a successful farmer-florist. Mimo Davis has 25 years’ experience growing and selling cut flowers, and Miranda Duschack has 17 years farming, five years in cut flowers. Together they have owned and operated Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers in the Dutchtown neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri since 2012. Transforming an overgrown fallow lot surrounded by a sea of concrete into a productive flower farm where they grow more than 70 different kinds of flowers. From ruffly ranunculus and daffodils in the spring to colorful kale and dinnerplate dahlias in the fall, they specialize in growing flowers in field, high tunnels and a heated glass greenhouse that are "locally grown, not flown." This dynamic and intensive class will address the joys and challenges of successful cut flower farming and marketing, chocked full with tips and tricks learned only through years of experience. The course will cover:

  • Variety Selection
  • Crop Planning
  • Seed Starting
  • Growing Practices
  • Season Extension
  • Weed, Pest, and Disease Control
  • Harvest Stage
  • Post-harvest Handling
  • Marketing: Wholesale, Farmers Markets, Weddings and Event Designs

Take-home materials will include a DVD from Southern SAWG’s Natural Farming Systems in the South series that provides a virtual farm tour of a successful organic cut flower farm and a compiled list of cut flower resources, handouts and course presentations.

Short Course #3
Food Safety Practices for Small to Mid-Scale Producers

Instructors: Coleen Thornton, Heaven Sent Food and Fiber (OK) and Ravi Jadeja, Oklahoma State University (OK)

produce safety shutterstock_461983909.jpg

Do you want to ensure that your farm products are safe for consumers, and stay in compliance of new regulations? Small to mid-scale fruit and vegetable growers interested in learning about the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety will benefit from this comprehensive course. This training will help you navigate the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation. Upon completing, it will give you the requisite certification as regulated by the Food and Drug Administrations Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule § 112.22(c). This FDA standardized curriculum aims to ensure safe manufacturing, processing, packing and holding of food products when at least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm has successfully completed the course. Instructors Coleen Thornton and Ravi Jadeja are trained by the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance and qualified to instruct the FDA-recognized training. Coleen is a farmer and food safety consultant of Heaven Sent Food and Fiber with over 300 hours of farm audits. Ravi is an Assistant Professor and Food Safety Specialist at Oklahoma State University with 11 years of food safety training and consulting. This workshop is based upon work that is supported and made possible by a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2016-70020-25787.

The course will cover:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Production and Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan
  • Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
  • FSMA Produce Safety Rule Requirements
  • Microbial Risks on the Farm

Participants completing the entire course and documentation will receive a certificate from the Association of Food and Drug Officials. Take-home material will include a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training resource manual.

Short Course #4
Dismantling Racism: A Constructive Approach to Solution Building, Community and Agency

Instructor: Tameka L. McGlawn, Leading for Equity Collective Network (CA)

Those who are deeply committed to building more sustainable food and farming systems in the South are often faced with historical, economic and political challenges inherent in structural racism. Join us in this interactive learning opportunity that will directly address the existence and impact of structural racism and oppression, while also providing experiential learning activities that will build on the assets of farming families, communities and a legacy of thriving in the South. Tameka L. McGlawn has provided servant leadership to learning and leading communities for nearly 25 years. Having served in many settings and professional roles, she offers a unique perspective on implementing systemic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, and effective strategies to achieve equity-based outcomes. Learning outcomes will include:

  • Participants will be able to define institutional and structural racism, and see where it is and can be present in the organizations or institutions where they work 
  • Participants will gain a better understanding of how institutional and structural racism harm people of color and will be able to define what white privilege is as well as it’s the role in how people of privilege contribute (consciously or unconsciously) to racist structures
  • Participants will learn about actions they can take towards dismantling racism in their work in the sustainable food and farming movement
  • Participants will feel empowered to create positive change and leave with tools, knowledge and the competencies essential to further learning and the building of solutions, community and agency